Sunday 18 December 2011

Let Your Inner Elf Go Nuts

A good friend of mine that lives in Toronto, posted some pictures on Facebook yesterday. They were of a trip he and his wife took downtown to see the lights and decorations with their grandkids. I had written a blog lamenting the lack of Christmas spirit in some of the large retail stores that once upon a time would embrace the season and decorate their stores to awe and inspire. Well, John and Karen found a store with a window that took me back to my childhood!

It had a large clock that was marked in months instead of hours, busy elves building toys both wrapped and unwrapped, someone on a ladder putting toys up or taking them down. There was one elf that had a bucket on a pulley and I would imagine that he was pulling it up and down for some inexplicable reason. That is the beauty of Christmas and Christmas windows, it doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to make you happy. Thanks for posting those pictures John.

I was thinking about those pictures as I drank my tea and looked around me. Louise and I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to Christmas decorations. Nothing to over the top, you understand. Well, not over the top for us, but I can see it is more than likely over the top for others. Generally the decorations have some meaning for us. There is a full size sled hanging over the door that my dad used to sled with when he was a kid. There are many stuffed animals and Santas on or about the sled that seem to be hanging on for dear life.

We were at Heritage Park one year and saw garland made from ¾ inch strips of wrapping paper glued together decorating the trees. We thought it was a great craft to keep the kids busy and since then, every December our living area has been encircled with a colourful wrapping paper garland. Over the years the elves have made late night visits a week or two before Christmas and would drop off a poster or some other kind of decoration. It is neat to get decorations directly from the North Pole and it had the added benefit of defusing the excitement just a touch. I understand that the elves visit Hurricane and Tornado’s home now. Why last year they even left flour footprints on the table! Perhaps they were making “snow angels” in the flour.

Our tree is just beautiful! I am sure that everyone has the same feeling about their tree, and there are as many different opinions as to what makes for a beautiful tree as there are people. I caught a bit of a decorating show yesterday and the decorator had put five or six trees in a grouping. Each tree was a different colour, red, yellow, green, white and blue, all undecorated. I thought “How stupid!” until I realized that the trees were the decoration. Others like very sparsely decorated trees, still others like trees so covered in tinsel and angel hair that it is difficult to see the lights. Some only have room for a tiny tree, while others have gargantuan trees and the angel on top of the tree brushes her wings on the cathedral ceilings. To me they are all beautiful.

We tend to like the homespun decorations. I have one that I made from a paper cup and tinfoil when I was in kindergarten.

I might not have been able to skip, but I could wrap a cup with tinfoil and install a clapper! There are some elves that my Mom made for us and Louise has sewn some beautiful elf boys and girls that take time out in our tree during the day and travel back to the North Pole at night. I have carved one or two ornaments out of wood, golf balls, bark and baseballs.

Some of the other decorations have been lovingly purchased with our own money and fit into the general decor. I used to decorate a branch at work with elastic bands, paper clips and any other tiny coloured pieces of paper that I could find. It was very festive…sort of. I even paint a scene on the front window most years.

We can’t decorate like this all year, but for a month or two let your inner elf go nuts. I can promise that any little people in your life will be wide eyed and smiling whenever they visit. The extra benefit is that Santa may feel more generous in a well decorated home. Good luck!!!


  1. You are a very squishy guy. I wish the world had more of you...Merry Christmas.

  2. Squishy???
    Maybe so, but I am trying to lose weight and get buff. Oh...were you talking about my mind? Yeah, I guess.

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