Tag Archives: tinsel

19 days until Christmas…

I’m six days into writing, and pondering so many Christmas topics that have been on my mind, but more in my heart.  I spend far more time in cognitive contemplation, but rarely to I visit the affliction or spirit of my heart.  What is Christmas spirit and what does it mean?  Well, just to be sure I had the correct definition, I Googled ‘Christmas spirit’.  The results were quite enlightening.

ehow.com has instructions on how to get into the Christmas spirit.  It doesn’t tell you what it really means, but you can get the spirit in just eleven steps.  It starts with telling you to shop early so you don’t have to fight crowds and find a parking space.  The other points have a somewhat ‘tinselectomy‘ feel to them.  At the end of the steps, it has a nice tip telling us that Christmas is not about materialism, it’s about love and kindness.  Following that are several ads for decorating your house, great gift giving ideas and many other places to shop online.

So once you get in the spirit, then you should join the Christmas consumerism?  Change your life in eleven steps, but then go back to your habitual ways?  If I’m understanding this correctly, you go do your Christmas ‘feel good’ things, feel the spirit, then do this again once a year.  I think I’m searching for something bigger than this, something life changing, not season changing.

Wiki-answers tells us what the Christmas spirit is.  It says there is ‘something’ that makes us more selfless, more kind and just much nicer around Christmas time.  It goes on to say, sadly, that the Christmas spirit is not as prevalent today, probably due to the commercialism of Christmas.  This invisible, yet real spirit doesn’t visit as often and the day after Christmas, it disappears.  Before I have time to ponder this, the ads for AT&T and buying flowers at the bottom of the web page cloud my thoughts.

I’m still looking.  I want to know more about the ‘invisible something’.

My Google results are getting odd and the next one I find quite interesting.  “Santa Claus Suit Sales are Up Demonstrating That Christmas Spirit is Recession Proof”  Of course this is sponsored by a costume company, but the picture in the add speaks much better than words.

Sorry, but I just never pictured Mrs. Claus looking like that.  And what happened to the cute little guy elves that build toys?  I know I’m stereotyping here, but I’m quite sure this elf has never touched a hammer.  Do we really need sexual connotations to sell Santa suits?  Christmas spirit?  Seriously?!

Maybe Google is not the place to look.  Maybe the Christmas spirit cannot be defined in words.  I think I’m going to keep turning Christmas upside-down, maybe even spin it, and see what flies out.  Is it possible that the Christmas spirit starts at Christmas because it’s about Christ’s birth?  Christ’s birth was the beginning of a great story, the greatest story, a story that is ongoing and very relevant to our lives.  So maybe that means the Christmas spirit is supposed to be a spirit that we have all of the time.  Maybe if we rename it to something without the word Christmas, but keep the word Christ in it, we can keep it year round without feeling like we’ve left the Christmas tree up all year long.

As I said yesterday, I started the 25 days of Christmas to showcase silly Christmas yard art, so let me not disappoint anyone.  Yes, here it is, finally the inspiration for this whole project.  The dead Santas.  No, it’s not a new band I’m starting, it’s photos of all the dead Santa inflatables that are sprinkled all over lawns in Frisco, and every other suburb.  Who ever thought giant inflatable versions of the commercialized Christmas figures was a good idea?  If these represent the spirit of Christmas, that explains why we can’t find it.  At night it’s filled with a lot of air, sometime during the evening or early morning it falls to its routine death and stays deflated all day long.  Kids will need therapy after seeing dead Christmas stuff everywhere.  Maybe this is good.  As my friend Lin says, start the kids therapy fund, then they’ll be well adjusted enough to pay for their own college expenses.

The dead Santa collection…

25 days until Christmas…

Only 24 more shopping days until Christmas!  Oh wait, maybe they’re actually going to open stores on Christmas now.  I feel awful for the retail workers.  Not only is this a crazy time of year for them, but they didn’t even get to enjoy Thanksgiving.  I know this, because I worked in retail for several years.  Doorbusters have been around for many years now, but as everything we do at Christmas, it has reached the point of ridiculousness.  If we can’t open earlier than the store down the street, than we’ll open the day before… Thanksgiving.

Let me just say I am all about getting a good deal.  Why can’t these stores just all give good prices and run some regular sales instead of creating mass chaos?  The stores are controlling people.  The stores decide when we shop, how we shop and what we buy.  And if Black Friday isn’t enough, we now have Cyber Monday.  UPS, get ready.

My 24 days left will be spent avoiding stores.  The few gifts I am buying were purchased at a local discount, hole-in-the-wall store.  Yes, they do still exist, but they aren’t easy to find.  I also made my one online purchase, the one gift my kids are getting besides their passports this year.  The gift was $19.95.  The rest of the money we would spend on Christmas?   It’s going to Casa Hogar Elim in Mexico, to the Sons of Lwala in Kenya and to some local compassion ministries in Frisco, Texas.  Have a tinselectomy!  I did.

Elizabeth and I found a new form of holiday entertainment, well, probably more like a hobby.  We went Santa shooting last weekend.  No, not with a gun silly, a camera.  We will be doing this throughout the ‘season’ and will share some photos with you!

This is our first find, and quite honestly, the most funny and somewhat disturbing.  I like to call ‘The Symmetrical Hazy Plastic People Nativity Scene with Flying Peanuts’.  Yes, because inflatables aren’t weird enough just sitting on the ground, let’s bungee it across the walkway so Charlie Brown and Snoopy can hoover over baby Jesus and hit people in the head if they come visit us.

If this is your house, and you’re reading my blog, just know that I also do some weird Christmas things, so don’t be offended.  We’re just having a little fun.  I use flamingos in my yard and I have a full size mannequin named Darla.

More Christmas fun tomorrow…

tinselectomy story

I’ve always tried to teach my kids about the importance of giving to others. I started this process when they were very young. I used to tell them that they had a lot of toys and would encourage them to give some away to the thrift store. I would tell them how giving some of their toys away would help needy children.

At the same time, I was also trying to teach them to be frugal and teach them the value of a dollar. If we weren’t using something or wanted to upgrade, I would sell our stuff on eBay. If we shopped at the thrift store, I would give them a budget. So Joe, who in his own ‘Joe’ kind of way would go around telling people, “Yeah, I’m helping needy kids by selling my toys to them.”

Although ‘tinselectomy’ is not a new concept for our family, it’s needs to be a more important part of our lives. I’m excited to be a part of this movement!  Become a fan of tinselectomy on Facebook!

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