Choosing Confetti over Dramatic and Moody.

Hello everyone. Apparently I just broke a blogging rule right off the bat. Beware of “catchy” sharp witted titles. Like… read my title again. What the hell does all of that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. There are no key words in my title that would warrant a search by an individual looking for a certain topic. Unless I am going to be writing about confetti (which I am not). Yes, blogging friends I am living on the edge here.

I’ve also broken another blogging rule (consistency) and  for that I am deeply sorry. The best advice I ever heard once was never to ruin a good apology with an excuse. I have so many pent up things to write about that I fear that this post is going to spew like Mt. St. Helens. For one, I went into a funk after Thanksgiving.  The goal was to spend Thanksgiving with my extended family but we were under a severe weather alert with a forecasted 10 to 20 inches of snow. This was going to make travel to rural Utah complicated. We had to resort to plan B.

Plan B included a mad dash to the store to get some Cornish game hens, some Stove Top Stuffing, and to pick up a few pies. We did not want to miss out on the celebratory roasting of a bird and given the circumstances, the Cornish game hens would not be such an odious defrost.  I did feel bad about this because I feel more birds had to die this way. I had to slap myself for thinking about a scene from the movie Barnyard where a malicious fox made some threatening remarks towards “the HENS.” If you haven’t seen it, you probably have no idea what I am talking about.

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I also found that leftover Halloween crepe paper. dried beans, and un-popped corn came in handy for last minute table decor. It all seemed so elementary but we pulled it off.  I am completely aware of the repercussions of playing pilgrims and Indians. I had no room for such nonsense given the fact that indigenous people trying to protect their water from worst case scenarios were none too recently hosed, and then their worst fears were realized (among other things).

Now, I have no intention of getting political because I learned that lesson the Sunday after Thanksgiving when I was finally able to get down to my parents only to discover that my parents had been completely drinking the orange Kool-aide. I was a little shocked to discover this and it completely knocked me for a loop. Like…it REALLY put me into a funk. My dad spent my growing years working in a steel mill and he retired from a coal mine, so I know this did not all occur in a vacuum. Like…I really had to process all this. I was sensing a little passive aggression so two hours before I had anticipated going home I said, “I think I’m going to go home now…” It was a quiet ride home.

You would think I could just brush this all off like someone basting a turkey, but no I marinated in all of this for weeks. I realize I am not alone in this scenario here in the United States of America. SNL has even done skits about this. Than there is that crazy word that everyone has been tossing around that has a “peach” in it. So why did I not even fathom that this year’s holiday season would be more volatile? Like seriously… my game plan for Christmas went from not attending, to just showing up, to  lying low. I am better than this. My Christmas prayer? “Dear God, please help me get through this.”

So, my Thanksgiving was a little off the charts, and there are two other articles that had me in a funk. Last year I had a family member take their life on Dec. 19th. Yesterday, my cat died. I had three geriatric pets, and she was the last one to go. I was already feeling a little edgy about loss. I knew this would be my cat’s last Christmas, I was just not expecting that she would not make it to the day. So yesterday, we had a “cat funeral.” It’s interesting to see how children grieve. We drank some pomegranate 7-up (in wine glasses I might add) and my children painted our cat a headstone with a crown on it. Princess was a very loved cat. I am going to miss her shenanigans.

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Now, I have just got to get through the 19th (and two family Christmas parties-eek!) I am taking this in baby steps.

So, we ALL have our holiday stresses and certainly I don’t want to burden anyone with mine. I approached this holiday season very cautiously. I had no idea how I was going to set out to do this, but I thought going through the motions might help. Item of business number one was to “just bring up the Christmas stuff” to prep myself for the fact that it was coming. I went for moody reds. I decided I was going to have a moody red Christmas.

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Well, as it turns out, Christmas had other plans for me. By some odd fate of the Universe, it has been decided that my Christmas was going to be vibrant and colorful despite all of my attempts to go with “moody reds.” Now, I have to admit I have always had a Christmas pet peeve. I don’t like multi-colored Christmas lights for some reason. “Too busy,” “Looks like Christmas confetti,” or “Too much to process all at once.” Dear god, Christmas is already so overwhelming, and maybe this is the autism trait in me. I don’t know.

As it turned out, my white lit tree was broken. I had a base for another tree that was donated last year that was not meant for the tree I had in the box. The tree was a no go. I would have to fork over a lot of cash I didn’t have to get my dream tree at the expense of everything else, or suck it up and use an old dated tree in the garage which had (you guessed it) an endless array of colored lights. No joke, the Christmas star looked like it was ripped off of the back end of a trailer. I’m talking highly reflective  blinding material here. I was not embracing it.

Another thought I had was, “how can I be so petty?” Isn’t it me who said I need to “embrace the zero waste movement, and make do with what I have?” This tree really put me to the test. It was immediately decided that the star had to go but I found a better use for it and even came to embrace the star. I even furthered my advances with Zero waste. I wanted to go for the nature inspired Scandinavian Christmas so I dried a bunch of citrus and even made sugared cranberries. My tree was getting more and more bling all the time. It soon, took on a life of its own.

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Now there are a few people in my house who were really feeling the rainbow. The cat, my daughter Ember, and my husband’s grand daughter.

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Holiday survival mechanism number two- make lots of sugared cookies. I have shamelessly consumed so much butter cream frosting this season, I can almost feel the blockage in one artery. I have given most of them away but you can bet I was licking the beaters off of the Kitchen Aid.

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So I made two batches this season. The moody holly berry batch and than there was the other batch that of course the grand daughter insisted needed an endless array of sprinkles, and I have to admit, her batch seemed so much happier than mine. Also, they were plum out of holiday sprinkles so I had no choice but to buy the obnoxious birthday ones. Her face really says it all, and it dawned on me. Why have I been such a kill joy?

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Her expression may also be due to the fact that we decorated cookies after seeing Frozen 2 which also coincided with the “nature inspired Scandinavian twist” I decided to throw into the holidays this year, or in a word “hygge.” I am new to hygge despite the fact I hail from Swedish grandparents. Wikipedia defines hygge as “to give courage, comfort, joy.” They also associate it with “soul, mind, consciousness.” Well heaven knows I could use some of that this year.

So really I decided to follow the words of Paul McCartney, “Let it Be.” Just let my Christmas be. If my Christmas this year was going to be an outpouring of Christmas confetti then so be it. Also, not to change the subject, but the reviews on Frozen 2 are mixed. Some people say it’s confusing and hard to understand. I cried. All I can fathom is that people who don’t get Frozen 2 must not get ✨magic✨ My daughter and I are team Frozen 2.

So anyways, I have decided the lesson this holiday season has been about not creating the Christmas Holiday I think I should be having, but to just embrace the Christmas I am having. Like, Christmas is really taking me for a ride.

On another note, my husband and I threw something a little non-conventional on Christmas this year. Our children are older, and we loathe shopping. This plan came into existence at the Thanksgiving table. I threw it out there and our children devoured it. This may or may not turn into a new family tradition I don’t know. So we had our first Amazon prime party.

Two weeks before Christmas the family met for food and games, everyone was allocated a set amount of funds and we all added the things on our wish list to the cart. Boom! We hit submit and our Christmas shopping was for the most part, done. My husband even made an “A” for Amazon tree out of scrap wood under my direction. We strung some lights on it, and we even lashed on that obnoxious reflective star. Which actually looked really good on our humble little “A” tree.

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We of course will do some small items or a few hokey stocking stuffers on Christmas Day, and everyone will be awarded box cutters on Christmas morning. The surprise will be if you’ve opened your own box or someone else’s but everyone will get their items. This plan does seem a little seedy because we have never done this before. It could be an epic win or an epic fail. Either way, this holiday feels different. Again, going for non-conventional.

Also, my mother in law broke her leg. Pins and screws. She will not be coming up this year, so that is also going to change the Christmas dynamic a lot. It seems none of us are having the Christmas we thought we would be having.

The one constant I had this year, is that my husband and I took our yearly trip to the Salt Flats and I ran across this chair. What is an old chair doing on the edge of a half frozen, shallow, salty lake? We saw a luxury car driving across it through the fog on the water. The practicality of the situation had my husband and I in awe. These people were going to get stuck, what about their paint job? No, that pearlescent SUV just glided across the water and came to a stop.

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Soon, a few nicely dressed men in Italian suits climbed out of it and some women wearing long floral skirts. They proceeded to pull a series of flowers out of the trunk of their car. They appeared to be funeral flowers in magnificent yellows. They lined them up along the shore and from my spot near the dramatic moody chair I was amazed.  I live for moments like this. So rare, so random, and so magical.

A short half hour later my husband and I were in a border Nevada Casino town. I was wearing the most vibrant obnoxious jewel toned holiday sweater. because of course I was. The evening was a blurb and my husband’s company parties never fail to disappoint when it comes to entertainment value.

The highlight of my evening was wondering how we were going to stay awake until the DJ was going to hit the music at 11 o’clock.  You guessed it. We were at the Rainbow Casino. Some girls showed up from a bachelorette party wearing crowns. and one of my husbands’ company wives said, “that’s it. Those young girls are not going to out defeat us. We still have it in us ladies!”  She pulled me out onto the dance floor where I self consciously wondered how I was going to look dancing in my glasses. She said, “let me show you how it’s done!” She put my glasses on, hit the dance floor and did some type of twerky manuever with my glasses off the tip of her nose.

I busted out laughing so hard I almost spit out my screwdriver. Some hard core rocker chick still going strong after twenty years flashed us a black rocker tee that I thought could only say Megadeath, but instead it had the Golden Girls on it that read, “Keep it Golden.” This only added fuel to to the fire, along with the guy who showed up to the dance floor wearing a flamboyant rainbow button up shirt. Of course the top two buttons were undone. So random, so weird, and of course only somewhere in Nevada.

Anyway, this is my very long explanation for breaking cardinal blogging rule number two-blog consistently. I hope you can forgive me, I hope it was worth the wait, and I hope you enjoyed this spewing of mindless colorful writer’s confetti. So if you have read to here…please enjoy the holiday you are having and embrace some color in your life! Recommend:)

Until Next Post!

Rachelle Whiting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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