It is that festive time of year when people go out of their way to decorate their homes for the holidays. It would be nice if they cared so much about outward appearances for the other 11 months of the year, but that is just my gripe. Here at the laughing house, we have a new take on all of the holidays. A lot of this stems from the tragedy of the fire which has caused us to look at everything in a new light. Having a wish list is sort of a moot point when you have nothing, so last year was pretty tame in terms of presents and such. The "trappings" of the holidays must be called that for they make us feel trapped into doing things such as decorating and shopping for stuff we don't need and/or can't afford.
Don't get me wrong. I think it is beautiful to see houses all decorated and full of lights. It also rocks that we are back in our house this year. Last year we were in the nasty apartment-away-from-home and while I have tried to erase all of the memories of that place from my conscious thoughts, there was one event that I am reminded of at this time of year.
We are an interfaith family and our kids grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah. Now that they are older, the holidays are tamer and they chose to celebrate Hanukkah at home and enjoy Christmas with family. Last year in the aftermath of the fire, Her Royal Cuteness decided three days before Hanukkah that she really wanted to have Hanukkah in the apartment. I knew that one box of Hanukkah items had come out of the house after the fire, so I called the cleaning company that had all of our recovered items. After describing the box and the possible contents, they began a search to locate the two menorahs that my daughter wanted. Kind of like searching for the needle in a really filthy haystack.
The day that we were to light the first candle, I got the call that the menorahs had been found and cleaned. I drove into town to retrieve the menorahs and then drove to several stores in search of Hanukkah candles. They are not the easiest thing to locate around here.
Dinner time came and we all gathered around the table to light the first candles.(This sounds more impressive than it was. There were four of us standing around the table that was in the "dining" area of the kitchen/living/dining room that was the apartment/compartment we were in.) We placed the candles in the menorahs and only then did we realize that we had NO matches. We owned NO lighters. Frankly we had absolutely nothing to produce any kind of flame. Really? Can you blame us??
So last year was the Hanukkah with no flames, but lots of laughter -as we continued to just place the candles in each night and not light them. I guess that is one way to recycle.
Now that we are home, it is interesting to think about decorating the house but hard to know where to start. We did go and buy a new Christmas tree in case we are motivated to put it up. The stockings that I made my Hubby and both kids were "cleaned" but they still have black smudges from the fire. I'm sure that they will hang from the mantle soon proudly displaying their "battle scars."
Since our spirit is lacking, I thought I would show you a house that is three neighborhoods over from mine. It is featured on our local "tacky lights tours" and has been on HGTV.
Enjoy; the pictures just don't show all of the details:
The Hubby did manage to repair and rework one fire damaged item so that it could be properly displayed. Our neighbors told us that they missed it last year.
So, this is our only decoration so far.:
I think that it speaks volumes.