Friday, December 9, 2011


Christmas is a unique, special, stand-alone kind of season. It has its own songs, food, clothing, and customs. Most everyone makes some effort to transform their home with special Christmas decorations. (We say Christmas here at the BFZ- not the more generic "Holidays." I'm opinionated like that.) As a child I cherished the annual tradition of unpacking certain Christmas decorations, which had been stored away down in the basement. I greeted them each as an old friend back from a long journey, and with the arrival of these friends came the most fun, and dare I say merry, season on the calendar. Now that I am a grown man with a family of my own it is my job (Insert a funny face from Sarah- "What do you mean your job? You didn't do anything.") to haul the boxes out and help (see, honey, I said help) set things up. For better or worse, we all tend to view the Christmas season through the eyes of our younger selves. We revert to children.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas decorations which only make an appearance at the Ol' Tate Ranch this time of year.

The Gingerbread castle. One of our Christmas traditions is to have a gingerbread castle party. We invite over a bunch of friends for dinner and afterwards we all decorate this monstrosity and eat candy. Sarah hides somethign inside the castle and on Christmas morning we smash it open with hammers and retrieve the prize- usually an ornament. (Special thanks to those friends who helped. You know who you are!)

During our first Christmas as man and wife my oldest brother, Joel, gave us this blanket which he had knit himself. It actually won a blue ribbon at the Rutland County State Fair back in VT. It is one of our prized possessions. Most people who witness this amazing piece of handiwork for the first time usually ask, "A man made this?" To which I respond, "I know, awesome, right?"

Growing up, 14 of these plates hung in my Grandma McCuen's house, and now they hang in mine. Sarah and hang them along either side of the main beam above our living room. They all depict wonderfully imaginitive Christmas scenes. (I feel like I'm gushing a bit using words like "wonderfully" and "amazing." Forgive me if I'm a little over the top. I blame it on the season.) These two plates are my personal favorites.

Sarah made this metling snowman. It's awesome.
I bought this camel in Savannah, GA for our first Christmas living in Idyllwild.
Little german gnomes and forest animals. These also used to belong to my Grandma McCuen.

The Christmas ball asteroid field, as I call it, is my all time favorite Christmas decoration. Sarah does this every year and I absolutely love it. It's crazy awesome. I hope you get the idea despite my unsatisfactory efforts as a photographer. This photo is somewhere south of mediocre, and fails to do the asteroid field justice.

This year my Mom sent us a surprise. The Tomptes! These little guys are ancient and adorned the top of our High Boy each Christmas season when I was growing up. I absolutely love them! I have ranged them along the top of my roll top desk, safely out of Miles' reach. Are they awesome, or what?!?!  Thanks, Mom.!

1 comment:

MomZup said...

Oh, how I loved this post! I even stole the picture of the asteroid field to post on facebook! Such a great idea! The tomptes look very much at home on your desk. . .I heard the trip really shook them up!