Holiday Loves: Christmas Decorations

Do y’all remember last years Christmas post series called Holiday Loves and Quirks? I shared some of my favorite aspects of the holidays and felt like resharing them! Feel free to share your favorite aspects of the Christmas!

Christmas Decorations

White Christmas lights have to be one of the greatest invention of all time.  They have always been my favorite and I cant help but feel all warm and happy when I see them.  This is a good thing because I am in charge of putting up, and taking down, our Christmas decorations.  My husband does not want to deal with them and I love organizing them all…it works!

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Simple is the key word for our decorations.  Our house isn’t big and we just don’t have the dough to compete with the Griswolds.  So our outdoor decorations are restricted to the bay window area and our indoor decorations are placed strategically around the living room.  We also reuse our decorations from year to year.  I made our stockings three years ago and we still use the fake tree I bought seven years ago during my first round of college.  We lovingly refer to it as our Charlie Brown tree.

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Our decorations have stories and some of our favorites are my husband’s homemade pieces.  Each were handcrafted by his grandparents.  They are a sweet reminder that one of the best parts of the holidays is spending time with family.  A reminder for us to ignore the frustration and stress we may feel during the season and to focus on the good parts.  They are a reminder that our loved ones remain with us years after they have gone.  Each one has a story to share.

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The decorations are simple.  And we wouldn’t want them any other way!  My favorite will always be my great-grandmother’s ceramic Christmas tree that has been the Christmas nightlight in my room since I was seven.  What are your favorite decorations?  What stories do they tell?

Lindsay

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Ruth’s First Christmas Tree

Here are the reviews of the two Christmas stories I finished last month.  Sorry it took so long to get these to you!  Enjoy!

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree

by Elly Griffiths

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It is three days before Christmas and a bitter wind is blowing across Norfolk.

Until her daughter was born, forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway didn’t do Christmas, but now that Kate is a year old, she wants it to be special.

She must get a tree, shop for food, clean the house, buy presents, including one for her new boyfriend—who she isn’t even sure is her boyfriend—and remember to get the turkey out of the freezer.

But time is rushing by and the best-laid plans don’t always work out …

Professional archaeologist Ruth is determined to give her daughter, Kate, a proper Christmas and the first item on her to-do list is to purchase a Christmas tree.  It is the first time for Ruth to celebrate Christmas as an adult and she is struggling to wrap her analytical mind around such a faith based holiday.  Her day involves a Christmas party, a blizzard, a missing wooden artifact, and a unique tree.  All help Ruth realize that the perfect Christmas tree is definitely worth the work.

I was excited about this short story because I was interested to read how Ruth’s academic mind would approach the Christian holiday.  I have a background in archaeology and am a devout Christian which, in my experience, is a rare combination.  Ruth looked at Christmas exactly how I expected her to; analytically, but she is still quite a complex character.

I really wanted to like Ruth’s First Christmas Tree.  I like the premise but the story was just too undeveloped.  The writing was raw and there were too many loose ends.  The missing wooden artifact, which Griffiths utilizes strictly as an extra plot tool as it has nothing to do with Christmas or a Christmas tree, needed to be explained in greater detail.  Go all out if you plan to use such a plot tool.  Griffiths tells you the history of the missing artifact and how Ruth eventually finds it, but that’s it!  Why was it where Ruth found it?  What was the culprit’s reasoning for taking the piece?  Will he be brought to justice?  All these unanswered question just left me irked.  Now, I know this short story is part of a large series so hopefully these questions will be answered in the next novel, but they still should have been discussed in Ruth’s First Christmas Tree.

I did my best to connect with Ruth, but she read a bit too judgy.  For example: it was acceptable for her to have a child out of wedlock due to an affair with a married man but heinous that her boss did the exact same thing except left his wife to marry his mistress….that doesn’t make sense at all.  Nor did some of her rash behavior.  Kate pulls the tree down as soon as Ruth puts it up and Ruth’s immediate response is to just throw the tree outside?  Yeah, I don’t get it.

I enjoyed Griffiths’ cast of diverse characters and I may have enjoyed the story more if I had read the first few novels in the series.  I think Griffiths has the ability to tell a good story; I just feel that Ruth’s First Christmas Tree warranted more editing.  Definitely check out Griffiths if you are interested in archaeologist stories because she nailed the academic archaeologist personality.

Have you read any of Griffiths’ work?  What do you think?

Lindsay

Holiday Loves and Quirks – Christmas Decorations

Holiday Loves and Quirks is my mini-blog series for December.  Posts documenting my unique take on Christmas will show up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This is a way for me to share the spirit of the holiday with all of you!  And don’t worry; I am in full marathon reading mode so you will still have plenty of book reviews to peruse!

Christmas Decorations

White Christmas lights have to be one of the greatest invention of all time.  They have always been my favorite and I cant help but feel all warm and happy when I see them.  This is a good thing because I am in charge of putting up, and taking down, our Christmas decorations.  My husband does not want to deal with them and I love organizing them all…it works!

IMG_3041

Simple is the key word for our decorations.  Our house isn’t big and we just don’t have the dough to compete with the Griswolds.  So our outdoor decorations are restricted to the bay window area and our indoor decorations are placed strategically around the living room.  We also reuse our decorations from year to year.  I made our stockings three years ago and we still use the fake tree I bought seven years ago during my first round of college.  We lovingly refer to it as our Charlie Brown tree.

IMG_3038

Our decorations have stories and some of our favorites are my husband’s homemade pieces.  Each were handcrafted by his grandparents.  They are a sweet reminder that one of the best parts of the holidays is spending time with family.  A reminder for us to ignore the frustration and stress we may feel during the season and to focus on the good parts.  They are a reminder that our loved ones remain with us years after they have gone.  Each one has a story to share.

FullSizeRender

 

The decorations are simple.  And we wouldn’t want them any other way!  My favorite will always be my great-grandmother’s ceramic Christmas tree that has been the Christmas nightlight in my room since I was seven.  What are your favorite decorations?  What stories do they tell?

Lindsay