So I Go Overboard


How early do you start shopping/decorating for the holidays?

I’ll begin by saying that the upcoming holidays are my favorite time of year. I think maybe that started when I was just a child. My mother made everything special for us even though we didn’t get an over the top amount of presents. Being with our large, extended family was the best gift we received.

When I was a child I never understood why we had to go to school on Halloween. It was so much fun I couldn’t imagine not having a vacation day for it. We never decorated for Halloween, and I still don’t.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. I have a nice cornucopia that I put on my table, and a couple of Pilgrims and an Indian, and that’s all the decorating I do for that. I’m not much of an advance food shopper. Typically you’ll find me in the grocery store at the last minute trying to find the perfect turkey. For my family that would be about ten pounds, but the year before last I sent my husband to the store, and he came back with a twenty pound bird. I didn’t do too good of a job cooking such a big turkey so since then I buy my turkey ready to eat.

The Christmas season begins for us on the day after Thanksgiving. I never go to sales on Black Friday. We put up all our decorations. And there are a lot of them. I started the tradition of heavily decorating when my grandson lived with me. I wanted him to have a magical Christmas environment, and he did appreciate everything. His favorite was a Christmas village I put up every year. Actually, every child in the family loved that village, and my great granddaughter is very attracted to it now.

I usually put up three Christmas trees. One is our family tree, one is silver with some white, flocked deer under it, and the other is a theme tree. I started the doing the themed tree when my granddaughter was younger. The two of us got together and put it up from start to finish. All year we’d look for ornaments for whatever theme we’d picked. We’ve done cowboys and Indians, polka dots, candy, birds, retro, shells, pigs, and various color combos. Her favorite is the candy tree, and I have to admit it’s the most beautiful, but I do like my cowboys and Indians tree.

Besides our trees I sit things wherever I can find a place. I’ve also made several wreaths to go on the walls.

With all of that being said, this year I may cut back some. But then again I still have that great granddaughter to think of so we’ll see.

I used to shop early for gifts, but in recent years I’ve fallen out of the habit. Everyone gives me a list of things they might enjoy, and I pick from the list. No one yet has complained or returned any of their gifts.

Still, the decorating, presents, and eating isn’t the important part of the holidays. The important part is being with the people you love. That’s the best part as far as I’m concerned.

Do any of you have any special traditions during the holidays? Do share them with us.

The picture shows three carolers. It sits on the top of a small china cabinet in my dining room. The picture behind it is a Norman Rockwell Christmas picture. There’s a car going down the street with a tree on the top. I love that touch.

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
This entry was posted in Christmas, Elaine Cantrell, Holiday, Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to So I Go Overboard

  1. You have to love the holidays! I’d like to see your house at Christmas!
    The secret to a good turkey is roasting it slowly and for a long time. My other would get huge turkeys (one year she had a 34 pounder for Thanksgiving and a 36 lb one for Christmas, but they usually averaged about 24 lbs). She’d bake hers in brown paper bags.They were moist and people who would come and claim they didn’t like turkey ended up loving Mom’s.
    I don’t always do the brown paper bags, and am more into turkey breasts now. More on Friday.


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    I love the Rockwell depictions of Holidays, especially Christmas.
    As you may guess, I’ve never done anything like actual preparation and baking of a holiday meal turkey, but I have had — on a few occasions — to arrange for a MEAL for me and a child or for me and my mom. I doubt I have the wherewithal to tackle the complexities of a turkey, much less a 20-pounder.
    No doubt I’ll think up a sentence or two about the general topic for tomorrow.


  3. Your carolers are cute! Your themed tree sounds like it would be fun to do. What’s your theme this year?


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    A themed tree sounds like a lot of work, but it’s intriguing! The botanical gardens in Grand Rapids has a Christmas tree display each year with hundreds of trees decorated to reflect different cultures, and I’ve enjoyed those with my older grandkids.


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