Sunday, December 09, 2007


Deck the Halls

By Cher'ley Grogg

I invited my grandchildren for a decorating party so we could share pizza and memories.

We carefully unwrapped each ornament. I always get a little misty-eyed when I hold the first ornament my husband and I shared during our marriage. My mother presented it to us on our first Christmas together. The white plastic Santa and Mrs. Clause are so happy as they dance through the holidays. Next, we examined a felt Humpty-Dumpty and a yarn poodle. Our son crafted Humpty and our daughter cut and tied the yarn until she had the perfect poodle. With great pleasure, I shared the Paintbrush Santa, which my oldest grandson had made when he was in pre-school. Other cherishable (my word) items like the glitter covered Clothespin Reindeer, the Styrofoam-cup Angel and various paper and cardboard ornaments crafted by my other grandchildren made their yearly appearance.

I could tell the kids' hearts were not into the overall scheme of decorating. The oldest three grandchildren are boys, a 16 year old, his brother at age 13, their cousin also age 13 and his sister who is age 10. The children only came to the party to please their grandparents. It started out as a chore, but to their amazement, it grew into a great-shared experience.

After placing the last ornament on the tree, we played charades, ate pizza, popped popcorn and did crafts. The party, a huge success, lasted late into the evening. You can view the photos on my webpage:

The next day I looked at the remaining containers of decorations, each bearing a different label. My collections of Christmas bric-a-brac have their own large containers for storage. Included in these are my Manger collection, my Reindeer collection, my Angel collection, my Santa collection, my Snowman collection, my Poinsettia collection, my Bell collection, my Rocking-horse collection, and my Christmas Village collection. Other containers bulge with miscellaneous decorations for the windows, doors, bathrooms, porches, table and floors. There's throw blankets, pillows, table runners, shower curtains and bedspreads stuffed in big bags.

Some of the containers found a new home yesterday. I passed on my Rocking horse and Reindeer collection to my daughter and daughter-in-law. I also gave some of the odd and end decorations to charity. Today, I may, just maybe I will re-box one more collection and send it to bless another family.

One item in my Snowman collection stands out from the rest. It's a clock with a Snow-people family on the face and it plays a Christmas Carol every hour. I've listened to three different Carols as I wrote this blog and it's getting ready to sing another one. Yesterday morning, as I read my email, I listened to two songs. Last night I sat down to write, but decided I should first read a little from some of the sites I belong to and perhaps respond to a couple of posts, the Snow family sang four songs.

I got up at two am this morning in order to write a chapter in my novel. Well, first I uploaded my digital pictures and organized them a little, all 400 of them. (They still need resized.) As I uploaded the photos, I realized there are many files in My Documents that really needed their own folders and of course, once they're in folders, the folders need to be backed up.

Shh, listen, another Carol is playing.

by Cher'ley Grogg

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Blogger Diary of a Fiction Writer said...

Oh how I can relate to . . . I could tell the kids' hearts were not into the overall scheme of decorating.

My heart shattered like a glass ornament when, about six years ago, all three of my then pre-teen and teenage children decided to abandon our Christmas Cookie and Tree decorating tradition.

Now all in college, they are not only returning home for the holiday, but one by one they are each displaying a newfound interest in family traditions.

Your words reassure me once again, to keep the faith, regarding the preservation of family traditions.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Angela said...


This brought back all the fond memories I had over the years of setting up the Christmas tree...unpacking those ornaments you haven't seen in a year is like a gift! We'd wrap ours in newspaper for the next year, carefully preserving them to be brought out again.

I haven't set up a tree yet, but I love the smell. I don't know if we'll set up one, but one thing I do every year is make ornaments as gifts. I sculpt, bake, and paint them to give out as gifts. It's such a fun event. When we had our gallery in Long Beach, we'd invite all the neighborhood kids over to make ornaments. I truly miss that.

I also enjoyed your pictures on your website! Very, very, nice. I haven't got a chance to view them all, but after I write this I'm going back.

Thanks so much for sharing. =o)



2:03 AM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

Thanks Ladies,
I know when our house burned I was lucky that my Christmas decorations were in the garage. So many precious little things burned and those really are the things you miss.
The other thing too was with my recent medical problems, the get together and sharing with the grandkids seemed even more important this year.

7:19 PM  

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