To bring everyone up to date on why I made my own holiday garland. In August, when we moved in to mid-century-pre-renovation-house we packed up the lion's share of our belongings and we sent them to storage. Crazy as it seems, I actually glanced at our three LARGE boxes of Christmas decorations and then summarily dismissed them as "send them to storage." I wonder now if I had blocked out the fact that Christmas would come again? You know - big move requires big thoughts. Big thoughts require that most other thoughts are pushed out in to the abyss of rationality. I mean, why would I need Christmas decorations? It was only August for Pete's Sake! By December (a mere 4 months away), we ought to have the renovation complete by then. Our Christmas things would be with us. Madness. That's all I can chalk it up to. Sheer Madness. By December, we hadn't even finished with the preliminary plans. Madness. I say.
So, December arrived. Still living in aforementioned mid-century-pre-renovation-house. Only now, I must think about decorating for Christmas. And to complicate the issue, we had recently been shown the preliminary budget for ALL the things that we want to do to renovate said house and the only way it's all getting done is if a fed ex plane carrying exceptionally large sums of money happens to open its cargo doors as it flies over our house and parachutes big bags full of brand spanking new $20s right in to our nifty (but in need of renovation) inner courtyard. In other words, I had a teeny-weeny budget. This makes sense seeing as a) we need to save our money to pay for renovations, and 2) technically I already have a crap load of xmas stuff sitting in boxes somewhere in a dark, dark storage unit.
My solution? I headed out to our local Target with $30 in my hand (not dropped from a fed-ex plane). I decided that I should be able to decorate a tree with that amount of money. And you what? I almost did it. Those damn little light strings pushed me over the top. So, I fished another $6 out of my wallet (which is completely untrue since I pay for everything by Amex, but for the sake of artistic license - imagine me fishing a fiver plus scraping the change out of the bottom or my purse while people wait in line behind me sighing and moaning with utter impatience while I separate the dimes from the lint and empty gum wrappers that live at the bottom of my handbag). Here's what I bought:
- 3 Packets of large sparkly Red Snowflake ($3)
- 3 Packets of large sparkly White Snowflakes ($3)
- 5 Packets of small sparkly White Snowflakes ($5)
- 4 bags of red and white butter-mint candies ($8)
- 1 bag of Christmas Nugget Candies ($2)
- 3 100 twinkly light strings ($15)
I bought the butter-mint candies under the woefully mistaken impression that I was going to rush home, bust open my sewing basket, whip out a large darning needle and string those bad Johnie's together like magic while I sat in front of a roaring fire listening to Christmas carols playing softly in the background. I opened the first mint and became immediately aware that unless my darning needle had a sonic hammer attached to it there was no way those puppies were being pierced. I reverted to Plan B and whipped out my handy-dandy Dewalt drill where for the next hour I drilled wee tiny holes in each of the bazillion candies in the 4 bags. So much for the dulcet quiet Christmas songs in the background. ZWEEEEE. ZWEEEE. ZWEEEE. Suffice to say that once those little gems had holes in them, stringing was a breeze (but still no fire. no carols). George the Elder thought the whole thing was pretty gosh darn funny (hence the photo). Of course, George the Younger and Henry both took turns with the drill - but while their initial enthusiasm was admirable, it faded quickly. There were a damn lot of mints!