Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Participation?

Every year at my house....the same thing happens.

It seems the "family" wants Christmas to be wonderful and decorative, but yet no one wants to help put up the tree, hang lights, hang stockings from the mantel, decorate ANYTHING.

It's like they expect Christmas to just "HAPPEN", and I seem to be the only one responsible for both putting it up and taking it down.

I am not a happy camper about it this year.

Last year we didn't put up the tree and stuff because the house was on the market, and the realtor suggested we keep things "neutral" and "minimalist".

This is our first Christmas in this house. I'm hoping that Jason and Kim will be able to come up, and I'd love to enjoy the lights on the tree, and all the beautiful memories that come with hanging ornaments from "Christmas Past". But how come I have to do it by myself? Did I sign up for this when I said "I DO?" Was there a statement that said "for richer, for poorer, for being solely responsible for Christmas decorations until death do you part?"

This leads me to this question. In your household.....is there family participation in Christmas Tree installation, or is it just your job, has always been your job, and you don't mind it being your job? Are you also responsible for putting the tree away after New Years by yourself? Or is it a family affair the way I want it to be?

Maybe I'm just dreaming....but maybe, just maybe....I'll let Christmas stay in the box until someone offers to help me put it up. ;c)

The sun came out today! I'm so HAPPY about that! It might have been only 25 degrees this morning,but the sun is out. It's not the temperature that gets me, it's the gray cloudies. Because the sky is blue and the sun is out, I went and threw the Tropical Twist quilt on the deck railing for a couple pics.

This is the quilt that is in the latest issue of Quiltmaker Magazine, of which I have YET to see, or to find on newstands!

It might look sort of familiar to you. Yes, it is a Star Struck variation....but it was a great way to use up 2" strips and still make BIGGER blocks. The bonus units from trimming the corners are used in the pinwheels in the border. It was really fun to put together. So if you want to make one yourself, go find a Quiltmaker mag ;c)

I loved the colorway. I had sent in files in various colors, and they came back with this one. I pulled strips of every different print in blues and purples with some greens and yellows added for accent. My favorite fabric? I don't think you can see it in the pics..maybe you can....but it is a lime green of pea pods. :c) I have a friend who thinks so much like I do that we often finish each other's sentences, or say the same thing at the same time. So the joke is we are "two peas in a pod."

The pea pod fabric was gifted to me, and I was happy to find it a place in this quilt.

Jeff is off work today, and he is begging Mom to treat him to lunch at the Chinese place. I can't say no to the Chinese place. I could eat Chinese food til the end of my days....it's my FAVE!

How are you going to enjoy your Tuesday?


  1. Bonnie, I would re-gift my magazine to you if you would like. e-mail me your mailing address at old mt quilter @ yahoo .com

  2. Received my QM yesterday and loved seeing your quilt. Your pictures here are even better. It's definitely on my "to do" list.

  3. First, let me say that the quilt is gorgeous! Now, on to the Christmas decorating...in my experience, Christmas decorating nearly always falls upon the women in the household. Often men will agree to help get the lights up but that is about it. I remember being so frustrated by it but also remember that I really like things done MY WAY so it was probably better that I just did most of it myself. Maybe if you waited for a while someone would notice... Good luck!!

  4. gorgeous quilt, Bonnie. I love the colors. So glad you got some sun - gray skies are so miserable. I've always loved decorating for Christmas ever since I was a little kid. I have very fond memories of carefully hanging tinsel strand by strand with my Dad. I *think* I helped put away everything...

    In my current household I'm responsible for it all. My husband just doesn't need it the way I do, but enjoys it once it's there. I'm so kerfuffled with my upcoming move I haven't gotten Christmas out. usually that happens right after thanksgiving... Hope someone in your house says Where's Christmas? Let me help!

  5. Hi Bon,
    My hubby drags out all the boxes and will put lights on the tree, but otherwise, I do it all. He will cook dinner for me while I do it, though. =)
    The really good thing is that he takes it all down and puts it on the pool table for me to pack up. That really helps!
    Maybe Jeff could be bribed with Chinese food?????

  6. Bonnie, yes, I am The Christmas Spirit at my house. All decorating and undecorating is my job. I don't mind so much, but I'm no spring chicken any more and it is one more task in a life of many tasks. I absolutely love the Star Struck quilt colors!! I am a "blue" person. Good Luck with your decorating!

  7. At our house when the kids were all home we made a night of everyone putting on their own ornaments. I still put a new homemade ornament on my tree -for all the kids and grandkids that they get to take home with them, unless I take the ornaments to them during the holiday season... Now that we are 'empty nesters' DH brings the tree in and takes it out each year...he is allergic to the 'real' ones so we have an artificial one. I like to fiddle with it and get the branches just right before I put the trimmings on it. Some years it sits for a week before it gets all teh ornaments on it. I like to do a different theme tree with all my selection from selling Christmas Around the world for 8 years. HUMMMMMMM what kind of tree will I have this year...??? Great Quilt, I'll have to use my 40% off coupon at JoAnn's to get that magazine... Today I'm off to quilt with my buddy all day... Gotta get some December deadlines- Christmas Ornaments for a swap- ready to mail.

  8. Hey Bonnie, I am in charge of the inside decor and my hubby does the outside decor. I decorate the inside of house myself and de-decorate it, while my husband does all the lights outside. But When it comes to the the Christmas tree, that is a family affair. Usually we all go together to pick one out, and my hubby puts it in the stand. If we use a fake tree then the kids and I put it together. My Hubby is the one who puts the lights on the tree. If he can't do the lights the same day we get the tree up, then the tree will sit till he gets the lights on. Then the kids and I put on the ornaments. When the holidays are over, I take all the ornaments off, sometimes the kids will help, they are still young and think that is fun. Once Everything is off the tree, then it sits in the living room till hubby takes it to the dump for recycling. Some years when I haven't felt as festive then the inside doesn't look as Christmasy as it could, but no one else offers to change it, so it stays a little more bah hum bug than Christmas cheery. ;)

  9. Yep, I am the sole decorator and un-decorator around here. When DD was little she'd help, but as she got older, she was always off doing something else.

    Now she's out on her own, with a tiny apartment so small, she gave her Christmas tree away. If I don't do the decorations, no one else will, and everyone, including me, would be disappointed, so I do them. I might not put as much out if I run out of time, but the tree gets done!

  10. Unfortunetely in my house it is all my responsibility if I want any decorating done. I am almost to the point of not doing it, because everything will be critized and asked why I even bother. Sorry for the depressing post.

  11. I know EXACTLY where you're coming from with the Christmas decoration stuff! It drives me crazy! No one will ever help me, but they all want the house beautifully cleaned and decorated. Not to mention the dinner! I was raised that turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams and veggies constitued Christmas dinner. But hubby is from a Ukranian area, so he wants, in addition to turkey, ham, meatballs, perogies, cabbage rolls...on and on. But who gets to cook all this wonderful feast? Not him, that's for sure. Last year I threatened to not decorate at all, but I just couldn't. Really, it takes a lot of the fun out of Christmas.

  12. Glad to hear that I'm not alone! The kids use to help when they were younger (and here). Then I started decorating on black friday while they were shopping. Even then the youngest would help me with getting out the decorations from storage and putting up the tree. She did get the decorations out for me last weekend while she was home. She has 8 tests(including finals) starting Thursday through the following Friday. Needless to say, it's all up to me. But then again, I'm the one that LOVES Christmas. Been listening to Christmas music since Sept.! This is just my favorite time of year! Last year, we were at my oldest DD's for Christmas. They do very little in the way of decorating. I need it, it seems to feed for soul for the coming year. So I can sympathize with you. I just have gotten to the point, I just do it because I love it. And I hope the rest of them enjoy it.

  13. I love the quilt!

    Before our move to Minneapolis 2 years ago, decorating the tree was always an event and the entire family did it. I cooked a special dinner, we made Christmas cookies, Keith put on the Christmas music, the boys hung ornaments.

    Rather than doing it by yourself, I would suggest waiting until your son and his girlfriend come up and plan an evening that includes decorating the tree. I think we tend to put up decorations way too early anyway!

  14. In our house, DH puts up the tree, and I get to do the decorating. (He says I do a much better job than he could.) Although he has been known to hang a few ornaments on occasion - with some prodding. LOL

  15. In December for about three weeks we only have Advent--which means 1)the Advent wreath on the dinner table (at dinner time all other lights are turned out and we eat only by the light of the candles, one the first week, two the second week. . . . and 2)each night a new figure for the creche set is taken out. This takes up three locations in the livingroom: one table by the loveseat has the stable and its animals, the commode behind the other loveseat has the shepherds and sheep, and then any travellers (Mary, Joseph, the donkey, and later the kings) are progressing slowly toward the stable along the wide windowsill (knee height).

    The rest happens on Christmas Eve, which is our traditional time to put up and decorate the tree, hand stockings,etc. Since there is usually a crowd of extended family for supper, the men and kids are in charge of the tree and the women are in the kitchen! I get to see and handle all the old ornaments when the tree goes down on January 6 (Epiphany).

    So in effect, I have a limited amount of decorating and don't do it all alone. So I don't feel put upon.

    Oh yes, I also have a Christmas duvet cover which we use on our bed for the 12 days after Christmas.

  16. We use a fake tree due to the animals (less apt to climb it! lol) so I can set it up whenever I want. Then... every night BEFORE the kids can sit down to supper we pull out one set of ornaments and it has to be on the tree before we eat. First night is lights, then garland, etc... till the tree is finished and everyone has had no choice but to help! lol Same goes with taking it down just in reverse :D
    As for the rest of the house decorations, I do that cause I admit I am anal about what goes where, etc.... :D
    Happy Holiday Decorating!

  17. bonnie...the quilt is lovely...i'm really into the colors you used....it has "pea-zaz"......yes.....it's a one man band for Christmas decor here at my house......it helps when your household still has some young legs running around to help.......BUT...i think i would hold out on the chinese for some help....??

  18. Great quilt!

    Yes I am the keeper of the Christmas decorating. I am verging on not decorating but then I read a blog post about someone not doing Thanksgiving and winding up doing it for the kids. Makes me think I should decorate since mine are at an impressionable age.

  19. Bonnie, this quilt is GORGEOUS. The colours are beautiful, the quilting looks lovely over it. I LOVE IT.

    As for the Christmas question... We've only ever had one tree (the year I was pregnant), which we bought, set up and decorated together. I think the taking-down was also a joint effort. This year we're going on a tropical vacation so won't be around for setting up or taking down (whew! less mess to deal with!).

  20. I get all the boxes out and hang the lights on the tree, my daughter does the ornaments with me. She has also started doing the rest of the decorations in the house but with her away at college until mid December I think I am going to wait this year. Maybe just get my German nutcracker collection out. Putting everything away including taking the tree out to the garbage falls on me.

    Love that quilt and am definitely going to buy that issue. You always have such wonderful quilts published! I ran into your book at Pennington Quiltworks (I think) web site. That was neat! I don't think that magazine issue is out everywhere just yet.

  21. I received my magazine in the mail today and took a quick peek at lunch. Can't wait to really read it.

  22. My parents always had us decorate the tree together on Christmas Eve. At my own house... DH only does things that can be done in 15 minutes or so. Therefore, I am doing a little bit of decorating by myself everyday, making sure my two little girls can't reach them, and trying not to stress out about the lights that I can't hang because I can't climb a ladder with two little girls. The lights will just stay in the box for another year!

  23. A Huh, I'm the one that is supposed to make Christmas "happen" and box it all up afterwards. I'm thinking I'm getting to old & too fat to lug all that stuff up the stairs by myself. And then take the empy boxes back down. And then get them back up. And fill them. And carry them back down. One of these years we may just have a "minimalist" Christmas too.

  24. I can't stand holiday decorating. It seems like a lot of work that is just going to have to be undone in a few weeks. So anyone who lives with me is in charge of any decorating they want to do. Turns out that men can do holiday decorating if they care enough about it!

  25. Our methods change every year. My husband is no longer in charge of to the tree because if he didn't like the prices, he chopped one down in our backyard.
    ...an urban backyard of 40 by 60 feet.
    ...we have no more evergreen trees.
    He would always wait until Christmas Eve to get the tree--said that was how his family did it. His mother said he's crazy, she decorated the tree in early December. So, Christmas Eve, I try to decorate the tree, get three kids and other relatives fed and off to church. Not many ornaments got on.
    Now I get the tree about the 12th, I put the box of ornaments next to the tree. I hang them 'til I'm tired of it. Anyone else is welcome to hang more. Some years we get only a couple of dozen up.

  26. The star quilt is gorgeous. I subscribe to the magazine but have not gotten it yet.
    I have a daughter who helps me with the decorations. My boys quit helping once they got older. Try putting some Christmas music on that always helps me.

  27. OMGosh! I had this conversation with a friend this morning. If we don't do it, it won't get done! Good luck.

  28. I was just saying the same thing about putting up the decorations. I put them up and take them down by myself. When the children were small they helped, of course. I've decided to do things as simply as possible. Don't know if I can get away with not putting up the tree though. .... we have about 20 years worth of individually packaged Hallmark ornaments. The children got one every year and we kept the boxes they came in... A chore to put out and more of a chore to get back into each box.

  29. I work retail and we had our Christmas balls out by August!! At my house, I don't decorate. When I was married, he decorated. Mom's got dementia and doesn't care if I decorate. We do get together with my best friend from work and her family Christmas Eve to exchange ladies' gifts and my quilt groups' Christmas Parties, other than that, I *really* wish Christmas would just pass me by. ;S

  30. It is just me at my house, I ask "me" do you want to decorate this year? and Me answered NO. I did get out my Christmas village before Thanksgiving because the grandkids like it so much, I like that it has a quilt shop.
    Your quilt is a WOW quilt.

  31. What a beautiful quilt and a lovely excuse to go buy a quilting magazine on my way home from work.

    At our house putting up the tree is a family thing. My husband and I have different likes regarding lights, so we alternate flashing light years with years that the bubble lights go on. Yay, it's a bubble light year!

    Once the lights are up, the whole family particpates in putting up the ornaments, pretty much 1 at a time. We've even had small cookie & cocktail parties that center around putting up the ornaments (after the lights are up with no witnesses).

  32. Bonnie, I love your quilt. I'm now eagerly waiting for Quiltmaker to arrive by mail.

    Christmas decorations are done by me or not at all. The first 30 years of marriage I did all the decorations. DH got the tree. The last 15 years, I just refused. I told him if he wanted decorations he had to help. He didn't. We don't have decorations.

  33. Another beautiful quilt! I'll have to look for that issue of QM.

    At my house, we split the decorating duties. DH, DS and DD put up the tree and decorate it. I arrange my NutCrackers, Santas, Mary & Joseph and a few other sentimental decorations. DH usually decorates the outside of the house. After the New Year, I help 'de-frock' the tree and store my collections while DH removes the lights from the house. A pretty even plit of duties that has worked for us for over 20 years!

  34. I just do what I don't like the most - right away, then I can enjoy it. I think that the indoor decorating tends to fall on the women of the household, traditionally. That means - you are the boss to decide how much or how little you want to do. You decide Bonnie what you want. And then enjoy it!
    Lovely quilt - another winner! I was just in a bookstore today and did not see that magazine - maybe it takes longer to Canada?

  35. I love the way this quilt turned out; it looks great. I am the decorator of all things Christmas, my husband puts the candles in the windows, though.

  36. The quilt is beautiful. I will have to buy that mag.
    At my house my kids still love putting up the decorations. They pretty much did all of it this year!! Woo hoo! I usually do a LOT of it. I will probably have to take it down with a little forced help. LOL
    I suggest - buy a small fake tree or one of those predecorated ones from Lowes or Home Depot and let that be it!! Unless someone decides to help.
    Julie in Alabama

  37. In our house my husband and I are as bad as eachother and Love decorating for Christmas. A week ago my husband wanted to put up the tree but I refused (we wait until December) then a few days later he couldnt wait any longer and I heard Bing Crosby carols through the house! He always does the lights because I am hopeless but I put the star on the top of the tree...but its a joint effort we both love! :)

    The quilt is stunning! :)

  38. Christmas is completely my responsibility. The kids are away at school, but even when they were home, it's always been my job. 2 years ago I bought a 4 foot tree with pre-strung lights, so it is manageable.

  39. I got my magazine yesterday -and fell in love with this quilt!

    My job for Christmas is putting the lights on the tree -I kind of get in the zone and have a system. After that we all work together to put the ornaments on - and then take it all apart again after. If I did it all - I don't know how much I would do.

  40. Bonnie when our girls lived at home it was me and girls that did just about all of the decorating, hubby reluctenly helped put the tree up then disappeared to bitch and moan about putting up Xmas lights outside to escape the 3 of us I guess. Then later I did it all myself again with him helping to put the tree up and that was it - by then he wasn't even putting up the outside lights. Finally when he early retired a couple years ago I'm afraid I threw a hissy fit and demanded that he partake in helping to decorate the tree, he said but you do it so well - that didn't cut it, he helped last year and this year with very little prodding - but could tell he didn't enjoy the experience :(

  41. Bonnie - You feel the same way about Christmas that I have felt for several years now. When my children were young, I would do all the decorating while they were at school, and it would be like a Christmas wonderland when they arrived home. I never could stand to have help putting the lights on the tree, my husband learned to gather the children and just leave for a couple hours when I did that. Last year I had a daughter get married about 4 days before Christmas, so I had a good excuse not to do much. This year, I still really don't care. I think 26 years of doing it by myself has taken it's toll. And if it doesn't get done, oh well.

  42. Last year, I just said the heck with it and didn't put any decorations up. I had asked numerous times for "him" to get them out of the attic, to no avail. Well a few days before Christmas he comes home with a fiber optic lighted tree about 18 " high and sat it on the window seat and plugged it in. Then he told everyone that he had done all the decorating this year. I didn't see the humor that he did.
    Love the quilt, by the way. I have to go out and try to find the magazine tomorrow.

  43. Beautiful quilt.I can not find the issue either..but good things come to those who wait.As far as decorating. we keep a small tree and only takes 200 lights, so hubby picks up tree and spins into the lights(lol). he even helped me with the garland and lights above my cabinets.Christmas shopping is NOT his game.. have a great week.

  44. Fab quilt Bonnie just love the colour
    and also love your blog
    i will be back

  45. I don't put a tree up anymore. One year I created several lovely silk floral arrangements and just bring those out for Christmas along with crystal candle holders and votives. I use my white doilies under family photos and made a Christmas table topper for the table. It takes a hour to decorate for Christmas now, and the rest of the season is for quilting and watching Christmas movies.

  46. Beautiful quilt - love those colors. In my house, I am not the most christmas person, so if somebody wants more decoration, they will have to put it up themselves. Althou - they all ask med about everyting - how shall it be, when to do it etc. I have stopped cleaning the whole house before christmas (Thanks to FLY-lady) And I am only backing a couple of sorts og christmas-cookies, not 10. Solvi in Norway

  47. Hi Bonnie. The colors on your quilt are beautiful! Seems I use that word a lot when it comes to quilts... yours especially!
    Christmas Decorating is a bit personal I think... your right it does seem to fall on us "gals" to do it. But, if you think of it this way... most guys don't have that personal touch or at least they may have it... but just don't want to give it that!
    The tree is fun! Now I need to go back and read the lastest blog that goes with the "pop can tree"! What a novel idea!
    Take care... you know, venting isn't such a bad thing... better than ranting at our DH's... LoL

  48. I remember seeing a picture of you in a quilt store while you were in Illinois holding a bolt of purple fabric and pointing at your new book. Is some of that fabric in the Tropical Twist quilt? I studied it today and have decided to attempt it. I love your patterns.
    XOXOXOXO Subee

  49. I've always been the Christmas elf, but because I now live alone, I don't put up a big real tree. Now it's an artificial tabletop one which I load up with old ornaments until it groans. I decorate the mantle with Santas, attach red bows to the handles of my baskets that sit high up on a ledge, and listen to Christmas music as I work. I try not to dwell on Christmases past (some wonderful, some not), but to count my blessings and enjoy the season.

    Thanks, Bonnie, for all you do for us—your web site, your blog, your enthusiasm for quilty things and treasures old and new!

  50. Well Bonnie....I don't want to go all "Its a wonderful Life" on you.. but now that my children are grown I wish I had done everything with a more giving spirit. Yes it was up to me and yes I did it all and everything was beautiful...did I wish everyone would help yes! but now that I am older and wiser I wish I could have done it and been grateful for all I have and the chance to decorate my warm, cozy house to create a Christmas full of happy memories and great times for myself and my family. Isn't that we all want? so if you have to do it all.....just remember they'll be grown and gone all too soon.....is it really worth grumbling about? I wish I hadn't,,,you don't get those years back.
    So every Christmas now I work hard to decorate, cook, make cookies, keep the house pretty and enjoy every minute....who knows it maybe my last one ever.

    Counting my blessings in Poughkeepsie

  51. Bonnie, stunningly beautiful juicy yummy color combo in that quilt! I almost gasped out loud when I saw the pic! Another wonderful project to put on my list of "Bonnie's to make".

    Christmas is somewhat of a family affair although naturally I am doing about 85% of it. DH does the lights, we get the tree together (with one of the kids if around) and he gets in the stand and keeps it watered. It sometimes takes me days to get it decorated along with the rest of the house. I am putting fewer things out some years. I do all the undecorating on New Year's Day. Its a big job both ways---putting up and getting packed away, isn't it? I do love Christmas tho...It just makes me smile to drive into my heavily decorated neighborhood!


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