Saturday, November 17, 2012

Molly Weston - Scurrying Into the Holidays

I've always had a bad habit of agreeing to almost anything that's as far as a month away. Couple that habit with the one of blurting out whatever pops into mind, I often find myself doing things I never really meant to do. Take this year for instance.

When our historical society president asked me if I'd help with Christmas decorations for our home tour, I agreed immediately. After all, I love the holiday and keep two fully decorated trees in my house year round. Getting my home all festive usually means cutting fresh greenery, pulling out candles, polishing silver, and hanging a wreath. Why not help decorate the old farm house that's home to our society?

The first challenge arose when we realized that many of the decorations on hand were plastic and not authentic to the time of the house. Remembering that I once used handmade ornaments exclusively, I announced, "I'm sure I've got plenty of yarn and felt ornaments and even some lace ones for a formal tree." Do you see where this is going?

Very quickly, I was thoroughly involved with decorating the whole house. This wasn't a problem—with several volunteers, a couple of evenings, and maybe a morning—we'd be done. Right. After a trip to the craft store and another to a fabric store, I was up to my ears in yarn, felt, calico, and glue.

I enlisted my husband in cutting a thorny bush (it has a multi-syllable Latin name that didn't stick with me) for a gumdrop tree and in making a stand to hold it. Fortunately, my Walgreens had a new shipment of red and green gumdrops that hadn't been shelved, but I spotted them above the Halloween candy. The store manager was nice enough to find a ladder and fetch them for me—claiming all the while that it was no trouble at all. He even helped me measure the candy canes until we found some just the right length to fit into my mouse ornaments.


I was on track to finish everything with no pressure. Until last Monday.

Our Peak City Singers were offered the opportunity to decorate a tree for a holiday charity auction. Trees from civic organizations, Scouts, and, evidently, senior citizen groups would be displayed during our downtown holiday kick-off weekend and then taken home by lucky bidders. I bit my tongue, knowing I was already over involved with decorating. It didn't matter. Consensus was quickly reached when one member offered to donate the tree. "What theme should we use?" someone asked.

I couldn't help it. My mouth opened before my brain could stop it, "Music!" After making the suggestion, it would have been churlish to refuse to help—wouldn't it? I warned Eileen (she's the artist in the group) that I couldn't really help, but I would research ideas for ornaments with a music theme—and bring a few prototypes.

As soon as I got home I moved to the computer to begin a search. "This won't take long at all," I figured. "I'll find some cute ideas, cut up some old sheet music, make some cuts and folds, and be done." What's the right phrase here? "Yeah, right."

I'd hardly begun my search (would you believe how MANY handcraft projects there are using old sheet music?) than I heard the ding of an incoming email—it was a request for the historical society to have a Christmas display in place for the same downtown event.

The same imp on my shoulder that prompted me to suggest a theme for the Singers' tree jumped into my fingers. Before I knew it, I had suggested a full-blown idea for the display. No sooner than I hit "send" than the acceptances came back to me—with assumptions that I'd coordinate things!

Fortunately for me, it's not yet the night before Christmas—'cause the creatures are definitely scurrying!

Have you experienced overbooking for the holidays?

Have you learned to say no?

Anybody got some vintage decorations to share?

Molly Weston lives, writes, and decorates in Apex NC with her husband and Lhasa Apso. She is editor of inSinC, the journal of Sisters in Crime. You've already seen she is a member of the Peak City Singers and the Apex Historical Society. Her website where she reviews mysteries is


Mary Welk said...

Been there, done that, Molly. Who thought it would be a great idea to film a funny movie in the school for showing at the Parents' Club New Year's Eve party? Yep, that would be me. And actually, it was great fun with everyone from the assistant pastor of our church to the school principal to a dozen or so parents playing roles in a film we called "School Daze". The crowd at the party loved both it and the music that we selected as accompaniment. My husband filmed it and I wrote and directed the story. Don't know if I'd ever do it again, but it seemed easy enough when I was 30 years younger. :)

Msmstry said...

Mary, I'll bet you'd vote yes on my motion that the person who comes up with the idea doesn't have to do anything else for the project!

lil Gluckstern said...

Oh yes, I've been there, but not so much any more. I admire your creations and your spirit!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Welcome, Molly!!!!

I'm totally over the moon about this gumdrop tree - it is TOO cute!

Vicki Lane said...

That sounds just like you, Molly -- and I'm sure it all got done and looks great. I remember that nifty old farmhouse -- I can just imagine it with hand made decorations. And I'd love to see the decorations you made of sheet music!

(Curse this word verification -- I'm on my third try... if it weren't for Molly, I'd give up)