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Every year, when we take the tree and decorations down, I am startled.

I don’t think I have reached the Griswold level of festive decor, so that can’t account for the Disturbing Disappearance of Decor.

Triple D – that’s a thing, right?

foam cut outs that make a white fridge look like a snowman

Okay fine, I made the fridge into a snowman–that’s proof of nothing.

Yet, take away the seasonal dressing and everything suddenly looks bare and forlorn.

I guess it’s to be expected when you remove a giant conifer and acres of greenery and glittery things from your Not-So-Great Room.

(Our house was built at a time when Great Rooms were not yet a thing, so we only have an ordinary living room or as realtors probably think of it:  a Not-So-Great Room.)

Our Not-So-Great Room looked perfectly fine in November.

In early December, it suddenly got bulge-y with a seriously extraverted Tannenbaum and all its festive friends.

I think we might be kindred spirits, me and the Not-So-Great Room.

I feel quite bulge-y in December myself.

“Deck the Halls with crates of Toblerone“…isn’t that how that song goes?


Every year during the time when the Not-So-Great Room is still looking seriously festive, Practical Man and I head out to admire our neighbourhood lights.

First, I admire the heart he stamped in the snow of the front lawn, with our initials in it.

Swoon-y swoon.

Then, we cruise around for a while (we used to walk when we lived in town but we’d have to be Santa to make any time, now that we live rurally), surveying the crop of Griswold-esque specimens.

Deciduous trees lit with blue lights

I’m not really keen on the blow-up thingys, so I haven’t photographed those.

suburban house completely outlined with lights as well as lit trees and Charlie Brown Christmas motif

Nor the keel-over-inducing light shows (even when coordinated with music).

Completely lit house, yard full of lights and a steeple on the garage!

Give me a loaded, over-the-top, plain old, static light show any day.

Country house in Battersea, lit modestly but fully

Or night, as it were.

Once we have oooh’d and aaah’d for a good while, then comes the hard part.

We have to choose.

We each get one thank-you card, that we filled out before we left the house:

Thank you for your beautiful lights.  Your house was our favourite!

We don’t sign our names.  We simply slip the thank-you card into their mailbox.

house and garage completely outlined in multi-coloured LED lights

It’s seriously festive and fun.


Then, we return home to our own festively-adorned, albeit slightly bulge-y Not-So-Great Room and cuddle up.

Even though I don’t think I’m quite at Griswold level of festive decor, I can still love those who are.

I’m just too lazy for that sort of outdoor, holiday hulla-balloo.

Forget the 12 Days of Christmas, I’m all about the 12 Days of Pajamas.


Happy New Year to me!

Except, that after all the Disturbing Disappearance of Decor, our Not-So-Great Room will soon look like the Nearly-Naked Room.

Naked, I say, in January.

Please agree with me that naked in Canada in January is sometimes not such a good look.

‘Tis the Season for down-filled puffy coats, thank goodness.

But, having no such down-filled puffy coats for the Not-So-Great Room, it has to spend the first parts of the new year standing around, naked.

Naked in the season of diet and exercise commercials galore.

Naked in the season of resolutions and recriminations.

After a little while, we get used to our naked, Not-So-Great Room again and can see it for all the beauty that it holds.

Unadorned and lovely, in its year-round state.


Perhaps, a lesson for us all.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2016.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet


All I want for Christmas is some tinfoil clothing and a flying car.

When I was in grade 3, we were tasked with writing a story about the year 2000.  Y’know, way, way, WAY in the future when I would be really old and 30 and stuff.

I really don’t understand what those scientists have been pfaffing about with all these years.   All that dilly-dallying with single serve coffee makers and vibrating toothbrushes.  Surely, I thought, there would be flying cars by the year 2000.

Or–not to complain, but–perhaps by, you know, much later, like 2013.

And of course, we’d all be lounging around eating astronaut ice cream while carefully avoiding the strawberry strip (astronaut ice cream always seems to be Neopolitan flavour.  Why, why, why?)

Driving and eating ice cream were apparently what I aspired to do as a grown-up.

I was so very smart.

But, alas, we’re not on Mars, which is probably a good thing.  I already have to wear SPF 60 way over from the sun here on temperate, aqua-licious Earth.  Yep, I imagine it’s super toasty on Mars.  Good for roasting marshmallows, I bet.  Just stick your arm out the window of your (flying) car, marshmallow clutched between two fingers and presto-bongo, toasted marshmallow, lickety-split.


In case you’re wondering, that’s how we say “cool” on Mars.

But, I digress.

The point is, I can’t believe we’re not having Christmas on Mars.

In 2013!  50 years after The Jetsons!

Back in the Atomic age, people were certain that we’d be celebrating festive seasons on the red planet by now.  In hopeful anticipation of such events, they even created Christmas decorations in colours not found in nature (but presumably found on Mars).   Things I have gleefully collected such as:

Silver Christmas trees (found at a thrift store):

Silver Christmas tree

Oh Atomic Tree, Oh Atomic Tree, How Silver Are Thy Branches

A box of vintage lights (given to me by Auntie Ju and Put):


Some vintage light reflectors (given to me by my atomic-sympathetic friend, Shades):

vintage bulb reflectors

Love them all but, love, love, love the flowery ones!

I have grand, atomic-inspired plans for these.  Quirky, mischievous and crafty plans to upcycle these lovelies.

Send me your ideas if you have some!

Practical Man is no doubt groaning as he reads this.  He always loves when I get “my ideas”.  He’ll love it even more, if you chime in.

Even though he groans, he is very cooperative.  Practical Man got a spool of wire (which of course he had hanging around the house because he’s very practical), and we turned these retro lightbulbs into funky decorations for our atomic tree.


A tree fit for Mars, don’t you agree?  With slight overtones of Charlie Brown, I admit.

retro tree

Isn’t it a thing of retro beauty?

I’ll have to ask Santa for my flying car.  And, I’m not a doubting girl like that little Natalie Wood was.  Oh no, I’m sure Santa can get me one.  Think about it:

a) I have been very, VERY mostly good all year and

b)  Santa has a flying sleigh which is practically like a flying car.  He obviously has the technology.

My Christmas morning will be like Miracle on 34th Street for the Atomic age.

And, maybe next year, we’ll be on Mars.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2013.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet         You might also like my latest book.