I thought I would share this:
I'm sure most people know, and I'm sure most feel the same way I do about Christmas. I decorate because a blowmold Poloron nativity was given to me as a kid one Christmas morning so I would finally leave my grandma's set alone . Since then I have spent many a year collecting and decorating and sharing the warmth that this season has spread to me. The smiles, the laughs, the dropped jaws all make it worth the painful and freezing hours it took to make the display. You can still call it trashy, but others have a different outlook.
This season was full of light and love, I gave well over 50 people (family and friends but most complete strangers) personal tours of my yard so they can truly admire it and feel the same warmth. During that time I had two local news station called me (one located in Joplin that airs to SE Kansas and the Ozarks in Missouri), and two papers demanding an interview. I don't like the glory of it all, so I simply said 'no thanks'.
Anyway to the point (yes there is one). While visiting family in KC we took it upon ourselves to admire local decorators work, while there we knew right away there was a particular house we wanted to see. In no particular pattern was anything laid out for others to critique or insult, but in all the yard was full of the warm feeling and memories. Santa's waved at cars, elves where busy running around, snowmen grinned at passers by, and drummers marched away in their little humble display.
After our own little tour of the lights, we promptly hit every antique mall possible. Found some neat things, bought some, and left some. One in particular we found hilarious; a Santa's Best Minnie Mouse. We found her late last year and since then tried to sell and trade her before giving up and accepting the fact she was her to stay. During that time we tried so hard to get Mickey but ended up watching the prices climb on Ebay. Soon after, Minnie's fate was sealed and she was here to stay. So it was rather funny to see a pair of ears to only find yet another "rare" Minnie and not Mickey.
Back to the display we spent 30 mins admiring; once closer, we noticed that they had a Mickey, but no Minnie. Being the type of people we are (on the contrary to most people's private messaging gossip) we decided to share that warmth and inform them of a Minnie in the new antique mall. We quickly got to talking about our displays and how they came across their molds (80% purchased when they where available in stores, 20% antique malls and garage sells, but none on Ebay) and how long they have been doing a display. We shared the up's and down's and in the process she told the story of her 93 year old husband who suffered 4 heart attacks this year alone and struggled to put the display up in his declining health. It took longer than usual but he did it for the smiles, the laughs, the dropped jaws. It (literally) nearly killed him. He didn't care he just wanted to share the warmth the season brings.
He didn't finish his display, but he did what he could and left the 50 molds and countless lights and wire frames in the garage due to his rapidly declining health. Later we tell his 87 year old wife that a Minnie (missing from the display) was in the new antique mall north of town. She was what most people would say in shock, just talking away and jittering with excitement. Finally the years of trying to get her to make the display complete might be coming to an end. She had problems talking (this in part due to a robbery gone bad incident that left her with amnesia and blind in one eye in '77) but we understood quite well that this was thrilling news that would make a lot of people happy. None of us could control our happiness, we quickly got a phone book to see if either one of us could find the [new] antique mall. With no luck we promised her we would run down there and get the people's names... and hopefully get them to hold it for her until she had money to do so (buying for 17 grandkids/great grandkids and 8 of your children drains you). On the way there, feeling inspired by her stories of survival and sheer dedication to make others people's lives better, we had to do the same for them.
We decided that we where not gonna get the address of the mall, nor ask them to reserve it, nor bargain them down in price. We quickly agreed to buy it for her. It's price was rather hefty, however when your heart is in the right place, things like money, greed, precious fame that most people crave for don't mean a thing and you quickly and rather easily find solutions. You just want to do whats right.
We quickly got there avoiding Christmas traffic thanks to shortcuts we knew, and quickly ran in and down the aisle to ****** Minnie up and pay for her and deliver her to her new rightful home to make Christmas that much greater for this family.
Once there we ran up to the door and delivered her early Christmas gift. She was so thrilled, her jaws dropped, smiled from ear to ear, and was instantly filled with love. She simply could not believe it, that otherwise strangers would go out of their way, their time and money to make Christmas that much more fun...
Afterwards my roomie told me a story about how his family did the adopt a family program and they got a family where the only items on their Christmas lists where diapers, female hygiene products, toilet paper, deodorant, tooth paste and cloths for the baby. When the traffic is heavy, the boss is a jerk, or that traffic ticket is still unpaid... it's moments like that that help you realize that life shouldn't be full of fame, money, pride and it's far to short to spend it mad or angry.
THIS is Christmas to us. Merry Christmas to all!
(PICS: #1 is her collection with Minnie MIA, #2 Minnie for a ride, #3 Me delivering her, and #4 their display in general)