Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Babies, By LJ Holmes

December Babies


LJ Holmes

My first e-book, SANTA IS A LADY released from Muse It Up Publishing...

...on December 1st and I have a lot in common with my main character Angie Brightwell. Like Angie I LOVE the magic of Christmas and decorating to my heart’s content. (Follow the link below to my cover blog for SANTA IS A LADY for some pretty spectacular pictures of Christmas splendor.)

I am the third of four children and the only girl. The two brothers older than me were born in October and November with me following in December. One would think, giving this pecking order that my youngest brother would have been born in January, but of course that was not to be. HE was born in September.

September, October, and November…you can bet your bottom dollar and win the grand prize, that the brothers always got really, really great gifts on their birthdays, but me…well my birthday is JUST thirteen days before Christmas, so my birthday had to be balanced with the nearing expenditures of Christmas.

I know there are a lot of December babies out there who can relate to being somewhat underappreciated on their birthdays with Christmas looming so close. We get mittens, socks, and scarves while the others get stereos, television sets, and the like.

Given this you’d think I’d have developed a strong HATE of Christmas, but the fact is I love it. On my birthday despite the PRACTICAL presents, I got to go into the attic, bring down the boxes of outdoor and indoor decorations, and go wild creating my own winter wonderland. Growing up in a BIG house meant I had a HUGE canvas to work my luminary magic on.

I wish I had actual pictures to share of my maturing enchantment, but back in those days we only had regular cameras and I’m afraid when my Dad sold the house and moved to Florida, he got rid of much of the memorabilia. The above picture, though, is close to what I would create.

In the years since my childhood joy, the only thing I never scrimped on as I raised my two children alone and without outside help, was the Christmas decorations and presents…but again, I do not have pictures that show the extravaganza I created even in limited space. I can tell you that neighbors would snap pictures of what I made and send them to their relations in other Countries because I LOVED making Christmas come alive in sparkly magnificence. (I'd start in August, after all, so by Christmas I would have a Christmas showplace.)

I do have a few pictures of the outside at the very early stages of my creativity but it shows none of the glittering elegance when the lights were illuminated. I also have a few of the indoor, small, but well decorated artificial tree I and my children created shown in the two pictures above.

I have since stopped. One year we had some rabid squirrels trawling our complex.

Within fifteen minutes of my stringing my elaborate lights, they would attack and eat through them all. After spending over $100.00 within just one week, to replace their feeding frenzies, I gave up the war and declared defeat. (The only things they could not destroy were the heavy rope lights, but rope lights only allow you to be minimally creative.)

Since the kamikaze squirrels chewed apart my outside decorations,

the natural aging of this body has made inside decorating far too much of a challenge as well. No more teetering on porch railings while stretching to staple lights to the under-hangs. But I still LOVE the twinkling wonderment of Christmas...

...and, although I was born a December baby, Christmas will always be a magical time in my memories and my reality.

Merry Christmas Everyone

To Santa Is A Lady Cover blog, click on link...


BarbaraB said...

Even though you don't' have the pictures or the memorbilia from your childhood, you are able to create beautiful word pictures to add to our enjoyment of Christmas. Thanks.

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

You painted us a picture so we didn't need to see the photos of your outside work. I have seen glittery very decorated outsides of houses so I can gather how great it looked. Also, the last part telling us how you did it was perfect. Because I can now see you teetering on the porch rail trying to staple the lights to the porch.:)

Great post and thank you for sharing your Christmas memories with us. I love the arrangement of your photos and would love to learn how to put them on my blog like that.:)

Rosalie Skinner said...

Squirrels.. now that's not a problem we have here. Not a squirrel in a thousand miles. The lights are safe from their determination and teeth.
I wonder what drew them to chew on the wires? Or do they chew anything?
Thanks for sharing. I am glad you no longer teeter on porch rails.
Merry Christmas

Christine London said...

We have squirrels here in my Los Angeles suburb but none have dared to chew through light wires. Hmmm...had a bunny once that chewed extention cords around the house.

I am a December 24th baby so can well relate to your December baby memories. I loved the holidays and still do though I enjoy looking at others decorations now more than making my own home exterior grand. A simple strand of white lights at the roof and green wreath above the garage add elegance. There's a neighbourhood a few miles away that has all the animatronics and wood cut-out figures etc. They even give out hot chocolate.
These days a December 24th birthday allows another year to slide by without anyone realizing I am a year older, so that is kinda cool. Expected at the relatives Christmas eve party is mandatory. Most years I love it too, though sometimes wonder what it must be like to have a day all one's own. It's a fair trade---my birthday is always surrounded with beautiful music and decorations---good food and company. Now that is cool.


Christine London

Anonymous said...

Lin - what wonderful memories you have - thank you for sharing them through story and pictures. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!!

Lin said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. In my next life I'm coming back as a twinkle light.