Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Adventures in a mock winter wonderland

Starched shirts picked up at the cleaners? Check.
Antihistamine supply renewed (inexpensively)? Check.
Fridge restocked with large blocks of sharp cheese (a staple)? Check.
And another four pounds of butter (it's the holidays)? Check.
Supper of chicken salad on awesome multi-grain bread? Check.
Artificial Christmas tree purchased? Check.
More decorating materials for the office? Check.
One hundred pounds of playground sand? Check.
One hundred brown paper bags? Check.
Ninety-six votive lights? Check.

All in all, a productive trip home from work.

The last three items on the list are for luminarias (or farolitos if you're from Santa Fe instead of Albuquerque). We want to line the walkway to the church on Christmas Eve. I have half that many bags and candles for my own house on Christmas Day, to welcome guests for dinner.

The last few weeks of the year are a very slow time at work. If historical patterns prevail, things will ramp up in January. So we have turned our slow moments into decorating the office. There is a major winter wonderland theme going. I don't know how many paper snowflakes the ten of us have cut out in the past couple of weeks but a host of them hang from the ceiling, slowly moving in the air currents and thus evocative of a slow motion snowfall. I cut out eighteen of them yesterday afternoon alone.

Today I finished a snow scene in the window. It began with four snow people. Then a brick house. Then the walkway to the house. Then more snow and trees and bushes. Finally mini-snowflakes in the sky. I am taking the camera in to work, so you will see the result.

Each day we add a paper flame to the paper menorah in the glass doorway.

Today I also drew, colored, cut out, and applied twenty small roses to a print of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Tomorrow I will prepare a kinara for Kwanzaa. I am thinking a little Stonehenge for the Solstice.

Any ideas of graphics for Ramadan?

Finally I will put together a small Nativity scene. I don't believe in mixing church and work but we are being as equal-opportunity as we can here.

There were See's foil-wrapped chocolate balls today. Heaven. One thing I miss about California is See's candies. Anyone who wants to ship me a box of See's Nuts and Chews, I will give you my address.

On the down side, there was secular Christmas music in the background, but more softly than yesterday, thank goodness. And when I left Home Depot this evening, blaring into the night was Jingle Bell Rock, on the top of my loathed music list. I could not get in the car and drive away fast enough.

No Advent meditations here. But fun.

--the BB


Michal Anne said...

way fun!
I need to consult with you about luminarias--not sure the wind won't blow them away at my house.

Fran said...

I loved reading this post. Farolitos... I recall my first Santa Fe Christmas experience and ABQ experience way back in 88 or 89. Ahhhh....

Paul said...

I have never done them myself before, so you need to consult someone experienced. They function in NM generally, so perhaps with more sand in your case they would be fine.

The Cunning Runt said...

They recently mostly blew away at our local Moonlight Madness celebration in Shelburne Falls, which scared the crap out of me. I feared for the worst, but, thank God, nothing happened!

Good for you folks for being so productive in your "down time!"

susan s. said...

Stay a way from Padre Mickey's place today. He's got Hall and Oates singing JBR. Dahveed says it's so Gay. . . Maybe you could watch without the sound? ;-)

Paul said...

I saw it already, Susie Sue, but thanks for the warning. By "saw it" I mean I saw the post. I did not click on it. But I have my computer on mute at work so I could watch without listening.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I cut out eighteen of them yesterday afternoon alone.

On my tax money!!!!!

In truth, I can think of a lot of worse places my money could go. You and your co-workers have fun, my sweet.

Paul said...

Yes, your taxes, Mimi, are paying for us to be there. We are answering all our calls but they are slow for now. Historically it gets busy again as soon as the new year starts. However, we have provided our own art supplies. I will post photos in just a few minutes.

Anonymous said...

Sun faces are always great for solstice. Or deer. But I guess you don't want it looking TOO redneck, so better just to use sun faces. LOL!

Paul said...

Great ideas for next year, Tracie! We're a western mountain state so redneck would fit right in. I threw in the mistletoe because I knew it was sacred to druids. What's a white-bread Christian boy to do?