“We live in a world of plastic,” I said as I laid down the book I was reading the other night. My husband turned and looked at me with half-lidded eyes from his recliner. “I mean it! We are so fake nowadays, and we have lost touch with the holiday season.” Sighing, I leaned back into the down pillow at my back and stared at the ceiling.
With one eyebrow raised, JJ just stated, “ What do you mean?” He knew where this was going, so he patiently waited for me to begin my deposition.
“I don’t know. I feel we have become too materialistic and we have lost touch with enjoying Christmas. Don’t you feel that way?”
“I’m just happy we have the Christmas shopping done, and the kids are going to enjoy it,” he said, settling back into the comforts of his weathered chair.
“Take, for example, the stories I have been reading about in this book. Some of the people interviewed were sharing their memories of how they made their tree ornaments every year out of things they saved for months!” The book I was referring to was Foxfire’s “Appalachian Christmas,” that I tend to pull down every time the weather turns chilly. “Did you know that before aluminum foil became readily available, kids would tear open cigarette packs and save the foil off it and chewing gum wrappers to make ornaments? I remember my Granny Webb telling me she did this as a little girl. Except she called it that ‘chewy gum wrappers.’”
“Yeah, I have heard of that before,” JJ said. From then on, I lectured and contemplated why we have become so lazy and dependent on going to the store. It ended up being a lengthy conversation between us, and we did not even turn on the television before we called it a night and went to bed.
I have been seeking a more organic lifestyle lately, and I would love to declare that it is because of what I have been reading, but I must confess that it is not just that. Part of it is being stuck behind my computer more than usual with the editing I have to complete, but I have also found myself hopelessly in love with watching Outlander.
A mountain girl cannot help but fall in love with a show that features her beloved Appalachian Mountains and Grandfather Mountain, even though it was not filmed here. We will leave that rant for another day, lol, because it could take a while to get through that one.
Nevertheless, watching the show, reading, climbing the peaks of Western North Carolina for elopements and weddings as a photographer has just made me nostalgic.
Getting back on my lecture topic to my husband, though, even the way we decorate our homes for the Christmas season has become annoying to me. Why don’t we make ornaments and decor like we used to?
As a child, I remember making paper garlands after school with my little brother. Clyde would typically only stay focused on the task for a few minutes and then go about his merry way. I would soldier on and make my paper train with glee.
For the sake of sounding cliché, I will say it, “Back in the Old Days,” families made decorating the home a hands-on experience. They would go into the woods and gather greenery and berries to adorn their dwellings. We now drive to a local store or Christmas Tree stand and buy what we need if we do not use fake plastic imitations.
JJ bought me a live wreath the other day; we will forgive him for not foraging it himself, lol. Geez, we even have to use the words “live vs. fake.”
I wonder how many mothers looked forward to gathering their children into the kitchen to make dough ornaments for them to hang on their tree? How many stories and giggles were shared during that time?
It makes you smile, doesn’t it? I have never attempted to make dough ornaments, but I plan to force my kids into the woods soon to find some décor when they get home next week. I can hear the grumbling now about having to leave their technology behind. Oh well, they will have to get over it because I am sick of plastic. If spending time with them means I have to drag them away from internet connections, I will consider the grumbling and fussing well worth it!