Holiday Celebrations


I know, it’s 23 days away still, but I’m finally *just* getting into the Christmas spirit.

It’s been a hectic fall with health issues. Especially regarding my boys. It’s been a lot of testing and hurry up and wait. Then add a book in there, which has been accepted. YAY! Btw, that was the fastest set of revisions EVER. Within a day of me sending them in. That usually doesn’t happen. I’m very glad it did, because it was a big relief off my shoulders.

My next deadline is January 15th, but this is a fun book to write, so I’m not stressed. Not yet.

I guess I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit because we hadn’t put up the tree yet. Usually my tree and the decorations go up the day after the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, which was November 16th this year. Only that didn’t happen. We were busy every single weekend.

Finally, I had enough. My hubby was going away this week for training and I wanted it up and December was upon us. So we put up our tree on November 29th and as a surprise, my hubby found a box in storage that I had been saving for some time. It was my Nanny’s decorations.

A little back story, my grandfathers (my Mom’s parents were divorced and so I had two sets of grandparents on my Mom’s side) both worked at Hallmark in Toronto. My Mom’s Step-Dad bought all these ornaments from Hallmark for my Nanny who LOVED Christmas. He got them pretty cheap as he was employee, but what’s awesome about them is they’re animated! They came out between 1988-1991 …at least the ones I have do, because my grandmother died in 1992.

Anyways, you plug them into a string of lights and they move and play music. They’re awesome. I hadn’t been putting them out because of young kids and grabby hands.

The sad thing was, they don’t make those low voltage kinds of lights any more. Most lights are LED, which are so much nicer, but these ornaments aren’t compatible. Thankfully, my hubby works with electrical systems. He went straight to Canadian Tire and came home with a light up Candy Cane.

I was like ?????

He pulled the lights out of the Candy Cane and they were the correct voltage for my ornaments.


We plugged them in, they still worked, even though they had been in storage since 1999.

My kids were mesmerized and for me, it finally felt like Christmas!

As for the Candy Cane which we snatched the lights from, my youngest seems to have found a use for it. And yes, he was singing “Putting on the Ritz” ala Young Frankenstein. LOL 😉


How about you? Do you have any holiday traditions you simply have to do?


16 thoughts on “Christmas!!!”

  1. Amy, I LOVE it. How special to have such treasures! Many of our decorations come from our time in the USA because for a girl from Oz, suddenly Christmas in winter made so much sense! When we decorate the tree, we relive our happy years there. We also have a tradition, which started when we live there. We’d trek to Chicago, the biggest city around and have a weekend enjoying all the Christmas decorations. Back in Australia, we go to Melbourne and visit the Myer (department store) animated windows, take in a show and back in the day we visited Santa. We stay in a hotel and it’s a lovely start to the festive season:-) This year, we’re seeing Les Mis. I love your lights. Enjoy them:-)

  2. Oh how appropriate to be reading this now, Amy, as I’ve literally just come from putting our tree up! Late this year for us too – it always goes up on the 1st December!
    Many of our decorations have come from the UK/Europe with lots of memories attached and a lot of the newer ones we bought form Harrods in London when we were there with the kids during Xmas 2009 so they tell their memories as well and even though its was quite hot putting that sucker up we put on snowy carols and remembered out white Xmas together in the UK!

    Love you nanny’s lights! Cheers to handy husbands 🙂

    1. How magical to celebrate Christmas in London England. I would love to do that one year! It’s been mild here, not hot and not much snow is sticking, which is odd. I am glad my tree is up!

      And yes, big Cheers to handy husbands! 🙂

  3. Amy,
    What a wonderful way to remember your grandparents. I love the lights. I don’t have my tree up yet. I get a real one each year and it can’t stay up but a couple of weeks. I am just starting to put out my Christmas decorations and getting into the spirit.

    1. I’ve always wanted to try a real tree. My mother and brother had severe asthma growing up, so I’ve never experienced a real tree. I’ve often thought about it, but then it means I can’t put up the decorations so early. I’m torn!

  4. Aww, that’s lovely. We haven’t done a tree the last couple of years because of having little kids. I miss it and we might try this year, but our youngest is only two and we have a new cat who loves to climb and jump!

    What we’ve been doing instead is an artificial pine garland strung over our front room picture window. We light and decorate it just like a tree.

    Most Christmases we also make turkey tamales. Tamales are a Christmas eve tradition in Hispanic communities here. We’ve adapted it and made it our own, even though we’re Irish and something, something, something 🙂

    1. Oooh tamales sounds great, Jill! Hehehe, yeah here we’re …well we’re a mixed bag on my side.

      When my middle guy was a baby (he’s 8 now soon to be 9) we had to put the tree on the coffee table and tie it down. He was strong!

      My youngest doesn’t bug with it and I’m counting my lucky stars. I just knew if I put those out earlier, there would’ve been issues.

      You solution to a tree sounds pretty! Hopefully soon you’ll get to do a tree again! 🙂

  5. How lovely to be able to enjoy your precious decorations again. Your husband is definitely in your good books, I imagine! I love getting out the decorations, especially the ones the children made when they were small. I couldn’t bear to throw them away so they come out each year. Time I thought about setting up my tree . . .

    1. Oh yes, my tree is covered in homemade ornaments as well. My youngest was thrilled to see all the ornaments he made last year in Junior Kindergarten come out and go back on the tree. It was so cute.

  6. Lovely story, Amy. I have been collecting Christmas decorations every year for my boys so that by the time they leave home they’ll have seom to add to the ones they made when they were little 🙂 We always put our Christmas tree up on December 1st but not this year! Because it was a Monday and my boys were in the middle of school exams it went up last night but suddenly it feels like Christmas (despite the fact that our gigantic Christmas Pageant through the city was 4 weeks ago!)

    1. I have already thought about which ornaments my kids will take when they leave the nest! 🙂 My Mom gave me a bunch too when I left. It’s nice to take a piece of your childhood with you!

      Glad you finally got your tree up too, Emily. 🙂

  7. What a wonderful story, Amy, and the lights are wonderful! I’m not really terribly sentimental about very many ‘things’ with the exception of Christmas stuff. I love to get out our ornaments each year – some I’ve had forever from my single days, some have been gifts over the years, and of course those special ones made by our children when they were younger. How great your hubby knew how to get your special ‘nanny’ lights going again! 🙂

    My two college kids were home for Thanksgiving, and my daughter was the driving force behind getting the tree and putting it up the Saturday after. We got the tree (fresh, and it smells so wonderfully piney!), my boys put on the lights, and the three of them decorated it while I cooked dinner and watched, occasionally dancing around the kitchen to our favorite Christmas album.

    Now, all we need is some snow! 🙂

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