Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas, 2011: Lights, Trees, and All That

Sunday, December 25, 2011. Merry Christmas! My weekend was quiet, compared to the family get-together last weekend.

Maybe I've mentioned this before. Main Street Theatre still has its art deco marquee and lights: but displays current features on the new digital/electronic signs on the south part of the theater complex. I like that combination of old and new. 'Older' and 'newish,' anyway.

Main Street Theatre marquees: old and new. December 20, 2011.

Eyes on Main: lit up for Christmas. December 20, 2011.

I've got another set of 'Christmas lights' photos to show. My household hasn't done 'outside' holiday decorating for a few years, although I suppose the Christmas tree might count. We've got it near a window. A fair number of other folks around town put on quite a show: which I enjoy thoroughly.

Manger scene, conical helix Christmas trees: and there's more around the corner of this house. December 22, 2011.

One of Sauk Centre's more brightly-lit neighborhoods. December 22, 2011.

This house isn't all that large: but wow, do they have lots of lights. December 22, 2011.

I've got more photos, but they'll wait until another day. The software I've been using to get pictures ready for the Web finally gave up, and I'm learning to use something newer. I'll let you decide whether that's an excuse for not having more photos ready: or an explanation.

Either way, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, Happy New Year, whatever. One more thing: This is the sixth year in a row that the Christmas tree at Our Lady of Angels church hasn't fallen over.

My take on 'the true meaning of Christmas' is in one of my blogs, A Catholic Citizen in America:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Week Before Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011. Like I said in one of my
blogs: "Christmas is a time for frenzied purchases, family gatherings, and frazzled nerves. Sometimes family gatherings lead to frazzled nerves, and that's another topic." I suspect that we may hear more about the lunatic end of the holiday experience. My 'family gathering' for the season happened yesterday, and was fun. I hope yours is, or are, too.

Santa, maybe taking off - or landing - with a jet pack? Hats off to the folks who put that up, for a different angle on Christmas lights. December 7, 2011.

Holiday garlands over Main Street. The Original Main Street, that is. December 9, 2011.

Some lights in the yard, lights outlining the roof: and you've got your Christmas decorations. The outside ones, anyway. December 7, 2011.

My family has the 'permanent' Christmas tree set up in the living room, there's a largish real tree in Our Lady of the Angels church, and we've got just one week left before Christmas day. I (finally) remembered to get something for my wife: which I wrapped in a rubber band. Maybe I can get #3 daughter to help me do something a little nicer than that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Misplaced "For Sale" Sign, Christmas Lights, and Poinsettias

Sunday, December 11, 2011. Before getting into the usual Christmas-season photos, a sort of update on my house:
  • It's not for sale
  • We're having a larger garage built
I can see why folks may have gotten the idea that the big yellow house at South Ash and 9th was for sale:

The real estate agent didn't put the sign there. December 6, 2011.

That 'for sale' sign at South Ash and 9th is probably a prank. We live a few blocks from the school, right on the route quite a few kids walk on their way to and from classes. December 6, 2011.

It's about two weeks before Christmas, so stores have a lot of red and green in their displays. Marc'ette Floral, at Main and South 6th, and Hidden Treasure, downtown, also have a new kind of candle.

My son-in-law invented these 'candles that burn in a circle' earlier this year, and this is the first holiday season that stores have had them. I've been working for his company, Spiral Light Candle, off and on, for about a month now.

Marc'ette Floral, on south Main and 6th, has poinsettias, cards, home decorations: and Spiral Light Candles. December 9, 2011.

Hidden Treasure, downtown, has those 'candles with a twist,' too. And a whole lot of nice gift and decoration stuff. December 9, 2011.

Spiral Light Candle has a video on YouTube that shows how the candles work: "Spiral Light's Spiral Burning Self Filling Candle."
(One minute, 31 seconds)

Just one more bit of blatant self-promotion, and I'll get to more photos from Sauk Centre.

I've been writing about my experiences with Spiral Light Candle in two of my blogs:
I like the Christmas season for quite a few reasons: but it's the decorations that seem to make the best photo subjects:

Downtown Sauk Centre: lighted garlands over the street, and Main Street Theatre's signs. December 7, 2011.

P's and Q's Computing, on south Main, puts on quite a show each year. December 6, 2011.

Here's P's and Q's at night. Some of the lights go on and off: it's too slow to call 'flashing.' December 7, 2011.

Yet more P's and Q's, this time on their north side. The display is a little different each year. December 7, 2011.

One more photo, and I'm done for the week:

Marc'ette Floral, again: It's poinsettia season in their south room. December 9, 2011.

I thought of writing something about poinsettias, how the Aztecs called them cuetlaxochitl, who first mentioned them in Europe, that the red things are called bracts, and more of that sort of thing. But somebody beat me to it:
The U. of I. folks did a nice job with that website: including a history of the poinsettia; and how to care for your potted plant, provided that it's a poinsettia.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shopping Days Left Before Christmas, Sensible Advice, and Candles

Sunday, December 4, 2011. Depending on how you calculate it, there are 20 or 21 shopping days left until Christmas.

There's a little snow on the ground here in Sauk Centre. Not much, though. I saw a few snowflakes come down today. But not many.

Even so, the air is nippy enough to make it 'feel like' we're on the pre-Christmas countdown.

I haven't been out much this week, so if you're looking for what's been happening in Sauk Centre, I'd suggest checking out the Sauk Centre Herald, our weekly newspaper. They do news, not the sort of thing I write: and that's another topic. There's a good piece of advice in the Sauk Herald, from Wednesday this week: "Residents reminded to lock up." Between high-value stuff that folks are likely to have in their vehicles, and holiday craziness, it's a good reminder.

I had time to grill burgers at noon Saturday and Sunday, and 'took Sunday off.' Otherwise, I've been spending a lot of my time doing some work for my son-in-law. He's been planning what Spiral Light Candle ("a candle with a twist:" will be doing next year. He's invented a new twist - literally - on candles, and I think they're great. The last I heard, Hidden Treasure and Marc'ette Floral are carrying them.

'Perfect gift,' and all that.

Okay, now that I've got that blatant self-promotion out of the way: I'll try to have something to show next week. With folks getting their outdoor Christmas decorations, that shouldn't be too hard.