Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why do I love Christmas decorations so much?

You've probably realized by now that I just love Christmas. Some people may say that I'm obsessed—and that's ok with me. I've found that there are many negative or unhealthy things that you can be obsessed with, so why not be obsessed with something wonderful?

My obsession with Christmas was passed on to me by my mother, and I'm more than happy to carry the torch. My mother has one of the largest collections of Christmas ornaments that I have ever seen, and so decorating the Christmas tree was always a major event. When the last ornament was hung, we would just stare in awe and wonder at its beauty. There were so many beautiful blown-glass ornaments. I remember one year we had just adopted a new puppy and we had to put up deer and rabbit fencing around the tree to keep him from breaking the Radkos.

Beside decking the halls inside our home, my mom always created a unique outdoor display. Each year, the display was completely different from the last. One year, she fabricated a life-size angel (well it was human-sized as I'm not sure how big angels are) out of paper mache. The angel's face was actually cast from her face, and I thought it was fitting that the hair was made of angel hair. The finished sculpture was attached to the front of our house.

Another year, she made deer out of straw with twinkle lights in their antlers. (This later led to a giant straw animals business venture.) A few years after that, she fashioned the three wise men out of straw, all life-size, complete with robes (one was my dad's!), gifts and camels. The side of our house had "Wise men still seek him" written in gold letters alongside a lighted star. It was a beautiful, meaningful display. Besides many great life-like displays, one year we had a giant lighted Christmas train with Santa at the controls. There were actual toys and stuffed animals in one of the cars. This display was passed on to adorn many other yards for the holiday season until it was finally retired.

The celebration of Christmas became close to a year-round way of life for our family. For several years, when I was teenager, my mom owned a Christmas shop which was attached to our house. That's when my collection of ornaments really started to multiply!

So that, in a nutshell, is the history of my obsession. Our outdoor displays are nowhere near the caliber of my mother's, but I am quite proud of our tree. It takes about three days to decorate. This year, we expanded to two trees—one for all of my ornaments, and another 6' tall one for our kid's growing collection.

While all of the holiday decorating and present buying is so much fun, I often have to take a step back and take a moment to remember the true meaning of Christmas. It's easy to get caught up in all of the details of the tree, the outdoor decorations, the meal planning, gift wrapping, event planning, Christmas cards, and on-and-on... but this season is really about the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. He came for us sinners, so that we may receive forgiveness and everlasting life. Try to keep Him in your heart this Christmas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Christmas Under Construction"

Thanks Next Wave Graphics for sharing this video, filmed along the Fox River, downtown, Green Bay.

Our New Website is Up!

Green Bay Christmas has been in existence for seven days now! This blog was created November 15th, and my Facebook page the next day. Although this "blogging-thing" is pretty wonderful, it wasn't allowing me to do everything I had envisioned for Phase 1 of the website. So, I spent the weekend developing a brand new website, and it just launched an hour ago. This site is Green Bay's premier place to find Christmas-themed events, a gallery of the area's Christmas lights, outdoor decorations and displays, and a listing of local and global charities and organizations. The #1 goal of Green Bay Christmas is to spread Christmas cheer throughout our wonderful city—and the world!

So please, check out the new site, www.greenbaychristmas.com, and please send me your photos. I want our city to glow with Christmas cheer!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yes, It's not even Thanksgiving, and Lots of Christmas Lights are On in Green Bay!

My family and I went for a drive with this November evening to see if we could get a preview of what's to come in regards to Christmas lights and outdoor displays. We turned the radio on to The Breeze, and were set for our expedition. We drove through neighborhoods in northeast and northwest Green Bay, and darted down streets once we spotted some lights.

Our two little elves did really well. They enjoyed the "search for lights" game, and didn't become restless until an hour and a half later. Our youngest squealed, "Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!" over and over as we traveled down the streets. Our other elf, who's four, now wants a hippopotamus for Christmas thanks to a catchy tune.

We found some really great displays. I took photos and jotted down their locations while my husband did the navigating and maneuvered our vehicle to help get just the right angle to capture the most snowmen, or to make sure that Santa wasn't getting upstaged by a reindeer. (Most of my photos don't give justice to the pure amazement of the displays.) A couple of homes and yards were so animated that I decided to take some video to try to capture the delight. All in all, we found 12 noteworthy displays, which I've uploaded to an album on my Green Bay Christmas Facebook page. I've also included map links, so that you can plan out your own adventure through Green Bay's soon-to-be winter wonderland.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas-Themed Events

There are so many wonderful Christmas-themed events in the Green Bay area. It is such a great way to spend time with your friends and family, or make new friends! I've compiled a list on my website—www.greenbaychristmas.com—and am continually adding more events. Please let me know if you have an event, and I'll add it to this list.

That's What Christmas is All About Charlie Brown