Let there be sparkle and stars and glowing fish!

In an attempt to ease computer angst on Saturday night, Barry suggested a trip to the attic to retrieve the Christmas decorations.  Eleven months of the year they sit in three boxes above Kiah’s bedroom.

It’s a cold trip to the attic.  First one must haul in the ladder from the garage.  Then Barry climbs the ladder and hands down the heavy boxes to his wife.  One shivers as the frigid attic air descends.


We debated long and hard about whether to get a Christmas tree this year.  Actually, we debated for an impassioned five minutes.   Barry spoke for the sanctity of the Life of the Trees.  He reminded me how easy and wonderful our Christmas was last year.  (When we didn’t put up a tree and drove downstate to be with my parents, brothers and their families.) 

I took the side of Tradition, of ritual, of Christmas ornaments.  I reminded him of our daughter’s presence at Christmastime and wouldn’t she love a tree? 

Fish lights hang out around fishing poles...

We ceased debating after five minutes.  He went outside.  He returned, an hour or so later, with news.

“We are getting a Christmas tree!”

Kathy shook her head.  Opinions sure turn around quickly, don’t they?

“Why have you changed your mind?”

“Remember when Kiah came home a couple of years ago and she and I went out to buy a tree?” he said.  “We had such a wonderful time.  We need a tree.”

Glow fish

Christopher can’t be home this Christmas.  (Chris, you can look at these fishing ornaments and remember your fishing trip with Dad on the Keweenaw Bay last July, OK?)  We were lucky to have eight to ten days to spend with both kids this summer.  And Kiah and Christopher just enjoyed a week’s visit together in San Diego last month. 

On Christmas we’ll all be together in our hearts and spirits…

Sparkle and stars

The house is looking more festive now.  Little colorful lights twinkle against the window. Fish ornaments peer up at us.  Christmas music plays in the background. 

‘Tis the season of lights.  Let there be sparkle and stars and glowing fish!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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32 Responses to Let there be sparkle and stars and glowing fish!

  1. holessence says:

    Kathy – I’ve gotta tell ya, I have NEVER in all my born days (and that’s a lot) seen fish that light up! I’m confident that comes from my living under a rock (however, I like my rock). You and Barry know how to live on the cutting edge!

  2. Kiah says:

    Ohhhh I LOVE it!

  3. Barbara says:

    We’ve been wrestling with similar decisions this year. Maybe a little tree this year would seem about right. Learned about an organic farm, which also sells organically grown Christmas trees and will recycle them into mulch after Christmas. But it’s an hour away. Have to decide before Saturday, though, because the kids are coming over to decorate something. Love the fish lights! Maybe one of those twig trees…

    • Kathy says:

      Now I am wondering what you will decide, Barbara. It’s always so iffy. Good luck in this decision. You are lucky that you have kids to help decorate. We used to have what looked like twig trees…trees from the woods with sparse needles.

  4. Lit up FISH ornaments…..I guess its a Lake Superior thing….”+”LOL

    I am TRYING to get in the mood….(Sigh)….We are in a wound change right now and already had a dr on call in here and now have another dr appt to go to this week

    • Kathy says:

      It is definitely a lake thing, Kim. I feel for you, dear. It must be challenging to have illness problems with your mom during the holiday time of year. May it go well this week.

  5. Carol says:

    I agree, Christmas needs sparkly lights. The more, the better. A few years ago we bought an artificial pre-lit tree. That came after several years of arguing about who would put the lights on and then who would take them off. It’s called simplify. I hope to bring it in one day this week and set it up. It will give Lily something else to attack. Other decorations? Probably not this year. Lily kitten is just way too nosy and views the world as a toy.

    • Kathy says:

      Have you set up your tree yet, Carol? Is Lily dangling in its branches? I remember when we had kittens and similar scenarios ensued! There seems to be a necessary balance at Christmas. How to simplify yet give us the joy of sparkly lights.

  6. Karla says:

    Your post reminded me of those warm Christmas memories growing up. On the third floor of our house a door to the attic and I used to love gathering all the Christmas decorations in the cold up there. I can still remember how it smelled. And oh the memories of when Dad would announce his idea of “not giving (so many) gifts this year” and the unanimous cries of Dad CANCELING Christmas! Tradition is so important this time of year…I”m glad Barry decided on the tree!

    • Kathy says:

      What lovely memories, Karla. I can almost smell YOUR memories and hear your dad’s voice. (I probably sound something like your dad. I often say…We won’t be giving as many gifts this year. Everyone raises their eyes because I always say that!)

  7. barb says:

    Hello Kathy, I see it’s looking a bit like Christmas at your house. It’s funny that you invoked the pleasure of a child to get your husband to relent about the tree. (I do the same thing – shameless!) We’ll not have a tree this year, so I’ll visit and enjoy yours. It’s snowing hard here in Breckenridge as I write this – it will definitely be a white Christmas!

    • Kathy says:

      It IS looking a bit like Christmas around here. Not a LOT yet, but a bit. Yes, do come over (virtually) and visit the Christmas tree when we get it up. By the way, our beautiful white snow has melted. Rain today! Can you imagine?

  8. georgia mom says:


    • Kathy says:

      I hope Alex can be with you for Christmas, too. I like how we all mellow and get in the Christmas spirit as the season progresses. Will be putting up your little ceramic tree too!

  9. Kathy says:

    Barry replies–Alright, enough about Barry the Scrooge! Barry has been the guy who went out to our back 40 with the chainsaw and cut down 16-foot Christmas trees all through our kids’ childhoods. He dragged the huge spruces through two feet of snow up and down 30-foot ravines with whatever childhood help was willing. He somehow jammed these things through the front door, put them in the 40-pound stand he welded up, hauled in an extension ladder and tied them to the high ceiling in the house. And decorated them with all the lights, ornaments,tinsel and glitter one could imagine, hanging off the ladder 12 feet above the floor! These trees were so big Kathy was embarrassed when taxpayers would come to the house, step inside and their jaws would fall open. And we’ve got plenty of pictures and memories to prove it! –Barry

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Barry, you know I’m as big of a Scrooge as you are! I’m the one that always voted for LITTLE simple trees. And part of me would like no tree altogether. However, it’s the part that wants the house to be festive this year that wants a tree. I LOVE how flexible you are. (Both on a ladder and in changing your mind…)

  10. Elisa's Spot says:

    IIIIIIIIIIIIIII did NOT disparage you Barry!!!! (bats eyeslashes and grins too–even without first cup of tea)

    You have a thing with ladders and high up places though don’t you?

    The few times that I can remember flits, I can recall going out into the woods to do the same thing, but instead of carrying the tree, we would climb up upon the tip of the tree and ‘ride’,it got cold out there and we got tired!

    • Kathy says:

      I read Barry your comment, Elisa. I think he felt better about it. He is always climbing in high places. On top of the house, the garage… Smiling at the thought of you climbing the tip of the tree and riding it.

  11. Robin says:

    Oooo…glowing fish! How cool! The Sparkle and Stars photo is my favorite of the bunch. There’s something celebratory, yet peaceful, about it.

    M and I decided not to have a Christmas tree one year. I have to admit that it was a relaxed and wonderful Christmas. We had a Christmas lava lamp instead of a tree and put the presents around it. We put up other decorations. Just no tree. Since then we’ve had one granddaughter and then two, so it seems best to put up a tree as I’m not sure they are old enough to appreciate a Christmas lava lamp. lol!

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, shhhh, I think that is my favorite too. It’s my favorite because I located the manual focus button and learned how to use it. I actually focused in on the stars. The stars and garland are actually wrapped around our aloe plant. You’re probably right about the grandkids being unable to fully appreciate the lava lamp. (We have one of those in the closet too!)

      • Gerry says:

        Annie Z, a friend in Charlevoix, goes into the woods, finds a recently downed tree, saws off the top and carts it home. After Christmas she hauls the treetop back to the spot where she got it and puts it back. Waste not want not. I admire her enterprise. Lights and sparkle at all times, that’s the ticket.

        • Kathy says:

          That sounds like a good plan, too, Gerry. Simplicity! I like what you say about Lights & Sparkle at all times. Not just during the holidays…

  12. Cindy Lou says:

    I remember your hugely tall trees when the girls were younger! Crazy big ones! I always dreamed of having one that big, but I’m a bit OCD when it comes to putting lights on (usually have over 1500 little white ones) so I’d be nuts to get one like that.

    I love Christmas! I redecorate my whole house – every room except the bedroom and laundry room….makes me smile with delight just thinking about it! Though it takes me a good 3 days to put up (and take down..not near as much fun) – it’s worth it as every sparkle and Christmas treasure has a story attached to it that I take out and polish up with remembering every year. Fun and blessings! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      We used to have MONSTER trees, didn’t we, Cindy? They were 16 feet high! (Weren’t they? Or is that in my imagination?) I cannot imagine putting that many lights on trees. 1500? Girl, you got your work cut out for you! You and Johnny should stop by some time in the season. What do you think about that?

  13. Cindy Lou says:

    Oh…forgot to say how much I love the fish lights and pictures of them! Such a lovely glow on the one with the pole – would be nice framed!

    I was amused by people mentioning they’ve never seen them – any campground UP here boasts ampers festooned with strings of those, strings with shotgun shells, deer, ducks and any number of wildlife themes…..we do know how to have a good time, eh? 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      You guys could stop by when Kiah is home–after the 21st. Give a quick call first! I am glad you like the fish lights. You are so right about how these kinds of lights abound in the UP. I have never seen shotgun shells though…

  14. Marianne says:

    It’s so nice that Barry decided to get the tree for Kiah coming home. The glowing fish are unique indeed. I love the Christmas lights too. Makes everything look warm and happy.

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