Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas B -I-N-G-O

Two things I inherited from my Grandma Rose Bruhn. One was an old wooden bingo set, and the other, her trundle sewing machine. After some thought, I decided the sewing machine that faithfully sewed many, many quilts, really should be with the master quilter in our family, Patty Bruhn Hatvick. Horse trader by nature, when I gave it to her and she ask what she could give or do for me in return,  I ask her to make some Easter placemats out of one of Mom's old square dance dresses, and some of her favorite clothes. Mom always wore pastels, so Easter was a perfect fit, and a perfect trade, and they're beautiful! Thank you Patty!

My bingo set was all complete, except one number that was written in in pencil, and in Grandmas neat small handwriting. We used that set to start playing bingo with the kids on Christmas day, way back when. With that old set, and using dry beans or cereal( that somehow disappeared as we went) for markers, you would put all the wooden coins in a cardboard shaker box, and shake out one at a time. I have really fond memories of the Moore kids playing game after game of bingo, around the table in Minot for little toy prizes, like hot wheels or other little dollar store goodies. All to soon, the kids grew up and our bingo days with them ended. We moved here to Phoenix,  and after a few stints of Rock Band... we decided to dissolve the band, pack it up and go back to bingo.  I got the idea, why don't I spend 100.00 on gift cards that would help alleviate some of the pain of spending after Christmas when they could use them most, and a new tradition began.

Grandmas old bingo set with the cardboard shaker box, started getting pretty tattered and torn, so I was pretty ecstatic when I found a new set, complete with a metal roller cage at the Goodwill store, a few years back. I even bought some resin and a piece of wood and with a drill made little grooves in the resin for my called balls to sit in,  and had a nice functioning, "high tech" bingo caller board!

Time marches on however, and guess what? Last year Brendon found an app that does the calling for me,  so now we can put the phone in the center of the table and it calls and we play! Technology putting another human out of a job I guess, but I'm not chasing loose balls under the table every few rolls of the cage, so I'm good with it!

A lot of things have changed, but one thing that hasn't at our house is, gathering around the table to play bingo on Christmas Day. We still laugh and talk, shush each other, ask if B6 has been called for the third time, complain about sleepers, and get excited when we finally Bingo and get a turn to shuffle through the gift cards! It's fun to pick the one we need or want the most. For the grand finale we play for a 20.00 gift card.  This is maybe to...a gas station, a grocery store,  or somewhere everyone goes.  Moral to this story - it's not always the big things we do, but the small,  that make Christmas merry and bright.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hooked On Hallmark

Shelbey, Mom and I always participated in our annual day of after Christmas shopping when Shelbey was small. It was such a good way to unwind from the Christmas holiday, stock up on bulbs and lights for the next year, and haul home enough wrapping paper for the next three years ( we did that every year)!  In 1987 I  bought my first Hallmark ornament, the little chimney sweep. I always thought Hallmark ornaments were cute but wow, $9.00 or so, was a crazy price for me back then when I had so many gifts to buy. Half price after Christmas however, was just enough to tip the scales to buy it. That was the beginning…the next year instead of one I bought two etc. There were two shops in the same mall that sold Hallmark ornaments. I decided we'd be more effient in our hunt if I sent Shelbey in one shop  and I’d go to the other. I instructed her to just pick out the ones that you like,  and then when I get back we’ll decide on what to buy so we didn't buy doubles. I’d buy mine and hurry down to the other shop to find her usually empty handed or with one maybe, clutched in her fist shoved back against the wall, by more aggressive shoppers. 

Fast forward a few years, and now Sydney was joining our after Christmas shopping and I’d send the girls to the one store and I’d go to the other. THEN when I came back it was a different scene! Sydney has as many as she could hold, diving in and out of shoppers,  and trying to convince Shelbey to do the same. That’s the difference between my daughters in a nut shell still today. Both have qualities I love, but they are very different. We continued to buy half price ornaments for many years and I have quite a collection now. I never collected for value, or in series, or to make money,  or any of that, it was all for love of what I wanted on my tree personally. 

These days I buy only a couple usually before Christmas with a coupon and sometimes for gifts for the kids. Easton had a ball today looking at all the different ornaments from over the years and I had a ball sharing them with him. Let me share some pictures of my favorites. You know the ones on the front of the tree every year. Do you do that? Put your least favorite on the back?  Anyway, thats my Hallmark addiction. 
My first one, Chimney Sweep 1987

My Mom one...

Easton's favorite, he plays the drums 

Briars favorite, plays
Holiday Road.

Another favorite

Cute little tea drinkers