Sunday, December 11, 2011

Every Woman's Christmas Companion

Dear Helen Hartman,
It’s beginning to look a lot like… It will never look like Christmas around my house. At least not like the Christmas I see in magazines and on tv. I work,  I have kids (also a lot of work – who knew?) and try to keep my house from getting so cluttered and dirty that someone nominates it for one of those clean up shows on TV. Love to get some time management tips for the holiday season.

Dear Loved One,
For once Helen is the wrong resource for such a question. Had a total melt down last night wherein Helen spoke the words: “I am giving up on Christmas! I can’t do it all. Something has to go and Christmas is It!”

Christmas through the house? It looks more like Christ-MESS around this place!

Then Mid-meltdown, my hubby had a genuine bit of wisdom to share.
What? It could happen!
And I’d like to share his wonderful words: "Would you relax? It’s Christmas. There are no rules."

Wow, Dad, you really did have some good advice. Finally.

No rules? When did THAT happen? It must have been before Martha Stewart, (whom I adore and will refer to as Saint Martha when and if she buys the perfectly appointed heritage farm before Helen does) So lick a magic candy cane, grab a candle and come along with me to a simpler Christmas time…

The candle holders were one of my first estate sale finds - from the estate of Ruth and Jack of Independence MO.
What? You can’t come because of an allergy to reindeer fur?

Well, you're in luck because I wear nothing but ermine and I do mean NOTHING. (That's how you GET ermine!)
 IOW -  I don’t wanna hear your excuses. It’s Christmas @*&^$%#!

Hubby lived by the motto, if Helen ain't happy then nobody is... safe. Sometimes piles of presents helped.
 Now, get over here and shut your fruitcake hole. We’re going to learn about Christmas past.
"Ready for a hot bird basted in butter?"  "Always am, honey, you know that's how we got these 7 kids!"
Long past, you ask? Well, back to a time before Helen was born.

Oh My! That IS a long time ago!

What did Helen tell you about talking on this little trip? Here We go -

Companion Magazines Dec. 1954, ‘55 and ‘56.

Back to a time when women didn’t stress over the demands of Christmas.  They approached it as they did everything – with ease and style.

And Frozen Margaritas!
Of course it was easier for female folk back then because they started young. While little boys got gifts like these:

Cars and planes and bikes and neckties! It was a great time to be a boy!

Girls could find things under the tree that let them know exactly what their path in life should be…

Filled with drudgery?
 No wonder they were equipped to take on the added stress of the holidays. Of course they had their little tricks.
"The only way to keep your dresses from wrinkling is to do all your housework in your slip. That's the story I told your father when he found me like this with Uncle Norm and I am sticking to it, you hear me?"
"See, I put the food I bought already cooked into a warm oven and then when Aunt Louise gets here I'll take it out and tell her I've been slaving away all day!" "Okay but what's 'slaving' away? Is that another word for watching TV, eating chips and playing Words With Friends?"

Of course the real trick was always looking so together...

The Dubrowski sisters were always competitive about their looks but we all agreed that staging a 'pose off' in the church office the day they presented the offering for the poor crossed a line.
  And of course they got their rewards! 

Oh, Lance you're so right! Spooning IS wonderful. (You thought Helen was going to add something about forking, didn't you? Did you forget we're in the past here, nice people don't talk like that!)
So count your blessings, strip down to your twirling petticoat and pour yourself a margarita. Christmas will be here before you know it!

Joining Motivate Me Monday! at Keeping it Simple
and Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch  


  1. I know my laughter can be heard on the other side of the closed door. They must be wondering what's going on in here. Love this post!

  2. Jeez, you slay me. I aspire to be as funny as you.

  3. Thanks Betsy and Barbara (shouldn't that be sleigh me?)

  4. I had bobbed hair like those girls in the second picture, yikes! A fun look at the past, Laura. Please stop by for our giveaway this week if you get a chance.

  5. Who needs eggnog for a good holiday time, we have HELEN!

  6. Can't wait to use the phrase "shut your fruitcake hole".

  7. "Shut your fruitcake hole" has become my holiday comeback and will probably remain so for many holidays to come. :)

  8. Hahahaha! I'm going to stay in my slip until I leave the house on a daily basis now. x

  9. ;-))) You have made me smile this morning blinking great post ;-)) Slip on xmas day its going to be ;-)) dee x

  10. What a fun look at Christmas! I needed that, now where's my petticoat?

  11. Love, love, love this post and all your fabulous images. You totally made my Monday morning!

  12. Cottage and Broome - can't wait to visit!

  13. Thanks Mom Walds!

    Helen and Dana - it's a new holiday greeting!

  14. Vix and dee and Pat - twirl around the tree for me in those petticoats!

  15. Thanks for stopping by Kim K - your blog always makes my day too. In fact, all your blogs brighten my day -the perfect balance to the nonsense of daily life.

  16. :) You always make us chuckle! Although, I thought maybe you had overheard Karrie at first...she was having a Christmas meltdown because things were not going as planned (ALL the lights from last year didn't work for her tree...and ALL of the white lights are gone from the stores right now - lol!!)
    If I only knew to tell her to strip down to her slip and "git 'er done!" Enjoy your week Annie!

  17. OH - my - all the white lights are GONE here too! Needed them for the outdoor display - we now and blue and white. What is going on?

  18. Hello Helen:
    This is such a fun post!

    We absolutely agree that there should be no rules since that is the root of all Christmas problems in our view. For years we slavishly wrote hundreds of Christmas cards as everyone else in Britain does, or so we thought. This year we sent 4. Perfect!!

    As for Lance and spooning......!!!!

  19. Oh mercy {with tears streaming down my face}, So nice to have a hearty belly laugh this morning... I don't know what to say {soul sista}...You had me at fruitcake pour me a Margarita and let's ignore the dust bunnies!

  20. Dear Helen Hartman,

    Please fix your right this instant! I will not hunt you down again... Go to yur profile, under Privacy check "show my email" then under Identity make sure it shows the email that you want the entire world to use...

    Do it now, or we can't be BFFs...

    So, do you wanna play Mad Libs with me? Cuz I think we could have some crazy-arse fun... That was what I was TRYING to email you about and now I gotta look at ignoramusy and ask you in yur comment section...

  21. Approaching the holidays with ease and style...wise words!

  22. LOL Jane and Lance - I was thinking of a classic Harlequin Romance hero type name!

    Thanks Gwen - I'll follow your instructions! Have yet to figure out all the ins and outs of blogger.

  23. Karen - that's how you handle everything!

  24. The padded truck with the men in the nice white coats will be there to pick you up in an hour. Please have your bag sharp objects, though. And don't worry about putting on a coat...the nice men will have a nice white jacket that will wrap all the way around you to keep you warm! I'll put on my ermine coat and meet you there! ;-)

  25. Fun stuff. I agree, just drop it all and don't fret. After a two week vacation I ain't putting up a tree or digging out decorations until my house is clean and I accomplish more important (for my sanity) goals first. You don't need holiday decor and everything to be "perfect" to enjoy the season.

  26. LOL Alycia - they came by and I sent them packing! Nobody messes with Helen. Hate that you put on you ermine for nuthin'

  27. Words to the wise, Van! Of course, I've never been all that wise.


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