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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Suffering from too much sparkle

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Christmas celebrations are supposed to be over for another year. At our house it looks a bit like we are trying to extend it.

We usually leave the tree and other decorations up until after what we call Little Christmas or the Feast of the Three Kings, January 6th. I am not sure if that is an official date on the church calendar but that's the way I remember it from the days my parents followed that custom and that is good enough for me.

Simply having the decorations up that far past December 25th is not the reason people will wonder whether or not we have given up on the celebrating. It is because anyone who walks through our front door can glance into the laundry room and see bright chips of glitter scattered across the floor. Then walking on into the house it is apparent that we have "glittered" the entry rug, too. The kitchen floor has a bit here and there, the office is not immune to having suffered the glitter virus. The guest bathroom is also suffering from this weird disease.

When we had a houseful of kids I worried I would still be vacuuming up Easter grass on the 4th of Juiy. Now I appreciate the fact that all of the stringy green paper grass was more cooperative than silver glitter is. It allowed itself to be eaten by the vacuum cleaner. The glitter does not. It seems to be held by static. A wet cloth picks it up but later I find more has shown up.

It all began when I was gluing glitter on cardboard wings I was making for the angels to wear during our Christmas night family skit. The main focus of our skit this year was the Star of Bethlehem. I couldn't find a helium balloon that looked like a silver star. I thought I had a creative solution to the problem when I bought a plain gold Mylar balloon and drew a star on it. Then I glued a heavy coat of silver glitter over the drawing. It worked beautifully up to a point. The stuff I glued on it was too heavy to allow the star to float after we filled it with helium gas. I thought that made it necessary to attach the balloon to a dowel coated with more silver. That way our little angel could hold the star high enough to keep it over the manger scene. I hoped the silver dowel would look like a single ray pointing down toward the Child in the crib.

Unfortunately, all the glitter did not stay glued securely where I wanted it. Every move anyone made, a little more must have flaked off. Our props didn't look any the worse for wear, but my carpets and furniture and floors may never completely recover from this Christmas season. And now all of those props have been stored away and yet every day I find more glitter. It was baffling until someone pointed out to me that my wearing slipper socks all day may be contributing to the spread. The socks are so cute and comfy but when I looked, a lot of glitter was stuck to the soles. My hope is that by Little Christmas the sparkle on my floors, like all my other decorations, will be a memory and not a burr under my saddle.

It wasn't enough for us to have problems with all that sparkle. The final skit was played out at my son's home, giving it a chance to spread itself in another location. Christmas wrap, toys and other gifts were scattered about so if their floors were speckled with lots of tiny shining spots, it was not noticeable that evening. The next day the family left on a short trip. I suspect the glitter virus has infected their house but they won't be aware of it for a few more days. Our trip out of town will coincide with their return. I'll like that little escape because I don't want to be around to join them in the frustration of trying to rid their home of the now-dreaded shiny stuff. Their home is decorated in a rustic country look. "Country" has no patience with sparkle.

By Mary S. Roder
Musing With Mary

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