Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pickle in a Hay Stack

Important announcement at the end.

While it's true, I covered myself from head to toe in 100 scarves and neckerchiefs (6/13), what I really collect is Christmas ornaments.  My collection of Christmas ornaments rivals Aunt Annie's Accessory collection (3/31)... hands down.

My ideal Christmas tree is... real, 10-12 ft. tall, covered from top to bottom, and all the way around with three or four ornaments per branch.  Add the 11-13 strands of lights and it's true... what I do to a Christmas tree could be considered abuse.  But I love it and I can't stop.  I grew up in a house where every year, the day after Christmas, my mother and her best friend would get up early and hit the department stores in search of the best sale ornaments.  Without fail my mother would return home with at least a few new ornaments... in sets of three.  I have two sisters, so whatever the ornaments of choice, they were purchased with the intent of someday being divided up... even steven.  

I am sure there's a whole segment of my readership shuddering at the very thought that I hang mismatched ornaments with no theme - either color or design - in every nook and cranny of my tree... giving no serious thought to placement.  Do you think it could be true that the Christmas-celebrating-population is cleanly divided into two segments... those who coordinate color and ornament theme and those who do not?  If it's true, I sit on the far end of chaos's continuum.  

So, yes... today's topic is ornaments.  I could go in a million directions with this... glass ornaments; my love of Chirstopher Ratko's; handmade; over-sized ornaments, like my huge snowflake or over sized glass Oreo; the pocket watch Santa accidentally dropped at our house one year, that's now Ricky's favorite ornament and will one day travel with him to his family's house; tacky ornaments like the music-playing Statue of Liberty or the Rockettes souvenir ornament we paid way too much money for on Ricky's first trip to New York; my annual trip to a Christmas store in Tallulah Falls (on the way from picking Ricky up from camp), so I can buy three new ornaments - knowing one day they'll be divided up... even steven

Much as I'd love to cover all this ground, we don't have from now until Christmas to talk ornaments.  So, instead I'll focus on one.  The Green Pickle Ornament.  The Green Pickle is an old German tradition.  The idea is, when decorating the Christmas tree to hide the pickle somewhere in the branches.  The first child on Christmas Day to find the Christmas pickle receives a special blessing for the year and an extra gift!  This little tradition has proven a lot of fun for me and my family.  In fact, not only do we do it with the kids, but whenever we have a 
dinner party or students over for a holiday celebration, we always hide the pickle and let our guests search.  Of course, in true form, we reward the winners with a holiday treat.  You might imagine that finding the Green Pickle in my inferno-lit, two-ton tree is a little like finding a needle in a haystack or... for me... finding a grocery item in the supermarket! 

Such fun is this family tradition, that I thought I would share it with you.  So today we are going to search old highlowaha posts for this Green Pickle Ornament.  
The first person to find it will receive a Christmas present (in July) from me.  A note... if you're thinking I hid it in an obvious place like the week we celebrated all things green or on the 25th of a month, then think again.  The date was determined by Matthew picking a number from 2-7 and Richard picking a number from 1 -31.  The combination of the two is where you will find the green pickle.

On your mark, get set go.  

It took us 77 days to acquire our first 5,000 views of highlowaha (the point at which I could finally reveal the origin of our blog's name).  Many thanks to all those who participated in the Reaching for 5,000 Campaign.  The next day, one of our readers noted, he hoped we hit the second 5,000 in fewer than 77 days.  Yesterday at midnight marked the end of the second 77 days.  So, the question... have we had 5,000 hits since May 1, 2008?  Yes, in fact... we've had 6,765 views in the past 77 days.  That is a surplus of 1,765 views!  A 35.3% increase over our last term.  Way to go, team!  If we were a corporation we would all be getting a big, juicy dividend check.  But, we're not.  We're whatever is lower than a non-profit.  So, while I can't monetarily pay you for your great work, I can pay you (at least one of you) in a far more fun currency... chips... no, not poker... CHOCOLATE chips.  Yep.  A batch of cookies containing EXACTLY 1,765 chips will be headed someone's way before the week is over.  Here's how to win....

I have a number between 1 and 77 in my head.  Be the lucky person whose post lands on THAT number and you win!  If not for me... or for you... take a chance and go for it for office mates or neighborhood kids.  They'll love you for it.
Signing off until tomorrow...

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