i'm still in shock that we are already in december with christmas just around the corner. like a lot of other bloggers i've been visiting, i'm not big into the commercialism of today's christmas as, this aspect has often brought me a lot of stress in the past to the point where i have dreaded the season approach. however, for the past two years at christmas time, we opted to only buy gifts for my 9 year old son and then, my adult kids (6 in all, including, alex, michelle's boyfriend) and i did a 'secret santa' exchange instead of buying gifts for each other. we also set the gift price at around $50 so there was no pressure there either. we will be doing the same again this year. it takes the financial pressure off with only having one person to buy for, apart from aaron, and it's so much fun with the teasing, and guessing, leading up to the day and then......finding out who your 'secret santa' partner is on christmas day. peace on earth is what it's really all about and when i'm with my family, i feel at peace, content and happy. genie-sea, one of my blogger friends, is opting to help out in a homeless shelter this year instead of buying into the commercialism of christmas which i think is such a wonderful idea. to give of yourself is one of the most precious gifts ever.
aaron and i started working on a small ornamental ribbon tree in november and, yesterday, i finally got around to finishing it. it's kinda cute, don't you think?
also, this year, beau bought us a new artificial, fibre-optic tree!! i feel so spoiled as it's quite large compared to the previous one we had used for the last eight years and i've never had one with lights either. of course, in respect for the environment, we only light it up for an hour or so each night. these pics aren't the best because they were taken in poor lighting and i'm not camera savvy so please make allowances for me.
addition - i just tried a nifty, little graphics program plug-in that kate mentioned on this post and it did improve the picture (reposted above). though still grainy, it has given a lovely ambience to the original pic. THANKS, KATE!!! my graphics program is paint shop pro 7 and it had no trouble recognising the plug-in. i think kate uses photoshop but, apparently, the plug-in will work with most graphics programs and it truly opens up A LOT of cool things to do with your pics. best of all.......IT'S FREE!!!! So, go grab yourself a copy of 'virtual photographer' here.