Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'm Dreaming of a ........

Yes, it is Christmas time again. Living in South Texas "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" is serious dreaming. I've been doing it for ( a woman never tells her age) so let's just say quite some time. But it's time for all the Hallmark movies ( watching 'em every night much to my Hubie and sons dismay), songs, candy canes and pumpkin everything ( pies, cookies, coffee and whatever else someone thinks can handle a dash of pumpkin). So while you are humming along with Nat King Cole rushing through the store and totally freaking out what to give that dang near impossible person on your list - take one moment to remember it Christmas and really all you need is family and friends .The best memories you have ( really we all have them) are not of the perfect Hallmark Christmas or a Norman Rockwell Christmas. Or for my Jewish friends a perfect Hanukkah /Chanukah ( and why is that spelled differently for the same holiday - feel free to let me know ). The best memories are of the imperfect Christmas - yes you know what I mean the year all the pies turned into charcoal or your sister decided to dye her hair blond and it was Bozo orange or the dog knocked over the Christmas tree and after the initial screaming and tears - everyone ended up laughing - well those are the best memories. So all I'm saying is yep we all want the perfect Christmas but the best ones and the ones we really remember are the Christmas' that went awry.

So here's some things to keep in mind while shopping this year for gifts and for the perfect outfit for all those Christmas parties ( you know the ones where the ugly Rudolph sweater just won't work). First when buying clothes - READ THE CARE LABEL!!!!!!!( and yes I did mean to YELL. Don't but anything thing that says Do not wash Do not Dry Clean Spot Clean Only - what does that mean??? It means throw it away after wearing because you can't spot clean only. If you want to see Grandma ( after she got runned over by the reindeer) wearing your gift for more than one year - buy one that she can actually clean .So READ THE CARE LABEL !!!!!!

COWS DON"T COME IN PURPLE !!!! ( or blue, red , black, white or any color other than skin color - yucky but true). So as you look at leather - remember all leather is dyed and after cleaning will need to be re-dyed because ........cows don't come in purple. Also all leather is not cow . What???? yep, some leathers are pig skin ( yeah yeah just like the footballs). So how do you know cow or pig and should you care? You can tell pig skin because you can see the pores on the skin . Should you care ? Well yes and no . Pig skin is a tougher skin , doesn't dye as well and tends to have more imperfections. After cleaning , a pig skin tends to show those imperfections even more . Sometimes the manufacturer will fill in the scars and after cleaning you will see those scars.I know we all think well heck if a cow can stand in the rain and run through fences it must be tough and can take a licking and keep on ticking - NO !!! Skin dries out ( ask any lady why she puts cream all over her face) and needs to be re-oiled to avoid cracking. Skin is not the same thickness all over your body and guess what - yep neither is a cows . So if a garment is made from the same animal or maybe even from numerous animals the skin will be different thickness. Plus let's face it how many times did you scrape your knees when you were a kid??? Well you can darn bet ya - the cow did too! So the skin will have scars - just like yours. And if you are thinking you want fur - some things go for fur. Animals will have scars and you need to re-oil the skin to keep from splitting the skin. Great stuff leather - but must be properly cared for to keep for years. So even though the cow or rabbit was out in the rain - they were wearing live skin and not tanned skin. Now you are thinking - maybe I will just buy faux. Ok by me . But when buying faux  leather or fur - what should you do ? Did you say - READ THE CARE LABEL ? If you did - a candy cane for you !!! If the faux leather says do not wash do not dry clean wipe with a damp cloth - you are wearing a tire !!! Come on that is plastic junk - get something you can actually clean .( and I don't mean hanging it off your fence and spraying it down with your garden hose ).

So let's say this is the year - you decided to be ambitious and make your Christmas gifts . If you are making clothes or stockings or a tree skirt - ask about the materials . At the end of each bolt of fabric are.......wait for it ...THE CARE LABELS. So do not mix a dry clean only fabric with a washable or do not dry clean fabric. Make sure whatever you make will last for years. FELT is not your friend .... don't spend the time making a beautiful tree skirt or stocking and using felt - it pills and falls apart and cannot be cleaned. If you are going to put a lot of work and love ( and in my case blood from all times I stick my fingers with the needle) make sure it will last forever and can be cleaned.

SO GO..... hit the mall armed with knowledge, You can hum Nat King Cole and feel good that as a saavy care label reader -you will buy a gift that will last forever.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you are with family and friends - well the burnt pies, Bozo hair and dog trashed tree just do not really matter. As for me , I will be thankful for the people I love and will remember the ones who I have lost. It is hard not to be some what sad to know it is another Christmas without my Dad. I use to make oatmeal- raisin cookies for him each year and I still make them but it's not the same. My dad use to love to put candy canes on the Christmas tree - so as I hang them each year I think of him. ( someday maybe I'll tell ya the dad and candy cane story - this one is goes in the burnt pie and dog trashed tree category). But I wish you all a wonderful holiday - enjoy - eat ,drink and be merry. May God bless you and may God keep you and your family.