Thursday, December 2, 2010


I've always enjoyed puzzles, even though they aren't necessarily Brad's cup o' tea. There's just something so relaxing and rewarding about fitting those little jigsaw pieces perfectly into place to unveil the not-so-secret picture. (Besides, what else are you going to do in the winter while Jack Frost is keeping you indoors? This is much better than watching TV. Well, unless it's a Christmas movie, of course. Ahem. Sorry, I digress...)

My friend, Jessica, told me about a tradition she grew up doing with her family during the Christmas season. Every year, they choose a puzzle to assemble between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When it is completed, they glue it together and back it with cardboard to keep it sturdy and then hang it up as part of their Christmas decor. But before they do that, they write the year on the bottom front corner and have everybody who helped with it, even if they only put a single piece in, sign the back.

Every year, her family loves to reminisce as they hang all of the puzzles up around the house, making a timeline of sorts, chronicling their past Christmases. She said part of the fun is choosing the perfect puzzle to showcase. After accumulating so many years' worth, it's been a neat challenge for them to locate puzzles with different pictures and scenes or even unique shapes, like a Christmas tree or a wreath or a stocking. (How fun!)

Well, I love puzzles, and I love traditions, so I jumped all over this task as soon as she shared it with me. I whipped this wintery snowman out of our closet after our Thanksgiving meal, and with a lot of help from certain family members, (even though we were minorly distracted by a board game) we made some pretty major progress by the end of the evening.

Once I had a free minute after everybody had left, I dove back into puzzle land. I didn't necessarily intend to, in fact. I had just finished setting up my Christmas Village (yea!) and was about to head upstairs to do some laundry when I passed the assembled border and scattered pieces tempting me from the coffee table. I thought, "Eh, what the heck? I'll put a couple pieces in." After a while, I was reminding myself of the impending chore and saying, "Okay, when I find that elusive piece, I'll be done." It wasn't long before it was, "Once I finish this section, I'll quit." But by then, I thought "I might as well complete the whole thing since I'm so close!"

Yeah, I'm not proud to admit that I stayed up passed midnight to piece the scene back together. Not only did I not even begin the laundry, but I also took the fun out of the rest of the season by finishing it so soon! (Am I weird that a puzzle is like crack to me? So addicting!)

Oh well. It felt good to stand up and see what I had accomplished. Told ya there's that sense of satisfaction when the pieces fit together to look just like the box cover. Now all I need are Elaine and Jeremy's (anybody else's?) signatures on the back, and I'm good to go.

The new Christmas Puzzle Tradition is officially in effect.


Kristen said...

I like this tradition. =) I like puzzles, too, but haven't done one in a looong time. I had bought a fallish one, but Jeremy (like Brad) doesn't really care for them either, so it never even came out of the box.

Kimberly Washer said...

cute idea. I'm not sure if my husband likes puzzles or not, but there's only one way to find out.

Jessica Burgess said...

Mindy.... My name is in green! you know what that means...i am not a random person you crossed paths with! we are friends on multiple occasions! YAY!

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