I guess since my childhood, Christmas always seemed to happen once that tree was up. My Dad would come through the back door with it and the familiar box of ornaments would come out. My Mom was not much for vignettes or anything of that sort, but she always had a candy dish filled with peppermints and a bowl of walnuts complete with the cracker and picks. My Dad loved those. And that's pretty much what Christmas is for me...when we start decorating the tree. I've told all of you a zillion times...it seems like it takes forever to get the blasted tree so that it lives til Christmas day! And try as I might, I can't bear to bring up those boxes of pretty decorations that fill up tabletops and shelves and the hearth until that tree is lit and the pretty baubles are on. I don't think I can ever change that ritual.
So here is the pretty tree for 2013! Packed to the gills with so many of our memories of 28 years. Whispering: I can say that because tomorrow is our Anniversary!! And that's the new tree skirt that Sonya made for me that I showed you a few weeks ago. I love it. Ignore that goofy quilt on the chair...that's "Milo's chair", and I have to fold it because he jumps on the arms to look out the window and they are getting a bit worn. Dogs! In a future post I will get some close ups of my favorite ornaments.
This is the hearth. It's extra special this year. Over the summer you might remember me telling you all about the storm that downed our two birch trees at the lakehouse. It was so sad, they were my favorite trees and looked so beautiful down near the shore, so simple and of course, absolutely stunning in the winter months. Our next door neighbor was nice enough to cut it up in pieces for us and we brought some logs home to Illinois with us. I have strict orders not to burn these!
On the other side of the hearth is this moose guy. I think it's a moose at least. Deer have pointy muzzles. When the kids were small they used to chase whatever dog we had at the time around the living room as if this were a real animal. And yeah, the goofy dog(s) ran away! So Mr. Moose has been around forever. And then I added some pieces of evergreen to the pitcher behind the forlorn moose. Nobody trots him around the room anymore.
The mantel. My nemesis. But not so bad when you have some bins to choose things from. No, I can't brag I didn't buy anything new (sheet), but sometimes a girls gotta splurge. My wooly trees that I showed you, the star from Sonya who made the tree skirt and some candles from Homegoods. I kept my vintage white window up there and tried to give a loosely draped looks to the ivy, but believe me, there are a zillion thumb tacks holding that stuff up. And some snowflakes from The Dollar Tree.
I have some cute things in the kitchen. This is a vintage bowl I found years ago somewhere. I filled it with more evergreen branches, pine cones and a lone sparkly ornament. I am priding myself on my restraint. I have wreaths... faux and real, small and large, all over the house. It's surprising I didn't do a number on this poor bowl.
Another thing I discovered and used is the color red. I'm not a red person at all although I love to see it in others homes. And I mean that (especially you, Brenda!). But not only do I not look good in it, (totally washes me out ghost-like), but I really don't have a lot primary colors in my home. I guess I'm just not that sort of bold person. Pastels are hesitant, introverted and non committal. But I digress, as we all do, I made the leap and threw red into the mix. Poinsettia's, tartan bows, bright red candles and candy in the dishes. I have more to show you...just not now...this is just enough. But I feel sort of liberated! And inspired, (those Home Tours are quite inspiring if I say so myself! :) Still don't know how to get on one! lol!
More greenery on my wrought iron light fixture above the dining table. And some cute wooden candy canes. Can you believe I ran out of the greenery I bought and saved from the trimming of the tree? A good 25 years ago we had a HUGE evergreen tree in the backyard. Before it was a big deal (but not so much with country folks). I used to snip branches to use in the house. Maybe it was the L.L. Bean catalogs I used to get, but I did that. I was a true pioneer and a piece of work to The Husband, I'm sure.
Finally, a small touch in the bedroom, new to me. And after almost three decades, I'm blessed to have an abundance of beautiful, memorable Christmas treasures. Some years I use very little of what I have. Last year at this time, The Husband was in the hospital having major surgery. Decorating was at the bare minimum and I did it to keep things as traditional as possible and to add some normalcy to the holiday season for the family. Three years ago my father passed away the week before Christmas. After the funeral while I was taking a much needed nap, The Husband and the girls brought up all the decorations and transformed the house. So this year I enjoyed myself and went into the bathrooms, the den and family room with a few subtle touches and I emptied those bins. Clean up in a few weeks...ugh!
I feel that Christmas spirit as real as the candles I'm burning right now that smell of pine. Emily came and decorated much of the tree and we drank red wine (sometimes it takes a village!). Abby worked on her Christmas list. I've done a little online shopping and I'm looking forward to some wrapping tomorrow. I want to make the dough for my cookies and I'm hoping...just hoping that maybe The Husband will take me out for our anniversary. To think...28 year ago we were getting married and on our way to Hawaii. Christmas didn't seem to exist there (except for Elvis singing Blue Christmas in almost every bar, restaurant and store we went into). But all of that's okay...we still have each other and more...and like the new candles on the mantel and spreading Christmas cheer throughout the house...life changes and becomes more abundant...not with material things, but with the memories and the makings of new memories. :)
Feeling the love this holiday season,
Joining the party at Dwellings-The Heart of your Home for Amaze Me Monday!!