If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Decor

I guess I'm just getting older, but I dramatically cut back on my Christmas decorating this year.  I kind of wonder if I hadn't had Bridgette and her girls come by and help me if I might not have even done as much as we did!

Lydia, Luci, and I were responsible for decorating the kitchen tree this year.  This tree has been in my kitchen for twenty years or more.  We've always loaded it down with red and green ornaments, red wooden beads that look cranberry-ish, and pipe-cleaner candy canes.  The ornaments are a conglomeration of handmade by children's hands and gifts from over the years.  I pulled out the ornaments from the storage tub and handed them to the decorators.  Luci stood on my two-step-stool to reach and boss and squeal when Lydia did something that didn't suit her.
Lydia did lots of admiring as she decorated.  Lydia also took some forays into the den to check on the other set of decorators.  After all, her mother and Lillie could not be trusted to decorate with style without some kind of supervision.  Lydia's specialty is to group similar ornaments, it seems - not something that her mother is fond of, we learned.
Notice the five circular ornaments on the right - one of Lydia's specialty groupings.

There were a couple of other additions to the kitchen.  First, I edited the montage on the mantel and cleaned the dust off everything.
I considered hanging the new bay leaf wreath sent to me for my birthday by my sister but decided that I like showing off the metal screen door guard that was on Mike's grandmother's door.  I like how it looks like our monogram is in the center.  See that O?
So, the beautiful bay-leaf wreath found its place to hang on the front of the china cabinet.  I had considered adding some greenery or ornaments to the bowls and cups inside there but decided the beautiful, full green wreath was plenty.  (It may have found a permanent home there, too.)  The table was graced with a monogrammed burlap runner, an old wooden tray holding a couple of candles and a couple of snow globes.  Simple, low-key.
On the island, I just added some faux seasonal greenery.  There is a bit of variegated holly with berries and a silk poinsettia.  Yep, the basket with the blood-sugar testing equipment and reading glasses, the butter crock, and the salt and pepper shakers sit there most of the time anyway, so I figured, why stage it?

In the den, the decorating crew added sparkle and glitter to the larger, more formal tree.  I overheard Bridgette pointing out which ornaments were her favorites from childhood.  
She showed Lillie how one particular ornament had a light that made it look as if there were a light turned on in the house and how another made it look like a star was shining down.  Lillie asked her mother why they didn't have a tree that was all blue, silver, and white ornaments.
This furry Santa found his way to the oak chest in the master bedroom.  That was the only seasonal aspect added there this year.
This heavy little ceramic ornament wound up on the vanity in the master bath.  He waved cheerfully for a couple of weeks right there.  He may have found a permanent seasonal home!
On the antique buffet just inside the den there was the addition of a basket holding Christmas cards and some greenery in the vase.  I've also made it a tradition to showcase a few of the beautiful white and gold porcelain ornaments.  They were Mike's and he has no idea how he acquired them but I do love them and their delicate sparkly beauty.
This year Santa, the sleigh, and the tree landed here.  There is also a teddy bear on a rocking horse and a snowman which found a perch on the guest bathroom vanity.
On the foyer table below the children portraits we only added a bit of Christmas cheer.  This is another place where pops of deep red and greenery seem to warm up the space.
On the left standing stoically between the family photos are a couple of tall, skinny ceramic Santas that I painted years and years ago.  One holds a Christmas tree and t he other holds a wreath.
To the willow basket on the right, I added a musical angel sitting atop the blue and white candle pedestal and a tiny glittering ceramic church that a long-time family friend gave to one of the children.  A few twigs, a couple of pine cones, and some faux greenery added to the cobalt basket and we called it decorated!
The den mantel only had a sprig of greenery added to the vase and a tall, skinny Santa in an ice-blue robe added to the mix.
A fancy snow-laden Santa and a basket of pine cones topped with a natural shed antler balanced out the hearth.
The real feature of the mantel are the beautiful stockings.  My first year as a single mom I splurged on three beautiful needlepoint stockings for us.  After a year or so we added one for Corey.  Then, Lillie got a fancy one.  A few years later we added one for Jessica, Lydia, and Mike.  The following year we added six for Mike's children.  Next came one for Harris followed by a couple the next year for Levi and Luci.  This year we added one for Easton.

Long ago I had to come up with a different plan from using silver stocking hangers like I had used on the original three stockings.  There just isn't room!  So, the solution was to get some simple metal stocking hangers which suspend a curtain rod below the mantel.  I think they are my favorite decoration for the season.
The hallway sconces were graced with the addition of two plastic canvas needlework pieces created by Bryan when he was in the third or fourth grade.  I smile each year when I see these and recall how he used yarn and stitched several of these up for folks as gifts.
Harold, a cross-stitch banner crafted by my mother was hung on the inside of the front door.  He is whimsical but the detail of him is beautiful.  The outdoor garland and lights sort of frames him there on the door.
Bridgette, Lillie, Lydia, Luci, and I tied the garland, lights, and wreaths to the front and back porches and called our decorating done.  Someday I would like to pull every single thing in the way of Christmas decorating out and festoon the entire house with all the glory I've amassed over the years.  That will probably have to wait till the days when the grands are in charge of doing the decorating in its entirety and I am just nestled under a cozy cover on the couch, though!

This year, simplicity was best and I've enjoyed every little piece and I think Mike has as well.  He has talked me out of un-decorating a couple of days.  (Of course, that could be because he didn't want me interfering with the line of vision to the football game!)  Each year he starts off complaining about the skinny, wimpiness of our tree.  It is a long, narrow style that was bought for a different place in a different house that required such.  Yet, before the season is over he doesn't want to part with it and always comments at how he likes the lights in the room at night.
I was grateful for the decorating help and wonder if my house would have been decorated at all without the help of Bridgette and the granddaughters.  It was simple, beautiful, and heartwarming.  The memories created will be cherished by this Grand B forever!