Friday, December 19, 2008
Come Inside Where It's Warm
As promised, ala Mister Rogers, today we'll go inside this house - my house - and check out a few of my Christmas tree decorations.
The tree is all decorated and presents await their opening. As I took these photos and started to write this post, one fact jumped out at me. That fact is all - well, virtually all - of my Christmas decorations were not purchased by me. They are almost all either gifts from others or hand-me-downs from my Nana's collection. I really love my decorations, and maybe this is why. They all hold some sort of story or memory for me.
My tree's decor is a healthy version of "hodgepodge". The main colors are red and silver, I guess, but there's about every color you can imagine on this tree. This is not a high-fashion tree. It doesn't follow Christmas trends. It's all about the memories, really.
I've got Christmas balls that I actually purchased in college that are red and silver. Then, there are the Christmas balls my Nana gave me each year when I was a child. Then, there are all the decorations that I received as presents when I was a teacher. Or from friends and other relatives. And, of course, there are some vintage ornaments that were my Nana's ornaments. I actually have so many different ornaments that I never put them all up each year. So, aside from a few red and silver balls from college, none of it was purchased by me. And, none of it was purchased to match or go together. I love it that way.
These boots are a set of two ornaments I received from Jim, a member of my handbell choir when I lived in Austin. When I lived in Austin, I taught school for a living. It seems like a lifetime ago. I also sang in my church choir and lead the church handbell choir. No one in my handbell choir was younger than 55 years old. Except me, the director, fresh out of college. People commented on this dichotomy with regularity, so I guess it was noticeable.
We had a grand time as we learned different pieces to perform in church on our two octaves of bells, performed in the community, attended handbell festivals, and laughed a lot. They pretended to listen to me and I pretended to know what I was doing! And, to this day, these little cowboy boots fit very well into the decor of a Texas tree, don't you think?
This is one ornament from a set of three that I received as a thank you gift for helping with a Christmas fundraiser for a local theater several years ago. They are on really long ribbons and hang so beautifully through the tree branches. Every year I try to capture their beauty in a photo. I'll try again next year - I mean, the photo is nice - a little blurry - but not as pretty as these little snowflakes are in person.
I honestly don't remember where this bell came from. So, if you're reading this and you gave it to me, please don't be offended. It's one of my favorite ornaments.
This little guy is one of four "Mitford Snowmen" ornaments my mom got me one year. I read all of Jan Karon's Mitford series, and my mom knew I was a fan. I think this one is especially cute. This photo is currently my desktop image at work.
The star on top of the tree was actually a purchase from Pottery Barn a few years ago during an after Christmas clearance. I was completely enamored with it. Problem is, it is too tall, once placed on the top of my tree, to sit at the top of the tree because of a little thing called the ceiling. So, I always have to rig it to the side of the top branch. And, the crystals don't really shine as well in the dark as I'd like them to be. If it were sitting atop the tree, we'd probably get more sparkle. I am a fan of the star at the top of the tree, over the angel, though. Not that I have anything against the angel...
The next few photos are of one of two reindeer musicians on my tree. I'm 95% sure these were given to us by a cousin the year we were married, along with two personalized stockings. But, I could be getting two memories crossed in the transfer. This guy sits towards the top of the tree. So, I was hoisting the camera into the air, trying to get him on film, because he was perfectly illuminated by the surrounding light.
Doesn't he look like he enjoys his tree placement this year? Don't you like it when I give thoughts to inanimate objects?
This ball is one of several "Shiny Brite" Christmas balls that I've inherited from my Nana's ornaments. I love the now vintage look of these 50's balls. I hang them very carefully every year so they don't break, or aren't in reach of any furry creature living in my house. I want them to last forever. I'm not one to covet things much - they don't really get me going. But, things with a past - a special meaning - these I'm a total sucker for.
This is a nativity ornament my mother brought me from Israel. It's made of olive wood. I also have a beautiful full size (well, not life size, but normal nativity size) olive wood nativity she also bought me in Israel. It's complete with a musician - making it a perfect nativity for our house. Maybe I'll take some photos of it for you. This one fits on the tree, though, and is equally enchanting.
And, last, here is one of two elves that watch over our house in December. He's not on the tree, so he is the one photo that doesn't really fit with the rest of this post. But, I wanted to go ahead and include him, and hey, it's my blog so I guess I can!
When I was growing up, we had two elves that watched over our house. Our parents told us they were watching to see if we were naughty or nice and then they would report back to Santa. So, of course, my house needs it's own elves. Apparently, there is now a book written about this tradition, so I guess it's not really avant garde or original. But, it's a tradition in my house nonetheless, so it is special to me.
Thanks for coming in to check out my Christmas tree! It was nice to have you over. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!