Friday, December 24, 2010

Decking The Halls

Merry Christmas Eve!
As promised, I am going to share with you many of my Christmas decorations: some old, some new, but all with special meaning. I took lots of pics around my living room, dining room, hallway and staircase- where most of my Christmas decorations have been placed.
Here are close pics- and a little history of some of them. Soon I will be back to show you overall shots.

I'll start with the Santa mug. My husband and I went to the Bahamas on our honeymoon. While shopping there, he decided to look at the Royal Doulton mugs... he loves the presidential ones. As he was looking around he spotted this mug: the 1983 Santa. We both were drawn to it, and he made a comment about how great it would be to have that for our kids to grow up seeing. I remember well the impact that had on me as we were newly married and starting out our lives as husband and wife: envisioning little children- our little children, forming wonderful Christmas memories and traditions! We decided to get it, and had it very carefully packed for the trip home days later. It wasn't long after, that I found out I was pregnant. And our baby was born in December and came home to our tiny little apartment with a tiny little "Charlie Brown" tree. And, this Santa mug.

My husband and I have a tradition: we add at least one decoration- weather it be a large one or just an ornament or two- to our Christmas collection each year. Two years ago he brought this beautiful angel home. Isn't it great? (I actually leave it up all year on my piano.)

Here are a couple of my favorite music boxes. My mom had a collection of them and it got to be so large that she started giving us one each year. These are two of them.

Our Lenox Nativity. Mike and I saw this about 5 years ago on one of our little antiquing excursions. I don't know how old it is (don't think it really is, despite the fact that we found it in an "antique" store), but we both loved it. We hemmed and hawed over it for a long time, as it was a pretty big splurge for us at the time. But we have never regretted it. It's so pretty!

And here are a few framed stamped Christmas collage things (what do you call these?!) that I made. They were such fun. I did a stamp camp where we made them one year.

And while I am showing you things I made, here are some of my cross stitched Christmas pillows. My dear friend Maryann taught me how to do cross stitch, but I never could figure out how to sew, lol! So she actually did all the pillow assembling for me- and backed them with beautiful fabrics. I love all these pillows. I made most of them during my pregnancies when I had to be on bed rest. And the fact that my wonderful friend (more like a sister to me) played such a roll in the making of them makes them mean even more. (Note: the santa in the chair with two other pillows in the 3rd pic is the only pillow I did not make.)
Gee, it's been many years since I have done any cross stitching; kind of makes me want to get back to it again ;-)

And here is another one of our "antique finds":
My Mom used to have a beautiful Steuben glass bowl that she'd put beautiful old ornaments in at Christmas time. It was her dining room table centerpiece, and it was beautiful!
I have several of ornaments that were my Mom's, Grandmother's and even some of my Great- Grandmothers. They are super fragile and many that I just would not dare to hang. Mom's bowl idea was perfect. So, for years I searched for a nice bowl just for this reason. One day we spotted one that seemed like a good shape and size, but it wasn't clear. It was a very faint lavender glass. Very pretty. Yet I wasn't sure it would work for the ornaments. But Mike decided to go back and buy it for me as a gift, and as it turns out, it works wonderfully. Don't you think?

I love this little angel. I remember when I was a very little girl, I asked my mother if I could put some decorations in my bedroom for Christmas. She only gave me a couple that year; this being one of them. This angel, and a little plastic nativity ornament (I actually still have that, too).
But I not only remember being so happy to receive it, I also remember being heart broken when I dropped it and a wing broke off. I was devastated! But, my big brother Rich, as always, came to my rescue! He assured me he could fix it. He was probably all of about 8 or 9 at the time, but he had this "expertise" about things like that, and went right to work repairing my little angel.
The glue he used has since yellowed a bit (it shows a little in the back) and yet that actually adds to it's appeal to me, as it brings back the memories of my dear brother lovingly fixing my special little angel.

This was one of my mom's two nativity scenes. She referred to it as the "creche". I believe she had it since at least 1950, maybe earlier. And every year she put it on her front hall table under a big wooden eagle topped mirror. The very table that it sits on in my house, under that same eagle topped mirror. A few of the pieces of the nativity set are chipped, even broken. But I still love it. Not only does it hold many memories or me, but for all of my kids who remember it at their Nanna's house.

Books. I love old books. Especially children's books. So, what could be better than old children's Christmas books?! This is part of my little collection, most of them being the very books my Mom read to me as a child. Included are some of my childhood classics: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas; Tall Book of Christmas (Granny Glittens and her Amazing Mittens was my favorite story!); Christmas Is A Time For Giving; and my most favorite A Christmas Story by Mary Chalmers. Not sure that was actually a "classic", but it was surely my favorite. A tiny little book; I've never seen one since. If you ever do, be sure to pick it up and look through it. It's darling! (I opened it to show you how adorable the illustrations are.)

I have a huge record collection. Yep, I still have- and play- record albums. As a matter of fact, I first laid eyes on my husband in a record store. That's where we met ;-) Anyway, we had so many records. So when we married we decided to sell our duplicates. Over 600 of them! And we still have probably 2,000 LPs. Many, naturally, are Christmas albums. And my favorites are the ones from the 50's and 60's. Not only do I love the music, but so many of the jackets (record covers for those not old enough to know, lol) have such awesome vintage artwork and pictures.

Probably not surprising, is the fact that I also love vintage sheet music. And Christmas music is no exception ;-) Some of mine was my Mom's or Grandmother's. Some I have bought at antique stores. But it's all great, don't you think? I love putting it on my piano and on my antique brass music stand. It looks wonderful!

So there you have a look at many of the things I bring out each year to "deck my halls"! I will show you full pictures of the rooms in my next post.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at and reading about my Christmas treasures. As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by! I'd love to read your comments!


Sabrina Jackson said...

Sarah, you have some amazing pieces you've decorated with!!! Thanks so much for sharing all of it! My house is kind of half way decorated :C, but my tree is up and the kids are happy, guess that's all that really counts ;D. I pray that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and may the true reason of the season shine upon you!! Hugs and blessings, Sabrina

Unknown said...

I thought that Cross stitched little girl with the star was mine ;) Maybe when I was little I *wished* it were mine :)

Sarah Bennett said...

Awww... Katie, that's sweet! I cross stitched a Santa in a tree shaped frame for you. Do you still have that? But if you'd like the pillow of course you may have it ;-)

Bonnie Lynn said...

Sarah, love all of your decorations. I still have some LP's too.

sharonw05 said...

Sarah, I loved reading about all your special decorations and looking at the pictures! Thanks for sharing with us!

rebecca said...

Sarah, I do hope you had a lovely day filled with memories, and celebrations. Your decorations are lovely, thanks for sharing!

Blessings from Rebecca...(your Y&R friend from splitcoast!)

Steuben Glass said...

It's so nice to hear that Steuben is part of one of your fondest holiday memories. We hope you had a Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!

Stephanie Lizmore. said...

I just wanna say, I LOVE your stamp Christmas collages! They're so nice!