Monday, December 17, 2007

come on in!

I love the holidays. Am fanatical about them. I love that the lamp posts downtown are wrapped in lights and that my favorite shops put up Christmas trees. I even love the Christmas commercials on TV. I love satsuma oranges, and have eaten so many that underneath my thumbnail has turned orange. FYI, Porter also loves satsumas. The first time I gave him a piece of orange, and after he had pierced through the skin, he rubbed his head in it. Strangest thing I've ever seen that dog do. Even stranger than the time we took him to the beach & he tried to hunt & catch the fish rather than roll in the dead ones.

In our house, Christmas decorations go up Thanksgiving weekend because the way I look at it, if I'm going to put in that much effort to decorate my house, I want it up long enough to make it worthwhile. Not to mention the fact that it's all so pretty to look at. When I'm decorating or crafting, Adam asks me if I'm "doing Christmas". See, Honey knows it's a month-long event!

Adam was a trooper, and put up the outside lights ~ without my having to ask, even! We hang clear icicle lights, but I think I will have to be a copy-cat of our neighbors Nathan & Michelle and get the twinkling icicle lights from Home Depot for next year. Every fifth light twinkles, but it has a random twinkling afffect & looks so, so pretty.

Not like our next door neighbors, Crazy-Jane & Phil, who clearly need some lessons on how to hang lights. 1. Do not hang a strand of icicle lights, and then a string of regular lights. 2. The end connector piece ~ you know, the gap where there aren't any lights? ~ take the time to bundle them up & don't leave them stretched out so there's a gap between your icicle lights and the plain string of lights. Adam said Crazy-Jane must have been drinking again (or that her meds have kicked in) because when she came out to admire Phil's handywork, she exclaimed ~ Oh, Honey, those lights look beautiful! Now, ladies, you know we appreciate it when our husbands try to do something sweet for us, but wouldn't you pipe up if the lights looked awful, and trust me when I say Phil's looked awful?

Anyway, in year's past, I've been known to go a little nuts buying holiday decorations, but that was also when I was still establishing my collection. Now I've learned that there really is such a thing as TOO MUCH STUFF, and try to only buy one or two things at most. I'm trying to focus more on creating my holiday decorations rather than buying them, although this year I haven't done a lick of crafting aside from my Christmas cards. I also have to hold myself back from purchasing loads of holiday dishes. If I hosted an annual open house (we had a holiday party one year, and I'd love to make it annual thing), maybe I could rationalize multiple sets of dishes, but until that day I try to refrain.

Last year, I got this Charlie Brown tree from Urban Outfitters, which I absolutely love, and I found a use for all the tiny little gift boxes I'll never re-use, and the last scrap of gorgeous Christmas-toile wrapping paper. I also purchased this handpainted Noel sign. This year, I couldn't resist the adorable mittens hanging below. They almost look handcrafted, don't they?

My tastes have also changed somewhat over the years. As my mom mentioned, we usually receive a giant box of greenery from family in Oregon. I would use the leftover cedar & boxwood to lay over table tops, shelves, ledges; basically anything that would sit still got greenery. The look I was going for was organic, woodsy: picture a b & b in Vermont. While I've always loved antiques, I didn't necessarily go for vintagey decorations, and aside from my ornament collection from my mom, I would rather have had new than old decorations. Silly, I know. While I still love the woodsy look, I'm trying to incorporate more handmade & vintage items into my decorating.

Unfortunately, what this means is that I don't really have a set theme that is carried from room to room, and sometimes I wish I did. I have my Santa collection, my snowman collection, my Snow Baby snow globes the Nativity set my mom put out when I was growing up, Adam's nativity set, a garland I made of wooden ornaments from Adam's grandma, a couple of holiday-greetings banners inspired by the fabulously talented Jerusalem; all random things, but all things I love.

I love decorating the tree. We usually buy one, but will probably opt for the great, tree hunt once the baby gets older. After my brother & Michelle had got their tree, he asked me what kind we had got. I replied ~ a Grand Fir. He said they had gotten a Noble Fir, the "Cadilac of Christmas trees". I think I may have mentioned before that we're slightly competetive with one another.....

So, while my house may never grace the pages of a magazine, it says "home" to me, and in the end, that's all that matters. I like to think I have created a lovely & relaxing home for Adam & I, and for the May-Baby. Rily-cat likes it, anway.


jeanetta said...

i wish i was as dedicaed tot he decorating as you and jeru. i am lucky if i get the tree and stockings up and if they come down before feb

Nancy said...

Tracy, what a lovely post! Just beautiful. The photos. The words. You can just feel the holiday spirit ooze out of the page. And your decorations look lovely. I'm struggling with the spirit this year and not certain why. It's so not like me. But you talk about a common theme throughout and that's exactly a problem I'm having this year. I have my woodland arrangement, my snowbabies, my village, my toyland. But they're all separate. I'm going to thin out my decorations this year so I'm down to 10 boxes.... :)