Thursday, December 08, 2011


Unlike last year, I am totally LAPPING UP Christmas this year.  I'm feeling all tingly and excited and festive (even with the events of yesterday).  I'm oozing good cheer and irritating everyone with my mirth.

As a result of this merry-making attitude, I planned to decorate the house in time for First Advent.  Yeah, that didn't happen but I did get everything up by the night of November 30 so that everything was properly festive on December 1.  I finally got the lights finished on December 3 (I wasn't as motivated that way when the temperature was hovering around zero but after it went up to something like ten degrees I climbed the ladder again for the last tinkering and plugging-in of the outdoor lights).

I have a treasured collection of Christmas decorations.  They go out every year although I often move them around to try different locations and looks.  Some years I can have them closer to the ground... other years (like this one) they need to be way, way up away from Henry's fingers.

I loved how Cathy gave a tour of her Christmas decorations so I'm going to do the same.  Take note - these decorations wouldn't likely make a design magazine - but they have a lot of sentimental value and that makes them much more meaningful to me than a colour-coordinated Christmas.

The dining room table: new Loblaws Christmas-themed table cloth.  I pulled out all my candles and realized I had a good collection to create my own advent row of candles.  However, they needed something to sit on so I whipped out some Christmasy fabric and made this little runner.  Much better.

Advent candles on the newly-sewn table runner.

Top of the piano on one side: This snow-woman is a favourite in our house.  I picked her up at Winners when Emily was a baby and she has to be the most popular Christmas decoration among the kiddies.  They take turns walking around with her.  Her little purse even has chocolately finger prints on her.  And of course, more candles (it's an unintentional theme this year).
Candles collected along the way.  The snow-lady and her grubby purse.
Other end of the piano: traditional Playmobil Advent Calendar.  I've decided that chocolate advent calendars will not be an annual tradition for us here.  I'm not saying "never again" but this is way more fun.  For the past few years we've had the same Playmobil Calendar.  This year I bought a new one after complaints of boredom with the same toys and scene last year.  The kids love to open a new piece each day.
This year's Playmobil Advent Calendar.
A favourite cross-stitch I made for my mum many moons ago.
The words on the picture say "peace on earth".
The hutch below the cross-stitch above: A mess, yes but lots going on here that's fun.  A snow globe that was a gift to my mum from one of her sewing students.  It has a music box in it too.  A very small nativity scene that I bought in Waterloo two years ago.  And then the very important and popular "25 Days of Christmas" cards.  Each day the girls (and next year Henry) open the card for that day.  There's an activity for us to do that is either related to Christmas or just something fun and out of the ordinary.  This is an annual event started and hosted by Andrea.

Our messy hutch.  Lots of Christmas going on here.
On another dining room wall sits the first cross-stitch I ever had framed.  The date I stitched on this says Dec 93.  It's almost an antique now!
I still can't help seeing the mistakes I made but love it nonetheless.
Doesn't every child of the 70s remember or have one of these ceramic Christmas trees?  I love it.  This one has a music box and plays O Tannenbaum.
You'll find these in many Canadian homes.  Pretty popular in the 80s.
And yet another cross-stitch I did long ago. 
Another cross-stitch I did.  I love me a Christmas cross-stitch.
This opening divides our living room and kitchen.  Usually bereft with junk, I tidied and remade it for Christmas with a bit of Christmas fabric, my lovely St. Nicholas that I bought years ago in Sudbury when Pit's House of Treasures was closing and the little snowman bell I bought one year at a Waterloo flower shop.  Also, more candles.
I love the poinsettia here among some of my favourite Christmas do-dads.
Pile of Christmas books for spontaneous reading and I like to spread Christmas coasters around.
One of two piles of Christmas books.
And here is the piece de resistance.  And something I promised to give my sister but I'm having a hard time parting with it. Maybe she'll let me give her something else instead.  I love this nativity scene.  Way back when we were kids my mum had this made (during the time that ceramics were so popular in the 80s).  Leading up to Christmas one year, she had us open a small gift each morning - each gift contained one figure from this set.  I remember it so well.  After she died Beth ended up with half and I ended up with half somehow.  Now they're together and sitting where Henry can't touch them.
My favourite nativity scene.
Fun Santa scene on the window.
Some window decals the girls love.
Backs of toilets are perfect for Christmas displays!  We gave that snowman candle to my mum for Christmas when I was pretty small.  It's only been burned a bit and is another of my total favourites.  The weird sign in the middle makes me laugh because I totally don't understand it.  Another gift to my mum from one of her students.  Santa and Jesus are entering a house holding hands.  Hilarious.
A back-of-the-toilet display.
A favourite touch that was a gift from my friend Marnie, who I love.  I only realized this year that this sign is painted on an old slate roof tile from New Orleans.  Very cool.
Still one of my favourites.
Again with the toilets....
Another back-of-the-toilet display.
I like to add some touches to the basement for when guests come.  Some fake greenery and a candle go a long way.
I like how the mantel turned out this year.
As do some homemade snowflakes.
Cheery snowflakes to welcome Omi and others.
And that's the grand tour.  I hope your house is feeling cheery and festive too!


Erika said...

A lovely tour! (Thought I think you lost me at the toilet displays (c; )

Anonymous said...

yea! i loved the tour! now i just wish i could see your place in person! :)
you have a fabulous assortment of decorations. and i am the same as you: everything has sentimental value, even if martha stewart may turn up her nose at the displays.
that playmo advent calendar looks so neat! and i love all your cross-stitch. yup - have the ceramic tree, too. and thank you for including the toilets on your tour - they DO make perfect display areas!
so glad you're feeling all christmas-y!!

little b said...

I love that nativity set. It makes me happy that it is together again.

We're doing chocolate advent calendars this year, but I think we'll do playmobil next year.

Marnie said...

Loved the tour! (I do remember those awesome green ceramic Christmas trees - love it!) As for chocolate advent calendars, you can check my last blog post to see how THAT"S going for us...!

Shan said...

Loved the tour! I have a ceramic tree too, but I didn't get it out this year. Didn't realize you cross stitched. I did ages ago, but never actually kept anything I made. Our nativity set right now is of the Little People variety. The kids love it.