I have WAY too many Christmas decorations. I know that fact year-round but especially when it comes time to put them all away! The way I'm currently storing things actually makes it kind of hard to find pieces I want to display together, so I may want to re-visit my organization methods next fall. But not this year! I'm just happy to have it all packed up for the season. Whew!
When I was putting out my Christmas decorations this year, I found myself looking back on my blog for the past holiday season as a reference. I should probably print out those "decorating" photos and put them in a little scrapbook, but that's not happening anytime soon! :) So here's another holiday decorating post that I can look back on next year! I always enjoy seeing how friends decorate for Christmas, and I hope you find something in this post that you enjoy or that brings back a happy memory!
This barn board box was a gift from a sweet gal I work with. When a barn on her family's property was being torn down, she salvaged the lumber, then her husband and uncle built boxes for all of our Memory Bound staff plus a few extra for family. She filled them with greenery and holiday goodies for our Favorite Things party. I love the box so much that I put it on our kitchen table where it would be seen every day, adding the glittered wood snowflakes (which I made for a different project but didn't use!) and a couple of my favorite ephemera cards. The box made a lovely centerpiece throughout the holiday season.
The vintage wreath belonged to my maternal grandma. At Christmas, she hung wreaths (including some made from cellophane) in her windows. I was thrilled to find a box of the wreaths when cleaning out my parents' garden shed. The little lantern hung in my mom's kitchen year-round. It now hangs in ours.
Speaking of lanterns, this one belonged to me as a child and was used for camping and outdoor activities. It's not specifically for Christmas but since it's red, it works nicely as a holiday decoration. The little elves belonged to my grandma.
The cup also belonged to me and was (of course) used for Santa's cookies and millk.
The Santa with the donkey is one that Spouse and I picked up many moons ago as part of a very small "old world Santa" collection. The "NOEL" canvas is from a floral canvas series I am teaching at Memory Bound. The milk bottle is one I painted last fall, filled with some new greenery.
My daughter made the sweet mouse (correction: I understand that he's actually a reindeer with no antlers!) and the snowman from a kit using large plastic pop bottles.The little sled belonged to my mom, as did the two largest wooden deer. The smallest deer (who is now antler-less) was made by Spouse many moons ago. When my folks first purchased those large deer, Spouse tried to prove how "easy" they would be to make. (Maybe he was thinking of a side business???) Suffice it to say that it took him WAY longer than he expected to fashion that deer! We still laugh about that!
I put out a smaller version of my village this year, with only five buildings on each side of the fireplace.
It takes a huge amount of time to put up the 30+ buildings in my collection. I just didn't have it in me this year!
This is another Santa in our very small Santa collection. He is hand carved from a piece of wood.
I found this little wire basket last year in a great thrift store in the town where Bailey did her student teaching. I normally keep it in my craft room but I thought it would be fun to fill it with Christmas goodies this year. I filled the little jar with red wooden Bingo chips, added some matching paper to the lid, and tied it with twine and a jingle bell. The little card is from my stash of vintage ephemera cards (possibly from October afternoon?) which I love to use for holidays.
This table includes a few special items. The old world Santa JUST fits inside the domed stand I bought last year, and I made the JOY card in a class at Memory Bound taught by Tammy Tutterow. But the sleigh bell is the most special memento of all. When I was cleaning out my grandma's house, I found the bell tucked inside her hope chest, so I took it to the nursing home to ask her about it. Grandma told me that every Christmas Eve, Grandpa would ring a string of sleigh bells outside their old farmhouse, and the kids (including my dad) would quickly scurry under the covers. This is the only bell left, and I was honored when she told me I could keep it.
We've been putting our large tree in the entry way for many years, and it seems like that's the perfect spot for it. You can see it through the window from the street.
In addition to the presents, I added a few meaningful items under the tree. Teddy belonged to my maternal grandma and is over 100 years old! My mom actually took him to the fair in competition one year, where he received a blue ribbon! For now, he only comes out at Christmas. He is sitting in a doll bed that belonged to my mom as a child. The tiny quilt was made by my grandma. The books all belonged to me as a child.
The apples (missing their stems!) also belonged to me and have tiny wooden dishes inside. The lid comes off the apple and inverts to become a table. I love these apples and played with them often as a child! I found the little moose/reindeer a couple of years ago. We were driving home from Indiana and got snowed in at a hotel next to a Goodwill. It was my birthday, so I thought I'd do a little thrift store shopping! This cute little guy had to go home with me. :)
Not everything I have shared in this post is a family heirloom, but everything does have meaning and a story. For me, those are the most special kinds of holiday decorations. :)