20 December 2016

Christmas Decorating with Meaning: Part 1

 This year, I put up a few more Christmas decorations than usual because we are hosting three events over the holiday season. Since I lost my parents and grandparents, it has become even more important to me to incorporate sentimental objects in my holiday decorating. This includes items that belonged to me as a child or came from my parents or grandparents. As time has passed and the raw edges of grief have softened, it has become easier for me to bring out these items. Now I find a huge amount of comfort (and even joy) in having these cherished items visible at Christmas. I hope that our guests will enjoy them, too.
I decorate this pencil tree on the landing differently each year. This season it contains all the special ornaments given to us by Spouse's parents over the years, one for each year we've been married. Normally these ornaments are spread over several trees but we thought it would be fun this year to put them all together.

 I've become a little bit obsessed with trucks (or cars) hauling Christmas trees. This is my fourth one and I must stop! I found the truck at Goodwill last summer for around $2. It's larger than the others at around 10" and is made to look old. I covered the "Menard's" signs on the side with Christmas tree farm signs I resized and printed.

  I always enjoy having a tree in the kitchen, although it does take up a bit of space! For the past few years, I've been decorating this medium-size tree with a set of ornaments I made a few years back. I bought the red apples many moons ago for our first Christmas in our old house. This year, I added my grandma's red checkered tablecloth as a tree skirt. We used that tablecloth for picnics when I was a child. It was one of the many linens I saved when cleaning out my parents' house.


 Everything on this shelf is meaningful to me. The cookie jar is a real treasure: My mom and her sister bought it for their mother, my grandma, for Christmas one year. They each had only a few pennies to spend, so one bought the head and the other bought the body. They were so excited about the gift they'd selected that my mom spilled the beans before they even left the dime store! The potato masher with the greenery on it belonged to my mom and sat on her refrigerator year-round. The oil lantern belonged to me as a child. And of course I had to put out my childhood Santa cup. Reproduction Santa mugs are everywhere these days, but this one is an original. :)

 This cellophane wreath is one of many that my grandma hung in the windows of her big old house. I've had this wreath for a few years but this year finally decided to clean it up and put it into use. I can remember going to my grandma's house and seeing the cheerful glow in the windows...

 ...like this! The lantern hanging nearby hung in my mom's kitchen year-round. I'll put a candle in it at Christmas.

These little elves also came from my grandma's house. This year, they're on the kitchen counter but they're free to go anywhere they'd like! I think they look just like the modern-day Elf on a Shelf. Grandma posed the little guys in various places around her living room at Christmas and I always enjoyed looking for them. They are perched on an awesome wood block I found at Goodwill for next to nothing! The little Christmas village is also special to me. I bought it at the United Nations in New York City on a trip with my government class in high school. I loved it then and still love it today! The little cake stand came from the Target Dollar Spot and the dome from a thrift store. You can't have too many domes!

This wooden box on the kitchen table was given to me by a dear co-worker who made them for us a couple of years ago from an old barn on her family's farm. I added the snowflakes which are just wooden cutouts, inked and glittered -- now they look like cookies! The little figurine with the candle is from my childhood. I have four of these little figurines, each one different, from my parents' and grandparents' houses. I have a vague memory of selling the candles as a fundraiser but can't recall for what!

Oh, gosh...here's another truck with a tree! I found this one (maybe 4 inches long) at our local grocery store. It was so cute that I could not resist! I already had a tree that fit perfectly in the back. 

The camping percolator came from a thrift store and works nicely with the little truck. We've enjoyed percolator coffee a few times! The sugar container is also an antique from a thrift store. I think I paid 49 cents for it -- I just love its simplicity and embossed label.

 That's all for today's post! I'll share more photos in the coming days. 
Happy holidays to everyone!

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