It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

Yes, I know it’s not December 1 yet. But I wanted to get into the spirit of the season so as to enjoy it fully. Below is the collection of nativity scenes I’ve had for years. On the far left is a plastic toy version that I received, I think, from my Great Aunt Jess. At least, that’s the story I remember but I don’t recall more context. I was eight; I drew inside the box they’re stored in — a fence, a star — to create the stable. The middle manger was originally my maternal grandfather’s; I think the essential pieces were once what my family used, and the tiny sheep and two shepherds were gifts to me when I was very young. On the right are some handmade nativities my mother collected and gave to me sometime in adulthood.

This next view is from my couch. On the right next to the candles are more ornaments my mother had for years. (Actually the candleholders were hers too — black iron leaves with red berries.) One of them, a cast iron wheelbarrow with tiny ball ornaments inside, used to be displayed on a marble-top table in my childhood living room. And the small tree my mother gave me in 1990 or so; it was the only tree I used for many years. Each year she gives me one or two tiny ornaments for it. Below our stockings hang by the chimney (sort of) with care. Mine is on the right; my mother made it. (Do you have any idea where I inherited my love of Christmas?) My husband’s stocking was knitted by his grandmother. Behind his is a guest stocking and one for the cats.

And lastly, this is what I see straight ahead from the couch. Because of allergies, we are faux tree folk. Christmas trees are my favorite part of Christmas. I don’t know how that happened; I guess as I left the religion of my youth and outgrew Santa, the tree remained. Many of the ornaments were gifts. The star at the top I made 22 years ago out of cardboard and foil, when I was too poor to afford a tree topper. It has never seemed important to replace it. And the snowflakes you see in the window? I cut those out of ordinary paper 22 years ago as well; in fact, I made 22 of them, and they hang in all the downstairs windows.

The kitchen holds fewer items… an advent wreath, the wooden plaques I made, and small glass ornaments hanging on the windows over the sink. I also have a wood ornament hanging by the sink, given by one of my sisters, that says, “Some of my best friends are flakes.” Heh. Oh, and there’s a small Advent calendar, again given to me by my mother. It’s old. You can tell because it tells the location of where it was printed: West Germany.

I decorated with lights in front outside, but it’s raining, and I take horrible pictures in the dark. I love how it looks when I return from a walk. The house is cozy, festive, and inviting.

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5 Comments on “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…”

  1. Naturally Nice Says:

    Ahhhh! Looks great, can I pop round for a closer investigation? Nothing remotely festive in this house until the 17th Dec. Too much clutter for the children to wreck, if you know what I mean.

  2. katherine Says:

    . . . dang that looks gorgeous . . . it makes me wanna decorate 🙂

  3. kat Says:

    ooo, that looks so lovely! i’ve also been doing the faux tree thing as of late (because of allergies…and crazy kitties.) i love what you did with the mantle and the bow around the lamp, wee!

  4. Pat Says:

    Your decorations are so lovely, and everything is so tasteful!

    One cannot but notice that you have a beautiful home.

    You give great brightness and enjoyment to your blog visitors — esp. those of us who have gotten to know you over time.

    Your home must be a very magical place!

  5. William Sackinger Says:

    The reason you are so attached to Christmas goes back to your maternal grandfather, who used to take his entire annual vacation each year at Christmas time and had a special Santa Claus costume he wore, which was made by his spouse with great precision and care. He was in great demand for special events, such as when a horse-drawn sleigh would bring Santa to town to inaugurate the Christmas shopping season, or when the local Firemen or other organizations would have a special Christmas party for the poor children, or just for special parties of all kinds. He had a very full schedule book.

    One day, he came up the steps to my house, back when I still believed…sort of…in Santa Claus, and among other things, said…”Billy, it is the spirit of Christmas which is the most important…the spirit of giving, of sharing, of loving others.”

    Although I did not recognize his appearance, I did recognize his voice. I knew that Santa and Christmas was…as he said…