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Let The Decorating Begin

Posted by Ali on December 07 at 07:30 pm

For those of you celebrating Christmas this year – we’re getting down to crunch time.

The Christmas season has officially begun at our house. Boxes of decorations have been brought up from the basement and my dining table is full of ornaments just waiting to be hung on the tree.  I organize my ornaments much like my beads, by style — old world ornaments, hand blown glass ornaments, icicles, balls, colors, wood, glitter, handmade, etc…

Kevin and I got our Christmas tree yesterday. We went to this little place out in the country and picked out the biggest tree we could find that would actually fit into our house. It’s only about 7 feet tall because we had to leave room for my big sparkly silver star at the top. We always bring it in and let it sit for one night so the branches can fall down to their natural positions.  Tonight, we’ll put all of the lights on and then hang the ornaments. The intoxicating smell of pine has already made its way through our house and I LOVE IT! How do you feel about this – real tree or artificial tree? If I didn’t love the smell so much, I might get an artificial tree, the needles are a mess!

As I unpack my boxes I have come to the conclusion that I might have too many decorations and not enough surfaces or places to hang everything. I am going to have to get creative. I blame this on after-Christmas clearance sales. I’m pretty indiscriminate when it comes to where I will shop so long as the merchandise is cool and the prices are cooler.  I’ve gotten rolls of Martha Stewart wrapping paper for .50 per roll at Kmart, candles and mercury glass from Pottery Barn for 75% off, beautiful blown glass ornaments from the Weed Lady (a local florist) . . . I could go on and on.  Deals will be great this year I’m sure, but where do I stop? Everyone is going to keep coming up with new great holiday sparkle to tempt me and if it’s a super good price, I absolutely have to buy it – right?

This is definitely my favorite time of year.  The textures, sparkle, scents of pine and spices, and awesome contrast of colors are just some of the things that I like about this season. It’s a magical time of year for kids and adults alike, but sometimes it also seems to be the most stressful time of year. I find myself worrying about having the house ready to entertain guests, what gifts to buy, making it to all of the holiday parties, and these days – even the economy. I need to get creative with our gift giving to save some money this year. When it comes to my female friends and family, I usually give the gift of jewelry — they love it and I get to do something I enjoy. Although I usually end up rushing to put all of the pieces together in the 2 days before Christmas, I still find it relaxing! Is anyone else a procrastinator with holiday jewelry?

Here’s hoping we can all remain calm this year…

Good luck!


PS – Let’s see some photos of your decorations!

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. beadaholchick
    beadaholchick says:

    Ali-I love this time of year too!! I have made a promise to myself that I am going to enjoy this season w/o the stress of joining in the more/more attitude that sometimes I can slip into. For me-a wonderful way to do this is focusing on beading-gifts,ornaments,working w/ the colors of the season, it all helps me to remember that the true meaning of Christmas is giving! I love the ideas & color combinations in all of the fresh picks, yet another way to give!! Thank you all for coming up w/ Lima Beads, it is a great way to share our ideas & inspirations, & Happy Holidays to all of my fellow beaders out there:)

  2. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    I love Christmas. It’s such a magical holiday–not only because of the decorations, presents and food, but because of the spirit of it all (both Christian and non-Christian). I’d love to have a real tree, but had to stop due to my son’s asthma. We decorate four trees, each with a different theme. The bummer is taking it all down after the holiday is over. All our tree decorations are purchased or handmade by the kids. Someday I’d love to have one tree deck out Martha Stewart Style wih sleek ribbons and blue and silver ornaments. I’d also love to have one with vintage ornaments.

  3. CAS
    CAS says:

    Our tree is a fake one. For years we had live trees (all growing up), the ugliest things you’ve ever seen, because Dad would “trim” the pines, hemlocks, spruces or one year an arborvitae from our yard to use as Christmas trees. These trees were inevitablly missing branches on one or two sides, and like a bad child, were made to stand in the corner of the family room or living room. Dad would always say it didn’t matter because no one saw the back side anyway, and they fit better without all the extra branches. They were real “Charlie Brown trees”, decorated to be beautiful with our homemade ornaments, glass ornaments Mom and Dad bought when they married, lights (Dad’s job) and tinsel. The glass ornaments are my favorites, now over 40 years old, Mom and I still put them on the tree every year, along with all the homemade and “gift” ornaments. We have the “fake” tree now because Dad doesn’t want to deal with needles, or getting rid of the dead real tree. Besides our trees are all now 20 plus feet tall, way too big to trim like we used too. We make up for the lack of scent with pine and other Christmas scented candles.

    The Pictures: #1 – Christmas circa 1970; #2 – Stockings hanging on the living room railing

    Attachment Attachment

  4. No Photo
    Debbi aka Sparkle Chick says:

    CAS, thank you for sharing your Christmas photos. Our family home had the SAME paneling!
    Which one are you in the photo?

  5. CAS
    CAS says:

    Debbi C – We STILL have the paneling, unchanged in any way from when we put it up in 1965. Fortunately the furniture, rug and curtains have all been updated.

    I’m the brunette in red standing next to my Mom, my sister Cindy is in green, my sister Charlene is in gold, and the little guy is my, now not at all little, brother Tim. The tree is one of our “Charlie Brown trees”, it looks good from the front, but there are no branches in back.

  6. No Photo
    Debbi aka Sparkle Chick says:

    CAS – Thank you for the introduction to your family…a beautiful group!
    Ahh, the 60′s & 70′s…good times!

  7. Bonnie R
    Bonnie R says:

    Mine is a small table top fake tree that I have ready decorated with miniture ornaments and when I store it I wrap bubble wrap around and put it in a large box. Then when it comes in next year I put it in the stand and unwrap the bubble wrap. It is fun to find the miniture ornaments. they also get broken alot less often thatn the larger glass ones. Grand Kids are too old to care much about the tree anymore only the presents. Its a ba humbug year here. But I still have started my candy making. Penuche covered Pecans – roasted in the oven. Can’t beat them. yes, I remember the 60′s and 70′s I really prefered the late 50′s – they say if you can remember the 60′s you didn’t really live them.
    Thst’s Floyd under the back deck. Not about to get his paws cold and wet!

    Attachment Attachment

  8. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    Oh how I long for a real Christmas tree… I’ve never had one and maybe that is why I would like one so very much.

    I have the same problem with too many decorations. I think I only put out about a third of what I actually have. I should find new homes for all of the other stuff…. Those darn sales after Christmas… :D I opened up a box this year and half of the stuff in it was all new that I had bought last year after Christmas. It was kind of nice to find them after having forgotten. I frequent (must to my husbands dismay) the Pottery Barn outlet in Birch Run – so many of my ornaments have come from there (I really should move somewhere farther away from it.. it’s taking over my whole house) but the rest of the ornaments are either handmade, handed down or purchased at some sale here or there. My mom started me my first Christmas away from her house with getting a Swarovski snowflake ornament every year so those too are on the tree. My mother-in-law bought me three boxes of blown glass ornaments that usually go on the tree as well. It’s a nice mishmash of all kind of pretty things.


  9. beadaholchick
    beadaholchick says:

    CAS-great pic of your family, brought back some memories of my own childhood memories. We, too still have that paneling in the basement-I am afraid that it will never go away!! Thanks for sharing!! Bonnie-I have a cat & a dog who refuse to get their feet wet in the snow. Hope all of you out there are remembering to stop once in awhile to enjoy the lights-or maybe just to do some beading;)

  10. No Photo
    Mary - Sweet Chick says:

    60′s Paneling. LOL, Way cool CAS!
    Your pictures remind me of when I was a young girl. Thank you!

    And Bonnie, I have a cat that looks alot like Floyd, his name is Frodo.
    He doesn’t seem to mind getting snow on his toes. He very often will be seen playing and sliding around on our pond when it freezes over in the winter. Silly cat.

  11. CAS
    CAS says:

    My gosh! Who knew there was so much 60′s paneling around. Lol.

  12. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    I remember when I was very little, we had similar paneling in our family room with orange (yes) shag carpet and that spray-on popcorn stuff on our ceiling.

    We had a love seat and a rocking chair that were made of dark pine with orange corduroy-type cushions.

    The kitchen had a gold/yellow linoleum floor and brown counter tops.

    When I was 8 or 9, my parents remodeled both rooms.

  13. CAS
    CAS says:

    Yup, those were the colors – harvest gold, avacado green, dark brown, bright orange, colonial blue….

  14. No Photo
    Debbi aka Sparkle Chick says:

    FUN Fresh Pick CAS! 60′s Paneling…my Mom still has knotty pine paneling in the basement. Knotty Pine!

    Back to Christmas thoughts…this Christmas is a departure for my husband & me. We’re traveling for the first time ever. Christmas not at home…somewhere warm & sunny. Since we live in New England, that will be different!
    No baking smells, no decorating…but a lovely getaway trip with my hubby and a get together with our son and new daughter-in-law(see my fresh pick Wedding in Malibu!)
    In previous years we have a small fiber optic tree for the lights and we decorate the banister with fake green pine garland, lights and all of our ornaments so at least they are on display! It took us 34 years to collect them, might as well enjoy them.

  15. CAS
    CAS says:

    Debbi C – Where in New England? I’m in New Hampshire.

  16. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    My parent’s house still sports that same paneling! When I was young our living room carpet, the front door, and vinyl at the front door were all red! Black naugahide recliners and a black/brown plaid couch for furniture. And for Christmas, a metal tree with those coveted blown glass ornaments. All those were sold on a garage sale years ago.

  17. No Photo
    Debbi aka Sparkle Chick says:

    CAS-I’m in western MA…how about that?! Where are you in NH? Our son went to college in NH. Colby-Sawyer college in New London, NH. Beautiful area.

    Alice-oh do I remember the plaid couches…in our early days of marriage we had the brown, tan and rust plaid couch! It was scratchy too!
    Does anyone remember the white metal (or maybe they were silver) trees with the “color fan”..the color fan changed the color of the tree as it went through the cycle! My grandfather had that..tacky I suppose but we kids loved it!

  18. CAS
    CAS says:

    Debbi C – I’m not far from Colby-Sawyer in another college town, Hanover, where Dartmouth college is.

  19. Debbi J
    Debbi J says:

    It’s so funny to read about all this! We had the paneling too! Seemed like everywhere, Always had a live tree, but remember the one with the rotating light. I think they may be coming back……plaid scratchy couches, shag carpeting….yikes….still have some handmade ornaments from my first tree on my own in 1975. My two brothers, my sister and I got together to make ornaments for my tree and string the popcorn and cranberry……nice memories…..I usually get my tree the weekend of Thanksgiving, but with my son off to college and not being here to keep us motivated, we still haven’t done it. Just can’t seem to get into the spirit this year like when he was young…..slowly getting decorating – attended a Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport, ME last Saturday that helped a bit…..CAS and Debbi C (can’t believe you spell Debbi like I do) I’m in New England too…..Lunenburg, MA near Worcester?????

  20. No Photo
    Debbi aka Sparkle Chick says:

    CAS and Debbi J…never met anyone who spelled Debbi like I do! I dropped the “e” when I was in 6th grade…I was such a little rebel!
    CAS, I can’t believe you are are close to CSC! How I miss those days of visiting our son in beautiful New London. Now he’s all they way out in Los Angeles.
    Debbi J, you aren’t far away either! My niece went to college at WPI.
    Small world here in New England!

  21. Leslie W Mtn Chick
    Leslie W Mtn Chick says:

    On Sunday I got to attend an open house at my beautiful community for members of the “Four Seasons Club”, those of us who live in this gorgeous mountain community year round. It got me in the mood for Christmas so much that I visited the fabulous Biltmore Estate on Monday. I recommend their website to all of you – for more ideas. It is the incredible opulent mansion/castle of the Vanderbilts located in Asheville, NC in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. They have a webstore, decorating ideas, and several short videos. I think you will all enjoy it. Happy Holidays from Leslie W!!!!

  22. No Photo
    Nanette Z says:

    We had knotty pine paneling in our LARGE kitchen when I was little(not telling how long ago that was!). We also had one of those “aluminum” trees with the color wheel. I still have the tree(in storage), but the color wheel sort of “melted” one year! Great memories!

  23. D Coller
    D Coller says:

    We too have the paneling our house was built in 1865 so most of the rooms are plaster and lath. We painted the living room… (we have lived here 13 yrs and I couldnt take it anymore now its a nice smoke blue with sage trim. Now to the tree I grew up in the Adirondacks… we always had a fresh tree now I live near Rochester NY and we had fresh trees here for 10 yrs until we figured out our son was allergic hes 4 and now we have a fake one for the past two yrs… I do miss the smell but not the mess. I cant wait tomarrow we put up the tree! here are my two with a new pix. happy holidays!


  24. No Photo
    Debbi aka Sparkle Chick says:

    D Coller- Where did you grow up in the Adirondacks?
    Altho’ I live in western MA now, I grew up in SGF NY, near Lake George. Most of my family still lives there.

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