I enjoy the trappings of Christmas. The twinkly lights, the greens, the shiny ornaments--it all makes me happy. I like to start decorating Thanksgiving weekend, so I can bask in the glow pre-holiday. I'm not a lingerer. When the new year arrives, I'm done. Everything gets boxed up, and we start fresh.
This year, the decorating was done at a more leisurely pace. It took me a few weeks, because furniture has shifted and new pieces have arrived, thanks to MomMom and Pappou. I also spent an inordinate amount of time trying to hang an old ladder across my living room windows as a valance. It didn't work out, but what I arranged instead makes me reconsider my timeline. I may keep it up for a bit.
MomMom won't be here for Christmas, so she asked me to send pictures of the adorned rooms. The Captain thought it might be nice to share our home with all of you, so here is Casa de Penii, all dressed up.
I like old things, especially hand-hewn junky antiques. I've never met a piece of furniture and thought it would look better with a fresh coat of paint. So even though the kids would like me to sand and seal these chairs, it's not going to happen. I moved them and our little fire pit to the front yard for Thanksgiving, and then I artfully filled it with greens and pinecones. Three thought I was setting up a new fire. Clearly, I need to school him in the principles of design.
I just painted my front door black, which is supposed to be good feng shui, according to Erin. In the spring I may tackle the storm door.
My brother and I went to our local auction last year and bought tons of old skis and poles. I kept one pair for outside...
...to complement these in the living room! I got them a few years ago at the same auction, because the undersides are red! I love red.
In a previous life I must have been a farmer, because I like to collect farm equipment. Most of it is stuck in gardens around the house, but this special plow got a bell wreath.
Not to be outdone, the goat halter demanded a ribbon and a place on the bench. I measured, and I'm pretty sure those collars will fit some kids. Just joking! I meant baby goats, not my boys. I would never...
I'm a fan of vertical decorating. This sled belonged to my great-grandfather when he was a boy. I don't know who made this cabinet, but ...
...this one was built for us by my Uncle Bob , husband to my mother's dear friend B.J, who was our realtor when the Captain and I bought our first house. It was a housewarming gift, and is dearly loved, especially because Bob is no longer with us. The cradle on top belonged to my mother, and the giant pine cones were gathered in King's Canyon, California, when I was ten years old.
The cradle lives atop the armoire all year, but I gave it a plaid blanket for the holiday, because I love plaid!
I've co-opted almost all the blankets from my mother-in-law. Each one has a story.
This year, the holiday cards are in my wooden grinder. Last year, I filled it with small round ornaments. I bought it because I loved the shape, but it was field-tested by my niece, who proved that it still works. At least to grind small round ornaments.
Over the years, I stopped buying real garland and switched to artificial for most of my decorating. It pained me to do so, because the irrational, crazed decorator in me considered it a violation of my "Country Living" aesthetic. But those greens are pricey! And, you know, no one is actually coming to my house to feature it in a magazine. But we still get a live tree, which is wrapped, of course, in a plaid blanket that my M.I.L. got when she was fifteen. Five helped hang the ornaments this year.
We had to move the all-season tree to the deck to accommodate the Thanksgiving crowd. It's sporting white lights and appropriate outdoorsy ornaments, and is now safely tethered, having been knocked over once during a very windy night. It makes me smile to see it through my windows.
The table awaits. Well, we've actually been using it for our Sunday dinners. What's the point of putting pretty things out, if you can't enjoy them? The glass jars are full of antique ornaments, most of which I found at a retirement home yard sale.
As I was writing all my descriptions, I realized our house is full of history, from many families.
Here's another antique sled, in my living room window, beneath my alternate pinecone and garland valance. You already know I love stars, as do some of my pentacle-people friends!
Everyone is waiting for Santa!
Leo volunteered to sit in his chair and watch out the front window.
Thanks for taking the tour--I wish we could have done it in person.
I hope you are enjoying the beauty of the season!