Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What we've been doing...

We love decorating for Christmas around here!
It took us a while to get everything down from the garage, and unwrap it, and find a place to put it, but it's so fun to have it done!
For as long as I can remember, my mom put up the Christmas village on the fireplace mantle and I'm happy to carry on the tradition! It's the highlight of my Christmas decorating, for nostalgic reasons most of all. We love the "Christmas in the City" we've collected over the years. We love placing each little person, tree and car as if the scene is telling a story. This year, we finally fit everything in. Ryan made a 7 ft. by 1 1/2 ft. board to hold the little city. Now nothing has to be left out.
To complete the mantle decor, Ryan's mom embroidered our names on each of our stockings, and we get to hang them "by the chimney with care". (they've always been propped up NEXT to the fireplace, or just forgotten completely). It's great to feel cozy and festive with the decorations up!
Sunday was the big tree-decorating day, and the excitement was in the air. As you can see, the boys got all dressed up for the occasion...as POWER RANGERS!!! There's just no telling what's next for these two. Hanging ornaments while doing stunts takes some real talent, I'll say. (They didn't even break anything)!
It's great to get into our collection of eclectic ornaments and remember who made it, or what trip we purchased it on. I love the tradition of picking up an ornament wherever we go, so at Christmas we are flooded with wonderful memories.
Of coarse, there are always the Pre-school ornaments (times 3 kids = ALOT of pre-school ornaments)that are hand made and covered in glue and glitter. Painted by tiny fingers and colored every color of the rainbow, they are sure to catch your eye on any Christmas tree! I love the ones with a picture of that child from the year they made it. Looking at those every year makes me wonder how it goes by so fast!
When I was first married, I always thought I wanted a pristine, fancy, theme-type Christmas tree to be glowing in the front room window. I realize now how much I would have missed out on every year when decorating with regular store-bought ornaments. What I love the most, is watching the kids see each ornament and their faces light up as they remember making it, and how special it is to them. It's o.k. to have a cluster of five hand-made works of art drooping on a single bough, right? (I haven't lost sight completely of that pristine tree).

What's your favorite part about decorating for Christmas?


Oler Family said...

Your mantle is adorable!! I collect ornaments on every vacation too! It's amazing how easy it is to find Christmas ornaments throughout the year!

Olive-us said...

We too have the same tradition where we pick up ornaments from all the different places we visit. And it is so fun decorating the tree with ornaments that have a unique story of their own wether they be from when we were little kids or gifts from relatives that have passed,etc. I love that.

Ben and Shara said...

My parents have that collection and I always loved putting it up. As for the tree, I put up two trees these days. I put a charlie brown type up in one of the kids' room and all of the fun cool handmade treasures make it on that tree. The tree in the window is for the pretty tree, which in the end looks more tattered and abused than it ought. Oh well, we love both trees.

cara lou said...

Your mantle looks so cute and Christmas-y! I love the village and the stockings --adorable.

I love the handmade, sentimental ornaments, too. I can't wait to have more junky cardboard with sparkles on our own tree. It's what Christmas is all about. :)

ali degraff said...

your house feels so cozy and festive. I love the village sitting on the new extended mantle!

The kids are so proud of that tree. one day we will take all 7 of our vacation and meaningful ornaments out of the box and add them to a collection of kid ornaments to make an eclectic tree that tells a story! I love it.

Blackburns 18 said...

I know at some point I will have and even want a tree with all kinds of memories. It sounds like you had lots of family fun on Sunday. I love the village too.

DebLawson said...

Our Christmas tree is very similar to yours... full of kid's handmade items... and I love it! My girls love decorating the tree and have so many memories with each ornament they hang. I love the ornaments with the kid's photos, too! I love the one we have of Chloe taken in nursery... she's 15 now! I treasure anything made by my 4 darling daughters!
Your mantle looks amazing, a page right out of a magazine! :)

Marie - Mother of The Bird Nest said...

Alright, you said when you purchased your house that it would not look like the model home pictures you posted. NOT TRUE! Every picture I have seen of your house looks EXACTLY like the mode home! BEAUTIFUL!

I love how excited the kids get when putting up "their" ornaments from years past. Hank is so proud of his 1 year old ornament. So cute!

For the next month I look forward to watching the kids rearrange the ornaments over and over again. It's a perfect toy. Slowly, the bottom of the tree becomes bare as little hands bring me ornament after ornament and I place them back on the tree higher and higher.

Of course, the place of honor on our tree front and center is reserved for that very special Larry Bird figurine.

sheena said...

Marie--Larry Bird--I love that!!

Guys the mantle looks so good! Kelly thank you for putting your "dream tree" on hold!! I know someday I'll have my fancy tree also--but how fun would that be for the kids!!??

I love knick-knacky and hand made ornaments!

Amy said...

I always thought I wanted a fancy tree too. I'm slowly starting to realize that having all of the handmade ornaments is going to be one of the best traditions ever. Thanks for your nice post! I love your decorations!

Mom-Kathy said...

Your mantel and stockings look beautiful. I love the garland and lights under the mantel (nice touch Ryan).

I can feel the coziness of your home all the way in Loomis.

A big"HI" to Marie and Anson. I can't leave a message on your Blogs. I'm going to see Jaden Andersen this next week when I go to Salt Lake City. I will tell him you all send your love