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Holiday Homes Tour 2011…kinda

A few weeks ago, my friend Jen on the Edge invited her fellow bloggers to participate in the 4th annual Holiday Homes Tour that she hosts on the blogosphere. I immediately thought, What a great idea! Everyone posts photos of their holiday decorations and she collects the links all in one place! I’m in!

Ah, yes. Ambition. I haz it.

Too bad that my life has been so full ever since then that I have not had time to decorate. No tree. Nary a wreath or stocking. Not even a sparkly garland or a single strand of lights. And now that we’re so close to Christmas (and we’re not even going to be home on Christmas), it seems like far too much work to put it all up just to take it down again a week later. But I still wanted to participate – I thought that maybe by “decorating” on my blog, it would put me in a more festive spirit. So I asked Jen if she was okay with me posting pictures of holidays gone by, and she told me to do what I wanted. Since my house looks essentially the same every year anyway (I don’t change up the decor very much; I’m a creature of habit), this is a fair representation of what my house would look like this year if I’d had time to decorate it!

Welcome to our humble abode! I sort of cobbled this wreath together years ago out of a red berry wreath and a strand of sparkly crystal bead garland, both of which I picked up crazy-cheap at Michaels in the after-Christmas sales.
In our home, we hang the stockings by the bookshelves with care since we don't have a fireplace. Dave's mom made my stocking for me the first year he and I were dating. We bought his sophisticated, masculine stocking at Target the first year we were married. In the middle, between the two snowflake stocking holders, is a Snowbaby staring up at a crystal star.
What's Christmas without the Peanuts gang? I also love that Boris Karloff is looking down on them benevolently from the background.
Now for my nativity scene. My mom starting buying pieces of this lovely Lenox china nativity long ago, and she bought me one or two pieces every year until I had a full set. Where I display it lately, though, I can't fit all the figures, so some of the shepherds and animals have to take turns being displayed year to year. Also notice my advent candles in the background - my wreath is in a lovely Celtic pattern. Wish you could see it better! Side note: I love the angle of this photo. I'm no photographer, but sometimes I pull off the artsy-ish shot.
Here's a bigger picture of the full nativity scene, in a different location where I could put all the pieces out. The year I put it up here, I also put up a mini tree.
On to the tree! I'm going to start with a focus on some of my favorite ornaments. This one is a P. Buckley Moss painted wedding scene that my aunt gave us the first Christmas we were married. It's so thin and delicate that the lights shine straight through it, and it's hand-painted.
Being a house of book nerds, it's inevitable that we have book ornaments on the tree! Also, in the foreground you can see one of a set of glass icicles I got at Pier 1 years ago that I love, and in the background is a snowglobe ornament that my best friend gave me for Christmas ages ago.
My mom gave this to Dave and I one year, because we always call each other monkeys (affectionately, of course). I think the name of this one was "Bananas for You" or something awesome and cheesy like that. Above the monkeys is a silver spider, made by my mother-in-law (if you don't know the silver spider legend, go Google it). Up in the top left, you can see part of one of my favorite Eyeore ornaments (I have a few) - I wish I'd gotten him in the picture better!
There's a historic house in my hometown, Avenel. I was always in love with it, for as long as I can remember. I helped restore it when I was a Girl Scout, it has a benevolent ghost (reportedly; I've never seen her), and I always said I wanted to get married there (and I did - or at least we had our reception there). My parents gave me this ornament when I was little, which is a pewter depiction of Avenel. Also in the picture you can see the Mouse King, which was one of Dave's ornaments from childhood (there's a Queen hanging right next to him, on the other side).
Good look at my glass bead garland in this photo! But really, I was taking it to capture the two cross-stitch ornaments in the middle. One is mine from the year I was born and one is Dave's from the year he was born.
Another good shot of my garland! The ornament is one of those painted-inside-the-glass deals, and this one came from my mom. I love this type of ornament; I have at least 5 or 6.
Finally, here's a look at the whole tree. The angel on top I've had since I was a child, and my mom and my sister have angels identical to it on their trees. I wish I'd gotten a better shot of my tree skirt, and we have different curtains since this picture was taken, but overall this is the best photo I've ever gotten of our tree.

And there you have it, folks! My standard holiday decorating scheme. As you can probably tell, I have a bit of eclectic taste, and I’m totally sentimental – I most treasure my ornaments with sentimental value, not just the ones I bought for myself because I thought they were pretty (though I have some of those too). I don’t do a “theme” for my decorations, and I don’t buy ornaments or ribbons or whatever in particular colors. I tend to use things until they fall apart and keep all of my ornaments – even the childish or ugly ones, if they’re sentimental – on the tree.

How about you? Is there a method to your madness? Do you plan out your decorations and change things up every year? Or do you just do like me and put out the same stuff every year, maybe with a few extra ornaments that you were given the previous year?


22 thoughts on “Holiday Homes Tour 2011…kinda

  1. Lovely! I have themes to some of my trees but the main one in the family room–that’s for the eclectic. That’s where I put the ornaments I’ve bought on vacation, the ones I’ve bought the kids each year as they’ve grown, the ones I have from my childhood and my parents’ childhood, and hubby’s childhood too now 🙂

  2. I love your wreath, but really, I covet that Boris Karloff signature more than anything else!

    I have one theme tree (my Santa Bear ornaments/bears – because trying to cram them on the other tree became too much) and one eclectic tree for all the means-much-to-us ornaments. Other than that, I typically just drag the same stuff out year after year. Although I do tend to stick with a few color schemes year after year. Always silver. Sometimes red, sometimes green, or this year blue thrown in for the mix. Thanks so much for joining in the fun!

    1. Oh, yes, Boris was part of my wedding gift to my husband. I collected a few special-to-him signatures. Boris is probably the oldest and most valuable, but we also have U2, Johnny Cash, and David Lynch. 🙂

    1. Hee-hee 🙂 Yes, our house sometimes seems to have nothing BUT books in it. It’s hard to avoid them in photos – but we love them. The nice, pretty books behind our stockings were all passed down to my husband from his grandmother.

  3. Well of course you’d have books on your tree. I wouldn’t expect any less from you. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your decorations with us.

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