It's true. There was a period of time between having kids at home, and having grandchildren, those empty nest years, that I lost the spirit for a while, but even then I decorated, for me. We entertained then more than we do now so we could share the ambiance of our home. Grandchildren restored the magic of Christmas.
The kitchen is the heart of any home, and ours has these great beams that call out for garlands.
We have been in our house for over 37 years. I made those felt gingerbread men and calico ornaments the first or second year we lived here.
The calico wreath I made even longer ago. It used to hang over the old fireplace, and Jill still hasn't forgiven me for replacing it.
The clock, above, was my great grandmother's. We became it's custodians two years ago when my aunt moved into assisted living. We had it restored to working order. The little mosaic plaque with hooks came from a small artisan's shop on a back street in Rome and remands us of all the ancient ruins we visited in Greece and Italy. (Click on any photo to get a closer look.)
In the dining room, we go Scandinavian. My mother-in-law made the trees with heart patterned fabric many years ago. The old pressed glass pieces we have collected over the years, and at Christmas we fill them with glitter and sparkle.
Hearts and straw ornaments are customary in Sweden at Christmas. The sheaf of wheat represents the promise of new life. The last sheaf of grain bundled from the harvest had magical properties as the Spirit of the Harvest and was saved for the Yule. Straw was plentiful and was strewn on the floor for bedding. The straw pig symbolizes prosperity or good luck. Back in the old days in the old country, if you had a pig to butcher and eat for the Yule feast you were prosperous and fortunate. The goat is the julbocken, the yule goat. The god Thor had a chariot pulled by goats. Goats became both the punisher of bad behavior and the giver of gifts. Now gifts are brought by the Yuletomten.
The garland on the dining room beam has hearts and vintage ornaments I found while cleaning out my former neighbor's house when she moved into assisted living.
On the table, which belonged to Tom's grandmother, Tom's great grandmother's compote holds glass ornaments. The wooden shoes we purchased in the Netherlands. The small Dala horse was part of Jill's horse collection, and the larger one we purchased in the shop where they are made in Dalarna, Sweden.
And there are elves around.
The whole "elf on the shelf" thing is new, but this one has been around longer than our kids have. It came with a box of Whitman's Sampler chocolates, and I'm pretty sure it was from a student, way back in the late 60's.
I found more Santas.
That fabric Santa on the back wall is was made by Tom's mother about the time Jill was born. I don't know how old that JOY is.
Several years ago Tom finally made cone wreaths from some of the cones he has been collecting.Outside the lights are up.
That maple tree is usually wrapped with lights too, but when Tom went to test the light strings we bought just last year, he could get only one to work. The good news is he no longer has to spend hours on a ladder and in the tree wrapping the branches. That much we are ready to let go of.
And there you have it, Christmas decorating at the Reeder house. Now each year I'll just link a new post to this old one for the full tour. At least, that is, until we let go of more of it. But I think I'm good for a few more years yet.
I do love Christmas!