Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Memories: Elves and Toads and Hearts and More.

 For years now, when Jill arrives during the Christmas season, whether it's from college or Colorado, or across town, she needs to know where the MistleToad is. Lately he has been hanging in the same place, but he must always be somewhere.

None of us remember exactly where he came from, many years ago, perhaps from a student, but he is a required fixture.

So is this original Elf on the shelf, this little guy that came attached to a Whitman's Sampler box of chocolates, also many years ago. 

He is not the only elf keeping watch, but these are all newer. 

The dining room is one of my favorite places to decorate. 

It's here that I go all Nordic, reflecting the heritage of both Tom and me. 
Straw is very significant in Nordic tradition. So is wheat. The bouquet of wheat represents the last harvest and the seed saved for the spring planting. The straw pig represents prosperity and the straw goat  represents the Yule goat that pulled the sleigh.  
Hearts are also very common decorations for Nordic Christmas. These heart fabric trees and bells were made for me by my mother-in-law also many years ago, and I treasure them. 

In the powder room is a collection of Snowmen that were given to me as gifts over the years. 

Jill gave me this one a while back, along with the book that this character comes from.

There's one last fabric piece I should mention. This is a poignant memory.

When my brother and his family were stationed with the US Army in Hawaii many years ago, my sister-in-law, Maggie, made this gecko as a gift. Geckos are good luck symbols. 

Unfortunately for Maggie, she did not have good luck. She died after a terrible battle with breast cancer when her children were still quite young. The Christmas Gecko comes out at the holiday in memory of Maggie.

When you get old, as I am, you accumulate a lot of stuff, and a lot of memories. Fortunately, as long as we are alive and kicking we can still add more. 

I hope you are making some memories this holiday season. 


  1. I hear people saying that they're not bothering with decorating this year because who will come over to see it. Well, I doubt too many will be at our house ( or yours) this year but that doesn't keep us from decorating. I love all the Santas and Tomtes and even the snowman from Stranger in the Woods ( a book that comes out for the season here too).

  2. Fun to see all your decorations and hear about the stories that go with them:)

  3. thanks for the reminder of the elf that a fellow poet made and gave me last year-need to dig it out. From my former husband was from Sweden so we had lots of Scandinavian traditions we celebrates-Advent calendar, etc. Now my son carries on those traditions.

  4. Great stories with all these decorations. Funny how objects bring back memories. Now more than ever we have to be aware of how we live our life.

  5. Lovely ornaments. Sad to hear about Maggie's passing.

  6. Your place looks amazing and how neat are the stories around each piece. Some happy memories, some sad but all needing brought to mind and what a better way than to let them shine.

  7. Lovely. Thanks for sharing these personal decorations.

  8. I love to see your decorations and feel grateful that I can share in them each year with you. I too am old and very appreciative of all the wonderful friends I have in the world, especially my virtual friends that I get to visit daily, like you. :-)

  9. Linda, your house is so beautifully decorated. I love all of your traditions and collections. I can’t imagine how long it must take to do all of this. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  10. Tomorrow I am taking my 100 year old friend (who is in fantastic shape and great spirits) up the 53 steps of my 83 year old friend's house. The 83 year old friend is in poor spirits but decorates every year with elaborate attention to detail. She said she went over the top this year, even though no one will see it. Well, we will!

    Thank you for sharing your memories and beautiful home with us.

  11. By posting your photos and memories you're passing these along to your family. I'm just starting to get into the history of my grandmother and her family, and so wishing there were diaries or letters to go along with the dates.

    Thanks for sharing with us too. Take care and stay well!

  12. Oh gosh, Linda! Your house is looking absolutely amazing! It must be wonderful just walking around the room and soaking up the holiday memories.


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