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.
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.