Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Part I

How about it's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas in my house, and that's just the way I like it.  I have not amassed boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. I have a small collection of trusty winter and Christmas treasures I pull out each year, most of them with a bit of vintage flair. I alway stick with the same true red, white and green color scheme.

I'm a sucker for vintage tableclothes, only I don't use them on my dining room table every day like I did before my oldest started eating at it with us. I do rotate through my smaller ones, giving them each turns on the little drop-leaf table (that I got with 4 matching chairs for $25 at a yardsale about 10 years ago) in my kitchen under the window. So at Christmas I cover it in this retro Christmas tablecloth that I picked up at a little antique shop that used to be in Blackstone years ago. She had the BEST linens. I almost cried when she closed shop.

I just LLOOVVEE this era.

Maybe some day I'll have enough kitchen cabinetry that I won't need to use the space under this table as a pantry of sorts.

My dear friend Heather, who more than shares my appreciation for vintage linens, passed along a coordinating runner when she was cleaning out her stash of family linens in preparation to move recently. So that is now in my kitchen on this buffet that I got for $40 at a yard sale a couple of years ago.

The pull knobs on the buffet are adorned with acorn jingle bells I picked up eons ago at Hallmark during their after-Christmas 75% off clearance sale.

I hung some of the bells on my $5 yard sale window frame in the bathroom too:

A Balsam Fir tea-light Yankee Candle burns in this little galvanized tin lantern. I've had this so long I have no idea where I got it.

And because there's no such thing as too much galvanized tin, two of these topiaries sit on the ledge on my front porch; one on either side of the door.

I have a small collection of vintage Christmas and New Year postcards I'd purchased for cheap at antique stores years ago and I usually tuck them around vintage treasures in my kitchen.

These other three cards are nestled on a kitchen window ledge:

Ugghh. This is why I want a new camera. Oh, to be able to focus again!

The following vintage greeting card is one of my most treasured Christmas decorations for my kitchen. My BFF found it among her grandmother's belongings and sent it to me one year for Christmas. Even though I'm not a big fan of Santa, I love it.

Over the past couple of years, I've added a few new winter decorations I've come across in my treasure hunts. Take these ceramic deer for instance. I was in line at Salvation Army one day when these caught my eye on a nearby shelf. They already had the red ribbon around their necks. So simple and peaceful.  And dirt cheap.

I think they need to lay in a bed of greenery for a little contrast.

I've also incorporated my love of birds into my winter decorating over the last couple of years. I've always used the same simple fake wreath on my front door. It came with the pine cones and I added a red and white gingham bow. Last year I stepped it up a notch though. I bought some cheap birds and nests at the craft store and simply nestled them into the wreath. Sweet! I mean....Tweeet! (Sorry.)

I've also picked up some post-Christmas clearance bird and feather ornaments. I oogled before Christmas but refused to pay pre-Christmas prices so I waited patiently for the deals.

Covered in peacock feathers

I haven't found an angel or star I love to top my tree...not that I've actually been looking much. So a bird is perched on top instead.

I've tried to remember to buy ornaments as souvenirs from our travels, though I often forget.

We got this from our visit to Hearst Castle.

One my oldest made with her picture in preschool and one we got on our trip to Sequoia National Park

I try not to go over the top with the Christmas decorations because they can be a distraction from my focus during this season. In fact, this is only the second year we've had a Christmas tree in 11+ years of marriage. Last year we had a small potted tree and this year I downsized even more to a $17 table-top tree. It took the kids and I a matter of an hour max to set up, light, and ornament the tree. To the blasting of Handel's Messiah, of course. I really don't want to spend more time and money than that on the Christmas tree. My hubby actually prefers we had no tree at all. He'll admit, he's a little Scrooge. But the tree is not our focus. For me, it's just an excuse to buy and display the bird and feather ornaments a place to gather the presents under. :)

Our little table-top tree. Its more than enough.

What is our focus? Christ! Emmanuel - God with us. Tomorrow (or some day soon) I will continue and conclude with Part II of this post by sharing a few of the things I do to help my family and I maintain this focus.

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