Dec 21, 2012

Christmas in our house...

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful
~ Norman Vincent Peale

The three of us were hanging out the other day, and I started to get all nostalgic.  Our Christmas tree certainly isn't elegant and it doesn't have a theme, but it tells a story...and that makes me smile :)

It is full of ornaments we have collected over the past 20+ years! Many of them represent who we are. For instance we have lots of horsey things and hippos for Mads, fire trucks and classic cars for dad, and santa faces and angels for me.  And then there are all the hand crafted ornaments we have made over the years (my faves)

Here are just a few of my favorites...

Years ago, when I was very young and well before Mads came along, I used to manage a small office - I was the only one in there most of the time, so you can imagine I had some time on my hands every so often.  That's when I made these adorable reindeer ornaments. I can remember clearly sawing and gluing and having a great time. Don still  makes fun of me because I left a saw mark or two behind on the desk - oops! Lucky my boss loved me ;)... I've given many away over the years, so I'm down to just a few left, but they bring back some great memories!

When I was pregnant with Mads, I bought this little cutie for her. You pull on his string and his arms and legs go wild! This is the ornament that started her collection. I try to buy at least one new ornament for her every year - of course they are mostly horses and hippos now, but she has quite a collection...and my tree will be bare when she has a tree of her own! Oh well, I guess she'll have to host Christmas then...

Madison and I made several of these when she was just 3 years old...
One year, Fluff managed to get this one off the tree and tried to eat it! We came home to a mess, and I had to piece it back together best I could. We make sure these go high up on the tree now (sigh)...

Although Madison was home educated mostly, she did start out going to school, and she made this nativity scene in kindergarten... I'm so happy all of these ornaments survived the hurricane damage of 2004!

Our Christmas Spider we made when Madison was in 1st grade. We made a bunch of these and gave them as gifts along with the Legend of the Christmas Spider we printed into a scroll

I love this soda can angel ornament we made with the girl scouts


We have some very talented friends who have made us some beautiful hand crafted ornaments over the years, and we treasure them. 
I love the memories these stir up every year!

This hand crafted beaded star ornament is super special. Madison was in the 4th grade - it was the first year we started homeschooling. We organized some of our new homeschooling friends and had ornament making parties (much better than doing math!). We delivered all the ornaments to the hospital for folks who had to spend the holiday sick in bed

Typically I do a lot of decorating, but this year we decided to scale it back a little. We focused mostly on the inside of the house and decided to forego putting lights up outside. We made a conscious decision to take it easy and enjoy each other and the time we have together while Madison is home on her long winter break. I'm so glad we chose this route! We have a lot going on this year with life in general, so not having the stress of putting up, and then dreading taking down, a massive amount of decorations is just what I needed - plus I couldn't get anyone to clean the porch, and I never could get motivated enough to do it myself!

Here are some other sights around the house this year....

One of the giant pine cones! This one is hanging in the dining room

This is how we build a snowman in Florida!

My neighbor and I have this same nativity :)  We hosted one of those home parties years ago, and this was our hostess gift (I think). I love the soft color of this nativity - it welcomes everyone coming into our home during the holiday season

ooops - this one is a bit blurry (sorry)


Waiting for Santa :)
Fluff LOVES Christmas! This year is showing his age so much more than before, so he doesn't get as excited as he used too. One Christmas, years ago when he was just a pup, we gave him his first Christmas stocking filled with all the things doggies love...a ball, bones, stuffed toys - you get the picture.  He loved it so much and clearly remembered it the following years.  As soon as the stockings were hung (usually the day after Thanksgiving), he would have to check it every morning for his goodies. At first we had no idea why he would bark at the stockings every day when he woke up - it was the first thing he did and it drove us NUTS!!  I had to give him the stocking to get him to stop all the noise! He checked it out and played with it for a few minutes and then just left it there on the floor, so I hung it back up. Next morning - same thing! We finally realized he was just checking it for his goodies! It got to the point where we could say "Where's your Christmas?" and he would run to his stocking and start barking :) I also had to stop putting the stockings up so early in the season!! Good memories...

Merry Christmas 
I hope your holiday is filled with much love and joy!

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