Thursday, December 13, 2012

Deck the Halls

Truth be told, my hall decking got started a little early this year.
I was chosen to have my house decorations featured in one of our local magazines.

I was tremendously honored -- and also panicked! The photo shoot was a full week before Thanksgiving and we'd been under a tremendous pace at work. I had no idea how I could make a good stab at it -- with at least enough up for photos!
Fortunately, I had a few tricks up my sleeve that I'm happy to share. You've probably thought of most of these, but just in case...

Tip 1 -- if you have the space to do so and it will work, put your trees away with the lights and garland left on. It will save you a TON of time.
This only works with artificial trees, of course, and not all of them, at that. My big tree (not in this post) must have all the lights removed when it is put away. But this thin white tree is easy to keep lit.
I love the ornaments on this tree. For the most part they are white or silver and many are paper. (Shop your own collections, especially ephemera!)
A number of them I've made myself. 
I also tuck my antique Christmas postcards and cards into the tree, like this one I found in my grandmother's things.
Tip 2 -- For small trees, keep ornaments handy and easy to find and get to. This is my Solstice Tree.
Although it has a lot more ornaments than are on it now, I keep the ones I love most -- the "must haves" -- in a separate box and it's easy to get it up and something on it without spending a lot of time. 
The other ornaments can be added later.
Tip 3 -- Shop your yard, your basement and your current arrangements. I really didn't want to throw out my dried green hydrangeas. 
It only took a cardinal on a stick to turn it into something seasonal. And the bright green is a good contrast color.

Tip 4 -- Do the tree you love most first. While my big tree is "my biography," this smaller tree in the family room (also in the top photo) is my "mom" tree and the things on it are those from our original tree and ornaments that remind me of mom.
We have a set of storybook characters that she got in the mid-'60s when the hospital auxiliary sold them. You can see Peter Pan here, the Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow (alone with Raggedy Andy) below.
Other ornaments on this tree reflect her love of tea, family and sugarplums. If you run out of time, you'll always be happy if your favorites are there!

Tip 5 -- Do it because you want to; not because you have to. Not everyone is a Christmas Crazy Girl like me. I'm trying hard to do what I can do, not what I think I should do. This is hard for me. But in the end, I'll be all the better for it -- and so will you. Or maybe you know that already!

By the way, the magazine also included my pumpkin roll recipe. Here's the link!

More to come!


Joanne Huffman said...

Love your decorations. And, delighted to see someone I know being featured in a magazine.

Introverted Art said...

wow Jeanie, you really did go all the way!!!! Lovely!

Linda said...

Beautiful! What an honor bestowed on you!!! That is awesome! Your house is lovely and filled with Christmas love!

Marie @ Lemondrop Vintage said...

That Peter Pan ornament is fabulous!

Marie @
Lemondrop ViNtAge

I am having a fabulous giveaway right here.

Bella Rum said...

Oh, my goodness. I don't know what to say. These photos are gorgeous. I popped over and read the article. You're so inspirational, Jeanie.

rugbyluver1981 said...

Your "Mom" tree is just perfect! I love that you have a tree that represents so many beautiful ornaments and memories. And in doing what I can--not what I should--I found new spaces to display some of my favorite holiday keepsakes, to display them in ways that make me happy. :)

Barb said...

Cannot imagine how you managed your early decorations with your work and travel. Your home looks cozy and ready for holiday celebrations. Enjoy yourself Jeannie!

Retired English Teacher said...

I am very frustrated with blogger! I can't seem to leave a comment. I will try again.

Retired English Teacher said...

Well, that one worked, so here is my real comment.

You decorations are just spectacular. You top the list of those who really know how to 'deck the halls' with beauty, style, creativity, sentiment, and interest. I would love to view these trees in person with you and have you describe each and every ornament. Love it!

Now, I'm off to see the link.

Pat K. said...

Congrats on being featured in the magazine! That's very exciting - and they could not have chosen a more devoted and talented Christmas decorator. :-)

Marilyn said...

Your trees are truly amazing! I put my skinny trees away with lights, but the ornaments change on them every year. For some reason I must have put things away hap-hazardly last year, what a mess this year. I must be more organized. Lovely, lovely photos! Congratulations on being in the magazine.

Arti said...

Beautiful decorations, and Congrats on your magazine appearance! And well deserved. The decorations on the trees are so elegant. Also, you have different tree for difference occasions?

Tracy said...

WOW... CONGRATS on the feature, Jeanie! Your decorating is MARVELOUS! I love your skinny trees! It's Christmas Wonderland at your place. I feel more festive looking at this. We've not done a big tree the past two years. And now with half our living room given over to art studio space--not much room for a tree! But we have twinkle lights and lots of candles, so we don't feel we're missing anything. Lights go a long way to adding more cheer this time of year. Your home is so pretty & cozy for the holidays, Jeanie...thanks for inviting us in! :o) Happy weekend ((HUGS))

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

That is so cool that you were featured in a local magazine! You were totally worthy of that honor as you really know how to deck the halls! I am glad you were able to pull in all together during a very busy phase of your life. It looks marvelous!!

Jenny Woolf said...

How I'd like to visit your house at Christmastime! What an honour to be chosen for the magazine. I doubt anyone would choose us for something similar, although I quite like the idea of a very retro Christmas with paper garlands hand made from sticky paper, etc. and the other kind of stuff we used to do at school. When my daughters were small they always made their own huge advent calendars and this was a real family tradition.

Jennifer Richardson said...

i love your spirit about the
and your handmade cards
as ornaments is a wonderful
sometimes I feel pressure when
i read strategies
but your tips are laden with peace
....I love that about you:)
thanks and all the happiest,

Happy Homemaker UK said...

How fun you were in a local magazine! I'm sure you'll never forget it.

Your house looks wonderfully Christmassy :) Enjoy the season XOL

shoreacres said...

Maybe if I'd read this post earlier my house would be decorated now! As it is, everything still is "in process", but there's certainly inspiration galore here!

I do have my tree up and the lights are on it, because the lights haven't been off it for three years! So there's one of your tips I've adopted. And I do keep my ornaments separate - that helps, too.

You already know I'm a minimalist, but all of my decorations have history and meaning - combined with plenty of candles, they help to create a holiday feeling - as do your posts!

And congrats on being featured in the magazine. I was going to say I'd have been panic-stricken, but of course I don't have to worry about it, because minimalists don't get featured in magazines! ;)

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Wow you're in a cool is that!
I'm not in a baking mood this xmas so I let my bother who's a great cook treat me big time this year round.
Hugs and talk soon.

Annie said...

This is the second time I've thought this week that I have very little, if anything, of our old family ornaments. My brother has the family manger and I'm very glad about that. I have a Bethlehem scene my mother gave me before my dad died and I'm grateful for that. But now I realize there is very little else. Funny how even after seven years, thoughts and realizations of my mother (the loss of my last parent) still surface from time to time.

Your house is so beautiful and I especially like the personal tree. A few years ago I started one by getting an old fashion silver aluminum tree. I hope Krista loves it as her own someday as much as I love it now.

paris parfait said...

Such a lovely collection of decorations (and trees)! Happy holidays, dear Jeanie. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic new year celebration!

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