Thursday, December 5, 2019

A Few of My Favorite (Christmas) Things!

We all have them. The ornaments that must be on the front of the tree. The Santa or the angel that must have a place of honor. That special decoration remembered from childhood.

My decorating is coming along well with several trees up and lit, but with no ornaments. No, I haven't pulled out the ornament boxes yet -- probably later this week. But I've been revisiting my favorite things from Christmases past and I thought I'd share a few with you!

(Cue the music!)

This is the oldest ornament on my tree. It was from my grandparents' tree (mom's parents) and she had it after them. Now it's mine. Barely hanging together with wire, too fragile to take apart and repair. But a treasure, nonetheless.

As you might expect, many of my seasonal things have a connection to my Mom or to our family tree when I was growing up. I think (but am not sure) that she made these! There's an Andy, too.

On one of my trees, this is the first glass ball that goes up each year. We've had it as long as I can remember. (The "egg" to its right was a gift from my friend Lisa back when we were in high school or college and the small bell a Shiny Brite from my other grandmother's tree.

I love these Santa ornaments too, again from the old family tree.

And these -- the paint is chipping off and I'm sure it must be lead. But I still love them.

Always have, always will.

I've written about the Gingerman tree and the story of the giant Gingerman at the top. He is a must on what I call the "Mom" tree.

When she was ill she started making tons of little ginger guys like this one and stringing them on garlands for her friends. In a Christmas wrapping competition one year, my dad made a giant version, leaving a small space unsewn into which he tucked a pair of earrings. I still have those, too.

I have loads of ornaments like these -- photos from our different years together.

And ornaments from our travels, of course!

And what goes on the top of the big tree? Turkey Lurkey, of course! A friend and I made puppets for my Henny Penny puppet show in my puppetry class in graduate school. This is a must, albeit an unconventional topper!

I have too many collections, some started by others, like about 25 silver bell music boxes, a collection my friend Lin began for me.

And others I've chosen. I won't show you every Santa (I know -- you're breathing a sigh of relief!). Just a couple of favorites.

This one reminds me of my favorite advisor in grad school. It's the eyes and mouth of the face.

I have a few snowmen friends, too. My pal Judy gave me this silvery charmer...

...and this was a craft fair find.

 These little elves were given to Mom by my cousin, Nancy. They're so cheery!

And this was from Mom's Royal Doulton collection. So graceful for December!

I love Margaret Furlong's shell angels. I wish I had more!

 And lest you should think I'm only about the Ho! Ho! Ho!, I do have more than a few creches or nativity pieces. This is one of my favorites, but far from the only one.

So grab yourself a cookie from my happy cookie jar and enjoy.

The season is here and I'm eager to see your decorations, too!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

One Holiday Down -- More to Go!

A quick recap of Thanksgiving is due, because -- well, there was much for which to be grateful!

(Cue the music, below!)

Our Thanksgiving day was spent with friends Kate, Mike and Barb. It was quite a feast!

Kate was a wonderful hostess...

...her co-host, Zeke, was most agreeable!

And there was the obligatory tryptophan coma!

Greg arrived on Friday. It was the first time we'd seen him in months. He's back in Northern Michigan now after some months in L.A. and it was so good to catch up! Our time together included games of Sequence and seeing the wonderful film, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."

(Let me say, I think this is both a wonderful and important movie. And it is especially good to see with members of your family. The discussions after can be so valuable and meaningful. It was the perfect Thanksgiving weekend activity.)

Later that night we welcomed Rick's friends and musical partners, Byron and Josh, for dinner. Then they performed the "concert" they are preparing for a gig at a senior home soon. They were really quite good and much improved since the last time I heard them. These guys are practicing!

While they were playing, Greg helped me string cranberries to leave outside for the birds this winter.

When all was said and done, we have a bowl full of garland.

And now, we're just waiting for this guy to return!

(Probably this one, too!)

I leave you with a photo that makes me smile. Rick doing something he loves.

How's your holiday planning going?

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Monday, December 2, 2019

An Annual Event -- Greens and Gardenviews!

The annual start to my personal Christmas season is the holiday greens market in the charming town of Northville, MI. (Cue the music!)

For at least ten years, and probably a number more, my friend Jan and I have ventured to the market on the weekend before Thanksgiving, select our wreaths and then enjoy shopping in our favorite shop, Gardenviews, before lunching at Guernsey, a local restaurant, and stocking up for Thanksgiving at Trader Joe's.

The market is always packed with a terrific selection of wreaths and arrangements, along with greens for decking the halls. On this day, the weather was reasonable -- that is, not too cold, definitely not damp but not so unseasonably warm it doesn't feel like Christmas!

This booth looked almost empty by the time we left!

Santa is there and the town square is festively decorated with a huge tree and lovely arrangements.

Across the street, the theatre had a live children's show playing. Honestly, this town looks like something that fell out of a Hallmark movie!

Once we had our greens safely tucked away, we hit Gardenviews and if we weren't in the holiday mood, we would have instantly discovered it right here in this magical world of tinsel and lights!

I always love seeing what's new this year. I always think I've seen it all, and then something will pop up that is just so darned cute, I smile. Big smile. Lots of teeth and happy eyes!

I was pretty good about buying this year, but I did capture a few felted creatures to inspire me with my own. Even though the style is different, you can always learn!

These super-sized ornaments wouldn't work for my tree, but I loved them!

And there's something about the word "Believe" that always captures my imagination.

I came really close to getting this -- I love chickadees! But again, too big!

Our shopping trip came to a close and soon it home where Thanksgiving would await.

These little Campbell kids have been in the family since I was a child. They used to have hats but I gave them to the cats a long time ago and they seem to have disappeared. Good thing that was before Lizzie's time!

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a lovely holiday! We did!

Now, on to the next!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

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