I set a goal this year, of spreading Christmas Joy throughout the house by December 1. That way I can focus on other things during the holidays while enjoying a decorated home. This evening I switched over the décor in the living room, completing the house. Tomorrow I’ll finish the front porch and declare it all done. Goal met.
I’m writing my blog post in the living room as I admire flickering candles and the twinkling lights on Christmas trees. The sight brings me great joy and floods my soul with peace. I can’t stop looking around, or smiling.
Here are my five gratitudes for this day.
All That Glitters
I’ve had a fresh, undecorated Christmas tree in my living room for a week. Even without lights and ornaments, I have enjoyed the Fraser Fir tree, catching its grounding scent every time I walk by. Not once in my life have I had an artificial tree. I don’t mind at all if others do, I just cannot take that step. The scent, the imperfections, the way the heavy branches feel, all entice me to keep purchasing fresh trees. Yes, needles fall. And the water level in the stand’s reservoir has to be checked daily. I don’t mind.
My tradition with the tree is this…I hang ornaments on it that tell stories, stir memories and inspire me. Every year I purchase a unique heart ornament and something to represent the year’s symbol. One box is full of shiny ornaments that tell of past years. The butterfly, bird, dragonfly, lightbulb and acorn ornaments all remind me of my journey the last few years and how much I’ve grown.
The multitude of heart ornaments, in various sizes and made of differing materials, remind that my heart is the most important thing to bring along on my journey. I have not found the right heart ornament yet, or a representation of this year’s symbol. Hopefully tomorrow that is remedied. I’m grateful for the shining, glittering adornment on my tree tonight. Every piece tells my story.
My chippy little entry table moves closer to the tree during the holidays and hosts an eclectic mix of found, gifted and purchased items.
One of the ways I create Christmas Joy in my home is by arranging interesting pieces together, that make me smile. The birdcage contains five red and silver votive holders while the birds perch free, outside the cage. The wire cloche is a favorite piece that I bought years ago. It holds different items for each season. During Christmas it’s full of tiny pine cones, woven wooden balls and white glittery styrofoam balls. A wooden block with Believe painted on it stands with a vintage wooden spool transformed into a tall skinny Santa.
On the bottom shelf a quartet of Santas share space with a large papier-mâché snowman. I found the squatty candle holder in a thrift store, along with the trio of Santas. That ceramic piece, that I bought for a ridiculously low price, is one of my all time favorite finds. I only stopped at the thrift store because a friend wanted to look. And I walked out with a treasure! These pieces bring me Christmas Joy and brighten my heart with gladness.
Aunt Roxie’s Box
I’ve written previously about this vintage treasure, that once served my great great aunt as a footrest. Read the story about the box here.
I repurposed the footrest into a decorative box, leaving the original paint. The rustic red box is perfect for a little Christmas vignette. Mason jars hold tea lights and three fabric trees nestle within in. Some sticks of cinnamon and dried baby’s breath complete the box. A metal birdcage candleholder and a little metal BELIEVE sign complete this fun grouping. I’m grateful for the memories I have of Aunt Roxie, a feisty petite woman who raised my grandmother and her brother after they lost their mother. I am honored to have her red box.
Something Simple, Something New
I’m always playing around with items and ideas. As I put the finishing touches on the room and carted out the empty Christmas boxes, I spied a ziplock bag full of small sparkly gold and red balls. I originally purchased those several years ago with the intention of displaying them in the wire cloche, mentioned above. The results were hilarious when I dumped the decorative balls into the tall wire container and then flipped it over onto its stand. The balls were too small. They “drained” out through the openings in the wire cloche, scattering everywhere.
I looked around the living room, seeking a place to use these brightly colored decorations. Instantly I received a visual download. I mentally saw what to use as a container for the balls and what else to display with them. That’s how inspiration often works for me…I get detailed images. They become the map that guides me.
I retrieved the items out of the storage closet and quickly assembled a new little vignette. The baby ficus tree is a start from the very old tree that died recently. It makes me think of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. The yellow bird candleholder and Bless All Who Enter mini sign are recent purchases. And the old blown glass pitcher, that I adore, was an incredible yard sale find. The red and gold balls did not escape this container. I love simple vignettes such as this one. I’m grateful for the inspiration.
Every tabletop, cupboard and shelf in the living room is decorated. An old wooden chair with a small round seat holds a third Christmas tree and a set of red ceramic birds. A white Christmas tree festooned with lights rests on a table near the front door.
My Christmas mug collection nearly overflows its customary shelf. Next year I’ll have to divide the collection, as I don’t see how I can possible squeeze in one more festive mug. The new gray cat cup sits front and center, as is fitting. My kitties approve.
Everywhere in my home there is light, there is beauty, there is Christmas Joy. Sipping hot cranberry tea, and admiring the fruits of my labor, my heart overflows.