Friday, December 4, 2009

Rooms: Christmas Decorating 2009

Seems it's usually mid-way through December before I get the house fully decorated, but not this year! I am happy to say the halls are already decked, starting with a wreath on the door. I Love these particular shades of green and red in the ribbons.

Also on the front porch is a very casual arrangement of giant pinecones, garland and "candles" (the battery powered candles are the best I think--especially these that flicker realistically).

The tree...

For years we have done a tree (always a live tree) with nothing but little white lights. So simple and beautiful, but also because the idea of coming up with, investing in, and sticking with a Christmas tree decoration concept was a bit overhwhelming. We have very different Christmas pedigrees. My husband's family tree was always decked with silver and gold balls--lots and nothing but them and the lights. My family's tree on the other hand was gingham ribbons, fake candied apples and lots of Steinbach wooden ornaments. We used real candles for years and then it was white lights. So I guess we had the white lights in common.

Finally, a few years ago we ventured out and I found this great laser cut felt treeskirt from Anthropologie and saw the felt snowflake ornaments in Domino (I so miss that mag!), which I ordered from a store in Canada.

After Audrey was born I bought the rhinestone picture frame ornaments from The Container Store and filled them with black and white family photos--portraits of Audrey, her parents, and the grandparents. So now it's simple, but a little more than white lights.

I was contemplating adding big jingle bells on red ribbon (a bit more red might be nice) but couldn't find the right ribbon and get the proportions of bell to ribbon quite right. Maybe next year.

I add the red velvet pillows to the couch during Christmas--usually it's just the white angora pillows.

This is our Advent Wreath. A tradition from my side of the family. Having spent my early childhood in Germany, there are more than a few German traditions. I love this one. We celebrate it like this: for the four Sundays preceding Christmas we gather as a family for Advent ("Advent Sunday"). The first Sunday we light one candle, the second two candles, the third three candles, and then on the Sunday before Christmas we light four candles. We sing religious carols, read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible and eat Christmas cookies. Once back in the States we would often invite another family or two to celebrate Advent with us. Now my siblings and I gather our families for the four Sundays prior to Christmas.

I love this table runner with the wreath. Got it at the Crate and Barrel after-Christmas sale last season.

And, one last shot (I'm not including the small additions in our family room, such as the Italian creche and the wooden Christmas soldiers...): My husband's great sense of humor and Christmas spirit--a santa hat on the bull painting in our entry way. The bull is life-sized and it really does appear that he's wearing a hat.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

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