Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Longest Night of the Year

Tonight is the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice, where we have to rely on the greenery and lights we've brought into the house to remind us that spring will come and we can get back to our favorite outdoor pursuit:  gardening.

I love decorating for Christmas.  When I get an area decorated to perfection, I take all kinds of photos and make a bunch of lists and notes so I can duplicate it exactly next year.  Well after a few years, that get's boring.  So every year I try do do something a little bit different but at the same time avoid having to buy all new decorations or giving up my old favorites.  They may stay in the attic a few years in a row but I'm not parting with them!  There is a lot of money invested there.  And you know the biggest bane of Christmas decorators? Unwanted artificial trees.  They're expensive to buy and impossible to get rid of!  Unless you want to throw a winter garage sale.

The Christmas Tree 2015
Straw and Burlap.  Paper poinsettias.  Bleached pine cones.
This year I've revamped my storage system.  Instead of storing by room, I'm storing by color and type so I don't have to pull from three boxes for every new idea.  I'm also ditching as many of the deep tubs as I can because three under the bed size boxes take up the same amount of room as one deep tub, but you don't have to dig through two layers of empty packaging to get to the spare bulbs hiding at the bottom.  Shallow boxes are also easier to move around.

The Christmas Tree 2016
Stage 1
This year the big change is the Christmas Tree.  Instead of gold tones and natural decorations of blown out eggs, bleached pine cones, burlap and straw snowflakes befitting a gardener, it turned out contemporary, deep red and glittery.  That was sort of a surprise and not what I had planned, but I went with it.  

My husband has been frustrated with these two nice artificial Christmas trees we have been storing for years.  Especially since one of them was just too large to fit in this little house anymore without completely removing at least one piece of furniture. However, his mother's skinny little apartment sized tree is easy to tuck into a corner.  So on Thanksgiving morning he came hauling the big box in from the garage along with all the red decorations that went on it and soon I was hunting through all of my decor looking for anything red.  Glass bead garlands, red jingle bells, berries and velvet poinsettias.

With a natural tree, the beauty of it is the tree itself, and it shouldn't be covered up with too many embellishments.  But artificial trees - those are for holding ornaments.  The current style is to cover the poor thing up so you can barely tell there is a tree in there.  It is just a cone shaped mound of festivity.  I sort of split the difference.  But there is not much room for any more decorations.

All of the ornaments are the same shade of red with gold accents. I began to enjoy the glitteriness of it and rummaged through attic boxes to add snowflakes and icicles. The cat was excited to have a bush to hide under here in the house in the middle of winter.   She misses going out to the garden and watching the birds and the bugs.

So I picked up some little cardinals to put on the tree which she, of course, didn't notice but which made me ridiculously happy.

One of my Cardinals
Of course there are some old standby arrangements that I'm not tired of yet.

Nabisco Cracker Box with
burlap poinsettias, vintage sleigh bells, RR Lantern

My kitchen plate rack always has cranberries and this year
 I added dried orange slices with star anise centers
Kitchen Centerpiece
A friend of ours gave Tim a Christmas village service station (because he collects vintage gas station stuff). I haven't put it out for a few years because I don't have a Christmas village so I had merely set it out on a sheet of cotton and I wasn't satisfied with that. So this year I created a base on a tray for it with a gravel drive and a retaining wall and sprinkled snow everywhere which just looks so much better.

Christmas village service station
Mason Jar winterscapes

Tin Steamers full of cinnamon pine cones

Side Porch
Well that's it.  That is my Christmas house tour.
 Merry Christmas from our home to yours.
Next week the mail contents will change from sale catalogs and greeting cards to seed catalogs!


  1. Those mason jar winterscapes are so pretty! I've never seen those before. Very nice!

    1. You could put little animals or street lights in there too. I've seen a lot of really neat ideas. It's a nice way to enjoy the old canning jars.

  2. Love the idea of the old mason jars. Going to have to look that up. Your decor is just lovely! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thanks for being a friend of the blog!