Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Decorating the Christmas Hodgepodge

Christmas Star
The star didn't fit on the tree, so it's resting on the old accordian case. Can I play the accordian? Well, enough to frighten the grandkids. I can play a couple things in a minor key and the theme song to Maigret, but that's about it. Oh. And I can play, 'She'll be Comin' 'Round the Mountain.' That's the extent of my repertoire.

I finally got a little decorating done around here yesterday. We've always had a real Christmas tree, and there is a real tree on the front porch, but I found an artificial tree for the living room, one that was so cute and standing there with a big red tag that read, 'Last One.' It was half price, so I bought it. Why didn't anyone tell me years ago how much easier it is to decorate an artificial tree??  I could actually hang ornaments on it without the boughs drooping.

Vee had a wonderful idea of putting her small Christmas tree in an old trunk and putting toys around it. It's SO cute. I didn't get my trunk emptied out, and my tree was a little too tall for that anyway (6'), so I just surrounded the tree with toys and books. This is the first year I've had a skinny tree, and I love it!

Now, on to the Hodgepodge!

Join Joyce and the Gang
at From This Side of the Pond

She writes the questions,
We write the answers.
Come join us!

1. What is one new holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two?

That all gifting, except for the youngest children, would go to underprivileged families, rather than more money spent on people who have everything they already need.

2. It's the second week of December. Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet this month? Wrapped a gift? Opened a gift? Kissed someone under the mistletoe? Lit a candle? Eaten a Christmas cookie? Seen Santa in person? Watched a Christmas movie or special? Read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus?

No to all of the above except the Scripture one. Celebrating Advent keeps one in the Scripture and mindful of what this season is all about.

3. Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmastime? Explain.

As an adult, one can have a slight glimmer of what the Christmas season is about and reflect upon Christ setting aside the glories of Heaven in order to become a human, born in a manger., to save His people from their sin. For kids, it's magical with the lights, candles, garland, tree, etc. But if kids are celebrating Advent with their families, the whole season  has real meaning, rather than just being another big party.

My dad made the icicles

My dear cousin Bobby gave me the Santa Lucia doll
and many of the tree ornaments.

4. It's often said, 'Good things come to those who wait'...agree or disagree? Why?

I think that with the plummeting price of oil, airfare will drop, so in that sense yes, good things, like cheaper airfare, may come to those who wait. On the other hand, I didn't wait for the sale on Christmas trees because the one I wanted was labeled as 'LAST ONE' and I bought it while I could. If I had waited...   I think that saying was invented by a mother who didn't want her kids eating before dinner. Not every saying has merit, like the one, 'You have to step out of your comfort zone.' Says who?? Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone can get you run over by a truck! These things need to be thought through, not just adopted because someone thought it sounded clever. I try not to be a lemming.

I think this tin originally had Walker shortbread in it.
Do you think he uses Colgate whitening strips?

5. What's the last sweet thing you baked? Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away?

The last thing I baked was brownies with lots of chocolate chips and walnuts. I took some to a party and put the rest in the freezer. They'll be at the dinner table tonight when some family are here. I don't dare just leave them lying around!

My mom made the Christmas tree skirt.

6.  This question comes to us courtesy of Jhona who blogs over at The Red House at the End of the Lane. Everyone hop over and say hi to Jhona this week!  Here is her question... "I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse. Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you might have to wait together? Why or why not?"

I love talking to strangers. I'm not too likely to strike up a conversation in an elevator, but I am very likely to strike up a conversation while shopping. I'll ask someone their opinion on something or if they know where the Ritter Sport is shelved, etc.  I'll often talk to strangers while waiting.  And why do I do that? Just to be annoying? No, actually, it's because sometimes people simply need a little cheering up, a little humor, a kind word, and getting them out of themselves. I am pretty good at knowing which people can be approached.

7. Are you on the naughty or nice list this year? What put you there?

I don't think I'm on either list this year. Can't think of a thing that would have sealed my fate either way.

The candle ornament was purchased on a trip to Mexico years ago.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

a) Why is it that my desk gets to a certain degree of messiness and then just stops. If I cleaned it tonight, within two days it would look the same as it does now. I will clean it by the time the family comes for Christmas, but otherwise, it seems so pointless. I know where everything is (almost) and at least I know 'It's on my desk...somewhere.' The desk is only about 4' by  2.5', so it doesn't take too long to find any hidden object.

b) One more random: Every time I take Misty out on lead on the slippery driveway (acutely aware of my artificial hip), the Scripture verse, 'Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling' pops into my mind. Okay, I know that's not what the verse is about, but still it's just one of those things my brain does. I'm so glad God gave us humor. And if you ever wonder about that, read The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton is full of wisdom, full of the love of God, and full of humor.

My sweet sledding penguin

Some of our family will gather here on the 17th. Now all I need to do is make some food, make up some beds, clean the house, clean this desk!, and I'll be all set.

So are you all ready for Christmas?


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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties:  Amaze Me Monday and Inspiration Monday and Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective and    Treasure Box Tuesday and Vintage Bliss Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Our World Tuesday and Tuesdays at our Home and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Vintage Inspiration Wednesday and Ivy and Elephants Wednesday and Adorned From Above  and Artsy Corner Thursday and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and Daily Cup Mrs. Olson and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Saturday's Critters


Joyce said...

My desk is the same way. I love the icicles-they are beautiful! Enjoy your day : )

Susie said...

I love your tree, especially the doll with the candle crown. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Debbie Harris said...

Good Morning Judy,
I so enjoyed your lovely post this morning! All your pretty Christmas decorations, and that tree is perfect! I love the idea of putting it in a chest. We have a rabbit for a pet that has free reign of the house and I think he longs for the Christmas tree to come out so he can make his home under it, well after all, he is a rabbit. :) The last few years we have used an artificial lodge pole tree which works great except he bothers all that we place under the tree. Fun fun.
I believe this was the first time I have ever visited your "hodgepodge Wednesday" I so enjoyed reading the questions and your answers were wonderful.

We celebrated our Christmas with our two daughters and their family's last Sunday, it was beautiful. Stephanie had us in their new home, and she poured her love out making beautiful memories for us all.

Christmas is in the air! :)
Merry Christmas to you, Debbie

Debbie said...

Good morning! LOVE your tree! It's perfect. We switched to artificial trees the first year of our empty nest. I had the same thoughts as you! How much easier, lol. We also though purchased our first "skinny" tree this year, and again, should have done that a long time ago. Soo much easier getting around it etc. I think are desks must be twins. Same size, same degree of messiness, and needing the same straightening! lol Enjoy your day!

Calypso In The Country said...

Beautiful tree! I also like the idea of using a trunk. What fun reading all those questions too! Have a great day! - Shelley

Theresa said...

SO many pretties! I love the idea of placing toys around the tree:) Enjoy your day dear friend, HUGS!

Vee said...

No, I am not all ready for Christmas either in deed or heart so am working my way closer in.

Made me laugh with the "now unto Him Who is able..." and quoted it to John as he left over the icy path and highways. We are on Day Two of pouring rain.

Lastly, your beautiful tree! And your beautiful doll from a much loved cousin. Oh my! I don't have one quite like her, but I do have one and she must make an appearance. Now who is copying whom? =D (Just for the record, my idea was sparked by a Pinterest photo where I saw two tall trees in an old wood box. I can interpret ideas, but there is nothing new under the sun.)

Arlene G said...

I am heading out this morning to do some shopping Judy! I am almost finished. I love your Christmas tree. We have always had artificial trees so I am prejudiced toward them. I love a real tree but worry about it drying out. I also enjoyed seeing your special ornaments and decorations!

Angie at Home said...

I love your tree and decorations and oh my --- the Santa Lucia doll is amazing.

First time visiting here and will return.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.


TexWisGirl said...

congrats on 'the last one' find. :) brownies sound delicious!

April said...

I just love all of your beautiful Christmas decorations, Judy...everything looks so festive!

Michelle said...

Hi, Judy!

You spoke my thoughts exactly on #3.

I think you have a great Christmas theme going. I especially love the star and the icicles. Enjoy your family over the holiday.

Merry Christmas!!


Nancy said...

i agree that celebrating Advent is the only way to prepare for Christmas - the Scripture and candles point the way.

Your photos and decorations are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I love your tree and what a great deal! Enjoyed your answers and I'm with you on keeping brownies etc. in the freezer until there are family to help eat!!!

This N That said...

Pretty tree, Judy..I think "skinny" is the way to go..

Stephanie said...

I'd say you're on the "Nice" list because you're just too sweet not to be :)

I thoroughy enjoyed this post and it was a joy seeing your decorations as each one is simply beautiful. I loved Vee's Christmas tree in the trunk - it looked fabulous!

Hugs to you!

Ginny Hartzler said...

I will for sure be checking out Chesterton's book! Your tree is beautiful! And a big part of that is the wonderful things you have surrounded it with. It will be so sad when you have to take it down! Phil plays accordion! He has played it at shows and in church! So now you are accordion buddies.

retired not tired said...

I love your decorations and we have a small tree this year that will sit on a table and all of my noise makers are around it for the children to play with.

Pamela Gordon said...

Your tree is really beautiful and I love the idea of the old (vintage) toys around it. The doll is so pretty. I did that one Christmas a few years ago. Great post!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hi Judy,
My accordion playing skills are about the same as yours. He doesn't use whitening strips, but he IS chewing an entire box of Chicklets at once! Enjoying Advent myself. Will attempt a tree this year -Josephine will sure be surprised to suddenly have one on the inside. Didn't have one last year when she was a little kitten. No real Christmas traditions in my family. We just make it up as we go!
:) m & jb

Ruth Kelly said...

Have a wonderful Christmas Judy.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Very pretty tree. Love the toys and doll around it. If Christmas were tomorrow, I would panic just a bit. There are a few more presents I need to buy, otherwise I am ready! Of course, there are a few more projects I would like to do, but if they don't get done, it will be fine.

Julie's Lifestyle said...

I love your Christmas tree Judy, so pretty! We have put up a fake tree for a while now since it's easy to put up and not worry about needles and watering. This year my husband surpriseed me and my daughter saying that he wanted a real one. Boy does a real one smell really good. I really enjoyed reading all the questions and answers in your post today! I'm so sorry about the trouble you had today trying to reach my blog. The link for my blog is:
Julie's Lifestyle
Hopefully you will not have a problem joining my blog by GFC. Please let me know if you have a problem. Have a wondeful holiday season.
Julie @ Julie's Lifestyle

Primitive Stars said...

How beautiful your tree is, love all the treasures you displayed.... I have my Mom and Sister stay over Christmas Eve, a wonderful tradition, blessings Francine.

Capri K @ No Whining Allowed said...

Your pictures were so pretty! We have the Jesus is the reason for the season bag ornament too!

Barbara said...

All of your photography is wonderful, very appropriate for this Christmas season. I enjoyed all of your answers but had to both laugh out loud AND agree with your words, "Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone can get you run over by a truck!"

Theresa said...

I enjoyed reading your Hodgepodge today. I got a good chuckle out of the Colgate whitening strips comment :) All of your decorations look lovely and your brownies sound delicious!

podso said...

So … do your kids come to eat with you once a week? If so, so nice! (3 so's there). I like your dad's icicles, and your slender tree! We have by now well paid off our investment of an artificial tree, though I'm glad we searched out real ones when our kids lived at home. It is easier for sure! I always enjoy those brain triggers. I had one for years, whenever I went by a certain street I thought of a particular friend who did not live on that street, but in the area. I tried to remember to use the trigger to pray for her,

Elizabeth "Libby" Day said...

I love all the decorations and that there is history behind so many of them. Also, I enjoy your humor!

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Your tree is beautiful, Judy! I love all the toys around it.

Anonymous said...

Judy, your father's icicles are absolutely beautiful! As is your tree and decorations. Our decorating is quite simple this year. I hope to make a few more later in the week.

Nikki said...

I absolutely love your Christmas decor! Looks very modern day, most of our decor is from the 70's & 80's still good though! Mostly its what me and my siblings made when we were in first grade etc. Have a great rest of the week!

bj said...

I love your tree with all the toys...and Vee's is adorable, too.
We've used a 4 ft faux tree for several years (when we got too olden to climb attic stairs, carrying a 7 ft. tree...just to hard for us old folks) and I love it dearly.

Chatty Crone said...

I just have to tell you how elegant and classy your decorations look!

Terri D said...

I always enjoy your wonderful photos that illustrate your blogs so beautifully!! My Joe is allergic to pine trees, so we have always had an artificial tree. I love the vignette that you have created around your tree!

Debby said...

I love smaller trees. I have had the skinny ones too. I like those as well. The last couple of years I have been using my late cousins tree. It's small with a big bear hugging it. I love it.
Good luck with that list.
I need to step mine up a little. Ohio family here next week-end...20th. I leave on the 22nd. Yep, got lots to do. Not trying to rush just so I can enjoy the season. Merry Merry

Debbie said...

Everything looks so beautiful, so festive!! We have not had a real tree for years now, just four foot table top trees, in a couple of rooms!! Talk about ease, they are all decorated, covered with a bicycle bag during the off season, it does not get much easier then that!!

I only gift to the small ones in the family and my two sons. But this year, most everyone is getting a hand knitted hat!!

Lynne said...

I am late catching up to my friends . . . being away set me back. I love your decorations and "hodgepodge."
Love the icicles that your dad made . . .

DeniseinVA said...

What a neat post. I love that you can play the accordion and your decorations are spectacular.

MadSnapper said...

that is the most beautiful artificial tree I have ever seen, it looks real to me.. and i love what you did with it. and the star on the accordiion, what a great idea. so beautiful. all of your photos today are fantastic.

EG CameraGirl said...

I think your tree covered in ornaments is beautiful!

Jhona O. said...

Beautiful Christmas decorations. I really like your tree skirt(especially that your Mama made it). I had to giggle a bit at your last random thought...not too much, though. I am sure it would be a worry! Have a wonderful family celebration and a very Merry Christmas!

Cynthia said...

I have to tell you, I read these every week and I enjoy them so much. I don't comment but you come up with the best things. I love what you did with the bottom of your tree. Looks so festive


Janey and Co. said...

Your tree is perfect Good job. Loved reading all of your answers. No I am not ready for Christmas....I barely have time to read blogs...but yours is always special...Janey

Nancy Shuman said...

These photos are sooooo beautiful. And the Santa Lucia doll almost takes my breath away. She is exquisite.

Unknown said...

What a great idea to put the christmas tree in a trunk, it looks great to have all the toys and stuff surrounding it.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Your decorations are so beautiful. I started using artificial trees years ago because of my large collection of ornaments. (1,000) I also leave my trees up way past Christmas because of all the work involved. Enjoyed reading your answers to Joyce's questions!

J said...

I loved immersing myself in this post. It has all the warm glow of Christmas past and present, the inner joy that comes when we recognize it all as a gift of the Christ child, and respect and appreciation for personal family treasures.
Merry Christmas, Judy!

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

It's all so very beautiful! We always cut a real tree when the kids were small, but oh yes; decorating an artificial one is much easier. I use to have to wear gloves to even put the gloves on our prickly Blue Spruce. Thanks so much for sharing with Creating Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday season!

J_on_tour said...

I soaked in all the contents of this wonderful post and the thing that struck me most to comment on was how your tree, decorations and celebrations are such a family affair that transcends a multitude of generations.


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