For me, the spirit of Christmas is a cozy home: soup simmering on the stove, cut out cookies in the oven, a crackling fire in the fireplace, and our family together again. My favorite part of Christmas is decorating our home. I love reminiscing as I go through years of decorations we’ve collected. I become transported as I unwrap each decoration, from the colorful ornaments my children made when they were small, to the big boughs and wreaths my dear friend Glorynn crafted when we first rebuilt our home, to gorgeous glass Waterford tree globes Robbie and I collected when we lived in New York City, to the ornaments friends gifted me while we were still in college. Each decoration fills my heart with warm, wonderful memories.
A few days after Thanksgiving, when all the turkey leftovers are gone and I regret eating that extra piece of pumpkin pie, I take down the Thanksgiving decorations, put them away, and lug out the large green and red bins filled with Christmas decorations. First, I place a wreath on our red front door. Then, I grab my clippers, head outside, and cut tree branches to go into the white stone pot on the porch where the red geraniums grew throughout the summer.
This year, for the first time, I chose a more rustic wreath for our front door. This one, made by a friend, is decorated with dried berries and strips of burlap wrapped around a wire frame.
Here’s the geranium pot I fill with branches, pine cones, berries, a ribbon, and some Christmas potpourri. The potpourri at the entrance gives off a lovely scent for guests both coming and going.
Next, I go inside and decorate the mantle and windows. Personalized needlepoint stockings are hung waiting to be filled. I group red and green candles, an old fashioned wooden nutcracker, a santa, fragrant pinecones, and branches from the yard to complete the fireplace and mantle.
Ta da! Last but not least, the tree. Robbie spent over three hours hanging over 1,500 LED lights, then I hung each memory-filled decoration, and we finished with a red and gold Florentine angel carefully placed on top. In our family tradition, we start placing gifts under the tree as they are wrapped or received through the post, and of course, we wait for Santa’s arrival for our abundant tree to be complete.
What’s your favorite decoration? And, what holiday tradition does your family share?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our home to yours!