Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"It's a Wonderful Life"!
(Kimmies journal of our holiday traditions)

I can
definitely say that I have never had a December like this one. We didn't get any sign of Christmas put up until December 12th! Usually, Christmas is up the week after Thanksgiving, but we had too many community, church and work obligations to start any sooner.
HOWEVER, I am SO grateful that Tracy and I both have jobs AND I am SO grateful that we both have our health so that we can provide service to others.

It is always exciting
pulling out the Christmas boxes and opening them and seeing how I put things away the previous year and to remember many things that I had completely forgot that we had for decorations, etc...

I LOVE my homemade angels, hearts and snowflakes. I made the hearts and angels our second Christmas together and they are the main decorations on my tree. Tracy's Grandma Beth made us 12 crocheted snowflakes our 3rd Christmas and they are some of my favorite treasures we hang on our tree. I can't believe the amazing detail of each snowflake and they are ALL different.

Each year we make homemade ornaments and these ornaments go on our white boxes of almonds and caramels that we give to family and friends. We have made everything from very detailed angels made out of pasta and Santa's made out of Shotgun shells, to ornaments made out of cardstock, sparkling with glitter, to Santa's and Snowmen that were a pattern from something Jade and Ethan created and also reindeer made out of burned out C9 Christmas light bulbs.
Such a FUN time of the year and many, many wonderful memories associated with these.

We used to have 7-1/2 foot tall tree that was HUGE, but it really gobbled up our small living room. I could have put it in our dining/family room, but I just wanted a cute and cozy tree and so in the vein of simplifying my life, I purchased a 5 foot skinny tree for $19.00, wrap pinebough greenery around it to fill it out and not make it look so scraggly. When it is all decorated up, it looks just gorgeous!

Some different views of our tree.
I LOVE having kid decorations mixed in with the pretty.
Children make Christmas!
Some families have a tree that is just for pretty ornaments and then a tree that is just for kid ornaments. ME, I LOVE to mix them both together on the same tree!

More favorites...
shotgun shell Santas, an ornament from the year we took a Christmas cruise, our gorgeous green glass ornaments, nativity and the Angel on the top of my tree.

I made the tree skirt the same year I made my angels and hearts. I found some material that had Old World Santa's and cut them out and heat and bonded them onto some Muslim and sewed lace around the edge.

I LOVE when my kids make nice drawings and so these are two drawings that we framed and they are placed with the Christmas Decorations in my living room.

Our entry shelf this time of the year!

I made these Christmas stockings when Jade was a baby. I cross-stitched our names and then decorated them. I couldn't find anymore of these socks when Ethan was born so I bought a sock and then added his cross-stitched name at the top.

The view of our living room all decorated for Christmas!
It's gorgeous and I love to sit on my favorite chair by the tree and sit and enjoy the beauty of the season.

Night View!

The view of the village on top of my entry shelf at night-time.

The view of my nativity scenes at night-time.

This is what you see
when you stand at my front door and YES, FLAKES are always welcome at my home! (Wink)

This lamp post was made for a Christmas Party gift by Candace (Tracy's neice). We added a few extra details and it is what greets you when you walk up to my porch.

My curio all decorated with our Christmas treasures!

The top...

The top shelf.
The light shines so beautifully on my Nativities!
The middle nativity that is carved out of wood was given to us by a "Secret Santa" our first Christmas in our new house. I can't believe all of the gorgeous details of it!

The second shelf...
All of my cute Snowmen are placed here.

I just love my Christmas Carolers!
Tracy's mom has these exact carolers (she made them in a ceramics class several decades ago!) Hers are painted with a white opalescent paint and with different hair colors. We were shopping at DI (a local thrift store) a few years ago and I found these and knew Tracy would love them since they were the same ones as his mom's (except how they were painted). We got the whole set for $9.00! We taped off the white parts and added a sparkly glitter paint to them and it really set them off! This ceramic mold has been discontinued for years and so I feel so grateful that we were able to find them. They just add the finishing touch to my curio full of Christmas treasures!

The fourth shelf...
This shelf is the home for all of my Santa's

The bottom shelf...
displays a yule log I made with my mom and sister's when I was pregnant with Jade and various other figurines we've received from friends and family through the years.

YES, even though it has been a hectic time, we have made time each night to watch our Christmas classic movies that we enjoy so much.
It's been a great week as each night we have had the doorbell ring with friends and neighbors delivering holiday goodies.
Sunday...we got cookie mix from the Bybees that we baked up and ate while we watched "It's a Wonderful Life"
Monday...we got bread and Huckleberry jam from the Hatt's that we ate with our dinner. We also got a bottle of Sprite from the Taylor's and beautiful plaque from the Joos Family that says: "Each of us is an Inn Keeper who decides if there is room for Jesus" (Neal A. Maxwell)
Tuesday...we got chocolate dipped pretzel's and a cookie jar from the Thomas Family.
Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the holiday season turns out. The JOY that comes to children's faces this time of the year is so precious!

My very favorite Christmas movie!
I never tire of watching it and the message of this movie is one of the best messages of all.

Another joy of the holiday season...
getting the mail each day and the excitement of receiving and opening up Christmas cards from friends and family. Tracy made this out of string and paper clips (something he did at Christmas when he was on his mission). We hang it up every year and as we get cards in the mail we read them and then they get hung to display.
I LOVE this tradition Tracy has done.

We just finished our last hectic night last night helping the Young Men and Young Women in our Ward make and deliver fruit baskets to over 40 families, widows and widowers in our area. It was the best feeling and the joy and excitement of the youth made it all worth it.

NOW, I can officially get the rest of things I need to get done...almonds and caramels made and delivered, presents wrapped, LOTS more FUN time with my kids reading Christmas stories each night and watching more Holiday Movie Classics, making Wassail, and enjoying spending time with Family and Friends.

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness."
(Bob Hope)


Connie said...

I think that you must have a magic touch! Your $19.00 tree is gorgeous! What beautiful ornaments, nativities, lights, villages and carolers! Your home looks ready for Christmas. You have some great traditions that make wonderful memories for your family.
Thanks for sharing with us! Have a marvelous day!

The Garden of Egan said...

I loved the tour! You have been busy...MERCY...how do you cope?
Love the tree and the village. I keep thinking I want a village.
Cute pix of the boys and I love your header of you in the snow and hay.
Darling family!

Candace Taylor said...

I can't believe you found Grandma's carolers!! I am glad you like the lamp post. I love the sign on it. When I lived at home,I thought I would have two trees, a pretty one, and one with the kid ornaments. I can't believe I ever thought that. I love mixing in our kid ornaments with the pretty ones on one tree. All your holiday decor looks wonderful!!
Great Post!

wileyfamilyof5 said...

Your home looks magical. I can just sit and stare at all those wonderful things. i was just showing my kids how nice it is to lie under the Christmas tree and look up through the branches. I remember doing this as a child and how magical it was.


Ann Marie said...

Oh what fun to visit your home and traditions!!!!

I love that most things have a story.. because that's what I love you know??

For some reason.. those carolers stood out the most to me too.. maybe because you don't see them often? Anyways.. they are darling!

I love to see how people decorate.. and the things they come up with. Those Santa gun shells are DARLING!

I bet your neighbors are all so excited this time of year! *wink*

I was hoping you would come down here for the holidays and drop by.. sometime-- even if it's next year.. please do.

Hope your weekend is HAPPY!!

Ann Marie said...

Oh my heck! I just remembered I forgot to tell you HOW MUCH I adored your cards! The one with you guys walking together ( on your header ) is one of my favorites! Awesome! Awesome!

JENNIFRO said...

Would you email me your address for a Christmas card?? THANKS! xoxo