Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Decking the Halls and Other Fa-La-La

I've been sitting here trying to remember why in the world I haven't had time in the last week to write anything, or even to keep up with what you've been writing.  And I've come to the conclusion that I just can't remember.  I can recall feeling slightly panicky - you know, like when thoughts wake you up at night and you can't settle back down again.  I've had ideas... such ideas!  Ideas for gifts, ideas for Christmas Eve, ideas for... well you name it, and I've had the thought at 2am.  
This past weekend one of my good friends celebrated her 60th birthday.  60!!!  One of my friends!!!  Her son invited about 50 friends to meet for dinner as a surprise for her.  And it was a surprise - I've never seen anyone more excited and wired to see her party guests.  Sandy is one of those rare ones who, once she makes a friend of you, it's for life.  She always keeps in touch, and is always concerned with how you're doing.  She's one in a million.  So there we all were, eating Armenian food (Sandy is Armenian) with kids running around and having a great time together.  And Sandy in the middle of all of it enjoying the heck out of herself.  I had L snap a quick picture with his phone.  If she is 60, then yes, please.  That's her ONE grand daughter on her lap - Ella.  The other 4 (and one on the way) are all rowdy boys.  Sandy loves them all, but Ella is her rose.

That has been the only social thing we've attended so far.  We have our church Christmas dinner this Saturday.  Different people are hosting groups at their home, and I'm helping a friend who has the big space to host several couples, but hates to cook.  L and I have a teensy house but like to cook, so it all works out.  But the menu has been stewing in my mind for the last week and wakes me up at night.  I'll be glad when it's over.
L and I decked the halls this past Saturday and Sunday.  It actually went up faster than I thought it would, and I finally finally found the box out in the garage that had my Hummel figurines in it.  They're not Christmas per se, but this year it was like Christmas to find them and bring them out.  I nestled them for now in amongst the greenery on the mantle.  I've always loved them because they remind me of my kids when they were small and chubby cheeked.  They've been hidden out in the garage for about 18 years, so it's high time I found them and brought them in.  They're so lovely and old fashioned and sweet.

The first thing I did, though was put up the small tree in the kitchen.  This is the tree where I hang all of the old decorations from when my kids were small.  All of the decorations made at school, all of the ones received when they were babies, all handmade ones, all of the ones from Grandma over the years.  And it's topped with the "Naughty Naked Angel" - this is Scott's ornament and I suppose I'll have to give it to him one of these years.

Next, I set out the Advent Calendar box that we'd bought in the after Christmas sales last year.  I still need to find some special things to put in the drawers, but it will come in time.  No little ones to open the drawers this year anyway.

Next, out came the Grinch ornament (L's), the Rudolph ornament (mine) and the little bakery shop and snowy trees, for our little Christmas tableau. They all sit next to a wooden plate that I painted many years ago on a credenza in the living room.

Now the tree.  L strung the lights.  We'd toyed with getting a pre-lit one this year, but decided that this tree could go at least one more year.  And really - he puts so many lights on, it always looks beautiful.
First we put on the purple glass bulbs that have snowflakes etched into them.

Next come the gold bulbs, followed by some smaller ones, followed by lots of sparkly garlands and gold netting.

The purple bulbs take on a special glow once everything else is added on.  The lights make everything twinkle and shine.

Last, because we won't have any small children here for Christmas, and because most of our gifts are being shipped to family far and wide, we decided to set up L's toy train around the tree.

The tree is beautiful when the lights are off.  The room takes on a magical mood that makes me remember Christmases as a child, laying under the tree, basking in the glow of the lights.

I got some new pictures of Mia and Hayden that made me wish for Christmas in Massachusetts.  How I wish I could see Hayden wondering what Santa Claus is all about.

I wish I could see Mia throwing Buddy - their Elf on the Shelf - a cautious look to make sure he doesn't report any naughtiness back to the North Pole.  

The joy of the season is infectious.  As over whelmed as I feel, I still get that tingly little bit of excitement in my toes just thinking about special times with family and friends.  But the best times of all are when we view Christmas, with all of it's seasonal wonders and spiritual awe, through the eyes of a child.

Joy To The World...


  1. First - I want a Naughty Naked Angel for my tree!!
    I am having a hard time believing that Christmas is so close. I DO wake at at 3am with that panic feeling. I hope to get my tree up in a few days - maybe that will help.
    Your grandaughters are beautiful.

  2. Love the pics, decorations, and the stories behind the decorations. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the peek into your Christmas decked out home. I looove the tree and the kitchen tree as well.

  4. 60! your friend doesn't look even close to that age. Are you sure?

    Your home looks warm and inviting. Enjoy the holidays and don't stress too much.

  5. What a GREAT post. I love the last photo and the idea of having an "elf on the shelf" checking out the kids to see if they are naughty or nice and report to Santa.

    You outdid yourself with this one, Karen!


    PS. I will be sixty in May!

  6. Sixty is the new 20...lol...as someone that turned 60 I feel empowered to make that grand statement! On to the real meat of this posting...your grandchildren are soooo beautiful! I love the last picture with the strangle hold hug on the neck!
    And I too want a naked angel for my tree!

    Love your Christmas decorations, now you can enjoy the Season!

  7. I want to see your friend's drivers license...60? I hope I look that good when I turn 60..but since I don't look that good now I may be disappointed. Your Grandkiddos are so cute and I love the outfits! I don't have my tree up yet. I'm a bit behind in decorating. I'm lacking time and energy and desire to do it.. I need some hot cocoa or something to get me going!

  8. LOVE Sandy! Wish I could have been there!

  9. What cute pictures of those darling granddaughters! You have some fabulous Christmas decorations. Don't you love opening up your Christmas boxes and finding ornaments made by your kids? Such memories. For the longest time I put up an ornament made by my youngest in kindergarten. It was a piece of bread with a picture mod-podged over it. It hung on our tree every year for 10 years. Not sure what happened to it.

    Hope you enjoy your Ward Christmas party.

  10. The little girls are so darling!!! I love their little outfits. I wish my girls would still let me dress them. Lately they want to wear fancy dresses with checkered sneakers to church and Christmas parties. Sigh.

    Don't you just love the holidays and all the decorations?? I just can't get enough!!


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