For years I had all my Christmas decorating done by Thanksgiving Day except for fresh greenery and the Christmas tree. That didn't happen this year, instead I started blogging on November 1. At first I was just plain too busy, not enough hours in the day. Now there are boxes sitting everywhere but very little has been unpacked. Why? Because I have seen the beautiful Christmas decor being posted on blogs. Some so very ornate and amazing that if attempted in this farmhouse it would look like we were trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
Other blogs feature Christmas decor so simple and organic that it makes me yearn for a whitewashed cottage in Maine, breathtakingly serene, that one graceful branch of white pine in a faded green vintage jug that looks as if it would be so easy to put together and photograph but surprisingly must take oodles of talent.
My Christmas decorating in years past? Did you ever watch The Closer on television? Did you see when Fritz and Brenda went to Atlanta to visit her parents Willie Rae and Clay at Christmas? R.H. and I burst out laughing when they walked in the door. R.H. describes it as a typical Southern Granny Christmas house on steroids. It was Christmas Overload Cottage. I laughed but part of me thought it was pretty and some of it looked vaguely familiar. Our kids probably would have thought they were in my house.
I kind of miss the years when we women built Dept. 56 cities and completely changed our wardrobe in December. I was just beginning to amass enough embellished sweaters and sweatshirts of my own when it all went out of style. And what fun our youngest son and I had building a Snow Village in the Gothic church cabinet in our living room! When he left home to get married he carried his own set of North Pole houses that took over the craftsman built-in cabinet in their 1920 bungalow each December.
A couple of years ago we both started breaking up the cities and dispersing a favorite or two here and there, using them in what bloggers call vignettes. Before discovering blogs I wouldn't have known a vignette from duck soup. I'm a devoted copycat but let me tell you, a vignette is not as easy to style as you would think. My Christmas tam-o'-shanter is off to you talented women and men who do it so well.
I still have some work to do and some nerve to get up to reveal any of our Christmas decor but I will show you a picture from last year when I again took the china out of our china cabinet to get ready to put the Christmas china in it. Here is the way the china cabinet appears normally:
Here is the china cabinet last year fixed up for Christmas:
I had enough of that annual job last Christmas and cleared out the three cupboards that are in what was our old kitchen that once was the back porch of this farmhouse. Our son stripped off 20-year old contact paper and painted the cupboards a glossy white. The middle cabinet became the permanent home to our Christmas china, glasses, snowman mugs, and various other related items. Here is a picture of it now before I start moving some of the items out to decorate for Christmas:
I love opening up that cupboard every so often during the year just to get a glimpse of Christmas. I even break out into Jingle Bells sometimes. And when company is coming I turn on all the little battery candles thinking it will surprise them when I open the cupboard to show guests. Then I always forget to show them and the batteries burn on until I discover them much later.
Now I've got to go check out some more blogs and study vignettes.