Thursday, December 19, 2013

What Are Your Must-have Christmas Decorations?: Final Contest Post

Christmas decorating is laden with tradition and our dreams of what a perfect Christmas should be. For some people it changes year to year, ever fresh and spontaneous. For others its sameness is comforting and joyful.

I tend to fall into the traditional category, with a sparse collection of items we use again and again. There's the tree, of course. The snowflakes on the tree (above) were crocheted by my mother, and they're always the special finishing touch, added after all the lights, garland and other ornaments are in place. In the past, we've always had a live tree, but this year we're experimenting with an artificial one. I bought some strange little scent-laden stick-like ornaments called Scentsicles, and they do a decent job of simulating the scent of a real tree.

We put lights on the shrubs in front of our house, and other than the switch to LED lights, that's been the same for years. Usually, I have a few ceramic figurines (Santa, the mouse king) sitting on a shelf as well as a few other items, but this year we're streamlining a bit, so our only other decoration is this flower arrangement that my husband bought for me (isn't he nice? He's always given me flowers when I sold a book, but now that I'm moving into indie publishing, he tries to give them to me at other times).

So, are you a traditional Christmas decorator or do you like to mix it up every year? What type of decorations do you have up right now? Reply in the comments to be entered in the Christmas contest. (There are six chances to enter and you can enter through the 21st, so if you've missed any of them, click on the Contest link at the top of the page to find the other contest posts).

I hope your Christmas season is filled with joy (and pretty decorations)!



Laney4 said...

I would have said "traditional", with most things the same year after year, but then my kids "decorated" this year, and now it's "original".
My tree lights vary. One year they were all blue because I felt blue. Another year was a "Red Green" year. Most years is an assortment of bulbs belonging to my mom (who died in 1995) and replacement bulbs found on Boxing Days, including light protectors in various colours and shapes placed behind the bulbs.
I ALWAYS have green "leaf garland" around my big mirror over the couch. I sometimes put silver or gold garland around the little mirror when you come in the door.
I ALWAYS have an artificial tree. It gets bundled up in a huge orange bedspread a former neighbour gave to me years ago (as where else would you put an ugly orange bedspread?). Looks like we're carrying a dead body, but it works for us.
We ALWAYS have multi-coloured lights on the house now that they are LED lights that I can't switch up. I used to have "Red Green" and "blue" lights to match the tree.
My kids ALWAYS want our two plastic Santas hanging on the dining room walls. I couldn't care one way or another, but it makes them happy (or they're too lazy to switch it up?).
I would have said I ALWAYS hang crocheted coasters that spell "NOEL" on an unused light switch, but the kids didn't find it this year (although they didn't look very hard, I'm sure). My aunt made it for us years ago. It will be back hanging next year, guaranteed....
I also would have said I ALWAYS hang crocheted snowflakes on my tree (like you), as they make me think of my sister who painstakingly made them. Again, the kids couldn't be bothered this year. (They only hung teddy bears on the tree after the lights and garland, so I have boxes and boxes of decorations not being used this year. I believe they call it "minimal". I'm not a fan of minimal, at least for Christmas.)
I ALWAYS hang a wreath on the front door. Mind you, I continue to add an assortment of items to the wreath whenever it looks sparse, so it's never the same. I used to have two wreaths that the kids made in Grade 2 and 4 (as I went to the classrooms and showed their classes how to make them), but the kids don't seem to want them hanging anymore. They are hangers bent in a circle, with garland wound round and decorations glued to the garland. Now here's something that ALWAYS needs replacement decorations glued to it....
No matter whether we are at home or visiting my sister far away for the holidays, we ALWAYS enjoy spending time with family. THAT'S the tradition I am proudest to continue.

Tom Lester said...

We really went the extra mile this year with out decorations. Outside we have a full set up of Santa and his reindeer, life size display in our front yard!! All of our trees and our house is lit up with thousands of lights, and our tree is about to fall over from all the ornaments haha.

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Elaine, you are a hoot. That dead body comment made me laugh (and I was drinking coffee, too)! With the artificial tree, a lot of my decorations stayed in the box marked Christmas Tree. Now I'm finding out that some of the things had nothing to do with the tree (like the big jingle bells for my front door). I may have to hunt down that box and figure out what I'm missing.

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Tom, your Christmas themed front yard sounds amazing! On Christmas Eve, we drive around and look at all the lights after dinner, and I'm just in awe of the effort that goes into some of the decorations.

Mary Preston said...

These days we have a smallish fake tree, but you can't tell it's fake because we just PILE on the decorations. EVERY decoration, going back to when the children were small, finds a place on the tree.

The must have, though they all are really, is the Angel on the very top. I grew up with an Angel on the Christmas watching over us. It would not feel right to have it any other way.

We have a few larger decorations on bookshelves around the house & a wreath I made hanging in the archway to the living room.

We don't decorate outside at all. Too much wind & heat.

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Mary, I love your angel on the top of the tree. We have an angel, too, though not a particularly substantial one. My mother made it years ago, and she meant it as an ornament, not a tree topper. We just appropriated it for that purpose, and it stuck. Its body is yarn with silver tinsel wired wings and a halo. However, it lost one of its eyes years ago (well, really, eyelashes, since its eyes were closed in this innocent way). I suppose we could have replaced it, but somehow it seems more dear as it is: fragile and imperfect, but loved anyway.

slehan said...

I live by myself and do not decorate at all. I'll get out my holiday-smelling essential oils so my house smells wonderful.

slehan at juno dot com

Myrna Mackenzie said...

slehan, scent is such a big part of holidays (other times, too), isn't it? I like to put cinnamon and vanilla in water and simmer it. It's very soothing and puts me in good spirits.