I love to decorate for the holidays, for every holiday I do a little something, but I seem to enjoy decorating for the Christmas holiday the most. I enjoy the lights, the baubles, the ornaments, the stockings, the candy canes… all of it seems so festive! When we were growing up we had a plastic tree, which my dad hung with colored lights, then my mom, sister and I decorated with glass ornaments and tinsel. The felt tree skirt above was our tree skirt while growing up. Our tree was always festive, but I longed for a real Christmas Tree.
Our very first tree as a young family was real, and it cost $5.00, it would have rivaled Charlie Brown’s tree before the ornaments. At that time we had very little money (not that this has changed all that much), and I hand-made all of our ornaments, our stockings, and all of the other Christmas decorations. I also hand-made all of the Christmas presents that we gave to our family and friends. How I did this with a full-time job, a young daughter, and a career as an artist I do not know.
Our ornaments and collections have out grown our first tree, and now I decorate eight trees (and as I no longer wish to cut down a real tree these are all artificial), including the mantle over the fire-place. Every tree has a different theme, and I change the themes around so that every year it is a little different. The above tree (which is the largest, 4 ft.) rests on a vintage sewing machine, and sits in front of our picture window. This year I have decorated it with our collection of moon and star themed ornaments.
This is a picture of our mantle with Gwen’s stocking in the middle (made of moire and hand embroidered); Kevin’s to the right (made of vintage cotton velveteen scraps and hand embroidered); mine to the left (made of vintage Jacquard and lace). The theme for the mantle this year is Angels and Santas.
This is our vintage glass ornament tree (3 ft.), the figural ornaments all reproduction but they look old-fashioned with no ornament bigger than 2″; this tree stands in the middle of our china cabinet. Grouped around the ornaments are small bells that were attached to Christmas Crackers that we bought one year, small colorful glass balls and a few strands of vintage mercury glass beads. I placed an old felt stocking around the base of the tree and for the topper I hung a metal tree with hanging ornaments that was a gift from a friend.
Kevin's Frog Tree
This tree sits to the right of the above tree, it is about 18″ tall and it is Kevin’s very own frog tree. I have mentioned before that I gave him the hobby (see Two Many Frogs) of collecting frogs, and this is one more addition to his collection. I hung glass Mardi Gras beads that I found at the thrift store and included butterfly and lady bug ornaments to represent the gals in his life. The tree that sits to the left on the opposite side of the china cabinet is my Angel Tree, which I featured in a Tea on Tuesday post Angels and Hearts.
Tree by the Sea
This is the newest tree for our collection, it is about 12′ tall. The tree rests in a large abalone shell, and is decorated and surrounded with shells. I made a crochet garland that is supposed to look like kelp, and attached small purple shells in the strand. I purchased most of the shells and star fish that are around and on the tree except for the small abalone shells that you see in the branches.
Glass Baubles, Santa and Snowmen
This tree is also new for us this year, being that we have so many ornaments now, and stands 3 ft. tall. This tree is manly decorated with vintage mercury glass ornaments and garland, I also included our collection of glass ornaments that were made in traditional shapes. The tree topper is from my CuddleNots class that I taught in September. I have surrounded the tree (which sits on our china cabinet) with Santas and Snowmen and Reindeer and Wise Men.
I have another tree full of handmade hearts, which rests next to the fireplace, one in the kitchen which I featured in a Tea on Tuesday post In the Kitchen, and the dining room table is festive with candles and ornaments.
I wish you a joyous day, and hope that it is filled with family and friends. Love to you and yours, Christen