Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keeping Christmas calm . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .with the assistance of Santa's reindeer!

I know some of you have already been rounding up your own herd of 
these cute little china guys.
When I first heard about them being tethered to the shelves at Lowe's, I 
quickly shoved Bob into his car, armed with a list to go reindeer hunting 
for me. I was still in PJ's and fleece robe that chilly morning, it would have 
taken me far too long to get to the store before they were all gone.

As it happened, when Bob arrived at the first Lowe's location near us,
 the shelves were almost empty. These little guys come two to a box and I
 had requested six white ones. According to Bob, there was just one box of 
white ones remaining, with plenty in green, which didn't quite work for me.
He paid for the white ones and then headed off to another Lowe's store .
Next phone call was to inform me there were NO white ones left but several
brown reindeer were looking for a holiday home. After determining they 
were a handsome chocolate brown, and would look good with those 
brown candles I'd found, I ended up with a little herd of my very own 
consisting of two white and four brown.

I'm using my reindeer as table decorations now, and this one is 
guarding the plum pudding until Christmas dinner. 
They can also be hung on a tree or used as place markers later. 
These cuties will be hard to pack away after the holiday season . . . 
I may let them graze here throughout the entire winter!

See those noses? I'm really tempted to add a little red ball to just one!!!

Edited:  Sorry folks, I really couldn't resist!    Ho! Ho! Ho! Rudolph.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh Christmas Trees - - - - - - -

This year we've not purchased a live tree. We're really lacking space and 
expecting a lot of company at one time, this means nobody can move with 
drink/plate of Christmas nibbles in hand without perhaps tripping over 
something - a tree would be hazardous!
Instead the very lovely symbol of Christmas will shine in other ways 
around the cottage.

You may recall this little metal tree - vintage perhaps, not certain though, 
could be repro - found at SuzAnna's Antiques a couple of years ago. 
I've used it here before and also in the living room. With the addition of those
 popular very tiny LED battery operated lights, it looks pretty at night.

I use it mostly to display my collection of bird ornaments and crystals.

I've also added a few mementos from last June's trip to the Baltic States and 
St. Petersburg, Russia - the Swedish Dala horses and the Russian icon.

In the living room is "Bob's Tree". A ceramic musical tree lit with glass birds, 
made especially for Bob by one of his co-workers many, many years ago. 
I thought she was most generous to do this for him, it's beautifully painted, 
and plays 'Frosty the Snowman'  . . . . . .and Christmas just wouldn't be 
Christmas for hubby without 'his tree'.

My new 'tree' purchase this year.  I saw this old door, 
complete with vintage hinges and lock, and beautifully painted by Emily, 
whose mom Susie and sis Jenny, are the owners of fabulous 
SuzAnna's Antiques.
I think this is a perfect WELCOME sign at the cottage entrance.

Every year the screened gazebo gets decorated with a faux tree. 
We can view it from our kitchen and living room windows and not worry 
about it getting in the way inside the cottage. It can stay up through the 
long cold winter nights, shielded from the winds, safe from visiting wildlife. 
Sometimes I remove the ornaments after Christmas and leave it up longer 
with just lights. It looks so beautiful if we have a snowfall - something I'll be 
looking forward to perhaps in January when people are not facing so
much travel.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, thy leaves are so unchanging - - - - - - - 
O Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas tree, such pleasure do you bring me.
(O Tannebaum - traditional German Christmas song) 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Photo Challenge December. . . . . .

The season surrounding Christmas and a coming new year gives us many 
opportunities to take and share our photos.
Posting on what Christmas means to each of us, and adding our photos taken
around our home, or of family and friends and holiday celebrations,
 allows us freedom to express ourselves in many ways.

Because of Donna, our gracious hostess for the Personal Photo Challenge, 
we have snapped and gathered our photographs to share with one another 
each month throughout the year. . . . and what a lot of fun it has been. I have 
always looked forward to every fun challenge.

December's topic, Christmas Scenes (and perhaps we'll also be treated 
to some Hanukkah scenes which would be nice) is an easy one, hardly a 
challenge, more a modern way to wish one another holiday greetings when we 
may not have a mailing address to send an old-fashioned card.
So, here's to you dear friend - may your Christmas 
be full of special moments and many blessings.

I took several photos this month as I decorated the house and garden for the 
holiday season. I love Christmas, I love tradition. I have however changed
my decorating style indoors over the past several years, not because I no 
longer like bright reds and greens, more because silver and gold, cream and 
white, make it easier to keep many of my year round items in place. I then  
add Christmas decor and natural items such as live greenery, and of course this 
year the wonderful brushed nickel pumpkins I shared in this recent post .

The gazebo at dusk dressed for Christmas 

Outside, the garden in December becomes bare and almost colorless when you 
live in a non-tropical climate, but at Christmas you can light it up easily. Then the cold, 
dark nights take on a special brilliance.
Here in the southeast we still have plenty of leaves falling, but there are tall pines,
winter grass, ivy, and even shrubs which stay green despite the chill in the air.

All pics taken with the Nikon Coolpix S6400. 
PicMonkey is responsible for a little editing 
including  the 'dusk' effect.

Go HERE to visit Donna's Personal Photo Challenge blog and share your 
holiday photos.
As most of you know, sadly this will be the last 'challenge' for a while.
Donna is very busy caring for, and staying close to dear Mr. Jim during his
 illness. We are praying for them both during this difficult time.

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