Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A little bit of Christmas.

Everybody's world is different. That is why we have black and white, plain and fancy and big and small. Time was when I was many, many years younger, that I did enjoy going all out to decorate for Christmas. I still think about it, every year, as this time rolls around. Being 65 , where that is not really old by today's standards, it does often make one stop and think."Do I really want to go to all the work? And somebody has to take all that down." Sometimes we do it for ourselves and other times we do it because we feel we have to. I get all excited every year around October. I tell my self that I am doing Christmas this year. I get out paper and pencil and start making plans, drawing sketches, jotting down ideals and the mind seems to run a wild. I somehow seem to come to my senses when I realize most of these ideals cost money. I am not cheap, have always been one who never worried about such details, as the cost of things. Some how, in these golden years, I have to worry about such. It seems that even simple ideals can end up costing more money that you can  spare.

Fresh cut greenery and winter berries fill all the garden urns.

Bundled fresh cut English Ivy  with bright red bows,hang from doors and sconces.
Don't get me wrong. this blog is not a pity party about my finances, but I am sure a lot of you out there have the same concerns over money and making it last these days. I always  think about having Christmas House tours at this time. That's a really good reason to spend time, energy and money decorating. I have tried this ideal in the past and it never seems to pay off. The weather here in Missouri can be quite harsh in December. One never knows if we will have snow or ice. Some how, it seems, that when I plan any event, the weather tries to put a damper on it. You know, I live in Clarksville,Mo. It is in the middle of the country and a good 70 miles from no where. My friends and neighbors are wonderful folks. They are very nice and always there when you need them.. Most of them are hard working class people and when they have time off from work, they need to do there shopping, decorating and other activities. They never seem to have a extra minute to take a house tour. The people that I might attract, from other parts of the world, never know if they can make it or not, because of the weather.

Piles of colorful fruit.

Bright shining silver.

Some of my battery operated candles, I sold out this year for safety.

   Being single, having no children, I do have my Sissy Dog, it is hard to think about going to all the trouble to decorate and do Christmas just for us two. I know some people said I should do I should do it just for me, but me, is tired and doesn't always want to work that hard. I do have a need to have some Christmas at my house. Just a little bit. I somehow in my older age seem to fall back on the simple things from my childhood memories. Fresh cut greenery, bright red ribbons, white snow, frosted windows and the smell of cookies straight out of the oven. I wonder if young people of today are even aware of such things. It sure is a different world we all live in today. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for that, but I long for the simple things from my childhood.
    I am having a bus tour this Saturday and a small dinner party for a group of 10 ladies next week. Of course I wanted the house to look a little like Christmas. And making the table pretty is always a big priority when having a dinner party.
   A few weeks back, when I first got into the Christmas mood, I made a little mini of , My Old Historic House. I dreamed of a gingerbread house like the ones at the white house. But a paper house is what I ended up with. I think it will be something I can put out for the rest of my life. I posted about this a few weeks back. Since then, because of your comments, I have added a Sissy dog to the yard. You were right, was not complete with out her. The plastic Santa in the door way is an ornament from my childhood. Who would believe I have held onto him all these years and it means a lot to me to get him out year after year,

The cut glass vases and pitches, sparkle like ice, winter berries represent winter, Christmas ornaments and votive candle complete the centerpiece.

A pair of sterling silver pheasants peak out among the crystal and winter berries

I thought the winter berry stems were the perfect thing to fill the vases.

Bundles of fresh cut ivy adorn a pair of Victorian sconces in the dining room.
Imagine all the votive candle will be lit for the dinner party.

A Santa from my childhood, sets in a kitchen chair.

   I went on a day trip to this lodge resort, where I work part time. They have lots of pine and cedar trees. Permission from the manger was granter, in case you are wondering.. I filled the back of the car with the smells of Christmas. I filled all the iron garden urns to where they were running over. Winter berries I found in a patch along the road made the urns even look more festive.
  I love bundling fresh cut English Ivy and tie them with bows and hang around instead of the wreath. So simple, yet so wonderful. The ivy holds up really well all season. I love candles  and again I posted about my candle invention this year. I sold myself out a little and opted for battery operated ones. Mainly  because they are safer.I do use a lot of votive  ( real) candle, however. This year for my dining room table I have opted to do something very different. Looking in the dish cupboard I noticed all the sparkling cut glass. It was a cold day and the sparkle of the glass reminded me of the ice crystals that  often form on the windows of the house. So I pulled it all out and made a gathering down the center of my my table. I always try and use my sterling silver pheasants some where on the dining table. They seemed to be right at home among the sparkling crystal. I added some simple colored glass ornaments
and to fill all the crystal vases and pitches I chose, simple winter berries, that I gathered along the side of the road. To me, the  vases looked like ice and the winter berries looked like winter. The birds were among them in the field and the ornaments added a little more sparkle and a little more Christmas. I used cut glass goblets, of various sizes, to hold the votive candles. I can just dream of how it will all sparkle when they are finally lit. I put a little water in each glass, this keeps the melted candle from sticking to the glass. adds to a much easier and faster clean up.

A long Time Christmas tradition, the dogs getting there winter hats and scarfs out.

Mr. Red Spots says, where's mine?

Fresh cut holly poked here and there.

  Of course it has become a tradition that my Staffordshire dogs in the kitchen all get dressed up for  Christmas and stay that way most of the winter.
   I hope you can get a little inspired by my simple Christmas decorations. It just goes to show, that one does not have to spend big amounts and works months to have a festive holiday. Please come by any time for a real tour. The lights are always on, the door is always open and Sissy will for sure. meet you with a jump and a kiss.

New this year, the Christmas  House.

Complete with a little Sissy Dog

The real Sissy Dog all snuggled in her basket, beside the kitchen fireplace.