Thursday, December 3, 2015

Decking the Halls 2015

It took all week, but I think I completed my Christmas décor for the year this afternoon.  It was a classic example of "it has to get worse before it gets better" with boxes and packaging and junk all over the place.  And it's still pretty bad in the basement where half the contents of our crawlspace are strewn around the living room.  But we can just pretend that's not there, right? 
This topic has been done to death, so I won't get into many details, but decorating for Christmas with little kids around is a disaster waiting to happen. I am still finding ornaments in strange places around the house that are nowhere near the tree and I had to buy a new tube of super glue when I was shopping last night to repair the things that have been broken this week.  It was a hard decision, but after watching an ornament I thought was plastic (a cute little reindeer that said "Alaska" on it that Justin must have obtained in high school when he went there with his family, although he doesn't remember getting it) get yanked off the tree and shattered on the ground (it's antlers and leg have been glued on, so it is back on the tree!) by Tessa I decided to keep any ornaments that have any meaning to me at all off the tree this year unless they are completely unbreakable. If the thought of it being destroyed made me upset at all it is missing Christmas this year.  It's sad!  Fortunately, I have a box of assorted blue plastic ornaments from IKEA that take up a lot of space and also a lot of handmade embroidered ornaments.  And my favorite ornament ever that I took from home a few years ago is a little felt pine tree with sequins sewn on so that can't break either!  Even if it could, that is one ornament I would have kept out somewhere besides the tree... 
So, here is what I did this year. It probably looks just like last year. 
I'm pretty proud of that vase full of fake tree branches and pine cones.  I am not a fan of fake floral accents most of the time but this is nice.  I put the manger scene up when the kids weren't paying attention because I don't want them to notice it.  The bright colors could be tempting.  They have a "Little People" nativity set to play with and drag around the house.  
I am really really pleased with myself over this...

I bought that little tree at IKEA a few years ago and I wasn't sure if I would have a place for it this year.  Then, when I was sadly closing the box on my yearly Fiestaware ornaments that I buy on clearance every year after Christmas I was wishing there was a way to incorporate some Fiestaware into Christmas decorating in addition to the Christmas light dishes I have and I remembered the large crock I have displayed in the kitchen.  The tree fit perfectly!  Then I had those little star ornaments which were purchased on clearance last year.  I forgot I had them and I wasn't sure what I would do with them since they are quite tiny for a full size tree.  The kids opened the box and spread them all over the house and as I was gathering them up  I realized they matched the green crock!  Perfect!
Here we have the miscellaneous clutter table...I put some of the Christmas books with adult themes (also referred to as the ones I can't read without crying) in the book ends and the rest are in the living room for the kids. 

This is the Christmas tree collection my sister and I gave to my Grandma over the years which she has now returned to us.  A few items are additions of my own.  The little Santa boots are from Justin's grandma.  It was a tradition that she gave everyone in the family one and that means I have one too now! 
Here are our stockings with the Elf hanging out in them! 
His hands are sewn together like that.  That's how he always looks so proper.

Justin wound this old string of lights around the railing and I like the look of it.  It's hard to see but I added the old green and red beads I used on the tree before I purchased the current blue ones. 
Now, the following display might seem to contradict what I just said about keeping things that could break and that I care about put away this year.  I set up a few buildings from my quite large Christmas village.  However, Ben saw one at a store recently and he has been talking about it ever since.  I almost didn't put it up because it was buried (BURIED!) in the farthest corner of the crawlspace.  I had to move a barricade of crap to get to it and even then I still kind of just grabbed the ones that were on top of the stack.  On Tuesday night I brought the boxes upstairs and he wanted to put up the "tiny buildings" that minute.  He went to bed crying and wailing about it.  So I couldn't deny him.  We put it up when Tessa was sleeping the next day and I drilled it into his head that he couldn't break anything.  Every time I asked what he was doing or came near him he would say, "I didn't break it Mama!" And, of course, later that afternoon he was paying with the little people that go with it and I heard the telltale clinking sound of glass breaking and he suddenly burst into tears and said "I sorrrrrrryyy Mamaaaaaaa!".  He broke a little boy carrying a present.  It was a clean break and easily glued.  He was so sad I let that be the consequence.  He really loves this village. 
My favorite building on display this year is this little store with a Christmas tree lot on the side.  It has a little battery pack that turns on the street light and the tiny string of lights on the building.  It's hard to see but it even has a street light garland decoration like you can find on the light poles in so many cities of all sizes.  Even the tiny towns of my childhood always had the light poles decorated for Christmas. 

And of course, Ben is not the one I am really worried about...

 She found it!  The stool that Ben was using (which is also my closet stool that I use to reach the clothes piled on the high shelves and I want it back in there!) got left out.  Oh no, what was I thinking setting this village up?!  I chose the church and attached school (I got that for a Confirmation present in 9th grade!), the John Deere shop (mostly for Ben's benefit...he loves the "tractor house!"), the tree lot and a corner store with a Coca Cola theme.  I didn't set up so many others that I like, including a few residential houses, a pub, a Ford dealership (yeah, for real, there is a Ford dealership) and a few other stores.  The whole thing would take up the whole dining room and the cord situation would be a disaster. 
So that's it for this year!  I was truly wondering if it was all worth it when I was in the middle of it and trying to stash the clutter that I had to move to make room for the decorations but now, of course, I am delighted by all of it!  SO worth it!

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