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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, December 5, 2014

This Year's Christmas Tree


You may recall my Christmas decorations from a couple of years ago.

Perhaps you remember the festive offering from last year.  I tripped over that stupid box a lot during the holiday season and was glad when it finally went to the attic for a while.  A few years ago, we threw a Santa hat on our upright vacuum cleaner and called that good. If you missed the posts, go here and here

My mother, who loved Christmas and decorated her house to the hilt, for years used to come from Alaska in late November to visit my sister and me, spend Thanksgiving with us and to do some Christmas shopping. We always decorated here on the day after Thanksgiving for her.  I realized the other day that we stopped decorating after she died on January first 2005. 

Loree suggested that it might be more festive  to take the  decorations out of their boxes  so we started pulling dusty containers out of the basement.  This is the first year we've had a pre-lit tree which sure saved a lot of time.  We've usually used a wider tree but this one works fine and allows ease of passage when the pocket doors behind it are open. 



The front hall  got a little dressing up.  Not sure that I like those bright red bows so much anymore.


Poinsettias are a bit bright but the do add some nice instant color.

There are any more boxes to haul up from the basement/down from the attic.  I'll keep you posted about further developments.

Do you decorate for the holidays?  Have you started?  

51 comments:

  1. Oh, Peter, it looks so lovely. I think surely your mother would have loved it :)

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    1. Thanks Tamara, I think she would be pleased.

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  2. Wow, Outlaw, I'm impressed! That's a far cry from a Santa hat on the vacuum cleaner! Decorations are amazeballs (never used that word before!) and your house is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks! The Santa hat on the vacuum was much easier to put away though!

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  3. That looks lovely Peter! We may/may not decorate this year. Mood is very good it's just a matter whether to bother or not. However it might swing us to the decorate side after seeing yours...

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    1. Putting it all up is fun, it's putting it all away that I could live without!

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  4. You've done a beautiful job, your home looks like one that opens for a holiday tour! (and wow, that's a lot of poinsettia!)

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    1. They were in boxes in the basement so they just got thrown in the entry. It's too cold in that area (drafts from the front door opening) for real poinsettias to thrive so fake it is. They were either gifts or came from Michael's 75% off after Christmas sales.

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  5. Love it all, but especially that music-themed swag. I'm glad you decorated this year. We bought one of those pre-lit trees the year we moved in here, and used it once. Since then we haven't really bothered to decorate. I love the idea of just putting a Santa hat on the vacuum cleaner.

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    1. I made that swag a billion years ago and have never been totally pleased with it. The poor thing has had elements added and taken off more times than I can count.

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  6. If it were up to me the house would be decoration-free during winter. I suppose it gives the cats something to do (the lowest part of the tree pretty much has to remain bare, or it will end up that way anyway)

    Are those all living Poinsettias, or are some artificial? Looks great!

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    1. Cats need Christmas trees to climb!

      They're all artificial. I'm not a huge fan of imitation plants but also would never shell out the bucks for that many live ones. We have a couple live ones in the bright kitchen windowsills.

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  7. Wow! Lots of decorations. I think I'll decorate less this year than last Christmas. I'm just waiting for the spring... Happy weekend, Peter!

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    1. I think that next year we might not decorate at all again. It's nice to do every 10 years or so. I'm looking forward to spring too! Happy weekend to you, Satu!

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  8. You move so effortlessly from a vacuum cleaner to an all out decorating bonanza. I love the narrow tree. Not only is it more practical, but it has a nostalgic retro appearance that fits your home so well. It's magnificent. Love the swag with the violin on the wall and the stair case is to die for (even without decorations). Will you put a second tree in the glass room? It sits empty this winter...

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    1. There's a round turret on the opposite side of the house that might get a tree but the glass room is now unheated and still has a lot of the stuff from the garage in it so no tree out there. The staircase really is lovely. The real estate agent gave us a picture of the newel post to look at while we were thinking about buying the house.

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  9. I hop you enjoy the decorations and the holiday season, Peter. They are difficult when you've lost people so closely associated with them. I'm in the midst of the process of determining what Christmas should look like now that our parents are gone myself. My husband (the archetype for the grinch, I believe) would be positively gleeful if I stuck a hat on the vacuum cleaner (it is red!) but I've had only 1 year without a tree in my life and this isn't going to be year #2. Tree shopping is scheduled for Sunday.

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    1. It is fun pulling some things out again I have a lot of holiday stuff in my classroom so have never been without any Christmas cheer but just haven't felt the urge to decorate our house for a while. We'll see how packing everything back up goes.

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  10. We're boycotting Christmas this year. No decorations, presents, tree, etc. Your house is beautiful! Love that woodwork!

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    1. I'm sorry the Grinch visited your house! A little bird tells me that you'll be spending the holidays in a fabulously warm climate so not a total boycott of Christmas, just a different take on it this year.

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  11. Growing up, Santa brought the tree. The house bore no trace of the holidays until (for me) Christmas morning. You can imagine the flurry of activity once the kids were in bed, and the exhausted, hungover parents the next day. I've been a devoted decorator ever since I wrested control from those misguided adults.

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    1. It would be kind of cool not to decorate until Christmas eve. and leave everything up for a month but folks like it all to be over quickly. I keep things up at least until twelfth night (the 12th day of Christmas) and sometimes until Candlemass.

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  12. Your home looks so festive all properly decorated. You have an appreciative audience here.

    The Monkeyman said to me once, "Mom, you expect too much." I think that's when the downhill slide of Christmas started, when he gave me permission not to try so hard. And then one Christmas he wasn't here any more and the fun was gone.

    Maybe I'll climb up and pull down some boxes for old times sake. I can get out a Santa Hat for the Hoover, they're tucked away somewhere I can reach.

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    1. Thanks, Jean.

      Does He who mows not care one way or the other? A Santa hat on the Hoover is sometimes just festive enough!

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  13. Old world charm! I'm glad you did it, Peter!
    I don't have a tree yet. We'll go to the tree farm soon.

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    1. I always look forward to your posts about the tree farm and your beautiful tree!

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  14. Your house is made for Christmas decoration. It looks gorgeous and I like the violin swag a lot.

    I have a fake poinsettia for the first time this year and it looks pretty good but I like the groups better.

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    1. Old houses do handle being decorated fairly well. I used to shudder at the thought of fake plants but I love groups of poinsettias and am not willing to buy real ones each year so the less expensive artificial ones do the job year after year and don't require any watering.

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  15. Peter, this is so pretty, you make me feel that I have to get busy and decorate. My Mom died in 2005 also.

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    1. Some years it's fun to do nothing but if you feel like decorating, do it!

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  16. All right, way to go. That lovely home of yours just begs for Victorian splendor.
    I guess you already know that I decorate. :-)

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    1. It is a fun Victorian home although sometimes I dream of a nice rambler with vinyl siding and a metal roof. You and Tom always do such a beautiful job of decorating!

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  17. Your tree and that wreath especially catch my eye...The style/period of your house just cries out to be decorated! And no. I haven't decorated much at all this year - and probably won't. Too much going on. Tonight, hubby and I are going on the Christmas housewalk in an old neighborhood in nearby town. It's an annual event and we seldom have missed it. Yesterday I was part of a group of women who decorated our little country church. And Thursday evening we had Christmas dinner in the facility my mother resides in. It was/IS decked out quite beautifully....I believe I'll just enjoy the beauty that others create.

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    1. Most years, I enjoy what others do which is a wonderful idea because then we don't have to take everything down! What could be better? All the enjoyment, none of the work.

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  18. Well you have certainly got into the spirit of the thing this year. The decorations suit your style of house, I love your staircase.

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    1. Thanks, Chloris, it's fun to have an old house to decorate.

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  19. Your home looks truly festive and your decor really enhances the gorgeous details of your Victorian. Good for you for making the effort! I particularly like the baroque garland on the stairs - maybe darker red bows would feel better to you there.

    We usually wait until after the Mulch Man's birthday on Dec. 9th, to decorate for Christmas. Then we get out the aluminum tree and get into the season. Maybe it's because I've been a fairly minimalist decorator all my life, but I'm now getting into it a bit more as I age. Also because there's lots of great mid-century Christmas stuff out there, and people keep thinking of me as the person who needs it ;-)

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    1. It was fun to do something again with the stuff in those boxes that take up so much space in the basement.

      I love aluminum trees and I bet yours looks perfect in your home!

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  20. Great deco's, Outlaw! Makes me want to rush out and buy, buy, buy. We gave our towering 60 year old fake tree away last year. Each branch had to inserted into a wooden center and then lights go on it, and then came the decorations.
    Each year our tree and decorations have gotten smaller. Last year, I hauled out a venetian glass 6 inch tall tree (fully decorated, of course) and place it carefully on DH's desk. Perfect! I keep threatening to go up to the attic and haul down Christmas ornaments from years' past and pass them along to the children and God-children, but it isn't warm enough. I have a 2 foot tall pine cone tree somewhere in the basement that might get put on the piano, but only if I trip over it down there. I'm not against decorating, I'm against working too hard and I have presents to make (my famous rub and homemade food baskets) which I give away rather than hoard for next year. Have a great holiday, y'all!

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    1. I'm with you on the not working too hard bit which is mostly why I haven't decorated in years past. Putting it up is easy and fun but taking it all down is a royal pain! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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  21. Peter, what a treat to see such wonderful Christmas tree! I also think it's nice that this tree is pre-lit. Say the true, I do not want to decorate tree this year, I think it's enough to make some decorations for table or walls. I love pots of poinsettia you placed in your home, they're pretty colorful spots.

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    1. Thank you, dear Nadezda! Sometimes it is nice not to put up a tree. Th poinsettias are artificial and have been in boxes in the basement for years. You always make such beautiful and creative decorations so I hope you show them on your blog!

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  22. Hi Peter, the decorations look amazing, and it is very moving that this is the first time you are decorating since your mother died. We don't do Christmas decorations but I love yours.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I did enjoy those years of not doing Christmas decorations as it gave a lot of time in January that wasn't needed to put everything away. We'll see if we decorate next year or not.

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  23. Cooincidence that my Mom died on the fifth of Jan 2005. I didn't feel much like decorating that year either.

    Santa hat on the vacuum...I'm liking that idea for this year but your tree is an inspiration, it is gorgeous. Your mom would be proud.

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  24. If getting started means pulling boxes off the top shelf, yes; my husband has started. He also bought a new outdoor cord.

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  25. oooh, pocket doors! No decorating here yet, but a tree has been brought in, standing at the ready. Always fairly low key, on the pagan side...

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  26. It is beautiful! I´m not used to trees that are that big inside houses. I like it a lot.

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  27. I'm so happy that you decided to decorate this year, you did a lovely job. I especially love all the angles on your tree and it looks beautiful lit up.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.