Monday, December 28, 2009

Our House

Boxes of ornaments were hauled down from the attic.Peace was with me, and I hope that it was with you, as well.
And bird ornaments, because, yes, Doris, I still feed the birds, and I love them. My tree has bluejays, and cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees...

There are three baby shoes, because once my children were babies, and those treasured memories are carefully hung on my tree each and every Christmas.

Small beaded ornaments that my grandmother made years ago.
My girls are musical. Brianna gave this one to Cara.
I've never counted them, but truly, there are a hundred ornaments, I'm sure, each one meaning something. Celtic orbs, all green and glittery, because my children are Irish. Ornaments from their first Christmases. An ornament from my parents' first Christmas in 1956, five months before I was born. The White House collection that Dixie sent me while she was stationed in DC. Momentos of places we have lived, where the kids have traveled, of people who have loved us, of other times. For the first time, I hung four little ornaments on the tree that were given to me at the Cancer Center last Christmas. Last year, I could not hang them on the tree. It was all just too close. This year, with the cushion of a few months in between, these became bittersweet reminders of just how special this Christmas was.

Last year, I did not get my Christmas village up. This year, I unpacked the most of it.

And my nativity. It looks so small here, but it's not. The tallest figures are six inches tall. This is a hand painted set from a crafts person in Michigan where I used to live. Incredible attention to detail, but because I suck at pictures, you will never see the details unless you come to my house to view them with your very own eyes.
I got three beautiful poinsettias, and I even won a wreath at the Cancer Support Group Christmas party.

You know, it was a careful Christmas this year, what with both of us being unemployed. We used our ingenuity, and it was actually quite a lot of fun. Do you see the little train case to the left of the tree? It was a little time capsule filled with things that you would find in a train case with a custom label from 1950 on the side. That was great fun, and Cara's grandfather got quite involved with that project. White gloves. An old fashion curling iron. An antique perfume atomizer. A book. Hankies. Headache powders. Antique post cards from Europe. Old perfume. A fountain pen. A wind up travel clock. Finding the items was a lot of fun, and our history major seemed to enjoy her gift. I got antique china cups for the girls, with fancy tea. Careful shopping for sales, picking up things here and there beginning early in the year (I actually already have two gifts for each kids wrapped and put away for next year). The gifts began to migrate to the tree as they were wrapped. By Christmas eve, the stack here was tripled, easily. It came to me, again and again during the season, that it is not money that makes the holiday. It is creativity. It is love, our own and God's. It is thoughtfulness. Whimsy. It is having health and energy. It is remembering last year when I did not.

I am a lucky woman.

Our Christmas was special.

Magic even.



Scotty said...

Glad to hear that you had a nice Christmas, Debby, and that train time capsule thingy? What a great idea.

Kelly said...

This all looks and sounds so lovely!!

My tree is also covered with ornaments from past and present, filled with memories. I also love your nativity. Mine is very special as well and looks quite similar to yours, or at least some of the figures do.

I'm with Scotty about the time capsule train case.... great idea!!

Bob said...

"It came to me, again and again during the season, that it is not money that makes the holiday. It is creativity. It is love, our own and God's. It is thoughtfulness. Whimsy. It is having health and energy. It is remembering last year when I did not."

This is so, so cool. And so, so true. I love the part about the train case, not just because of what a great thing you did with it, but because my mother had a blue train case that was just one of those things that I always associated with her. I hardly see them anynmore but when I do, I always think of her.

BUSH BABE said...

I too loved the time capsule idea... p'raps we should do that each year, to open in ten or 20 years' time?

Glad your careful Christmas contained whimsy too - whimsy is a vital ingredient I reckon.


Bill of Wasilla said...

Looks like a most excellent Christmas.

You are both unemployed, yet you are rich.

And not only that, but, judging from all these photographs, it looks my influence is rubbing off on you.

PaintedPromise said...

awesome! i did not get out my ornaments this year, we have a tiny fake tree we leave decorated when we box it :( i know, i know, but with the kids gone it's not worth putting up a big tree, and with Randy allergic, i can't have a real one anyway - and i hate fake trees. so i have a tiny fake one lol.

but lights, i love my lights, and i do LOTS of lights outside!!!