Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This Christmas

Christmas has always been special to me. As the baby of my family, my parents and sisters made sure each Christmas was warm, cozy and full of wonderful memories. For some reason, my mother got away with the fact that she could only cook a few things.. Chop Suey, Pork and Sauerkraut, and Meat Loaf. These were three things that really didn’t belong on the Christmas table. Luckily my grandma was a wonderful cook. She had cooked for an elementary school in my home town for most of her adult life. My Grandma Anne would always do all the cooking.. turkey, potatoes, pies, .. everything. And I happily never cooked anything till I got married.

As a teen, my friends and I would bundle up every year to go Christmas Caroling, tobogganing, and skating. We also did some pretty stupid things in the snow (now that I think about it). A donuts  this is where you drive your car, then swerve and slam on the brakes till you were circling and spinning like a donut. Shagging (yes, I know what that is in England J)… this is where someone is driving a car and the other idiots hang off the back bumper and slide on their boots along the snowy road. 

All of the dumb things we did were done out in the country with no other cars around. I would list names but they all know who they are…. just a bunch of  kids. They were my friends then and they still are today.

This Christmas, I sit by my fire in my living room in The Netherlands and I’m thinking about something my mother did inspire in me… my love to decorate the house at Christmas to create a magical feel for my children. One of my favorite memories of her is when she would have us wait at the top of the stairs on Christmas day while she went to turn on all the Christmas lights around the house before we were allowed to come down. It was truly beautiful. Well here, the trees are lit, halls are decked, cookies are baked and stockings are hung by the chimney with care. I thought I had a mouse stirring one night, but it turned out to be just a runaway pine cone from my tree.  I love to decorate my house and try to put a little something merry in each room.

 Thought I’d share ….
I usually pick up an ornament or two each year but I also love tearing apart old arrangements to put new ones together. This year I’ve been following a few very creative people on their blogs. And they’ve inspired me to make a few new things. Of course mine do not look as fabulous as theirs but I’m pretty happy with them.

My faux to fab wreath idea came from Beth at http://unskinnyboppy.com/2011/11/making-my-own-semi-natural-evergreen/. I used an old wreath and filled it with goodies from my yard. I couldn’t find burlap ribbon, so I cut up a Sinter Klaas bag to make the bow. I like my use of the bag more than what it’s supposed to be used for.

And I love the tree that I have in my bedroom. I have always decorated it with the hand crocheted ornaments that my grandma and my sister made for me.I add raffia bows to fill in the tree and offset the white. 

This year, I added little mason jars filled with tiny white goodies.. mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips.. and so on. I love the way the lights sparkle through the glass jars. This idea came from Kelly at http://eclecticallyvintage.com/2011/11/snowy-mason-jar-candles-2/

My main tree is decorated with a mix of old and new ornaments collected over the years with some made by my children and even one made by me in Kindergarten. 

A precious juice lid with a Christmas card circle cut and glued onto it.

Some of my loved ones have now passed but making wonderful memories for my own family is what is most important to me now.  We won’t be spending This Christmas here in The Netherlands, but we have some friends staying with our beloved little Bear. So the house is ready for their stay.

 Even little Bear has a tree.

My mom and her best friend

Thank you, Mom, for instilling in me not only a love for the beauty that is all around at this time of year but for what is most important… faith and family. You are dearly missed.
So from my home to yours ~ Merry Christmas


  1. Your tree looks amazing - how fun to still have your Kindergarten ornament! So glad I inspired you to use candy filled mason jars - they look so cute!

  2. Thanks Kelly! I'll be making some of these for my children. I love them!

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