deconstructing christmas

“Oh goody! Let’s put away all of the Christmas decorations immediately!” SAID NO ONE EVER.

Sad but true. I love Christmas. I love decorating for Christmas. But taking it all down is a real chore. And usually it falls on one person and in my house that’s me.

So….since I pretty much got the flu a couple of days after Christmas, and have been sick since, getting Christmas squared away and back into all of the containers is not happening quickly.

I remember when I was a kid, my parents used to spend weeks pointing fingers as to who was putting what away when. As a result, one year the Christmas tree was still up at Valentine’s Day. And it was a fresh cut tree so by Valentine’s Day it was dry and brittle and a fire hazard waiting for Miss Havisham’s living room (that’s a literary reference to a Charles Dickens’ character in Great Expectations for those unfamiliar.)

I try to be systematic about putting things away and usually all my ornaments and decorations stay up through Epiphany.

Epiphany falls 12 days after Christmas, or January 6th this year. Also known as 12th night it is the end of the Christmas season. Now I could stretch it out to Eastern Orthodox or Russian Christmas but when New Year’s Day rolls around I am generally ready to deconstruct Christmas as all eyes from the Nutcrackers, elves, and Santas seem to stare off their various bookshelves and tables.

As far as storage goes, I have graduated to plastic tubs of various sizes at this point. My parents used to keep all the decorations in giant cardboard boxes, and I did that for years until I realized how much easier it was to be able to see things. Also, because a lot of my ornaments are vintage, I prefer sturdier containers for storage.

Every year I start with good intentions of making everything super organized so I will never forget where anything is. And every Christmas that follows I still can’t remember where everything is!

I have collected a lot of ornaments over the years, so this is the time of year where I also periodically evaluate things that I am not using to free up storage space. This year, the things that are going to go away are the vintage metal ornament trees. They are wonderful for displaying ornaments, but I have ultimately decided I prefer little tabletop feather trees if I am going to display ornaments on smaller trees.

I have found over the years that the easiest way to deconstruct and clean up from Christmas is to do it a little bit at a time. So day by day something else gets put away until it’s all put away.

Before I go I am going to share one last photo. It’s a little VW bug and a Christmas tree Christmas ornament. It is my new favorite ornament and it came from the Christmas open house for Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm. Meg buys the best ornaments!

Thanks for stopping by.

hate has no home here at christmas or anytime, chester county. please.

Reader Submitted Photo 12/24/2017

Hate should have no home here, Chester County. Not at Christmas or at anytime. The photo you see is READER SUBMITTED. It came to me a little before 9:30 AM on Christmas Eve (this morning as I write this.)

It was in response to a message I received overnight after midnight and posted this morning:

Hello. I came across some racist graffiti in Exton. It’s under the underpass at rt 100 and 30 bypass. It’s new as I travel the area frequently and don’t think it’s more than 2 days old. Not sure how to have it removed.

Apparently they tried to call the police yesterday, but calling the non-emergency number after hours, is well, after hours. That is the problem with a centralized 911 system – you can’t just get someone from a local police department easily on the phone. In the old days, you could just simply call a local non-emergency number to report things like hideous graffiti.

I don’t expect a Christmas miracle out of West Whiteland Township on Christmas Eve, but either they or PennDOT need to remove this as soon as possible. Hate should truly have no home here, especially at Christmas. Say a prayer for the person who did the graffiti because they need to lose the hate in their own heart that drove them to tag in such an awful way.

2017 has been a brutal year. My Christmas wish is for peace at Christmas and in 2018. All of this hate from coast to coast in the United States accomplishes nothing…except it foments more and more hate. Somehow it needs to stop.

This graffiti in Exton isn’t art, nor is it a political statement. It’s just hate.

Please stop the hate. Hate has no home here at Christmas or any other time.

christmas 🎄

I love my Santas! I have collected them for years, and none will break the bank (most barn picked or from tag sales). To me, they are just part of what makes a house a home at Christmas!

Joining the Santas in this windowsill Christmas tableau is the beautiful amaryllis I received as a gift at Thanksgiving.

It’s the little things that make the season special.

Thanks for stopping by!

christmas bluebirds

I love my own personal Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom that lives in our woods and in the gardens.  This year I have some new winter residents, Eastern Bluebirds.  I first saw them a month ago, and then I saw them again just now. It’s official, I’m in love.

These are the things that make living here in Chester County, PA so darn special. These are the things we need to conserve and preserve.  These are the things that all the wanton development spoils.  Tyvec wrapped stick frame construction with nary a tree to be seen can never, ever replace the simple joy of seeing bluebirds in your garden.

Anyway, if you enjoy the birds one of the things you can do is participate in Cornell’s Feeder Watch.  It’s fun! (My husband doesn’t know it yet, but I signed us back up!)

holiday decorations

I always decorate my chandeliers for Christmas. I decided to do them for Thanksgiving as well this year.

The design style started with a strand of cranberry colored wood beads that I bought a while back at a barn sale. When I looped them through my chandelier the rest of the design sort of came to me.

So I bought an additional two strands of beads for this chandelier and the craft store also yielded pinecones strung on twine, which saved me time and effort.

I think the effect is simple and pretty but not too rustic. When it comes time to decorate for Christmas I will add birds and some hanging snowflakes to this and it will look just beautiful.

My husband of course seems to think I am just trying to get a “jump on Christmas” as he put it. Now that isn’t exactly true, but I will not deny that this helps me get some of my pre-decorating done for Christmas.

If you are interested in beads like this, as well as a pre-strung pinecones you can also find them on Amazon and eBay and Etsy. They are not terribly expensive and I think it gives such a nice look.

Happy day before Thanksgiving!