Being gone until the first of December, Christmas decorating took a back seat to unpacking and errands on our first day back. Fresh garlands and fresh wreaths were bought on our way home, however -- for there is nothing like the scent of fresh greens and we like the look of them both inside and outside.
In my other life, when I worked, Christmas had to be done Thanksgiving weekend down to the last piece of tinsel on the tree so that when I left the house for work Monday the house was totally decorated from top to bottom.
I now have the leisure of Christmas decorating and enjoying family and company on Thanksgiving weekend. Christmas stays in boxes in the basement. We don't even think about decorating until the Monday after Thanksgiving.
What a change.
And with that change also comes the realization that I don't have to decorate every nook and cranny . . . simpler is better. Fresh greens, poinsettias, the Christmas cactus and the tree.
The bowl, hurricane and antique Asian piece in the silver tray that are usually on the coffee table of late. Fall's pumpkins and gourds have been replaced by pinecones -- both regular and gilded. And a Christmas scented candle so that the aromas of Christmas can waft through the house.
An Asian bowl at the bottom of the stairs -- the fall leaves and twigs are replaced with a real poinsettia.
The pinecone trees have been a fixture on the dining room sideboard for so long that they do have to be brought out for Christmas -- even a simpler Christmas. They were bought ages and ages ago -- one in Kansas City and because we wanted another, our future son-in-law found one in Wichita -- they're perfect and I can't imagine the dining room at Christmas without them!
Fresh greens are interspersed amongst the soapstone on the dining room mantle. The smell is heavenly!
The blue bowl that usually is on the dining room table is filled with poinsettias and I've changed the candles to red ones for Christmas cheer.
The breakfast room has a Christmas cactus in the blue oriental bowl. Alas, a non-blooming cactus this year -- it should be a riot of color but it didn't have enough darkness in November for bloom!
The nativity set -- my grandmother's which I treasure. It's a bit scuffed from years of being my favorite toy at Grandma's house and when I got it, it was missing a wiseman (until I found a suitable replacement, we just said that he had not yet arrived from the East!) It is probably my favorite treasure of Christmas.
And lastly, the tree -- a big tree (we wouldn't have any other) full of the big old fashioned colored lights and a marriage full of ornaments and then covered in tinsel. It's not a decorator tree but it is an old fashioned tree that suits our old fashioned house. Husband Jim and I wouldn't have it any other way.
It takes up a lot of living room space but at night when I can retrieve the chair from the cat, that chair is the perfect place to admire the tree while sipping some hot chocolate and nibbling on some Christmas cookies from the larder.
It's Outdoor Wednesday at Susan's so come by and visit A Southern Daydreamer and see everyone's outdoor adventures.