Christmas Days Gone By

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IMG_3717Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Each year it comes faster and passes more quickly; I try to make it last as long as possible in our home. The end of Christmas is always a let down. The festivities, excitement, darkened Christmas lights, imminent return to school, quieter home, bags and bags of recycling are huge indicators that the fun has come and gone and the wait starts again – 364 days until we celebrate again.

When I think back to being a child the anticipation of the season was palpable. I was known for being the one who couldn’t wait to find out what I was getting so much so that my parents had to chain the attic closed to prevent me from trying to figure things out – particularly when I got older. It wasn’t the gifts but the mood in the air. Now, Christmas has taken on an entirely different meaning. I cannot wait until I give to those I love. Each person receives at least one handmade gift. During the time spent making things for my loved ones, I think about them during the crafting process and put my heart into each venture. This is a more old-fashioned spirit of giving rather than going out to the store and buying sweaters in every color and calling it a day. Sure it makes me frazzled and crazy during the Christmas season – but once I finish each task and cross it off of my to do list – I feel huge satisfaction in presenting something that is one of a kind. I start thinking about Christmas for the nest year after each one passes and work through summer to finish ideas. Thanksgiving kicks it into high gear when I design my dad’s Christmas card for his law firm. Here is this year’s annual Christmas card and some of the gifts I made this year:

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In watching my children as toddlers growing and seeing the mounting anticipation in them is the sweetest memory of raising them. The innocence of those years is irreplaceable. I am an aunt and the next best thing now is watching my nieces and nephews relish in the same joy. My nieces and nephews are truly the bees knees and I can’t get enough of them. One painting was photographed before it was actually finished – but it read “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” Here are some things I made them for Christmas found on Pinterest per my sister’s request:

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Of course nothing is as good as something old in my eyes. I found some vintage Shiny Brites online and picked those up to cover our tree in a cascade of jeweled tones:
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The kids and I decided that one tree, nor three, were enough so we added one more. As a gardener, I thought the nature tree in the kitchen was the most fun. The pack-rat crafter in me always saves items that will come in handy one day. I held onto these tiny clay pots and knew they’d make the perfect addition to my nature tree. I printed old seed packets onto beige cardstock, hole punched them, cut them out, and hung them too. I added curled raffia tied around the ends of branches periodically, terra cotta mercury glass themed glass ornaments from Pottery Barn, several varieties of birds, wooden cranberries strung, small rustic wreaths, and some white lights. We did a nature hike to add in a couple of sticks with pinecones still attached. I placed the tree on top of an open lidded antique cheesebox. It was the simplest Charlie Brown tree – yet I had so many happy holiday visitors commenting on it.

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Christmas is too big for one post – but I couldn’t resist posting one photo of my dining room Christmas tablescape:IMG_3753

Enjoy – more to come… The happiest of the new year to you and anxiously awaiting next Christmas. Only 355 more days to go. Have to get planning!

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