It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I was going to write a post about how I hate seeing Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving is finished, but then I figured you would see me for a Grinch. I’m not a Grinch. I just don’t like to be hurried on to the next holiday before I’ve fully enjoyed the one I’m in. So, this is the weekend we decorated for Christmas, not last weekend when I was still wiping the cranberry sauce off my chin.

This is my piano, with the sheet music for DeBussy’s The Little Shepherd which I’ve been practicing. And of course, Madeleine L’Engle is sitting right next to it for a little encouragement. Even though she liked playing Bach best.
This is the new mantlepiece with magnolia tips, boxwood (my favorite accent), and cedar (my favorite tree) boughs. The white stars are little origami stars I folded last year when my “feet were broke” as my son says.
This is one of my origami trees, sitting on top of the piano. I wish you could see the ornaments better. They are three dimensional prisms, I guess, for lack of a better description.
This is a little arrangement of greens for a table in the living room…

and one in the kitchen. Every time I touch it, more of the winter berries fall off into the bottom of the vase. I’m sure by December 24 it’ll be naked.

This is a creche my father made for me when I was eight, with little plastic figurines made to emulate the beautifully hand carved wooden ones by Anre, in Italy. I can’t afford them. You might be interested to know that baby Jesus is inside the camel, under his pack, until Christmas Day. My son has placed him there since he was three years old.

There’s also a new Advent calendar behind the creche, in which we open a new door every day for a new Bible verse.

This is the pair of Snowbabies by Dept. 56 adorning my kitchen windowsill. It’s supposed to represent my son and I carrying our canoe in the Northwoods…

and these are darling little snowmen I bought at the Chicago Historical Museum a few years ago. They remind me of the movie The Snowman, which is wordless and hauntingly beautiful if you haven’t seen it.

So, there’s my Christmas in a nutshell. No big tree. No big pile of presents. No glitz, and blinking, and moving parts.

I like to keep it simple, and remember that we celebrate His birth above all things.

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21 thoughts on “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

  1. Your house is beautiful, Bellezza! You have a great eye for decorating 🙂 I love the tradition behind the camel and the snowbabies. We have plenty of those too!The Snowman is one of my all time favorite Christmas specials. I agree with you. It's absolutely beautiful and I love the music from it. I really have to buy that one on DVD…I haven't seen it in a few years.And are those Easton Press books I see by your mantle??? I'm jealous!

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  2. Chris, thanks for your sweet affirmation. You should have seen the run down apartment I lived in when I was in my 20's; it's taken awhile to get my house in tune believe me.I show The Snowman every year to my kids; we all practically cry every time. My favorite part is when the boy flies with the Snowman across the ocean.And, yes, I had Easton Press books for about half a year until I couldn't justify the expense. My what a good eye for detail you have!

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  3. Your decorations are beautiful! The room with your piano (is it your living room?) looks so cozy and warm. We don't do much in the way of decorating, no tree, just some lights and bits of colour. I love your origami tree! Unfortunately our cats would probably just destroy something like that. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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  4. tanabata, the room with the piano is the family room. Our house was built in 1961, and that room was the UGLIEST room in God's green earth. It had paneling, and a popcorn ceiling, and brown linoleum tiles on the floor, and burlap plaid curtains when we bought it in 2001. It's taken all this time to save up and have drywall put up, plus the gas fireplace. I'd have liked a real wood burning one, but that was too expensive. Anyway, it's hard to figure out where to put a baby grand piano so it's on one wall for now. Which kind of cancels room for a couch. 🙂 How many cats do you have? cj, everytime I take something out of the box I think, "In a few weeks, I'll just be putting this back," which is NOT a cheerful way to decorate. I really have to suspend the idea of decorating as work, and remember that the joy is seeing it all up. But seriously, it almost gets overwhelming sometimes, and I don't even put up a lot. I have friends who put up around 150 Santas which would just make me want to start a big fire in the fireplace…I hope you get in the holiday spirit.

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  5. What beautiful photos, Bellezza!We think alike. I DO NOT approve of Christmas decorations before December 1. I don't care if people think I'm a Grinch, and it's for the same reason you said. Can't we just enjoy Thanksgiving first? I'm one that likes to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, so I usually leave my stuff up later than most people do as well. Usually a week after Christmas (sometimes longer!)I'm also with you on the reason for the season. Too much other stuff gets in the way of celebrating the "Christ" in Christmas!

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  6. 3M, isn't the day the Wise Men came January 6? (I think so.) In that case, we're justified in leaving things up until then at least. I remember reading that when Germany first put up trees, with real candles, they were put up Christmas Eve. Now, that might be a little late (i.e. stressful) for me, but I do like the idea of such a glorious moment right before Christmas Day. It's good to have another friend (in you)who celebrates Christ with me.

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  7. Wonderful decorations!I've never really considered Thanksgiving a separate holiday, per se. I have always seen it as the first day of the Christmas season, so I like to have decorations up right around that time. My preference is to have the outside lights up so that I can officially turn them on Thanksgiving Night, and then put up the tree and inside decorations on Thanksgiving night when we get home from the extended family festivities. Christmas usually flies by and I like to savor the season. The only way for me to do that is to get stuff up early so that I can enjoy it.Love the origami tree.

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  8. You have a point, Carl, in that it's all gone so quickly! And, a lucky wife you have, that you help set up the Christmas tree. My husband helps me, too, but I've heard of many who don't. :)I'm glad you liked the origami tree, even though the picture isn't very clear. It's much prettier in real life.

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  9. I am lucky in that my wife allows me to do all the decorating, always has. Over the years she has gotten more interested at times and offers opinions, but for the most part I've always gotten to run the show. The whole house is my playground!

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  10. You have a lovely home. It's very inviting. Like you, we don't put up a lot of decorations.This is the first year we decorated the week of Thanksgiving. But that's because we are going on vacation the second week in December and we wouldn't have time to decorate the first week of December or when we get back. This year we weren't going to have a tree because my mother in love sleeps in our living room. She is living with us. But I really liked your idea of the origami tree. I just might have to borrow that idea. :o)One year we didn't put up a tree because we were also going on vacation, but that time it was for two weeks. So, I taped together some poster boards and on it, drew a tall "fluffy" tree. Our girls drew ornaments on it and colored it. We put presents under it too. Seems like it was yesterday. I have never seen The Snowman. Guess I'm just going to have to add it to our Christmas movie lists.Traditions are important. I love how your son kept Baby Jesus hidden inside the camel, until December 24. We also hide Baby Jesus until the 24th. We don't have a camel to hide it under, but our children have a secret place where they keep him. But, they won't tell me. LOL I agree with you. We keep it simple and focus on what Christmas is really all about. I'll have to write an entry about what we do to celebrate His birth. I love to read about how others celebrate Christmas.

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  11. Bellezza – I love this post and all the pictures of your warm, inviting home. I feel as if I've come for a visit. I especially like the simplicity of your holiday decorations. I have a few friends who go all out, decorating each room with a tree and lots & lots of Christmas "stuff." I'm much more of a minimalist when it comes to decorating for Christmas. We usually put up a tree and have a few favorite decorations here and there in the living room, dining room and kitchen, but that's it. I have two simple wreaths outside, but no lights. We're not even sure if we'll put the tree up this year. Maybe this weekend, but with the new dog, we may just skip it this year. I'm having a tough time getting in the holiday spirit. Maybe I need to start baking while listening to George Winston's December album.

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  12. Your decorations are beautiful. We have exactly one Christmas decoration – a little wreath on the front door. That's it. I'm not bothering, this year. Everyone in the family seems to be skipping Christmas. Humbug. 🙂

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  13. I love the simplicity of your decorations. My daughter-in-law has decorated very simply, and her house is beautiful. Of course, havig a sixteen-month old has something to do with that.I don't believe that I've ever seen The Snowman. I'll have to get it for us to view.Have you read Lauren Winner's book, Girl Meets God? It's a beautiful story of your journey to meeting Christ. She writes of Advent and how it has its actual culmination in Easter. If you haven't read it, I heartily recommend it.

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  14. I love every picture you showed us, but especially the creche scene. And the piano. Oh, what it must be like to be able to sit down and play music. A gift – and a miracle to some of us. :<) In L'Engle's children's book, The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas, she writes about putting Mary and Joseph in on the morning of Christmas Eve, and "when we get home from Church on Christmas Eve night, Daddy puts in the baby Jesus, and reads the nativity story from St. Luke." Isn't that wonderful? You would love this book.

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  15. Lady G~how fun that Baby Jesus is hidden even from you! I love that you drew a tree to celebrate. You are a very creative, and loving mother. It'd be so interesting to hear how you celebrate His birth in you family. I hope you do post about it.Fresh Girl, thanks for visiting. And, leaving such a sweet comment!Les, it seems that every year I put up less. Now it's only the stuff that's really important to me: the snowman my son made in second grade, the creche, a few origami trees and greens. I can't pass a wreath on the door, though. Wish you could see our house in real life.Becca, it's nice to meet you, too! I like YOUR blog.Beverly, I haven't read Girl Meets God, but I'll look for it. It sounds wonderful, and especially perfect for this season.Nan, I have practically every Madeleine L'Engle book ever written, and The Twenty Four Days before Christmas is a good one. I probably enjoyed her so much because of her wisdom and writing ability for sure, but also because her family life mirrored mine in many ways. Perceptive of you to know I'd like her/ that book.

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  16. Your lifestyle or taste determines what the focal point of your living area is. If you have a fireplace, you can rearrange your furniture around it. Or if you have a piano, and this is the focal point of your living area, your furniture could be set around it. When rearranging your furniture, also consider traffic in your Living Room Decoration area. It is always good to arrange furniture in off-square angles. This makes the room warmer and more casual. http://living-room-decoration.blogspot.com

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  17. Your lifestyle or taste determines what the focal point of your living area is. If you have a fireplace, you can rearrange your furniture around it. Or if you have a piano, and this is the focal point of your living area, your furniture could be set around it. When rearranging your furniture, also consider traffic in your Living Room Decoration area. It is always good to arrange furniture in off-square angles. This makes the room warmer and more casual. http://living-room-decoration.blogspot.com

    Like

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