A Family Christmas, A Good Home, Canadian Families, Christmas Arrangements, Christmas Decorations

The Week Before Christmas

 

Here, for your viewing pleasure (I hope), are some images from our home in the week before Christmas. We started decorating a few weeks ago.

Blog Photo - Christmas -Advent Calendar

The thing above is our unusual Advent calendar.

Before Advent officially began (December 3 this year), we wrote notes/quotes and put them in the tiny drawers. Important reminders of love, slowing down and appreciating our blessings.

Next, we brought out an oldish but favourite Christmas book.

Blog Photo - Christmas book exterior

Inside are pop-up scenes marking the 12 days of Christmas, which traditionally don’t begin till December 25.

Blog Photo - Christmas Book third day

Blog Photo - Christmas Book Three French Hens

Blog Photo - Christmas Book inside

Then the tree got properly decorated…

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Peace Angel

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Golden Dove

Blog Photo - Christmas Tree 2017

Except for the lower branches.  We ran out of lights, planned to replace them before adding more decorations, but forgot.  

Blog Photo - Christmas Living rm 3

Then I assembled this centrepiece — using birch-bark candles by the talented artist Jean Long, pine cones, baubles, whatnots….

Blog Photo - Christmas plate and candles

And Santa’s sleigh, of course.

Blog Photo - Christmas Santa sleigh

Husband had already filled this very old basket with logs for the fire….

Blog Photo - Christmas Fireplace Logs in Basket

Blog Photo - Christmas 2016 - Logs Burning

Finally, the table was set with Christmas plates ….

Blog Photo - Christmas plate setting

Blog Photo - Christmas table2

And then I apparently ruined the “tablescape”.

Husband asked: “What on earth is that?”

“Those are real autumn leaves and real fake berries,” I replied. 

“Hmm,” he said.

I didn’t tell him I planned to replace the leaves with green sprigs. A woman must retain some mystery, after all.
Blog Photo - Christmas Plate with leaves

Wishing you a good week before Christmas and – whatever your special celebration or preparations — I wish you all the best of the season.

 

Advertisements
A Good Home, An Honest House, Angels, Christmas Decorations, Christmas in Canada, Christmas Traditions, Christmas Tree Trimming, Family, Family Moments, Homes

Decorating With Memories

We prepare our hearts and homes for Christmas. My prayers are more reflective now, my gratitude expands. It’s the season of Advent, the weeks before Christmas.

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-baby-angels

Photo by Hamlin Grange

Photo by Hamlin Grange

We also decorate our home with memories of those we love. Each activity, each object reminds us.

Like the year I proudly set the table — and my husband decided it was blah. Out came red and green candles and Christmas glasses instead. Now it’s tradition.

blog-photo-christmas-table

By early December each year, the memories start nudging: it’s time to decorate. 

blog-photo-christmas-2016-african-dolls

Older daughter and son-in-law couldn’t make it from the US, but memories of the whole family together always return on the day we decorate the tree.

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-heart

Husband, younger daughter and son-in-law haul in the fresh Fraser fir, haul out the boxes of decorations, string up the lights and we all sip hot cider. The family room’s a happy mess.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-lighting-the-tree1

We laughingly remember previous Christmas trees: too small, too thin, or lopsided. But this year, we got it right.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-hands-and-lights

The ornaments also bring back memories.

My mother’s gratitude and wishes for the following year are written on a scroll in this cylinder. How we all miss her!

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-keepsake-cylinder

My times working in S. Africa, where these Ndebele dolls were made.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-ndebele-dolls

Some ornaments are just for fun. Like “the disco ball”, that always makes us grin, with memories of the disco days.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-ornaments

Memories upon memories.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-hands-and-ornaments

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-golden-dove

blog-photo-christmas-2016-single-ornament-2

Tiny Mr. J.C. finally gets tired of all the activity and lies down to sleep, paws up. *Can you see him on the sofa below?* It’s our first Christmas without his best friend Dawson, who would have been asleep at this point too. 

blog-photo-christmas-2016-jc-asleep

Blog Photo - Julius and Dawson Sleeping

Do dogs miss their companions? We do. 

blog-photo-christmas-ornament-sleepy-angel

All is calm now. Extra-special thanks are given.

And, as the fire glows in the hearth…

blog-photo-christmas-2016-fireplace2
Santa and the angels look on approvingly, I think. They, too, have kept us company through many a Christmas.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-santa-cu

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Peace Angel

From our home to yours, wishing you peace this Advent, good memories, and joyful times at Christmas.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-family-room

A Good Home

The Undressing

There’s a woman who stopped undressing her Christmas tree.

Blog Photo - Christmas ornamanets Snow Bear and Gifts Ceramic

After Christmas every year, she sticks the tree –fully dressed with all its ornaments– into a large cupboard.

It comes out again next December.

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Gold Ball

If you have an artificial tree, AND a very large closet, you may like her idea.

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Peace Angel

But it’s not an option for many of us.

Blog Photo - Christmas Tree

So all the lovely ornaments will have to come off the tree.

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Gift Box

One by one.

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Baby angels

The old ones.

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Cloth Covered Beauty

The avian ones.

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Peacock

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Golden Dove

The colourful ones.

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Jewelled Pony

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Purple Ball

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Santa1

Ones that hold special meaning.

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Angel face

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Star and Boot

Blog Photo - christmas ornament sleepy angel

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Heart

All carefully packed in boxes till next year.

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Red and Gold Balls on Tree

A decorated Christmas tree is a beautiful thing. A pity about the undressing….

Photos by Hamlin Grange

A Family Christmas, A Good Home, Christmas, Christmas in Canada

A PERFECTLY IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS

Tiny Perfect Christmas Tree

The tree’s too small and tends to fall

The angel’s tattered most of all

The lights don’t work, the garlands drop

But in this home it’s Christmas.

 **

Photo by H. Grange

The Christmas gifts aren’t quite wrapped yet

The puppy peed, the floor got wet

(That smell we sniffed was a sure bet)

But in this home, it’s Christmas.

 **

Blog Photo - Winter Garden

The snow outside is fluffy and bright

The turkey’s cooked and it’s done right

The baked ham glistens in candlelight

And in this home, it’s Christmas.

 **

Blog Photo - Christmas Table

This house has seen a hundred years

Of laughter, hopes and even tears

Of festive times and warmth and grace

And joy and peace at Christmas.

 **

We wish you warmth, we wish you love

Peace landing gently as a dove

We wish you rest, we wish you joy

In your good home, this Christmas.

Selfie Ornament
Ornament Selfie

Poem Written by Cynthia Reyes, December 2013.

All photos by Hamlin Grange.