Blogger: Wendy Lawton
I was poking around in old blog posts and saw this one from six years ago. You know what’s funny– almost nothing has changed. This is still the way I deck the halls– even though we’ve added a cat, Molly, to our family in the last year. So far, so good. She shows no signs of wanting to un-deck the halls. It makes me happy because I love decorating for Advent and Christmas. Keith and I were married on the seventh day of Christmas forty-five years ago and I was born on the sixth day of Christmas, so the Christmas season is a magical one for us. And, of course, Jesus was born on the first day of Christmas– the most important day of all.
So we make the season as special as we can. The day after Thanksgiving, instead of shopping the Black Friday sales, we decorate our house for Christmas. Our very first Christmas ornaments were the two doves from our wedding cake. Every year after that we bought a special ornament for each person in the family and wrote the date on it. Each year as we trim the tree, it is a day filled with memories– some fun, some poignant.
We usually have two trees— one in the entryway to greet visitors with lots of bling and sparkle. We’ve decided not to tempt our kitty with double the opportunity so we omitted that one for 2016. The second tree is our family tree, the one filled with meaningful ornaments. It has our old candle-like lights and almost forty-five years of memories. The gifts under this tree are for family members.
We have a magnolia garland over the fireplace to go along with the magnolia blossoms tucked into the branches of our Christmas tree. The filet crochet Lord’s Prayer hanging above the fireplace was crocheted for us more than forty years ago by an elderly woman in our church. It’s hung in our house ever since.
Being longtime doll and toy collectors, we always incorporate dolls and toys into our Christmas decor, including our Victorian skin horse. (Remember the wise old skin horse from the story of The Velveteen Rabbit? I often think this very horse could be that wise old toy.) He lives atop our piano because he is irresistible to little children and, being about 150 years old, he’s not up to many more gallops.
Our Saint Nicholas, dressed in winter white velvet and gilt, is another old friend who shows up at Christmastime. He’s a far cry from the modern day “jolly old elf,” but I love his gentle face. We always pick one or two of my own doll creations to feature at Christmas. These are two of my dimunitive nine-inch tall favorites. I sculpted the porcelain faces and hands and we put them on hand-carved wooden spring-jointed bodies so that they can hold any pose a human can. (Well, almost.) The one on the left is Beatrice Louise and on the right is Just Jenny.
This year I added a bookcase of Christmas books to the decor. I didn’t realize I had so many. And these are just a portion of the picture books.
But the centerpiece of our Christmas decor– just like the center of our Christmas celebration– is Jesus, whose birth is at the heart of the season. Our nativity is kept at child-eye-level and we encourage our little visitors to explore it as we tell them about the miracle. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
How will you deck the halls for Christmas?