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corners of our home::christmas traditions

As we have been unpacking and setting up our home I’ve realized that we have very little that we actually bought at a store. Most of what we have has either been given to us or made by or for us. I’ve always known this, but it seems that since we’ve had so much help getting settled this time that there has been alot of talk about where our furnishings and decorations have come from.

So, as we get areas of our home settled, I thought I’d share some of our treasures here with you. Starting with Christmas. Traditionally, we decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. We don’t do much shopping so it is a perfect time to decorate. This year I told the children that we would only put up the tree and the Advent table. But once we got going…

Our tree is full of homemade ornaments. For years I tried to have each child make an ornament usually with a picture of them in it. I haven’t done that in a few years, but it’s on the list of things to do this year. Also, the kids put the ornaments on and I try to not rearrange them. It’s so much fun listening to them tell the stories of each one. I know most people have these light up deer in their yards, but ours is an inside deer. When Gabriel, whose birthday is a week before Christmas, turned 6 all he wanted was a light up deer. So his older brothers went in together and bought him a deer. Each year it sits with our tree and we tell the story of it and the real deer hunt that went on that day.

Last spring, Carl’s mom gave us his maternal grandmother’s foot pedal sewing machine. It still works, although the leather cord needs to be replaced. We’ve set up our Advent candles and book on the table and each night we are reading from Jotham’s Journey. I still need to get some candles for the kids to light their way to bed each night. (In my defense, some of the rooms are not quite ready to have a candle brought into them just yet.)  The paintings were painted by my paternal grandmother. She started painting in her 60’s after my grandfather passed away. This is one of my favorite spots in the house.

This is the entry way. Carl’s mom gave us the drop leaf table when we first got married with the agreement that I would not refinish it. It has bottle and glass rings from when belonged to Carl’s paternal grandmother. Carl’s mom stayed with her when Carl was a baby and his dad was in Vietnam. We hear the stories each time they visit – stories that I hope my children are listening to, so that they can pass them on also. I will never be able to see a matruska doll (nesting doll) without thinking of my dad. We have snowmen, santa and the birth and life of Jesus. I wish we had space to permenently put out all the dolls that are inside the larger dolls. Josiah made the wooden snowmen for gifts last year and Carl made the cedar Christmas tree.

hmmm, maybe I should rethink the placement of the candy canes?

There’s more but it will have to wait for another day.

What about you, how do you get ready for Christmas?

Thanks for sharing with your friends!


Tuesday 6th of December 2011

oh, Patty, I would love to see the ginger bread houses and people. I bet they are so cute. I have very few memory items from my childhood and none from my mom's side of the family since she was raised in an orphage. I'm hoping my children will cherish these memory items when they are older.


Monday 5th of December 2011

We have been so busy I haven't had a chance to get out any Chirstmas items. I love digging out the homemade ornaments and remembering when and why we made them; especially the ornaments I made when growing up.One year, when I was a teen, we made Ginger Bread houses and people from cardboard and fabric. Those ornaments held so many memories; my mom divided them among us kids when we grew up and left home.