Thursday, December 9, 2021

Old Traditions

Seasons Greetings friends! I finally pulled out the decorations and got my mantel dressed the way I want it. Things always get worse before they get better, but most of the overflow has been (mostly) tucked away. There were more decisions than I wanted to make this year. But I went easy on myself and the whole first part of the week disappeared into fiddling with Christmas's past to the backdrop of good movies and music. 

I have my favorites, as we all do, that reappear almost every year. But it's always fun to add something new. I'm always on the lookout for something vintage and original, and I found it! 

This is a little vintage Christmas tree fashioned from tiny seashells and pearls. The shell rims have been dipped in glitter before they have been glued onto a cone shaped base. Maybe the little tree looks familiar to you if you live near the sea, but I have never seen anything like it! It feeds my need for  things natural, creative, recycled, vintage and in my color scheme. A tiny Christmas miracle to start the season! Isn't it charming?

I also tuck away this old, weathered Currier and Ives "Winter In The Country" print all year long in order to appreciate fully it's annual debut. It reflects the twinkle lights from the Christmas tree behind me, as the age, color, and tone draws me into the scene. As though a part of my own deep past is mirrored there as well. But that is the magic of Christmas!

The picture gets showcased within this larger frame almost all winter long.

One of my favorite decorating books is this "White Christmas" volume from Tricia Foley. It somehow continues to inspire my white on white style ever since its publication in 1997. It's a good place to launch fresh ideas from. Or traditional ones!

We always want to have a small fresh green tree, for instance, and fresh cut greens when we can. I keep the tree supplied with a bucket of water, and spritz it every time I pass by. How could we have Christmas without that wonderful smell in the house?

The hutch gets a small dressing up too.

I am crazy for all manner of wreaths and really have too many, but this preserved boxwood wreath is one of my very favorites. It lives on year after year. It's shown here lying upon a crisp vintage linen tablecloth with whitework embroidery at the corners. 

The details suggest oak leaves to me. I always feel gifted from the universe when such a beautiful hand worked cloth crosses my path. And it most usually comes at a very small cost.

I also fashioned another small wreath yesterday from my orange flowered trumpet vine which is evergreen. The spent vines are sturdy enough to hold the small shape without support. And it is a symbol to me of keeping Christmas present. 

There are too many collections! I could never have them all out at once. At least not in this humble little house of mine. But we must always make room for Christmas stories and lovely little vignettes.

For old memories, our gifts from the past.

And for whimsy, to cheer our hearts from within when the winds of the world blow without.  

"I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" Scrooge repeated. as he scrambled out of bed. "The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me."

From Stave Five, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Christmas is coming!

Wishing you joy in the days ahead.


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  1. Absolutely lovely! Your style always inspires me. Have a very merry Christmas season!!

  2. Ahhhh just beautiful. I might have to see if I can track down that lovely White Christmas Decor book. Have a good week. xoxo

  3. I know what you mean about the things you have to have out every year -- and the fun of adding something new or different. Me, too. I love that shell tree. I might have to make one (in my spare time, right.) Those precious. And I love the whites and greens you have used. So often white looks cold but here it looks warm and inviting and cozy. Beautiful.

  4. The.Birds Xmas Carol is the sweetest book. I still have my childhood copy.

  5. I love how you tied this beautiful post all together with the Dicken's quote. After several years of a 'limited' Christmas here, I'm finding going through everything in my holiday decor, quite the trip. Not as much is being culled as I wished. Past, present, and future...lovely post, and have a wonderful holiday season, Sandi

  6. I love your decorations. I have a frame above my mantle that is empty and I love your idea to hang another picture inside like you have. Right now it is hosting my evergreen wreath. The trumpet vine here is Oregon loses all it's leaves; so I was surprised your leaves stay all year long.

  7. Jacqueline, you know just the right combination to putting it all together and making it special. The look is all yours and it is really beautiful. Christmas shines in your hands. I love it all and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas..xxoJudy

  8. Always love the simplicity and beauty of your decor. Enjoy that special drink and the sweet soft Christmas music. Some days it is nice to shut the world out and just be. xoxo Kris


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