A Few Scenes from My House

Christmas_2007_002_2 I finally got to phase two of Christmas preparations yesterday, in part due to the much-appreciated and unusual off-week visit of The Domestic Goddess. Her presence encouraged me to move photos off mantel and piano and get out non-tree Christmas decorations.

This picture shows how the Holy Family has moved in with my Peaceable Kingdom. Because if you had given the Bernese Mountain Dogs a chance to go to the manger, they would have been celebrating along with the other friendly beasts. This collection started with the lion and the lamb my children put in my stocking one year.

Thank you to St. Casserole for the lovely St. Francis as well as the display box on the left. (Click the picture for a larger view.)

Christmas_2007_003_2I’m also in her debt for the brightly dressed Wise Man in our eclectic nativity. He reminded me of my childhood set, and the next thing I knew he was packed in my suitcase.

No, it was her idea, really.

We have pieces from four different sets living in piece together on our mantel. The basic set is wooden, but there are some fabric shepherds and an angel from a modern set that someone started for us, with one angel, and then never gave us any other pieces. It was a sweet thought. I’ve never seen them in a store here, pretty Italian figures. They came from Coleman’s in Jane Austen’s Village. Ruby, I grieve to think it’s no longer there, but was delighted to discover that the city took over the Christmas display. I feel sure we went there together, didn’t we?

Christmas_2007_006Our tree is nice, though not huge, this year. It smells wonderful. The Princess hung all the ornaments, something I began to do when I was her age. I don’t know if my mother was empowering me, or just tired of it. I was sitting nearby and knitting furiously on someone’s Christmas present, offering advice ONLY when asked. Many of the ornaments hung on my childhood tree, and there are few about which I cannot tell some sort of story. The puffy fabric ornaments near the bottom, for instance, are the remains of the ornaments we hung on our first tree when #1 Son was a toddler. My mother sewed them for us, hoping they would be child-proof. They have also proven to be cat and dog-proof, and I think of her fondly when I see them.

I finally did a little Christmas shopping yesterday, and based on our discussions with the kids, all I really have left to do (other than more knitting) is working on stocking stuffers. We are trying to keep things even more reasonable than usual this year, in part because of the state of the world and largely because we really don’t need anything much. This is perhaps the most interior Christmas I’ve ever experienced, and I mean that in the best possible way. Instead of chiding myself and others to remember the true meaning of Christmas, I’m feeling it. There is something more than what we see, a light in the darkness, a hope for the future, an expression of love in the present. Will we be part of it this year?

12 thoughts on “A Few Scenes from My House”

  1. Very pretty. I guess I’m skipping the tree this year. I’m usually every other year on the tree, and since I’m staying here for such a long time, I really should have bought one, but not yet, so probably not at all. But the nativity is out. This year on the highest place I could find. I did NOT appreciate finding a wise man in the food bowl last year.

  2. I have to be treeless both for space and for kitty reasons, so I love seeing pictures of your home! I too enjoy the eclectic nativity. I have just a one-piece-of-olive-wood holy family (from Bethlehem) that I keep out year round. At Christmas I move it to the shelf by the TV, with the cloth saidi (country men…from Egypt) and the wooden camel that was a birthday present to me from some of the disabled kids at one of the schools in Egypt where we volunteers worked. It has a string that, when pulled, moves the camel’s head up and down. The boy who made it was so proud, and so happy to give it to an American friend. I love having him as part of my little family.

  3. Oh I love it…all…I want to be with you on Christmas day, though.
    Our tree is now up but not yet decorated apart from lights, as that has to wait till Hattie G returns from college on Wednesday. My parents used to decorate the tree after I was asleep on Christmas Eve, so each year I wrestle with the feeling that I am doing it all too early…

  4. I love this idea of an ‘interior’ Christmas…very good description. It’s fascination that so many people are feeling the same thing this year – a sense of quiet and a desire to escape the noise and glitz of the holiday. You’ve described it well…
    Nice tree.

  5. I took my tree down yesterday while in a snit about how it kept falling down. (One of the cats got in it, wobbled it and broke the stand.)

  6. I’m glad there are so many cats in the manger scene also. It was a barn – of course there were cats. I do love the doggies too, of course.
    Our tree is up but only has the lights on it. We are becoming more minimalist in our Christmas decor every year. Your lovely photos have inspired me to go looking for our nativity today.
    ppb – we find nativity characters all over the house. *sigh*

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