As I get to the end of this year’s holiday decorating, with the promise to my husband that I will begin to weed through ornaments and decorations we no longer use and get rid of them, I am reminded of why we have so many holiday decorations.  Everything I have means something – whether it was a gift that someone gave to me, or an ornament purchased because it reminded me of one of my children.  I have things that were used in my Grandmother’s house when I was a little girl, and things my mom used in her house when I was young as well.  There are things that were my dad’s before he died, and things my grandmother handmade.

So here is what the house looks like with the bulk of the decorating done:

Each of these stockings, although never used to actually contain gifts, mean something.  The first one at the top of the stairs, my Grandmom Fee made.  The last one was a dollar store purchase when we were making stockings to be sent to the soldiers in Iraq.  It was leftover, but reminds me each year of how lucky we are to be together each Christmas.

The bell my mom used to hang outside of our house in South Philly

Not sure I should hang the girls’ stockings in age order, since their initials might be a turn-off for Santa

Tiny presents – a gift from my brother and sister-in-law one year – they’re so cute!

My Grandmom had a chapel very similar to this one that played Silent Night.  We found this one at Home Depot a few years ago, and it just reminded me so much of Grandmom, that we bought it!

These happy faces used to belong on my Mom’s stereo

The tree is mine – bought one year when we weren’t going to be home for the holidays, but I wanted a Christmas tree up anyway.  I ended up buying two of them – one for each bay window in the front of the house.  The kissing Angels and the angel musicians were Grandmom Fee’s.  I’m not sure where the Nativity came from, but this is a huge promotion for this Nativity – last year, and for the previous 8, they have been on a shelf in the downstairs bathroom.

The “kids” tree – filled with all the ornaments collected over the years for the kids – with their names, the year, and their favorite characters.  There are also baby’s first ornaments on the tree, and ornaments they’ve made in school through the years.

The top of the china cabinet is home to many of the holiday stuffies we’ve collected through the years – we try to add a new one each year.  That means we should only have about 22, but somewhere along the way, we must have added a few spares!

The basket was a wonderful gift my first year on the Moms Panel – the goodies are merely a distant memory, but the gorgeous sleigh will remain part of the holiday memories with which we decorate.

Our first Christmas together, Jim and I wanted to do a more elegant tree than the ones we grew up with, so we settled on one color ornament – gold.  Well, over the years, we came to realize how the trees we grew up with ended up with the mismatched ornaments – we came along!  Our family tree ended up having a bit of everything on it as the girls came along.  A couple of years ago, though, Jim bought the pre-lit tree with colored lights to appease the girls who hated the white lights on my tree.  I promptly moved all the “colorful” ornaments to the colorful tree, and reclaimed the gold one.  I love it all gold because it reminds me every year of my first Christmas with Jim – and the promise of many more to come.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Almost Finished – Christmas Decorating 2010”

  1. Anna, everything looks beautiful. I cant wait til the party this weekend. I would keep everything as well, specially coming up in our family with so many traditions as a child. I miss the family birthday parties, the annual mass for grandpop with brunch afterwards at grandmom’s. When I think about my childhood and all mthe traditions that have fallen to the wayside I get sad at times. WE MUST NEVER FORGET WHERE WE CAME FROM!

  2. Noelle – my favorite day of the year, as odd as it sounds, was the day we went to the cemetery. It was always frigid cold, but it was a journey back to where we came from, a momentary connection with the patriarch of the family. I have almost no memories of Grandpop – other than he was a big guy who kind of frightened me, as cancer robbed him of a normal voice, but visiting the cemetery where he was buried was the start of a whole day of family bonding that we really have lost along the way.

    When I was little, it was always a spaghetti dinner. I have such fond memories of the spaghetti dinner that pasta almost doesn’t taste right unless it’s drenched in Ragu! It was just a great day for all of us to be together, and I miss it in the worst way – especially around the holidays.

    It is sad that we lost so many traditions after Grandmom died, but there is nothing that keeps us from picking up the mantle and moving on with our own traditions.

    Love you!

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