Monday, December 5, 2016

Three Trees

I found these pink balls at the thrift store; they match the pink
on my tree. The little glass bird brings special memories
of England. I purchased it at the Christmas shop
in Stratford on Avon
Good Morning. I have so much to do. Are you in the same predicament? It is the holiday season, so of course, we are all busy, even those who are keeping it simple. I am hearing more and more from friends who are keeping it simple this year, cutting back, scaling back, not decorating as much. I am full bore ahead I suppose because I still have young grandchildren whom I want to please. I enjoy seeing their smiles and the joy when come to the house, making all of the work worth it. And I do enjoy going to all of the work to decorate and make things look pretty.

Then there is the gift shopping. More of our shopping now is done online. I tell the Head Gardener what to order and he does. I have those friends who are done shopping, bragging oh I've had mine done for weeks. Or I shop the after Christmas sales for the next year. Or I'm just giving money this year. I enjoy thinking about each gift for each person I have on my list. I want to give sincerely from the heart with love in the spirit of the season, so I tromp around the stores, looking for the right thing or cruise the Internet hoping to find free shipping.

 I guess what stresses me out the most are those who begin the Christmas planning and decorating before Thanksgiving. Really? My trees are now up. Usually they don't go up the weekend of the 10th but we will be traveling that weekend. I wish I didn't let the pressure of the holidays that my friends suffer from suck me in. I liked what Jane at Blondie's Journal wrote last week about taking the stress out of the holiday season. So I am blogging this morning instead of cleaning, or doing laundry, or paying bills, or any number of other things.
Another thrift store find, an animated doll.
She looked brand new in an old box.

When did all get so complicated? My parents didn't have much. They worked very hard; they were not extravagant or indulgent, but their children never went without. Mom always shopped Christmas Eve for the sales. No Black Fridays where shoppers lose their sanity. No Cyber Monday. As a child I would wear out the toy section of the Montgomery Wards Catalog dreaming about the beautiful dolls and dollhouses, and make believe toys that I would probably never have. I still have one of my dolls, Susie. The only one to survive my life's journey  and barely, too. No Electronics under the tree for us, though my brother did get an electric train one year and we played with that until we wore it out. And I got a watch one year. I loved my watch.

Our stocking were hung with care and filled with an orange, and apple, a candy cane, nuts in the shells, ribbon candy, and Black Jack Gum. Oh and a new tooth brush and a small tube of tooth paste. The oranges were a rare treat because way back then (1950s), oranges were seasonal. Gum was a grand treat because our father didn't allow us to chew gum.

My Madame Alexander doll in her new
Christmas dress that I sewed last
No fake trees or blinking lights, either. Our trees were fresh cut at the our grandparents mountain property. The tree went up December 20 and came down New Year's Day. Only one tree. Not the three that I have sparkling through out the house now.

I do know that one of these years, I will scale back, not be in the mood, keep it simple, but not yet. I am not ready for the magic to end. I like living in the magic of the holiday season, I am just getting slower at doing it all. I love the old Christmas carols that aren't played anymore. They are on my iPod, so I plug it in and let the old songs play all day because the Christmas music that began to play on the radio the week before Thanksgiving are all the modern rocky type  songs like "Jingle Bell Rock." I want "Hark the Herald Angles Sing," "Silent Night," "Oh Holy Night," and my very favorite, "Noel, Noel."

I decided to put up a tree down stairs for the first time because I have two trees. (Long reason why). It is decorated very simply, red and gold balls and colored lights. The tree in the living room is my traditional pink tree full of ballerinas, dolls, angels, and rocking horses with pink, gold, and silver balls. The tree in the kitchen is dedicated to the wild birds with only bird ornaments on it that I have been collecting since we moved here. While I love putting up all of the trees, I don't much enjoy the putting away. 

Let's enjoy the spirit of the season in the best we can, whether we are keeping it simple, scaling back, going all out. 

Thanks for visiting. Loved all of your comments last week. The village is fully installed. I'll take more photos for next week. Linking with Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday. See you over there.


  1. I took out a crystal bowl and filled it with pink balls this year...great minds! heehee! And of course I love your pretty Christmas dolls. I've dressed a few of mine but I need to stop before I get too carried away. Enjoy your week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  2. Beautifully decorated trees Ann - I love that you still go to so much trouble and I am sure everyone appreciates all your hard work. It is coming so fast now and I haven't done a thing yet - aargh!

  3. We start here Christmas decorating after 5th of December, I usually start about the 15th. I always have one or two fresh trees, but now I´m getting older I´m in doubt to buy one or two fake trees, I have not decided yet. I loved reading your story about Christmas time in the past in comparison with today. I must reveal something, I have no dolls. My mother always was fond of dolls, so when I was little on every special occasion I got a doll, all kinds of dolls with beautiful dresses often made by my mum and sometimes with eyes which could open and go to sleep, but.......I have to admit I hated them. I never liked playing with dolls I always was outside playing or inside reading but did not dare saying I did not like them. That´s my dolls story.
    I love the way you decorated your trees, all with another theme and I also like how you make a lot of work of it, I do the same for my grandchildren but also for my husband F. he loves the cosy Christmas time and when they all enjoy it, I enjoy too.

  4. I'm slow this year but I do love the wonder of Christmas and all that it means. Happy decorating to you!

  5. I used to decorate two trees but when we downsized to our cozy bungalow I went to one and now only have a faux tabletop tree. Because it's small it gets tucked in a corner where it's still visible and is decorated for other seasonal holidays. Mine too has birds and pinecones along with tiny red and silver balls. The rest of the decor is for winter and stays out until March.
    I have a crystal sleigh that belonged to a late friend and I have silver baubles in it, must say I like your pink display though. I see my lavender sis Diane does the same. :-)
    Growing up, we didn't have much either and my stocking was about the same as yours except no gum. I can't believe what my daughters put in their children's stockings and presents have gone over the top, haven't they? How times have changed...

  6. I loved reading about your Christmases past and present! My father was a California orange grower in the 50's and for 50 years thereafter - I wonder if you had one of his oranges in your stocking? He used to send boxes of oranges at Christmas to his relatives in New York and Pennsylvania.

    Last year I got a faux tree for the first time, so it will be easy for me to put it up whenever I want now! I would like to have more trees, and have been seeing them out of the corner of my eye in the stores. I just today bought a wreath for the front door... tend to do the decorating in slow stages. I might give up most of it, except for the children and grandchildren who enjoy it.

    I remember the year my grandma changed the decorations on her tree and I was pretty shocked and disappointed ;-) The answer, as I see it, is to have more trees!

  7. Love love the pink ornaments, that is what I put on my Grandmother's aluminium tree at 1515. I will be scaled back since I am not going to 1515 and can not lift boxes. Told myself what ever I get done this week is it. Because I am going to sit back and enjoy it. Bake, watch old movies, sit and watch it snow. Blessed you are to have those Grandchildren who many years from now will have fond memories of how you made it so special for them.

  8. Thank you first and foremost for mentioning my post! Love you, Ann!

    I know your words echo for so many of us...quality over quantity. I am being very mindful of every gift I buy. Each year our family gets bigger and my husband is reaching makes sense to cut back. I think our family will know that the gifts are more thoughtful this year.

    No decorating yet. But it always gets done! ;-D

    Jane x

  9. Lovely trees, Ann, each one a special work of art. I plan on starting to decorate today beginning with the Santas to celebrate St Nicholas, the Byers Choice carollers tomorrow and then the trees (2) at the weekend.
    Merry merry Mosaic Monday!

  10. Wonderful Christmas trees and pink baubles!
    We too are keeping it more simple this year. I don't know if we are (unconsciously!) following a trend or is it just because nowadays we don't have small children. I think decorating is very important when there are children. It's part of the magic... and there surely isn't too much magic in our lives.
    I give woollen socks made by me. :)
    Wishing you a happy week!

  11. Hello, pretty decorations and beautiful trees. I like the dish with the pretty Christmas balls. I am sure your grandchildren with be very happy this Christmas. Have fun and enjoy the Christmas season. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

  12. I'd love to go back to those simpler days, before the awful commercialism set in.

  13. If you ever find the wherewithal to cut back, I think you'll be surprised to find out how much you actually like it that way. You won't feel so stressed, and you'll give yourself more time to enjoy the simple times with your grandkids. They'd love just one tree, trust me. And if they like to make cookies with you, just buy ready made dough for this occasion, because all they really care about is the frosting and sprinkles. See, it can be done. Ask me how I know...

  14. I came back to read this post again after reading your next one. It's funny that you are feeling pressure from the Simple Christmas crowd, of which I am a member, because I feel that the pressure from the Complex Christmas is much more! LOL The Super Christmas crowd is incredulous when I describe my low key holiday style, and I find myself explaining and excusing myself over and over again! I guess we ladies just need to leave each other alone, and accept that we all have different styles in life!