Yesterday I spent the entire day getting our house decorated for Christmas. At times it can be a little overwhelming with all the boxes and decorations all over the place. But I remind myself that this is my day to get it all together and the day is long! Plus, I have those sappy Hallmark movies to keep me going!
O the Saturday after all this decorating takes place, I work on the finishing touches. Things like bows on lamps, centerpieces on the tables and hand towels in the kitchen and powder room. Another favorite things to do is to pull out all the ornaments from my mom that she collected from before I was born and simply put them on display in crystal bowls.
Decorating doesn’t have to be complicated and this is one of the things that makes me the happiest each year when I add the finishing touches. First of all, I love that the ornaments are still in the original boxes. You can still see the prices on the boxes. I have three boxes of “Shiny Brite” ornaments…mind you, not all the ornaments are original to these boxes but they are definitely old ornaments that we used to use when I was little. (Did I just say “old” in reference to myself?! Yikes!) These boxes have a 49 cent price tag on them. And who remembers Woolworth’s store? The box I have for a few more ornaments has a $1.49 price tag on it. These are called “imported tree ornaments” – but I don’t see “where” they were imported. Regardless, it’s still nice to have this box. I love to put them all in a large crystal bowl and set them on my coffee table in my living room each year. I always tell my kids about the ornaments and of course, when they were little they used to roll their eyes a bit… Now, I think they are paying more attention to these things and why they are important to me and our family history.
To preserve these memories a little bit more, I’ve put some of the smaller ornaments – chipped paint and all – in shadow boxes. One box has small ornaments that my mother used to use to decorate her hutch every year. She would put these small ornaments into glasses all over the hutch and I always loved how creative she got with the decorating. She was (and is) so good at “merchandising” as they say in the retail world. I also have a shadow box with small ornaments from my grandmother (Louise Stone) and my aunt Gail (Gail Stone Thomas). I love putting these boxes out each year. It’s a great way to display a part of your family holiday history. Finally, I have a small egg shaped vase in my corner curio with ornaments from my great-grandmother – Maude Weaver – on display. The paint on these ornaments is almost all chipped off but it adds quite a bit of antique character to the them…
Finally, the one shadow box that makes me a bit nostalgic is the one I created with ornaments that were about to be thrown out after my mother-in-law (Johnnie Odom) passed away. All her sons were cleaning out her house and there was a box of ornaments that she had put aside with a handwritten note saying – “some ornaments the 5 girls might want to keep.” By this time, all the girls had gone through everything and picked out what they wanted. When my brother-in-law Allen showed me the box, I told him I would take them. I mean, there were several things I remembered vividly from her annual Christmas tree – the star she used at the top of the tree, the plastic snowman and Santa Claus, the felt reindeer…these aren’t expensive ornaments by any means. But they are priceless to me and now my children. It’s amazing how different things look when you preserve them in a special way…like in a shadow box. The Christmas after Johnnie passed, I displayed the shadow box and all the grandkids loved it. Plus, I added her handwritten note to the box. Their reaction made me feel like I had done something good for them and I love displaying it each year.
Meanwhile…finished touches day is just about over…and tomorrow we decorate our family tree to round everything out.