Thursday, December 20, 2007

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

This is the first Christmas that I have had this blog and, according to Welshcakes and Leslie, it seems one shows photos of the decoration around the old homestead. I don't have a holly tree so there are no boughs of holly, but there is assorted decoration. Please come right in.

My front door wreath above with my Christmas tree below

Let me tell you that putting up the Christmas tree is one of the shared activities that I consider potentially divorce making, along with wallpapering and camping. First of all, the "old scientist" is rather a curmudgeon about a Christmas tree, but I insist on it every year. We never had one when I was a child in Australia, so I'm making up for that. The tree is about six to seven feet tall and requires two people to manhandle it into the stand and secure it. Much discussion ensues about which side is best for the front and is the tree leaning to the left or right or back or front or.... Actually even buying the darn thing is usually good for heated words. Funnily enough this year, we thought the first one we picked up was fine and we could not be bothered looking at any more, so the usual strife was avoided for once.

Finally it is in place and the lights are added. I have to say that I do not care for these new LED lights. They do not give a good bright display, even if they are green or environmentally friendly. Fortunately the jolly Santa (his cheeks were so red we always called him the alcoholic Santa) which was our treetop decoration for so many years broke and now we have this star thing instead. The tree sits in the same corner as it has for the past thirty years and the lights and decoration are only on the "public side", not all around. I believe that it has only fallen down once in all those years, fortunately while I was still decorating it so I was able to catch it and yell for help. The stockings are underneath, waiting to be filled by Santa on Christmas Eve.

Now it is obligatory to have a bird on your Christmas tree, or so the insert with this decoration said. It brings good luck or some such. It was a gift from my Scottish friend with whose family we have shared Christmas for forty years.

A small anthropomorphised mouse in her finery. My daughter was trying to improve the quality of the decorations a few years ago and came up with this one.

One of three decorations made and given to me by a neighbour who moved away twenty five years ago. This is a half walnut shell with tiny dried flowers and made into a basket. I wrap them very carefully to store them, for they are little works of art.

I'm very fond of red as everyone knows and I especially love red poinsettias which remind me of Australia where they grow outside and not as houseplants. So you see my coffee table, an old seventies teak style with lots of red Christmas things.

Another red collection

Even more red stuff

Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without a crèche although this is a particularly ugly one, but a family tradition. I believe it cost about five dollars more than forty years ago when we had little spare cash. I hide it under pine branches and cones and light candles so that it doesn't look so bad. Well it does, but it's just always been put out for Christmas.

Did I say that the figures are really garish looking plastic and glued to the floor?

Of course not all poinsettias are red these days and I have several others in this colour in the family room. I have seven in all, scattered around.

Well there is more I could show you but I'm sure you have lots to do yourself at this time of the year, haven't you? Won't you have one of my just baked cookies before you go?

Have a happy Christmas celebration at your house


Liz said...

Your home looks fabulous, jmb! And those cookies, mmmm.

ThunderDragon said...

Very nice decorations indeed, jmb!

rowena said...

I found my way here through Welshcakes and I must say that your holiday decorations certainly outdo mine! But I have good reason to keeping it to the bare essentials -- we have a very feisty westie, which of course is what brought me here in the first place. Ours just got done tearing up her dog bed. {sigh}

MedStudentWife said...

Wow JMB - your place looks so very festive !!! :)

And those cookies :D

Janice Thomson said...

Lovely decorations Jmb and your shortbread looks delicious. I love poinsettias and all the wonderful colors they now come in. I wintered one over one year and it actually bloomed again the following Christmas.

Tai said...

This post brought back so MANY memories for me...that creche, for instance.
My family had one identical to that when I was young.
The angel didn't last very long, it snapped off very easily, if I recall.
And those cookies with the cherries, my mom used to make those every Christmas.
My goodness, this was a trip down memory lane, thanks JMB!

OH! And your tree looks magnificent...and I love all the red, it's definately a Christmas colour!

jams o donnell said...

Nice decorations indeed. Very festive. Luckily we have holly and ivy in the garden so we'll cut some at the weekend. Hopefully the not-wife's dad will bring mistletoe from the patch growing on his apple tree.

Eurodog said...

Lovely jmb.
Mr Eurodog and myself argue endlessly when decorating the tree. He is far more patient than I am. Every year we bring out the same decorations. Even those the children made when they were small or those we have acquired over the years. The Maine lighthouse and the Maine lobster, Mickey Mouse and Thinkerbell from Orlando, the fat lady from Copenhagen airport, the Dutch cow and so it goes on.
We have a collection of birds on our tree even some chicks from Easter have appeared on the tree this year.
We have a creche with small terracotta statues. Only the 3 wise men are a set. The others( Joseph, Mary,the animals) are an odd bunch. I do not remember where they came from. Of course baby Jesus gets put in the creche on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day as is the tradition here.

Carver said...

Very festive. I love seeing what people do at Christmas and enjoyed the stories that go with some of your decorations. Yes, I'd love a cookie before I go. Have a good one!

Ellee Seymour said...

I tried making my own holly wreath and couldn't find any holly with berries. I'm very impressed with your cheerful decorations and very tempting looking cookies.

Sean Jeating said...

Won't make many words while eating the vanilla crescents . . . :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. I just love your decorations but had to laugh at the "grounds for divorce." Your crib and its figurines look fine to me! Oh, I'll be over for a cookie, btw!

leslie said...

mmmm...hmphhh...mmmm *licking lips* that was a great cookie. Might I have another, please? Lovely post, jmb, and I especially like all the poinsettias in both red and peach.

Josie said...

JMB, that looks beautiful! Those cookies look exactly like the ones my Mom used to bake. They go very nicely with eggnog, don't you think?

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

...along with wallpapering and camping...

... along with sailing. Your level of curmudgeonry is commendable, JMB.

True Blue said...

Jmb; Lovely decorations ! I have visited your site before but never posted on it, (I think) So, Hello !
I`ve come over to you via Welshcakes, Don`t you just love her tales of the Post Office ? I thought our local PO was bad enough but I think WC`s surpasses all others !
Your site is very interesting and time allowing, I shall visit more regularly.
Every Good Wish to You and Yours for a Wonderful Christmas and Peaceful and Prosperous 2008.


Medblog Addict said...

What beautiful and festive decorations. Merry Christmas!

jmb said...

Hi Liz,
Glad you enjoyed the cookies and the decorations.

Hi Thunderdragon,
Thanks for visiting

Hi Rowena,
Well they photographed quite well. Oh you have a feisty Westie, eh? The best dog I ever had and my avatar. Cleo is sadly no longer with us.

Thanks for visiting

Hi Janice,
I can't believe you got a poinsettia to rebloom. Did you put it in a cupboard as they recommend?

Hi Tai
You had a crèche like mine? I can't beleive we still have it, in its original box too.

Hi Jams,
Holly is so beautiful but vey prickly so don't stick yourself. Mistletoe, I don't believe I've ever seen it.

Hi Eurodog,
I'm glad we are not the only couple who have tree arguments. It sounds like your decorations are very special to your family.

Hi Carver,
I'm glad you enjoyed the decorations and the cookie too. Have a great Christmas too.

Hi Ellee,
Holly without berries is not good. I believe you need a female tree for that.

Hi Sean,
Those crescents are delicious with ground almonds in them. Enjoy.

Hi Welshcakes,
Lots of red here, as you can see. The crèche looks fine from afar covered with branches.

Hi Leslie,
Don't you just love poinsettias. All the different colours are great.

Cntd later,
Thanks for visiting and commenting
Have a happy Christmas

Sienna said...

JMB you have the sweetest looking xmas decorations I have ever seen.

Everything looks so welcoming and xmassy...and warm!

LOL over putting up the tree! I had to look up my new word learnt; (curmudgeon). I have just the man to practice that one on. :)


Chrysalis Angel said...

I love all the photos. Just beautiful! Your table looks so similar to mine, I have in my living room. It was my grandmother's. Love the decorations and such.