a Santa obsession. I don't know what it is about that man. He just makes me happy.
Actually, I might know.
He is Jolly. He gives without looking to receive in return. He loves kids.
He. Is. MAGIC!
Most of our decorations have something to do with St. Nick, on some level. Or they are home made, or when all is right with the world they're BOTH!
Pictured are just the highlights, I hang curtians, I recover the bench by the front door, hang a wreath on the front door and a large garland with ornaments over the hall entryway (that I made). There are lots of silk and paper flowers that get traded out from the ones that sit in the vases and urns and baskets through out the house. Candles, and all the other little touches that go into making a home festive for the holidays too.
At first glance that tree looks like any ole tree in most homes with just a bunch of stuff just thrown at it, but when you look at it up close, there are only a few things permitted on it. 1. Strings of beads that look like cranberries/pearls 2. hand made ornaments 3. plastic candy canes (real ones melt here, and the kids eat them, and bugs, EW) 4. greenery/tree filler/floral picks (doesn't really count cause it's kinda part of the tree?) 5. my tree topper is of the "spike" variety (not sure what you call them?), we had a very pretty red and silver one all thru my childhood, and I got it when my parents divorced, about 5 years ago, our cat climbed our tree, knocking it over, and breaking it, all I could find was a silver plain one to replace it, so I got out the superglue and the glitter and panted on some dots, and snow flakes and did the tip too 6. Santa, and there are no duplicates.
Dh's mom started quilting some stockings for the kids at some point after I mentioned how I'd love for them to have some hand quilted ones. She really is my FAV person EVER! She got about half finished with the project, and handed it over for me to finish, I'm not sure if it's cause she ran out of time, or because she wanted my hand in it too. Either way I'm grateful, and they're a coordinating set, that fits in well with my decor.
The Stockings are hung on a new stocking hanger that I made at a "Super Saturday" at Church in November. "Super Saturday" is when we all got together to make a bunch of crafts. People volunteered to teach them, figured out how much it would cost per person, we signed up, they got the supplies together, so when we showed up we just got a bag with our supplies and set to work! I was the only one with a paint splattered stocking holder. It's just a plank of wood painted in your color of choice, they had the vinyl words done for us also. It was the whole phrase "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nick soon would be there" but it was done in 2 different fonts in 2 colors, and the black bold letters were the only ones that stood out/looked good against my paint scheme. Also, I wanted to label above the nails. I just mimicked the lettering style of the vinyl letters with my black sharpie for my kids first initials.
The wall hanging, is really just a quilt top I made a few years ago that I desperately need to put a back on and quilt. ONE day I will? The problem is, when I bought the fabric for the front, I didn't buy the fabric for the back, and now I REALLY want that SAME Santa head fabric for the back, and all I have is this poinsettia fabric (ick). I'd really just look at it the way it is than "mess" it up with something less than perfect, and if that's not quilting OCD I don't know what is! Also when I go to quilt it, I think I'll quilt the names of all the reindeer around the border, with a large plate of cookies and glass of milk being the center design of the quilting. You know as long as I'm dreaming of quilted perfection.
Going up the banister is just some ribbon, DS#1 did that! it's my Santa ribbon. there are Santa heads on it, and it says HO! HO! HO!, and it's sparkly too. so it made it FESTIVE on the stairs. I wish I had some of that really soft green garland too to have wound round the banister with it. but alas, just the ribbon.
Oh, and under the tree, are the boxes we use every year to put the kids presents in. There are 4 different kinds of boxes, with 3 sizes for each kind (they nest). And we tie ribbons around the boxes to keep them shut. We do this instead of wrapping, to cut down on waste, and cost, and the kids get to "wrap" things on their own this way. No one has ever peaked! (we've used the boxes for 5 years?) It's handy, cause even when the presents aren't ready to go under the tree, it LOOKS like there are presents under the tree! (the pic of the tree was taken AFTER Christmas!).
My tree skirt (not pictured) was made by DH's mom, it is square, which is an odd shape for a tree skirt. It has the Nativity on it, each side of the square features a different scene from the Nativity story. She Embroidered it for me when we were first married, it might have been my first married Christmas present. I've used it every year.
Even tho there is a Santa OBSESSION in the house, the focus is NOT on presents, or rather, it's in the GIVING THE present. We do things a little differently. My children only receive one gift each from me, and it's hand made. I put a lot of thought into them. My husband only gives each child one gift, it's not hand made, but there is equal thought put into them. Each child only gives each sibling one present (except for the baby, she's too little to give yet) and they are all hand made. And they do 90% of the making, I only step in if there is need. Santa only brings each child ONE gift, it's something larger than Mom or Dad would have gotten. We are usually more excited to find out if the person we worked so hard making a gift for likes it as much as we hoped, than we are in opening our own. Not to say that they aren't excited to find out what is in their boxes, because there is much planning, scheming, and plotting, sometimes for months on the gifts. It's just nice to see you're work well loved. When DS#2 opned his gift from DD#1 and got his "very own Harry Potter Wand JUST LIKE DD#1 and DS#1!!" Everyone was beaming with the thoughtfulness of this well thought out gift. (a couple years before DD#1 and DS#1 had made and received wands from each other, I knew about it, it was epic) When we go on our annual trip to the toy store for "MY" present and everyone (from mom and dad to the baby) picks out a toy that they would WANT and then, everyone hands their toys to the soldiers (and no one has ever complained) for Toys for Tots, THAT is Christmas.
It's not in the "what did you GET" it's in the "what did you GIVE".