I freely admit my obsession with holiday decorating. But I’d like to make a case for myself that this Christmas season I was tame. Only two things were purchased, so I’d call that pretty constrained. The rest are items previously made or bought, but seeing them each year brings me joy.
One purchase, in particular, I was especially thrilled about. Our friends, Mary Karlee and Ryan, hosted a Nativity party. They had read in the BYU Alumni magazine about an organization that purchases nativity sets from artists in disadvantaged countries around the world and sells them at cost. 100% of the proceeds go to the artists in an effort to help them generate income through their own craft. Mary Karlee and Ryan bought some to display in the hopes that it would inspire people to want to buy these beautiful pieces of art. I was thrilled to finally find a set that I would feel proud to display. Not that I don’t like the Little People version. It’s awesome and has its function and the kids love it. But I wanted something not plastic. Something a little more respectful of the scene.
I love our new set. The fact that it’s almost ambiguous plus the beautiful black wood make it so striking. It’s from Kenya, Africa. I love knowing that the artist who made this is able to prosper from his own creation.
The next purchased items were supposed to look like this, but I was lazy. Or really, I just ran out of time and realized that I didn’t have the paper punch to create the leaves anyway. So instead I just wrapped the styrofoam in pretty paper and called them trees. Colin thought that was a bit of a stretch. He referred to them as festive cones. Judge for yourself, but I liked how they turned out just fine.
We didn’t technically join in on the Elf on the Shelf fun, but we did already have an elf. It was my mom’s first Christmas decoration when she left for college. Needless to say, he was around before this new elf craze began. He’s retro. I believe his name is Charlie. That’s what I kept calling him, anyway.
Other items scattered around our home have a good amount of history too. Like these ornaments. The wooden one of the angel on the sled has adorned the little table top tree we put up in the kitchen since I went off to college. The popsicle stick and fabric nativity ornament was made at my mom’s Relief Society Christmas Party years ago. It seems in stark contrast to the Lucy “Psychiatry Booth” requiring 5 cents for use, received when I was about 16.
Our faux mantle over the non-functioning fire place holds the all-important Christmas stockings. I bought that picture ledge specifically for the purpose of hanging stockings and it does the trick. Our stockings are a hodge podge of decorations collected and made over the years. The blue snowman soccer player was originally started for Colin at one of the craft days his mom’s side of the family used to hold during Thanksgiving reunions at Ensign Ranch in Washington. By the time I got around to finishing it, Warren was in need of a stocking so he inherited the thing. No one told me that stockings have a uniform protocol for direction, so his is facing the wrong way. So far, he doesn’t seem to mind so much.
Window decorations that look pretty with light shining through.
The kids love this finger puppet nativity set, but Jake and Joe chewed on them a little too much for comfort considering the materials and paint are a tad suspect.
The hallway entry table hosts our gingerbread advent calendar plus some simple pieces like pine cones and subway art I printed for free off Pinterest.
Little elements of the Christmas season that make me smile when I look around the house.