Saturday, December 15, 2012

It Doesn't Get Much Better than Christmas

There are days when it feels silly and shallow to blog about frivolous things like crafting and decorating and movies when there is such sadness and misery in the world.  Today is one of those days. 
I worked yesterday, and spent the entire time whining in my head about my aching feet, and my aching back, and my aching knees (are you sensing a pattern here?) and those whiney, crabby customers, and how hungry and thirsty I was, and was my shift EVER going to end?!  And on and on and on, ad nauseum  . . .
Then I went home and turned on the news and I felt foolish and ashamed that I was complaining about relatively inconsequential stuff. So what if my back and feet and knees ache? At least I can stand and walk. And if those customers are ill-tempered jerks? Well, they're the ones who have to live with themselves. I thank God that I only have to deal with them for a short period of time and that, at least in my free time, I can choose to associate with people who are kind and loving. And if I'm hungry? Well, I could certainly afford to lose a few pounds, so maybe occasional hunger might be a good thing.
When I hear about tragedies like the shootings in Connecticut, I count my blessings. And I pray for those I love (and remind myself to also pray for those I don't even like!)
I thought about not posting what I was planning to post today, but I decided to do it anyway. I don't know about everyone else, but I enjoy visiting your blogs (and writing mine) because I need a respite from the daily news about war and murder and pain and misery. Those things are right in front of us every time we open up a newspaper, or turn on the radio or the TV.  They're impossible to ignore. Sometimes, they hit far too close to home, both literally and figuratively, and we must face them without the protective barrier of newsprint or a television screen.
So, after spending some time crying and wondering if the world has gone mad, I decided to think about something good.  And for me, it doesn't get much better than Christmas.

In spite of the fact that I work retail (and quite frankly, despise it), I still love Christmas.  I love the religious aspect of it, and I love the secular stuff as well, and have no issues with enjoying both equally.  I love Shiny Brite ornaments, "A Charlie Brown Christmas", Santa Claus, houses with Christmas lights, Midnight Mass, Christmas trees, Nativity scenes, gift wrap, Christmas cards, "It's a Wonderful Life", tinsel, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas", Christmas cookies, eggnog . . .  
Here are a few pictures from my house:
One of my craft projects that I actually liked the end result and didn't donate to Goodwill.  I hang this wreath in my entryway.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my mom's Nativity scene.  She bought this sometime in the mid '50's, and I always enjoy setting it up each year.  I miss my mom very much, particularly at Christmas.

I decorated the fireplace mantel in my living room rather simply (well, simple for ME anyway): just a few ornaments amidst the china.

I inherited my love of the color pink from my grandmother, who had all pink ornaments on her Christmas tree.  Some of the above were hers.

I wanted an old-fashioned looking Christmas, with Shiny Brite ornaments, and tinsel.  I decided not to put the tinsel on when someone decided she wanted to help me:

Yup, that's silver tinsel in her mouth!

Since she was so interested in the tree, I decided to wrap up misc. boxes in this vintage-looking gift wrap, and place them in front of the tree to keep her away.  So far, my strategy has worked.  And I love the darling gift wrap. So very 50's.

These Gurley candles belonged to my grandmother.  She had about a dozen candles of various styles.  These choir members and the lamp post are in pretty good condition.  I can't say the same for some of the others.

In addition to the decorations in my living room, I decided to decorate my dining room as well.  I have collected Snoopy stuff since high school, and have about 400 Snoopy Christmas ornaments, as well as all the other misc. decorations.  I haven't put out the Snoopy stuff for a couple of years (it's A LOT of work), but I was in the mood for it this year, and love the fact that after so many years of living in a small apartment, I now have enough room to go a little crazy with the Christmas decorating.  Here are some scenes from my dining room:

My sister made the Christmas tree skirt for me.

I used two artificial trees for the Snoopy ornaments, but didn't have enough room for all of them.

My oldest nephew made the tissue paper wreath for me when he was about 6.  He's now 30; I can't believe how well the wreath has held up. Those sweet presents from my nieces and nephews are some of my most treasured possessions.

Yeah, I know, it's all pretty over-the-top and crazy, but it makes me smile, and my guests always enjoy it.  It's hard to feel sad when you see all those smiling Snoopies.  And it's hard to feel sad with this one around:

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Count your blessings, as I will. And, if you're Christmas shopping, be kind to the retail store clerk.  She puts up with a lot of crap from people, and trust me, her feet are KILLING her.
Thanks for stopping by.  I would love it if you would leave a comment - I really enjoy reading them!


  1. Julie I agree it is such a heartbreak.But it is good to escape the madness and visit blogs.It's like visiting friends.I am choosing not to watch any of the coverage.It is not because I don't care about the victims.It's because I don't care about the person that did this.They will analyze him and I don't really care why.The damage is done.Now all I can do is pray.And hope they they will make some changes.
    Your home looks beautiful all decorated for Christmas.LOVE that vintage wrapping paper and your snoopy tree is cute too.Great vintage ornaments!Sweet photos of your dog too!

  2. Julie,
    I was mad at myself for being crabby about stupid things yesterday too after I heard the news. Devastating and heart breaking.
    I love your decorating, just beautiful!!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving the nice comment. I do love that new baby, she is so sweet and soft and cuddly! Have a great Christmas and may 2013 be the best - because the best is yet to come, right?

  3. The best we can do is pray for the families. Sad to say but life goes on for the rest of us. We can lift them up in our hearts and wish for a bit of respite for their grief.
    That said your dog is darling and makes me smile. Also your home is beautiful!

  4. Your decorating is so festive and cheery Julie. Your tree is gorgeous! and the wrapping paper does look vintage. Your pup is so sweet too. I love the pic of her smiling with her teeth showing. It made me laugh. I loved seeing your Snoopy collection too. Yes the news is so so sad. All we can do is pray. We are losing innocent children every day so keep them in your prayers. God bless you.


  5. Your house looks so pretty for Christmas, Julie! I love the wreath you made with all the vintage ornaments. I am heart broken over this horrible tragedy.

  6. Oh Julie, I hear you. So hard to feel festive after such a tragic event. Your home looks beautiful though and I love your vintage sweetness. Merry Christmas!


  7. Julie - Seeing your decorations are a bright way to start my Monday. There is so much cheer in your home. I absolutely LOVE all of your Snoopy ornaments and plushes. My 4 year old step daughter would certainly be thrilled to see that many Snoopy's in one space! :)
    I enjoy all of the same things you do about the holiday season. After this weekend, it has been hard to look at the holiday season the same knowing there is so much heartbreak in our nation.
    Thank you for brightening my day.
    Merry Christmas to you!

  8. Nice post:) For me, counting my blessings, including the teeniest, every day, keeps things in perspecitive. Sadly, there are grotesque tragedies every day (most of which we could stop if we all did the right thing) but you sharing the picture of your pooch with the tinsle is just the right thing to make me smile:)



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