I know, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet and I'm talking Christmas. But around here, everything has to be carefully planned to get the most out of the holidays. I went from 6 weeks of Halloween decorations to Fall for just 3 days. Why bother, you ask? Well, it's simple. I had a dinner party and I love doing the table!
Since we are going to Charlotte for Thanksgiving this year, I was ready to start thinking about what's next around here--which is Christmas. I've always done my Christmas decorating over the Thanksgiving weekend. That way, when December 1st rolls around, I'm all set. Well, when we started going to Charlotte for Thanksgiving a few years ago, that changed. I didn't like the prospect of coming home to ALL THAT WORK! So, I started doing it before I left. It's nice to come home to Christmas already done!
With all of that in mind, Stephanie asked if I would come and help her decorate the Monday before Thanksgiving so she too, could come home to Christmas! My mind went to---picture a whining head voice here---"but that's movie Monday!" I offered an alternative--"what about Sunday?" ---even though I knew that would somewhat impede my own decorating plans. But, heck, I'll just get up earlier for a couple days---my answer to being able to work everything I want in to my schedule.
Sunday wasn't going to work for her because it's her birthday weekend. Since it's the BIG 4-0---she has a whole weekend planned. Next I suggested, last Sunday. She thought about it for about 2 seconds and decided "yes, that would work."
She doesn't have near the amount of Christmas "stuff" and accumulation that I have, so it only took about an hour and a half. We didn't do her trees---she'll do that the weekend after Thanksgiving (we're coming home on Saturday).
Without further ado, here is Christmas in Stephanie's house:
Before we even get to the table, I want to mention her fabulous chandelier. She "won" it in a poker game about 5 years ago. A guy friend of hers had just moved in to his condo. The chandelier didn't exactly shout "bachelor pad." It was a mess too. Anyway, after she won it, Butch and I took it all apart and cleaned it thoroughly. It's really beautiful. When said guy friend saw it, he was sort of sorry he bet it away! Hmmm, I've forgotten to ask Steph what his current wife thinks about the whole deal. It's really a nice chandelier.
So, now back to the table. The first assignment Steph gave me was the table. What?? How could I be so lucky! My favorite! When it comes to my own table, it's the LAST thing I do---sort of my reward for getting everything else done. The games I play with myself. I was more than happy to do her table.
Some of the things here are "hand me downs" from when I used to have a gold and silver Christmas dining room.
Stephanie and Nicky did a major remodel a couple years ago and added these wonderful bookcases framing her fireplace. On the second shelf you can see a needlepoint "NOEL" picture that Stephanie made several years ago. On the bottom shelf you can see the button Christmas tree picture in the back that was our family craft project about 3 years ago. In front is another craft project--the Christmas photo cubes stacked up.
Since the tv is above the mantel, I had to keep everything low---just garland, poinsettias and candles.
A couple months ago, when I was still laid up, a friend of mine was getting ready to move. She came to me with some things she was selling that she thought I would like (remember my Mark Roberts Thanksgiving fairy?). Well, these whimsical frogs are designed by Katherine. I LOVE Katherine's Collection and have collected many of her designs over the years. My first purchase were my Christmas elves about 15 years ago. That's also where my Halloween Jack-o-lanterns came from. They are all named, signed and numbered. Not cheap. But my friend sold these to me for a song. Since I knew they were right up Steph's alley, I gave them to her as an early birthday present.
The detail is incredible in all of Katherine's designs.
I should have looked in the boxes for the names of these guys, but didn't think about it. I know she'll get many years of enjoyment out of them---if her cat leaves them alone!
One of Steph's favorite things is the little hand-blown glass Christmas tree on the left that I bought for all of the "grands" when we were in Venice years ago. Morgan already took hers, so no telling how long Stephanie will have Jordan's.
I can't believe I didn't take more pictures. While I was doing all of this, Steph strung the garland in her entry. She has an open two-story entry with a lot of staircase to do. Her bows were old and tired. I told her it was time to get rid of them. I made her new ones this week. I didn't have to buy a thing--you know me and my multiples problems? Add to that--after Christmas sales. I have plenty of ribbons, baubles and bows!
I made her a bag full! I'll have to get her to snap a few shots when she puts them on the garland. And her nutcracker collection---need a shot of that too.
As for me, I'll have to wait until Sunday to get started with my decorating.
Here's how my weekend is unfolding. Tonight is poker night here. I have to cook dinner for the guys. We girls go out to dinner. Tomorrow we're celebrating Steph's birthday. Jordan and Morgan are coming home for it. We're going to Soar Adventure Center. We've never done that before. It's one of those places that is full of different obstacle courses---like those tv shows. I'll be the one below snapping pictures! I think my days of rope climbing are over. Heck, they were over back when I was near 50 and had to climb one of those rope "thingies" when I couldn't get Jordan and Morgan to come out of a "treehouse" at the zoo. That was a sight for sure! Those girls! They gave me a "run for my money!"
That gives me Saturday evening and all day Sunday to decorate. Since I don't work at night, that means Sunday. I've already hauled a lot down from my Christmas closet. It's all in the dining room waiting for me. I have book club the Monday after Thanksgiving. There's nothing like a party of some sort to motivate me. It'll get done for sure.
What about you? When do you decorate? Do you enjoy it? As for me, all the while I'm doing it, I'm dreading the "taking down." But, I do love it while it's up!