Oh, how I love all the stuff that goes along with this season! Don't get me wrong - celebrating the birth of Jesus is the primary focus - but I adore the "stuff".
You know -the smells of cinnamon pinecones in the grocery store and gingerbread cookies baking. My favorite Christmas CD's that I put on "repeat play" and will listen to for a solid day.
And of course, the Christmas decorations. Those cherished and sentimental favorites that I unpack and greet like old friends after being stored in boxes for 10 1/2 months.
Can I share some of them with you?
These are my Christmas dishes. I put the everyday dishes away and we eat exclusively off of these for the season. My food actually tastes better when eaten off of these plates.
I have a confession - I'm a junky. I love plates and tea cups and pitchers and . . . I just recently discovered the store, Home Goods, while shopping with Patti and Dawn. When I walked through their door it was like the mother ship calling me home. The dishes. OH MY WORD THE DISHES IN THAT STORE.
Here's my favorite mug. I began collecting the Waechtersbach Christmas mugs way back in the eighties, when I was in nursing school. I have 10 of them, all different.
What is it about the word "joy"? I love the word - it seems to inspire not only a feeling but an attitude. This word is scattered throughout our home. It's on coffee cups, plaques, ornaments and mantle decorations. I like to think it's scattered throughout our home in less tangible ways too.
Here is my next favorite mug. My mom sent these a couple of years ago. I love his kind face and long eyelashes. Lattes taste especially good out of the Santa head.
Um, wait - that doesn't sound very . . . um . . . never mind.
Here's our advent calendar. Mom sent me this too. Each of the numbers is on a little door. When you open the door there are magnetized figures behind them. The kids take turns placing the figures on the background. By Christmas Eve, all the figures are in place - stars, angels, sheep, camels, wise men and shepherds and the nativity. We always save baby Jesus for the last day.
These are my kids' stockings, made by my sister, Nancy. She made them and gave them as baby gifts, the years they were born. I love the detail and sparkle! Nancy's so good at this stuff.
This is my favorite tree ornament. My mom gave it to me a bazillion years ago, probably when I was still in college. It's made out of metal and is extremely delicate and light-weight.
Prior to putting the ornaments on the tree, the kids love to play with them. We have trains and trucks, Barbies and Santas, candy canes and Star Wars figures - a real hodgepodge. I don't think I could ever have a designer tree with matching and coordinating ornaments. Wherever would the handmade-popsicle stick-handprint-pipe cleaner ornaments go?
And finally, the newest member of my greatest hits list - the annual Swarovski snowflake. I got my first one last year. It's hanging in my sunny kitchen nook on a tiny, almost invisible fishing line. When the sun hits it, it throws prisms all over the kitchen-family room area. Beautiful!
And that's it for "Karenpie's Greatest Christmas Hits" and I just realized my mom has given me most of my favorites. Hey Mom? You have excellent taste.
You're all officially invited to come over and drink lattes out of my Christmas mugs. You bring the cookies!