Friday, December 18, 2009

'Tis(zy) the Season

One more week, two big questions: What are you doing for the holidays? and/or Are you all ready for Christmas? Does anyone else feel pressured?

This is Kylie's tree. Love the way the packages look, don't you? Here in The Eagles' Nest we have an old rocking horse who comes out this time of year, too. He's painted red, and he has different riders every year--babies, teddy bears, Barbie dolls, whatever's handy.

Did you put up a tree? Real or artificial? Do you have a color scheme, or is your tree like mine--decorations collected over the years, each with a story behind it? Last week when I told my sister over the phone that I was almost finished decorating, she said she wasn't putting up a tree this year. I've heard that from a few people--"keeping it low-key this year." I've had years like that, when, for whatever reasons, I just didn't feel like dragging all that stuff out only to have to pack it all up again a few weeks later. Most years, though, once I get started, I don't know when to quit. I'm a pack rat. I save everything and the story to go with it. I'm going to have to downsize one of these days. But not today.

I made these felt frames backed with magnetic tape a few years ago. The grandchildren weren't with us for Christmas that year, so I put them up
where I could see them a lot. I haven't taken them out since, but I put them up again this year, and the kids love them.

Michele says: "In the Hauf household, we use the traditional means of measure to determine snowfall. The cat toss. I’d say we have about a half a tail’s worth (about four inches) right now." What a gorgeous photo, huh?

Cindy's kitty says, "Don't mean to be catty, but I'm much prettier than that guy in red."

And how about Lois's beautiful Sage in his holiday

Do the critters in your house get stockings? One of my favorite gifts for humans who have everything is a wildlife adoption from Defenders of Wildlife or the MN Wildcat Sanctuary.

This is a wonderful season for those of us who love to collect. My brother's wife collects gorgeous Santas. Over the years I've collected bear ornaments, and we always have a special bear tree. What's your ornament collection like?

Kylie accents her Santas (right) with lights. It's so much fun to arrange groupings like this. It's like seeing old friends once a year.

Kylie displays miniatures on a beautiful antique dresser.

Here are some of my Christmas collections. The candles are E-bay finds that brought back memories. Anybody recognize them? Mama had some of these--snowmen, trees, choirboys, angels, deer, Santas (Gurney and Tavern companies, late 40's early 50's). Some of them were premiums that came with Prell shampoo. Decorations were simpler then. I love the stories that go with these keepsakes, and I tell them every year as we unwrap each piece and make a place for it.

The Wizard of Oz dolls are more recent. They're McDonald's toys. Most of these came from E-bay, too, although the grands collected the first ones with the very occasional Happy Meal. Then I decided it was healthier--and cheaper--to bid on them.

And then there's my Barbie collection. Upwards of 50 of the vintage variety--1959-1973. I get teased a lot, but not by my granddaughters. They understand. They're 5 and 7. I've told them they get the Barbies when I die. (The 5 year old has taken to getting her dibbsies in on other things, too. "Nana, when you die, can I have these shoes?")

And what Christmas would be complete without our favorite stories? I like to incorporate the books into the scene.

Now, it's your turn. Share your decorating ideas. Even better, e-mail your snapshots ( and we'll feature them here, riding around with us as we dash through the snow, laughing all the way. We'd love to hear about your traditions, your memories. An autographed book for anyone who sends a picture with permission to post it here on RWTTD! But comment with or without a picture. 'Tis the Season!

Oh, and per our movie discussion the other day, I have a recommendation. We saw Invictus today. Two talons up from the Eagles! If you're looking for feel-good, this is it. Clint Eastwood scores again with a terrific story and wonderful performances by Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as the captain of the South African rugby team that won the World Cup.


Kirsten said...

My family has the holiday tradition to wait with decorating the tree till December 24. We come together to unpack the boxes with lots of eclectic and handmade ornaments collected over the years. There’s such a giddy and expectant atmosphere. Waiting so long I increases the excitement. We share stories often told : remember when… or I didn't know we still had this ornament... Often it’s difficult to ignore that call of xmas, it makes me want to pull out some sparkles and snow. So this year I was a little naughty (sorry Santa) and decorated our cabinet with some early Christmas spirit. I have much more decorations but they are still in their boxes. For we still go ahead with our tradition and leave the decorating of the tree till the day before xmas. I’m really looking forward to it.
When the tree stands in all it’s glory we leave it up for just the 12 days of Christmas, another tradition passed down to me from my parents.

Debra Dixon said...


I've been so swamped I forgot to go looking for a seasonal snapshot!

These were such fun !!

My sister has the major decorating chores this year because "Christmas" is at her house. She's raising two little ones and it's best we all go there.

Her biggest question is always whether to take the decorations down before July 4th or damn tradition and leave them up!

Yes. She's one of THOSE.

Candace said...

Our family tradition it to decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving. We go whole hog (whole reindeer?). Ten foot (fake) tree covered with 37 years worth of ornaments. An ever growing collection of Santas on the mantel, and the bookshelves, and the tables. Icicle lights trimming the outside of the house and lighted reindeer on the lawn.

And, then, on New Year's Day, it all comes down. Except for the icicle lights; they stay up 'til around March.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Come on, Candace, send us a picture! Or two. Your table full of sweets is a sight to behold.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Any pictures we get will be posted (with permission) on the weekend. Two so far. Thanks--this is fun!

Kathleen O said...

My tree is up (artificial), my Chritmas scene is up. That is my small lit ceramic tree, which lights up, my lighted house, my angel and other decoration that around this small scene.. My favourite christmas candy dishes are out. My candle holders and the table is dressed in it's christmas holiday finery..

Kathleen - I just read One Cowboy, One Christmas this week and I loved it... I love these Beaudry boys..
Merry Christmas to all!!

KylieBrant said...

I didn't send my nativity scene (complete with blue lights) or the Christmas village that is threatening to take over the house. It's so fun to indulge now when there was never extra money for 'collections' when I was raising kids.

Oh, and have just started an angel collection, LOL.

Kathleen Eagle said...

One Kathleen to another--thanks for your kind words for my Beaudrys and ONE COWBOY, ONE CHRISTMAS. Special Edition is like coming home for the holidays.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Kylie, I've always wanted one of those villages, but I've been afraid to start. I adore miniatures--always have. I know I'd love adding the details, and pretty soon the village would be a city. But I'm so tempted.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Deb, some of my stuff stays up through much of the winter. It's dark up here in the North Country. We have the lights on timers, and they add so much cheer deep in December. When I start noticing that the lights are coming on way before sunset, I know it's time to start thinking about Easter decor.

Keri Ford said...

I started picking up the Hallmark signing santa. We didn't realize it until we went back seeing if we missed any that they started releasing them the same year we got married. They're extra special cause they represents each and every christmas we've shared. Husband asked what are we going to do with 20-30 of those things? (they're big, about a foot long, eight or so inches high). I said put them out every year and box em up afterwards.

I guess last year was the last one cause they're not advertising one this year. they did a snoopy instead. :(

Our tree is decorated with ornaments from places we've traveled. It's fun to unwrap them one at a time and remember the different places we went.

I would send a picture, but I'd have to clean up first. ;-)

Keri Ford said...

geez. Singing SNOWMEN, not santas. and err...sorry about the other typos. I think I need some sleep!

Helen Brenna said...

Well, this has been a crazy year at the Brenna house. We have a decorated tree and ... that's it. I have boxes and boxes of other decorations, but nothing else came out except for some ornaments. Behind on a deadline and been trying to get ready to head out of town on Sunday.

I have this feeling New Year's will come round and I'll be majorly bummed. Christmas is passing me by!

Thanks for the photos, Kathy. Everything is beautiful!

Anna Dougherty said...

I wish I had more pictures of our house. I made Flyboy promise to take a bunch this weekend before we leave. I have 4 trees total- one big one, two small silver trees, and one chenille green potted tree. Each one has its own theme of ornaments. We usually have a kid tree too. They get to decorate with all the ornaments they have made, along with the star wars, harry potter, batman, dolls etc. We really like Christmas around here!

I was sad to notice that when we moved last summer the movers broke my nativity snowglobes:( Now I am on the hunt for a new set.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I feel your pain on the snow globes, Anna. Years ago I made the wacko mistake of storing some in the attic. In North Dakota.

Cindy Gerard said...

sorry to post so late. I could have sent tons of photos. I think at last count I have almost 100 Santas. My favorite are my Pipka Santa figurines. I only collect the Pipka with animals and they're so much fun!
It was fun seeing other photos :o)

Kathleen Eagle said...

More to come tomorrow, Cindy. My sister-in-law does particular Santas--can't remember which ones, but they're gorgeous.

Virginia said...

We always do our decorating the day after Thanksgiving! I have a four foot fiber optic tree setting on a table in front of the window! Outside we have rope lights wrapped around the front porch post and they run across the front of the porch. They are wrapped around my shephards hook that I have plants on in the spring. It looks like a large candy cane. In the front yard we have a spirel lighted tree with a mother and baby lighted reindeer. This is the first year we have put the reindeer out. I think they look pretty cool.

Kathleen Eagle said...

We haven't done outdoor light in a few years. We used to fill the trees with white lights. I miss them, but they were a lot of work.