Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

Fa la la la la, la la, la, la!

Okay...so I had this idea to photograph our Christmas decorations...before Hillary or my mom posted on their own blogs. But December is busy and I did manage some pictures...though they were not all nice and crisp. But this is the general layout of our spruced up Holiday House! (Complete with history!) I really don't feel bad that this is posted after Dec. 25th since Deb (my Cyber Friend) says that her church only sings Christmas Carols from Christmas Eve to Epiphany...so I'm right in that time frame!

The view of the front door, freshly painted green. (So glad Ken didn't put up a fight b/c this is an awesome color!)
"Noel" greetings on the front door!

Our front hallway/foyer area...I keep the garland up for months on the stairs. There are spring and fall garlands that beautify that area through out the year.

Detail. I made those ribbons when we lived at our first house...so they are well used!

My mom found this little nativity set in my grandmother's basement after she passed away...still in the box. It's M's "job" at christmas is to arrange our nativity figures. She does such a nice job. All the people tend to be as near as possible to baby Jesus.

I moved Gunner's end table into the hallway for the season of decoration! haha. The Santa was given to my mom by her sister years ago. I lucked out and she passed it on to me when she was organizing her christmas decorations a couple of years ago. The reindeer was also once a decoration at the Hatch Homestead.

My goldenen "B!" Now decorated for Chrismas.

This advent was once distributed by the Avon Company. After tiring of it, Mom passed it on to me...probably just after I graduated from college.
The mousie detail is sideways...and I tried to fix it once. Sorry...but your neck is exercising! My kids enjoy advents...and we had 5 out this year. (Two or three more stayed in storage.) Though out the month of December, E would notify me on the number of days left before christmas...several times a day! Do you think he was excited?

I don't remember seein this Holy Family before my grandmother died. But in the years afterwards, Paula would put it out for Bonpapa to enjoy in his dining room table. There is a light which is really weak. Next year, I'll have to see about getting a new one or altering it in someway. Mom passed it on to me this summer when we were "purging and merging."

Detail of this monochromatic decoration.

Well, I've already posted and explained this Wish Clipboard. But it sat on the piano all month long. M and E wrote letters to Santa, but C did not.

Each of the Hatch Siblings were in marching band. And I'm pretty sure each of us LOVED it. (Even though Cizl didn't think that I did...a story for another posting.) Many years ago, my mom fell in love with the Mr. Christmas line of decorations. She decided that each of us HAD to have our own Santa's marching band which chimes out A LOT of carols on their bells. The kids love hearing it and remembered that last year "mom didn't put this decoration out!!" My memory is refreshed after this season. Those chimes are LOUD and there is no volume control. Furthermore, when you start it up, they play from the beginning song. So I don't think I've ever gone past maybe the 10th song...b/c of the volume.

A bigger pix to enjoy. I bring up this college drafting table from the basement, cover it with a table cloth and then the marching band is displayed on top in the front room.

Years ago, I spent a semester in Germany. As a lowly and poor student, I still wanted to get one nice "thing" from Germany. This was it. Of course typing this now, I can not remember the name of these candle decorations. It was by far the most expensive thing I bought in Europe. But I love it!

Here is a detail. When the candles are lit, the hot air turns the center piece. This one is smaller in size but one that is hand crafted and from a "fancy store!" haha. There are 3 wisemen with their gifts to baby Jesus in the manger with Mary and Joseph looking on.

Years and years and years ago, my mother had 5 kids and her sister had 5 kids. They soon realized that buying gifts for so many and shipping them from OH to CA was just not economically feasible. So they decided to make a Christmas decoration for each neice/nephew...to be opened on Thanksgiving Day (I believe). Well, my mom is a fantastically crafty lady and her gifts were the most wonderful. I was so jealous that my cousins received those handmade gifts. After a few years, my aunt started buying the ones that the Hatch Sibs received. And well....again, I was so jealous of my cousins and the lovely things my mom made for them!

But, backing this story up...one year, Debi gave each of us a (hand-made) Holy Family Nativity made out of ceramic...sort of like the one posted above. I say sort of...b/c my broke. I was a freshman or sophomore. Probably a Freshman. My alarm went off and I got up and got ready. It was so close to Christmas that early morning seminary was on vacation. It was dark and cold and I went to the bus stop. Waited...and waited. No one ever showed up. I knocked on Missy Dalton's door and no one answered. (Her's was the house in front of the bus stop.) So I raced home and worriedly knocked on my parents' door to tell them that I had missed the bus. I was worried b/c my parents had this standing rule from day one...you miss the bus, you walk to school. Well, I couldn't get my mom up right away. And then she called out, "You didn't miss the bus. It's (some early hour which I have now forgotten.)" haha.

So I lay back in bed and fell asleep. Soon I woke with a start and crashed over the nativity. It actually was really nice and monochromatic blues. Later, Gunner gave me her nativity, which, as I said, was similar. But notice the red lipstick on Mary. haha. She made this decoration...and definitely would have put red lips on Mary! Some kids have moms and grandmothers who say, "take off that make up." Mine would tell me to "go put some make up on!" haha

This throw pillow was given to us years ago by Julie and Itu Pita. And it has always sat on our front room couch! They were a neat couple we knew during our first year of marriage!

Admittedly, I want some new curtains...really badly! For the front rooms and the kitchen. (I did manage to get new ones for the family room this fall!) I have several sets for the kitchen. I followed my mom's example of having a holiday curtain for each holiday for her back door. I don't have a back door to speak of so I have sewn holiday curtains for the kitchen. These snowman curtains are perfect for December though March...and when I decorate with snowmen after the Christmas holidays!

I have several shelves in the kitchen which hold my blue Polish pottery. I move some of the items off so there is more room for Christmas cheer! The blue ribbon holds a felt nativity. Its photograph was realy blurry...but there is a detail 2 pix below.

My mom enjoys festive salt and pepper shakers. This year, she mailed these snowmen to us. (I decided to use them in January when the snowpeople arrive.) Interestingly enough, the box that these were mailed in looked like a big fat Santa had sat on it...one side was smashed flat! But luckily for us, the contents were A OK!

Here is a detail of the felt Nativity Advent Calendar. About 8 years ago, my friend and I discovered this neat company that dealt in educational felt toys/products. I joined up for the starter kit and discount...and was able to get the Christmas Advent. Mary and Joseph are moved down the velcro dots until they reach a stable. There are other felt pieces that you can use to retell the Christmas story.

Here is another new acquisition from my Grandparents' home. This St. Nicholas was painted by my mother for her own parents. The nutcracker was my grandmother's too. (I got rid of some "junky" decorations myself in the last few years. Purge and Merge, Baby!)

This cross stitch was done by Gunner...GMO...years ago. A gift for me at christmas. I believe all of the Hatch Siblings received one. She must have known how much I enjoy getting gifts! haha

Okay, I'm pretty sure this fellow was one of the items that my mom HAND STITCHED for my lucky CA cousins. I guess she made an extra one for herself too. This sits by a lamb that I think she also made...but the sheep didn't photograph well enough.

Here are a pair of salt and pepper shakers mom and dad gave us several years ago...in the shape of ornaments. We use them every December. But we have to put a plate under them b/c when they get wet, they leave rings! I guess our kids were little and messy and thus the wet and spillage!

My good friend Amy gave me this lovely Poinsettia Plant this year. I really do enjoy pointsettias though I rarely get them. A few years ago, Ken came home from work with a small pointsettia plant for me. I was quite flattered and surprised! The next day he came home and gifted me with two large red pillar candles. I then asked, "Are you doing the 12 days of Christmas for me, Ken?" And yes, he was. That's probably why I like those flowers at Christmas now.
Ooh rats...another sideways picture. Well, my main floor bathroom has been decorated in angels durings the Christmas time. I'm a little tired of it but TRADITION! haha. This lighted ceramic peice was given to my by Gunner and Bon Papa one Christmas. And it's lit the entire month! (Probably b/c growing up, I always dreamed of having christmas lights in my bedroom!)

This angel figurine sits on one of the wall sconces. Evelyn Mawl used to live across the street from us. She died right before Christmas several years ago. I remember seeing her in Khol's just after Thanksgiving when my mother was visiting. She was with her own daughter but looked so fraile and worn. Evelyn was buying a new coat since she was on her way back to England for a visit after many years. She had a great time...and quickly passed away sometime after that. (In fact, she had a stroke while bearing her testimony in church. I remember b/c I had 3 squirrely babies then. And it was near the end of the meeting and Evelyn's family was sitting right in front of us. In order to let the family actually hear what was being said, I took some of my own restless babies out. And then the meeting seemed to go long...and then people left...no closing song. Soon paramedics arrived and that was that.) A few weeks later, a kind sister in the ward gave each of the women an angel statue for us to look at and remember Evenlyn. When I look at it, I remember her bringing me dinner right after E was born. I remember the two perfect little sweaters that she knitted for him. And the fact that mom said I needed to go learn from her how to do that. But saddly she passed on before I had the chance. We gave her a few rides to church and she was always pleasant and happy. I visited her in the hospital...although she was in a coma...or something like it. She had a loving family who all crammed into that small, small room to keep her company in her final moments. She was an angel alright!

This angel stands on the 2nd wall sconce and typically it is up through out most of the year. Pam Balderree, who has now since moved, gave it to me just before she left MI. She was a really, really good friend. Now, why do friends have to move away...and move so far away...esp. the friends who do not "do" email!

I received 2 of these angels from Aunty Debi years ago for Christmas. The one holding cymbals was Jordan's but the other one of his broke. After his mission, he decided to throw it out...but I snagged it so now I have a trio to keep you company on the back of the toilet!

Detail of the angel choir. We also put sticky clings on the front windows, windows around the front door, kitchen windows and bathroom mirror windows. And as I am typing this, I just remembered that I didn't take down the upstair clings! haha...there is always something "left out!"
Years ago, Pam Balderree introduced me to their family tradition...The Elf. (Now this was all before the "Elf on a Shelf" promotion which would have made us a lot of $$.) So this elf comes to our home on December first. Along with him is a letter which reminds the kids about not touching him. It also admonishes them to choose the right, mind their manners and shape up in whatever little way each of them needs to do. A great mother's trick! No one is allowed to bump or move or touch him. He sits in plain sight throughout the day and listens and watches the going-ons of our home. Then at night, he scurries to the North Pole and reports to Santa what is happening. In the morning, the kids race around the house, turning on all the lights, trying to find him first. This year, he started getting tricky in his look out perches! Then, on Christmas Eve, he hitches a ride back to the North Pole with Santa!
This was once the decoration that graced the kitchen table of my youth. My Aunt Carol made it for my mother. (Carol is actually my mom's aunt.) When I was a very little girl, my mom made Cara and I some macaroni and cheese for lunch. I'm not sure what happened, but I ACCIDENTALLY tripped over the power cord and down went the house. Cracked in half...check out the details.
See that chip there..and a little of the crack? Well, needless to say, I was in a lot of hot water that day. Maybe my mom was having a bad day herself...she was watching TV on the couch...hmmmm...was it Ryan's Hope time? haha. Anyways, it was pieced back together and lived a long happy life with a more interesting story.

See Santa? He's doing good for such an old decoration. When my mom tired of it, I got it! yeah!!

View of our decorated mantle. I was pleased to find stocking holders that spell out JOY since we have 3 of kids.

Hillary and Jordan gifted us this awesome advent box...filled with treats a few years ago. Of course the kids also remember that I did not fill it up and put it out last year! haha. They do not have a concept of money yet. Thought I would fill it with riddlesl and jokes this year. But peppermint candies were inserted instead. I'll plan better next time!

These Nutcracker Soldiers are always displayed in front of my fireplace. Jordan gave them to me one Christmas, long ago. I really like them!

One corner of the mantle...with a tree I made at a craft day at church years ago...needs a new ribbon I thing. And my little Hannukkah tribute.

I bought these 2 wooden musicians in Poland. I probably received the dreidel from Gunner, who was very knowledgeable about culters. I have long thought that perhaps my distant family were Jews in Poland since family history work was really sort of stuck in the mud for years and years.

I picked this snowglobe music box up at Kohl's one after Christmas sale. I'm not sure that I really like it...but it's up. Maybe I"ll pass it down to my kids one day.

This is my most prized Christmas decoration. 100% best. If I could only have one thing out of the lot, I would take this one...hands down. My mom made it for me and it is based on THE LITTLEST ANGEL story that we read each Christmas Eve. I know this story so well, that it's alliterated descriptions come to my mind when I am feeling "most miserable" or "utterly dejected." Other great phrases that come to mind: Precipitous halt, venerable GateKeeper, vociferously offkey, Absolute love and infitie devotion.

My mom and dad gave me this small box along with the story book (complete with the identical illustrations to the one we read in their home) the Christmas that I returned home from Europe.

This year, The Elf (did you see his letter on the mantle...red paper) brought the kids this neato mosquito LEGO advent calendar! Talk about fun!!

One year after returning home from Thanksgiving at my parents' home, I was really, really sad. I know my mom says that she gets blue on the holidays...and I think she passed that on to me! But Ken, wanting to cheer me up, promptly helped me find a store to order this nativity online. I really didn't have a "nice" nativity back then and had always admired its simplicity. Of course, M arranged this one too. I actually have 2 more nativities that were displayed upstairs. One more in a box b/c it never stands up well...and Cara gave me one more for Christmas this year. So...more pix next year!

And the "piece de la resistance" as my Dad would say...and I probably spelled it incorrectly...THE TREE!
Now I didn't get a chance to photography any ornaments. It is still up so perhaps I will tomorrow. There is always next year too!
I took all these things down (save the tree) on Dec. 26th...and now we are decorated with snowmen!! I'm not sure that I want to snap shots of those...it has taken me hours...literally hours to write up this blog!


Jocelyn Christensen said...

Very nice, Dawn! I can't believe you got the snowhouse thingy!

Deb said...

So many beautiful, sentimental decorations! They all made me smile, especially the Avon Advent Countdown I already have, and the beautiful nativity that I still want! My Bible study girls gave me a LifeWay gift card, so I'll probably go get it soon! Thanks for sharing your Christmas w/ us!

gremhog susan.hatch@gmail.com said...

darn...didn't realize I would miss the snowhouse til I saw it. No i do NOT want it back...I just realized I missed it. Nice blog...odd spellings, tho. You must have been in a hurry to get this done before Ken awoke...great cards, too. Today, I MIGHT clean up what was to have been my stampin station.. MIGHT

Lin said...

wow, you have a house full of traditions and warm memories about christmas and lots of things to pass down to your kids. looks like you had a wonderful month...on to new years. love, aunt lin
ps. i think it's advent candles from germany that you light one candle each of the four sundays before christmas-i had some from sweden.

Katie @ Paper Makeup said...

how fun! I have the mousie advent calendar too! OH and i got your sweet sweet gift of the pooh stamp when i got back in town! I LOVE it! Thank you so so much for thinking of me!

mom/caryn said...

My daughter used to call our Christmas decorations, "kissmas mehmees".

Your decorations really do seem to be special memories. How sweet it will be to keep passing them from generation to generation. Make sure your children know the stories behind them.

This was a tender post.

Rachael K. said...

Which company did you get your felt nativity advent calendar from? My mom has one just like it and I would love to get one to start my own Christmas traditions. Thanks!