Sunday, December 5, 2010

Deck the Halls ~ Christmas Time is Here

I've not felt particularly festive this December, which is why I decided to decorate anyway. I refuse to let life's troubling situations keep me from celebrating the most holy season of the year.

My Christmas tree looks pretty much the same year after year. I'm an old-fashioned kind of gal and will always have an old-fashioned Christmas tree. Some of the ornaments on my tree are homemade and date as far back as 1976. They were created by me and my twin sister and have been in my possession for 20+ years. Some have met their waterloo, but I never tire of those that are still around. The juicy details can be found in a post from last year.

Some of the homemade ornaments from 1976 can be seen in this photo from a previous Christmas: The mirror, trimmed in gold and pearl strings; the fabric-covered snow-cone, and the medallion with green Christmas tree in center.

The snow-cone and the lollipop (yes, that's a coffee stirrer) are two of my favorite "designs" from twin sister.

Two of my designs from the Homemade Collection (Has a vintage ring to it, doesn't it? Hey, maybe sis and I should start our own company. Not!). The basket, crafted from a manila folder, covered in velvet and trimmed in gold, and the plaid hat, another manila-folder-fabric-covered creation, are two of my "designs." Amazing what you can do with a little glue, some styrofoam, a stapler, fabric scraps, and some imagination.

Here's a Christmas tree in honor of the retired firefighter who lives here.

I've been buying dated ornaments since The Man and I married in 1980. This was the first one I bought and it's still returned to its original box every year, as are my other dated ornaments. (I'm weird like that.) To read how the dated ornament tradition began, and continues, you can click on an image at the end of this post.

Some years bring more than one event worthy of an ornament. I have several from 2010 in my collection, and here are two of them. The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where The Man and I celebrated 30 years of marriage in August, and my daughter and son-in-law on their wedding day in September. Sweet memories.

I didn't put up a tree last year, due to being out of town during the Christmas holidays, so I was happy to hang this on the tree for the first time, commemorating our summer trip to the East Coast in 2009.

This little nativity has been in our family for almost 70 years. It's made from cardboard and is very fragile, but the colors are magnificent. I love it.

That cute little girl is yours truly, pretending to be a Christmas caroler. I made this in the first grade at Eliza Fox Elementary School on Grove Street in Vicksburg, MS, many moons ago. Precious memories.

There's a wonderful history to these Christmas stockings. My mother crocheted them, beginning in the late 70's. She made one for each member of the family. As son-in-laws joined the ranks, she crocheted another one, then another one, then another one. And when the three grandbabies came along, they got a stocking, as well. Eventually, Mother stopped hanging these stockings and asked who wanted them. I raised my hand and no one seemed to mind. Truth is, I had my own Christmas stockings, made from scratch, that I used every year, but I wanted these anyway and am using them for the first time this Christmas. Now that I have a son-in-law of my own, these four seemed to work out perfectly.

Onward to the dining room ... For a few minutes each day in autumn, my dining table gets a strip of sunlight right down the middle. I just happened to see it on this day and couldn't resist a photo.

During the Christmas season, the dessert cart is transformed into a beverage cart of sorts. Hot apple cider anyone?
In the evening, candles lend their own warm glow to the room.
The old pie safe gets a festive look during the Christmas season and adds that nostalgic touch that I find so charming. I purchased this piece in McComb, MS while shopping with my mom in the early 90's. It was in sad shape at that time, and I spent many hours in the garage refinishing it. It's not perfect, but neither am I, which is probably why I love it so.
My sweet niece brought this over one day last year.
I can't argue one bit with its message.
In 2005 my then-editor at The Dallas Morning News asked me to write about how my dated ornament tradition began, and continues. You can click on the image, if interested.
I hope you enjoyed this Christmas tour.


  1. Hello Dayle,
    I think your home looks so lovely!!! I love all the traditional things you have.
    Thank you for sharing
    Happy Holidays!


  2. Dayle, Your tree is beautiful - as is your whole home! I love your mantle over the fireplace. Thanks for your testimony in your profile. God bless!

  3. Dayle,
    I love your trees , your house looks so festive, I am a country loving gal too !!

  4. I have never seen a fireman type tree--that one was fascinating. I also love the way you have collected ornaments with meaning over the years. Because I may be moving in mid December I have not put up a big tree.....first year in a long time!

  5. What a beautiful tree and decorations you have, Dayle...and filled with so many memories. To me, those are the best kind of all!

  6. So pretty. You're a girl after my own heart. I use most 0f the same ornaments year after year. It's tradition. It's comfortable and a part of our memories. My children don't like me to change it up too much either!

  7. Everything looks great Dayle! I love to collect ornaments too-enjoy:@)

  8. Dayle,
    Thanks for the beautiful tour of your home decorated for Christmas. Your firefighting tree tribute is very original and is a WOW!
    I was feeling very much like you this season and I wasn't going to put up a tree and then said, "darn, it I will regret it if I don't." So today that is what I did. Mine is not ornate this year just my Martha Stewart prelit tree from KMart but IT IS UP!
    Thanks for the morale boost!


  9. Your house looks beautiful! I love the traditional look- and yours is so bountiful! I also love your fire fighter tree- my little brother is a fire fighter also, and though he's only been full-time for about 4 years he has a whole room dedicated to memorabilia! I wonder if he's brought some out for the holidays, it's a wonderful idea...
    : )

  10. Your tree looks glorious, Dayle. Lovely tour. Thanks and have a great week! Remember, when the sad times come, that "this, too, shall pass." Susan

  11. Dayle, your home looks so beautiful. So glad you chose to decorate. I've too was down & discouraged (things are changing in our nest) and we will not be doing the traditions right now. (we will not be home for Christmas) But, I decorated with the pushing of the husband! I so enjoyed looking at your decorations & ornaments.

  12. HI Dayle! Your home is decorated so lovely for Christmas! You have so many wonderful decorations.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  13. Just gorgeous! I have not felt much in the Christmas spirit either. I'm hoping the weather will change that. Blessings!

  14. Love your old fashioned tree! Warms my heart. Your house is just gorgeous. I love the fact you have so many meaningful and sentimental things. My favorite Christmas decoration is the first grade caroler! That made me smile.
    Have a joyous week!

  15. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your's just gorgeous. All of your decorations are warm and beautiful. I love visiting everyone's homes for the holiday's...I am hoping to get my pics up soon. Have a wonderful week. HUGS

  16. Your house looks so festive! I especially love the firefighter's tree :)

  17. Dayle,
    Your tree looks much like mine! Filled with old fashioned, handmade and mix-matched ornaments... makes the tree just beautiful! My wish for you is that God will fill your heart with His joy during this Christmas season.
    God Bless...
    Dee Dee

  18. I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling particularly festive this December. Knowing that your blog is so inspiring to others should cheer you up. I hope you will find peace in the season.

  19. Your home looks so festive and welcoming. I absolutely love your tree and the fact that nearly every ornament has a history. Thanks for the tour, I so enjoyed it.

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Every corner of your home looks fabulous for the holidays!


  21. Your home and decor are lovely! Makes me happy to have stopped in. I
    m very new to the blog world, but hope yoy will stop by for a visit. I'm your latest follower.

  22. I loved visiting your home for Christmas! :0)

    Your tree is beautiful. Our tree is also filled with memories and dated ornaments. I love it.

    That caroler plaque with your picture on it might be my favorite....darling.

    Glad you decorated!

  23. Just beautiful ! I love the Santa Stages of Life - too true !!!!!!

    thanks for sharing,

  24. Oh Dayle, I really do love your Christmas decorating style. It's very much my taste, which didn't really surprise me from what I "know" about you.

    I love handmade treasures! Yours are wonderful, and so are those stockings by your mom. My younger daughter ought to have the one with the converse sneaker. Fits her perfectly.

    I also love the dated ornaments and the ones commemorating your travels or life experiences. Your tree is like a scrapbook of your life that you get to open year after year.

    (And I'm in that fourth Santa stage...
    I just know it...)

  25. Dayle,
    What beautiful Christmas decorations! You and your blog are a true blessing. You are a wonderful encouragement and blessing with your gift of words. Hope you are feeling more celebratory soon.

  26. The trees , the candles, the vintage keepsake ornaments - everything looks wonderful, Dayle!
    I especially love the 70 year old nativity. What a blessing to be the custodian of such a precious family heirloom :-)
    many blessings..Trish

  27. Love the beads on your tree. I do the same thing. It takes a bit of doing, but seems to be worth it as it unifies a tree of mixed ornaments.

    Thanks so much for being a part of Seasonal Sundays. Sorry it's taken me so long to get to visit. It's such a busy time of year.

    - The Tablescaper

  28. Thank you for the tour. My blue eyed twin would love the Fire Truck tree--how cute. Love your stockings too. Well, pretty much loved everything. Merry Christmas.

  29. What a wonderful tour! I adore trees that have a history. My poor family has to listen to me tell the tale of each ornament as they get hung on the tree. ;) It's the time to reflect on the joys of the past and the knowledge there will be joys to come. :)
    Fuzzy Slippers Designs

  30. Thank you for sharing your beautifully decorated home with us. I like how sentimental you are and how each ornament has a story. The table where the hot cider was offered is so pretty and inviting. I am sure everyone likes stepping into your home over the holidays(or anytime). I also liked that you shared that you have a twin sister. Twins are so special to me now.

  31. Funny that you should mention Vicksburg MS, i have a good friend that lives in Vicksburg MS. I love that place. he works at the Nuclear Plant there.. have blessed and Merry Christmas!
    From Greensboro, NC

  32. Oh Dayle..Lovely, lovely, lovely...everything. Great job! SOOOOO happy your Papa is home at last. That's the best Christmas gift of all. Take good care and and enjoy this most beautiful season. Susan


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle