Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the Season! (To get sidetracked)

I know on my last post I was going to post about the drop-cloth curtains, that I had made. Well, it's the time of year that I wait for all year long! It's Christmas time!! I have, and always have had, an obesssion with all things Christmas. Maybe it's because my birthday is Christmas Eve...Maybe it's because there is nothing more precious than seeing childrens' eyes light up with the magic of all the lights, and presents, and candy, and...Or, maybe it's because this is the time of year when we all become kids again. I just love it, ALL of it! I still remember the smell of that new baby doll that I got for Christmas, every year. I still remember trying to stay awake and hear Santa bringing in the presents. I still remember the Christmas dinners when my Grandma had the most beautiful table set, with her finest china.

I was so very lucky to have married a man that loved Christmas, as much as I did. He was the biggest kid of all Christmas morning! And, he always made sure that I had both Birthday and Christmas presents. After we had our children, we had so much fun with Christmas! He had to have the biggest Christmas tree he could find. There were several years that we had to bolt the top of the 14' tree to the wall in order to keep it from falling over. And Christmas lights...Oh My Gosh...We lived very near a small community airfield. Everyone used to tease him that we were going to have planes landing in our front yard, if he kept adding Christmas lights.

I have to admit, that since losing my husband almost 6 years ago, the Holidays just don't hold the same magic. I have grand-kids, now, and what I wouldn't give for them to spend Christmas with their Grandpa. He would have spoiled them even more rotten than I do!

My late husband started a tradition of giving me porcelain villages about 25 years ago. My best friend collected Department 56 houses. I thought they were the most gorgeous Christmas decorations I had ever seen. He always blamed her for his decision to start my collection...Truth be known, he loved them as much as I did! Each year, for weeks, we would plan the layout of "The Village". Over the years it has grown immensely. I do still receive houses for gifts, and I buy a few myself. But, nothing will ever compare to the older buildings of my collection, that were gifts from him.

My kids, and most especially my grand-kids have never known a Christmas without "The Village". It's a tradition, now. Here are the pictures from this year's creation:

At the top of the page is a picture of this year's Christmas tree and one of my Santa rugs. One year, when we were out Christmas shopping, I found the most beautiful Christmas rug at Sears...of all places! It was huge!! I had to have it! Unfortunately, not only was it beautiful and huge, it was sold. I tried every way in the world to convince that salesman to let me have that rug. He called all of the other stores in the southeast Texas, and this was the only one left. I was heartbroken. A little something to keep in mind...this was waaayyy before the days of the internet, and the instant gratification of finding anything, anywhere in the world. I proceeded to finish my Christmas decorating...whining the whole time. I don't care that I was a grown woman...I needed that rug!! You will never know the thrill I felt when I not only got the big Santa rug, but also a smaller version (the one in the picture), for my Birthday! My husband, and my Dad, bless their hearts...managed to find the only 2 Santa rugs left in the whole state of Texas...and they were mine! I still think they are the most beautiful Santa rugs, I have ever seen. And NOOOO, they have never been used for rugs! I have always hung them as a tapestry-type of decoration.

My Santa rugs lead me to my other Christmas obsession, errr I mean collection: Santa Claus. Over the years, not only did my Husband collect Dicken's Village houses for me, but I also started a pretty substantial collection of Santas. Now keep in mind, that they have to be the right type of Santa. I'm a very traditional type of Santa collector. Here are a few of my most treasured Santas:

I've got every Santa imagineable, from the most expensive Fitz and Floyd to the least expensive Dollar Store variety. The only criteria is that he has to "look" right.

The last Christmas collectible that I have are my Hallmark ornaments. Starting the first year we were married, we collected dated ornaments. My childrens' first Christmases, our First House, 10 years together...then 20...and our last: 25. It saddens me deeply every year to put that ornament on the tree. It is a keepsake ornament to mark milestones together. Heart-shaped, cream-colored porcelain with a small medallion included for each significant milestone together. I will never get to use the 30, 40 or 50 year really breaks my heart, over and over again.

So bittersweet...this Holiday I love so much. There are days it really makes me sad, and then I just have to remember all the wonderful memories. And, I have to look into my Grandkids' faces to find the happiness and joy that Christmas is supposed to bring. My Christmas gift this year...a new Grandbaby on it's way! For that I'm so thrilled...and it's time to start planning next years Village display, or better yet, how to keep the new baby out of "The Village".

Merry Christmas Everybody!
Till next time...

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