I love decorating for Christmas. I love coming home to a decorated home, and I love being surrounded by things that hold such happy memories for me. The Gutsy Dad and I have collected our holiday decor slowly and intentionally. Almost everything we put up for the season holds special meaning for us. This makes decorating a real pleasure instead of a chore.
Take this wreath for example:
I got that wreath at the German grocery store (the Edeka) while we lived there. I miss the random home goods that come and go in German markets. You pop in for some milk and come out with a Christmas wreath, a raincoat for your 3-year-old, and a new technical-fabric running shirt for yourself. Surprise! All for cheap.
These angel "jingle bells" (as the kids call them) are also from our time in Germany, purchased at one of the amazing Weihnachtsmarkts. (I need to reattach the bells on the bottom right.) When I hear these bells, I think of Christmas in Bavaria, of Gluhwein and Kartoffelpuffer and delicate ornaments made out of straw and red thread.
This mini quilt makes me smile every time I see it. It was a gift from the mother of a student who attended one of the schools at which I once worked. It reminds me that I was good at my job, that what I did there at that school mattered to at least one family.
The mantle is an extremely cheerful place in our home. The stockings are a family tradition. Mine was knitted by my Nana (my dad's mom), and the others have been knitted from the same pattern by my mother as people have joined the family. (The dogs' stockings are mail-ordered needlepoint.) When we were putting up the hooks, Madelyn and Jillson were concerned that Meme might have forgotten that Bronwen did not yet have a stocking. Wouldn't you know that Bronwen's stocking appeared yesterday while the Gutsy Dad and I were out on our date. Meme never forgets.
Display of photos of Christmases past:
In a meta-decor moment, I'd like to point out that the garland behind the photos on the shelf appears in many of the photos. (The garland is from our time in Gig Harbor and was assembled thanks to our proximity to IKEA.)
More decor pieces from the German grocery store. These make me smile while I do the dishes: