One by one I have watched my neighbors and friends put away Christmas, sometimes even starting on Christmas Day itself! By New Year's Day nearly everyone has dismantled Christmas for the year.
It is our feeling here at this house, that we have until the day before Christmas Eve to get all the decorations UP for Christmas. But after Christmas Day, there is absolutely no thought about taking things DOWN until the day after January 6. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" are the days to enjoy the lovely things one has. It is so much more pleasant then. No rushing around, no special cooking, no grumpy guests who don’t know when to go home!
Here in one swell foop (I just love that Spoonerism, don't you?) Are a few of the photos from Christmas 2011 at my house. Now you all know what a miserable photographer I am, so I basically took about four times as many photos as are included in my collage, but these are the ones that didn't go all blurry!
Going from left to right (mostly) these are captions for the individual pictures: (If you click the collage, it will enlarge, I think.)
|Some of our Christmas favorites this year!|
2) One of "our" first ornaments, circa 1966.
3) A charming small Nativity ornament given to me by a dear friend of our family, Mrs. L. She's been gone many years now, but I remember her fondly every time I put it on the tree.
4) Our main tree. It looks a little sparse this year because so many of our ornaments ended up on our White tree.
5) "Santa and the Phone Call" figures. Another thing we've had since our first Christmas together. They are so sweet!
6) One side of our mantle with a vintage photo I found in the Antiques Mall, in mid-December. It too is very sweet!
7) Our white tree (inspired by Susan at Ash Tree Cottage http://ashtreecottage.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-in-moms-solarium.html?showComment=1323417120373#c4491435746232471206. The gold is much more prominent in the photo than it is in reality. Thanks Susan, I love how it turned out!
8) A handmade memento from one of my actor friends after a production we worked on together. Suits me to a tee!
9) Another view of the white tree.
10) Some random ornaments to show how varied our collection really is!
11) I finally added two cloches to my growing collection of vintage-look things. Here is one dressed with a little pink-cheeked angel.
12) The very first Christmas ornament made by Ratchlet at Nursery School, when she was four!
13) Some of my collection of white ceramic Santas, along with the new snow globe featuring a white Santa (another lovely gift from my darling daughter.)
14) (I can't believe it, a duplicate!!) The corner of the mantle again!
15) The sofa table dressed for Christmas....first thing you see when you go into the family room.
16) A photo of my mom (along with the antigue snow lady, just out of sight) in the place of honor on the white tree!
Yep, the 12 Days of Christmas are my favorite part of Christmas. My house never looks as good as it does at Christmas time. Why is everyone in such a hurry to put it away??
As I said, we don't start taking it down until after the Epiphany (Jan 6). That is also known as Three Kings' Day, because that represents the day that the King's arrived to present their gifts to the Child. In addition, it is the actual twelfth day of Christmas. So, as far as I'm concerned Christmas is still ongoing until this day.
There are a few stalwarts around that still have their lights up and their tree twinkly, but not that many. When I was living in Chicago, it was more of a rarity to see it taken down sooner. I think it probably has to do with being raised Catholic (or maybe certain nationalities like German or Irish.) For Catholics, January 6 is a Holy Day and is the official end of the Christmas season on the Church Calendar. But then Chicago has thousands of Catholics, Austin not nearly so many and it doesn't appear that many of the Protestant churches recognize Epiphany with anything special.
Anyway we've enjoyed our Christmas decorations very much this year. After years and years of pretty much the same things in the same places, after inspiration from other bloggers who put together beautiful displays, we have changed things around and added more new stuff than usual. And even though, my photos don't do it justice (big surprise!), our home looked wonderful.
I was so pleased with the way our white tree turned out, even though after four cans of white spray paint, plus one can of "snow", it still wasn't really white but more of a green & white! Here is a better picture of the finished product. The gold still looks too prominent than it really is, but I just love it. I think it will become a permanent part of our Christmas tradition! Oh, by the way, do you see the green tree skirt under the tree? My mother made that for us some years ago and I didn''t have a place for it for the last few years. I am thrilled to be able to show off her handiwork again. Mom will always be a big part of our Christmas.
I have to admit that even I can't come up with any legitimate reason to hold on any longer. All of the Christmas cookies are gone, both the lovely meal Mikey prepared for us for New Year's Day (a day late) and the different leftovers are long gone. There is still a small amount of fudge left but we are rationing that and it should last a few more days, but I can't stretch that into a reason for keeping Christmas going. It was a wonderful Christmas, but its really truly over.
Now all we have to do is put it all away......hmmmm, wait a minute, a lot of the things are red or white.....do you think anyone would notice if it all stayed around til after Valentine's Day??
Okay, Okay, it was just a thought!