I thought I'd do one final post for the year, and highlight a few of my favorite Christmas things. Below is a photo of our house all lit up for Christmas. The lighting is very simple and kind of old fashioned, with the pine roping, mostly white lights, and large bulbs on the spruce tree. The tree was planted in my oldest daughter's honor, as she was born on Christmas day.
And right next door there's a real spectacular light show! Our neighbors like to do Christmas in a big way and their house is one of the brightest and most colorful on the block!
Another gift from my neighbor next door: every year they put lights on an evergreen tree down by the lake. I love looking at it from the kitchen window, shining down there in the dark woods. It looks so cheerful and humble.
Another one of my favorite Christmas things: my Santa Claus collection. This started soon after we got married, when I bought one small, skinny hand-carved Santa. Then I mentioned the idea of starting a collection to my father, who got out his carving tools and made one per year for us for several years to come. One Santa holds two black cats, old pets of ours, the central Santa is very tall and thin, and a more traditional Santa carries a fabric sack filled with miniature toys. Those pictured were not all carved by Dad, but my favorite ones were!
This old-world Santa is my most favorite. He has an air of mystery about him, don't you think? I love all the details.
Here is another Santa Claus carved by Dad, this one an ornament for the tree.
We have made it a family tradition to buy a Christmas ornament wherever we go on vacation. Below is the beautiful beaded seahorse we picked up on St. John this year.
This is the hand-stitched likeness of Jo-Jo the dolphin that we picked up in the Turks and Caicos Islands where Mark and I went for our 10th anniversary trip 8 years ago.
And here is a likeness I stitched in remembrance of a special cat, Squiggy, who died in 2003. We have several pet memorials on the tree. Looking at all the ornaments on the tree is like reliving our years as a family, remembering vacations, pets, events, people, and other happy things!
Speaking of happy things, here is another thing I love about Christmas: peppermint ice cream!
Happy New Year everyone, and many wishes and blessings to you in 2011! (I'll think about laying off the ice cream and cookies next year...)