Deck the Halls

Our apartment is officially decorated for Christmas.  I made it until December first, which was no small feat considering I WANT CHRISTMAS NOW (which really means I WANT MY BABY NOW).  All of our Christmas decorations fit into one plastic box, which seems to be the right amount given the size of our living space.  There’s a mix of old, new, gifts, and handmade items.  Some things were purchased at the dollar store or Salvation Army, while others where lovingly “borrowed” from boxes in my parents’ basement. I’m pleased with how the space looks, and while I wish I could add a few more touches here and there, it works, and works well.

The front door: a glittery reindeer sits atop a black satin ribbon.  Jingle bells travel down the length of the ribbon.  I made this last year with my trusty hot glue gun.

The little bookshelf: a green and red cardbox sits behind a lovely pewter Santa and two reindeer.  The cardbox, which holds all our outgoing Christmas cards, was a gift from someone in Jason’s family (they lovelovelove their decorations, no matter the occasion).  The pewter Santa belonged to my Gran.  I found it with her other things at my parents’ house, and decided it would be better to have it on display than in some storage cupboard in the basement.

The desk: Sarge the pooch patrol dog wears a Santa hat this time of year.  Our nativity scene is also on the desk.  The nativity scene is really my mother’s: she won it in a raffle from a giftshop called “Crossroads”.  All the figures are made of painted wood, and are the kind of durable object most suited to toddlers and little ones.  It worked really when when the daycare was running (and mum thinks the raffle was rigged so she would win it).  I hope to make my own needle-felted nativity scene next year, so the wooden nativity scene will likely make a return to Ottawa.

Above the table: A wooden sign with a snowman that reads “star light, star bright”.  Beneath it is a large glittery snowflake.  Both were purchased at the Sackville Salvation Army, and graced our old basement apartment.

On the table: an assortment of candles, most pilfered from Ottawa.  And candy canes.  Last year I made an awesome centerpiece out of red, white, and silver Christmas ornaments, but Jason broke it (the same thing happened to my Easter centerpiece).  From now on I will make centerpieces that can withstand life’s knocks.

Our “fireplace” (aka air conditioner box): Two cream stockings with our names on them.  I bought the stockings at Walmart and used blue sparkly felt for the lettering.  Semi-homemade is better than nothing!  I hopefully will add another stocking very soon, one with a polar bear for baby.  We have a second three-piece nativity scene there as well, a gift from my friend Rachael.  The wall above has a Santa wreath (another Salvation Army purchase) as well as two mini-stockings (one with a snowman, the other with a bear).

And, la piece de resistance: our tree.  Sure, it’s a fake, stands three feet tall, and sits on a coffeetable, but I love this tree.  It was one of the first things Jason and I bought together, and I love adding new ornaments to our collection each year.  Let’s just say we have eclectic taste, and there aren’t too many “traditional” ornaments decorating the branches.

Our tree-dwellers include:

-A yellow submarine

-Wall-E peering through a wreath

-Muk-muk the Olympic mascot groupie (this is actually a keychain from Value Village)

-A sassy white poodle on a big pink pillow (my Layla lives forever at Christmas)

-A handmade ninja complete with Santa hat and holiday themed weaponry (this was part of my Christmas gift to Jason last year)

-Two needle-felted squirrels

-A little green android (actually from a cell-phone promotion)

-Two mice in vaguely ren-faire costumes standing on a bridge

-An assortment of wedding and “our first Christmas” ornaments

-A hot pink glitter heart and pipe cleaner star

-And slightly more normal things: bells, religious iconography, a snowman, a Christmas tree (there are two Christmas trees on our Christmas tree…meta much?)

I like it.  It suits who were are as a couple, as a family.  Our decorations are random, fun, and meaningful.  And they make me very happy.  I hope baby grows to have warm memories of our Christmas decorations, and can’t wait to see what they contribute to our traditions in the coming years.