Monday, December 28, 2009

another year

(My collection of vintage record album covers with wonderful happy idyllic family scenes)
Another year of Christmas hullabaloo is done. Don't get me wrong, I am sure many new memories were made and all had fun. It's just that since I have been a grown up, and even more so since I've been a mom, it is all so different at Christmas time. Now I am the one in charge of the magic making. The one behind the curtain, like the great Oz. I admit sometimes it's tough. I want to be the kid again, observing the magic and believing.
I long for the feeling of being a child at Christmas time to rush over me again. That feeling is worth more than gold. When you're a kid you take it for granted or you do not even know you have it. But you do!

Yes, I enjoy the process of making memories for my own kids. I just miss the old days. That's allowed. That is why I surround myself with things and images that make me feel comfort, like these silly record album covers. They just speak to me.

(N.'s collection of nutcrackers, and E.'s hand made Mandela type snowflakes)

N. has always had a fascination with nutcrackers. He has received all these as gifts throughout the years. On Christmas day I took my Santas out of my red cupboard and put his collection and the little tree with his nutcracker ornaments on it up on top. He was so thrilled to see his collection displayed in a new place and the smile on his face as he stood there, and each time he walked by, said it all. I had just made a memory for him!! That's what it's all about.

(Japan elves, my hand quilled snowflakes, and a silk hankie with a perfect winter couple)

My Grandma had made in Japan elves like these. To look at them in my home makes me recall the cozy days at her house during the holidays. She did not decorate every inch of the house as many people seem to do in my generation. She decorated the living room. The room where it all happened. Everything. She had no family room or den. The living room was the place. It was decorated with an aluminum tree and color wheel, items along the fireplace mantle and on top of the big console TV cabinet. The cabinet was big, not the TV itself.
The decorations were perfect. Perfectly enough. I never thought to question, "Why isn't there more?"
(my kids decorate the doll house each year)

This December involves weeding out many of the decor items as we sort through it all --giving some away and donating some. I have decided to have the kids do more of the decorating next year, not just being in charge of the doll house. They will decide what is enough. The kids will make it their own and decide what to love.

( the kitchen window sill )

I also changed the window sill display on Christmas day. I do a lot of thinking at the sink in the kitchen in front of this window. I needed a change. I get bored with it quickly and easily. I was suddenly struck by the fact that I needed it to be Winter instead of Christmas in that spot. So some milk glass was moved here from another area. It feels better now. I can't explain why.

(vintage game boxes)

I am a big fan of games that families play together that require no batteries or electricity to enjoy, thus the fascination I have always held for vintage games. That and the fact that the color on the packaging and game boards is just different, bright and fun. The photo is a group that's sitting atop my corner cupboard. But I keep some of my kids' board games out of the game closet at all times, sitting ready for play, often rotating some out for new choices. A spontaneous game of Chutes and Ladders can bring a smile to me any time. I have found that if I open the box they will come!! They, meaning one of my kids or 2 or 3. More memory making and laughter.

( house ornaments)

My Mom was a collector of these house ornaments. Each one has the year marked somewhere on the house. On the back you can look inside to the 3 dimensional rooms. After she died I continued to buy one each year, often going without something in order to fit it's purchase into the budget. They are not horribly expensive but still a luxury, in my opinion. I did not buy one this year. Maybe someday I will be able to find one on line, since this is the first year I have missed one. N. looks forward to unpacking them and carefully taking the protective box inserts apart to reveal each one. He put them on the window sill in the living room this year. And yes, those are all my paper snowflakes I have cut by hand with no patterns. Some have been hung on the windows every year for 17 years!!
So another year of Christmas has come and gone. We have new memories and the comfort of decor from years before. We had a Christmas without spending money. B was off work for 8 weeks and we were without his regular pay. Every dollar I had squirreled away for emergency times like this had to be spent just before his surgery to put a new engine in my car. Talk about an unexpected expense! We make every penny count at our house and to be without regular pay you find ways to survive somehow. We were blessed to have many good friends and neighbors who helped to make the Christmas season one of fun for the kids. They brought gifts from Santa and seemingly unending deliveries of trays of home baked sweets and other food. We were even given a turkey for Christmas dinner.
Friends, family and memories. That's what it's all about.


Shelley said...

I enjoyed reading this glad your Christmas was special with the help from family and friends....very much like ours was last year.....your snowflakes are beautiful....I pray you have a blessed New Year....

Gerushia's New World said...


I love to look at all your vintage goodies. I see that you also quill snowflakes as well. They are beautiful!

I know just how you feel trying to make a Christmas without lots of money. This year was a wee bit better for us, but the two before were extremely difficult. Here's to a better year for your family and mine.

Gerushia's New World

She'sSewPretty said...

Amy, I just stopped by to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope that it will bring relief from some of the problems you've faced this year. You're in my thoughts! Hugs from way out here in California!

Kristin said...

If your ornaments are part of the Nostalgic Houses & Shops series, this year's ornament is a police station. Hooked On Hallmark has it for 27.95.

I would get it now if you can afford seems 2009 was a popular year for ornaments and they're selling out fast. I'm still trying to track down a few I missed this year. :(

Dawn said...

It's nice to read your blog. I so "get you". You'll write something and I'll think to myself..."Wow, that is exactly what I would have done!" So funny:)
BTW, I have one of those elves too! My mom had it when I was little and gave it to me when I was out on my own. I have no idea where she got it from.
My husband lost his job (of 23yrs)so I know what you mean about friends around the holidays. You're right..friends, family and memories!