Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year. I started decorating the mountain house in mid-November, when my sister came to visit. She wanted an early celebration, since her job makes it impossible for her to join us for the holidays. As a past owner of a flower shop, and a very talented floral designer, I gladly turned over the garland, lights, and the bow ribbon to her, and she did an amazing job on the banisters.
The banisters sort of set the tone for the rest of the decorations in the house. What started out in my mind as a low-key theme, filled with lots of natural materials, like pine, holly & pine cones, quickly morphed into an all-out display of shiny Christmas balls, garland, snowflakes, snowmen, and lights, lights, lights adorning anything that stood stationary for at least 10 minutes (so far, the dogs are safe!) Under normal conditions, this house is very dark, especially now that the days are so short. The Christmas lights really do raise spirits, and alleviate our seasonal aversion to darkness.
The other amazing transformation in the house, which is not exactly Christmas-related, but arrived just in the nick of time, was the construction of a wood-burning fireplace in the living room. Our contractor arrived the Monday after Thanksgiving, and started building the chimney, which I think was a death-defying experience for him. Using a very steep, frosty, metal roof as a construction platform is very a scary proposition, and the day he finally stood on terra firma, the look of relief on his face was unmistakable! We had our first fire about a week after the installation, and can’t imagine how we lived without it. The fireplace simply makes this house a home.
After the holidays, we will put up stone below and over the mantle, as well as add cabinets on either side to house components and A/V media. However, if this is as finished as it ever gets, it’s still perfect for us!
For me, the other magical part of Christmas is the music, which plays non-stop this time of year. I am a Sirius/XM fanatic, and their POPS station plays the most exquisite carols. It is with reluctance that I even purchase and GRRR! wrap gifts…the lights and the music are enough joy for me. This year, I had to force myself to shop, and considered my purchases very light. But, for some reason, I wrapped presents for about 3 hours on Monday, and still have as many left to do. Shopping on the internet sure can sneak up on you… 0</:>)
Greg bought me the best Christmas gift ever the day we went to pick out the Christmas tree. I am a little embarrassed to unveil it to all of you, since the moniker of this blog is “no moose or bear this home shall wear”. Perhaps I should amend that to say “wear inside”. For my gift is a hand-carved black bear that was made by a local artist. He has the most precious face and makes me grin every time I lay eyes on him (which a good gift should do, right?) Even though he doesn’t hail from Jellystone Park, and is black instead of brown, I named him Boo anyway. We think he looks quite dapper decorated for the holidays (with lights, of course!). In the spring, he will no doubt sport a fishing hat, sunglasses, and a tackle box.
I sincerely hope you are all enjoying the sights and sounds of the season. Hope that Santa is good to all of you, and brings you huge helpings of happiness, health, and prosperity. Until next year!