Friday, December 18, 2009


With Chrismas just days away I'm packing as much into one post as possible, so if you are here for Vintage Christmas Monday, the ornaments are for you. If you stopped in for Metamorphosis Monday, it's immediately after the photos of the ornaments. If it's Deck the Halls that brought you here, well then I guess all applies. LOL

These ornaments are not the glistening glass ornaments that so many associate with vintage Christmas ornaments, but the paper mache ornaments I'm sharing today are definitely vintage. The four little members of the marching band were among the very first ornaments I ever purchased for myself. It was 1970, and I had recently graduated from the University, was on my own teaching school, and I wanted a Christmas tree for my apartment.

Like many young girls at the time, I was a regular at The Pappagallo Shop. These ornaments, handmade and imported from Mexico, were available there. I surmise that the signature, De Sela, is that of the artist. These paper mache ornaments and a few boxes of shiny red balls were the decorations on that first tree.

"Pa rum pa pum pum" Hear the little drummer boy?

Sweet Little Miss Sunshine

"Angels We Have Heard on High"

And Jolly Old St. Nick says:

Wishing each of you the Happiest of Holidays!

Each of you have been so kind and thoughtful to me since I began this blog in August. I've made many wonderful friends throughout Blogville and truly appreciate each of you.

With less than a week till Christmas, time is precious so I'm posting this for both Pink Saturday and Metmorphosis Monday. Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound has declared this week to be all about holiday traditions. Christmas for me is TRADITION. There are so many wonderful memories tied up in the things we repeat year after year, and the decorations are like old friends returning as we unpack them each year during this special holiday.

Last Monday I shared the tradition of "Our Own Little Forest" and some of the ornaments we've gathered through the years here. Today is the tradition of our mantel dressed for Christmas. The holidays for us are fairly simple times. We decorate the house and enjoy spending special times with family and friends, but you'll not find stacks of wrapped packages under our trees. As I said in the earlier "The Stockings Were Hung . . ." post, my husband and I continue the stocking tradition with a bit of a twist. We don't wrap gifts for each other to have under our tree. Instead we fill each other's stocking with presents. Our tradition requires a bit of creativity to find things that will fit in the stockings, but you'd be surprised at what wonderful gifts can fit into Christmas stockings.

This year our fall mantel was simply dressed with a few small antique boxes, a grouping of wooden pears, and . . .

this heart shaped wreath of faux berries and wooden leaves.

For the Christmas season the mantel has experienced a bit of a Metmorphosis. Though I always decorate the mantel, I usually do something different each year. In recent years some of our Santa figures have taken center stage on the mantel, but this year I wanted to use more natural elements.

The simple heart shaped berry wreath for fall was switched out for a wreath of red berries. I added wired ribbon bows used in previous years and an adorable Mac Kenzie-Childs inspired reindeer ornament that was a special gift from a friend last Christmas.

I started with fresh cut magnolia leaves and laced them across the top of the mantel. Then I added a few of the wooden pears back in along with an antique English tea caddy.

I liked the way the various textures and wood finishes mixed in with the leathery magnolia leaves.

The tall pear on the right is actually a music box. It was a thank you gift from Susan, the friend I recently co-chaired with on the Quimper Club International Annual Meeting. Her note said, "We make a good
pair!" It's a treasure from a treasured friend!

A couple of weeks ago I shared my childhood memory of my pink Christmas stocking here. I mentioned that my husband and I carry on the stocking tradition with a bit of a twist. We began this tradition the first year we were married. I truthfully don't recall why we did it, but I think it had to do with the limitations of our budget. My Christmas stocking had always been my favorite part of Christmas.

My husband was in graduate school, and we were living on a slim budget. I knew stitching a pair of needlepoint stockings for us was out of the question, so I decided instead to purchase some fabric and simply sew us each a stocking. These large stockings of quilted patchwork trimed in eyelet and rick-rack served us well for the first twenty years of our marriage. We even had a stocking for our beloved lasho apso.

When we moved into our current home, I felt this fire place and mantel dictated a bit more sophistication. I purchased a pair of velvet stockings. The velvets are a rich red and emerald green. The green embossed with a swirl, and the red with stylized stars. They still aren't the needlepoint stockings I intended to stitch for us, but they are certainly an improvement over the folksy quilted fabric.

The little reindeer ornaments are from our first Christmas together. It's tradition to hang them on our stockings. The wooden S is a handmade ornament that my brother-in-law made and gave to us in the early years of our marriage. Since we don't have names on the stockings these wooden initials, along with the gender specific reindeer, identify whose stocking belongs to who.

Yes, the stockings have changed through the years, but the tradition of "stocking gifts" remains steadfast in our home. Thanks for stopping by today. I do hope you'll take time to leave a comment below before visiting Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound for more holiday traditons shared for Pink Saturday. Be certain to stop by to see Liz @ Life at the Gables. Liz lives in Scotland, she has shared some fun family traditions, and she is having a Christmas Eve giveaway.

On Monday, click here to visit Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch. Susan is sure to have something creative to share and here for Vintage Christmas Monday. Then head over to Joan's @ Thoughts From Over the Rainbow for Deck the Halls on Tuesday.