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December 1, 2011


We've stuffed ourselves with all kinds of culinary delights over the last week, and if you're anything like me you ate way more than you should have and it's time to pay the piper. (Next step—visit to the gym, check.) Then there's Black Friday and all the hustle and bustle, fighting the crowds to find that perfect gift for your friends, family and maybe for that special someone in your life.

Just when you think things are going to slow down and you can finally catch your breath, it's time to decorate!

I think we each have our own sense of style. We dress a certain way. We like a certain type of art. Our homes are decked out with colors and furnishings that suit our tastes. But when it comes to decorating for the holidays, I always say . . . ANYTHING GOES!

Usually the first week in December we put up the Christmas tree. We have an artificial tree (okay, don't look at me like that—most of you probably do too!). Fortunately it already has all the lights on it, because I really, really hate untangling all the cords like we used to. It has multicolored twinkling lights and it's huge. Seven feet tall and enormous in width, it takes up several feet of floor space just to put it in place. It has to be far enough away from the wall, because we have the kind of base where the whole tree rotates. It spins 360 degrees and you get to see the ornaments and sparkling lights from all angles.

We decorate it with a vast array of ornaments we've collected over the years, some bought and some handmade. We'll add ribbons and bows and flowers and have a huge bow at the top of the tree.

Once the tree is up (and trust me it takes hours to get it just right—I'm a perfectionist and everything must be exactly in its perfect spot for me—I probably should go into therapy for that alone), then I start on the fireplace.

We don't have a mantle across the top, but we have a kind of brick ledge that extends about a foot all the way around the base. So we place a long runner of pine branches interspersed with ornaments and poinsettias along the entire base. Then we have two golden reindeer that sit in proud splendor in front of the fireplace itself.

There will be candles throughout the room on various end tables, cinnamon-scented pine cones in a bowl on the console table, and we'll hang the stockings, too. Finally, the table will be set with our Christmas stoneware dishes, with a holiday centerpiece.

Wow, I'm exhausted and I haven't even started all this yet. It will all get done this weekend.

Put a little Christmas music on and let the holidays begin!

How are you decorating this Christmas season? Do you have something special that really puts you in the mood to celebrate? Come and share with the Plotting Princesses.


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Kathy: I know! I busted my a** at the company conference and came home to Thanksgiving preparations. Followed by a special project and that was followed by decorating! I'm all done except for the tree, a fresh Fraser fir.

I have an affinity for vintage sequined ornaments and felted sequined ornaments, runners, tree skirts, placements...I have lots. But it is up. The countdown continues!

Sylvia said...

Hi Kathy,
Ba Humbug! We're not putting up a tree this year because we're going to be out of town. We always have a fresh tree and we have a fear of the kid turning on a dry christmas tree and it going up in flames. So since we're not going to be home this year, no tree. I'm kind of bummed by it, but know hubby is right.

But I'm 95% done with the shopping. Still have baking to do and I'm looking forward to seeing my husband's family at Christmas. It's a happy time!

Pamela Stone said...

Hey Kathy,

I have collected Christmas decorations for years. And now that mom lives with us, we also have her collection. We have more Christmas than we do house. But it is fun to pull out all the ornaments, many collected from different vacations and a few from my childhood and my kids childhood. The grandkids each have at least one ornament with their names on them and they love putting them on the tree. I also have an artificial tree and it's huge and requires a lot of time. But like Sylvia, I'm always nervous when we have a real tree.

Shopping is almost all ordered on line these days. I avoid Black Friday like the plague. That's my day to stay home, put on the Christmas music and decorate.

Great blog.

Kathy Ivan said...

Good morning, Vicki: It's unbelievable how busy we are at this time of the year. It seems like its a nonstop whirlwind of activities, but at the same time we get sound in tune with the holiday that we don't seem to mind it as much as the rest of the year.

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Sylvia: I really do understand about not wanting a tree up when you're not going to be home for the holidays.

There have been years when things got so busy and hectic we didn't put up a tree, either, but it just never felt the same. Those twinkling lights from the tree with all the presents beneath it, that's just Christmas to me.

Kathy Ivan said...

Good morning Pam: Okay, I'll confess. I do go out on Black Friday and shop till I drop! Started at 4 a.m. this year and other than a pitstop at home for lunch and a quick breat, went right back out again.

Lots of the ornaments and decorations on our tree are through the years too. We even have some on the tree that kids in my mother's kindergarten class made for her when she was teaching. A lot of the others my sister made (she seems to make new ornaments every year.)

Thanks for dropping by today.

chris keniston said...

well - lol- I'm a bit of a scrooge- I have a few things I set out and hope it makes the place look seasonal -

the thing I'm looking forward to this year is really simple - I found a few really great heavy stocking holders for the mantle (winking at vicki) and I'm actually quite looking forward to setting them out and haging the stockings!!

Like Vicki- I grew up on Frazier firs - Love those trees all decked out in tinsel - but like Kathy I hated hanging lights and worse unraveling them. A few years ago when we got caught in the midst of remodeling during christmas - the living room had no furniture or paint lol- At the last minute we bought a fake tree already lit and have used it every year since- and shoppping well.... lol.

Kathy Ivan said...

Good morning Chris: I love real trees, always have. The smell throughout the house is just a feast for the senses. But they are a lot of work and trouble for just a couple of weeks. If it was more than just me, maybe, but . . .

Glad you found some good stocking hangers, too!

Addison said...


Your decorations sound beautiful! It's hard to believe it's the holidays once again, but I love them so much, it's a joy be in this time of year once again!


Liz Lipperman said...

Don't hate me cause I'm done!!!!!

Yep, I had my house totally decorated for Thanksgiving so the kids could go through everything I didn't use before I hauled it off to Goodwill.

We're planning on moving to a much smaller house this spring, and I really needed to get rid of some things.

Great post, Kathy. You outshopped me, though. Black Friday was a day of bonding for me with my daughter and daughter-in-law. This year the kids and grandkids spent the night even though they all live close by. It was fun.

Christmas tradition for us is what used to be midnight mass but now ends up being 5 PM, followed by my kids' favorite meal (baked steak and gravy) and opening presents. The next morning we watch the kids as they come down the stairs to see what Santa brought, eat breakfast tacos, and then hubby and I go to a movie while kids go to inlaws.

Is it any wonder I have no time to write and I'm in panic mode?

Kathy Ivan said...

Addison, thanks! I love everything about Christmas (except rude people in the stores--bums my holiday spirit).

I love to decorate for the holidays, and put on the music. It just seems to cheer me up.

Kathy Ivan said...

Hey Ms. Liz: So glad you got to spend time with the family, but i am jealous that you are finished. I'm maybe two-thirds of the way through. The decorating will be done this weekend and the shopping is progressing along nicely.

Thanks for dropping by. (Hope to see you Saturday.)

Phyllis said...

The last time I put a tree up was 10 years ago. It was the last Christmas with my Mom. I still have all the old family ornaments boxed away.

I not a Scrooge, really! Since that time, I married and moved. Hubby and I do all the Christmas traveling. We hardly have time for decorations - putting up or taking down.
Most years, we have 3 Christmas' that run from the week before Christmas Day all the way up to New Year's Day and we put close to 1000 miles on the car.

So, the most I do now is make a new wreath and put it on the door.


Kathy Ivan said...

Phyllis, all that traveling must leave you exhausted by the time you're done!

Hey, at least you get the wreath up. LOL

Priya said...

Hiya Kathy!

We too love the Christmas tree hunt but my fav are the-- foods (and drinks). Nothing too daring but we have homemade chex mix and cider while we decorate the tree. Yum!

Kathy Ivan said...

Hello Priya! Great to see you here at the PP's. We miss you here in Big D!

I love, love all the holiday foods. Can't eat them all any more but just the smell of cookies baking, and warm cider . . . love it!

Thanks for stopping by.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Kathy,
Sorry I'm a day late. Have been sick this week (tis the season, eh?) and haven't been checking email. We have everything decorated here. The Hubster loves his decorations on the tree. We spent Xmas with his family and I enjoy seeing all my nieces and nephews open their gifts. Good times!!

Diane Kelly said...

I enjoy setting up the Christmas village and train. The proportions between the two are a little off, but it's cute anyway. Happy holidays, everyone!