In quest of this whole work/life balance thing, I'm trying to keep my weekends free from work for a change. Which meant that I actually managed to get most of Xmas up this past weekend, which was pleasing. I'm fine-tuning bits of it now, trying to find the most pleasing compositions.
I just love this tree. I found it at Crate and Barrel years ago, and every year, I fill it with my favorite silver/ivory/glass ornaments, usually very fragile ones, since this sits on the island, out of the children's reach. Kavi's current favorite is the chandelier, which surprised me -- I thought she'd go for the fairy ballerina. I think my current favorite is the glass seahorse, or possibly the little glass mushroom.
Tree, lit, next to the piano featuring Christmas music. I think our star is a bit small and flimsy; maybe we'll replace it next year. The kids did fight over who got to hang it this time around, so it wasn't quite as charming as last year, when Kevin's dad lifted Kavi up to hang it. Ah well. On the plus side, this is the first year we've had a piano for Christmastime, and I spent half an hour last night with my Christmas fake book, playing a variety of songs, to some of which Kavya danced (and sang along on Jingle Bells). Kevin has a video I may post; it's cute. I ended the night with "Do You Hear What I Hear," which is currently in my top three, along with "Good King Wenceslas" and "The Holly and the Ivy." I'm thinking of learning "The Boar's Head Carol" this year -- I usually try to learn one new song every Christmas. Although I haven't quite mastered last year's song, "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" because Jed and I got somewhat sidetracked retranslating the French (which neither of us speak). What's your favorite?
I used to have a theme to my tree decorations -- first jewel tones, I think, then I added peacock colors, but now I just put anything I love on there, and somehow it all works in harmonious chaos. Current favorite is the sailing ship, I think.
The mantel is silver and ivory again (this ornament stand also from Crate and Barrel). I love the silver initials for the kids' names, but I think my big inspiration this year was buying a branch of bitterberry (I think?) and cutting it up to pop in little vases for a jolt of red among all the silver and glass. Love. Something organic always helps with decorating, I think -- a bit of wildness to counteract the too-posed, too-clean look.
Part of what makes this work, I think, are the varying heights, including the one that dips down. And the bird lends it a sense of motion, which also helps. I'm still trying to decide if I want something over the top of the mantel, up high -- I'd tried greenery last year, but somehow it didn't work that well. Maybe a thin silvery garland? We'll see. I think it needs something. Stars?
Same room, on the china cabinet, my little forest of deer and candles. "And the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer..." My terrarium plants had all died due to neglect, so I was happy to chuck them and make a Christmas terrarium instead -- two little silver birds, green moss, tiny lights. I loves it, although I think the twinkly lights I bought are kind of annoying and I'm sort of hoping they die so I have an excuse to switch them out for steady glow lights instead.
Steady glow lights among the plants brought indoors for the winter. I love the silver/red star garland hanging over half the door -- I need to go back to Ten Thousand Villages and get one more strand for the other half of the door.
Kevin's family does this -- they hang all their family Christmas cards in a row, and I love that tradition, seeing the kids grow through the decades. That's our five cards on the left (Kevin and I sent out cards in previous years, but without photos, and I didn't save any of those). So cute, my monkeys.
I saw this in some decor thing, and I find it useful, so I'm passing it along -- if you use Command hooks on the back of the closet door, then you can hang up your cards every year, but if you ever decide you're not doing that anymore, you can take the Command hooks down without damaging the door. Good for renters!