Thursday, December 18, 2014

"E" as in EXCUSES for Alphabe-Thursday

This is a busy time of the year, but I'll spare you all the EXCUSES.  Everyone is busy!

I wanted to feature Houston places for this round of Alphabe-Thursday, but I didn't have time this week and probably won't have time next week to ride around and take pictures, so I decided to share a little of our Christmas with you.

We haven't had a normal Christmas in while.  In 2012 my husband died and my son was in the hospital for Christmas that year.  Last year we had just moved into this house.  So, I wanted to get out my Christmas decorations and decorate!  I have a lot of sentimental things.

I don't have a Christmas tree.  I have a Memory Tree filled with things the kids made, ornaments that have special meaning to us, pictures of the kids with Santa, and even some things that I made as a child and my mother saved.
Of course, one of my dolls had to get in on the act.  She's wearing the Christmas Boy hat.  It's been a family joke for a number of years.  Whoever passes out the packages is the Christmas Boy.  You don't even have to be a boy to get the honor.  It's something we picked up on a television show.  I don't even remember the show anymore.
Any tree of mine has to have a doll on the top!  A Madame Alexander doll is the angel.

The tree us full!  It would be difficult to find an empty space to hang anything else.

Another family tradition is the Christmas count down calendar.  I made this when the kids were little.
Back in 1980 we were living in a house with a large picture window.  Macrame was a popular hobby back then and I made this macrame Christmas tree for the window.  However, we moved and I've never had a picture window again.  This tree has been in a large plastic garbage bag for all those years.  I decided it's now vintage and collectible, so I'd find a place to hang it.  The kids told me one of the cats would probably hang from it, but so far nothing has happened.
Of course, I had to put up my vintage silver tree in the den for my Chatty Cathy dolls.
And the mangers.  The large one we bought in a department store in Catania, Sicily.  It's now 40+ years old.  It used to play Silent Night but the kids wore it out.  We even had a cat at one time who used to climb in and sleep.  The smaller one was my mother's.
In the 1970's ceramics was another hobby phase I went through.  We were living in Virginia Beach and they had a great recreation department where you could go and take ceramic lessons.  Some have broken over the years but I still have the tree, choir boys, Santa and a few other pieces not shown in this picture.  The red punch bowl was my mother's and it's filled with vintage ornaments.  The gold tree on the left my mother gave me while we were living in either New Jersey or Virginia, so it's also pretty old.
Did you ever make a stuffed tree?  I did!  That was also many years ago.  I decided to put that out this year too.  Some of my decorations hadn't seen the light of day for a long, long time.
The bells on the door I bought at a craft show in Oklahoma.  They're made out of canning jar lids.  They had some really good craft shows in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  I don't find those really unique items here.
I decorated the mantel, but can't hang stockings there anymore.  The mantel in this house is lower and I'm afraid the cats would play with the stockings.
My sister knitted stockings for each of the kids when they were born.  I hang them on doors now.
I love Norman Rockwell and I have a Norman Rockwell Christmas Village.  In the other house I set the village up on a large table that Jim built, but I don't have room here.  So, I set the village up on the bookshelf.  The bottom shelf is the main street in Stockbridge, MA.  I always joke that before I die I want to go to the Normal Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge!  (My son added something to the village as a joke.  See if you can find it.)
Of course, I have the Grinch sitting around.  I love the Grinch!
My sister-in-law sent us a little live tree.  It fit perfectly on the kitchen counter.  I love it!
This is where we'll have our traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs on Christmas Day.  Then we'll play Christmas bingo.  We did it last year for the first time and everyone had a good time.  I've got even better prizes this year!
I've been busy.  Please accept that EXCUSE.  It took a while to lug all the Christmas stuff over here from the storage place and then put it all up.  I have no intention of taking it down for a while.  I'm going to sit back and enjoy it.  It's staying up until at least mid January.

The day after Christmas some people here put their live trees down at the curb. I've never had much luck with a live tree here.  They dry out so quickly.

Now head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's Alphabe-Thursday participants.  Thank you for visiting and MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  1. A memory tree is a lovely idea. My mother died this year, and it has been very difficult. I have been assembling a box of memories of her - photos, cards, etc. A memory box. Eventually I'll figure out what to do with them.

    Your decorations are beautiful.

    I love your cats, dog, and armadillo!

    And your dolls :)

  2. Betty beautiful post and photos for the Holidays ~ love the memory tree idea

    Happy Holidays,
    artmusedog and carol

  3. Hi Betty! I didn't know you had moved! I love all your decorations. They are gorgeous. I love your Chatty tree and your nativity scenes too. Merry Christmas!

  4. Hi Betty ~~ You certainly have a plenty of Christmas decorations. We don't have any up this year, not yet at least. I do have two lighted deer out front and a few lights on the bushes.
    We gave our tree to our daughter this year. It is too tall for either of us to decorate. We can't use ladders anymore since Mrs. Jim's episode with falling and breaking her hip and the subsequent partial hip transplant. And I haven't done much ladder work with my knee joint transplant either. I wanted to get a smaller tree but Mrs Jim says no because we have two in the attic that we can't get.

  5. My Christmas celebrations have changed too over the years ! and our Christmas tree shrunk from year to year ! But I still put up decorations, and celebrate with my family, but it is so different not as it was when we celebrated at home. I think real Christmas feelings go away once you leave childhood and your children are grown up !

  6. I think I would rather have a memory tree! I had a stuffed tree. And I remember macrame too. Oh how I miss my Chatty Cathy doll - I remember her as being a part of my life. I have a Christmas count down calendar. Love your manger. I know it has been a long time since you had "Christmas" and I am so glad you went way out like this - love it all.

  7. Your decorations are so fun, Betty! I love your village...I haven't set mine up for quite make me want to find a place to do it! Had to see the macrame tree you mentioned in your sweet comment on my blog...I loved doing macrame, too...but never made a tree! So glad to see the news on your last post, that your son is cancer free! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  8. I loved seeing all of your decorations around your house! I love your village! Your memory tree is so sweet! I am the homeroom mom for my son's 4th grade class and I tried to make some nice things for the kids to have for their trees in years to come. I hope they will treasure the things we made like you did of your kids things.

    I had my husband drag out most of everything that I have and put it out this year! I wanted to have a tree in the living room and another one in the dining room so that is what we did. The living room is decorated in Angels and the dining room is the more Christmas room with nutcrackers and Santa. My kitchen table has my Christmas Village set up on it. I still have everything up! I haven't taken any of it down yet. I just feel like I got it up so I don't want to take it down. I need to though... I'm thinking next year we should decorate for Christmas on Halloween night! lol

    I hope all is going well! I'm still doing good from what the doctors say!


  9. Christmas hasn't felt 'normal' around here in years either!

    I love your idea of a memory tree!

    And I love that you keep working on the holiday spirit.

    You are lovely.

    Thank you for linking.



Thank you for taking the time to visit my little world and leave a comment. I appreciate hearing from you.

I do not receive all comments by E-mail and I'm not exactly sure why. I do try and remember to check the actual blog so I won't miss any of your comments.

I do not belong to Google+ and regret that I am unable to leave comments on Google+ blogs.

WORD VERIFICATION: I have NOT set up word verification for comments. However, every so often it appears on my blog even though I have chosen NO in the settings. Please let me know if you encounter word verification when leaving a comment so I can try and fix it. Thanks.