Friday, December 31, 2010

It's Time to

Break out the bubbly


It's New Years Eve!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last Night...

We had 2 couples over to dinner that we've wanted to have over for the longest time.

We all had a great time!

I think the week between Christmas & New Years is a perfect time to entertain.

How do you spend this special week?

Monday, December 27, 2010

When do you...

take down your Christmas Decorations?

I don't know why... but each season I'm always 
fascinated by this time line.

I have friends and family that can't wait and take everything down the day after Christmas.

I take mine down on Jan. 2nd
I usually add a few new Christmas items that I've purchased on sale the week between Christmas and New Years and pack it away with the rest of my Christmas stuff.

  Each year I look forward to seeing the "After Christmas Sale" goodies that I scored from the year before, some of which give me a head start on my Christmas Shopping!!

I'm also obsessed over how long some people leave up their Christmas lights!

   It's become a yearly ritual for me.   Throughout the month of January I inevitably see several homes that persist in keeping up their Christmas lights well beyond Epiphany or The Twelve Days of Christmas which ends on January 6th and commemorates the manifestation of the Christ to the Magi.

I don't know why it bugs me... I guess I just want to move on and get a fresh start on the new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Home Tour - My Mom's House

Meet the former Chief of Police and Santa, the official greeters at my Mom's House

Here he is telling my Mom how he's been captivating visitors with tall tales about her all day!

She looks a little worried.

As you'll see... my Mom has a thing for Nativity Scenes and Christmas Carolers.

Come inside...

This is the small entry.  
Santa is hanging on the hall closet door.

  This is one of my Mom's most precious treasures.  She rescued it from her church many years ago when they replaced it with a more modern "safe" version.

Let's turn left and go into the Living Room first.

This is the home my Mom grew up in.  My Grandparents purchased it in 1937 when she was just 2 years old.

My Grandmother fell in love with it the minute she walked inside. She raised her 5 children here and lived here until the ripe old age of 98.   

My Mom had the painting above the fireplace painted from a photo taken of her parents on their honeymoon in 1920.

My Grandmother on my father's side made us each a Christmas stocking when we were born.  This one was made in 1958!

This room is graced by a large picture window that looks out onto Gibbons Drive.

I have many fond memories of my Grandmother, who we called "Sitti" because of her Lebanese heritage, taking a nap in this room each afternoon.

I recall her telling me that the builder of her neighborhood originally built this home for himself, which is why it boasts some unusual features like this balcony and a hidden staircase.

One year when my brothers and I were quite young my oldest cousin put on a play about the Nativity with all 18 of the grandchildren from the balcony.
I got to play Mary!

This is probably the first serious treasure my Mom bought as a young wife.  She loves it but can't play.
  She tells me one day she'll play in heaven.

She collects carolers at Christmas and religious items all year.

Some vintage altar boys surrounding Mother and Child on the wall above her piano.

This is a small rectangular space that you pass through as you step down into the den.

This door is to the right and opens to the hidden staircase.  There is another door directly across from it that leads right into the kitchen.

This is the space to the left where she has her desk.

We have arrived in the den...

which opens into the garden room beyond.

My Mom papered the walls in a lovely charcoal gray chinoiserie wallpaper which makes the room very warm and cozy.

This is the view looking back towards the Living Room and the large picture window.

My Mom loves her Pope Nutcracker and leaves him out all year!

The Garden Room which leads out to her backyard.

I found these vintage ornaments made with pieces of old costume jewelry for her several years ago.
I love how she hung them on her vintage chinoiserie style black bamboo chandelier! 

I spy more Christmas Carolers!

She has a small collection of chalkware bulldogs that live in her garden room!

We are now in the hallway which connects the den to the kitchen.  The first door to the left is the mud room/laundry room.  There is a door directly across from it that goes down to the basement. The second door to the left is the powder room.  The door straight ahead leads down several steps outside to her driveway and the second door to the right goes directly into the kitchen.   Confused?

The door to the mud room... oh yeah, she collects Scottie Dogs too!

We're in the kitchen now

This is a shot of the breakfast nook at the far end the kitchen.  The door to the right leads to the Dining Room.

Here is a view from the breakfast nook area looking back toward that small hallway with the powder room door beyond.

At last, we've made a full circle ending in the Dining Room.  The entry hall and front door can be seen in the background.

Her collection of jewelled Christmas trees was a highlight for many on the tour.

She has collected them for as long as I can remember!  Each year at her church's annual Holiday Shop she would eagerly wait in line for a chance to add another one to her collection.  It's been years since the women of the parish have made any.  They are precious vintage treasures of days gone by now that garnered many ooohs and awwwws on the tour that day!!

Her collection of Christmas Tree Spode.

  She entertains all  month long!   She is full of the  Christmas spirit and loves to share it with her many friends and family!

For many years she would host her book club at Christmas and the lovely reader would always say to her, "that it wasn't Christmas until she came to my Mom's house.  She has since passed away but both my Mom and I felt her presence that day on the tour!

I hope you enjoyed seeing My Mom's home all dressed up for Christmas.  She goes all out to celebrate the Birth of Christ, which for her is the reason for the season!
Merry Christmas!!!

I forgot to mention that I overheard a person on the tour say My Mom's house was like "being inside a Christmas Tree looking out":)