A Collection of My Christmas Decoration Favorites
I have many great memories of the Christmas season as a child. We always celebrated Christmas in a special way with family, although it wasn't always on Christmas day due to the distance some had to travel. Part of our family tradition was handcrafting decorations, gifts and baking. I was the youngest of eight children and each year we had to make a gift for each person. We didn't have much money so we had to get creative in what we could do to make it special. I have always appreciated handcrafted decorations because of this.
When I moved into an apartment on my own, my oldest sister crocheted snowflakes, angels, booties, etc to fill my first Christmas tree. I still have them and use them every year as part of my Christmas decoration. The tree just isn't complete unless there is something handcrafted in it. When I look for new decorations to buy I look for something that is unique and not replicated a hundred times. Some traditions are tried and true, but I think there is always room to add more that you can share for years to come. I hope you enjoy the ones I have chosen to share with you.
I once visited a glass-blowing shop in Florida and became absolutely intrigued by the art. I've watched many shows on it as well and think it takes a special person to be able to work with this medium and make it look good. Painting glass ornaments is an intricate fine art that deserves to be appreciated.
Handspun Wool & Yarns
I lived on Vancouver Island for years and each weekend there was an outdoor market at the city center. Several artisans spun their own wool and would demonstrate at their kiosk, selling their product as well as the designs they had created. I was intrigued by the skill it took to get the right thickness to create the correct texture.
A friend of mine always looks for a new book each year to read to her children and grandchildren on Christmas day. A couple of years I joined them in their special family time and was delighted with each of the stories my friend would read aloud to us. Max Lucado is a writer who has published some wonderful illustrated hardcover books which are not only a good read but also a decorative piece to put on the coffee table for friends and family to enjoy.
I love the colors and the calming themes Thomas Kinkade brings into all his art. His use of light offers hope in even the darkest of circumstances. Whenever I look at his artwork it makes me want to be there—it is warm and inviting.
Jigsaw Puzzles have also been one of my favorite winter/Christmas traditions. One year when I was living in an apartment with very little surface room to decorate, I bought a puzzle with the Nativity Scene to use as a wall Christmas decoration. I still have it and put it up every year. It has now become a tradition for my husband and I work on a puzzle each year during the Christmas season—it is a great way to spend time together during the chilly days of winter.
I love Christmas music and it decorates the air with its cheerful sound. There is so much to choose from but many years ago my sister and I discovered Boney M's Christmas album and Christmas decorating just isn't the same without it!
Another voice I can't get enough of is Andrea Bocelli—enough said!
Casting Crowns sings a new rendition of some old favorites—a refreshing, uplifting album.
For wonderful instrumental, nothing can beat the Trans-Siberian Orchestra—what amazing music!
A fun thing to do together with adults and children is to create a gingerbread house. With the basic tools, you can make your own masterpiece! It will be a one-of-a-kind decoration you can enjoy new every year.
Using the gingerbread recipe, cookie cutters, or an artistic hand, many decorations can be made to hang from the tree. Or, personalize them and give them as gifts that others can enjoy.
Take Time for Joy
If you take the time to plan ahead, the Christmas season can be much less stressful and become more joyful. If making memories and creating your own family traditions is important, there are many simple things that you can do. It is those family times when we secretly created gifts, baked goodies together, sang Christmas carols, or simply listened to music that are the most deeply embedded in my memory and I will treasure them forever.
© 2010 Flo Belanger