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Archive for December, 2011

Christmas is the privilege to enjoy the priceless things in life.

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Give God the glory for the great things he has done!

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Merry Christmas! The stage is set, but Christmas won’t arrive until my family comes home!  Thank you God for everything.

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I’ve basically neglected the bridge in my home. You know, the space at the top of the stairs that overlooks the foyer and family room. A fainting couch with a picture hanging over it, and a telescope in the corner, has been the extent of the furnishings in that area. However, it is a room. It has one solid wall and the rest is open, but the banisters should be considered walls as well. I usually put the children’s Christmas tree up there, and they don’t enjoy it because they want to be where the action is. So this year, it’s more appealing to adults. They will enjoy the new space to relax with a hot chocolate or coffee, without missing out on anything. 

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Just before Christmas is the perfect time to get your girlfriends together. Whip up some glam, games and good friends, and you have yourself a SPA PAR-TEE!  Robes, comfy pjs, and fuzzy socks are all you need. It’s all about relaxing and being pampered. Facials … hands … nails … pedicures … pizza … christmas cookies … a game of dirty Santa … and a soothing cup of hot chocolate to sip on while winding down, are the ingredients for a fantastic party. 

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This is an informal table setting that may be used as a guide to setting your Christmas table. My table is more informal than the setting above. We have dessert after dinner. The table is cleared, and set againwith with clean silverware, napkins and dessert plates. Therefore, the dessert fork and spoon are not added to my table setting.

For the Christmas holidays, I use a white tablecloth. I’ve stopped stressing over getting the creases out , and by the time the table is fully set, most of the wrinkles and fold marks are hidden.

Two chargers are added to balance the decorations.

Matching wreaths are placed upon the chargers and candles are placed in the center.

 

Use the pieces you have, and set the table according to the way your family enjoys a meal.  We like coffee with our meal, so cups are put down when the table is set. We may have a water glass and a soft drink glass as well.

 If you’re serving wine, replace one beverage glass with stemware.

Try to incorporate something interesting for children when setting the table.

Use the color charger you enjoy. Gold, silver, or red are good choices. My dishes have a lot of red in them, and the table would look just as nice in red.

Set the table early and enjoy dining by the Christmas tree!

Merry Christmas!

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Before Christmas decorations
 
So you put up your tall, thin, pencil Christmas tree, and it looks nothing like the image  in your head. That’s a simple fix. Placement is everything! Pencil Christmas trees are for small areas. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them in a large room, but they should be tucked in a corner. They don’t have the volume to stand alone in a large room.  Therefore, placing a pencil tree in front of a large window, or midway a long wall, dwarfs the poor thing, and veils it’s beauty.  
 
Visit Cracker Barrel, or a couple of hotel lobbys, and notice how they place their pencil trees. At Cracker Barrel, notice the placement only. They use their trees to sell ornaments, and are nothing more than hooks on which to hang as many ornaments as the tree can possibly hold. However, they use merchandise, and structure posts, to create corners for their trees.
 
First things first. Assemble the tree and plug it in. Make sure all the lights are working. Plug in the pre-lit garland also, to assure all the lights are working as well.
 
I used lush, heavy weight, pre-lit garland on my nine feet Christmas tree in the foyer, but that’s not the look I wanted to achieve with the pencil trees.  They’re positioned in opposite corners of the den, which is just off the kitchen. I chose a light-weight garland with red and green apples, pinecones, and plaid bows.  A big tree needs heavy garland, and a light tree (Pencil) needs light weight garland. Resist the temptation to over load the tree with ornamentation.  
 
If you are doing two trees in the same room, as I’ve done, divide the garland, and wrap the same number of strands around each tree. When it’s finished, the trees look identical.
 
Not sure about the lighted gift boxes. They provide volume for the base of the tree, but I’m not sure I like them. However, when undecided, I live with my decision a few days before changing it. So after a few days, I decided to keep them. They aren”t nearly as bright as the photos portray them to be.
 
The garland on the fireplace is light weight too.  The white crystal light garland (pre-lit of course) is entwined with a fall garland with leaves, fruit, and pinecones that compliment the trees without overpowering them.
 
 
 
Electronic equipment … Grrr … The tree at the end of the sofa is where all the ugly electronic equipment is, and can’t be moved. We placed the equipment on a black fringed footstool with elephant print upholstery, and tucked it underneath the tree as much as possible. We are pretending to think it looks good. Use your imagination here. (The reindeer didn’t make it :))
 
 
Lighting the candles in the fireplace creates a cozy feeling on those cold evenings. Perhaps Santa will hook up the gas logs this year. If so, goodbye candles!
 
Never … I say, never … buy a tree that isn’t pre-lit. The lights are professionally done, and why try to mimick that. Pencil Christmas trees are beautiful with nothing on them if you so please. However, I’m hooked on the Aggi method of decorating trees with garland, because it’s so easy. The smaller the tree, the easier it is.

Decorate according to your personality. However, if I see an idea at a friend’s house that I like, I have no problem stealing it, and using it myself. Imagine that!  

AGgi

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                                       Before                                                                                                                                                                            After

I hold the undisputed title of the least organized person in the world. So if I can organize, trust me, anyone can. 

After the Christmas holidays, my husband and I carry everything back to the attic. “Where does this go?”  Being the neat freak in this couple, my husband assumes there is a place for everything. My reply is the same, “Just set it down anywhere. I’ll put it up later.” Well, later never comes. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind is the code by which I live. Once the attic door is closed, I don’t think of it again until I need something. I’m not one of those people who can’t sleep at night because I know something is out-of-place. Hardly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 During the year I work around Christmas decorations to find what I want. Fourth of July decorations, and beach items are usually replaced because I can’t find the things I bought the year before. This year I acquired another skeleton because some of my Halloween decorations were buried. Sound familiar?

Determined to organize this year before decorating, has made a huge difference. I must admit I found a new Christmas tree I didn’t know I had. Yes! I was happy about that. Not sure where I intended to put it, but I’m positive I had a plan at the time. I know … I’ve got a problem.

Christmas is the best time of the year for me. I get excited about decorating. Knowing where everything is has made decorating  even more fun. Who knew! Imagine that.

Now that I’m finished decorating, this side of my attic is practically empty, and waiting for the decorations to be returned to their designated place.  This is totally not me, but I like it.

 

 

 

 

     AGgi

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