I absolutely love Christmas. I know it's because of the wonderful Christmases my mom and dad gave to me while I was growing up. My mother was the consummate baker; she created hundreds of beautiful cookies every year in her tiny kitchen -- our neighbors and relatives eagerly looked forward to the boxes filled with delicious treasures that Mary would take to their homes during the holidays. My dad and I were in charge of picking out the tree from the grocer's lot next door and hauling it back to the house for decorating with hand-made ornaments. I remember helping Mom wrap the presents when I was very young and then taking over the whole job when she convinced me that I was better at making bows than she was (clever woman). I loved doing it, though -- it was my favorite part of our annual preparations.
Over the past few years, I've been continually making decorations to place in every part of our home that space will allow, including the garland on our bannister. Some of these ornaments came from patterns, and others were my own creations.
The balls are styrofoam shapes covered in gingham and dotted Swiss fabric and trimmed in rick rack, ribbon, and buttons.
There are stuffed ornaments in different shapes (heart, stocking, bird, star, and bell) made with more of the dotted Swiss fabric and rick rack and trimmed in gingham.
The mice are egg-shaped styrofoam pieces, cut in half, and covered with felt, then trimmed with button eyes, beaded noses, and curled-wire tails.
The mushrooms are wooden spools and half-spheres, painted and glue together . . .
and it's all accented with a hand-made gingham bow.
There's a warm, comfortable feeling that seems to arrive in our home this time of year, made even more special for me by the presence of all things created by hand.
May this holiday season bring that same warmth to you and to your home.