We have had a really late start this year putting all of our decorations up. I don't know why it has been such a challenge, but we decided last night that it was time, and so we did. I am so so glad! It was just the lift to our spirits that we needed.
Anna seemed to especially love the process of decorating the tree. She kept asking after each ornament, "Can we open presents now?"
Our knitting group, the San Antonio Fiber Junkies, met on Saturday. We had an ornament exchange, and I think that was a big part of what inspired me to get everything set up. This cute pair of knitted mittens was given to me by Rachel from SAFJ. She made a pair for everyone! Aren't they adorable?
This gorgeous beaded angel was made by Kate, our hostess for the SAFJ knit-night. She's so tiny and beautiful. I love it.
When it came time for the ornament exchange, we all put the ornaments we brought into a big bag and Kate brought it around and let us draw out of the bag. I think I was one of the lucky ones, in that I got a gift-bag filled with these GORGEOUS hand-crocheted, and beaded, snowflakes.
I have received beautiful handmade ornaments from other people on the Reclaiming The Home message board in years past, and they have made it once again, to our tree. Thought I would share them as well!
This little guy was the inspiration for the knitted gnome I made and showed you all a few posts ago. :) Isn't he adorable? Anna kept saying that he was part of the gnome's family and should not be on the tree. I told her he was a Christmas gnome and this was his special home, and she seemed to like that idea.
This next ornament was actually part of a trade, if I am remembering things right. We accidentally cracked it when we were packing them up as gifts last year, so hubby glued it and we kept it for our own tree. I just love it!
If you look close you can see some of my other favorite things. To the right is a beaded ornament my grandmother made for us. We have an entire collection of them on the tree. They are some of my favorite things.
On the bottom left, you'll see one of the bows from the tops of last year's presents. Simple as it is, it adds a nice shine to the tree, when its tucked into the branches, and its nice because it reminds us of the joyful act of giving this time of year.
This next one was a blank ornament from the same trade last year. Kevin used an opaque marker to write our names and the date for this year's special ornament!
On the top left you'll also see a silver pipe cleaner wrapped into a curly-Q. That is our kid-and-cat-safe version of tinsel. They're fun to put on the tree, and add a really special shimmer when the lights go on!
We did some other decorating around the house as well. Kevin put lights on all the windows downstairs and it gives such a beautiful, festive feel to the house. This is also a slightly better picture of the curtains and valences I made last year.
We also have a miniature wooden Christmas tree that keeps the kitchen and dining room festive as well. I love this thing. $5 at a garage sale. Can't beat that.
Finally... a picture of our tree, all decorated. Anna is of course putting on the finishing touches. :) We don't have a topper yet. We're going to make a star out of sticks we all collect on a nature walk next weekend.