O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree...
The photo above includes my little N gauge train set and the snow village Darling Daughter One started for me. She and I have added to it over the years until there are more than four dozen buildings. Our Christmas tree is artificial and covered with ornaments. Each year I purchase a few new decorations, but love the older ones that call up happy memories. We always put our tree in the alcove created by the bay window. Our cat, Sebastian, loves to look at the ornaments and gifts, but so far hasn't destroyed anything since his first year when he had a fetish for bows. Now he's six and has mellowed a little.
Our stockings are hung by the mantel with care...
At the right, you can see the shelves holding a few of the nativity sets and angels I’ve collected, including a nativity set Hero brought me from Bethlehem. At the left side of the mantel is the Quan Yin statue I bought years ago at an antique store. The nutcracker was a gift from Darling Daughter One. The large cross on the right side of the mantel before the shelves is a scrollwork cross made by Darling Daughter Two. The center painting was done by Daisy Springer, of Rockwall, Texas. You can't see in this photo, but there are bluebonnets and Indian paint brush in the foreground with that Texas live oak on the right. On the mantel's center, the four little choir girls are antiques. Actually, I suppose they're collectibles, since they aren't valuable enough to be called antiques. ☺ I love them, though.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, right up until the day after Christmas. There's a huge let down for me when the big day is over and the anticipation is no more. Even though the tree looks sad with no gifts underneath, we leave our tree up until Twelfth Night. I enjoy seeing the lights and ornaments. The sight reminds me of happy times in the past and kindles hope for the future.
My wish for you is for peace to surround you, love to fill your heart, and songs of joy to pour from your lips this holy holiday.
From our house to yours, Merry Christmas!