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The decorating is complete with every room reflecting Christmas…we do love to decorate and we do love Christmas. Though primarily in the main living area, no room is spared some decorations. The live tree is in the family room and the Wizard of Oz tree in the kitchen eating area. Both needed to have a gate put around them this year as Betty kept finding herself under the trees eating them or anything she could pull off of them. Now we can enjoy the trees while keeping Betty safe and out of trouble.
Stockings are hung over the fireplace, another past need to keep the dogs from pulling them down off the mantel. Though Grace was the most likely to do this, we will continue to hang them higher because we can see Shirley trying to get into them before Christmas morning too. We would always need to fill the dogs stockings when they were outside. This did not stop Grace from detecting instantly upon re-entering the house that there was now something in the stockings. She would carry on until she could empty hers in particular. We will miss her this Christmas, it being our first without her. Three of the stockings were handmade by family members for each of us. Bret hung those, along with the dogs stockings as well as one extra that is usually hung near the Oz tree. Though not intended, the extra stocking symbolizes for us the future family member we look forward to welcoming into our hearts, family and home. The child, when the time comes, will have their own personalized, specially handmade stocking to cherish.
The family heirloom nativity scene has a prime location in the family room, reminding us of each of our family members who created it but is no longer with us. A wreath welcomes guests at the front door. It also needed some modifications this year when a wren decided to keep returning to nest here, actually flying into the house one day when we opened the door not realizing she was there. We safely, though not easily, caught her setting her back outside. When she returned again and again I added something to the center of the wreath so she can no longer nest there. She had never actually built a nest here but apparently found it very comfortable.
The decorations continue throughout the house, in the hall, living room, dining room, etc… continuing to welcome all. Decorations further continue upstairs with garland on the banisters leading the way. Various decorations adorn each bedroom with some smaller alpine trees in a couple of the rooms.
Our annual photo Christmas card is designed, printed and sent off. Christmas shopping is complete with carefully chosen gifts for everyone on our list. We do not believe in buying gifts just to buy them, but want it to be something the recipient truly wanted, needed or we know will hold some special meaning for them. Though this year we did not make any homemade gifts, we do enjoy doing so as this in itself gives special meaning, adding a personal touch to the gift.
Time now to finish wrapping, do some holiday baking, cooking and enjoy time with family and friends.