Let Us Be Merry: Christmas 2016

Chrismas dress-- thrifted vintage Montgomery Ward

Christmas has come and gone and for the first time in my life, I am thankful. 

In the past, the holiday season was always something I looked forward to so fondly-- the warmth, the wonder and the simple magic of the season. 
As a child, there was always such a sense of hope and possibility at Christmas time-- Santa was real, reindeer could fly, and anything could happen. 
The magical residue of childhood Christmas lingered into adulthood for me, the last glittering specks of it kept alive by Decembers spent working as an elf, the specks revived each year after that by decorating a house of my own and getting engaged. 

Now, as an "old" married woman, living away from family with a man whose childhood magic fizzled out long ago, it's increasingly hard to revive that Christmas sparkle once again. 
So, while Halloween in 2016 was brought back from the dead, Christmas of '16 languished and I just didn't have it in me to resuscitate it this year. 

We did try, though-- inviting a formerly live tree into our home (for the first time since we got engaged four Christmases ago) thinking that pine scent would lift my spirits. And, while I did enjoy the tree's smell and presence in our home, I was simultaneously eager to be rid of it and guilty for spending so much on something that would just be tossed away after a few weeks.

Even the cats weren't feeling Christmas: Olladene was not amused by her felted Christmas tree hideaway.

Ebenezer with my beloved Christmas cat pillow from childhood (handmade by my mom)

New additions to the tree this year: stingray and manatee ornaments sent by my aunt

The highlight of the Christmas decorating this year, for both my beau and I, was setting up a ceramic tree made by his grandmother that we found while clearing out her estate at the beginning of 2016. When we found it, our first thoughts were to sell it in the shop since we already had a ceramic tree of our own, but, when I saw her initials carved into the base, I just couldn't part with it. 

And though my beau will deny having any sentimental attachment to such an object, I think he's pretty glad to have something of his grandma's around the house for the holiday, and so am I.

Elsie's tree

Our ceramic tree and the Putz house version of our house I made last year

I have always loved ceramic trees, I remember playing with the little lights on my grandmother's tree and setting up the tree that sat in the front window in the office of the family business as a child. I'm really not sure what it was about them, perhaps it was their tiny stature-- a tree just my size, or all those little pieces to play with, but I always thought they were wonderful. 

With two trees in the house already, I sense a collection developing-- perhaps I'll try my hand at making one for next year.

I love how this little dome turned out in the bathroom, this snowman is one of my favorites.

We spent Christmas eve and day in the company of friends as we have for the last few years--
it's hard to believe that this was our sixth Christmas spent away from family. There is such a nice ease and simplicity to our holidays spent here, we aren't dividing our time between families or rushing from one gathering to another. 
For that ease, I now realize that we may have traded some of the tradition and ceremony that comes with the season and perhaps, with that, some of that old holiday magic as well.

Perhaps it's time for new holiday traditions and perhaps, if I'm lucky, some new holiday magic will follow.

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