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Monday, December 8, 2014

Oh, Christmas Dog!

Sorry I disappeared last week. On top of being in mourning (and not being very good company) we had house repair issues, and tech problems with my internet. All in all, a difficult week.
Nana is ready to decorate!

A new week is a new beginning though, so I bring you a taste of Christmas at my house including our resident goof, Nana. 

This is the first Christmas in years that I've had the chance to decorate a big tree. Most years Greg was either gone or I was traveling.

We are minus one beloved dog, but we made sure his picture was up on our tree.

Christmas trees are tricky to photograph. Unless you're a professional photographer (and I'm not) I don't think most people can capture the true beauty of their trees. There's too much to see and it's only when you see it in person can you appreciate all the tiny artwork.

My trees are a little like treasure hunts. There are the main decorations, the jewelry of the tree, but I also tuck in little keepsakes in between the boughs of the tree. My favorite part is when people find my secret treasures. It's like looking at a well known painting and finding a surprise detail that you never noticed before.

Greg wanted colored lights this year, and I chose soft gold and red as the main color palette. For the rest of the decorations, I opted for nostalgia and remembrance as my theme. Pictures of many of my past fur babies were placed in little frames. Ornaments and keepsakes that I've collected for decades finished the look.

The tree topper is probably the oldest ornament in my collection. It's almost 40 years old. It's simple, even cheesy, and terribly fragile, but every year I dutifully wrap it in tissue paper and bubble wrap and encase it in its own metal box. It was the first ornament we ever bought as a couple.

I'd like to think it's not the quality of the decorations but the memories they bring with them that counts.

Is your tree up yet? Do you have one treasured item that goes up year after year?

Don't forget to take a picture of your holiday table for our mini blog hop on December 29. Grab a badge and invite your friends to show off their holiday tables too. Just email me your blog url if you want me to send people your way.


Darke Conteur said...

So beautiful. I'm jealous of your nice tree ornaments. I haven't been able to have those since Sithboy was walking.

Our tree isn't up. I'm still debating on whether or not to put up decorations. Husband says he wants to, but I'm not in the mood and I hate doing it myself.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Well, I've had 40 years to collect and no kids. Though we did have a feisty cat and puppy that liked the danglely ornaments.

I'm used to decorating on my own. It was kind of a treat to have Greg help this year.

Even though neither of us were in the mood after losing Tank, I think it helped to lift our spirits to see the house so festive.

LD Masterson said...

I understand having trouble working up the holiday spirit this year. I'm glad you put your tree up. I finished our last night. Lots of ornaments from Christmases past - like the ones made by the kids - but even more special are the ones from our parents' trees.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: I love looking and reminiscing over old decorations. They're little bits of history tied up in glitter and dreams.

Diane Carlisle said...

This has so put me in the mood to share Christmas photos! My daughter and I finished up house decorations last week and I never took any photos.

I may try to get some done up before next weekend. Definitely before Christmas!

Thanks for sharing your photos. They are beautiful decorations, and I love your tree. :D

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: Oh, good. Please post. I love to see how other people live.

PS I tried to leave a comment on your blog this morning, but I forgot about Google+. I wish they would stop limiting people from commenting. It's not fair to you.

Sarah Ahiers said...

The first thing i said was "ooh, i like her tree topper!"

My favorite ornaments are these adorable little metal goldfish that my mom got my sis and i. They have move joints and ribs because they're made of little overlapped metal scales, so they can bend and move, but they're also super pretty

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: The fish ornaments sound cool. I like reticulated pieces of art. We have a wood fish like that.

I hope you take some pictures!

Re: topper
What's cool about this tree topper is that it twirls. The heat from the bulb makes it turn. I've never seen another ornament like that since.

Mark K said...

What a gorgeous tree! But, I have to say, your dogs are out shining your tree - they are beautiful :)

I hope you have a wonderful festive season, and my heartfelt condolences on losing one of your beloved Tank recently. It's never easy and pet lovers can't empathize and I am dreading the day Darcy must leave us, but we just love her to bits and live in the moment.
Ultimately, that's all any of us can do.

Hugs to both you and Greg.

Maria Zannini said...

Mark: It makes for a bittersweet holiday when you lose a loved one. Thanks for the lovely condolence. I know you understand.

Mike Keyton said...

That looks a really nice tree, Maria. Our's goes up this coming weekend - got to have something to look forward too :) Ref decorations, we operate much the same philosophy. Our very good friend Ron - who I exchanged teaching posts with some time ago - has every year since sent us a tree decoration or two. Really nice ones from different parts of America. As you say, it's a pleasant stroll up/down memory lane each year. And behind the lights, in the little nooks and crannies, hidden treasures lurk.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: I'm tempted to say there's a story behind every ornament I've bought or received over the years.

I hope when I go someone will cherish them as much as I did.

Angela Brown said...

Our tree is up. Took a picture with my phone and it dutifully uploaded to FB sideways. I really have to figure that thng out lol!

Your tree is gorgeous. Like you, it isn't about the look, primariy, it's the wonderful act of putting the tree up with my Chipmunk and giggling over the handmade ornaments and the spread of glitter cheer all over the house, until we finally manage to vacuum up all the glitter lol!

Angela Brown said...

Our tree is up. Took a picture with my phone and it dutifully uploaded to FB sideways. I really have to figure that thng out lol!

Your tree is gorgeous. Like you, it isn't about the look, primariy, it's the wonderful act of putting the tree up with my Chipmunk and giggling over the handmade ornaments and the spread of glitter cheer all over the house, until we finally manage to vacuum up all the glitter lol!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

pretty tree

Tank is right by you, you know that. Smiling, probably slobbering.

No tree up. Dina hasn't indicated any interest yet this year. Usually she has all the boxes out Thanksgiving weekend. So maybe we will go minimal this year.


Maria Zannini said...

Mac: I'd like to think he's here with us. We have had a couple of eerie experiences with doors blowing open--doors we rarely ever open.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Your tree is beautiful and Tank's picture makes it complete. I have written myself a note to take a picture of the holiday table. We do buffet for Christmas.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Tree is up, covered with the many ornaments we've collected over the years. I'm surprised it doesn't fall down.

Love the Tank pic. He was a good boy.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I'm going to a friend's Christmas party and she does it buffet style too. I might take pictures of her table. I could never compete with her spreads. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: At first I thought I put too many ornaments up but looking at the picture I think I could fit a few more. :)

Jenny Schwartz said...

I was worried when you were gone last week. Glad you're back :) Your tree looks gorgeous and it's lovely to see Tank is there.

Nana is adorable.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: It was just a bad week. When my email stopped working, I knew it was time to throw in the towel.

I credit Greg for thinking of putting our babies up there. I had a few small frames with nothing in them--something I had found in the after-Christmas sales. He immediately thought to honor our departed.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Clever Greg!

Rula Sinara said...

Great pics and decorations! Mine's up with cat tape around it on the floor to keep them from climbing :).

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: Sometimes I think we're a matched set. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Rula: LOL. I never would've thought of cat tape. The cat I used to have was interested but never enough to go through the trouble to climb. Thank goodness!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Nice tree! It's so clean and spacy around it, too. I always try to find a new place to put ours, but there's never any room and I'm too lazy to move furniture, so it stays pretty much in the same spot every year. Yeah, we have too much stuff.

I buy a dated ornament every year. Have since our first Christmas together (in 1979). And for the past 12 years, I've been buying a dated Steelers ornament, too. My husband is waiting for the day we have just a Steelers tree. I told him he'd have to decorate that one. One is enough for me! :)

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I've often considered decorating a secondary tree since we have two sitting areas, but one is enough for me.

PS Have a great trip!