|My Byers Carolers Collection|
|My Nutcracker collection and a big lantern that was decoration on the fireplace mantel when I chaired Mistletoe Ball. Of course, there is also a bowl of candy!|
|My Fontanini Creche Collection. The painting behind it was recently given to me from the Hermitage board after chairing the Artful Lobster for the third time.|
|A close-up of the creche. This is the only one of my collections where I would still like to add some pieces.|
|A holiday tablescape|
|My Majolica collection. On the two glass shelves is pine greenery. I try to put a little touch of Christmas on everything!|
|A holiday tablescape|
|Sconces dressed for Christmas|
|My Santa collection. The two lanterns on each side are from the Mistletoe Ball I chaired. They were the table centerpieces.|
|A close-up of the Santas - many which were made by my late mother-in-law.|
A few tips for decorating....
1. I put wreaths on every door to the outside that I have. I also have two large (around 4 ft. tall) nutcrackers on either side of my front door. Of course, it just wouldn't be Christmas without hanging up outside lights. In the house I like white lights, but outside I like the multi-colored lights. I think my husband thinks it is a colossal pain to hang lights, but he does it anyway. I think that is the number one decorating thing that makes my Christmas. I also put a holiday doormat at each door.
2. I try to change my answering machine message to include a holiday greeting. You would be surprised how many callers actually comment on it. This year I have a new phone system, so I need to read up on how to change my outgoing message, which isn't as easy as it used to be!
3. As you can see, I like to have many bowls of candy sitting on several tabletops so it is easy for visitors to take a few pieces. It just seems like a very friendly gesture.
4. I put out holiday towels in every bathroom and the kitchen and change the soap dispensers to holiday ones.
5. I put greenery on every chandelier and sconce in my house and tie a ribbon on each arm.
6. I like to have lots of fresh Christmas plants around - poinsettias, Christmas cactus, paper whites, rosemary topiaries.
7. Each day I like to play lots of Christmas music, light candles all over the house, and make sure I use my holiday dishes, of which I have three sets! Two casual and one fancy. You'll see those in my post tomorrow.
8. I used to do three trees, all with a different theme, but in the last few years, I have cut back to just the main one in the living room. I change it every few years. This year I have lots of big magnolias on it with red, gold, and white balls. I like lots of "things" sticking out of it like red berry branches, gold curly-ques and pearl branches. Also, tons of plaid bows to match the one on the sconces. No matter what, we always have an angel at the top.
9. I hang a large pine garland in the family room for Christmas card display. Years ago I spray-painted clothespins with gold paint and that's how I attach the cards to the garland.
10. Last, but not least, I iron all my Christmas table linens and polish all my silver so I am ready at the drop of a Santa hat to set a pretty holiday table!