Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gifts of Love

The countdown is definitely on now, isn't it?  Are you ready?  Have you finished your shopping and cleaning and decorating and baking?  Me either.  :)  I have so enjoyed reading your posts and seeing what you've been doing this Christmas season.  My fellow North Carolinian, Anita, who blogs at Far Above Rubies, has given us a tour of her home decorated for Christmas, and oh it is just charming!  I love it!!  Everywhere I look people are doing creative things and cooking up wonderful food.

For some reason, this year more than ever, I am feeling so thankful for my blessings and for all of my dear loved ones.  If I can't always hold them close physically, I can hold them close in my heart.  Last week, my friend Laura at Decor To Adore left me a comment about the carolers that are featured in my header.

She told me that her mother had that same set of ceramic carolers out every Christmas, along with an old street lamp, and that she had painted hers all in white.  Seeing my carolers had reminded Laura of her mother, and she had felt blessed when she saw my header.  The neat thing about her comment to me was that these ceramic carolers remind me of my mom, too, and they are extra special to me.  

 This is what the whole set looks like.  I wasn't able to find the date that my mom made these; sometimes she carved the date on the bottom of her pieces.  But I'm guessing she made these carolers about 40 years ago.  My mom made lots of Christmas pieces during her years of doing ceramics, and these carolers were some of my favorite things she made.  About 20 or so years ago, she passed these along to me, and I was so thrilled to receive them.

I especially love the old-fashioned street lamp, and it's been broken twice during its lifetime.  It's top-heavy, and a tad wobbly, so I've learned to be very careful with it.  My mom had broken it once and glued it back together before she gave it to me.  Then I packed it incorrectly, and the next year when I got it out of the box, it had broken again.  You'd never know it had been broken unless you looked really carefully, and it's still just beautiful.


The Boxer has a tiny bit of brown paint chipped off at the tip of his right ear.  One of my favorite things about these carolers are their facial expressions. :)

The two girls were supposed to represent my sister and I.  The dark-haired girl is me, and the blond girl is my sister.  My mom painted the brown streaks in the blond hair and all those black dots in the fur trim.  That must have taken a lot of patience, but she's one of the most patient people I know.

They look so cheerful on our piano at Christmas.  :)

Mom also made three of these pieces in 1994 -- one for herself, the other two as gifts for my sister and myself.  These were the last pieces she made because the lady who offered ceramics classes at her home and had the kiln and the molds developed pancreatic cancer and died not long after my mom made these.

I love all the details here.

You've seen this nativity set in previous posts.  Mom made this for herself years ago, and she later gifted it to me.

These candlesticks in the shape of Moravian stars were also made by her for my first Christmas living on my own.  She purchased the sweet, punched paper angel at a church bazaar the first Christmas we were married.

Do you remember these ceramic Christmas trees?  My mom also made this for me when I moved into my own apartment (before I got married).  I Googled these a few weeks ago, and people, I could not believe how expensive they are now.  The prices I saw started around $179 to over $200!  Who knew?!?!  This picture was from last Christmas -- our new kitchen shelves.  I haven't decorated them yet this year, but I'll have to take pictures once they're done.

Gifts of love like this mean more every year that passes.  If perhaps my Christmas decor looks a little outdated, it's because I don't do trends.  Oh, I buy new things here and there, but especially at Christmas, I prefer things that have memories associated with them.  Memories of family and Christmas spent together through the years.  I hope that in years to come, our son will feel the same way.

Thank you for your visit during this extra busy time.  Wishing you merry and bright!



  1. All fun items with special meaning Denise! Merry Christmas-enjoy:@)

  2. HI Denise! Oh, how I love seeing all of your vignettes of Christmas. The little girl figurines are just so cute! Can you believe Christmas is almost here? Have a wonderful Sunday.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. I too like your carolers. they are so cheerful. Your decorations look lovely. Merry Christmas!

  4. Hi Denise, these figurines are lovely. I have been posting again. Lost a few "blogging friends" along the way. No big deal, sayonara I say! lol. Merry Christmas to yiu and your family.

  5. Awww Denise, I loved the sweet memories of your special treasures that your Mom painted. They still looks so wonderful after all these years and you've displayed them so perfectly. You're such an old-fashioned girl look myself that values the special meaning in our gifts. Love and Merry Christmas!

  6. What beautiful pieces Denise - and that they come from your Mom is just so precious ( now I understand what you meant about the snow globe I bought my daughter )
    I took ceramics back in the day too - about 25 years actually - and never did any Christmas pieces - what a shame now that I see all of these ! Just gorgeous - thanks for sharing
    Hopy you have a very merry Christmas!

  7. Denise, I love the carolers and the fact that all your beautiful Christmas treasures were made by your mom. They are so personal, not just something she passed on to you, but something she made with her hands. I have a ceramic tree just like yours. A lady made it that Jerry used to work with and he bought it for me for $15 around early 70's. The prices are a little different now!..Merry Christmas..Judy

  8. This is a lovely post filled with things that have meaning. I don't follow trends, either. The same ornaments come out year after year.
    Have a wonderful, merry Christmas, Denise, and a very Happy New Year!

  9. Love your carolers, Denise. I'm am very drawn to the good ole vintage Christmas items...
    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  10. Love this post! Christmas decorations, that have memories of family and friends, are the sweetest. Even though I might buy a few new things each year, my "old favorites" are still the most precious.
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  11. Very beautiful! All of the perfect touches of the holidays! merry Christmas!!!

  12. Denise...the carolers are so very sweet...and love the tree that your mom made for you!...What a treasure!



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