Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Making Christmas Memories

First, let me say that I'm not one of those people who likes to rush the season.  Oh, I look forward every year to Spring and Fall, but I never start working on Christmas until November.  I may have to change that and start earlier, seeing that it seems to take me longer and longer to get ready these days.  ;)

I was asked to work with "Paperless Post" in putting together some of my favorite Christmas memories.  Some of you are probably already thinking ahead towards how you'll decorate this year and perhaps starting your shopping and baking.

We love Christmas at our house, and I loved it growing up in my parents' house.  If you can manage not to get weighed down with too much commercialism and not stress out over trying to make everything perfect, it really is a wonderful time of year.

So many things make good Christmas memories.  Sometimes it's the small things, like sending and receiving Christmas cards in the mail.

or re-reading my favorite Christmas books.

I enjoy wrapping gifts for everyone while listening to my favorite Christmas music and watching holiday shows and movies.

Last year, my mom helped me make a new wreath for our front door.  I can't make bows, but she makes pretty ones, and I sure enjoyed the time spent with her.

One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to drive around and  look at Christmas lights.  These pictures were taken in a neighborhood near where our son lives.  The homeowners in this community make their own Christmas light balls and hang them in trees all through the neighborhood.  You can read about them Here

One of the ways we've made some good memories over the years is our tradition of going to the mountains here in North Carolina and getting our Christmas tree from a local tree farm.  We've actually been doing this since the first Christmas we were married in 1987, and luckily, we've never had to miss a year so far.  It's such a fun outing to be in the mountains with a nip in the air, bundled up and choosing the best tree to fit our space.

Two years ago, for the first time in all our years of going to the mountains to get our tree, there was snow at the tree farm.  We loved it!

As you can see, there wasn't a ton of snow, but it was still pretty and it helped put us in the holiday spirit.

I'm the official tree decorator in our house, because everyone says I'm too picky for them to be able to help.  ;)  As a matter of fact, my sister shared this funny photo on my Facebook page recently --Yes, that would be me.  In reality, our tree doesn't truly look perfect in the sense that we don't do designer trees.

Our tree is filled with ornaments that we've collected through our years of marriage and that have real sentimental value.  Our parents have gifted us with Christmas ornaments over the years from places they've traveled to, and we usually try to get at least one ornament when we travel somewhere new, as well.

I wouldn't take anything for these precious keepsakes and the memories they hold.

I'm so thankful that Christmas time finds our home filled with special reminders of our family,

like these wonderful ceramic Christmas carolers my mom made many years ago.  I was thrilled when she recently passed them along to me.

Mom made this piece, as well.

My mother-in-law knitted these precious stockings for us right before our son was born.  She makes them for everyone in the family, and they are a real treasure.

Setting up our nativity scenes has special meaning.  My mother-in-law brought us this Goebel Hummel set from Austria the first Christmas we were married.

My mom made this terra cotta nativity set in a ceramics class when I was growing up,

and this nativity set was a gift from my husband's grandmother.


Our son loved this Dickens Village when he was little.  :) 

Not only our home, but our parents' homes, too, are filled with memories at Christmas.  My parents have had this nativity set since I was a very young child.  It came from Woolworth's Dime Store, and I still think it's beautiful.  Putting this nativity out was always the start of our holiday season when I was growing up.

Of course, good food is a favorite Christmas memory.  Last year, my mother-in-law made a Yule log cake for Christmas lunch.  It was so pretty and festive.

We still go to both of our family's homes on Christmas.  It's just so nice to see all the beautiful decorations at both houses.

We read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible, eat good holiday food, sing Christmas carols, and open gifts to each other.  I have so many Christmas memories to look back on --


the Christmases when our children were small,

and the different houses we've lived in over the years.

Sometimes big events make for special memories, too, like a trip to New York City with my in-laws back in 2005.  It was great fun to see the shows and all the Christmas decorations.

Last Christmas, my husband and I went on a candlelight tour of Biltmore House -- another fun memory.  I've found that writing a blog is a good way to record these precious memories in words and in pictures.

What are your favorite Christmas memories?  What special things do you have planned for this holiday season?  I'd love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your visit, and I hope you're having a great week.




  1. This is lovely, Denise, filled with all sorts of memories. I found myself mentally nodding as your writing brought my own memories to mind. Putting out the Nativity set always began Christmas for us, too. All the family times are so dear, and how quickly the years pass. It's good to look back.

  2. What a wonderful family historical Christmas post. I really like that nativity set from Woolworth! So lovely.

  3. So many fond memories and traditions Denise. A treat when I was younger was taking the subway to Toronto to see the big department store windows and Santa - that was the only place for many years until malls started to crop up north of Toronto.
    Christmas was always quiet as both hubby and I have small families and now with both our girls working shiftwork we often spend Christmas day by ourselves.
    I admire the nativity sets and wish I had made one when I did ceramics back in the 70s.

  4. Well, you put me in the mood. I often do think about the Christmas traditions that meant so much growing up and now the ones that I have tried to create over the years for my daughters. Your tree is spectacular, so perfect and so traditional. Love it.

  5. You have so many Christmas treasures, Denise, and so many wonderful memories. I especially love all the homemade items, such as the knitted stockings, and the nativity set. I always put out Christmas photos, with Santa, as my kids were growing up. They are always fun to look at. You and I both share the love of Winter Solstice. Thanks for making me get excited for the Christmas season.

  6. I want to decorate early now, lovely post of memories. Thank you for sharing

  7. Oh, Denise, you must make this your featured post for December! It's wonderful and now I am in the mood for Christmas. 🎄

  8. Oh Denise, I wrote a long comment and lost it. Beautiful post of your memories. It is special to do a post about them. Blessings to you. Bonnie



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