Saturday, December 22, 2018

Mosaic Monday #8 - My Christmas Romance

What makes me such a romantic when it comes to Christmas?

Could it be the blue and white dinner ware with a Currier and Ives scene, which were a constant in my childhood?

Could it be the vintage Christmas records played on a vintage stereo, both inherited from my parents?

Could it be my memories of making hand-made bows and Christmas ornaments with my oldest sister, the florist?

Could it be the anticipated joy on Christmas Day, when we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus in the nativity set, and then pass on that joy to others through gift-giving?

It's all of that, and probably more, that leads me to a romantic, tradition-bound approach to decorating for the season, especially inside the house.  And it's not just the outcome but also the process that is important to me.

The pink ribbon marks the spot!
The ideal example?  Our Christmas tree.  In my world, a tree should be fresh and one that you cut yourself.  For many years, our family tradition dictated a trip to the Christmas tree farm.  Last year, our mighty foursome trekked public lands to secure a sweet-smelling pine. This year, we took it to a whole new level by reaping a 15-foot Engelmann spruce from our back forty.  

(Spousal Unit and I selected the tree in November, which prompted Spousal Unit to construct a tree stand from scratch - our old, leaky plastic tree stand would be no match for this tree!)

Normally, all four of us would select, harvest and decorate the tree.  This year required some adjustment, given that #1 Daughter's first-job-out-of-college meant that she will not arrive home until December 23; none of us could stomach the idea of waiting that long to put up the tree.  So, the day after #1 Son arrived home, we set to cutting and transporting this beauty.
Can you see Spousal Unit under the tree with the chain saw?

Two men and a tree …

With teamwork and patient perseverance, the tree was secured in the stand (and I am pleased to report that it is still upright!)  We let the branches dry for 36 hours (snowy here, you know!) and then the big morning came for trimming the tree.  Of course, we can't place a single ornament without Christmas music, so #1 Son cranked up the vintage stereo with the three albums.

Yes, that's a marshmallow fork that
we are using to place the angel!

It is customary for the kids to take turns placing the angel atop the tree as the last decoration, but the size of this pine caused us to put the angel on first.  Quite simply, getting the ladder close enough to the tree to reach the top meant we couldn't have any other ornaments on the tree for fear of knocking them off.  Yes, we CAN adapt when the situation calls for it!

After the lights have been strung, the true fun begins - the joy of re-discovering our ornaments, and telling stories about them.  Like the glass ball from Chincoteague Island - and how I dropped it right after we bought it, spilling sand and shells onto the ground from which they came.  Fortunately, we were still on the island and we secured another one that I was not allowed to carry …

Like the three crocheted angels that my Mom made for all of us some years ago to represent three family members that had gone Home before us.

Like the hand-made-in-school ornaments that remind us of those innocent days gone by.

I could go on for several hours, as we do when decorating, but I will stop before I get carried away.  This year, we saved ornaments for #1 Daughter to put on the tree - "her" ornaments, as well as a representative sample of other general decorations.  More joy is coming!

So, I think you get the point - we cherish the result and the journey along the way.  In future years, I may tell you about other decorating traditions, but for now I offer some additional mosaics.

Mosaic Monday is open as usual this weekend; it will take a break on December 31 and the next link will open on Sunday, January 6.  I pray that you and yours may have a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you then.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.


  1. Hello, lovely Christmas post. Your tree is beautiful and I love all the ornaments in the mosaic. Your home looks festive and beautiful. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  2. What a lovely tree!! It looks perfect and quite beautiful. Have a very Merry Christmas! :) Kit

  3. With just the two of us I have so few Christmas traditions left. I make one kind of cookie, Swedish Spritz. I make Norwegian yule kage as well (heritage from Mom's side of the family). I wish someone else liked steamed pudding with hard sauce (from Dad's) but alas I'm the only one so it is hardly worth the effort. Maybe some day. Your tree is perfect for that spot before your windowed wall. I have my small artificial tree but it is covered with Mom's handmade ornaments. - Margy

  4. That nativity scene is different to my eyes.

  5. Everything sure is pretty. Hey, we have some of that dinnerware and some records too, no turntable though. Merry Christmas from all of us.

  6. Oh my goodness your tree is a 'biggen' but it is glorious. It looks lovely in your setting sprinkled with all those ornaments of old. Tell me.....did you need a crane to decorate it. =) Your home looks a treat sprinkled with all the pretties of Christmas. May you and yours enjoy a most beautiful Christmas as you celebrate together. May your new year be a blessed one♥

  7. I miss the childhood days of going into the woods in search of the perfect tree. It was always a blue spruce. Happy Holidays!

  8. Oh my that sure is a big tree. Good thing you have such high ceilings. : )
    It looks great in your house.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  9. Everything looks so lovely. It's nice that you still carry on traditions although your kids are grown. Neither of my boys will be making the long trek here and since Christmas is on a Tuesday, it will just be a regular work day for my husband. I don't decorate like I used to and no big tree anymore. I used to listen to Christmas music all month but haven't even been doing that in the past several years. Heading to a friend's today for her cookie festival so must find a Christmas cd for the ride since I'll have several passengers with me. :)

  10. Oh dear, quite a job with that Christmas tree! It looks great. Your high ceiling needs a big tree. You have beautiful decorations that bring memories. I love the hearts hanging under each other in a red ribbon.

    Wishing you a blessed Christmas Angie & the whole family <3

  11. That tree is huge! I love the memories associated with each decoration too, but I'm the only one who seems to enjoy decorating the tree. I hope you have a lovely and Merry Christmas with your family.

  12. ...I would say that you have 'decked the halls.' Merry Christmas.

  13. Angie, your Christmas collages are wonderful are all your Christmas traditions and memories. Merry Christmas to all! And p.s....that really is a mosaic on mine, but I realize it doesn’t really look like it on the black background. I plumb ran out of time to fix it. Thanks for understanding.

  14. Lovely Christmas decoration,Angie. So festive and everything is perfectly beautiful! and what a huge tree! Your Christmas tradition is quite different to ours in Japan. I truly enjoyed your post.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  15. Christmas is certainly a time of joy and a time for family. It looks like you are all set for Christmas. Your tree looks amazing set before those big windows. I wish you much happiness over Christmas and beyond, and thank you for continuing Mosaic Monday for us.

  16. Lovely photos and mosaic. Merry Christmas


  17. Lovely memories of your Christmases past - and wow! your tree this year is just fabulous! So tall!

  18. Wow, all I can say is what a magnificent tree! No really all of your Christmas décor looks wonderful from the top of the tree to the handmade decorations it's so cosy and warm and a beautiful way to celebrate the season and all of your family traditions. Thank you for your kind note last week it brought me out of hibernation to join MM again today. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New year to all.

  19. Beautiful holidays time for you Angie, have a gorgeous new year.

  20. You know I have a set of 4 plates from your mother's chosen pattern. I found them in thrift stores over a couple of years. Love them. We didn't have the pattern when I was growing up but it does remind me of my childhood. I've never helped cut a fresh tree. We always bought ours but it sounds like a great adventures and tradition. Wishing you a joyous and blessed Christmas and a healthy, happy 2019!

  21. What a delightful picture you paint of your traditional family Christmas, Angie, and your photos bring it all to life.
    My best wishes for a lovely Christmas and may you enjoy many more of them close to those you love, in health and happiness.

  22. I love that bracing smell of conifer in the house at Christmas, Angie! Lovely photos all of them.
    Merry Christmas!

  23. I love reading about the traditions people have. Love the special ornaments you've collected over the years! Merry Christmas!

  24. Lovely and creative post and photos for Christmas!

    Merry Christmas,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  25. I do enjoy your writing Angie; It comes from the heart.

    Putting up that tree took a lot of planning, forethought and problem solving but you obviously had the best team on the job.

    I hope Daughter 1 is home by now and that you have a wonderful Christmas.

  26. I love your post, Angie. Purrrr. So does Missus Lady. We think it is full of Christmas cheer and would make for a wonderful book. Hero Man found a TV channel that plays Xmas songs to get us in a festive mode. Missus Lady says she's going to hang the paper garlands they strung a few weeks ago. Oh, fun! Purrrr, purrr. A Purry Catmiss to you and your humans, Angie.

  27. What a beautiful tree! Your ornaments and the stories that accompany them are fabulous. The collages are pretty to see. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2019.

  28. I can’t think of anyone I know who could put up a 15’ tree. I have 9’ ceilings in my house. All the best for Christmas and the New Year, Angie. May 2019 bring success and happiness.

  29. Now that is a tree and you have the house to accommodate it. It is beautiful. I appreciate our blogging friendship Angie and your faithfulness in not only visiting my blog and commenting. It means the world to me. I wanted to pop in and wish you a very blessed Christmas and New Year. xx

  30. That's a find tree you found on your back forty! We found ours on our front 1/4 :)
    Sounds like you are all gathered by now enjoying Christmas Eve and Christmas together. Such a wonderful time for family to gather. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  31. Back again for a more careful reading of your lovely post. My favorite kind of tree is one decorated with memories! And I love that you harvested your own tree. We always used to go to the forest to cut ours. I hope your daughter arrived safely and that all of you are having a wonderful Christmas holiday week.

  32. I am a romantic for Christmas also who loves the little traditions such as you show. My dad was a Forest Ranger and we always cut our own tree (and dad charged himself the fee for a tree permit, in fact he bought two trees) we'd head out in the woods and cut two down. We'd get home and he would reshape a tree by drilling holes in the trunk to put in branches from the second tree.
    Anyway I love that and I love the ornaments. Heather has to watch me or I will put the Dallas Cowboys star at the top of the tree. (that gag is a tradition as well.) And we do it to Christmas songs from years past.
    Anyway, Merry Christmas (Christmas just doesn't come to a cold stop on December 25, not to me. the days between Christmas and New Years are the best to me.)

  33. It was such a wonderful post to read. I have been away for quite a while from the blog-world due to reasons mentioned in my recent post. As the years pass by, I hope to create memories just like you have done. These memories make us what we are, right? Thank you for your lovely memories and a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  34. My Mum has the same pattern on her dinner set. Love!

  35. Happy New Year Angie!

  36. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, Angie. Wishing you an equally lovely 2019.

  37. What a lovely post, I enjoyed it - thank you.
    Happy New Year Wishes.

    All the best Jan