Has this first week of December flown by for you?  It certainly has for me.  I diligently put up all (or most) of my Christmas decorations the weekend of Thanksgiving, foolishly thinking this would put me way ahead of the game.  Yeah, right.  I’ve been scrambling every day since.  I am trying to “enjoy the process” and I have taken the time to stop and smell the fir and noel candles and been grateful that if finding the most thoughtful presents is the worst of my problems, I’m very lucky.  But seriously, is it just me?  I’m kind of getting tired…I did manage to take a few snaps of the decorations around our home and thought I’d share them.  Besides, I seem to do something different each year so I thought this might be a way to journal what I’ve done for reference next year. 🙂

I found lanterns at Ikea this past summer.  I used the small, white versions in our trees to give it a magical, twinkle light effect  for the engagement party we hosted for our youngest son this past October.  When I revisited the store they had this large red lantern and the battery operated lightsAt night the little LCD lights give just enough glow to make the kitchen bay window look festive.  {I should have done a better job of hiding the little cord}

I began collecting nutcrackers 30 years ago.  I wasn’t a true purist about brand, although I’ve since pared down to mostly German nutcrackers {although there are still a few sentimental favorites “Made in China”}  The 2 miniature nutcrackers in the foreground are made in Germany and only measure about 2″ tall.  I found them at Crate and Barrel about 25 years ago and they remain favorites for their diminutive size and detailing.

This is the overall grouping.  The two candle holders were a gift and come from China, but I think they are fun since they hold candles that I can light for Christmas.

The end of my counter/bar has always been a bit of a challenge  for me when it comes to vignettes.  I change it constantly in search of the right “look” and still haven’t found it.

My chef nutcracker seems happy to be in the kitchen. 🙂

Spode’s Christmas Tree has served many a holiday breakfast, lunch and dinner to our friends and family.  There are so many pretty Christmas dishes out there but I was certain should I start collecting others that I would be on a slippery slope of pottery love and might never recover!  What pattern (if any) do you collect/love/use?

The center panel on our pantry has display-shelves and I hung my faux, berry wreath on the front. 

Our granddaughter will be here (from Austin) for the holidays and the coffee table will need to be clear {she’s walking and exploring, best to give her room to do that without worry about her}, so I used an arrangement I had and placed some berry/pine cone stems to add a festive touch.

One of the small things I’m grateful for is the abundance of pine cones we have for picking in our neighborhood.  Once I decided on this arrangement I just took my trusty bag and Madison and went for a walk.

Nutcracker Sherlock Holmes is on the case for a Happy Christmas!

The 2 smokers are suffering withdrawal since there is a NO SMOKING policy here.

The mantle clock is always present and usually I try to crowd the nutcrackers in and around  but this year I decided to leave the English ivy and add some snow berries and faux fir sprigs to dress the mantle for Christmas.

Even the little lantern that hangs outside has a Santa and pine cone to greet the season, compliments of my friend, Linda {thank you, Linda}

And the tree…

The bottom third of the tree is adorned with non-breakable ornaments since Olivia will be undoubtedly curious and want to touch some of the ornaments.

Breathe and continue on…we can do this, we’re having fun!

I’m joining the Hooked on Holidays party tomorrow, stop by and be inspired by the hundreds of creative bloggers that will show you their homes and traditions.