I confess; I so envied the outdoor decorations my neighbor of the other half of the townhouse put up last year (you can see them here) that I did a little sweet talking as they were putting up this year's, noting that I wouldn't mind at all if they continued the lights across over my garage doors. Just in case they had wanted to but didn't want to assume I'd be ok with that. You know, in case they have time on their hands. For the sake of symmetry, if nothing else. They just laughed and got right to it. I'm so lucky to have them for neighbors. These are the ones that keep my driveway clear of snow too.
The snow in that first picture had pretty much melted away thanks to warm and rainy weather last week. But Sunday morning I was greeted with a wintry scene of fresh snow which made it instantly feel like Christmas. Click on the photo for a larger view and to see what is hanging out on the tree branch.
I couldn't resist taking some shots of the way the snow piled up on the leafless branches of a bridal wreath bush outside my window.
When I think of Christmases when I was I kid, I usually think of the ones after dad finished out part of the walk-out basement into a kind of family room. In my recent scanning of old slides, I found a few pictures taken down there. During the holidays, it was the only room in the house we decorated. The walls were knotty pine and brick, and we hung an old wool blanket behind the heavily tinseled tree to pin Christmas cards we'd received onto.
There was an exposed beam running the length of the room, and dad attached cedar boughs and Christmas lights to it and also ran cedar boughs near the ceiling along the knotty pine walls. Vying with the tree for attention was the fireplace he built, fueled by Prestologs and providing a place to hang our stockings. The mantel was where we placed candles amongst angel hair. Now that I describe it, it was probably a terrible fire trap, but it was a beautiful and fragrant place to spend evenings together.
There were two hide-a-bed sofas and an easy chair, a stereo to play Christmas music, and I have fond memories of sitting quietly with my parents, watching the fire and knitting by the soft light of the fireplace, candles and Christmas lights.
I did a lot of knitting back in those days and I'm getting the itch to pick up my needles again while sitting by my fake fireplace fueled by electricity and a light show of flickering flames (I really miss the crackling) and listening to Christmas cds. it's nostalgia kicking in, and maybe I'll play along. May you find a bit of peaceful reflection and good memories of Christmas past today. Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays!