Christmas Then and Now, Holiday House Tour 2022

Saturday, December 24, 2022

 Christmas Eve.....the final chapter in a long text book of holiday preparation.  The last hoorah before the big day, the day we've all been waiting for.  Twenty four hours from now, it'll all be a blink of an eye, the tearing of paper, the indulgence of sweet treats and the fulfillment of every kids' dreams.

Isn't it amazing, and a little depressing, how a month of preparation, decorating, card writing, gift buying and menu planning can be over in the blink of an eye. This year we were decorated by Thanksgiving and the month following was pretty low key, stress free and relaxed. Years ago that may have bothered me, but nowadays I admit it was kind of nice to not be rushing around trying to be 'ready' on time. I used to wonder how the day could 'suddenly' be here, catching us by surprise when it's always the same date. Not anymore. I'm not sure if it's because I'm more organized or because I'm more sensible now, and I'm also not sure if I miss those old days of rushing and getting caught up in the holiday chaos. Part of me feels a little underwhelmed on this Christmas Eve, like I've missed something.

One thing I miss, and will miss tomorrow is half of my family - Katie and Mike have Covid so they will be absent from our Christmas Day.  Alex will have to wait to see what Grandma and Grandpa got him for Christmas.  I miss the holiday gatherings of the old days when our social calendar was packed with almost daily visits with friends between Christmas and New Year.  Those days are long gone, especially the years since Covid.  I miss our annual Open House when our home would be filled with family, friends and neighbors.  I miss the late nights, staying awake until the kids were fast asleep, to carry out Santa duties after which I'd barely be able to sleep, afraid the kids would wake before me and I might miss their first impression expressions when they spied what Santa had left.  I miss having my Dad with us.  Even though he's been gone since 2008, I still miss his childlike enthusiasm opening gifts, never able or willing to take turns even though he always professed to not like Christmas.  He loved buying gifts and many of those gifts were life's essentials like flashers for your car, flashlights (he was obsessed with flashlights), and any sort of equipment necessary in case of emergencies, breakdowns or accidents.  He believed in being prepared.  

It's been a quiet day in the Welter household today and despite watching Christmas Eve service from 3 different churches, it doesn't quite feel of the holiday spirit I've known in Christmases past.  I guess I'm getting a glimpse of what it feels like as families evolve and grow, and diminish too.  I know millions of people experience much less holiday activity that me, many who aren't as fortunate to have family like I do, so I'm not complaining.  Life changes though and we are forced to change with it.  Just like we have been forced to readjust in so many ways since 2020, this is just one more challenge I will learn to embrace.  

The holiday will not be without celebration.  Tomorrow the rest of the family and some new family will gather together to celebrate.  It won't be the same as years before, but it will be joyous and filled with conversation, grandchildren's excitement, good food and the start of a brand new family tradition.  For all that, I am extremely blessed and thankful.  I hope this Christmas finds you all surrounded by the people you love, warm memories of those who are no longer present, and reminders of the Christmases of your past.  

Decorating my home has always been one of my biggest joys of Christmas.  So much of my décor has a story, was a gift or family heirloom. Some I've crafted, some more recent acquisitions, but all of it curated to create an atmosphere of Christmas wonder.  I debated sharing a house tour on the blog this year.  My home is certainly not magazine worthy, but a story of our life together over 44 years and a collection of treasures from those years.  It's the constant that feels normal during times of change in years like these and brings back wonderful memories of holidays long ago.  So, if you're interested, scroll on and enjoy a little glimpse into our Christmas.

Shelley Broughton artwork on both walls above.
These authentic Dutch shoes were a gift to my mom many years ago and were stained by another good friend years later.  I borrowed them from my hearth and filled them with greenery and I love it!

The art on the wall above: 
 On the left is a Shelley Broughton painting  Her work can also be found at Bluebird Home Decor  I've been collecting her beautiful art for several years now and have about 7 or 8, including the huge tree painting in my foyer that was a gift from a dear friend.  The two new pieces of art over the entertainment center are by a photographer/artist we met about 11 years ago in Rockport.  This year I've collected 4 of her paintings including the snow globe below.  You can find her work on Etsy: 
The barn wood sea painting on top was done by me on a treasured remnant of my favorite barn in Easton that collapsed a few years ago.  

Another Shelley Broughton piece of art flanked by my photos and one below on the mantle.

Santa above was purchased at Hannaford a million years ago for $19.  The sewn Santa on the right was a gift from a very dear friend.  
Snowmen below all made by ME.

The snow scene prints above are two new digital art purchases from Etsy.  For under $5 bucks you can purchase a digital file and print it at your local Walgreens or CVS and have new art for every season.
So that's my Christmas wonderland, most of it.  Before I know it, we'll be packing it up and hauling it back up to the attic until next year, but until then I'm going to savor every flickering candle, every shiny ornament, every heirloom and remember the people who made those holidays I miss ones I'll never forget.  Thank you for being part of Life As I See It.  Your interest, your notes, your support mean so much and I hope you realize how much I enjoy sharing life with all of you.  Have yourself a wonderful holiday.  Hug your loved ones tight and make memories to last a lifetime.

1 comment

  1. I love this post! I feel this more and more each year as the kids get older. I try to remind myself to look at the beauty of the new stages instead of missing the old ones so much. :) I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and wish you the peace and happiness in 2023!


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