A near week long bout with sickness (including Mama) put me back even further with getting my house's "Merry on".

I scaled back some this year.

Basically, I decked out my window seat in my (freshly painted) living room, a few strands of twinkle twined in faux evergreens and berries in a couple jaunty perches around the house and this above "Merry Christmas" fabric strand I scored at my favorite Christmas head quarters today:  TJMaxx.

Speaking of TJcracks:

Here is this year's addition of color coordinated gift wrap (each girl gets their own wrapping paper for under the tree or bedlam will reign supreme Christmas morning):


Another 99 cent TJMaxx reusable bag…I can't stop buying them…and this will do nicely to keep wrappings, tape, ribbons and scissors together…and afterwards the Parisian images and black and white botanical prints offer up a treasure trove of up-cylced possibilities.

Every year I scatter all my Christmas decos, goodies, homemade runners, and vintage bling out; I never know what will go where.  Each year certain items don't make the cut and I then, in turn, gingerly and ceremoniously bestow my daughters with those "special" Christmas decoration they get to put up in their bedroom this year ( sneakiness: the un-sung hero of Motherhood  ).

It so happened this year  my oldest daughter got to be involved in the officially putting up of decorations.  Usually after like 10 minutes I make them leave, bribing them with cheap Christmas candy and Sponge Bob, because they are destroying everything.  My "little mother" is growing  up, these days, and has a decorating eye that is not too shabby, and stuck around for the duration.

She constructed this Old World Santa Village:


Never been a real big "collector".  However, a  few years ago I noticed that I have been unconsciously collecting these Old World Santas.  I have tried to pick one up every year.  Looking at each one, with the year purchased written on each, I realized these twelve years worth of Santas tell the History of our twelve Christmases together.  When I am struck with a writing inspiration I have learned to scratch it down immediately in a journal ( or at least mull it over in my mind for awhile till I can sit down).

My scratchings, to this computer, to You:

Twelve Santas: A tale of our Christmases Past

Santa 2000

Chapter one in our Christmas pilgrimage:

    White as virgin December snow. Romance and gilded sentiment hung heavy on every memory bough our hands touched that first Christmas together.


Santa 2001


    Unto us a child is coming, and her name shall be  called "Belle".  Still donned in the newness of white: Father Christmas.  Do you see his hidden sack? His peek of blood-red beneath his robe?  A new life will be delivered just six weeks after He visits us for our second and our last kid-less Christmas.


Santa 2002:


Our first Christmas together as a little family.

Do you see St. Nicks simple attire?  His single lovely evergreen and berry staff?  Simplicity and beauty shine pure and bright: This our third Christmas together.


Santa 2003:

How can it be that this very next Yule our family has grown yet again!
Daughter number two, only 3 weeks old, makes for a quiet Christmas.

 See the bright colors?the merry toys?  Wise old Santa knows that a home filled with children is what makes the season bright.


Santa 2004:


A simple Santa.

No bulging sack.

No gilded trim.

See the single heart stamped on his robe?

Is St. Nick holding the tree or is the tree holding him?

Our Christmas of: "just hold on folks and let your heart figure it out".


Santa 2005:


Poor Santa!

Chipped, woebegone, and worn out.

This not so jolly looking ole Saint is merely reflective and content.

But see the slight secret smile?

He's just discovered Baby Number Three is due in nine months.

Christmas number six is full of expectations.


Santa 2006:

Santa is blue?

Our Christmas of three girls in under 5 years throws an un-expectant visual to the "typical" American experience.  But filled with spark, color, and little people.

Can this really be our seventh Christmas together?


Santa 2007:


    This Christmas never materialized a Santa Clause, carefully selected  and bought.  A long lost and neglected vintage St. Nick bell, found on our ancient root cellar shelves, served to stand in this year's Santa collection stead; proving old relics sometimes resonate more lovely than shelved merchandise.


Santa 2008:


    It simply had to happen: Santa in pink!

Our fourth baby girl appeared:  small in stature and pink, like Father Christmas here; a week before Christmas Eve.

You never saw so much pink under a tree.


Santa 2009:


That's right: No Santa to commemorate our decade of Holiday Cheer.

Honestly, when adults are out-numbered by children 2:1, I was proud I remembered the tree!  But an absence  of a Santa figure does not signify an absence of "The Figure" of Christmas"; Emmanuel, God with us; our tenth Christmas together.


Santa 2010:

A Changing Of Looks.

A herald of old traditions done in new ways.

Our looming sparkling Santa stands  proud in vintage glam. Presiding like a tender Father Christmas over our little brood.  Illuminating the way to a new transition in life.



Santa 2011:


This years Santa.

I don't know, a Norwegian flair seems to hang heavy on our Kris Kringle.

Wooden alpine-looking carvings seem to signify a rustic charm, found only with people "of the woods".

Honestly, while being in the midst of this Christmas season, I don't have the power of perspective to clearly state what this Christmas "feels like".

And there are no announcements of any additions.

I hope this Nature-inspired Santa is more of an omen of Christmases to come, as we try to leave the 'burbs to carve out not only future genuine Country Christmases but a country life.

Here is to twelve years.





7 thoughts on “Merry

  1. I am so sorry you guys have been sick, that is the pits. But I love your Santa collection…maybe I need a focus like that to help my sad little collection of holiday decorations.
    I love Christmas!


  2. I love your old world Santa history! (I also like to read your writing in general) -I do hope you are all feeling better. We went through that a couple of years ago – right before Christmas. Knock on wood we are all healthy at the moment:) Hope your Christmas is Blessed and bright!


  3. I loved seeing your Santa collection. Blue 2006 is my favorite. We only have 2 santas, but we have gotten one nutcracker a years for years and years. I put them away until Christmas because the paint peels from the heat in this old farmhouse. I have them all over the house and they are the decoration this year. Oh, we do have our little Snoopy Christmas tree with the one ball, but that is it. The stories you told about each of your santas made them come to life for me. genie


  4. Oh I LOVE your Santa collection!! The blue is my favorite too, and your words that go with them-that’s awesome. Your post has gotten me all Christmas cheery, thanks Leah, I needed it!!


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