Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Merry Christmas

~ from ~

Simpson's Folly

Hello again everyone.

I hope that this post finds you warm and toasty in your homes or wherever it may be the season finds you.

Here, today started with a slight ice storm and the news said we are to get more later.

Due to the season, the cold, and so much that I need to do, not much has happened around here of late with the exception of striping and prepping wainscoating.

Sadly, this is the second holiday season we have gone without decorating here at the Folly. I think it is getting to both of us. Normally we decorate to the point that we have people come by and take pictures, like this one that appeared on the front page of our local paper our first year hear.

So, with this in mind, I thought I'd post a 'Blast from the Past' entry to share some photos from Christmas past.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures. None of these were taken with a digital camera and were scanned into the system.

Our first Christmas spent at the Folly found us deep in snow on Christmas day.

In fact, the entire week before Christmas was filled with the white stuff.

However, the pictures here are from our third Christmas at the Folly and the snow had melted by the big day.

Of special note... All the greenery that you you see was hand made by SWMBO and myself. It took two days to gather all the greenery and about a week to make the garlands and swags.

The only item we did not make was the wreath, that was brought over from our first house. There is a duplicate of it on the front door as well.

Another view from the street.

If you look at the porch you can see more of the handmade garland.

There is even garland bracketing the front door as well.

One last thing...each and every window (including the attic ones) have a wreath as well. If you look closely at the top of the windows you will see what looks like dark smudge marks, those are the wreaths. However, I'll have to admit, those wreaths are artificial, just like the ones on the front door and gate.

My father-n-law loves to take pictures with his 35mm camera.

This photo, as well as those that follow, were taken with specialty lenses. We were just playing around to see how all the lights would turn out.

Here you can see the wreaths on the windows better.

In case you are wondering, there are no lights on in the house except for candles and Christmas lights.

Another view but this time the lights on the fence, as well as the three globed gas light, are on.

We wove clear lights into the greenery that was on the outside of the house.

When these pictures were taken the window wreaths hadn't had lights added yet and I haven't found those photos. Perhaps next year you will get to see them.

Also, as you know, the gas light does not work yet, so we have special candles that are in the globes. Since they have to be lit by hand those are only burned on the weekends before Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve.

This photo, and the following one, was taken without any special lenses or a flash.

We wanted to see what the photos would look like with just the candles and Christmas lights.

Hopefully you can tell that each window has a candle in it, even the ones in the attic. The large picture window in the living room had a triple candle in it as did the one in the stairwell.

Like I said, this is our second holiday season to go without decorating.

Not only are we having withdrawals, but I think some in the town are as well. You see, SWMBO has a fetish for Christmas trees and it has sort of become a game with some people in town to try and guess how many Christmas trees they can see in the house.

How many trees do you see in this picture?

Keep in mind that this picture is a few years old. As of the last Christmas we decorated each and every room had at least a small 1' to 2' tall tree in it. Downstairs we have the main tree which is 8' tall. We also have three 7' tall trees in other parts of the house. believe it or not, we even have an animal themed Christmas tree on the back porch!

One of the questions we get a lot at Christmas time, other than how many trees we have, is how many lights we have on our main tree. The main tree you can see in the bay window above. To answer the question we average somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand lights on it.

This picture was taken with a star burst lense.

I turned off lights on the garland so that my father-n-law could get a clear shot of the gas light.

I have no idea why people seem to be drawn to this thing, but we have a lot who come by just to see this light when it's illuminated.

This is the tree during our first Christmas here. There are only about 1K lights on this one. BTW - did you notice the real candles on it? There are about 50 of them on the tree and yes, we do light them. We light them for only a few minutes, on Christmas Eve, without the rest of the Christmas tree lights on.

We no longer use this tree as our main one. About two years after this picture was taken we replaced it with a tree that looked more realistic (well - as realistic as a fake tree can get). However, even this replacement tree is being replaced. Last year we were able to get our hands on a tree that looks so real you have to touch it to tell it's fake.

To give you an idea about our trees and how we deal with them, each one has a them.

The main tree is decorated with nothing but old family, handed down, ornaments and glass ornaments. We have another tree that is decorated in nothing but crystal; one in silver and gold; one in Victorian glass and Dresden; an animal themed; and a few with just the basic, standard type decorations. There are also some that have nothing but lights on them, including the two on the front porch.

I will leave you with the following picture.

This is my favorite picture of our first Christmas tree.

One thing you might notice is that the tree is perched on a dais. It is an 8' tree and the dais about 1.5' tall. We did this for a special reason. Instead of placing presents under the tree, we have antique toys as well as unusual, classic toys.

If you squint real hard, you will see an antique toy wooden castle that lights up; a wind-up ferris wheel; a large pirate ship; a toy rocking horse; some old dolls; vintage toy soldiers; and a sleigh. There is even a train that goes around the tree.

So, as you can see, we normally go all out for the holidays. Hopefully, next year, we will get to decorate.

Anyway...enough of the past...here's to the present and the future...

From our house to yours - may your holiday be bright and warm and may the love you have be felt by those you love.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

Till next time...

Larry ~


Ethan@OneProjectCloser said...

Merry Christmas to you Larry.

Sandy said...

Oh Larry & SWMBO!! How absolutely beautiful. I can see why people would want to come by special to see everything lit up.

Jenni said...

Larry- The exterior shots in the snow look like a Christmas Card. Soooooo Beautiful!!

And I did VERY little decor this year.

Happy New Year.

bungalow_ bliss said...

Wow, these pics remind me of a movie! Stunning and inspiring. I was not so ambitious with my exterior decorating this year, but then again, we haven't had a snow like that yet, either. Maybe both aspects will come together for Christmas '09 in a meager attempt at following your lead.

Great blog!

Larry said...