Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas at the Folly

Season's Greetings Everyone!

I have been looking forward to this Holiday Season since Summer. It was to be the first time in three years that we could decorate somewhat like we typically do.

The Christmas gremlins are seeing it another way. I'm now ending my 3rd week of being sick. It appears to be getting better, but I still feel like I'm trying to cough up a lung! It has made it difficult for us to get ready for the fat man's visit. You all know the things that need to be done to pull it off - being in bed most of the time fighting the bug makes it hard to do. I'll spend a day out with SWMBO running Christmas errands and end up in bed the next recuperating.

To top it off, since this is the first time in three years we've been able to do the house up big time both sides of the family are meeting here Christmas Eve for supper.

I guess the decorating of the house has turned out to be such a big deal we are having people ask if we would please, PLEASE, let them inside to see. With the way the house has been in the past we are very cautious as to who we let in - typically just family and friends that are close. This year we are allowing a few to come in and have a look. I should be cleaning instead of writing this post!


Anyway, as promised, here are a few pics so you can see how we typically decorate around here.

During this time of year we try to be more like Fezziwig, but the house looks more like Scrooge's.

'A Christmas Carol' is one of my all time favorite Christmas stories and I typically watch all the major movie remakes of the story. My favorite one is the version with Patrick Stewart in it.

There is a section of dialog, from this version, that takes place between the Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge that seems appropriate here this year.

``Come in!'' exclaimed the Ghost. ``Come in. and know me better, man!''

``I am the Ghost of Christmas Present,'' said the Spirit. ``Look upon me!''

``You have never seen the like of me before!'' exclaimed the Spirit.

``Not in this house,'' Scrooge made answer to it.

Sorry for the quality of the photos. I'm beginning to think I've worn out the camera. Between the two of us, SWMBO and I had a devil of a time getting halfway decent pictures. They were either bleached out or way too yellowish gold. However, we did play with the settings a little to get the 'perfect' picture - this could have something to do with it. Perhaps the fat man will leave us a better camera under the tree and will get better pics next.

One last thing - we had a winter storm rolling in as we took the outside photos last night. The wind gusts, and 'iffy' tripod, made for some fuzziness.


You can never have too many lights, but we do try to keep it tasteful.

View from the west.

View from the southwest.

From the south.

How many trees can you see inside the house? ;)

SWMBO really like this picture for some reason.

You can see how well the main tree is lit up. We think there is a little over 2K lights on the tree. SWMBO's father is afraid we might burn down the house with all the lights and so little juice coming in.

View from the north east corner of the high school parking lot.

And the view from the east.

Burt and Ernie stand guard at the front door.

Let's venture indoors now.

Some of the pictures show the typical decorations, however, the focus is on the trees. Every year we have decorated the main question we are asked is "How many trees do you have in the house?". Many...

We do have a set of protocols that determine if the tree is in fact a 'tree in and of itself' or if it is part of a decoration. We only count those that can be stand alone trees.

But to answer the basic question...we have 15 trees in the house that can have lights and be decorated. The smallest is about 4" and the tallest about 8'. Boiled down though, each room has a tree with the exception of five rooms.

Okay - I had to come back in and edit this post.

SWMBO insisted that a picture of the 'Animal' tree be included.

This is her tree and is decorated with animal themed ornaments - including a Raven.

If you look to the left of the tree you will see a ladder going to the top filled with Pixies that date back to WWII and up.

This one is special - it belonged to one of our Grandmothers.

Little feather tree.

Large-ish feather tree. This one has a lot of decorations from the 20s to the 40s.

Do you see our 15lb. cat, Sabu, sleeping under there?

The little Angel tree in the foyer.

The view of the animals' tree on the utility porch from the kitchen.

The crystal tree in the foyer.

Don't you just love the walls?!

The gold tree in the dining room.

One of the many wreaths in the house; most of which are made by big brother's wife.

The main kitchen window.

Even Rudolf gets in on the act!

The gold and blue trim between the living room and dining room.

You can just make out SWMBO's stocking to the left as well as our Christmas crèche.

The crystal garland between the foyer and living room.

Ignore the wraping mess in the living room!

It doesn't show too well, but there is a foot tall Victorian double ball silver ornament hanging from the apex of the garland.

The next few pictures of of the main tree. Way back in '91 we moved into our first Victorian house - the 'little house'. In this house we had our first real tree and decided to start using old world type ornaments.

The tree is now to the point that we shutter at the thought of the cats looking at it and at the thought of how many hand-blown glass ornaments they could destroy.

We even have relatives who will not help decorate for fear of breaking one!!

Here is one of the reproduction Victorian ornaments. It is one of SWMBO's favorites and was the first hung on the tree.

Another shot of the same area after more items were added.

If you look hard you can see REAL candles and just about everything from a wood blanked style glass submarine to a fox in top-hat with tails and a cane.

Just another general view.

I thought about taking pictures like this of the whole tree, but it would require it's own post!!

Typically we have friends and family that come over just to look at this tree and see all the weird ornaments. Aside from the typical Santas, angels and snowmen we have animals, insects, a mermaid, a snail and an eyeball just to name a few!! You name it and chances are we have it on this tree!

As mentioned earlier, there are real candles on this tree. Traditionally we light them, for just a few minutes, on Christmas Eve. These candles are to guide the Christ Child's way in the night as well as for those seeking a place of warmth and comfort.

And here you have it...the main tree in all it's glory.

Right now all that's 'under' the tree is an antique toy castle from Germany, a vintage sled and a Christmas box we found in the attic that's filled with Christmas cards that the PO's recieved from the 40s to the 70s.

Normally we display these cards on ribbon throughout the house but we just ran out of time this year.

Well, that's about all for now.

I will leave you with this last picture.

Sabu, sitting in the window by the candle light.

I hope you enjoyed this rather frenzied exposition of how we decorate around here. We have already been making plans for next year and have decided to make a few changes.

However, the best complement I think we have received so far came from family friend via SWMBO's parents. These friends told them to tell us our house looked like a Thomas Kinkade painting. All that was missing was a horse drawn carriage.

Hmmm...perhaps next year....

Till next time - have a safe, warm and happy Christmas!



dynochick (Jan) said...

Just lovely.

No pone does the Christmas Carol better than Capt Piccard.

This is inspiration that I will some day be able to decorate our house.

Merry Christmas

Kate said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for the tour.

Sandy said...

So beautiful! The tour warms the heart! Merry Christmas!

Kate H. said...

You and SW did all that while you were sick? You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

I really like the feeling of your stairhall.

And the Victorian (-style) ornaments. If you've checked the vid on my blog, you can see why I say so!

If I may intrude a rehab note, once the decorations are down, I recommend you try Big Wally's (Rory Brennan's) PlasterMagic for that crack in the ceiling over your main tree. Will save you a lot of hassle.

Anyway, beautiful altogether.