Saturday, November 22, 2014

I've Spent the Day Cleaning Up...

... in preparation for making a mess.

Redecorating too- but only in the crafty nook.

I don't put Christmas decor up throughout the house until ~after~ Thanksgiving.

Usually the very next day, but still.

I honestly believe that the reason I have fond childhood memories of Halloween and Thanksgiving is because we enjoyed and celebrated both holidays in and of themselves.  No Christmas trees or twinkle lights went up until AFTER Santa appeared at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Tradition, and every holiday in its own good time.

That's not to say that we didn't listen to Christmas music prior to December though... or maybe it was just me, after the advent of the Walkman.  Holiday music helped me get in the mood for baking and making, as did band rehearsals for a month in advance, our holiday concert a gift to our parents and community.

Now as an adult, having my children sign our Christmas cards and wrapping and addressing small gifts to mail the day after Thanksgiving (when so many are shopping and avoiding the post office) are part of my personal strategy to help make November, December and January as stress-free as possible.  But like most crafters, I need time to create gifts, and require a bit of inspiration and ambience to get in the mood.  I've been known to play Christmas music in July as I decide upon the handcrafted gifts that must be planned in advance, especially since I'm a full time teacher.  But after the leaves have turned and fallen, it's time to get serious.

So I visit holiday markets, admiring vignettes that blend handcrafted, vintage, repurposed, and new items:

It's an auto HOOD!

Sheet music artfully turned into a winter forest:

Frills, fur and sparkle:

Bulb-adorned branches are a favorite decor element of mine:

More cream and ivory:

An army of nutcrackers:

... and trees, trees, and more trees!

Finding my way to the crafty nook this morning, coffee in hand, I realized I had to spring winter-clean, and was a bit shocked to find papers, bits and baubles out from crafts I had last worked on in the SPRING.  Clover and spring bunnies just won't do this month.

Out came the snowflake and star punches:

Christmas and winter papers:

... and snowflakes, sparkles and ornaments thrown in for good measure:

MUCH better!

How (and when) do you prepare for the winter holidays?


  1. Hi Michaele,

    I grew up too decorating for each major holiday. Probably why I now have a storage room filled to the brim with various holiday decorations.

    Anymore it seems everyone's Christmas activities & entertaining calendars fill up by Thanksgiving or soon thereafter. To try and accommodate the various time limitations of our Christmas gatherings, I started my Christmas decorating last week. It didn't feel right at first decorating Christmas before Thanksgiving, but as each vignette took its place, it became relaxing, almost therapeutic. I was able to enjoy my decorating without the stress of squeezing it all into one weekend. I have however, left our kitchen decorated for Thanksgiving. I will decorate it for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. Not sure about decorating Christmas early every year, but for this year it worked well.

    I enjoyed your holiday market photos! Looks like Kansas City's West Bottoms District, is it?

    Happy Thanksgiving, Tami

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  3. Thanks for visiting, Tami! Yes, the photos are from the First Friday (November) Market at West Bottoms. I missed going in October thanks to illness, but was able to join a friend and see all of the sparkly goodness a few weekends ago.

    I have tubs and tubs of holiday decor too, which I'm seriously considering paring down to my tried and true favorites next summer. Being in our forever home for a few years now, I've discovered what I like to use consistently, which also makes put- up/take-down that much faster with each switcharoo.

    Since I'm a kindergarten teacher and all about monthly/theme/holiday crafts and decor, so much is done in advance with my students that it's even more difficult for me to go all out at home early. Just today I spent a few hours taking down the paper turkeys and Indian corn and putting up our "cowboy Christmas" art in the hallway: right on time for the school calendar, but three days too early for home! :)


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