Monday, December 15, 2008

In the Spirit

I was having the most awful time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Finally, last Friday it hit me as hard as if I had been run over by a herd of reindeer and I found it in the strangest of places. I was walking around taking pictures of the blooms for the last post and there they were... the Nandina berries. I’m not certain why they put me in the mood, but a warm feeling just poured right over me and I was finally ready to decorate. Maybe it was the combination of green and red.


The minute Jamie walked thru the door that evening I told him of my plans for us to get started the next morning. Up into the attic I went to start dragging down the Christmas boxes. My goodness what a mess, there was all kinds of trash and stuff spread over every thing up there from replacing the roof this past February. Poor Jamie was showered with crud from every box I handed him. Before long the boxes were down and the Decorations were going up. I realize this isn’t a very garden like post, but we would like to welcome you into our home and share some of our decorations with you. Will you join us? Good! Grab your hot chocolate and get comfy.


Jamie and I have a “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” in the truest sense. I have no idea why I love this ratty old tree so much. Every year when we put it up it drops more needles than a real one would. When I was a little boy we always cut a fresh wild cedar tree two weeks before Christmas. I guess when I was about ten years old Momma and Daddy got our first artificial tree. It was a second hand one that came from elderly cousins of my father. They purchased it some time in the early 50’s. About three years ago Momma decided to toss and it and I rescued it from a trip to the local landfill. Every year Jamie and I giggle as we put it up; it really is very pitiful as far as standards go for artificial trees these days. It’s not that we couldn’t buy a new one, we just happen to like this one.


To work we go. Jamie always puts the lights on the tree because I have no patience for it. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to hang lights on a tree that only has 36 limbs and a top piece? Most especially when you like as many as we do, not to mention the holes have been so worn over the years the limbs hang from the tree like a loose tooth. We stick a gold ball here, a glass ornament there…


… a sparklie chandelier crystal here, here and here. These were a very special gift from two wonderful gardening friends that lost their home in Katrina. These crystals were one of the few things they salvaged from the rubble of what was once their dream home.


This is my most special ornament of all. This little snowman is the first Christmas gift I received from Jamie.


I try to buy Jamie a dove every year for Christmas. Last year I broke one, its okay, turns out it was a glass robin anyway, not a dove. So this year I owe him two!

Gold Dove


When all is said and done, our Charlie Brown Christmas tree becomes a beautiful shimmering masterpiece covered in hundreds of crystal and gold ornaments. This picture really does not do it justice. The large tree use to be put up in the piano room and wasn’t immediately visible when you enter the house. Once a friend of ours was commenting on a smaller tree that I put up, since it was the only visible tree he assumed it was THE tree. Upon turning to look behind him he saw the Charlie Brown tree and actually gasped in surprise. Everyone that enters the house always seems to be mesmerized by it once they see it. Even I have a hard time turning away from it, it’s like a seven foot diamond.


This smaller tree is decorated in a similar way, but not in such a grand manner.


We put a little garland above the door to the room where the piano is and also across the piano itself.


This is one of the reindeer we have, it’s also glass and gold, albeit frosted glass. There are several other reindeer through out the house. All of them are abstract in nature. You can also see part of my doorknob collection to the left. Why do I collect old doorknobs? I have no idea. Aunt Clara use to do it on ‘Bewitched’ and I always liked the idea of it. Remember her?


This is one of my feeble attempts at a little Christmassy arrangement. I thought it turned out pretty good.


I tried it again here with these old ornaments. This is all that’s left of my mother's original Christmas ornaments from 1954. The little tin star is over 50 years old and was the topper for our Christmas tree for more years than I’ve been alive. I rescued it from a tattered old box about two years ago. It’s amazing that a little piece of tin could hold so many memories and be so valuable to me. Isn’t it funny how our ideas of what is valuable changes as we get older.


I hope this finds you with your heart filled with Christmas spirit. It only comes once a year, grab your special someone and make it a memorable one. What brought you the Christmas spirit this year? Share it with all of us.


The Garden Faerie said...

And yours makes three! This is the third time in two days I've read about nandina on people's blogs, and up until then, I had never heard of it! (I'm one zone shy of its range.) I also have a mini-me tree and I love it. It's on a timer in my bedroom so its lights come on right before my alarm goes off. A much nice way to ease into waking up. Both of my trees are Norfolk Island pines, though.
~ Monica

Cosmo said...

Randy--Wow, when the spirit grabs you, it grabs you--your house is fabulous! I cannot believe what you and Jamie have done with your little tree--and how wonderful that all that beauty stems from little things that mean so much to you. It's absolutely beautiful. So what's put me in the spirit this year? You have--Merry Christmas.

Jamie and Randy said...

Trust me, if you want to grow Nandina I bet you can. It's a very hardy shrub. Now some of the new hybrids may be more tender, but I bet what I have would do just fine for you.:-)-Randy

Jamie and Randy said...

Thank you so much for all your comments on our little decorations. And to say the post gave you the Christmas spirit is the VERY sweetest compliment anyone has ever given me. Sincerely... :-)-Randy

Pam/Digging said...

Randy, when I saw the photo of your undecorated tree I had no idea you'd be able to transform it into that sparkling, silver-and-gold beauty of a Christmas tree. I wouldn't be able to tear my eyes away from it either. Thanks for sharing your Christmas spirit with us.

Chandramouli S said...

Your post is so lively like your Christmas deco pics. Even I couldn't take my eyes away from the splendorous Tree. Though Christians here do celebrate Christmas, it isn't as grand as it is there. How wonderful to see the entire house decorated! You did an awesome job!

Jamie and Randy said...

You should see it up close. There is so much crystal hanging on it you would be hypnotized in no time. LOL

Chandramouli S- I don't think we've ever had a visitor from so far away! Welcome, welcome, welcome.I hope you come back to visit us again soon!

Frances said...

Oh Randy, what a delight your Charlie Brown tree is! You work your magic on it and it does become a masterpiece! I don't think a fuller tree would look the same either. When we have had a tree, I am fighting having one anymore since no one comes here for this holiday, I would always cut at least half of the branches off so the trunk would show and the lights and ornaments could be hung deep inside. But this is not about me, it is about how wonderful and welcoming your charming house is. I love all your ornaments on bowls, very artistic. The snowman from Jamie is so special too, I love it. Thanks for sharing your Christmas spirit, I need to get in the mood and your post did make me smile, especially the undecorated old tree, a diamond in the rough.

Jamie and Randy said...

Frances it really tickles me you enjoyed the post and our Charlie Brown tree. What are you waiting for? Go get that tree, you need to put it up for you, not others. Just think of all the happy memories that will flood your mind as you decorate. This year we put up the tree because we wanted too, not because we thought we should and is was so much more fun this time. If you drink wine, fix you a glass, put on a Christmas CD and make it a romantic moment for you and yours and not just a task that needs to be done. Wishing you all the best.-Randy

Phillip said...

It is so pretty! I do miss not having our decorations up this year but seeing yours makes me all warm inside. Merry Christmas!

Jamie and Randy said...

Yea but it only takes one day to put up ours, compared to the weeks you guys have to take. Merry Christmas to you! We will be seeing you soon. :-)

Gail said...

For a minute there I was sure you had my Mother's old artificial tree! Then you decorated it and voila it was incredibly glamorous and Not my Mother's old tree! It's lovely. Yes, those old pieces of tin or in my case a little paper bird are precious to us and filled with rich memories. Thank you for inviting me into your home, I had a lovely time and I do like hot cocoa very much. Merry Christmas Randy and Jamie~~ gail

Jamie and Randy said...

Gail, I wish you were closer, I would invite you over tonight for cup of hot chocolate. We could exchage ornament stories! Merry Christmas, Gail.--Randy

Roses and Lilacs said...

I can see why those lovely berries put you in the spirit.

Your tree is out lovely. With all the ornaments and lights the tree is just a shape, impossible to notice the missing branches. In fact, I think things hang better if there are fewer limbs. You guys do a great job with the Christmas decorating. BTW, your door knob collection is interesting. I love old things. Some old door knobs are unique and beautiful.

Jan said...

Your decorations are so lovely. That Charlie Brown tree really is transformed into a thing of beauty. What I like best is that you have preserved so many old decorations that have so many memories attached to them. I think that is what makes them extra special and lovely.

Always Growing

The Garden Faerie said...

Randy, So I can expect a nandina cutting in my stocking then? I did some Googling and apparently in my zone (5b) it dies back over winter and reaches about 4 ft. each summer. I have been known to push the zones.
~ Monica

Jamie and Randy said...

Contact me at the crazyboutflowers email with your address and I'll forward it to Santa. :-)-Randy

Jamie and Randy said...

I have some beautiful door knobs and all of them were gifts and each one is different. I love them.

I don't know how I missed your and Marnies post earlier. I/we love our Charlie Brown tree, but sooner or later it's going to run out of needles to drop. LOL We were talking about that this time. :-)-Randy

KC MO Garden Guy said...

What a wonderful way to share your Christmas decorations with us! Everything looks wonderful you have the design gene in you. Well that is a given!! You have given me the ideal of doing a Christmas post also. It might take me a couple of days to get it done but come and visit to see our house.

Garden said...

You're not kidding w/being in the spirit. Great pics my fave have to be the closeups of the tree.

Merry Christmas.

Jamie and Randy said...

cliff, Jamie and I eagerly await your post! thanks for paying us a visit!- Randy

Jamie and Randy said...

So glad that you popped in to pay us a visit. I usually try to stick strickly to gardening, but since my spirit was inspired by the garded I figured it was ok. ;-)-Randy

Annie in Austin said...

I caught up with the last two posts at once, Randy - and after the last one, it's good to know you decided to turn your eyes from the cold world outside and create a beautiful land of Christmas and crystals indoors. Until we came to Texas our trees were always cut from a tree farm - that would be my nostalgic choice, but for you, the Heritage Tree is perfect!

I like the way your green door looks with the glow of the lights - Happy Christmas!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Wayne said...

You decorations are wonderful!
So festive, and very tasteful!
And I might add.........
You blog is titled 'Creating our Eden'.
So that doesn't mean you need to post just about gardening. The word "Eden", in Hebrew means "delight". And the definition of "Eden" is "A delightful place; a paradise".
Soooo, since your blog isn't named 'Creating our Garden of Eden, your home would fit that as well as your garden.
Sorry for my ramblings, but with all your creative talents, I'd love to see more of your home!

♥Min Eden♥ said...

Hello there on the other side of the earth!
I "accidentally" found your blog in the syberspace. We live in Finland. I think it´s kind of funny that you have almost the same name on your blog as we have. Our blog´s name is "Min Eden" (My Eden), and we are blogging about how we creat and designing our garden from scratch...It used to be forrest here 4 years ago, now we are trying to create a wonderful garden.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow, what a transformation of your CB tree to a Sparkling Spectacular Sight. Love seeing all your christmas treasures. It is funny how such modest items become treasures over the years. I am glad the "spirit" came over you in time for the holidays.