At this time of the year, for all the Christmas lovers around the world, our houses are all probably glowing with lights and beautifully decorated in our own special way. As each house and family is truly decorated differently it can be quite exciting going into someone’s home and seeing how they have decorated for Christmas. As I love decorating, and at the request of my reader Laura, I decided to write a post for my 12 Days of Christmas, on how I decorate our home. Now I say “I” because I am normally the one who does the majority of the decorating as it is my favourite thing to do (apart from the cooking!) So let’s get to it and give you a mini tour of our decorations and some of the traditions linked to their importance.
T is for togetherness and traditions.
My brother Daniel and I made this T decoration a few years back in Church. We were supposed to try find a letter ‘S’ as that is what our last name starts with. Instead the only letter that we liked that was left over (as ‘S’ seems to be very popular in our old church) was the letter ‘T’. At first we couldn’t think of what it could possibly mean to us but then we found the words ‘Togetherness’ and “traditions’ which are both words that relate to our family Christmas. Togetherness is something very important to our family at Christmastime. On Christmas Eve we will all watch a Christmas movie together, then in the morning we all open our presents at the same time. Well actually taking turns so we can see what everyone got! Then after our church Christmas service we will go to my Aunty’s house for our huge family Christmas gathering. As my mum comes from a family with 10 children, you can imagine that Christmas gatherings get quite large!
Traditionally in my family, the first Christmas decorations to go up are our multiple nativity scenes. As a the main reason for us celebrating Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it makes sense that these are always the first decorations to come out of the boxes. I always have the privilege of putting up our window nativity, while mum puts up our ceramic and wooden ones.
Hanging up the stockings
This is the first Christmas that we have had in a few years where we have actually been able to hang up stockings other than on our large dining room cabinet. As we have a fireplace we hung Mum and Dad’s stockings on it. Us kids hang our 3 stockings on the dining room cabinet where they get filled up with chocolates, little presents like essentials and occasionally oranges! These are always the first things to be opened and delved in to. We do these separately and don’t have to wait for anyone else to opening theirs. As the kids are normally the first up we sit eating our chocolates while watching Christmas movies.
The House of Music Lovers
As you can tell by the photo in the previous stockings section, and the one above, my family loves music. My Dad is a music teacher, my mum is an Arts Coordinator, and I’m going off to study music next year in Hamilton. Plus both of my brothers love to play their music loud in their rooms (that counts right?) Now I can’t remember who exactly made these cardboard Carolers but they are a great representation of our family’s love for music. These cuties come out every year, and they used to have a third person for their trio, however he got damaged in our last move. One of our old traditions was to sit around the piano and sing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve.
One of the most important decorations in the house at Christmas (apart from the nativity scene) is the Christmas tree! I cannot do without a real life Christmas tree as I just love the scent of pine throughout the house. And of course, you must have decorations for the tree, so I thought I would share with you some of my favourites.
Numbers 1 and 7 both say “God Loves You” (and so do I), and they are just beautiful wee ornaments that are my parents.
Numbers 2 and 6 are both ornaments that i was given by my grandmother, from her old Christmas tree. One is of a sleigh with a tree in it and the other of a chimney with presents in it. There are a few other decorations my grandmother gave me such as little glass ornaments, little drums and other cute small ornaments as pictures above in the second photo.
Number 3 is a little angel basket that we sometimes like to hide a small present for somebody in.
Number 4 is a small nativity ornament that I received in last years Twitter NZ Secret Santa. I love the white porcelain against the green of the tree and it holds a lot of meaning to me with my faith.
Lastly, number 5 is our newest ornament, which is a 12 Days of Christmas ornament gifted to my mum. It was perfect as it goes along with my 12 Days of Christmas blogging challenge, which is why I included it in this post.
Decorating the house
The last two decorations I wanted to share with you are this wreath and our straw angels. I am pretty sure that Mum and Dad have had this wreath since I was a baby, maybe even before then. This is probably the second decoration to go up and it gets hung up on our front door. The other main decorations we have are these straw angels and the colourful candles that accompany them. Both are from my grandmother for gave me those ornaments I showed you earlier. There are 6 straw angels in total, and the 6th one is currently sitting atop of our Christmas tree. This year I decided to use them to decorate the top of the fireplace. As it is summer for Christmas in New Zealand we never turn the fire on so they are safe to sit there. I recycled the netting from our Christmas tree and some small baubles also as a part of the decorating for that area.
Well there you have it! That is just a quick tour of the decorations around my house, and some of our traditions! What are some of your Christmas traditions?