Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas and its changes...

In this year of multiple life changes, I'll be spending Christmas in WA with Eric and his family this year. Maybe it is because this is the first year in my life that I will not be spending Christmas with my family, but I had the need to have reminders of Christmas all over the house. Fortunately, Eric and I each had trees from our previous houses. Instead of debating which one to use and where, we used them both:

Mine in the living room as the main tree.

Eric's little 5-footer in the kitchen. His mom used to work for Hallmark and every year she would pick one ornament for him and let him pick one himself. There is an interesting assortment of Santa and football-themed (her choices) and religious, Nativity-themed ones (his.) The size is just right for the room.

And, since we spend a lot of time downstairs in the subterranean family room, I thought we needed a tree down there. So we got a white tree and red and gold ornaments to match the crazy carpeting down there, which I admit, is beginning to grow on me. I'm still waiting for that to happen in our very orange kitchen. Although the kitchen itself is awesome.

We are still settling in and deciding which projects to tackle, so, unfortunately our fireplaces will not have any fires this year until a chimney sweep comes out and inspects them. Who knows when they were used last. I do miss the hearth at my house in San Gabriel's living room. It was so pretty. Maybe one day we'll build more of a mantle in this house. All in good time, though.

This nativity is one that I bought at my favorite antique shop down in San Juan Capistrano. My gut tells me that it is not an antique, but I love the figures and the serene looks on all of their faces. It is sitting on my grandparents' console (which I can finally use because of the size of this house) in the dining room.

I saved the best for last. I am thrilled to have inherited this item from my grandparents' house. No one else showed much interest in it. This is a Mexican nativity scene that my grandma bought. Together, she and my grandpa built the diorama around it. It is the blending of the best of their talents...my grandpa, the thinker, the builder, the engineer. My grandma, the artist, the organizer, the decorator. I was able to put all new lights in it and bring it back to its former glory. I love having it set up during this season. It brings back so many great family memories.

Not only will this Christmas be a change for me, but also for the rest of our family as we all continue to adjust to the changes in our lifelong holiday traditions now that my grandparents are gone. Last year we had Christmas Eve at my house, and this year it will be at my mom's. This will also be the smallest gathering, as 6 out of the 7 grandchildren will be unable to attend. 5 are now out of state and my brother as obligations with his in-laws. Happily, my mom and her siblings are determined to be flexible and continue the family Christmas Eve traditions. Next year Eric and I plan to attend.

Lastly, another change this year is that it seems my whole family is doing very little in the gift department. I'm OK with that as long as everyone is agreeable, but as the person who has been in charge of the Christmas Wish Lists for the last several years, it feels weird not to be scrambling around collecting them from everyone.

The great thing about that, though, is that none of us really NEED anything. We're all so fortunate, so blessed, and have such abundance, that Christmas gifts almost feel redundant this year. And, as much as my life has changed this year, so much of it has been changes for the better. Now really, what Christmas present can top that?


Sally said...

Your grandparent's nativity is really wonderful! It's a perfect heirloom. Also, I'm glad to see some pics of your house. It's got gorgeous picture windows and, as usual, you've done a great job decorating and making it not just a house but a home.

Kristie said...

Thanks, Sally!

Tricia said...

I love the nativity too! What a beautiful backdrop and such sweet figures.

I agree that somehow gift giving feels redundant this year. Or would feel redundant. There are not gift exchanges for the adults in either Creighton's or my family this time- except to our parents. It feels good.

Karen said...

I don't think you can have too many trees or nativity sets! It all looks beautiful!