Monday, December 15, 2014

The Little Things

We all know decorating, especially around the holidays, doesn't have to be a big, whole house event. There are plenty of folks who could care less about a Christmas tree, garland, or even presents. Some folks can't afford to buy a lot of decorations. Others are physically unable to give what it takes to deck the halls (it's an Olympic sport, right?). And, sometimes simple really is better. I have several things in my Christmas collections  - little things, simple things - that make a big impact for me every year at Christmastime. Some of them are simply to enhance what's already in place.
When my landscape garden birch trees succumbed to birch bore a couple years ago, they had to be cut down. I salvaged the logs and created a couple of decorated vignettes in my home with them - one by the fireside, and the other by the sunroom doors. The trees are long gone, but their memory stays with me. After the holidays, I leave the logs in the containers and just remove the decorations.

For the fireside, I simply arranged the logs in the square wire basket, inserted some pinecones gathered in the neighborhood, one faux spray and one package of 14" silver-painted willow branches with battery-operated lights (from my local drugstore, $5 and $10, respectively).
For the sunroom, I arranged the birch logs in a vintage olive sieve obtained at the flea market, added neighborhood pinecones, one string of 20 electric, white lights from Big Lots ($5), and two oversized plastic ornaments (pkg of 5, $10, but I also saw them at the Dollar Tree).

Other little things that matter to me and make me happy during the holidays:
In my hard-working laundry room/mudroom/powder room, I have a collection of whisk brooms on a stepstool under the lightswitch, arranged in small, vintage marmalade pots (flea market). On the dryer, vintage, hand-crocheted potholders (a subcollection within my vintage textiles) fill an antique wash basin. I moved all the red ones to the top and stuck a string of battery-operated Little Lites into it (you can read more about my laundry room and the lights on the text hyperlinks). The red jingle bells, gingerbread men and tree are from Dollar Tree.

In my bath, I strung a different set of lights on my basket near the stool at the shower - they're vintage, hand-crocheted potholders shaped like lightbulbs, which I fell in love with! A little candle, a little Santa, a little bathmat - big Christmas impact!
In my TV/Family space, I have bookshelves that tend to be dark, so I lightened the space up with more Little Lites, pinecones, oversized ornaments, jingle bells, and birch logs cut into graduated risers. I used what ironstone I already had on the shelf, put a few lids away, and inverted one small tureen as a riser inside for a simple display.
There are other little things scattered throughout the house that make me happy each time I glance at them during the holidays. Most of the ornaments on our tree are little and take forever to position, but each and all bring back special memories of friends, family, and experiences, every time I unwrap them and find them a perfect spot.

Some of my little things are part of my ongoing collections, and some are brought out just at Christmastime, all of locations and people I want to remember. These are the things I keep.
Little lights, little things, little memories - scattered through our lives, throughout our homes. Big impact.
Happy Holidays! 
Rita C. at Panoply
If you missed my other Christmas posts for this season, you can catch up here:
Traditional Holiday Home, Garden - 2014
Christmas in the Sunroom 2014
Winter Frost Tablescape
Winter Woodland Tablescape
O Christmas Tree, Have You Lost Weight?