I go all out on decorating for Christmas. Decking the halls, so to speak, usually takes me a day or two, not counting decorating the tree. I used to be an engineer and have created my own method or process for getting it all done.
First, I take down pictures from the wall and pack away everything that's on our built-in shelves and windowsills. Then I pull out our Christmas decorations, books and DVDs. We have boxes and boxes of them. I start with the Advent wreath then hang garland on the banister and fireplace mantle and swags on all the windows. Dept. 56 villages used to go on the windowsills until we got a kitten that thought they were her play toys. Now she must content herself with the tree, which we leave up for a least a week with no garland (wood cranberry beads) or ornaments so she can climb and nap in the branches to her hearts content before we decorate it. Advent calendars are hung upstairs and downstairs. Besides a tree upstairs, the kids each have a small one in their bedrooms. We have lots of shelf sitters, stuffed animals, snowmen, snow globes, Nativity sets and other knickknacks. My kids also know if something isn't where it was the year before!
Of all the decorations, I love Nativity scenes the most. They are my favorite because Jesus' birth is the reason we celebrate Christmas. I'm always on the lookout for Nativity sets no matter what time of year. I like to have at least one in each room. We have several—a snow globe Nativity, a small fountain and several ornament ones for the tree. We've kept a Fisher Price set even though my youngest is now ten because the plastic pieces are pretty much dog and cat proof. That's the Nativity scene we place under the Christmas tree. Though pieces have made their way all over the house thanks to a couple of our four-footed fur babies. In my novella Home For Christmas, there is a Nativity crèche and figures under the Christmas tree at the Bar V5. I took that straight from my tree! -Place- Favorite place to be during the holidays? Home or traveling?
Home is my favorite place to be for the holidays. I believe what I wrote in my novella that home is where our loved ones are, but for us that includes our dogs and cats. They are part of our family. We have travelled before, but now that we have more animals taking all of them with us isn't an option so we stick close to home at Christmastime.
Each dog and cat has a stocking that Santa stuffs with little toys and treats. He often leaves them special gift such as a dog pillow or a cat tree. A couple of them, Miss Mousie, Beauty and Chaos, really get into Christmas presents, but the others are more into the treats.
We've gotten good about having a stay-cation, vacation at home, during the Christmas break. The Portland area has lots of holiday happenings the month of December. Our favorite things to do are visit the various light displays. We never miss The Festival of Lights at The Grotto where you can walk through a light display, watch a puppet show, visit a petting zoo and listen to concerts by local musicians and groups. We also like going to ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo. I'm sure the animals don't care about the lights, but they are really beautiful and seeing the Zoo at night, all lit up, is neat. Another is the Winter Wonderland at the Portland International Raceway. You get to drive the track while listening to a CD they provide and see tons of displays, including one about the Twelve Days of Christmas.
How do you decorate for Christmas?