new experience #33: decorate for christmas before remembrance day!

at no other time during the year am i as anal hyped about maintaining tradition as i am at christmas. when to decorate, when to send out cards, the way we hand out and open presents at family celebration time, the cookies we mom bakes, putting up window art with the girls, going for a festive walk with bff debbie – you get the picture. i’m pretty hardcore about keeping things the same.

this past weekend, when the jail got a clean-out, a brilliant thought struck me for a new experience…i could decorate for christmas before it’s even remembrance day!! yes! i DO agree with you that it is zany and wayyyy early to put up the red and green…but, after all, if starbucks can do it…

i think s'bux decorated the day after hallowe'en!

and write impressions is ready to go…

the tree got its finishing touches last week...

why not join in the festive fun that is already out in full force?

besides, i  ♥ love ♥ my christmas decorations. and it’s truly sad that they can only be on display for such a short period of time each year.

over many years now, my established tradition (you can read about last year’s decorating extravaganza here) has been to deck my halls the last weekend of november. this year, that weekend is going to be a busy one, though, because dad will be celebrating a special birthday number, and we have a couple of family things already on the schedule.

[i had the great idea all planned out to do a before and after sequence of photos, today…then, in linking back to last year’s post, i see i kinda did the same idea, then…so either don’t read last year’s post, or just humour me with my repetitiveness!].

yesterday morning, i fa-la-la’d around the condo casa. as always, puttering around with my decorating was a time of pure happiness – every year, i am filled with the same gleeful feelings as i go about this favourite tradition.

first, i ran around and took my before photos. as you will see in the series below, i like a clean, minimalist look. but at christmas?? i do a complete 180 – there cannot be too much of a good (christmas) thing!

follow along and we’ll do the before and after tour:


main room windows

ikea couch

dining room table

kitchen (i tidied up a little, haha!)

foyer/front hall

front hall closet

downstairs washroom

stairs going upstairs

that’s the grand tour! i don’t do any xmas decorating upstairs, except for festive towels in the master bath – they’re in last year’s post, if you really want to see ’em!

and now….AFTERS!

the stained glass angel is very special - it was my grandpa c's. i keep it low because it fell off one year! it cracked but did not break!

ceramic tree ('twas grandma c's!) + manger scene + advent calendar - all long-time favourites

cream couch - perfect backdrop for festive colour! i knit the blanket many, many years ago

only the candle is on the table as that is where christmas cards get displayed!

a cookie cutter copy of last year, i do believe!

grandma c gave me that fold out card of the christmas story in 1973!

please don't actually use the hand towels, ok?!

traditional spot for my braided wreath!

not artistic at all, but the jingle bell MUST hang from that door knob!

et c’est tout!

[sidenote: my christmas décor will never make the pages of a stylish home magazine…but sentimental value and fond memories trump grandiosity, in my book].

condo rules dictate that front door wreaths may only be put up after december 1st. so, this photo is a demonstration only!

it's a homespun look for the front door!

is it too early to break out the holiday music?

my christmas cd's - a mix of everything from traditional choral music to a starbucks holiday collection

mom made these felt wiseman when i was a toddler – i want to put them out, but don’t know how to hang them – help!

mom, you were so crafty!

so, i can check “decorate for christmas” off the seasonal to do list! i hope to do another new experience related to the holidays – if time permits!


november thankfulness:

(for tuesday november 8): yesterday i was thankful for a flexible work schedule. i started work at 4 pm which left me oodles of time to indulge in putting out my christmas cheer when i was really in the mood to do so.

when do you decorate for the holidays? while i always get everything up by the end of november, i am adamant about putting everything away again on boxing day. i will stick with that tradition this year!

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  • Gina Unger  On November 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    i love those wise men your mom made! i don’t remember seeing them before. 🙂
    good idea to decorate early if you take it down on Dec 26. one year before we had kids, jeff and i were so excited about xmas that we decorated on the remembrance day long weekend. we thought we were nuts, but had fun anyhow! haven’t done it since though. our tradition is to decorate the first few days of December. this year we may be a bit earlier due to our kids’ excitement which is through the roof this year!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 10, 2011 at 5:55 am

      we only had the wise men up when we were really little, on hudson crescent, from what i remember…i agree, mom did a great job! that is too funny that your kids are so excited already this year…you may be decorating mid-november??! i know from last year’s blog entries that you have some super cute decorations!

  • Stephanie  On November 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I love Christmas decorations. I love everything about Christmas. But I will never, ever, ever decorate before November 11th. Maybe because my husband is in the military, so the thought behind Remembrance Day is more “real” to me, but it kind of bothers me when malls are decorated and playing Christmas music on the day that we’re meant to remember all of the people who died. (So yeah…no Christmas here for at least a few more weeks. No judgement on people who do, though!)

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      i totally respect where you’re coming from, stephanie. and yes, i do feel a little funny having all my christmas stuff out when it’s incredibly mild out today. i don’t know how people who live in hot, southern climates get “the christmas spirit” without cold temps and snow! happy to hear you do enjoy christmas decorating and the season itself!

  • Johanna B  On November 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I don’t put up my Christmas stuff til I take down the fall stuff. I have a LOT of fall stuff. The weekend after Thanksgiving is my time frame and then I leave everything up until 12th night which is a New Orleans custom. Since it’s just me at home now I don’t put up the big tree but I do put up a small one and I park my favorite ornaments all over the place. I love Christmas.

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 9, 2011 at 10:28 am

      it sounds like you have a very festive fall decor going on, johanna! that is awesome! i love your enthusiasm for christmas, and that you keep that new orleans 12 night custom. good memories!

  • Zo  On November 9, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I never did much decorating when I lived on my own, but now that I live with mr. sc and his daughter is with us some of the time, I just do what they do, which is put the tree up and decorate sometime after Thanksgiving when she’s here. I will pull out a menorah (I’m not religious at all, but like the tradition) once it gets closer to hanukkah.

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

      i love how you are combining traditions/decorations with mr sc and daughter sc! i have not done a tree in years – can’t do a real one in the condo!

      • Zo  On November 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm

        Our tree is totally fake! It “lives” in the attic the rest of the year.
        Last year, my cat decided the ornaments were cat toys…so after a few casualties, we had to move them out of paw range.

  • Lisa  On November 9, 2011 at 7:47 am

    ‘Tis the season!!!
    Love the decorations—I will probably wait a couple weeks, till I have thanksgiving break from my night classes. I don’t actually have any decorations of my own, they are all hand-me-downs from my mom and sister (my sis had some great stuff that I would never spend money on but I love!). My hand-me-down santa collection will take up residence on my new fireplace.
    I, too, like the minimalist look (it helps my brain be less cluttered…and there’s less stuff to dust!). I only make an exception for christmas, although I did put out 4 of my sister’s halloween decorations this year (sometimes I don’t).
    Have a great day–hope your weather is as awesome as ours!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

      it is SOOOO mild here – unbelievable! i hope that’s what you have, too! hand-me-down decorations are the best – all the history and memories associated with them. i can’t spend tons of money on decorations, either – not when they’re up for such a short span of time. i’d love to see the santas on your fireplace!

  • Karen  On November 9, 2011 at 6:46 am

    With an already cluttered house (kids!) I wait until December 1 but leave things up until January 2.

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 9, 2011 at 6:58 am

      december 1st is a-ok -> you catch the start of advent, anyway! and “technically” the holidays extend past new years (right?!), so decorations are just fine til january 2!

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