Thursday, December 22, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things!

One of my favorite things about Christmas are the many memories that I experience when I get out the holiday decorations. Each thing I take out of the packing boxes makes me think of a time, a place, or a person. This is part of the joy of Christmas. To be able to walk through my home and enjoy seeing these special reminders. As the count down to Christmas approaches, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things!

This is my first Nativity Scene that I received  as a gift from my Mother when I moved out on my own.

 A dear friend gave him to me and he sure is handy when my sweet tooth kicks in!

Isn't he cute!

These were from a special florist that was in our town when I was a little girl. Mother use to keep candy canes in them.

I have always loved the "Little Drummer Boy" and that is what this music box plays.

Another dear friend gave me this charmer and he holds a tea light.

This is one of my most special things. My Father gave it to me the Christmas that I was five. It plays Silent Night.

My husband gave me this snow globe. It is one of the first ones in our collection.

This one always reminds me of our little Jack Russell that passed away in April. It is from the book "Olive the other Reindeer."

My maternal Grandmother knitted the two stockings on the bottom.

These two young ladies (now all grown up) were not to impressed with Santa!
He probably wasn't to impressed with them either!

This is my grandson Jake. He is really concentrating on what he wants to tell Santa!

This picture and the one at the top is of our Baby tree. The angel ornaments were on a tree in my room when I was little. The silver pieces are all things that were used by my daughter, husband and myself when we were babies. The tree skirt is my christening coat.

I bought our first artifical tree when my daughter was 16. She was not to happy with me that we didn't have a real tree that year. Several years ago it finally started showing its age! We decided to not get another tree, but I really wanted to display our many ornaments. This was the solution!

Dorothy, the lion, the tin man and the scarecrow were all made by my mother!

A very dear friend was never really fond of a pair of schnauzer we use to have. But she must have like this pair she gave me one Christmas.  I certainly do!

Two very special people gave me these little squirrels!

My daughter made the ornament on the left and I made the one on the right. There are several others that we made on here.

My Father and Grandfather were both Cadillac dealers, so of course we had to have a pink one!

Got to support the red and black!

I got this little fella when I went to see a very special friend in Montana!

We spend a lot of time at St. Simons Island. Another good friend has a place there too. She gave me this oyster shell ornament! On the inside it says "time and tide wait for no one."

This is one of my favorite Santa Claus books from when I was a little girl. The illustrations in it are incredible. It was written in 1958.

Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance -- each beautiful, unique and too soon gone. Deborah Whipp

Thank you for letting me share these special favorites of mine with you, before it is time to pack them away again till next year.

May beautiful moments and happy memories
surround you with joy this Christmas.

Happy Holidays,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It all began with a crash!

If you are like me, you are starting to feel the holiday stress! Each year it seems Christmas creeps up on us. Are you racing madly from place to place trying to mark items off your "to do" list?

Well, take a minute and sit down with something warm to drink and let me tell you about an extra special treat I had this year. I do love a GOOD surprise!

Some friends and I had gone to St. Simons Island in Georgia last weekend for their Christmas Tour of Homes sponsored by the Cassina Garden Club. The houses were beautifully decorated for the Holiday Season. I am sorry, but they would not let us take pictures. You will just take my word for it that they were lovely to see.
As we left the last house a friend from home, that knew we were on the island, called to tell us about a Good Morning America segment she had seen that morning.


GMA had shown a clip about a special Christmas tree at Brunswick Manor in Brunswick, Georgia, right across the causeway.  When we left to come home, after googling and setting our GPS, we made a stop at Brunswick Manor. We did not know we were getting ready to see something very special.

Brunswick Manor
Located halfway between Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida this classic Victorian Mansion is in the heart of historic Old Town Brunswick. Brunswick Manor is home of the largest collection of Christopher Radko Ornaments in the United States. The ornaments were what we had come to see. We saw the first display of the ornaments on the beautiful front door wreath. We were greeted by innkeeper Stacy Bass, who told us the wreath was a good way to display any broken ornaments! What a great idea to use the cherished keepsakes.

This musical band of cherubs were displayed as we entered into the grand entrance hall.

Stacy Bass and his partner, Jay Anderson, operate Brunswick Manor. Here is a shot of Stacy adjusting one of the ornaments. Some of these are on small motors that are wired into the lights. These special ornaments "twirl" on the tree!

Here is a close up of some of the many Christopher Radko ornaments. The tree stands majestically in the front parlor and has 10,000 lights and over 2,000 ornaments.

Christopher Radko's career, as the creator of some of the most collected blown glass ornaments, all began with a crash!

In the early 1980's Christopher Radko, at the age of 22, began to search for blown glass ornaments for his family's Christmas tree. The tree had fallen, and destroyed a collection of over 2000 vintage blown-glass Christmas ornaments that had been passed down for generations.

Christopher Radko had assumed responsibility for replacing the ornaments because he had recommended that the old Christmas tree stand be replaced with a more modern one.
Replacing the ornaments was going to be difficult. His search to find replacements lead him to Poland where he found a glass blower who agreed to make the ornaments from sketches that Christopher Radko had made from memory.

When he came back to New York, others were impressed with the beautiful ornaments. This was the beginning of a business that would grow to a multi-million dollar company.

Here are some additional shots of Stacy during the decorating process of the tree at Brunswick Manor. This has been an extra special year for them since they were contacted back during the summer to appear on "Extreme Christmas Trees" on the TLC channel.

If you are interested in seeing more about this unique Christmas Tree. The program will broadcast again Friday, December the 17th on the TLC channel.

If you are a Christopher Radko fan, this is a program you will not want to miss!

Stacy also owns the Event Planning Company
If you want to plan a special event, just contact Stacy!

Hope you are very close to the end of your "to do" list. I believe I will go and meditate on my list.

*One big regret was that I did not get a picture of Stacy's precious dog Satchel! Hopefully they will add a picture of him to their website soon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Doors of Christmas!

What is the first thing that says the holidays have started? Not counting the holiday displays that seem to pop up in the stores earlier each year! It has to be the door decorations that start showing up on your street and around town. This is the one symbol of Christmas that everyone that passes your home gets to expierence. So come with me to take a look at some beautiful holiday displays that say it "Tis the Season!













And don't forget the "inside" of your door. It needs special holiday trimming too!



Why don't we just open the door and peak in to see what wonders wait inside?



Which Door is your favorite?