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Monday, December 14, 2009

YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA AND YES VIRGINIA, LAURIE IS CRAZY!

I'm joining that sweet blogger, Susan, at Thoughts from Over The Rainbow for Deck The Halls. Yesterday, I told you that I would take you inside the family room in our home today. You may be sorry you decided to come in.

Do you panic when you go into a store that is filled from top to bottom with merchandise? Do you start feeling nervous and agitated? If so, you may want to leave this blog now. Don't scroll down any further. I am not taking you to a Christmas store. Believe it or not, this is our family room!


I'm sure if you keep scrolling through this post, you'll agree with Santa. I AM crazy!





The first year we lived in our current home, we moved in two weeks before Christmas. We always have a real Christmas tree, but I was just too busy unpacking to help my dear husband go get a tree. He came home with a tree that was too short for our high ceilings in this room. I didn't say anything about it, but he knew it should be taller. A few days later, he came home with a tree that was the perfect height. We ended up putting one on each side of the fireplace. Of course, I had enough ornaments for two trees, and we enjoyed them so much that we have continued to have two trees each year. Now, my husband tells everyone that it was his idea to have two trees in our family room!







It really began with a gift from my husband on our first Christmas 40 years ago. After he gave me that Santa figure, we started seeing Santa and Father Christmas figures at the after Christmas sales, and I quickly had a collection. Everyone decided that Father Christmas figures were a wonderful idea for Laurie for birthdays and Christmases. I don't know when it got so out of control, but every year when I'm putting them back into the holiday closet, I again tell myself that I am certifiably crazy!






The large Santa head (the one that looks a little scary-in the center photo in the above mosaic) hung on the back door of my home every Christmas season when I was a child. The Santa-shaped candles were also in my childhood home.


See that beautiful French Father Christmas in the upper left corner of this mosaic? Rose at Santa Maker's Journey made that one, and he is definitely one of my favorites.




Sorry, there are some repeats in the above mosaic. I got a little confused about which Santas had appeared in a mosaic. (See there really aren't as many as it appears - I'm just repeating them in mosaics - that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)














When I added my Christmas header to my blog, several of you asked about the nativity that is on fireplace mantle. You are not going to believe this story. I still can't believe it. I was at an estate sale several years ago and spotted a cardboard box on the shelf in the closet. On the side of the box were the letters "XNT". I asked my husband to get the box down, because any time I see the letter "X" on a box, I think of Christmas, since a lot of people mark Christmas boxes with the word "Xmas". Inside was this Fontanini nativity set. There was no price on the box, so when I asked about it, the estate salesperson glanced inside and asked me if I'd give $25.00 for it. I calmly replied that I thought I would and raced to pay for it. When I got to the checkout table, the lady checking me out was astonished that I was getting this set for $25.00. So was I! Under each tree, I have a nativity set that the grandchildren can play with. One is a cloth set, and the other is a Fisher Price wooden set.




Santas sit on our door toppers and hang around on our light fixtures!









They even read Christmas stories at the coffee table.



That's my childhood Christmas stocking. The one next to it was also mine (my name is on the other side of the stocking), but since my poor, dear husband did not come to the marriage with a handmade stocking, I've always let him use my extra one. He likes it because it's bigger than mine - more room for Santa to fill up. Both stockings were made by family friends.



The plastic Santa face on the lampshade was one of my favorite childhood ornaments. My sister and I spent a long time trying to get our Santa faces to hang just right in front of a light on the tree. The pretty card in the left hand corner of this mosaic was hand made by my friend Jeri, and the pretty tag on the right hand corner of this mosaic was made by my friend Cindy at Applestone Cottage. I don't know how I got lucky enough to have such talented friends.


If you feel that you are having a nervous breakdown from the overload of all of this Christmas decor, just try to be thankful that it is not at your house! When it's time to take it all down, I'll be wishing it was at your house!


I know that comments on this post will include "where do you keep all of this stuff?" Behind that fireplace is a walk-in holiday closet with shelves on two sides. No, I cannot show you the interior of the holiday closet - especially at Christmas time! Our holiday closet was one of the smartest things I have ever done (or maybe it was the dumbest - Without that closet, I'd definitely be getting rid of holiday decor). When I take all of the books, etc. off of the shelves to put up holiday decor, it all goes on the shelves in the holiday closet (where Santas reside the rest of the year).

I know living amidst all of this chaos could drive a person crazy. It might drive me crazy if I had to live with it year round, but I do enjoy it during the holidays. I DON'T enjoy it when I'm having to take down the decor though. Bring in the psychiatrist! Laurie is crazy! She keeps doing this year-after-year!
I do want you to know that I am not super woman. In the midst of this holiday craziness, I still have to go to work every day. I have not been able to visit a lot of blogs lately, and I'm missing seeing all of y'all's wonderful holiday preparations. Please know that I would love to be visiting all of you each time you post, but there just don't seem to be enough hours in my day. I'll be by to visit soon.


I hope you don't feel like you have had too much Christmas overload on my blog to go get links to Deck the Halls at Thoughts from Over the Rainbow. Look at it this way - it will surely be a relief to see all of the beautiful holiday decor that sane bloggers are posting! Thank you for coming to visit our Christmas store -- I mean our family room. laurie

41 comments:

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

You are such a sweetheart Laurie! And yes Virginia, I think Laurie is superwoman! Just amazing Laurie, I gasped when I saw the Santa shelves! This was just the funnest tour and I say your grandkids must think they are in a winter wonderland or the North Pole when they come over! Lucky, lucky them! Hugs to a very creative lady! Cindy

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I so LOVE your collections -- they're amazing! You could be on a one house Christmas tour and if you charged a fee -- you could add more Santa's to your collection. Love it all!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Oh, Laurie...I love all of your decorations! I do not know how you find the time to decorate for each holiday the way you do! I know I have said this repeatedly, but your grandchildren must LOVE visitng you! It's a Christmas lover's dream! Have a wonderful week!...hugs...Debbie

Foley said...

Laurie - There is no mistake what season it is looking at your home!! I think it is amazing the collections you have and Thank God for your storage room!! LOL

I'm sure your family appreciates all you do to bring the Christmas Season to them...Christmas morning must be 'enchanting' !!

I'm going to have to come back and enlarge all the photos to get a closer look..what a bargain on your Nativity!!!

Beautiful...just beautiful!!

~~Carol~~ said...

Crazy? No, that's not the word I would use to describe you. Because all I have is admiration for you and your lovely home! I would absolutely love to see it at Christmas, because you've made it so warm and cozy and nostalgic, and filled with love. You can never call that crazy!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Honey, yes, you ARE crazy, but it's a GOOD crazy! It's generous, over the top, celebratory crazy!!!

That is an amazing explosion of Christmas joy, and it makes me SO happy to see it! And the walk in closet IS brilliant! I did wonder where you put all the books, etc., that usually inhabit those shelves.

Thank you for sharing-- this inspired me, and I know when I show it to him,it will scare the life out of my husband!

Cass

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Laurie, I love it when you share your collections! What a joy to see this room and you Santas...a true fantasy land...love it!
Susan

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Wow! Your trees are beautiful! What a wonderful collection of Santas - really like the doll house. You are not crazy - you like and collect Santas! :) You got a great deal on the nativity scene.
I had a small collection of Santas years ago, and ended up giving most of them to my children and some they did not want I put in a yardsale. I have a couple left

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Laurie, you house looks better than most Christmas shops. It is absolutely stunning. I loved seeing it all, everything is stunning. I hope you are having a Blessed Christmas Season. Hugs, Marty

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Laurie how fun your whole house is...I bet your grands kids just love going to your house durning any season as you have the best stuff around...I so remember all the fun things you posted on RMS and how much I adored your kitchen...I just love it girl makes me wish I was a kid again...Thanks so much for sharing all this wonderful Christmas joy with us...Great eye candy my friend...Many mountain hugs to you today....Love ya...Gl♥ria

Carol said...

Amazing Laurie, simply amazing! It's all so beautiful! Thanks for sharing your Christmas pretties.

Hugs,

Carol

susan said...

Laurie--I did not have to avert my eyes, but I did gasp! What shines through the most is the love with which it is done. I so wish I could see your Christmas eve play. It sounds like such a wonderful tradition. Baby Jesus with Ritz may trump Baby Jesus with a binky :) I am so glad you linked to "Deck the Halls"--no one should miss this !

Miss Laura Lu/RMS4291960 said...

Ummm...You finally did it! You went over the top even for you!!! Yes, Laurie you are crazy! AND I LOVE IT!!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! WHAT FUN IT MUST BE EVERY YEAR TO GET ALL THOSE WONDERFUL AND CHERISHED SANTAS OUT! HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL? YOU ARE A SUPERWOMAN AND DON'T LET ANYBODY TELL YOU DIFFERENT!! YOU MUST BE THE BEST GRANDMOTHER EVER!!! COMING OVER TO YOUR HOUSE WOULD BE LIKE GOING TO THE NORTH POLE! I love ya girlfriend! And I love all those wonderful santas! God Bless! Lauralu :)

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I could never have Christmas overload, Laurie! It's all wonderful!!!

When we moved here, it was a couple of weeks before Christmas. That was 6 years ago. We have a place for Christmas storage, under the hearth room in a corner of the basement that is dedicated to Christmas. At the farm, we used the garage and the vehicles sat outside!LOL

Merry Christmas!

Sarah said...

Laurie, I think putting up two trees on either side of the fireplace is brillant! That room is magnificant! Seeing all your Santa figures makes me smile. I can't image how much work it is to trade out all the books for all the Santa figures. Does Santa send and elves to help? You have an amazing collection. I, too, have a collection of Santa figures, though nothing like this. I started giving my nieces some of my Santa figures several years ago. It's fun to see them in thier homes, and I still have plenty here!
Happy Holidays, sweet friend! Love my visits to your blog!!! ~ Sarah

Bellen said...

Laurie - yes, I think you're crazy - wonderfully, over the top, I wish I were you crazy:) When we moved 5 years ago I got rid of 90% of my stuff and I get teary eyed every season. So...don't ever get rid of anything and if the time comes that you can't do it yourself - call me, I'll do it for you.

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Laurie I remember how much I loved seeing your home last Christmas (and thankful that I didn't have to put it all way after Christmas!!!LOL)

I love the 2 trees on either side of the fireplace .

Your nativity is stunning. THis is going to sound like a stupid question - is it porcelain or ceremic or a resin? I have one that my friend Millicent gave me that has Italy stamped- I am sure it is not a Fontanni but it looks similar. I haven't showed it yet- guess another blog!

blessings
mary

Pat & Ron Harris said...

I don't work and my tree still isn't decorated! How do you do it? It is wonderful, by the way. You must be filled with a wonderful Christmas Spirit. I need to get a little of that back, want to lend me some? It was wonderful to tour your Christmas house. Thank you too, for visiting junkblossoms. If you hadn't left such a sweet comment I might not have found your blog. I'll be back. Merry Christmas.

Mellodee said...

Laurie, What a pleasure to find someone who out-decorates me!! Everyone in my family thinks I have too much "stuff." Now I have someone I can point them to and say, "Hah, you think I've got a lot? Well, wait till you see THIS!!" In comparison to you, I'm just barely in the spirit! It is beautiful, but oh my dear, how long does it take to pack away?

I'm also intrigued by the closet behind the fireplace. Was that something that you did or was it part of the house you bought? If you did it, please share HOW?

Oh, by the way....MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Kammy said...

O Laurie ! You have to have 2 trees to help balance out all those shelves....WOW ! How many days does it take to get it all up ??...maybe I missed that part....I will not complain that I have alot of stuff now - nuff said ! Your room is beautiful and totally worth all the work you do - You are a Super Woman !
Hugs ~ Kammy

SmilingSally said...

Laurie, I am truly overwhelmed! And, I am blinking at my laziness.

Your place is super awesome!

Blue Creek Home said...

What a wonderful tour this has been. It is all so beautiful! I am glad that I came over.
Merry Christmas
Rhonda

Just Breathe said...

Just when I think that I go overboard with decorating I find someone who certainly out does me!
Your decorations are absolutely beautiful and I am going to link to you in a post if that is okay.
I love Christmas too! You win the prise in my book. God Bless.

Kristens Creations said...

Hi Laurie, thanks for checking out my Christmas decor!! I was going to ask where you store all of yours, but you answered my question. Oh how I wish I had a holiday closet! I have to get up in the attic for my stuff. You have an unbelievable collection of santas! I think it's wonderful!! Your mantle is stunning with the nativity and the two trees beside it...gorgeous! I saw where you posted about the frame, thank you. I hope you are enjoying it. Merry Christmas!! Kristen

xinex said...

I would love to go shopping there, Laurie. LOL! I LOVE all your collection and I will have a ball for sure. You have the mosr festive family room, love the 2 Christmas trees idea but I won't have enough room. It is a true Christmas Wonderland in your home, love it!...Christine

ceekay said...

You just crack me up! Every time I see those shelves full of those Santas...I am amazed all over again!
I am glad you enjoy putting them up...and none of us, even with our few decorations...like taking it down!

KBeau said...

I must say that I think you have more "stuff" than Susie. Love all of your Santas, but the nativity is truly special.

Tardevil said...

I do LOVE your Santa collection. I wish I could see it in person. Wish you would show us more close ups of every one, but I understand that there is no time. I can't even get my tablescape posted. I especially like your vintage ornaments. I too have a holiday closet, but it sure does need to be bigger, because my collections just seem to grow! Have a Merry Christmas!

Tardevil said...

P.S. As someone told me over on FB, it's not crazy, it's spirited! LOL!

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

That's an amazing collection! As long as you have a place to store your stuff and you enjoy putting it up and taking it down isn't stress, I say go for it. I wish I had a holiday closet (I think my husband probably wishes it more than me LOL)! I think it all looks really cute!

Manuela

Mommy, I'm Home said...

I'm absolutely speechless...

debbie said...

DEAR LAURIE,
HOW BLESSED YOU WERE TO PURCHASE A FONTANINI FOR 25.00....I JUST SAW ONE LISTED TODAY FOR 3,200.00....THEY ARE SO EXPENSIVE...YOU BETTER HAVE THAT ONE APPRAISED AND PUT ON YOUR INSURANCE. THE ODDS OF EVER FINDING A DEAL LIKE THAT AGAIN ARE SLIM TO NONE.
YOUR SANTAS ARE AWESOME...SOME OF THEM LOOK LIKE THE COLLECTION DILLARD HAD A FEW YEARS AGO...WE BOUGHT SOME IN THE AFTER CHRISTMAS SALE.
HAVE YOU COUNTED THEM ALL???????
THAT WOULD BE A GOOD CONTEST FOR THE GRANDKIDS....HOW MANY SANTAS DOES GRANDMA HAVE AND THE CLOSET GETS A PRIZE.
LOVE
ANGEL HUGS
DEBBIE

Sue said...

I love your addiction, Laurie!! It all looks amazing displayed the way that it is. Everything reflects your love of the holiday and all the rewards that they bring you and your family. Fantastic!!
Christmas Hugs, Sue

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Magical Laurie, I remember the first time I saw your beautiful shelves.. I love the way you've adorned them for Christmas...what fun it would be to take a tour personally. Maybe someday....
hugs ~lynne~

The Garden of Egan said...

Yes Laurie, you are crazy! However....it is so beautiful. Yes, I was going to ask where in the world you put it all, but my next question is how long does it take to put it all up?
Wow, it's just so pretty, there are so many things to look at.

Thanks for sharing all of that.
Tauna

Kathleen said...

OK, you win!!! I am so glad you have that storage room right there...I am bow legged carrying boxes up and down...
Today I struggled down the steps with a heavy bin of the pictures etc I had removed for the Christmas decor. I carried a bin of what I thought was ornaments up...NO!! It was the same bin I just struggled down the steps!! My brain is fried!!
So I bow down to you! I would have had to have started last Sept to get that all done!
AMAZING!

prashant said...

- they're amazing! You could be on a one house Christmas tour and if you charged a fee -

Work from home India

santamaker said...

Hey Laurie, I just got caught up on your beautifully decorated home... everything is so pretty! I am amazed at your wall of Santas... and I spotted "my boy"! I am so honored for him to be in the center of all of those!
Your snowman collection is awesome too! Girl, what is your secret? You must be on a caffeine drip to be able to do all of it. Have a merry Christmas!

Chari said...

Hello Girlfriend...

Well...I have seen your Santa collection before but each time I just stand in awe, my friend!!! It is the most fabulous collection of Santas that I have ever laid my eyes upon!!! I was thinking back to a couple of Christmases ago...when I first seen your Santa collection on RMS! Has it really been that long ago? Dearest friend, you just amaze me!!! I love seeing Christmas through your eyes...it's magnificent!!! Ohhh...and speaking of magnificent, Girlfriend...your Christmas mantel is just gorgeous!!! Wow...what a great deal you got on that fabulous Italian Nativity!!! It couldn't have gone to a more loving home though!!! I really enjoyed seeing your fabulous living room...loved both of your gorgeous Christmas trees and all of your Christmas pretties!!! Thank you so much for sharing them with us, Darlin'!!! You have the most fabulous Christmas home is all of Blogland, Laurie!!!

Love ya, Sweetie!
Chari @Happy To Design

Nishant said...

I love all of your decorations! I do not know how you find the time to decorate for each holiday the way you do!

Work from home India

kanishk said...

I do not know how you find the time to decorate for each holiday the way you do! I know I have said this repeatedly, but your grandchildren must LOVE visitng you! It's a Christmas lover's dream! Have a wonderful week!...hugs..

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