Christmas Parsons Table Arrangement


Christmas is one of my favorite excuses to be creative. While I love the holiday decorating, I tend to be rather skimpish when it comes to paying money for what I consider ‘disposable’ accents, and so I work to craft my own using what I own and the nature in my yard.

Last year for my birthday (it was a big one, saying goodbye to 5 decades, looking forward to more to come), my hubby showered me with flowers. They were breathtakingly beautiful, unique, and artistic, done by a local florist he knew he could trust to create arrangements outside the boundaries of 1800-florist. When their beauty had well past waned and out with the trash they went, I was left with unique and beautiful containers picked for specific areas, one of which being my parsons table. My parsons table sits behind my couch in-between the great room and the kitchen. It’s a big space and the vase is the perfect height , not too high, so I can see from the kitchen in to the family room, not too low as to be missed.

For the fall/Thanksgiving, I filled it with lemons and mini-pomegrantes. For christmas, I pulled out my vintage Christmas tree balls and headed out to my arbor vitae to clip some greens. A bit of decorative garnish and VOILA!

I am pleased with the result: simple, colorful and not too flashy. A bit of greenery in the house to contrast with the stark barren brown leafless trees, and wintery white snow outside, brings inside a cozy holiday feeling.

There is an abundance of nature out there, and any vase or cool container can be used to create a bit of festive holiday sparkle in any area of your own home. Just think out of the box and get snipping!

A Tabletop of Memories

A Tabletop of Memories

This afternoon the last remnants of Christmas were boxed up and put away.

I love setting up the tree every year and enjoying the ornaments all season long. Some people like their tree to match their decorations. Some people have concerns about little children, or pets. Some like a live tree, some an artificial. Some are attracted to tall spindly trees, some like them squat and fat. I enjoy them all, since each tree reflects the personality and character of both the individual, family and business.

In our home, we have a ‘family’ tree. (see Christmas Past) A few ornaments from my childhood, a few from my parents, one or two from a great grandmother, and a myriad collection from every year our my marriage and motherhood. It is part of a tradition I started on the first year of our marriage, an ornament to reflect the passing year.

One year we took the family on a Disney Cruise (highly recommended), so the ornament was a medallion from the ship. One year was a gold 3D City of Portland cityscape, in remembrance of my hometown which we had moved from that year. One of my favorites is the Christopher Radko ‘baby’ I found with my mother (top center) when were celebrating the birth of my oldest. One year, we had a giant ornament making part for my daughters and their friends. (the ’09 cinnamon ornament you see) A more recent collection included a clay miniature Army hat for my college freshman who had enrolled in ROTC, an angel for my youngest ‘angel’, a mini cigar box for hubby and a roll of sushi for me. This year, to honor our trip to the Hawaiian Islands, you see the snorkel gear and fins in the foreground.

Grandpa Bill adds to the collection, sending an ornament to the girls every single year. And every year, I pack away the ornaments for the girls to a special box designated ‘Girls Ornaments’. That way, when my daughters finally fledge the nest, they will have a Tree of Memories all their own.

This is just one of our family traditions. What traditions do you have? Ones that you will pass on to your kids? Try to find ones that last beyond the moment, ones that are part of an annual event. Ones that will hopefully cause your own children, and grandchildren, to pause and think about family and the memories you have created along the road of life.


Front Door Poinsettia in a Basket

Front Door Poinsettia in a Basket

I’m just not one to spend money on what I would choose to call ‘frivolous’ expenditures. In the summertime, I have a garden full of perennials to keep my home full of flower arrangements, but winter time is a chance for me to be a little more creative in my penny pinching.

Our local craft supply store is always putting things on clearance, and these poinsettias were just the thing for my front door. I have lots of various pines and evergreens on my property, so with a little decorators foam, my rod iron hanging basket and pruning sheers, I came up with this. My outside wreaths and swags are contemporary in nature, silver balls, white and silver ribbon, mini-ornament balls. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out, and for the cost of a fancy cup of coffee, I have a beautiful (and freeze-safe) front door welcoming arrangement.