A bungalow Christmas

There’s a rumor afoot that I could lose my blogging license if I don’t write about my Christmas decorations. So, not to be outdone by my blog friends, welcome to a bungalow Christmas!

We always cut our own tree at a tree farm—this is the Evergreen State, after all. This year we found a perfect, alpine-y Noble that’s nice and narrow. I don’t even have to move my chair to see the TV.

Noble fir Christmas tree

Miraculously, the cats leave the ornaments alone, but they love the big drinking bowl full of Christmas tree tea. Checkers enjoys lying beneath the boughs, but I think he’s really just making sure none of the other cats drink from what he considers his private oasis.

cat under Christmas tree

Chex also enjoys a blazing yule log.

Black and white cat looking at fire

So does geeky Rose, Eric’s office assistant.

Tabby cat watching computerized fire

But back to the tree: I started collecting glass ornaments decades ago because I wanted my tree to look like my Grandma’s tree when I was a little kid in Milwaukee. By now I have more than will fit on one tree. About half are vintage ornaments, like this one from my mom’s childhood. It’s incredibly fragile, but still “hanging in there.”

vintage ornament

After Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, ornaments made with volcanic ash became popular. I have three. My favorite is this blue one, which I’d given to my mom. Now it’s come back to me.

Blue Mt. St. Helens glass ornament

Eric added some unusual ones to the collection. How about an apple core and a fish? The black one in the background is another of Mt. St. Helens glass.

apple core and fish ornaments

Little Bo Peep, Jack Be Nimble, and Toyland are from Eric’s parents. The crocheted snowflakes were on my mom’s tree.

nursery rhyme ornaments

What Christmas tree is complete without birds? The old parakeet’s tail has been replaced several times.

glass birds

I love these five spinning tops from Eric’s parents.

ornaments shaped like tops

Magenta, blue, and pale green ornaments hung on my parents tree before I was born. What great 50’s colors! I think I also remember them on an aluminum tree when I was real little. (Now you know the truth about how old I am!)

1950s ornaments

I fill a crystal bowl with some real oldies. I like the way they are gradually losing their colors and becoming transparent … don’t we all, eventually?

vintage ornaments in bowl

I’m cheating and using a picture of our living room from last year … the last time it was this clean. I have some decorations up, but this year, but with the remodel mess, I just haven’t been able to pull it together. Those snowflakes hanging from the beam? Back in the 80’s, I cut them out of drafting vellum when I was bored at work. I sprayed them with adhesive and gave them a light dusting of fine, iridescent glitter. Sometimes I leave them up until spring (because I am too lazy to take them down).

our living room, 2013

I hope you’re all enjoying a relaxing holiday season, doing the things you love best, and celebrating with your own special traditions. It’s become our tradition to pick one of our photos and print our own Christmas cards. This year, Duke is our star.

christmas card with boxer and tree

May all your Christmas dreams come true!




15 thoughts on “A bungalow Christmas

  1. Karen B.

    Your tree is beautiful. Before we went to the dark side (fake tree) Noble Fir was our favorite. Your tree this year is the ideal for our small house…skinny trees leave more walking room.
    I love the old glass ornaments and still treasure a few from my childhood days. I’m probably older than you, because I clearly remember the one year we had an aluminum tree…what a quirky idea someone had to manufacture those!
    The picture of Duke is wonderful, he’s patient and poses well.
    The picture of your entire family room from last year is wonderful, what a pretty room.
    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. I’m sure you just dodged a ticket from the blog police…great post.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Thanks, Karen! I have been tempted to go to the “dark side” because stringing the lights is getting harder every year. This year, using LEDs, I’m able to use shorter strands, which made it easier to handle. I wish you and Mr. B a happy holiday season!!

  2. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Beautiful, D’Arcy! I love how you remember where all of the ornaments came from. That makes them even more special.I love the snowflakes. You should do a tutorial on how to make them. I want some. I usually make paper ones, but it makes me sad that they do not last from year to year.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Hi Jessica–The snowflakes hanging from the beam ARE paper. (I don’t know how to crochet.) Drafting vellum is very thin but quite strong. I cut MANY of them while sitting at my drafting table oh-so-many years ago. I got in the “zone” then, and haven’t been able to recreate them in such detail since! After 30 years, they are getting a little tattered.

  3. Stacey

    YAY… you get to keep your blogging license! And you certainly made me happy in the process.
    Beautiful decorations, D’Arcy. Noble Firs are MY MOST FAVORITE of all trees. To me they just scream Christmas. I love yours. So tall and proud… decorated with such beautiful ornaments that each mean something special. Such a treat!

    The pictures of your babies are so great. Chex is mesmerized by the flames. SO CUTE!
    The Christmas card is awesome. Love the cool effect on the photo. Merry Christmas to you, Eric, and all your “kids”.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Thanks, Stacey! It’s the chance to see all my ornament friends that makes me put up a tree every year! Merry Christmas to you and Richie, too.

  4. Tom & Judy Huppert

    D’Arcy & Eric, Your decorations are special and I love vintage “stuff”. A friend crocheted a bunch of the snow flakes for me and I just love to hang them around. I was admiring the fireplace and noticed two things. First, your hearth tile is the same as my front hall tile. I think the stuff is rooted to hell and I have given up trying to get it up to replace it. Second, check the back of your fireplace to make sure it is sealed. One Christmas as a child, we had been using the fireplace a lot and the bricks behind the fire were not sealed well (old house). Make a long story short, the flames had been licking at the wooden walls behind the bricks in the fireplace over the years, lowering the ignition point. It caught fire in the walls and the floors between upstairs and downstairs. The fire dept. couldn’t find the fire for the longest. Took a while to put the flames out and everything was smoke damaged. Just make sure your bricks are sealed if the chimney is not outside. Have a Merry and Wonderful Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Years. Tom & Judy

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Yikes! That’s scary! Our fireplace is on an exterior wall with no wood behind it, but the bricks inside are 100 years old and very worn. Definitely NOT sealed anymore! I would feel better with a fireplace insert … but that’s not high on the list of priorities yet. Thanks for the warning … and Merry Christmas to you and Tom!


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