Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas at Casa Kittling, AM

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I like to share my Christmas decorations with you. One post for the decorations in daylight, and one post for the decorations at night. So many of my decorations remind me of cherished friends and family. They could be handmade or purchased or gifts, but there are few of them that have little significance. This year a friend called my decorations "fancy," and I'm not sure that I agree with that. Fancy to me means someone with money and pretensions who can afford to hire a crew to buy everything and pimp their McMansions for the holidays. What about you? When you think of fancy holiday decorations, what do you think of?

Please join me for a tour of our holiday home. As always, just click on any of the photos to see them in larger sizes in a new window.

The entryway. I'm happy to say there are more Christmas cards on the wreath now!

From the entryway looking into the living room.

The sewing tree

Complete with pin cushion wristlets for a topper, this is my homage to sewing and needlework. Fabric in embroidery hoops, skeins of embroidery floss, empty spools, and my grandmother's buttons and one of her measuring tapes.

Themed trees are one of my favorite ways to decorate my holidays with memories of loved ones.

The butterfly tree

Denis thinks this one looks even better than it did last year. I just wish butterflies were as easy to photograph in the wild!

The bookmark tree

If I were honest with myself, I think I could decorate a six or seven foot tree with all the bookmarks I have.

The ones I choose differ from year to year. Some are gifts. Some are handmade. And some represent trips I've taken, like the one to the UK last spring.

The knitting tree

My mother loved to knit, and I still have the afghans and some other things that she made for me. My very talented friend in southern Illinois made the tiny sweaters for me, but I managed to come up with the topper and other decorations on my own!

Christmas goes with everything

Another thing that I love to do is to mix my Christmas decorations with the antique china and glassware I've collected over the years.

My To-Be-Read shelves gussied up for Christmas

The bigger trees in my Christmas forest

60 years of ornaments...

The largest tree in the house is not a themed tree. It contains sixty years' worth of ornaments and represents three generations of my family. The ornaments are a mixture of store-bought and handmade.

I have so many that I can tell little stories in small areas all over the tree!

The bird tree

I got my love of birds from my grandmother, so this is a very special tree for me-- and what better bird for a tree topper than a peacock?

The dining room

My craft room with the two Christmas needlepoint window valances I made.

Standing in the craft room looking into the dining room.

Christmas tea (and possible crime?) in the kitchen!

In the family room. I made the white tablecloth and napkins 30 years ago. *gulp*

The kitchen tree

This is the time of year when I wish I had someplace to put that exercise bike, but I don't think either one of us wants to pedal away out in the carport!

The kitchen tree also holds strong memories for me. The Mary Engelbreit teapot ornaments remind me of my nieces in the UK, and the other ornaments bring back happy memories of the two marvelous cooks in my family: my mother and my grandmother.

Another look at my Christmas forest

Believe it or not, this is a very abbreviated tour. For any of you who may be Facebook friends, I've posted a lot more photos-- beginning with the process of bringing all the boxes out of storage at the beginning of November.

In a week or so, I'll share what our house looks like at night, inside and out. Until then, I'd love to know (for those who celebrate Christmas) what your favorite decoration is? Please share!


  1. Ooh love it!!! I didn't think there could be anyone with more trees around the house than I - but you beat me by a mile! I absolutely love decorating for Christmas :-)

    Tanya Patrice

    1. We must be kindred spirits-- Books AND Christmas decorations! :-)

  2. I always look forward to seeing your Christmas decorations. It looks like Santa lives there! I agree with you - your decorations are not fancy - they are wonderful, though!

    We only have one tree but almost every ornament has some special significance. Carl is amazed that I can remember the story behind each and every one of them.

    1. I'm not amazed at all-- probably because I remember the stories behind mine! :-)

  3. Cathy - As always, this is fabulous! So very festive! I love the 'bookmark' tree and the butterfly one too. And the rest is gorgeously done. :-)

  4. I love your home! Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed so much!

    1. I'm so glad you did, Carol. I love it when people walk into my home during Christmas season, and the first thing they do is smile... and keep on smiling the whole time they're here. :-)

  5. Someone who loves Christmas and decorating as much as I do!! I'm having Photoshop issues and time constraints, but I would love to post some pics of my house, too. I have Mary Engelbreit teapot ornaments bought on a trip to St. Louis where she had a shop on riverfront. As you mention, every decoration has a story behind--and you know how we love stories! Your yarn collection is quite impressive and I love the wee sweater tree. Wow, there's so much I could write about your holiday home that I simply have to stop now or this comment would be longer than your post. Thanks so much for sharing, Cathy.

    1. I'll be on the lookout just in case you're able to post some of yours because it's always a thrill for me to find someone else who loves Christmas and decorating. Usually you only hear the Bah Humbug Choir.

  6. This is so amazing. There must be a magazine just waiting to display these magnificent trees and decorations. I like all of the themed trees.

    What I notice is the art involved in the ornaments, each it appears by an artisan of one craft or another, whether it is sewing, knitting, painting, sculpting, metalwork, and the rest. The care and work that went into making every little sweater, butterfly, teapot, the care that was taken with every piece is what I see.

    It impacts on me the way the metalwork and crafts"man"ship in England did. I think of people working away at their craft and see these ornaments as works of art. That's what it means to me.

    I don't really celebrate this holiday other than to buy gifts for friends and relatives and to enjoy some fine meals cooked by a good friend. But it's friendship that is so meaningful at this time and for which I'm grateful.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely home and hard work.

    1. That's really what Christmas is all about to me: love and joy, family and friendship. (What are friends but our chosen family?)

      I'm glad you enjoyed my tour, Kathy!

  7. Just like last year I so enjoyed your home tour. I am putting up less and less Christmas decorations. It seems such a chore here in the icy north to go to the garage and drag in all the totes, then put them back up on the shelves til time to put it all away. I know, I know...bah humbug!. I do like Christmas and my favorite Christmas decoration is the jewelry Christmas tree my mother made for me in 1986. I will try to get a picture of it and post it next Saturday for Saturday Snapshot. Until then enjoy your decorations and the cooler weather you are having in the Phoenix area.

  8. Fantastic! Your theme trees really touched my heart, Cathy. No, not fancy but wonderfully thoughtful memorials to loved ones. Perfect. Oh, and I have lust in my heart for your yarn stash! Awesome!!! Merry Christmas to you and Denis! - Jenn

    1. Yes, I've had more than a few covetous glances thrown at my yarn stash. My niece thinks my craft room looks better than most shops she's seen.

      You wouldn't believe the amount of yarn that I inherited from my mother the knitter. I kept what I knew I could use and donated the rest to a group of older ladies who made blankets, booties, etc. for preemie babies in our local hospitals. There was so much yarn in the car, I could barely see out to drive. You should've seen the lady's face when I kept pulling out bags and bags and bags! LOL (But just think of all the babies that yarn kept warm!)

  9. I give up. Not fancy -- bad word choice. Perhaps enveloping is a better word. ;)

    1. I like "enveloping" better, Marty. Like I've said before, my Christmas decorations are a bit like Tribbles! LOL


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!