Monday, December 08, 2014

St. Nicholas vs. St. Peter

In keeping with tradition our tree and Christmas decorations were put up the weekend after Thanksgiving and finished on St. Nicholas Day. Thanks to my mom who always put up lots and lots and lots and lots of Christmas decorations, I love to do the same. I can still remember helping her decorate all the shelves in the back room, tape up Christmas cards from years past all around the door posts of every door frame in the house, and set up the lighted houses all around the tops of the kitchen cabinets. She still loves Christmas decorations and her home is beautiful and cheery with them all around.

I don't have near the things she does, nor the house which aids itself to lots of tchotchkes, but we do enjoy putting out what we have. I suppose those who have been in my home might disagree with me and tell me I have more than I realize. But only those who've also been to my mom's will understand that mine are few in comparison. What my children and I have done is figure out what we like and have worked on using those things.

The nativity set always goes on the round lamp table with the Christmas linen from Austria underneath. The nutcrackers have found their home in the corner of the dining room bench. The front porch has its own tree and the flower boxes are filled with cut pine branches, ribbon and pinecones and big round ornaments. While the picnic table is adorned with more cut pine branches, pine cones and half gallon Mason or Ball jars filled with "snow" (i.e. Epsom salt) and a candle which I will burn come Christmas Eve.

There are other things too, but one of our new favorites is the dining room table centerpiece. A few years ago David finally figured out how to make an Advent wreath for us. It is dead center, always on some lovely linen. Last year we added a new tradition to our Christmas gift giving. When we set out our advent "wreath" this year, St. Peter was there right away and began filling our home with various incense smells. (Flavors? scents? Please add the appropriate word since apparently I do not know.)

And since it is tradition, albeit a new one, this past St. Nicholas day found a new smoker along with chocolate coins left on the table for the family.

Now St. Nicholas himself joins are table and we have lots of smiles while watching him and St. Peter puff out smoke during our daily prayers, or just while we sit around in the evening.

Hannah took lots of pictures of our new St. Nick and I'm certain will post them on her blog. However when she might do that I don't know. She claims she is busy with last week of classes of the semester and preparing for finals.

I suppose I should really get back into the habit of taking my own pictures and editing them and no longer rely on her. But she takes such good pictures and I can be quite lazy, so iPad pictures it often is.

But I do appreciate real things, hence the fresh pine branches on the porch and the smell of incense from smokers, not to mention the multitude of cookies and candies we begin baking this week. Maybe I should go pick up the camera.

Never mind my own dilemma, I hope you are all enjoying the traditions you have in your family. A blessed second week of Advent to you.

Time to enjoy our dueling smokers.

And get out my camera for a better picture.


Ewe said...

Did you get them both in Germany?

Glenda said...

No Ewe, we had not the foresight to do that. We bought St. Peter from a German Specialty Import store that is in a town north of us. St. Nicholas we ordered from Katie Wohlfahrt.

Glenda said...

Oh, I just remembered Ewe. The little brown guy standing beside St. Peter is from Germany. The kids bought that for their Dad's Christmas gift when we were in Rothenburg at the Katie Wohlfahrt store.