Our cottage is feeling festive, even though the decorations are slightly streamlined from previous years. I spent a good part of a whole day setting up trees and little holiday vignettes like these reindeer figurines on moss. The day included a lot of breaks, plus a trip to buy a few strands of lights, so it was a lite work day, but I'm happy with how much I got set up.
It was exciting to have a new room to deck! I bought a flocked, white tree (half price at Hobby Lobby) that is the perfect height for the nook by the fireplace. Sugarwings did the math to see how tall it would be while sitting on a table (to keep it above the danger zone from Honey's exuberant, but destructive, wagging tail.)
It is not only the ideal size, it is a happy compromise on color scheme for the kids and I.
They want colorful lights, I like white.
It has been a dilemma for years.
This tree has a button to push that changes the lights from rainbow to plain white! So the grandfairies can enjoy all of the colors during cocoa parties in front of the tree, and I can have my serene whites when I want them.
I have to admit, the multi toned twinklies are a nice option to have. I love the white lights, but this look is fun.
Of course, I always wonder just how long those built in lights will last. On my old tree, I had to add extra strings as the permanent lights proved to be not so permanent after all.
I hadn't planned on keeping my old white tree this year, since I had a spanking new one to set up. But I realized that I had plenty of space (we LOVE the new addition!!!!) and I decided to toss the bottom section of the old tree, and keep the top part to create a table top tree for the living room.
The small table between the rooms is our cocoa party area. It is perfectly located with a view of both white trees, as well as the TV, so we can watch Frosty or the Grinch as we sip our cocoa and stir it with a candy cane.
We made our own cocoa mix with baking cocoa, organic sugar, chocolate chips, and vanilla beans in the blender. It's so creamy and rich when we stir it into warmed milk poured from a floral teapot, that we hardly need marshmallows. But we throw a couple in anyway because it's all part of the ceremony.
Around here, tea parties and cocoa parties aren't just about the treats. We love the traditions of getting out the good teacups, setting the table pretty, using the silver spoons from my mom and Great Aunt Caroline, then passing the dishes of toppings around the table while practicing our best manners.
Well, Dewdrop still is in it just for the treats, but she is only in kindergarten, she'll learn soon enough that it is the holiday traditions that make the season special. Sugarwings and I are teaching her.
I'll leave you with a few more pictures around the house.