Thanksgiving weekend and the holiday season were breathing down my neck. How did this happen? How come the first Christmas event on my schedule happened to be on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend? I realize Thanksgiving and Christmas have been running together more and more but we hadn’t even gotten all of the turkey leftovers eaten before the first Christmas program was underway.
The program I’m talking about is the annual Children’s Christmas Program at my church, it was scheduled for Dec. 1. DECEMBER 1! That is crazy! No, I didn’t have any kids in the program, nor was I directing it in any way, shape or form (thank goodness, that would have been a disaster). My part was quite small but ended up being the beginning of a very long and busy day.
For the past several years, my friends Angie, Tami and I have been in charge of the centerpiece for the cookie table at the reception following the Children’s Christmas Program. If you’ve ever lived in a small town you know how important these punch and cookie receptions are. I mean, social event of the season! Actually, now that I think about it, there are quite a few “social events of the season” since every single holiday event is followed by a punch and cookie reception.
The three of us have been pooling together our various Christmas decorations to come up with a different centerpiece every year. We try to come up with a color scheme or theme that hopefully goes with the program. The bad news, we are starting to run out of ideas. This year we kind of talked about an outdoor, woodsy, snow day kind of theme. In my mind I’m picturing a Martha Stewart magazine spread with divided soda crates filled with mugs of hot chocolate served out of antique thermos’ to guests who are roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire while others are either skating on the frozen pond or sledding down the hill. Well, we had a couple of sleds, some old skates and thermos’, so we went with that.
I had gotten up fairly early (for me at least) on Saturday morning and started loading my car with assorted junk that would eventually be turned into said centerpiece. By the time I got to the church Ang and Tami were already busily covering the tables with paper, what can I say, I’m always the last to arrive.
We got things thrown together pretty quickly while constantly saying, “This is the last year we do this.” We say that every year so I guess we’ll see.
Martha Stewart we are not but not bad for cobbling together yet another idea.
My next project would be taking place in the sanctuary so I was forced to settle in with Ang and Tami. They were waiting for their kids who were in the middle of rehearsal. Needless to say, I picked up on those songs pretty quickly which means they were stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Auuuggh!
I had been asked to design some banners to hang in the sanctuary for the Advent season. Of course the first meeting concerning the Advent season took place back in September but my project ended up coming together in one week, and of course that would be the week of Thanksgiving.
This meant bothering Pastor Andrea with emails for final approval while she was on vacation and tracking down my banner guy and forcing him to undertake a big job… THE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING! Thank goodness he agreed because the job turned out great and got tons of compliments.
I ended up designing two 14 foot long banners to hang in the front of the sanctuary and four 4 foot banners to hang above the pews. Of course each banner had slightly different wording to correspond with that week of Advent, got to make it as difficult as possible for my printer Matt.
I had to call on my Design Assistant to come help me out with the hanging. He made the dowels we needed for the top and bottom of each banner. We learned one thing, next time we make a 14 foot banner it needs to have two dowels in the middle section instead of just one in the center. The edges of the banner from the middle on up tended to curl in a bit.
My Design Assistant mentioned they were heading to the next town over for lunch. Turns out lunch was at the auction of a local family. Well, I heard the word “auction” and I was in. Oh my gosh, so much stuff.
I decided I should really start collecting oil cans… I mean who knew?
And I should really buy some of these seed bags and turn them into pillows… of course that would mean I would have to learn how to use my sewing machine.
And holy crap, I can think of a million things I could store inside these chippy, old metal containers.
And if I were in need of a coffee table, I could possibly convince my Design Assistant to turn this into one.
And then I could make him throw some casters on this little number and turn it into a side table or yet another storage piece in my studio.
And this would have looked totally cool with some live greenery, a rope and some red berries as a sort of holiday wreath on my front door.
And speaking of pulleys…
my brother-in-law Steve would have been in heaven. Every time we go junking he is looking for old pulleys.
But alas, I purchased nothing! How sad is that? It was already closing in on 2 p.m. and they were just starting to auction off and amazing metal sign collection. I had other plans for the afternoon and couldn’t afford to wait around for them to get to the stuff I had picked out.
Instead I went home and spent an hour raking the leaves in my front yard… in short sleeves no less. Did I mention what a beautiful fall day it was? Of course exactly a week later everything was covered in three inches of snow.
Soon it was time to move on to the final event of the day. The Annual Holiday Tour of Homes. Every year the Heritage Committee in my town convinces three or four households to open up their homes to the public over the Thanksgiving weekend. My parents, sister and I have all hosted home tours in the past and this year I was really looking forward to seeing the home of my friend Tammy.
Tammy is a fellow junker. She has an entire crew of ladies that hit the Annual Junk Jaunt every fall with a trailer in tow to haul home all of their treasures… oh my chippy, beating heart. I had heard tales of the gorgeous kitchen remodel her husband and her had recently completed in the farmhouse on his family’s homeplace. It was not a disappointment…
I mean really…
and by the way, Tammy gave me complete permission to post these pictures of her beautiful house, in case any of you were wondering.
You can’t see it so well in this picture, but this cupboard was filled with plates, cups and other items in every color of the rainbow.
And when you headed down to the basement, which I remember they had to lift up the house for several months in order to build it, she had this awesome windmill tail on the wall along with some holiday greenery.
The basement was filled with brightly colored junk on display…
Love the owl sooo much!
She had a cool little coffee and hot chocolate bar set up. And I’m mad I didn’t get pictures of the doors down in the basement. They were white and styled like old barn doors that slide open on a metal track, you know, the kind you’ve pinned on Pinterest a hundred times?
Tammy just has a style of decorating that I really love.
Fun and colorful, yet also so grown up and stylish.
And her front porch…
I will definitely be on the lookout for old soda coolers in the future… imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?
And finally, she had this awesome branch suspended from the porch ceiling with a little snowy owl perched atop it. Brightly colored snowflakes hung all around. Totally awesome. I would have taken a few hundred more photos but my stinkin phone died on me. Bummer.
The tour was a wonderful way to end a busy day.
And for the final event of the weekend… the Children’s Program took place on Sunday night. I was of course running late, partly because I stopped to take this shot…
couldn’t resist, the lighting was just too cool. I scurried in and found a seat towards the back just in time for the kids to take the stage.
I mean, how sweet are little kid Christmas programs? They all did an awesome job and since I knew most of the songs I practically started humming along. After eating our fill of holiday treats at the social, Ang, Tami and I had to take on dismantling our centerpiece only to store it in a Sunday School room so we could do it all over again the next weekend for the Preschool program. The good news… I inherited the cedar branches which I used in my own Christmas decorating at home. Thanks Bergen!