Holiday Decorations

A trip down memory lane.

By Sandy Swanson

Well, it’s started.

I just purchased my first holiday home décor item for 2012 during a road trip to Hayward, WI. My best friend is a fantabulous interior designer, and one of her clients hired her to completely furnish and decorate their new log home! Being the loyal friend that I am, I have recently clocked more time in boutiques and furniture stores than ever before. So who could blame me for buying a hand-embroidered satin tablecloth with holly berries for my great room coffee table? Nobody, right?

Anyway, I started thinking about all of my holiday decorations…from tree to table to mantel to foyer. I realized that so many of the pieces I cherish most were purchased during a vacation or during some significant out-of-town experience, or life event. Each year when I pull out my ‘stuff,’ it’s like a trip down memory lane. I even get a little misty sometimes. So many of the pieces have special, loving memories attached to the places or to the people who were there at the time: adirondack chair from the Finger Lakes, baseball ornament from Cooperstown, Maid of the Mist from Niagara Falls, birch bark canoe from Ely, Shamu from Sea World, baby’s 1st Christmas, first year of marriage. Even the silly little hand-painted Santa, snowman and Rudolph ornaments I made while on maternity leave because we were so broke back then. 

Even more precious are some of the old, old decorations that belonged to my grandmothers. I recall gazing at them shining in the reflected light when I was just a wee lassie. These days? Best of all is when my two grown sons come home for the holidays. I watch them out of the corner of my eye, standing by the tree, just gazing. I can tell that they, too, are going down their own memory lanes. I know I’ll be able to look back at the holly tablecloth and remember the road trip with my best friend. 

So, maybe you’re looking for ways to create your own holiday memories? Check out my Homes department piece (Deck the Halls) that’s chock full of fabulous holiday decorating tips from local interior designer and shop owner, Christina Lynn Miller. Here are a few of her ideas for holiday decorating themes. Enjoy!

Holiday Decorating Themes from Christina Lynn Miller 
12 Days of Christmas 
Vintage/Handcrafted Christmas Antiques
Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow 
North Woods: pine cones, woodland animals, hunter green and deep red 
O Holy Night: nativity scenes
Nutcracker/Sugar Plum Fairy 
Santa–then and now
Glitz & Glamour: shiny glitter, beads, bells, balls, bows