Decorating For Christmas in a Small Space : aka those poor pitiful little trees

I have been decorating for Christmas in a small space…

Bell Wreath on Door

There is no entry when you come in from the front porch. You are immediately in the long narrow living room of this 1917 bungalow.

Lily in Living Room

It is not easy to photograph since it is not very big. I have it broken up into two sections…this is the seating area.  When I read to the grandkids, it is generally on that chaise lounge, and the snowmen decorations in the corner there are child friendly, should they want to play with them. ( The antique sewing machine weighs a ton and isn’t going anywhere, in any season :)

Living Room Seating Area Collage

The white dog, Lily, is pretty calm. This dog, Jugsy, is not, and he is very sorry that he missed the chance to jump on you when you came in. He is sitting by the door waiting for a victim.

Jugsy by the door

He knocked down two elves last year which is why ….

OMG Santa stocking

It would be quite difficult to fit a large tree into this space so I opted for small trees here and there. And every year I lament that I do not have a large square living room that a large tree would work in, because I always had big trees as a child and when my sons were growing up, and I do miss that. However, once all of the little trees are out and the decorations placed here and there, it is fine, and I get over it. ( well, almost….: ) And if you look at the collage below and think “Oh that Poor Woman with her poor little pitiful trees…I feel so bad for her ” it’s okay…because that’s how I feel every year, at least for a day or so,  lol! :)

Living room another collage Dreidel ornament   Snow Globe with Angel playing Joy to the World love to cook ornament

Before the grands I could put anything anywhere that I liked. Now the Nativity set, which used to have a prominent place,  has to be high up in the dining room, though there are plenty of unbreakable items to amuse them here and there. Those little lunchboxes were a big hit last year. Basically it is one box, with the other two nestled inside. At Christmas time they take the boxes upstairs, and pack little lunches with the play food in the toy room and then bring the picnic lunch down to share.

Breakable versus unbreakables collage

Some houses on top of the piano… I picked these and many of the decorations for the children’s train table up one year on clearance after Christmas.

houses on top of piano

Antique sleigh and figurine from childhood…

antique woman figure and sleigh

Upstairs…two of the ice skaters in the lower right picture are also from my childhood…everything else was purchased a few years back. There was a third skater; one year it miraculously broke its leg though no child here was responsible! And I have yet to get some super glue and fix it !

Train Table Collage

When my boys were little, I got the entire set of vintage figurines from my mom, and spent a week or two meticulously repainting all of them, and purchased a Lionel train that was similar to what I’d had as a child. Once they were older and I’d split up from their dad and moved here I’d returned these to her but kept a few skaters and the sleigh back. Because I’d enjoyed all of that so much as a child, while I could not have a large tree and platform here I did want something similar, albeit far less, for the grands to remember, and that is why when Brent was 1 or 2 years old, I went all out and got the train table and Polar Express set, and then after Christmas that year and the next, started picking up houses and figurines on clearance….

Because it is those sort of decorations that children remember, that they look back on, and that are part of the magic of Christmas to them. I know this from my own childhood memories. If my mother created an elegant vignette that changed from year to year I’d have no recollection of it. I only recall what was there year after year…the little elves, the display under the tree, the choir of angels, the nativity set, and so on.  My grandmother created large and elegant vignettes…she called them “settings” and while I remember that, I don’t remember any particular ones since they constantly changed. My strongest memories are of what remained the same, each Christmas.

One of the charming little touches in this old house is the room dividers between living room and dining room and those are nice for displays. I took a few pictures of what I have there now but for the moment, I am going to show a favorite picture from LAST year, Christmas Day.  My oldest put Spidey, a gift for my grandson, here, and then he and his nephew played Spidey. Brent would shoot out his arms ( and web ) directing his uncle where to land…on the walls, ceiling, etc.  This picture brings back all of those fun memories and probably no other picture in the world will ever showcase my room dividers better than the Spidey Shot! :)


You might also enjoy : Sunday Special : Kickoff to a Holly Jolly Vintage Christmas  

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Tuesday Treasures : the little titmice

While the sparrows are at the feeders all day long, the little titmice ( generally 2 or 3 ) only show up once every day or two. They were my grandmother’s favorite bird and I enjoy their visits.

Titmouse shadow creates stripe Titmouse with Seed Back View of Tufted Titmice Titmouse on Branch with Suet on Beak Titmouse Closeup on Seed Bell


They raise quite the racket for such a little bird. But they are oh so adorable! :)

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