Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas at the Nursing Home...

Several years ago, my friends and I decided to stop buying Christmas for each other and instead adopt a needy family for Christmas.  We all have everything we need and it really became a chore to try and find stuff that any of us needed or wanted.  In our new tradition, we had so much fun buying for each of the family members and dropping all the goodies off at their home right before Christmas.  During this time, we had to put my Grandfather in a Nursing Home.  I was horrified to hear from them that close of 50% of their residents did not even get a visit from a family member on Christmas (let alone a gift).  We, as a group decided to turn our efforts and money toward these wonderful and neglected seniors.  For the last 5 years, we have loaded up my parents RV and headed to Oklahoma to spread Christmas Cheer at this Nursing Home.  My Grandfather is gone now, but we still feel drawn to this cause and to make these folks feel loved at least during the Christmas season.  We bring them each a stocking filled with small Christmas trinkets.  They each get a Santa hat and bell necklace.  The ones that are able come to the dining room where we pass out song books and sing Christmas Carols.  We then stroll through the hallways singing softly and delivering gifts to those who are bedridden.  The sparkle and smiles on their faces is truly enough to make even the Grinch feel warm.  My new friend (pictured above) that I named Ms. Pink...sat at a table by herself.  When I joined her while singing Christmas Carols....She smiled and answered all of my questions with a very polite "Yes".  When I asked her if we sang bad, she smiled and said "Yes" once again!  I did not take offense as she answered everything "Yes".  When we started walking down the halls, she followed us and tried to act like she was busy and not following us....straightening pictures or wiping off the railings on the wall.  When one of our group asked her if she liked our singing, she smiled a sly grin this time and said "No"!  We all chuckled and although she claimed not to like the singing, she strolled down each hall with us.  She was a doll!  I did watch her later steeling stuff from the maid's cart and then rushing to her room!  We also visited a 92 year old lady who requested Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  About half way through the song, she came out of her room and started dancing in the hall.  It was so wonderful to see such life and fun in this 92 year old woman.  She told us it was the most beautiful Christmas song she had ever heard. 

I could go on and on about each one of these amazing and loving Seniors...but I will spare you all.  I know during the Christmas Season we are very focused on kids (as it should be)....but don't forget the neglected Seniors.  I promise it will make your heart grow three sizes!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Inspiration for the Den....

This print started it all!  I found this wonderful framed print a few months ago at The Montgomery Street Mall.  It was in my friend Lisa's booth, Digs.  I knew immediately that I was going to have it and it was going to hang over my fireplace at Christmas.  I just love this it...unfortunately this picture does not do it justice.

I originally thought I would do all silver and gold on the mantel, but just could not make it look snowy white took over.  It never turns out the way your originally envisioned!

The angels are from LaurieAnna's.

I wanted a flocked tree this year and set out to find one.  I went EVERYWHERE...and they are expensive on-line.  Finally, someone told me about The Decorators Warehouse in Arlington, Texas.  They had the most wonderful selection at about half the price I could find them on-line.

I found these Dickens Carolers at Lone Star Antique Mall.  My friend Gayla was not sure she wanted to sell them, but finally caved and they are at my house now!

Coffee table

Also available at LaurieAnna's

This is the table in the breakfast area right off the den.   Remember, we had to seat 50 here is seating for another 6.

Tin cake plates available at LaruieAnna's.  Are you noticing a theme????

Have you ever found that piece that you just know you have to have.  Without looking at the price tag, you just know it is going in your house and exactly where it will go.  Well, the Christmas print at the top of this post was just such an item for me.  Never, ever did I even think about resale...I knew I wanted this for my very own.  It became my inspiration for the entire den and I love it hanging over the fireplace.  It may just have to be out all the time...not just at Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Promised Pictures from the Annual Christmas Party!

Welcome to Denis' House.  This is then entry way as you walk in the front door.  The coat tree has been entrusted to me by my friend, belonged to her Great Grandmother and welcomes everyone to the house.
I love this old red sled....puts me in the mood for snow!

With 50 guests is seating for 8 in the dining room.  We only need to find seats for 42 more!
I love all the red...makes a great splash as this is the first room you see as you walk in the front door.

The place mats are paper and have the imprint of the dish and silverware on it.  Got these at LaurieAnna's

My wonderful white hutch that I bought off of EBay for resale....yep, it stayed in my house!

I HATE to do the Christmas trees, so Mom does them for me.  This tree is one corner of the dining room and she changes the theme every year.  This year it is vintage gloves, hankies, pearls, earrings, bow ties and ornaments.  The ornaments are ones we kept from when I was a child!

My red hutch...another item bought for resale that never made it to the mall!

These gold trimmed dishes were bought for resale also...I really suck at this business!

This is the Giving Tree.  All guests at the party (and anyone who comes to my house during the holidays) gets to take an ornament from this tree.  I collect ornaments all year long and love watching folks pick the one they like the best.

The Giving Tree is sitting in a vintage suitcase...yep, another item purchased for resale!

A view of the dining room.
Well, the Annual Christmas Party was a hit.  So many wonderful friends and GREAT food!  I love it when the house is full of laughter and the smell of Christmas.  I look forward to the annual party all year long.  Mom cooks a wonderful dinner for friend Teresa makes all the desserts and I...well, I just host!  The first room that everyone sees as they walk in is the dining room.  We have seating for 8 in this room.  This year it is a bright red so you can't miss it.  I will update later with more pictures of the party and the house.  Ho Ho Ho!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It is Time for the Annual Christmas Party...

The tree it trimmed....

The tables are set....

The mantel is decorated...

The girls are ready....

And Santa is here....
Just 3 hours away from the annual Christmas Party at my house.  50 of my closest friends will get to feast on a wonderful Paula Dean style meal prepared by my Mother....I am already drooling.  The house is FULL of Christmas it just needs some laughter and love!  Can't wait for everyone to get here.  I will post pictures next week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Porch Inspiration....
I was looking around the net for some front porch inspiration and boy, did I find some!  Aren't these front porches awesome?  I would love for any of these to be the entrance to my home.  I have a lot of work to do...and a lot of shopping.  Wish me luck!