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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Decorating Our Home for the Holidays

I don’t think I’ve been remiss in writing about how much I love the holidays. One of the things I love is decorating our home for Xmas. This is largely attributed to my growing up in a home that was always considered a Xmas wonderland. Every year, around September, for as long as I can remember, I would wake up and go to school not suspecting anything. After class, I would come home and the house would magically be transformed. There would be beautiful Xmas decors everywhere (and I mean EVERYWHERE!). But the best and most glorious decor of all would be a beautiful Christmas tree in the center of our living room. My mom and our helpers would spend the better part of the day taking things from storage and beautifying our home. I’ve always been so proud of our home, most especially during the holiday season. Every year, I would invite different groups of friends to come for dinner (evenings were even more special because of all the lights) and every year everyone would compliment my mom on a job well done.

Since moving to the States and having my own home, I’ve done my best in trying to recreate that special holiday magic. It’s a tough act to follow since I don’t have the time, budget and creativity. But I’d like to think I’ve inherited some of my mom’s talent since I’ve managed to make my apartment in Berkeley, the two in LA, and now our home in Torrance, a little bit more special for the season.

This year also marks our 2nd Xmas as a married couple and my hubby and I have found another tradition that we hope to keep for many more years. Decorating our home for the holidays together. We chose today a really nice and lazy Sunday afternoon to do the job. The weather was cool and the house was surprisingly quiet. For once, Jojo and I had the whole place all to ourselves. It’s always nice having out-of town guests and family and friends over. But there are days when it’s nice to just rewind and relax alone.

To set the mood, I made a home-cooked dinner that would be our reward after we got the job done. I turned on some Xmas music and we got to work. Jojo took down the boxes from the garage and while he opened up the boxes and took our wrapped decors out, I started putting things around the house. In the short time we’ve lived here, I was surprised and touched at how many happy memories our Xmas decors brought. My favorites include a framed and cross-stitched “Seasons Greeting” banner that my Auntie Lillian gave us and a pair of stuffed snowmen figurines climbing a lighted Xmas tree that she and Uncle Junior sent from Modesto. There’s the beautiful ceramic snowman-shaped serving platter that Auntie Carrie’s family sent last year and the tiny snowmen and Santa Clause ornaments that my mom and dad bought us from Sausalito. There’s the poinsettia-wreath that my hubby and I bought for my first apartment in LA and the Snowman and Santa Clause Candy Jar that last year was filled with chocolate wrapped in Xmas foil that my nieces and nephews loved. There’s the Xmas-ornament shaped candleholders my mom and I bought at Kohls. She brought hers home to Manila last year while mine are displayed in my living room (I love how I have the exact same ones since it makes me feel we’re somewhat cosmically connected!). There’s the Xmas dishes my Uncle Raniel gave us last year that I’ve set up in our dining room and the nativity set with the Holy Family that Jojo and I bought three Xmases ago. There’s the cuddly stuffed teddy bears with santa hats and colorful Xmas pillows strewn around our living room and family room.

But my favorite has got to be the Xmas stocking my mom brought from Manila. There are 6 in all (one for Jojo, one for myself, and one each of my brothers and sisters), decorated with different designs and our names stitched across the top. Back home in Manila, my mom would hang our stockings in the banister and I remember how we would wake up early on Xmas mornings to dig into the stockings to find goodies “Santa” left us. This time, with no banister of our own (we live in a one-story home), Jojo and I hung the stockings in the hallway. Hopefully they’ll still be filled with Xmas goodies this Xmas morning!


jml said...

No doubt the years will sharpen your skills in decorating your home for Christmas and any other occasion. Do not fret over your inadequate artistic skills. Just give yourself time and enjoy what ever you do. Your home is a reflection of you and should not be patterned after others. Have a wonderful Christmas and do post some pictures of your home.

jol said...

Am so glad that you are continuing with the tradition of decorating your home. Very soon, you too will be hanging your own christmas stockings and filling these with goodies. Love to see how Jojo and you will be playing Santa!

Monse said...

Upload naman some pics!

By the way, I found this and scanned it, thought you might enjoy it.

Can you believe it's been more than 10 years....

Joanne said...

Hi Monse,

I will try to post pictures this weekend. Hopefully they come out ok and you can see the decors I described :)

By the way, the link you sent me does not work. I was so excited pa naman :)

marc said...

Hi Dets!!! I bet that your christmas decors would look phenomenal! Just like the way it was in 40 Xavier.. =) It's fun putting up the christmas tree inside the living room and the lights outside.

I agree with everyone that I would love to see some pictures of what you and Jojo put up.

Hope you're doing great!

Joanne said...

Thanks Marc. Pictures are coming up! :)