My name is Cynthia and I love interior design, architecture, antiques, all things vintage, all things British (a tried and true Anglophile), a love of things that are time worn and hold secrets of days gone by. I love animals and try to respect their place in our world. I enjoying talking about the most beautiful places in the world, some exotic, some in our own neck of the woods. I love family and friends, music and movies. And most importantly, I love talking about these things with a daily dose of humor because I love to laugh and we all deserve to. So come on...let's go for a stroll.

AND PLEASE CLICK ON THE ENTRY AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT - I can't talk to you if I don't know you were here, dearest dahling...

I'M A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR !!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas at Our House and Remembrances of Mother



For years, I have reveled in decorating for the holidays.  After having a wonderful dinner with family on Thanksgiving, I start hauling the storage boxes up the stairs from the basement.  It is usually a 4-5 day process to get the house decorated -- I used to put up 8 trees (craziness, I know).  But age and health issues have caught up with the hubby and I, and I have downsized some.  In addition, with my mother's passing last year, the enthusiasm for Christmas decorating has definitely been in decline.  This year, however, I once again have experienced the spirit of Christmas. It has been a therapeutic process, which has helped me to realize that my mother, Anne, would have wanted me to carry on the tradition.  She absolutely loved the holidays.  For years, the my family celebrated with her on Christmas Eve, and then celebrated with my husband's family on Christmas Day.  My mother used to wear one of those funny, bouncy Santa hats...you know, the one with the built in spring on the top with the white fluffy ball on the end.  We were "forced" to play Christmas games such as "Unscramble the Christmas Words" and "How Many Santas Are In This House?"  The winner was always awarded with a "fabulous prize" such as an ink pen that did double duty as a flashlight, or socks that could easily be found at the checkout counter at most department stores.  I remember getting one of those purse hangers which allows you to hang your purse from a table so that you don't have to place it on the floor.  My grandmother was also the recipient of one and  insisted on using the awful contraption at restaurants.  It took her as long to get the purse on the hanger as it would to order, eat the meal, pay the check and drive home.  My mother made Christmas so special.  It was the best night of the year.  To say that I miss the holidays at her house is a huge understatement.  The only thing I miss more is her.

So, I decided to decorate with her in mind.  In December 2009, I did well to even have a tree, having suffered through her death only 4 months earlier.  This year, my heart felt back in the season.  After all, it's about so much more than decorations.  It's about family, friends, peace of the heart and mind, and in my case, carrying on the memory of my mother in a way that would make her smile.

I took a few pictures of my living room and dining room Christmas decor.  I didn't take any photos of my vintage decorations in my kitchen (they are actually my favorite), nor was I able to get photos of the white feather tree that is in Sarah's bedroom.  It features all her favorite colors: turquoise, black and white.  There just weren't enough hours in the day to take photos of everything.  Please bear with me on the photo quality - I have a new camera and I'm still learning all the features.

 I hope you enjoy them and if you know my mother, please remember her during this holiday season.   
It's not hard to do -- she was unforgettable.

That's my husband Tony sitting on Santa's knee - 1959 - not happy at all at the time - love this photograph

Our mantle






Her name is Edith - after the most wonderful French singer, Edith Piaf, one of my favorite artists


Our white tree - I always set it on top of a vintage suitcase to give it height - I also use fabric as a tree skirt instead of a traditional one - I still don't have presents under the tree - tomorrow!










Got this little blue tree for practically nothing at the end of the season last year

The "Wizard of Oz" Tree



This tree is a lot of fun to decorate


When I was a little girl, the flying monkeys scared me most of all



I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore



He's a horse of a different color


That wicked Mrs. Gulch


Sarah's Tree -- this tree contains all those sweet ornaments she made as a child, along with many sentimental ornaments that she has been given over the years, many of them from my mother


We Love Lucy



Two things we can't do without - Macy's and Starbucks


A vignette on our foyer table - that's a picture of my grandmother tucked into the velvet poinsettia -- my cousin Amber tucked in the background, along with some religious themed vintage postcards

My dear friend, Susan Casey, who passed away over 25 years ago, is pictured just behind the mercury glass bird in the foreground - she was so beautiful, inside and out





The canvas print of the girl shown here is one of my favorite things in my home - I just love her


Our sofa table -- that's a photograph of Sarah with the nonhuman members of our family - Lucky (1999-2010), Archie and Sam - not pictured - the notorious Charlie - he's turned out to be a sweet boy after a rocky start


Merry Christmas everyone! God Bless You and I hope you have peace in your life and that your holiday is everything you hoped it would be!  Be safe and be happy!

6 comments:

Denise said...

Your decorations are beautiful! I know your mom would be pleased that you are getting back your enthusiasm for holiday decorating. I'll bet you could feel her presence every step of the way. Merry Christmas to my wonderful new friend!!!

Debby said...

Beautiful decorations and what a wonderful tribute to your Mom! Hope your Christmas was wonderful. xo

Cynthia Banks said...

thank you my fellow bloggers Denise and Debby - I appreciate your words!

Mar said...

Loved this post. My mother is failing and I must treasure these moments. Thank you for reminding me to forget the everyday a focus on the big picture. And don't tell me you love Jane Austin too!

Barbie said...

A feast for the eyes!!!

College Essays said...

I’m a blog crazed person and i love to read cool blog like yours...Your decorations are really amazing...

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