Get your balls on!

Image courtesy Better Homes and Gardens

(I love the topiaries... but the vases notsomuch!)

As I rummage through my basement looking for things to decorate my house with I find more Christmas (crap) than I know what to do with. Really, I could open up my own version of The Christmas Tree Shoppe. Ornaments galore. Some gorgeous. Others not. Some handmade. Others not. Some handed down through generations. Others not. Some worth keeping. Others not. And yet I go out and buy new ones. I don't understand myself sometimes. And why does a household of 5 people need 20 stockings? Seriously! When my husband and I were married we got our stockings. Then Rebecca came along. Then Christopher came along. And finally Alexander arrived and we knew when to stop! It took a couple of years to find some stockings that went well together without spending hundreds of dollars. (Never mind that hundreds had already been wasted on such.) And then my mother decided to give me all her Christmas items. They decorate, but minimally these days. So I have my childhood stocking. And some knitted stocking. And, my mother's dog's stocking! Oy! (This Jewish girl grew up with a tree and stockings and carols.)

In my home, as a child, and now, the holidays are not so much about the religion but the festivity of the season. The peace and goodwill toward men. Help others. Be generous, caring and kind and mindful of and helpful toward those less fortunate than you: There will always be some who have more than you and some who have less.

And having had the privilege of growing up in Manhattan where no place in the world (except perhaps Disney) is more magical! With Central Park in my front yard and Madison Avenue in my back yard, during the month of December, I truly lived in a Winter Wonderland. And the city, as rushed and frenzied as she is, seems to stop every now and then to take a look around at her glorious and magnificent sights.

There is nothing so magical to a young child (and even to me still) as the tree that stands proudly and majestically in Rockefeller Center. There is nothing as wondrous as the windows in the department stores all dressed up. My favorite to this day remains the Cartier building. Who can not be enamored with a building in New York City wrapped in an enormous red ribbon? And the carolers and the ladies and gentlemen of the Salvation Army ringing their bells. And the Santa Clauses standing merrily in Midtown! But most spectacular of all is the first snowfall in the city. Never will I tire of snow in the city. The magnificent city draped in a thick, white blanket of snow makes even the most cynical person gasp with delight and awe. And if you can, be sure to stop by Wollman's Rink in Central Park, put on a pair of skates and look up at the spectaculat sights of the skyscrapers looking down at you with fondness!

I really can't stand tchotchkes. Or nick knacks. Nor clutter. But I love to decorate for the holidays. I simply adore it! And I am always looking for new ideas. Whether for our dining table or for the downstairs. I have always had trouble making my mantels seem spectacular. So I was looking around for some ideas. And the following images struck me as pretty or clever, and non tchotchke!

Rachael Ray turns some wine glasses upside-down
and created some lovely votives for a dining room table.

I love anything citrus. I love creating ornaments and crafts with items in our backyards. I adore this wreath and think it would look marvelous in my newly green kitchen!
Image Courtesy Real Simple Magazine

Get your balls on... the table!
Isn't this a clever little bouquet?
Image courtesy Rachael Ray

Another clever Rachael Ray idea... ornaments as place cards. Brilliant!

Rachael fills empty glass ornaments with cinnamon and nutmeg!

This fun idea replaces the Guest Book.
Place small white cards in to the wreath, with a fun colored pen and voila!
Idea and image courtesy Real Simple

Beautiful Mantle... image courtesy Real Simple

The inspiration behind my own jar filled with peppermint drops and clementines
originated from Real Simple Magazine

Another simple, fun and inexpensive idea for your holiday table, courtesy Rachael Ray

Better than those silly glass tags. How simple, festive, fun and pretty!
I will be sure to do this at my next party!
Idea and image courtesy Real Simple

I simply adore the use of the cookie cutter as an ornament.
Simple and festive.
Image courtesy Real Simple.

And ornaments as Chandelier is positively brilliant!
Image courtesy Real Simple

And, for all those curious people Clue #3 for my Christmas giveaway... or is this clue #4?! LOL


ONE of you has guessed it! Some of you are close... and I will reveal what I am giving away... one day... but this is too much fun!