Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
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The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thrifty Vintage Christmas

We need a little Christmas, right this very minute - - -

You know, when I was a full time mom and homemaker decorating for Christmas was fun. I didn't mind if it took me the better part of a week.

Now, Christmas time also means the end of the semester and final exams at school. For several years I could barely face decorating for Christmas. Then, just for self-preservation, I learned a little secret.

Do you want to hear it??? Are you ready??? Here it is:

A little bit of "Christmas" well placed around the house makes everything celebrational and you can keep your sanity while you do it!!! This year I spent about an hour and a half on each of two consecutive nights and VOILA:

We have a little Christmas, right this very minute!!!! And I call that a pretty THRIFTY use of my time. Since I didn't buy anything new, it was pretty THRIFTY for my wallet too.

(Disclaimer: Fisherhubby set up the tree and put the lights on it. I only fluffed and decorated in my hour and a half treatment of it - - - that's IMPORTANT, if I'd had to set it up, I might STILL be in there struggling with that monstrosity!)

True, there are still lots of Christmas items left packed away upstairs. But, who besides me would KNOW that?

I'm inviting you to come right in my front door and look around. You will find dust. But I hope you also find a warm inviting place to kick off your shoes and get comfy.

At the door my Kings will greet you. I have been adding to this collection for a long time, so some of them are quite VINTAGE by now and others are VINTAGE challenged. One year I'm going to have enough Kings to put one on each step.

You can't see them in this picture, but on the very top step are two small kings which my two oldest children gave me for Christmas when they were in grade school. They got them at the Dollar Tree for $1 each!!! I loved them then and I still love them now. So cool - - - they are both VINTAGE and THRIFTY.

The banister is bedecked with a THRIFTY VINTAGE garland and bells. Can't remember when I got these, but I know I got them for next to nothing at Wal-Mart one Christmas season.

Come on down the hall and into the part of the house where we "live." Straight ahead is my kitchen, and the island where I blog - - - now you can picture me perched up on one of those stools working away with lappy reading your blogs and creating my own!

There are lots of VINTAGE THRIFTY things in these rooms. The kitchen table and chair set belonged to my grandparents. The dresser and the mirror over the fireplace are both antiques. All my Christmas decorations have "history." I don't think I added a single new item this year.

In the corner you can see Fisherhubby's 9 foot tree. There's a WHOLE story about that - - - but suffice it to say, it was NOT my idea to get such a TALL tree.

I have trouble getting the ribbons and ornaments on the TOP. Even standing on a ladder and LEANING in, I can barely maneuver to get things "just so."

This year, as I was trying to accomplish this, Fisherhubby was LYING on that couch watching me. Every time I would sigh or spout about how difficult it was he would say, "Well, why did you MAKE me buy such a big tree." Oh that man I married - - - he is a funny one! (Or at least he THINKS he is!)

More Kings guarding the loon at the fireplace. I like the Christmas village so much I keep it up all year long! Sometime during the Christmas season I do take it apart, wash all the pieces, and replace the light bulbs. Right now, the little people who live there haven't been paying their electric bill, so NO LIGHTS.

Four little glass houses that my children gave me for Christmas one year. (They are the ones with the red and blue roofs.) Again, these were Dollar Tree beauties at $1 each. VINTAGE THRIFT at its best! The house with the snow on the roof was a gift from my S-I-L. It lights up and it is just plain adorable, isn't it?

An antique dresser, which I've talked about before, with the nativity scene. The nativity was a gift from my F-I-L and his wife. The little stocking hanging on the drawer pull was a gift from one of my students. The linens were out of my Grandmother's hope chest.

Now we're standing between the kitchen and the family room looking toward the dining and living rooms. Do you see that I didn't HIDE any of the "stuff" that is magneted to my refrigerator? That's 'cause I LIKE it that way. It's our family HISTORY book.

You can also see lappy sitting on the island - - - just waiting for me to come do some blogging.

Somebody was WATHCING me take this picture. I confess, I didn't notice her there until I was editing the photos. She too is rather VINTAGE, though I wouldn't exactly call her THRIFTY.

The little green tree on the table is wood and is actually two pieces that slide together. I bought it from Current years ago and it is still one of my very favorite little Christmas items.

Now we're looking around in the room that most people would call the living room. I call it the music room. No, I do not play guitar. Fisherhubby works at that.

I have seen chairs like these on other blogs - - - and those folks called them "Martha Washington" chairs. Theirs were VINTAGE. Mine are not - - - unless 6 years is vintage. I bought them brand new, so they aren't even THRIFTY. But I liked them, and I know where they've been, if you know what I mean. Wink. Wink.

Now into the dining room - - - which is, BTW, my favorite room in the house.

I never go in there.

Except to pass through to check/set the thermostat.

But still, I love this room. I like the color and the light and my favorite pieces of VINTAGE furniture are here.

Sometimes I go in, turn on the light, and just look.

Then I leave and go back to watching my college football games in the family room.

Oh yah - - - I EAT in here once a year on Thanksgiving, whether I'm hungry or not!

In my VINTAGE footed cut glass bowl, which was given to us as a wedding gift, I placed a sprig of my THRIFTY Wal-Mart garland. I fluffed it and added a bright red, crackle finish glass ornament which was a gift from a student. I love it. It is me. Simple. Christmassy. Red and Green.

Ohhhhh - - - and WHAT HAVE WE HERE?????

These are the NEWEST additions to our family, and they are both VINTAGE and THRIFTY.

My sister, Pam, is breaking up her Hoosier home and getting ready to move to Florida. She handed these two items UP to me. (I'm older, so she couldn't possibly hand them DOWN.) They have stories!

The washstand is "real." She got it at a flea market years ago. I am THRILLED to have it. I love how my VINTAGE bowl and pitcher look on it. The star candle holders are Moravian stars, and I've had them for nearly 30 years, so I believe they also qualify as VINTAGE. THRIFTY too since they were a gift.

The milk can is an actual, bona fida, Wisconsin dairy milk can. It was given to my sister by a dairy farming friend from Vernon County, Wisconsin. Pam painted and decorated it to give it its current "look." One day, if I ever get around to it, I will probably put it back to it's original color - - - which is silver. Just because that's who I am and how I roll.

All you girls with spray paint cans in your hands - - - you are of a different generation than I. I don't "do" painting if I can help it.

This year my Christmas Cat (the very best kind of cat in my opinion) is sitting in the wicker chair in the corner of the dining room. I bought the cat on sale after Christmas one year and the chair was given to me by our daughter Keri.

I think I'm a collector of cast-offs. But they are such SWEET cast-offs.

And now before you go - - - let me show you this little nativity, that Fisherhubby bought years ago, to remind us all of the "why" of Christmas.

Isn't it just amazing that the Creator of the Universe (oh yes, I do teach science and STILL believe that the order and plan of our galaxy had a Master Designer's hand at work in making it) not only LOVES us, but came to this Earth to be ONE of us and to make a way for us to become ONE with Him. Amazing and humbling.

And with that I say, Merry Christmas to you all.

Please check other Thrifty and Vintage Thursday posts by clicking on these links.

I'm also going to link this to "Get 'R Done" - - - decorating is a BIG project and I was really glad to Get 'R Done!!!!


Louise said...

Thanks ever so much for the tour of your home ... we have similar tastes in so many things ... I have an old school desk like yours and you've given me great inspiration to bring it up from the basement & use it in our living room ... thank you! I too just put out a few Christmas-y things this year ... enough to please my grandgirls. I cannot put anything on the floor or stairs because Rocky the pup would think he had found new chew toys.

You have a beautiful home Keetha! Like you!

Maureen said...

Wow! Beautiful! A very Merry Christmas to you!

Jane said...

Everything looks beautiful. I have a lot of my decorations that didn't get unpacked this year too. You're one really notices if I didn't get out all of my Santa collection (and I don't have to pack it all away in a couple of weeks).
Have a wonderful holiday.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Thanks for the tour, it was fun. I like your decorations. Sometimes I think I bring out too many...well I think that when it's time to put them up!

I can't find my blog said...

Thanks for sharing-some of the things you showed this year are different than last year. However, you did miss one vintage item: your antique school desk! I noticed because I have one too!

Merry Christmas, sweet friend!

Postcardy said...

I enjoyed your house tour. I think you have the "right" amount of decorations--not too much or too little.

CC said...

Your home is lovely of you to invite us in. I did enjoy my visit..and I enjoyed looking at all the pretty things. I love the washstand..and the bowl and pitcher...Loved that milk can as well. Happy VTT, have a most wonderful weekend.

Connie N. said...

Your home is lovely, as are your Christmas decorations. Sometimes less is more. Have a Merry Christmas!

j said...

Your home looks beautiful Keetha. So clean! I haven't put out as much as I usually do. A little does go a long way!

Roslyn said...

Well you made very good use of your time extremely thrifty and the results are just right!

Ulla said...

Thank you for the tour and for your wise thoughts!

marian said...

thank you for inviting us into your warm & welcoming home, Keetha..what eye candy at every turn! all your vintage Chrissy decorations especially the cat, the village & the kings on the staircase..GORGEOUS!!..have a joyous Christmas :)) x

Old Time Cindy said...

Thanks for the wonderful tour of your home. Decorating with simplicity in mind is the way to go. Add some special touches throughout and leave the rest in boxes. Done! :)
Happy Holidays!
Living it up at Lakewood,

Amy said...

Wonderful tour...just wonderful! Your decorations are lovely and each one seems to hold something special in your heart. Your my kind of science teacher. Merry Christmas to you too!!

Unknown said...

Oh I love what you've done! And your so right about what you said. I see ... quite a lot sometimes and unless its done well its just overboard!

LV said...

Keetha, you did a super job showcasing your lovely home. I truly enjoyed the tour and seeing an important part of your life. You have some very nice vintage items. You do not need any other decorations. What you have done is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Carrie said...

Great post...thanks for sharing your delightful holiday decor and your vintage and thrifty treasures!
Happy holidays,

Miri said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful tour of your home!You have wonderful vintage treasures spread throughout. You've decorated it just beautifully and I think your tree is wonderful!

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

Great home tour...and You must be the fastest decorator around!! Looks so festive and inviting...Enjoy the holidays

Pam said...

I can't believe that you accomplished all of that in 3 hrs time. I thought that your tree alone would eat up that much time since you are so particular about it. It all looks wonderful - I'll have to take a break from packing and come back and gaze on Christmas Eve & Day!

PS: I caught a glimpse of the chair & big picture in the family room & I like them there too. Kyle's going to have his work cut out getting that chair out of your house!

My Grama's Soul said...

You did an amazing job of decorating in only 3 hours.
Did you have skates on?:):)

I too, have a collection of nutcrackers that I have collected over the years, they are not all kings, tho!
Yours are lovely.

Happy holidays to you,


Carol............. said...

Your home looks so comfy and welcoming. You've done a wonderful job of decorating!

Chatty Crone said...

Dear Martha, I mean Keetha - you home is lovely to look at - how long did that all take you to do this? Looks wonderful and inviting.

★Carol★ said...

Thanks for the great tour of your home! And you're so right, that if you put just one little touch in each room, it still looks Christmasy. And it won't take you a week to put it all away, like it's going to take me! I especially love your yellow dining room. It's so sunshiney and happy!
I'll be busy next Thursday with family, so I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Happy VTT!

ClassyChassy said...

Thanks for the Christmas Tour! Love the glow eyed visitor, and the very best picture you saved for last - Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for joining in GET R DONE this week! A fabulous post!

Coloradolady said...

Your home is beautiful...what a delightful tour...I love your tree, and if I had a house that was large enough, I would sure have a large tree like yours! Have a great VTT!

Anonymous said...

lovely decorating
i like the cat the best
looks so cozy

Troy said...

After reading your post, I had to ask myself which I was, "THRIFTY" or "VINTAGE"? I'm afraid I'm more vintage than thrifty.

Your little bits of Christmas made me smile.

I think that when we do overkill decorating it actually confuses the holiday. When Christmas becomes more about Decorating than about Jesus, then we went too far. You tastefully stopped sort of that point.

Well done.


Unknown said...

Thank you for allowing us to see your lovely home. It's so very festive for the holidays. Thanks for sharing! Please be sure to visit my blog not only for the thrify post this week but also for my give-a-way post of Vintage Sterling Silver. Don't forget to participate to win!

Barbara Jean said...

Your tree and stair case area wonderful!!


barbara jean

Ally's Corner said...

Love the tour of your house, your decorations are wonderful!!!

Betty Jo said...

Oh My! You've done a lot and it is all beautiful, festive, and inviting. If you could see how little I decorated you'd laugh. I leave the decorating to my daughter-in-love and grandgirls since I spend Christmas at their house. ♥

Thanks for your comments on my button photo. I've gotten many, many more comments on other photos at Flickr, but this one is different, at least the people commenting are. The majority of people commenting on this particular photo are incognito! That's weird and scary, all at the same time. If it continues, I'm going to remove it, although I like it a lot too. :(

Kristin - The Goat said...

I can't imagine what your place would have looked like if you went all out! I think your place is beautifully decorated all over :)

I love those four little glass houses that your kids gave you :) among other things :)

Joe Todd said...

Wow I had to get some coffee and cookies to go with that wonderful tour. I have a wash stand just like yours but not in as good a shape.No kings in this house Teddy bears and Snowmen

Angela said...

Wow! What a wonderfully decorated house you have for Christmas! Everything looks wonderful! I have a few nutcrackers too. I don't think mine would survive if I put them on the steps! My kids would keep knocking them down the steps I'm sure!

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

wow! beautiful home! Lovely Christmas tree and nutcrackers...

dana said...

I so enjoyed the Holiday Tour of your home! I, too, decorated in a flash when I was working outside of the that time I also owned but a fraction of the Christmas decorations I have managed to accumulate over 41 years of marriage. I am like you in many ways...the decorations I use have history. My home doesn't look like a department store...all spruced up with glitzy stuff. It's filled with vintage items, gifts from family and friends and lots of handmades.

Now, the remark about your Christmas Cat being the BEST kind! WHOA! That's where we are certainly not the same! I won't tell my two fur babies you said that...cuz up until then, they have also enjoyed reading your posts! ;)

I loved your last paragraph...

"Isn't it just amazing that the Creator of the Universe (oh yes, I do teach science and STILL believe that the order and plan of our galaxy had a Master Designer's hand at work in making it) not only LOVES us, but came to this Earth to be ONE of us and to make a way for us to become ONE with Him. Amazing and humbling."

That was a particularly important statement for me. My daughter, who has just recently started going back to church and who is also finishing her RN (all wrapped up in the world of medicine and science) shared the conflicts she is feeling about creation as written in the bible and as taught in school. I bumbled my way through my thoughts and beliefs (which are in agreement with yours)...I will share your statement with her. I know it will mean a lot to you're also all "sciency" and such!


PS You said the right thing to your upset daughter. It's so hard to start those new traditions...I had to "relearn" that lesson with my DIL a few years ago. It was a very hard lesson on both of us, but we grew from the rough time and we are now very close. I just learned I needed to not BLURT my feelings. Dang, that's hard for a blabber mouth like myself!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I love what you have collected.
Your tree looks beautiful and I love the Nutcrackers on the stairs.
Nice collection of vintage. I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas. I am 3 days behind in my reading ~ send help!!

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

Wonderful, wonderful, festive and bright! I LOVE it! Merry Christmas, Keetha! Thanks for lining up! I love your nutcracker collection!