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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas stockings and other things

The Christmas tree is up and and is adorned with its usual array of brightly coloured ornaments gathered over the years and some from our travels. But this year, I decided to tone down the  decorations in the rest of the house and keep them fairly simple.


A little tree at my front door....

...some Christmas stockings hanging above my kitchen island....


...some Christmas baubles and a wreath in the sitting room...


....a few simple decorations on the family room mantle....


 ...some crystal decorations above my dining table...

....and some twig trees on my outside table...

All was going well, until I decided that these Christmas stockings that I made for my boys about twelve years ago, were too bright and possibly a bit childish considering they are now all teenagers.

Photo 2005

I had seen the idea of a Santa Sack on Pinterest and decided that these would be the perfect solution. So proud of my handiwork, I produced these lined and personalised hessian Christmas bags to be admired by my children.

Let's just say they were less than impressed! "But they don't even look like stockings!" "What have you done with our old stockings?" That just looks like an old sack!".

I felt completely deflated. I thought that teenagers were hip and happening, but it seems that mine are traditionalists, averse to change. We compromised by agreeing that I would display the new Christmas bags, but on Christmas Eve, I would put out their old Christmas stockings to be filled by the Christmas elves.

Silly of me to expect that they might embrace a new Christmas stocking as readily as they do a new X-Box game! Also, they are clearly not as bright as I thought they were - the new Christmas stockings are bigger and would need more gifts to fill them - just saying!

But I will put my bitterness to rest and move on to other things I have been busy with.


I decided to tackle this really boring and overgrown bed next to the garage. I (actually, my gardener) removed everything in the bed except for the Jacaranda tree on the far left. It was given to me on my birthday about 18 years ago by Matt, my oldest son, when he was one year old. In those days, Jacaranda's weren't considered the undesirable aliens that they are today. I always pictured this mass of purple blooms over my front gate, but the tree hasn't really lived up to its promise. In fact, Matt has turned out a whole lot better than the tree. But I live in hope, and because it has sentimental value, the tree will stay.

 I placed a little fountain in the centre, added some wrought iron features and have planted a mixture of salvia, gaura, agapanthus, a grey leafed ground cover whose name I can't remember, heliotrope,  and an olive tree. I kept to a colour scheme of grey, white, pink and blue. Now I am patiently (impatiently) waiting for it to grow. I am happy to report that the reaction from my boys on this change was pleasingly positive. "I really like the new garden, mom." "That's nice my boy, what do you like about it?" "Well, it will be so much easier to find my soccer ball than in the old garden!" High praise indeed!

I don't know if you have come across an American  artist called Carolyn Anderson. I really love her style, particularly her bird paintings. I was inspired to create some of my own little birds.

I thought I would give them away as Christmas gifts, stuck them up on my wall with double sided tape to see what they would look like and haven't yet taken them down. Can I still give them away, or are they now "used" goods I wonder?

But that's enough of my ramblings. I will leave you to get on with your Christmas shopping, unless you are one of those over achievers who has done it all already and make the rest of us look bad!

Till next time

Sharon x


  1. Sharon,
    I think kids are always reluctant to change their "home they grew up in". They may want their own dorm rooms or apartments to be hip, but tradition seems to rule the day with both of our adult sons. It's really kind of sweet...even though the burlap bags were great looking.]
    I hope you have a lovely holiday with your family. I like your new garden.

  2. Oh gosh your boys comments hit home. My children are no longer children but it is funny how they don't really like change especially where Christmas traditions are concerned! I think those bags are darling and love that idea...more room for more goodies! I toned down my decor this year a bit. Next year it is getting way toned down. Less is more..

  3. The story about the Christmas sacks made me smile! My kids are the same way. Two years ago I did a woodland themed Christmas tree and they were not happy and let me know they wanted the Santa and snowmen ornaments we use every year! Love our new garden. I also had everything pulled out of the front of the house and put in a new garden and I wish I had a magic potion that would make it grow and fill in faster! :)

  4. Oh! my goodness I too get the same reaction when I make a change in seasonal decor. My 4 kiddos all in their 20's now will speak their mind..."where is this? "what happened to that?...funny i hear it more from my boys (3) of them than my daughter. You are so right about the stockings...their old bright red and green stockings get displayed only Christmas Eve night to be filled with goodies. Some how my chocolate and gold colored damask newer stockings just don't have the Christmas Spirit for them. Your garden looks great and with time will fill...Have a beautiful Christmas with your family.

  5. I understand entirely... my son is in his first year at the University, and wanted to know where the linen advent was that I have filled since he was young... I thought it would be a nice change just to surprise him with little gifts throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas instead. While he likes them and is grateful, you can see in his eye its just not the same. lol Your home and "new' garden looks lovely. Merry Christmas. Rié | Portobello Design Blog