It’s Still Christmas Here at the Cottage

In a small act of defiance:


Another Christmas photo. Because, for us, the Christmas season is still here. Try as I might, I can’t understand removing all traces of Christmas as soon as that particular day ends. What?? It seems so abrupt, like pulling a rug out from under someone’s feet, or dangling a beautiful treat in front of someone’s eyes and just as it gets close enough to be fully experienced, it’s gone. Poof!

To me, the Christmas season lasts until New Year’s Day. To others, it lasts even longer – until Epiphany. And last night, as we were watching the Kennedy Center Honors and admiring our beautiful tree, we decided it will stay up until at least this Friday, which will be January 3rd. I’m in no hurry to get rid of the tree. I’m in no hurry to get rid of Christmas. This is one of the reasons I wait until the second week of December to decorate. I want to experience the holiday season fully and if I chose to decorate too early, I’d run the risk of getting tired of it all much too soon.

Of course, I know very well that everyone has different traditions. But, to me, the holiday season doesn’t end abruptly at 12 am on December 26th. I can only remember a couple of times in our almost twenty years together that we took down our decorations before the New Year and that was because we had to leave our house for work out of town.

Didn’t like it.

Though I am tired of all the Christmas decorating posts, however beautiful, that have been going on since right after Thanksgiving. So I promise to post only this one photo!

We had a lovely visit with our friend yesterday with stimulating conversation and lots of laughter. It ended much too soon. As always, when someone we know and love sees the house for the first time, it was dark and rainy. Go figure. When we first moved into the cottage, we were treated to a visit by Don’s brother and his wife. We were so excited to share our house and our beautiful property with them; they had been such a source of support for us as we made the move into home ownership. They drove up here from NYC, where they had been staying on business, and it rained torrentially. A rain the locals ended up dubbing ‘a hundred years rain.’ You could barely see anything for the rain. It didn’t stop until they had left to return to the city.

It’s happened repeatedly since then. What can I say? It’s strange, but true.

Practicing some close-ups of the dollhouse (forgive any specks of dust you might see):







Happy Monday.


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  1. says

    So happy to find a kindred spirit in this respect. Still loving the beauty and the coziness the season brings :) love all your dollhouse photos…..very cool.

  2. Nidia says

    Here in Southern Alberta we have a fair amount of people who celebrate Ukrainian Christmas on January 7 and wait until then to dismantle all decorations .

  3. says

    We keep our home decorated, the spirit of Christmas strong and too much fun to end it early. Our living room, separated from the other rooms with french doors, becomes the “Christmas room” from about mid November until mid to end of January. Sometimes, we even keep it up in February! Our days are short here in the winter and the pretty lights and cozy atmosphere seem to help us get through the dismal days.

    Love the new photos from the dollhouse. You’ve managed to inspire me to dust ours off and add “finish gutting the dollhouse and start the restoration process” to my list of things to accomplish in 2014!

    • Claudia says

      I hate to say goodbye to the lights, Chy. I’ll often keep my turning on the outdoor lights long after Christmas!

  4. says

    Good morning, Claudia! I did pack away some of the kitchen/dining room Christmas decorations as it was all getting to be a little “much” for me, but my beautiful tree will be up at least until Jan. 6th. Maybe longer…there are a LOT of ornaments to pack away! And my wonderful husband gave me several vintage shiny brites this year to keep my two little shiny brites company–how sweet was that?! And my Dickens Village stays up until the snow melts, which is usually sometime in March. I bought Proof of Heaven on impulse two weeks before Christmas and found it immensely comforting, given the losses I’ve sustained in the last few years. It is an amazing book, isn’t it? Have a good Monday!

    • Claudia says

      So glad you got some Shiny Brites this year, Martha! I found Proof of Heaven comforting as well, having lost so many loved ones. It is indeed an amazing book.

  5. says

    I leave my tree up til New Years day, and my nativity stays out through Jan 6. My youngest sister leaves her tree up through their 12th Night celebration. My daughter’s boyfriend is Russian Orthodox and since their religious calendar is different, Christmas is celebrated on Jan 6th. So their tree will be staying up through that day, too. In most Christian faiths, the 4 weeks before Christmas are Advent, Christmas begins on Dec 25 and goes for 12 days (til Epiphany). But somewhere along the way, a lot of Americans changed it to “ThanksChristgivingmas”. Everybody does things differently and we have to just let them be. But it does make me sad to see trees on the curb on the morning of Dec 26.

    • Claudia says

      “ThanksChristgivingmas” is perfect! Brilliant name for it all. It starts and ends too early. I’m going with keeping it up until Epiphany.
      I get sad to see trees so quickly discarded.

  6. says

    You made me chuckle – such a subversive act – I will not tell you how long Christmas lingers around here, it’s epic length hahaha. I just can’t bear to take down the cards especially, proxies for those we miss. I used to take everything down on January 1st, while watching the Rose Parade … these days I do it when the spirit moves me and not until then.

    Loving your dollhouse – hoping to make it to the miniature show here again in January (a nice 60th bday present for me!).

    Happy New Year!

  7. says

    Claudia, I traditionally take down my Christmas decorations on New Year’s Day as I watch the Rose Parade. It works for me. I have know people who have everything put away by Christmas night??? What???? To each their own! I am still enjoying the tree lights and have even decided to keep up the tree in my bedroom with it’s pink and silver for a while longer! That said, I am loving the close ups of the doll house. You will have to share with us what lens you are using?
    Happy New Year!


    • Claudia says

      To each their own, indeed, but I must confess I don’t get it!
      I’m using this very inexpensive ($15) lens kit Don gave me for Christmas. They are macro filters that screw on to a regular lens. I can’t afford a macro lens so these are doing the trick in the time being.

  8. Debbie Price says

    I’m the same about Christmas. We put up our decorations and tree the second Saturday of December and I take it down when school is starting again in January. I think the only time in my adult life I took it down early was when my husband came home on December 23 and announced that the 26th we would be moving! Just love the Army and the way they ‘plan’ things!

  9. says

    I like the close-up shots of the doll’s house. It looks like such a cozy place to live. In my own home, the tree is down and dropping its needles on the snow. I think Christmas was a bit of a letdown this year, but January is holding some delightful prospects.

    • Claudia says

      You had that ice storm to deal with and that must have put a bit of a damper on your holiday. Glad to hear January is looking better for you!

  10. Donnamae says

    I love that first pic…thanks! And, those close-ups…didn’t see a speck of dust! Our family had a wonderful Christmas…but our tree did not…it kept blowing lights. I think it got jostled too much during the hunt for the pickle! And, an unlit tree is just not as beautiful as a lit one. So, regretfully, our tree is down…but other reminders of the season are still out. Enjoy your day…and your tree! 😉

  11. Margaret says

    I have seen trees kicked to the curb on Christmas Day! The twelve days of Christmas don’t start with Black Friday. In our house Christmas is with us until Epiphany.
    On the dollhouse front, the other day I found a copper bath tub, perfect for my turn of the last century farmhouse.
    Happy New Year to you.

  12. says

    Christmas lights still glow around here, too. At least until New Year’s Day. Our fresh tree still smells like the woods when I go close to plug it in. Love this quiet season.

    • Claudia says

      Ours still has a strong pine smell, I can smell it right now as I sit here across the room from the tree!

  13. Nancy says

    Your dollhouse is enchanting, Claudia. Who wouldn’t walk to be there, curled up with a good book in front of the fire? I am so enjoying your hobby, vicariously.
    LOVED the photos of Scout on Christmas morning! Such excitement! It’s obvious that she knows that it’s all about her. As it should be. And then you posted those adorable photos of her, zonked out on her pillow, tired out from all that Christmas. Too cute for words.
    Every year, I tell my sons that I think people take down their Christmas lights just when we need them the most, through the dark, cold, months of January and February. How cheerful it would be to see the lights in the depths of winter.
    Keep the musings and photographs coming, Claudia. It’s obvious that many of us are getting so much pleasure from your blog.

  14. Janie F. says

    Our tree is still up and I’m in no hurry to take it down, love looking at the lights at night and on gloomy days like the past two. Today is a special day for us, our neighbor Barbara whom we babysat when she was small and love like our own child turns 22. We are so enjoying her company. She has to go back to FSU on Jan. 2, so we are seeing as much of her as we can. I may begin putting away the other decorations a little at the time but the tree will be up a while longer. Love the photos!

    • Claudia says

      I usually take everything down at once, simply because I have to bring the 3 bins in from the shed, so it makes sense to do it that way. Have fun with Barbara, Janie!

  15. says

    We are tree keeper uppers too! I read someone describe their home as a “Christmas Cocoon” and that they didn’t want to leave it. I feel the same way!

  16. says

    To each, his own…but personally I love Christmas and really relish my decorations and tree much more after all the hustle and bustle. And January is so dreary, it’s nice to have the warmth of the colors and twinkly lights inside. I do, however, love how large my living room becomes once we take down that monster tree! lol!


    • Claudia says

      Me too! Because our living room and den are small to begin with! I think I like the lights the best and they do help with the days turning dark around 4 or 5 o’clock, don’t they? Feel better soon, Jane!

  17. says

    We leave the tree up until New Years Day – and possibly until the day after. I actually love the lights and decorations on that special week between the two big days.. it’s usually very relaxing and homey in that week. I did a whole dollhouse cleanup before the blog girls came for lunch so they could see it.. now I just wish I had enough light for some good photos. Your closeups are great!

      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    • Claudia says

      I agree – I appreciate them even more, when the hustle and bustle of the time leading up to Christmas is over. Happy New Year, Teresa!

  18. says

    We also leave our tree and decorations up till at least Epiphany. All that thought, creativity, effort, and work to get things trimmed, decked and done, you’d think someone would want to enjoy it for as long as they can. But, I agree, I didn’t appreciate the blogosphere bursting into Christmas mode literally right after the last bit of turkey was gobbled up!

    This year was difficult as I was away from my daughter and family, who are all in Toronto, thus, I wasn’t in the best of spirits and didn’t feel much like decorating. A few days before Christmas, I decided that maybe, if I decorated my hutch and mantel, it might help with my mood, kind of like the psychological premise that if you smile (physical), happiness, (emotional), follows.

    Claudia, I wish you many smiles and happiness, along with good health, for a wonderful new year!


    • Claudia says

      I’m sorry you had to be away from your daughter and your family this Christmas, Poppy. That has to be terribly hard for you. But I agree, sometimes going through the actions, acting ‘as if’ makes all the difference in the world. The best to you and yours in 2014!

  19. says

    My tree is still up but everything else is packed away. I need to start the New Year with a clean slate, and becuase of work I need to grab my free time to put things away when I can.

  20. Janet in Rochester says

    I agree, Claudia. In our family, “the holidays” has basically meant Thanksgiving through New Year’s for as long as I can remember. And it seems to me that there’s way too much preparation – and anticipation – to dismantle everything on the 26th. Since I change out a few things seasonally at my house – the front door wreath, kitchen linens, a few faux flower arrangements, I got smarter in the last 10 years or so and have chosen dark green/deep burgundy colors for Winter things, and can use these both for Christmas and Winter, making less Christmas items to pack away each year. PS – just love that bitty glass jar filled with seashells. Beautiful close-ups!

  21. says

    Claudia I am one of those who rip the evidence of Christmas down on Christmas day. I hate the dust they create and can’t wait to have it all down. This year since we had no power it was one of those things that occupied my time. So glad to hear you had a wonderful visit :)

  22. Nancy Blue Moon says

    It’s still Christmas here too Claudia…maybe the tree will come down next week..maybe not..I don’t understand doing all the work of unpacking these treasures, working to put them up to enjoy and then taking them down so quickly..

  23. says

    I thought of you while watching The Kennedy Center Honors last night. I loved it, and I cried with joy at the presentation for each honoree. I recorded it, and I cried some more when I watched it again this morning.

    I hope you will visit me at my blog sometime. I miss seeing your smiling face.♥

    • Claudia says

      Wasn’t it wonderful, Beverly! I stopped by during your house tour, which was wonderful, by the way, and left a couple of comments. I’m just now starting to find the time to visit my fellow bloggers again.

  24. says

    I am enjoying the miniatures. I want to make a doll house!
    It is still Christmas at our house too. Returning to plain ol’ everyday home will be a slow process.

    Busy days here, I don’t know when I will get by, maybe tomorrow or the day after, but just in case I don’t get here I will wish you Happy New Year, a tad early.

  25. Verónica says

    Here we have the tree till January 6 (Día de Reyes). Nowedays most children prefer Papá Noel (Santa Claus), but in days past the Wise Men (los Reyes) were the ones who brought toys to children. They used to put them in the shoes during the night of the 5th. We have an artificial tree, because the live ones are a bit scarce here. And it´s summer.
    In my childhood, the most important part of Christmas was Christmas Eve, when we opened the presents left by Papá Noel. Here, in Argentina, the big dinner is in Christmas Eve. Usually saldas and cold meats and ice cream or fruit salads. And turrones and almonds, pan dulce (a kind of sweet bread), etc. On Christmas Day we eat leftovers, and there are plenty of them.

  26. says

    Hey Claudia – maybe your house is so happy with you that it doesn’t want company to stay very long. It only shines for you.

    I’m going to soon starting taking Christmas down but it’ll be done slowly, over a couple of weeks. The tree goes first because it’s real and starting to get dry (and the cleaning lady comes Thursday so if it’s down by then…she can vacuum up the mess for me :)

    • Claudia says

      Ours has been hanging in there and isn’t dry yet, thank goodness! So I’m able to keep it going for a bit longer.

  27. nancy says

    Claudia, being ukrainian greek catholic, we originally celebrated Christmas according to the julian calendar, on Jan 7th. So I always leave our tree up until at least the 7th and even longer if it will hold.(we are real tree people!)
    Just love the time after Christmas, enjoy the season even more now.
    And I also just love your little house!!!!!

  28. says

    You know how I feel on this – the total opposite of you! To me, Christmas is over on the 26th. I’ve always been this way; it’s nothing new. I do like the sparkling light in the dark of winter though, so we are weaving little white lights amongst the real evergreen garland that’s around our porch rail. That will stay up for awhile.

  29. Sandy says

    Claudia, I agree about putting away Christmas too soon. I love looking at the tree all lit up in the evening. Of course this year I didn’t go overboard with decorating. In fact, my mantel is a winter scene that will stay up until the end of January. Some folks put out their decorations a week before Thanksgiving so I suppose by December 26th they’re tired of it. My neighbors put up a real tree the week before Thanksgiving and in the evening of December 26th it’s sitting out at the curb. Hey, it’s an individual choice. The Hobby Lobby in my area had Christmas decorations in their aisles in June (which I thought was ridiculous) I must get a copy of Proof of Heaven. It sounds fascinating and comforting.

  30. Sandy says

    Meant to say my neighbors put up a real tree a week before Christmas and on December 26th it’s sitting out at the curb.

  31. Sandy says

    Claudia, I’m sure we’ll see an explosion of Valentine decorating in the blogosphere really soon!

  32. says

    I agree Claudia! It is sad when I hear someone say the day after Christmas “everything is down” what?? seriously? geez. 😉 now with two little ones I definitely couldn’t do that…trying to figure out how to bring it all down slowly so they don’t get too sad. Hazel already told me she will be sad when we take the tree down!

  33. Belinda Riffenburg says

    I agree totqally! I leave mine up until the 12 th day after Christmas every year!! LOVE your miniatures!! How does one get started with doing a dollhouse and collecting miniatures??

  34. Kelly says

    Hi Claudia, in my home the decorations go up slowly, one box or item at a time and I take down and put away at a simiolar pace. It’s too much of a shock to the system to do it all at once, I like to savor things a bit and in years past, when I used to put it all away in one day, I would get to feeling blue which would last sometimes for a few weeks or days at a minimum. The decor made with greenery and items collected from the garden stay as long as they are still pretty and that can be when replaced with branches that I have cut to force into bloom the second week of February.

  35. says

    I keep a large, flat, cheap paintbrush near my dollhouse to sweep before I take pictures…also an old piece of flannel for the same reason. Works really well.

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