Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Welcome to The Stamp Shack's "Open House Around The World"

This wonderful idea is the brain-child of Jan / Far North, one of the members of The Stamp Shack. We have members from around the world and Jan thought it would be a great way to "visit" our Shackie friends over the holiday. I'm with you, Jan, and would like to wish all of the visitors to my blog a Very Merry Christmas. Please leave a comment because I will be choosing a random number and that person will receive a little Christmas gift from me to say thank you for visiting. Are you ready? Then let's begin.

Here we are at the entrance to our condominium suite. The "Welcome" decoration was purchased at a craft fair many years ago. It is fabric and rope and I just fell in love with it. If you allow your gaze to slide over to the door, you will see a whole mess of jingling bells put together in the shape of a candy cane. I like it because of the delicate jingle sounds it makes when I open the door.


Once inside the door, you can see a semi-circular table that is a place to hold all sorts of things like keys, purse, mail, etc. At this time of year, I place a few Christmas ornaments on it.

Let's move on into the living room. We have this antique radio that John found so many years ago I can't remember (before we even knew each other, actually) which he loving restored and stained. Here you will see more Christmas stuff. As you can see, the movie camera is at the ready for when Jackson is over and being entertaining.

Here's a picture of our dining room table set for lunch. Andrew and his lovely wife, Sheena, will be joining us soon. These Christmas dishes actually belong to my daughter, Tiffany, but when her sister, Kirsten, gave them to her a few years ago, Tiffany had no place to store them. I eagerly agreed to "take care" of the dishes for her. Every year since then, 2001, I think, I have enjoyed using them at this very special time of year. I'm just lucky that they haven't gone missing, or worse been broken, in all the moves across country we've had since then!


This felt Christmas stocking hangs on the wall just next to the dining table and holds all of the wonderful cards we receive each year. Almost all that are in there now are from Shackie friends. You can just see the tip of the Christmas tree in the background. Here's a better picture of our tree. I waited until evening to take the picture so that the lights would be on and twinkling.



One of my favourite things about Christmas is decorating the tree. Every year as I place the ornaments on, memories come flooding back about special occasions and special people I have known and loved. Here are just a few I would like to share with you.




These beautiful ornaments commemorate the birth of my two sons, Andrew (1981) and Phil (1983). They celebrate "Baby's First Christmas". While I actually have four children, this type of ornament was not available when Tiffany and Kirsten were born or I would have four "Baby's First Christmas" decorations. Every year I feel a pang of guilt because the girls don't have their own. So I say to you young parents everywhere, start buying ornaments each year for your kids and no one will feel left out.

This lovely little glass bell with a snowman inside was, once upon a time, a set of six. These ornaments were sold as fundraisers at my daughters' school way back in the early '80s. I just love them and every year they remind me of my 'little' girls and how cute and sweet they were trying to sell them to relatives and friends.

The story behind this beautiful Angel might make you cry, so beware. In May 2002 I moved from Mississauga, Ontario to Summerside, Prince Edward Island. It was a move of approximately 1,000 miles. Just before the move, my Mother had to be moved to a nursing home as she could no longer live alone. I returned "home" for Christmas that year and I gave her an angel to hang on the wall opposite her bed so when she looked at it, she would think of me. It was to be our last Christmas together and when we were clearing out her room at the nursing home, I kept the angel and every year it goes on our tree. Okay, moving on now with Kleenex in hand.......

.....and last, but by no means least, is this gorgeous ornament I received from Heather/firecracker in Utah. There was an ornament swap at The Shack and Heather sent this lovely Main Street Christmas ornament. I'm pretty sure it is ceramic and is beautifully painted. It will grace our tree for many, many years to come and each year it will remind me of the generosity, kindness and goodness of our Stamp Shack members. I am truly greatful to have been given the opportunity to know such fabulous women and to be a part of such a terrific community. I would like to wish each and every person who visits my "Open House" a safe and Happy Christmas! Good night, my friends.

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit. The next stop for the Open House Around the World is hbpuppy in California. You can visit Heather by clicking here.

18 comments:

mudmaven said...

I love all your decorations Barb! Just wonderful to see how you celebrate! Hope you and GrampaStamper have a wonderful Christmas! ~chris

Kim H. said...

Your decorations and house looks wonderful! So festive! Merry Christmas!

tojoco said...

Barb, I loved looking at your festively decorated home. This is one time I wish I had a blog so I can share mine. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and thanks for opening up your home to us.

Joanne/tojoco

Far North said...

Wow how festive your new condo looks for the holidays!! How wonderful to see all you lovely decorations and how you celebrate.
Many thanks Barb for open your doors! Happy holidays!...Jan

flipflops4sherri said...

WOW! Look all of the beautiful Christmas decorations you have! You did a wonderful job and I sure enjoyed your tour. Have a merry Christmas and we'll see you in April :). Sherri

Tami B. said...

Such a warm happy home you've made in your new place. I love hearing about all of your beautiful Christmas ornaments. Such beautiful treasures. Happy Holidays!

pescbrico said...

I have to find the beggining of the trail!! It's really nice to see your decorations! I wish you a very merry Christmas! :)

Renu said...

I loved the feel of your condo. Especially with all the holiday touches. Love the dishes, and it's a fantastic idea to have the video camera out. By the time I go get mine, the thing I want to catch on tape is long done! Thank you for allowing me into your home. Merry Christmas

Heather Grow said...

Merry Christmas, Barb. I love all the personal family touches around your home. Thanks for the tour.

Mrs. Fence said...

Your new home is lovely. I love how your treasures are connected to those you love, and that the people in your life are the real treasures! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Merry Christmas,

Tracey

Anonymous said...

This is so enjoyable for me!
Thanks for inviting us into your home!
HUGS
Joanie

Frankiesue said...

Merry Christmas Barb, I love the candy cane (bells) and like you have various memories with different ornaments.

Thanks for showing us around your new home

Mary said...

Thank you for the tour of your new home. I enjoyed my visit and your ornament stories.
mahodgman

Anonymous said...

Our children are in their mid thirties now and my husband still buys them ornaments. Thanks for sharing the loving stories that go with your ornaments. Happy holidays. Iupindiana/JoAnn

Pat Guertler said...

Merry Christmas Barb! I love that stocking that holds all your cards! What a great idea. Thank you for sharing a part of your Christmas with us! Pat

Amy said...

Barb, Thank you for having me in your home even though it was via a virtual tour! I felt the warmth of your hospitality the minute I saw your front door! Hope you and Grandpastamper have a wonderful Christmas day and New Year filled with blessings.
Amy (scraphappy908)

Cindi said...

love your post Barb! Thanks for sharing in the open house!
:)

directmailscrapper said...

Barb, you settled in to your new home very quickly -- everything looks so warm and inviting! Thank you for your hospitality and Merry Christmas!

Nancy