Below is a photo of our second Christmas tree - the Green Room Tree - that is now standing tall and proud in our front room. This is the tree you see from the street and the one that is full of white lights and vintage ornaments. Otherwise known (at least around here) as Nat's 'fancy tree'. Over the weekend, I shared a photo of our Family Room tree . This one is smaller, less girth-y and is 18" or so shorter. But, just like the one in the family room has a lovely shape and, similarly, came from Wisconsin. I've been tracking these trees on the blog over the years. This is the 17th tree that I've documented and is the second one of this season (2021). Here's our 2021 Green Room Tree . Just like in years past: a little smaller than Family Room. But just about perfect-looking. Here's our 2021 Family Room Tree - between 8' and 9' tall and picture-perfect shape. Here's our 2020 Green Room tree - about 6' tall in total and perfect
Showing posts with the label christmas decorations
On Monday, I posted a photo of our family room Christmas tree . That was the larger of our two trees from Evergreen Acres in Wisconsin. I said at the time that the tree was the 13th Christmas tree that I've posted about over the years here on the blog and the fourth Family Room tree in our house in Downers - that we moved into in the Summer of 2017. But, that was wrong. I forgot to include our Green Room Tree in 2019 to my list. So, technically, Monday's tree was the 14th. And this tree makes 15. For our new house, we've been here for four Christmas seasons: 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2020. In each of those three previous years - and again this year - we have a second tree in our house - a smaller tree in the front room. Or, Green room. Or, Library. Depends on who describes it. This year - like previous - we cut down a smaller Fraser Fir and Nat decorated it with vintage ornaments in our front window. Here it is below: White globe lights, vintage ball ornaments
Earlier this year, I posted about the new (to us) Christmas Tree Farm up in Wisconsin called Evergreen Acres and how we cut down a handsome pair of trees and brought them home. One of those trees has gone in our front green room (more on that in a separate post) and the other one ended up in our Krinner XXL tree stand in our family room. Here it is below: The tree is about two feet shy of our ceiling, so let's call it eight feet tall. It is a lovely tree that is also drinking a TON of water - all the way up until now (mid-December). Here's some of our previous Christmas trees from over the years. Here's our 2019 Family Room tree that we bought from Wannemakers . Was taller than 2020's tree. Here's our 2019 (small) Green Room Tree . Here's our 2018 Family Room Tree . Here's v1 of our 2017 tree - our first in Downers Grove. Here's v2 of our 2017 tree - the one in our family room . Here's our 2016 tree - our last one in Elmhurst . Here's o
Christmas is coming. And the goose is getting fat. But, we're also (thankfully) paring back some of the little decorations and vintage Santas that we have out and about. This is a box of items that didn't make the cut this year. There are guys in here that I've collected from garage sales, estate sales and even the Randolph Street Vintage Christmas market. There are angels, carolers, a couple of planters and a really cute Santa with his sleigh and reindeers on reins. With no Christmas parties to go to this year (thanks, COVID. Seriously...the introvert over here says "thanks"), I suppose these can't serve as host/hostess gifts. They'll have to sit and wait for another year.
For the first time , our blowmold 1 Santa Claus - sitting in his sleigh - has his three blowmold reindeer up and flying up, up and away. He's in our front yard and all lit up with a brand new set of reins that are made of 30' of rope light from Menards. I have been trying to think about how to get the reindeer to 'fly' for a number of years. We didn't even put this set out last Christmas because I was caught in 'planning mode' too long and never got around to getting them to fly. My initial design called for them to be 'wired up' between the ground and the large Maple tree in our front yard. I went so far as to install two large metal eyelets directly in the trunk of the tree about 12 feet up in the air. I was contemplating running some wire (kind of like the wire I used on the espalier system in the back ) from the eyelets down to some sort of grounding mechanism. My initial thought was to buy one of those spiral metal things that
My collecting mantra is codified. I've created this post on the blog outlining the details of that very mantra. It came from an Instagram post from Imagineer Joe Rhode and is something that I've tried to remember whenever I go to an Estate Sale, Garage Sale or an Antique Mall. Over the years, I've bought dozens of little vintage Christmas items including these three Santas. The first one - at the top of this post - is a little guy with pipe cleaner arms in a gold glitter sleigh. I bring up the mantra because last year these three weren't chosen to be part of our Christmas decorations. They were left behind in the tub. That means that this year, they're going to have to find a new home. Below are two more: the one on the right has a green glass ornament as his belly and he, too, has pipe cleaner arms (and beard!). The guy on the left might be Mrs. Claus? There's that white trim below his/her chin, but it isn't necessarily a beard, right?
At the beginning of the month, I posted a couple of photos of the beginning of Menards Christmas setup at their Bolingbrook store. The 'Enchanted Forest" is something that I look forward to every year as they always have some new items to check out. Anybody who has been in a big box store during the holidays the past few years will attest that there is a HUGE market for inflatable outdoor decorations. I've succumbed to the inflatable trend and we have a couple of BIG ones we put out at Halloween . But, Menards is also holding strong with the blowmold market. They put out holiday blowmolds for Halloween - and I've covered them here on the blog before - and looking at the analytics of this site, that's a popular post, so plenty of people are looking for Halloween Blowmolds from Menards. There's more Halloween blowmolds in this post from 2011 , too. They also do quite a bit of Christmas blowmolds as part of their Enchanted Forest incl
Early October means....Christmas time! At least, that's how the fine folks at Menards view it. And, I'm happy to admit this: My name is Jake. And I'm ok with Christmas Creep! I've covered Menards Enchanted Forest Christmas setup for a number of years now. In 2018 (last year), I posted on September 24th showing off the Enchanted Forest . In 2017, I posted on September 28th . In 2016, I posted on September 26th . In 2015, I posted on October 6th . And, back in 2011, I posted on September 17th . So, October 1st is *late* in terms of when I get around to posting things. I was at the Bolingbrook store over the weekend, so I suppose this could have, technically, been a September post. But, I didn't get around to posting the photos until this am. I love walking through all the Christmas stuff - and the kids love it even more. Also, the one thing that I've learned about holiday decorations at Big Box Stores is that they don't restock stuff
Back in September, Nat and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary. 10 years. Holy cow. I find it so hard to believe how lucky I've been. Although I failed at *some* of years in terms of delivering to her the 'traditional' anniversary gifts, I've tried to stick to the plan. For instance...nine years is pottery. So, I got her both a flower pot and a glazed tile. Ten years? The traditional anniversary gift is tin or aluminum . That one had me scratching my head. I try to buy something vintage for these gifts and all my searches turned up housewares (platters or toasters or serving utensils) and I knew those wouldn't work. But then I found this Merry Christmas banner. It is tin. Or maybe aluminum. Not sure. But it *is* metal and super thin and foldable/bendable/creaseable. It was broken at the time - cut into four segments. But the price was right - $5 - and I figured I could use some brads and a hole puncher to reassemble it back together
Every year for the past eight years, I've been documenting our Christmas trees here on the blog and it has been fun to look back. I'm not talking about the front yard trees , however. Sure, I've been doing that , too, but this post is about the trees we're had in our house. Here's the post showing our tree in 2016 - our last one in Equation Boy/Man's house . Above you see something that I've labeled V1 of our tree, because this year, we had two trees. This one, in the green room, is a Fraser Fir and is adorned with vintage glass ornaments that we've acquired over the years at garage sales and estate sales. Also has an angel that we scored at a yard sale up in Michigan. I'll post a photo of the other tree from our Family Room later this week. Here's our 2016 tree - our last one in Elmhurst . Here's our tiny tree from 2015 at Equation Boy/Man and Vic's house . Here's the tree in 2014 at our old house . Here's the post
There I was: sitting in my office one evening doing some work and mindlessly watching one of my favorite shows 'American Pickers' on the TV. I looked up from my laptop and notice that Frank Fritz has picked up a Santa. I know I've seen it before. I pause and rewind and sure enough.....I *know* that Santa that Frank has in his hands! It is one that Nat picked up at an antique sale somewhere over the past few years. He's now proudly displayed in the front entryway of our #newoldfarmhouse. Check him out below. He's awfully cute taking a nap in his big chair: This piece survived and is proudly displayed. But....with our new house and fresh slate in terms of decorations, we've gone through some growing pains with our vintage Christmas collection. Nat has, wisely, parsed some of 'finds' and has decided that we can't keep all of them ourselves. Of all the pieces that she decided weren't a fit, some of them have been re-hous
There are a few things in my world that I geek out about: Disney World. Pizza. And Christmas. I like everything about Christmas and even have a tub of shirts that we drag out that contains *just* Christmas shirts. Part of one of our Christmas traditions is going down to the Tammen Treeberry Farm and cutting down a tree for our house. Here's a post from 2010 that talks about that trip . I also included the Tammen Treeberry Farm on my "favorite holiday things" list of 2010 and 2012 . This year, we cut down two trees for our #newoldfarmhouse - which is one more than we normally do. And that meant that we needed a second tree stand. I went to the Wirecutter - where they (of course) have a piece comparing various stands . They recommended the Krinner Tree Genie XXL . They bill it thusly : A unique design makes clamping a tree in the Krinner far easier than any kind of stand we’ve found. The Krinner grips the tree trunk with five claws that you tighten b
We brought just a little bit of Indiana Street with us to Downers. Over the weekend, we put up our trees inside the house, but we also went to Menards and bought a small 5' Fraser Fir to put up in our front yard. Just like we did on Indiana Street. Starting with our first Christmas in Elmhurst (in our first house), we participated in the tradition of erecting a 'front yard tree' along with our neighbors. My sister Vic told us about the tradition before we moved in and sure enough, we fell in love. The street(s) always looked so great when all of the homes had a uniquely-styled and lighted tree. You can see the C7 bulbs I put on our tree this year out in front of our #newoldfarmhouse. Nat did a great job doing 'classy' decorations on the porch with garland and lights. And wreaths in the windows that you can see above. So, while we have moved out of Indiana Street, we still wanted to bring some of that tradition with us in our new digs. So, right no
Back at the end of October, I posted a photo of the 'coming soon' screens that Marshall Field's Macy's had put up on their State Street windows as part of their annual reveal of the Holiday window tradition. Soon after the calendar turned over to November, they opened up the windows for public viewing and while the ones on State Street are traditional ones, they now have set up two different ones on the Randolph Street sides. First...when I say 'traditional ones', I mean...holiday stories of some sort. This year, it isn't so much a linear story where the you can see kids racing from one window to the next to learn the different storylines, but rather just a set of different windows, each in a feeling/spirit. But, this is the 50th anniversary of doing animated figures in these windows, which is cool and that's why they've organized these two separate windows on Randolph - to kind of celebrate their history. And, much to my delight, look
The window you see above is on the Randolph Street side. The one below is on the State Street side. Both of them are currently dark with the message: Pardon our appearance. Something magical is in store. And...being good Chicagoans, we all know what that is: the big reveal of the Marshall Field's Christmas windows. The one below shows the 'Santa' theme that they've used in year's past and...unfortunately, doesn't include Uncle Mistletoe. I posted photos of the windows being prepped last year - just in early November 2016. Here's the photos . And here's a photo from the morning of November 9th, 2015 - the very day they opened for public viewing . Here's photos of the 'coming soon' windows in 2014 . Let's all hope they don't make the mistake they made back in 2015 when we got NYC's 'sloppy seconds' where they re-used Macy's NYC window display . Shame . What else is a shame? That they don't r
A few days ago, I posted a photo of some vintage window Christmas candle lights with these sweet orange bulbs that I came across at a church sale in Westmont . I passed on the candles . Right next to them (you can actually *see* one of the candles in the photo above) was this sweet flocked Christmas Tree that is adorned with fake poinsettias and this very jolly Santa Claus. I took this photo and picked up the tree. Thinking that I really only wanted Santa himself. Then... I remembered my collecting mantra . And set it back down on the table. Hoping another owner came along and put this thing in it's proper place and saving this treasure from the dumpster.
It was just a few days ago that I posted about a vintage plastic Menorah that I came across at an Estate Sale in Elmhurst. But, today, I'm sharing a photo of another ' one that got away '. This time, it was at a Church Sale on 55th Street where I found an entire box of these three-candle vintage holiday lights. With those pretty awesome red/orange flame bulbs. There must have been ten sets of these in the box and it was a 'name your own price' sale. But, I leaned on my collecting mantra and passed on them. Feels like we need to go through a Christmas season before we add more decor for our new place. These things would look awesome perched in the windows of an old house, wouldn't they? I bet they'd cost a fortune to operate in energy costs, but it would be worth it for a few months, right? Oh, and we have SO.MUCH.STUFF. We (I) have to stop buying things. The garage is loaded. The basement...it is LOADED. Once we sort things, I think we
Found this awfully cute Santa planter up at the antique store and if we had a place to call our own? It would have been mine! But, because we haven't had Christmas at our own place for two years, I have no idea how much space we have and how much vintage Christmas stuff like this we have! If he's still there this fall? I'll buy him. I'm pretty sure he's a Holt Howard based on the face and eyes. But...what is Santa painting anyway?
This year, we went back to our normal variety of tree: the Fraser Fir. And we sized it a bit more appropriate for the space. Here's last year's post showing the tree we brought home that was a Douglas Fir . And, once again, we put up our tree, not in our house, but in the house of Equation Boy/Man and my sister Vic, who are graciously putting us up for another holiday season. If you look at last year's post and scroll down you'll see a photo of the Babe putting our angel on top of the tree. In the background, you can also see the trim casing that sits above the opening between the family room and dining room. When you look there, you can clearly see that the angel is sitting *below* that casing - meaning the tree was short. Look at the photo above. The angel - who is MIA - would be sitting well above that same casing. Much better sized. The angel? I *think* I know where she is, but will have to wait until next weekend to know if we found her or not.
We were at Wannamakers in Downers Grove for their Christmas open house over the weekend and while the rest of the crew was waiting in line to see the Big Guy, I took the Bird and the King of the Ball Tossers into the store to wander around the Christmas lights department. And that's where I came across these National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation LED light sets. If you look at the box, you'll see that they bill them as being 'twice as bright' and have bigger/brighter/more bulbs than normal strands of lights. Kind of interesting licensing at play here and I suppose it is a cute concept, but I wonder if anyone is actually buying these things? They're more money than comparable sets and it seems like there's very little bragging rights in these once they're out of the box, right? As for the brightness, I think there's some upside there. We've put big C9 LEDs on our annual Elmhurst Front Yard Christmas tree every year and I always notice