Yard sale find: pair of ice skates


Plow and Hearth features this holiday decoration for $29.95, and yesterday I bought ice skates at a yard sale for $2.00! I’m totally psyched to invent my own holiday decoration with the pair or individually. If I use the individual skate, I can keep one and gift one. I found another decoration using a skate as part of a wreath, but I think it might be bulky.


Does anyone have their own version to share? I’m open to ideas. It’s going to be odd trying to work with pine and synthetic snow on a 100 degree day. Maybe it will have a cooling effect?

June means weddings!

Today we move into June.  So much closer to Christmas!  For many people the month of June brings one thing to mind- brides.  So much excitement about the June wedding and the fun of early summer nuptials.  I challenge those planning a wedding to rethink their plans.  Winter weddings can be great, and a Christmas time wedding- even better!

I know what lots of people are thinking- “What?  Why would you do a wedding then? It’s cold and dark and no fun at all”.  WRONG!  It may be colder and the sun may set earlier, but fun is definitely part of a winter time wedding.  I participated in my first Christmas wedding as a groomsman many years ago.  The wedding was for a great friend and was held on a Saturday evening near Christmas.  It was a beautiful clear cool winter night.  As soon as you entered the church you immediately felt all the warmth, happiness and love that you connect with Christmas.  The church was completely decorated in it’s Christmas finest and the wedding added special touches for the night.  Candles were used with low lighting to set the perfect mood.  The bridesmaids wore beautiful bright red dresses and the gentlemen wore classic tuxedos with green and red tartan bowties and cummerbund (still have those today).  I still recall this night as one of the best weddings I ever attended.  It combined all the wonderful aspects of Christmas- family, celebration, hope, happiness, and love with the start of a new couple’s life together.  If you plan to pull off a Christmas you need to get started ASAP.  It is such a busy time of year and planning the perfect ceremony and reception will require your best efforts.

A basic google search will give every wedding planner thousands of ideas for winter weddings and how to change things up to go with the season.  Every part of the wedding could have a little, or big, Christmas touch.  The invitations could be a play on the traditional Christmas card, maybe a variation of some type of vintage winter travel poster, or your own unique idea- a letter to Santa?  Favors might be a the perfect way to show some Christmas creativity.   You could do the obvious ornaments.  More interesting would be little stockings stuffed with candies or treats, mittens, silver bells, or maybe even wool socks.  The food and drink for the special day can reflect Christmas too.  Starting out with cookies and hot cocoa when the guests arrive.  Eggnog, hot cider, spiced rum, and holiday punch for drinks.  Finish it off with a complete Christmas dinner- Turkey, dressing, and cranberry too!  The cake could be decorated in a wintry look with silver and white, or the more obvious red and green.  The more adventurous couple might go with Santa and his sleigh, a stack of gifts, or might I suggest a Yule Log.

Decorations will be fun too.  Most churches and reception locations will already have some type of Christmas decorations up at that time of year.  You can easily add to those to create your own look.  Flowers and centerpieces might include lots of pine and evergreen.  One idea I saw used vases made out of ice with loose pine and wild roses in them.  Your music could include all types of Christmas details too.  Reception music could be all types of carols and the dance music could be more upbeat holiday tunes.  Christmas music can be part of the ceremony too.  That December wedding I attended used Joy to the World as the recessional- perfect!  Don’t forget about the honeymoon.  A wintertime Christmas wedding means the honeymoon could be off to a great tropical location or to an amazing mountain ski resort.  I hope everyone gets a chance to celebrate a wedding at Christmas!


Keep Christmas Present

So much of what Natalie and I have talked about focuses on how to keep Christmas alive in many ways throughout the year.  Christmas is full of many feelings and emotions- a time of so much happiness and joy!  We’ll be talking about crafts and decorations and presents and all kinds of prep for Christmas 2012.  But what about the present?  Maybe there’s a way to remind us of the present that is Christmas right now in the present.  Got it?  What I’m talking about is some type of reminder you can look at anytime to remind you of all the goodness that comes with Christmas.  As far back as I can remember my family has always kept out some little Christmas item year round.  I think I was convinced that it was an accident growing up.  You know like someone forgot to put away that little Christmas angel figurine.  With age came the realization that it was by design.  So today I keep a single item out all year-long.  It brings a smile to my face and a great feeling on those days of winter dreariness.  My little year-round Christmas item is Hickory.  Hickory is an antique Christmas elf.  He originally belonged to my grandparents and has been handed down to me.  (Yes to those of you wondering- he is the origin of my need to name all elves Hickory!)  He sits on top of the china cabinet and smiles that happy grin all year round, a great present!  Do you have any year round Christmas decorations or other items?  Snap a picture or send us a description at TheYuleLog@gmail.com.