It’s time that wonderful time of year; the controversial conversation “when to put up Christmas decorations!”. I grew up in a house where Christmas decorations went up the first of December and came down after boxing day. DH grew up in a house where the decorations went up in mid December, after chopping down a real Christmas tree, and came down mid January after Epiphany to take down the tree. When I had a house of my own, I wanted to enjoy the twinkling lights, the festive characters and the shiny bulbs that change my every day room into a Christmas wonderland for longer than a few weeks. The dilemma lies in when it is appropriate to put up the decorations. If I put them up in the beginning of November, I feel like it may overshadow Remembrance Day, but waiting until Dec 1 or even two weeks before Christmas leaves so little time to enjoy the beauty of the season. I wanted the tradition of decorating the house to be special, festive and leaving enough time to enjoy it before the rush of the holidays gets underway. After many heated debates, we combined decorating the house for Christmas with our annual tradition of watching the Toronto Santa Claus parade.
TORONTO Santa Claus Parade #SANTATO
Since 1905, the City of Toronto has hosted its annual Santa Claus parade in mid November. This annual tradition attracts more than half a million people each year and is broadcast all over the world. The parade travels a route of 5.6K (parade route here) from Christie’s Pits (Bathurst and Bloor) to the St. Lawrence Market (Front and Jarvis) and includes 25 animated floats, 24 bands and over 2200 participants. It is considered the longest running children’s parade in the world and is a great start to the festive season. This year it will be held on November 15th at 12:30.
The Toronto Santa Claus parade felt like the perfect time to decorate. It is after Remembrance Day so it doesn’t take away from that important holiday, but it also allows me tons of time time to enjoy every twinkle, gleam and shine the season has to offer.
The Decorating Challenge
Before the Toronto Santa Claus parade airs on TV, DH hauls the big boxes out of the basement. We create some festive appetizers and a big batch of hot cocoa and enjoy the beginning of the parade. Once our little round bellies are full and the bag pipes start pumping out Christmas carols, we dive in to the boxes and begin the decorating process while watching the floats drift past on the screen. Its like Christmas morning to me every time I open the boxes. The joy of memories of past Christmas, forgotten treasures and precious homemade crafts from my kids are relived and enjoyed as we find the right spot to hang it. After decorating, we always head to Canadian Tire for some last minute additions and festive inspiration.
I decorate four main areas in my house.
- The mantel – “The stockings were hung my the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there”. The top is draped with a festive garland decorated with berries, pine cones and red and gold balls. Each member of our family has a silver stocking holder holding matching stockings. Originally, our stockings came from the dollar store (looked as such) and never held all the loot from the big guy in red. This year I upgraded our stockings with red and green knitted stockings from the beautiful CANVAS Holiday collection. They are modern, beautiful and functional for their intended purpose.
- My Bookshelf – What normally holds family photos and my angel collection is replaced with sentimental Christmas decorations. From my collection of snowmen to my Nativity scene to annual stuffy collection, each item has sentimental meaning and shares my joy of the Christmas spirit.
- My Christmas Village – This was inspired by my Mother in laws collection of beautiful miniature houses. Every year I set up a tiny scene of beautiful houses on a the pass through from my kitchen to living room. It a magical land complete with a snowy ground, luminary accents and a magical feel.
- The Tree – The Christmas Tree is my favourite part of the decorating experience! The Christmas tree signifies undying life in the heart of winter and becomes the center pillar in the room. The ornaments on the tree tell a story of our decoration style, our past and our future dreams. We use to get a real tree, but sadly due to DS7’s allergies we have had to resort to a realistic fake one. We begin with white lights, followed by red beads, metal icicles and red and gold balls. After those at strategically placed, the kids add their own decorations (handmade and licensed).
After the arrival of the big guy at the parade and the completion of decorating, we head over to Canadian Tire to replace broken items, gain new inspiration and add new additions to my festive holiday collection! An elf told me that Canadian Tires has an amazing float this year featuring Mrs. Claus decorating her table for their Christmas feast! I wonder what she’ll use? That is one area of holiday decorating that I lack in my home, so I’m interested in getting some ideas and tips for my Christmas table this year!