The wooden "Merry Christmas" sign was a present from my husband a long time ago as was the clear candy dish (and the almond roca wrapped in gold in the dish). He also procured the Simpsons Christmas mugs. The acorn candles actually came from my brother-in-law in more cordial days.
Note: Any picture can be seen in a larger version by clicking on it.
Every year around this time, the web is full of pictures of elegantly appointed decorations in homes that resemble none that I have ever stepped foot in. That's not to say that such homes do not exist. I'm sure they do belong to people who have figured out a way to live life in perfectly color coordinated, immaculate, perfectly lit houses that do not require trash cans, power outlets, cables, cords, or most common electronic household items. I'm sure of the latter because those things are always absent from those gorgeous houses with their perfect holiday decor.
This paper tree was a gift from my friend the wombat stuffer last year. He sent it to me along with a bunch of other goodies after listening to me complain for ages about all the things I didn't or couldn't have in Japan. My students think the tree is very cute. I think it's a wonderful reminder of friendship.
So, every year, I drag out my box of ragtag, hodgepodge, mixed up Christmas decorations and attempt to adorn my apartment in an aesthetically pleasing manner. They may not look perfect, but almost all of them are reminders of thoughtfulness, consideration, generosity and kindness on the part of others.
The gold candles and the Santa candle holder were gifts from the CH. The gold candles smell wonderful, like holly and berries. They're the last of huge box of gorgeous candles the CH got me and I refuse to burn them because I want to remember their scent and the larger gift they came with. The snowman between the candles were from the wombat stuffer. It reminds me of Calvin & Hobbes as well as my good friend the stuffer.
So, my decorations may not be perfect or impressive, but they make me happy, and they put me in the right spirit.
The round tree candle holder was also from the CH. I love candles. It's a beautiful holder, but you can't really tell from this picture. The Skull plushie gets a blue Santa cap at this time of year.
Today, I went out and bought bags for student baked goodies offerings this year. I also mixed up a huge quantity of peanut butter cookie dough and froze discs of it for (near) future cookie making.
The CH gave me the plates, holders, candles and wooden NOEL train a long time ago. The lights are actually new. I bought them from Amazon Japan and didn't realize they were musical lights. Fortunately, there's a switch to turn off the music.
In past years, I've often waited for the spirit to motivate me, but this year I decided to make make the spirit on my own. I'm hoping it sticks with me for the duration.