A Christmas So Special

Yesterday, with carols blaring on my stereo, I finished decorating my house for Christmas. Since I started the day after Thanksgiving, and this is the ninth of December, I either have a big house, or lots and lots of decorations. Actually the latter is the true answer. And I’m a whole-house decorator, really into handmade gifts, flower arrangements, garlands and lights galore. I want my home to feel like It’s having a Hallmark moment.

Dining Room









I still have stockings and ornaments that I made the first year I was married back in 1962. The jester stocking is my son’s. The medieval hunting boot was my history loving husband’s, and mine is a plush velvet French style shoe, and after my mother passed away, I made a cowboy boot for my dad. We had little money in those days as my husband started out in the USAF, but all our friends were in the same boat, so we never knew the difference.

Stockings and Old Garland







In 1965, Vietnam interrupted a year of our lives and while my husband was gone, our son and I managed as best we could. We lived temporarily in St. Louis, MO, and Famous Barr Department Store had a wonderful Christmas area with specialty items not found in other stores. I remember walking around totally transfixed. I decided to splurge $6.95 on a nine-foot garland that had old fashioned lanterns on it. In those days and with my budget, that was a lot of money, but I knew it would look so nice above the stockings I had made years before. Can you believe I have used that garland every year since without replacing even a single bulb? That’s fifty-two years! Fifty-two years of frequent moves to cold and hot, wet and dry climates with the decorations often exposed to those weather conditions. When I put that garland up this year, one bulb didn’t light, but it didn’t matter, it has definitely earned its place in my home forever!

Flower Arrangement










The Christmas tree is adorned with reminders of places we’ve lived or to which we’ve traveled: Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Italy, Scotland, Egypt, Poland, Russia, and England, to name a few. There’s also a family area with ornaments with the names of my son, his soon-to-be wife, my grandson, me, my sister, niece, and even for my late kitties, Annie and Pippi. Not to be forgotten are two best-friend ornaments, and some shiny plain ones to add filler, color and brilliance. Most importantly, there’s the Nativity ornament and the tree topping angel to represent the meaning of this blessed holiday.






Christmas, 2017 is one of those extra special Christmases, because in eight days my son, Rob, will marry, Florence, the woman of his dreams and my grandson, Colby, will be his best man. Then we all will celebrate Christmas together, eating and singing carols in front of the fire. Doesn’t that sound to you like A Christmas So Special?


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland.

Join her here each 11th of the month.




Filed under musings

16 responses to “A Christmas So Special

  1. Joanie

    So festive, Sis….and very happy for you with the Celebration of Rob and Florence’s wedding!

  2. Marie Anderson, Coordinator, The Alma Society

    You have done a wonderful job of decorating and sharing your stories. You can come anytime and decorate for me. Welcome to post on Alma Society’s Web site – on facebook. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Thank you very much, Marie. I would gladly decorate for you. You and Alma changed my life when you brought my sister into my life and I will be forever grateful. Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you, as well!

  3. Rob

    It looks so beautiful. Can’t wait to see it in person.

  4. Wow! Your Christmas house is like a walk through your life. Beautiful!

  5. It’s beautiful! I put a Christmas tree and nativity in each of our guest rooms at the Blue Belle Inn. By the time I get done with all that, I’m ready to stop, thus we have no Christmas decorations at either our cottage or the parsonage. I know. I’m bad. 😉 Have a Merry Christmas, and congratulations on the upcoming wedding!

    • Thank you, Sherrie. I hope that one day I can come and stay at Blue Belle Inn. It sounds so cozy. The pictures I’ve seen of the inside are really homey and lovely and the gorgeous flowers outside are so welcoming. And of course, the food!!! Yum!!! Of course, then you’d have to adopt me! I might not want to leave!!! Ever!!!! A very Blessed Christmas to you and your family and a bright and shining new year!

  6. Susan Coggins

    Coco, you have been a decorator since I have known you and your home is gorgeous. It is such fun to keep the old with the new and what wonderful memories each ornament evokes. I have ornaments from my first Christmas tree- we won’t talk about how old they are! Would love to keep all the decor up year round. It makes the house so happy and it makes my heart happy.
    Have a fabulous holiday and keep celebrating with Rob and his fiance. Congratulations!

    • Oh, Susan, thank you. As you know, decorating is something I really love to do. I know what you mean about having ornaments “older than dirt!!!” I actually I did leave my decorations up all year, one year. However, I found it difficult to dust and the slightest movement around the tree brought on sneezes galore. Wish I could just wiggle my nose and have everything done and undone!!! Hope you have a blessed Christmas surrounded by your loving family!! Happy new year, too!

  7. Diana Bell

    Coco thanks for sharing your Christmas memories with us. Your holidays decorations are very festive and really bring out the Christmas spirit. Congradutations on your son’s upcoming wedding. I wish for you good health and happiness the coming year.

    • Thank you, Diana. I loved sharing with you. Christmas does that to me. Thank you also for the good wishes for my son’s wedding. I know it will be special. Be safe on the roads and enjoy Christmas and New Years Eve with your family. See you next year! Blessings to you!

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