"..not even a mouse."

My fireplace mantle village has a portion full of little mice gift figurines, only one a purchase.

My fireplace mantle village has a portion full of little mice gift figurines, only one a purchase.

"...not even a mouse."

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" is the inspiration for this little scene on my fireplace mantle, although I didn't set out to create it. See the little mouse stocking on top of the Christmas tree?

The mouse stocking has been part of my family stocking line-up for decades, a whimsical tribute to the mice I have escorted out of the house because my cats over the years couldn't be bothered. Not that I wanted the mice to be injured; I would much rather have had them stay outside than running across my kitchen floor the day after the first hard frost and my having to catch them.

In honor of some of those mouse-catching adventures, friends have given me mouse gifts over the years. I grouped them together one year and they have been sitting together ever since, appropriate to be hanging out on the side of the fireplace mantle away from the cat stocking hangar. 

Such a simple little scene but it makes me smile every time I see it, especially the little girl mouse tucked in bed. I was trying to put my finger on why this charms me and I know why, and so do you. It represents the magic of Christmas.

"'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...."

Charlotte

 

 

Christmas Decorating Holds Memories

The little girl mouse in bed (left) was a $1.99 purchase in Christmas 2015 with a dear friend.

The little girl mouse in bed (left) was a $1.99 purchase in Christmas 2015 with a dear friend.

Christmas Decorating Holds Memories

Thanksgiving weekend is Christmas decorating time at my house. With the long weekend, I can pull out the boxes of decorations and enjoy spreading them throughout my house to bring a holiday theme into each room.

Much like gardening, I like my holiday decorating quick, easy and memorable. I had several small, pre-decorated Christmas trees in plastic totes that could easily spring up on my office desk or a coffee table; favorite handmade Santa dolls from cutter quilts, and some German figurines my mother brought back from Germany in 1948, years before I was born. 

As I was looking for the totes, I realized they were gone, part of a stash someone who worked for me stole mid-summer. She pled guilty to the burglary mid-November but I had not missed the totes because they were in a storage area where she had stolen other, more obvious items.

They were only "things" but I felt such a feeling of loss and violation - again. I used to enjoy pulling them out, remembering when I got them and what memories they represented; giving them a little tender loving care if they needed it, and setting them out in my rooms. I don't have a lot of decorations but the ones I did have were attached to wonderful memories. It took me a couple of days to mourn the loss and inventory what I still had.

In the process, I remembered I had one little decoration sitting on a project shelf in a closet. I bought it last year for $1.99 with my cat's name sake, my friend Margaret, in St. Louis at the Shop Around the Corner. It's a little girl mouse tucked into a bed to add to my cat-themed stockings hanging from the mantle. One of the feet on the bed was missing so I had glued a little piece of wood in the missing spot and needed to paint it before it was ready to join my fireplace mantle holiday scene. It was still there so I finished the paint job before going through what was left of my holiday decorations.

 Some of my favorite mantle decorations were stolen but as I re-arranged my little holiday scene with what was left, I realized I still have a wonderful collection of good memories, and there is always room to add a few more.

Charlotte