Saturday, December 8

Christmas traditions . . .

When Jill put out the call for folks to share their holiday traditions, I thought it would be easy to think of and detail those things that have become common practice for me during the holidays, but then I realized that my traditions have changed throughout the years. Some, however, have stayed the same, like:

I always put up a fresh cut tree.
When I was a kid, my sisters and I used to wander the woods of New Mexico with our father (usually in the snow) to find the perfect tree. He would climb into the chosen tree, "top" it, drag it out of the woods and tie it to the roof of our car for the ride home. I don't remember loving this tradition so much. In fact, I recall being cold and having snow in my boots.These days I order a fresh cut tree from a tree farm in North Carolina, and the week after Thanksgiving, a perfect little Fraser fir is delivered to the front door by my mailman. It's always a very small tree, because the nice lady in North Carolina understands that it is to go on a table-top so that my dogs can't reach it. (Okay, so this picture is of a fake tree. My fresh tree is still in a bucket of water in the garage.)

I always hang and fill stockings.
When my kids were young, their stockings were filled with unwrapped little gifts like Chapstick, toothbrushes and action figures.
I still fill stockings for my kids, but now they are stuffed with things like . . . well, Chapstick, toothbrushes and action figures.

I also exchange only stockings with my sisters, and frankly, it would be cheaper to buy a single gift.

I think Santa is cool.
When I was a kid, my Uncle Jack came to the house dressed as Santa, and my folks went through this whole ruse with him about reindeer on the roof. We didn't have a chimney; I'm not sure how he was supposed to have gotten in. But one year he gave me a doll. I think he started something, because I still love dolls.
These dolls were made by Terry Stone. She lives in Maryland and makes her dolls' heads, hands and feet from Super Sculpy and makes their posable bodies from cloth.She dresses her dolls in antique clothing and shoes when possible, and embellishes them with old toys. The result is fantastic! I feel like these dolls are old friends.I don't know if you could tell, but this elf is showing Santa a list of naughty children. I'm pretty sure I know a few of the names on this list! (Atticus is at the top of the list -- he grabbed Santa's list shortly after this picture was taken.)
The Santas only come out at Christmas, but the fairy stays out year-round, and she is in good company. My daughter-in-law gets a little "creeped-out" by the dolls perched here and there in my house. But they make me happy. It's good to see a smiling face everywhere you look. Seeing them scattered around for Christmas has become tradition, and I am pretty sure that this one will stick. I love to think of these folks smiling at my kids and grandkids when they can no longer hang out here.

Be sure to stop by and visit Jill to learn the traditions of other bloggers!


  1. Oh Leslie! Such wonderful traditions! I love the dolls!!!! And even though you were cold and had snow in your boots... those tree cutting memories make me smile. Thanks so much for sharing. The photos are simply gorgeous!
    Much love!
    xoxoxo Jill

  2. Leslie - what a beautiful post - the pictures are so warm and dreamy - just looking at them warms me up on this cold day... yes the traditions are alive and grow and change as we do...

    xox - eb.

  3. Dreamy pictures! I love how you describe your traditions :) I had to smile about the dogs. Right now we have a little tree, okay so it's fake too, but we have three dogs. One is a puppy who bounces of of things and one has a tail that could wipe out Kansas when it gets going. My little old man though is no threat to the tree. Anyway, I loved stopping by and seeing your traditions. I think I'll poke around abit before I travel on.

  4. Wow! You don't know how many times I looked at that Santa thinking he was a real man holding an elf doll.....I'm still not convinced.....I've never seen something so realistic! I did click on the artist website and I'll be visiting her again! Thank you for sharing! PS German Sheperds are THE BEST!- Love your header!

  5. I had to chuckle a bit as I used to make artist teddy bears and they are still all over the house. What fun sharing is.

  6. I love your pictures of Santa. And your story about your tree cutting days. It's cold in CO, too, where we spent many a Christmas. :) Looove Frasier firs. I remember learning about "friendly firs" in 4th grade. Thanks for giving a peak at your traditions.

  7. Leslie - is that Jack in the Santa suit? - I'm on a traditional roll - now I need to get up from my blogging throne and move around... come see Boone in his Christmas crown... isn't this so fun - visiting all these traditions?

    xox - eb.

  8. Beautiful your stocking traditions!

  9. These are lovely Leslie... and yes, traditions do change over the years.. There is nothing like the smell of a fresh tree, it transports one into the woods, sans the snow! The sculpture/dolls are amazing! They look so real! Just turn quick enough and I am sure you will see them move! I am so glad I'm not on the naughty list... wheewww. Didn't know after this past year, so that's a relief! I so wish you could come for the labyrinth walk! And I'm thrilled you are going to do the 12 holy nights. I think you will love it... thank you so for your gift of beauty... XO

  10. I love your traditions! And your ordered tree is in a bucket in the garage!! hee hee, perfect!! DO you put it up right before Christmas? That is great!!

    And your dolls are incredible!! OH, also, I know what you mean about stocking stuffers... My mom fills ours with make-up and such, and we fill her with love too, and dads of course... But, it can get out of control expensive.. With little jewelry and such....

    I just love the holidays.. thanks for sharing!!! :)

  11. Love the dolls especially the fairy one. She would stay out all year for sure! Hmm from Maryland? As in me? Tell me more!

  12. Love the traditions and the little smiles everywhere (all year long:) Had to laugh over the story about cutting the tree as a child. We do tend to romanticise things as we get older....LOL What a wonderful post:D

  13. Leslie,
    I think a fresh tree would be bring the smell of the outdoors into your home!

    These pictures are beautiful, the santa and fairies...very woodsie feeling and warm and loving.

    happy happy!!

  14. Those dolls are absolutely AMAZING!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful holiday memories!
    Happy Holidays!

  15. I love reading of your traditions Leslie. I stocked up on chapstick, flashlights, and small bottles of hand gel for our stocking... action figures are wrapped and waiting under the tree {wink}!

    merry, merry!

  16. I love your doll tradition and especially keeping some out year round. They stand over your house like little guardian angels, I'm sure.

  17. Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing with us! Your dolls are beautiful!

  18. Everything is Simply Charming! Such lovely photos!
    Seasons Greetings to you and yours!
    Sandra Evertson

  19. This blog gets better and better. The pictures, the crafts, the clever writing, the baby widget, and now music. Love the music. I think I'll just open another tab and let this one play.

  20. Your blog is so beautiful! I am spending so much time looking at each post. Love the stocking are right, it adds up!!!
    Princess Lazertron's Mom!
    Mary Beth

  21. This is a wonderful post...I am so glad I found your blog through Follow Your Bliss. I love Terry Stone's Art Dolls.
    I am a Doll Artist and this year is the third year that I am counting down to Christmas on my blog, with my Icelandic Needle Felted Jolasveinar (Christmas Elves)

  22. what joyful traditions! i say this as i inhale deeply of the pine from our dear tree...the perfect smell of the season

  23. Aw. What a sweet feel-good place to come visit.

    And I believe we already re-wrote the stocking's only idea.

    That was sweet.

    Dee Dee

  24. Such beautiful photo's of Christmas at your home and such. I love your studio too.