Monday, December 10, 2012


Welcome to Christmas dinner at the Cottage.  Of course, you know the drill.  It is only make-believe as we do not spend the actual holiday here at home but...nonetheless, nothing is as important as the spirit of Christmas and we are all about that!

The Captain and I will, however, sit down for a meal from time to time around the Christmas table.  Even though the meals could range from a bowl of cereal to prime rib, we enjoy them all.

The Christmas buffet is laden down with Santa's collected over the years.  Some home-made, some bought on fun little excursions during the holiday seasons.  I think this time of the year is my most favorite time to go shopping...I love to go to the little towns around our area and see how each one celebrates Christmas.

We always put this little tree in the dining room window.  I made the crock container years ago and each year a little more pretties are added.  I don't remove the ornaments after Christmas and put the tree away just as you see it.  I think the time is coming though, when it needs to rest and have it's baubles removed and updated so it can shine it's light another year.

I found this old branch that I had forgotten about.  I truly don't know why I ever bought it as it is very stiff and prickly, but a light bulb went off when I came across it and I thought it might be good for something that is always a particular problem for me this time of year...what to do with the cards we receive...I never know exactly how to display them.  So, when I found a small stash of clothespins I put them all to good use.

Meet Nosey. A Fisher-Price pull toy. When he is pulled his nose moves up and down, he makes a funny little squeaky sound and his back end wiggles from side to side.

As you may remember from the last chapter of our story, I am decorating with toys this year.  The next few pictures will be of various ones in my collection and I will explain if there is something special attached to them.

My favorite little wooden rocking horse, I've used as the main centerpiece of the table as the Christmas plates were bought with him in mind.

French Countryside
"Yule Glow"

Lithographed onto wood, metal wheels. When pulled a bell rings.
Made by the Gong Bell Mfg. Co., East Hampton, Conn. USA

Metal table and chairs. Mickey and friends enjoying tea.

Looky Fire Truck made by Fisher-Price
Created at East Aurora, N.Y. USA
Mallet strikes bell at front and rings when pulled.

An assortment of bottle brush trees.

Hallmark put these houses out in 1994 to commemorate the making of their TV show Sarah, Plain and Tall.
Left: The Prairie Home.  Jacob and his children, Caleb and Anna, lived in this house on the plains of Kansas when Sarah came as a mail-order bride to live with them.
Middle: The Maine Home. Before she came to Kansas, Sarah lived in this house on the coast of Maine with "the unclaimed treasures", her maiden aunts, Mattie, Harriet and Lou.
Right: The Country Church.  Sarah and Jacob danced together for the first time at the church picnic. Later they were married in this simple, white frame church.

Another Gong Bell Mfg. Co. pull toy. Mr. Frog moves up and down and rings when pulled.

Most of the toys you will see are not dated, but I believe them to be from around the 1960's.



If I may digress a bit back to the kitchen...found these 4 cutest little trays while out 'antiquing' this past weekend. Had to show them off, they match the kitchen perfectly. Will make the sweetest little chargers under the white platters. Just the right fit.

I hope you enjoyed the latest installment of our story and after a bite of hearty Christmas stew, I hope you will come back for the next peek into our Christmas Cottage...Judy

When next you enter, please take the door on your right.

I am sharing with these lovely parties:


  1. What a gorgeous post! Just jam packed with fun and great ideas! I just love the way you incorporated all the vintage toys into your vignettes, and the horse on the table, ... GENIUS! Such a feast for the eyes, who needs the food.
    Oh! and that branch idea for the cards? I'm am so totally copying that! Love it all.

  2. Hello Judy
    Your home is decorated beautifully for Christmas - the table, buffet and I love the shelves with the tea things and little brush trees.
    The stew looks like a bowl of comfort food, perfect for a wintry day.
    Happy tea time Monday.

  3. Your dining room looks so cozy and inviting at Christmas time! It belongs in a B&B. I bet everything tastes better while eating in there too. Your buffet is set up so cute with the greenery and your Santa collection.

  4. I love the rocking horse and the other old toys. Also the wall shelf with the bottle brush trees. You have a lot of really neat decorations and the spindly branch worked out great for cards.

  5. Thank you so much for inviting me! I love your home, I've been thur some of your posts and just love what you did with the fav black and white! I love the rocking horse and the pull toys and the idea for the Christmas cards, always a problem for me too:)
    I'm now following you and I'll be adding you to my bloglist.
    Have a great evening!


  6. Judy, your home is just so charming. I think I would spend an hour just looking at the Santas on the buffet. I collect them, and buy just one every year. I just put my kitchen Santa up tonight. Show you later. What a great idea for the Christmas cards. I may borrow it. I always have problems with cards and cats. They love to knock them over on the buffet. I am so enjoying your home this Christmas. Such fun. Hugs

  7. Magical.
    You've put so much heart, and time into decorating for Christmas, and I love it all.

    Thank you for taking time to put this post together. I feel like I've been on a "Christmas Cottage Tour".


  8. Dear Judy,
    Your beautiful home never ceases to amaze me. Its so beautiful.
    I love your christmas theme of toys. What a great idea.
    You have put a lot of love and devotion into your home. It shows Judy.
    So today I smile ): and wish you a happy week.
    best wishes
    val x x x

    By the way.. i cannot choose one toy, as they are all so delightful.

  9. Oh Judy,Your christmas home is truly magical,I love everything.Sorry I've not been able to pop in as much as I would have liked over this busy time,I'm going to read back and see all of the lovlieness. I've missed You,hugs Juliexxx

  10. Wow, wow, wow! I think this is the cutest thing every - the toys are so very sweet - from the pony to the puppy! How very nostalgic - love that you and your husband will use the Christmas table from cereal to prime rib! Everything looks marvelous! I do appreciate you sharing with A Return to Loveliness,

  11. Judy, I just love everything! It is so neat that your rocking horse matches the plates. Your house reminds me of this wonderful country shop my mother and I used to visit all the time from the time I was small. It went out of business about 8 years ago. It was called Fibber Magees. They always had the most wonderful things and it always smelled heavenly. Your house is just beautiful and you can tell you love it. It shows in all you do.

    Amy Jo

  12. I just love all your beautiful decorations in your gorgeous home! I'm a new reader and follower and enjoyed hearing about Santa Land. I remember going there as a young child. Maybe you were working there that summer! My great grandfather was born in Soquel waaaayy back in the 1800's so we have a tie to Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas. We visited there often since we lived in San Luis Obispo when we were growing up. Will be back soon. Mimi

  13. Your home is very detailed and quite lovely, I enjoyed this tour of your christmas decorations.

  14. I like how you bought the rockin horse thinking of the dishes. Cute.
    I also like the idea of using a branch like you did. I have that same problem "where to put the cards I receive" Cleaver idea.

    Enjoyed your blog.

  15. Hello Judy! I just came across your blog this morning and have been reading and loving several of your earlier posts. Your cottage, decorating style and collections are absolutely lovely. Though my style of decorating is more farmhouse/cottage rather than Victorian, I think we could be kindred spirits in all other areas. :) I am your newest follower and look forward to reading more.

  16. Hi Judy,
    What a perfect Christmas cottage you have! Your home is so cozy and inviting and your Christmas decorations are displayed so beautifully. Wishing you and the "Captain" a wonderful Christmas season!

  17. Hello Judy,
    Well, you have stolen my heart with this post! What a charming assortment of collections. The tree in the window is adorable especially with the table and chairs beneath it. But you won my heart right away with the rocking horse! I have a 'thing' for rocking horses, always have. He makes a delightful centerpiece. Thank you so much for bringing out the child in me. Loved your post; such fun! Have a lovely weekend, my friend.

    Christmas blessings,

  18. Oh I love your beautiful home all decorated for Christmas Judy! SO many lovely things to look at. I adore how you used toys in your decor. Especially the hobbyhorse on the table. Everything is so inviting and warm. I know how much you must love getting things all decorated for Christmas...I can hear it in your writing : )
    Wishing a magical Christmas dear friend!
    sending hugs...

  19. Everything is so cozy and charming. I love all the toys! Your home looks like the perfect place to spend the holidays-very welcoming.

  20. Oh Judy, how pretty. What's not to love at this table. I truly love the rocking horse and the plates are darling too. The meal looked delish. Have a fabulous weekend!

  21. Judy,
    So lovely!! LOVE the horse as the centerpiece ans the buffet is so pretty!
    Truly a delight to see. I posted my Christmas home Tour over on my Christmas Blog, 19 trees, i hope you will stop by..


  22. Your rocking horse is amazing.
    I love that you found dishes to match.

  23. Your Christmas dining table looks great. Just love the rocking horse there. And the small table for Micky and his friends is adorable. Must have taken you and your hubby lots of time to get your house into this Christmas look!!
    Hope you have a nice Sunday.
    Love Elzie


Your comments are so special to me...Judy