December 28, 2011

Christmas mantel with traditional decorations

I am finally getting around to show you my Christmas 'mantel'.  As I mentioned earlier, I was not able to decorate the living room early this year.  Usually I try to start decorating around the Finnish Independence Day which is 6th of December.  After we have celebrated the Independence Day with blue and white decorations,  I can switch into the Christmas color and theme of the year.

But this year everything was on hold.  We live in a rental house and when the owners asked in the beginning of November if they could celebrate their daughter's wedding here we willingly agreed.  At that time we did not know the actual timing of the Central Asia weddings materialize very quickly and the details are left to the last minute.  So the days were going by, going by... Finally we had to remind them that we have a Celebration coming on the weekend of 24th and 25th, and if they could plan the dates before or after that ...pretty please?

The wedding was on the 17th of December and on the 23rd they still had a full day of special party of presenting the wedding gifts for their daughter.  I think she is finally, definitely married.

We do not have a fireplace and a mantel, but we do have this huge shelving system in our living room.  When we moved in I wanted to have it ripped off quickly taken down, because a) it was not pretty b) I was sure I wouldn't have enough stuff to fill all those shelves.  Unfortunately they are glued into the wall.  We were afraid to damage the walls and the shelves if we tried to remove them so they got to stay. And yes, I found enough stuff to fill them...

This Christmas I wanted to stay in the familiar, traditional red and white color theme.  My mom had bought me beautiful red tablecloths and I had found this pretty unused window in our yard in the summer.  I knew I wanted to use the window on the 'mantel'.  I started with the snowflake material and the window.  Then it was time to shop around the house!

I gathered traditional Christmas decorations and winter-y things used in Finland and USA.

The mittens do not fit the color scheme but i just liked them so much.  I never gave them to my kids to use (sorry mil!) because they were just too cute.  So I had to use them here!  I actually bought the little Christmas Trees in the bazaar.  They were fluffy and pretty and I was hungry for something green. I used red velvet bows for one and little red roses for the other.

These are all inherited from and given by friends.  They are not a 'match' but they belong together.

I made the gingerbread men with the kids this year.  They each drew a gingerbread man on a piece of paper and we cut it out.  Then we used it as a model for the material and cut that out.  The kids got to choose the eyes and buttons and I helped them to sew them in.  Bigger kids sewed the mouths themselves. I machine stitched the men together and we used Central Asian cotton to fill them. It was fun and they are adorable, but next time we need to make them bigger!

Little red elves sitting on the window are very traditional in Finland.  They are made of red yarn, a wooden ball and some material for the hat.  The wooden tulips are from Finland as well.

Merry Christmas!

The Lettered Cottage


  1. Mikä mielenkiintoinen blogi! Kauniita lapsia sinulla! Minäkin asun ulkomailla, Itävallassa. Tule käymään kun sinulla on aikaa!

    Terveisin, Sofia.

  2. Kiitos Sofia vierailusta ja kommentista! Kävin kurkistelemassa myös sinun blogissasi. Kiva! On mukava löytää muitakin ulkosuomalaisia. Tervetuloa uudestaan!

  3. Luen täällä vanhoja postauksia :)Sinun "mantteli" on tosiaan joulunen. Pitäs vissiin meänkin alkaa panostamaan enemmän joulukoristuksiin. Vähän enemmän tunnelmaa :)

  4. Kiva kun löytyy viihdykettä, Carro! Joo, tykkään värkätä koristeita, mutta se menupuoli aiheuttaa aina vähän paniikkia. :) Ja jos alat tosiaan panostamaan koristeluun ensi jouluna, niin pieni rajattu alue on helpompi koristella kuin yrittää koko taloa jouluvaloihin!


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