Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting in gear for the holidays

It's that time of year when all the wonderful shops have Christmas Open Houses.  Shop owners spend hours and hours decking the halls, ceilings and every nook and cranny with holiday wares. The specialty shops glisten, twinkle and seem to wink, as if Santa's elves scattered fairy dust over everything. My friend and I were lucky enough to attend a few open houses, as an early kick-off to the holiday season, and they did not disappoint.
Check out the wall covering-pages from old books
We began the holidays with a day trip to Lexington, Kentucky for House extravaganza. The surprisingly tiny house was packed with color, classic styles and unique items for any decor with lots of traditional wreathes, swags and trees interspersed with handmade creations in the vein of trendy magazine items at a lower price.  My favorite purchase of the day was a small 1940s style television with a Christmas village scene inside.  You turn the TV on and the village comes to life with lights and movement. I just couldn't pass it up.  My friend had to have one too, hers included a train scene.
Loved this great chandelier
The next shop we found was Cowgirl Attic, an eclectic pop of personality--colorful scarecrows, and metal horses seemed to welcome us before we even entered the shop. The shop, which features antiques, vintage garden decor and lots of rusty, metal art, has a decidedly western vibe, from the the Naugahyde furniture to the wild boar head mounted on the wall. All in all, Cowgirl Attic is a great place for rooting out antique balusters, mantles or  windows. I could spend countless hours sorting through this neat shop. 

Our trip ended at My Favorite Things, and it was the best. Everything imaginable for holiday needs could be found here.  The displays were staged perfectly and included everything from cute Santa and snowman trees, to elegant, detailed nativity scenes. My head was spinning as I attempted to find just the right things at such an early date. While racking my brain trying to remember what might enhance my trees or table settings, I began to get  a headache and I ended up leaving with only a wonderful room spray and candle.

Loved this cute turkey and the Thanksgiving dishes
I made it home with a few great finds. And, I was actually proud of myself for not falling victim to impulse buying, which I so often do. However, on the other hand, I could have gotten a great start on my holiday shopping if I had prepared, made a list, checked it get the idea. At the end of the day, I was spiritually full, but as far as practicality goes, I blew a great chance to score some unique gifts. I came home empty-handed. I am going to spend some time this weekend devising a decorating game plan, and a shopping list, And then, game on, Christmas 2010!
My candle with the pretty jeweled lid and the TV with the village scene were two of my favorites
Have you started your shopping?  Are you finished already?  Do you put up your tree before or after Thanksgiving?  What's your game plan this year?


TexWisGirl said...

I am exhausted just reading about your shoppping trip... My plan is to stay home and order any/all gifts off the internet! :)

As for decorating, I guess I could trace a few Christmas trees in the dust on the furniture... :)

Farm Girl said...

What fun Amy! You did good to not come home with all of the stores goods as I might have done. :) I am usually finished with all of my shopping by Thanksgiving. I decorate my house the day after Thanksgiving and have always lived in hopes that by December 26th I won't be a zombie. So far it has never worked. I am still in limbo with what I am going to do. As my daughter and her family will be in Virginia with her husbands family, I have to try and do something different, I just haven't figured out what.
I love the pictures. I wish I could see a close up of your tiny television.

Tete said...

It would be so hard to choose from all that you have shown and I am sure that was just the tip of the ice berg! Holy cow, could I have done some major damage.
I love the little tv. That is such a great idea.
I have 90% of my shopping done. It's not hard when you shop all year long. Our tree will go up the day after Thanksgiving. It's tradition. We stay home and have fun- I know it's the thing to be out shopping on that day, but I have never had any desire to be trample or whacked over the head by crazy ladies in a shopping frenzy... used to play basketball with girls- they are meaner than guys any day.
We play Christmas music as we do it and then we will watch a Christmas DVD that evening to get us in the mood for the holidays.
Hugs- Tete

John Going Gently said...

I havent bought a bloody thingas yet!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

The TV with the winter scene is my favorite. Shopping for Christmas is fun only if you can get it done two weeks before Christmas, I usually do not. lol We get a real tree and it usually goes up around December 6th give or take a day or two(my favorite Christmas activity). My plan is to beg my three college kids to stay at home and not travel to boyfriends or girlfriends houses near and far away. Maybe I'm trying to hold on just a little longer.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Oh, how fun!! Now, thanks to you, I have another idea to use my gourds for - turkeys!! I am completely fascinated with your vintage tv w/ Christmas display. Video please! lol! :) Thank you for sharing! Oh, and I'm an after T-giving tree person myself. This year I'll see if I am up to putting up the big tree (haven't done that in two years, sadly!). Yes, I have a small start on shopping - mostly online. -Tammy

Sharon said...

Gee, here I am getting rid of stuff and you are adding more, LOL! Your house is considerably larger than our little brick house!

I may score new living room furniture, if DH keeps working and our son will probably get a little green stuff in an envelope.

I've thrown out the trees and decorations, they weren't used for a couple years now. Nobody comes unless I put out a big feast or buffet and you know I can't do that anymore.

Pondside said...

Please take me with you next time!
I haven't started shopping yet, but I have a trip to Saltspring Island planned for later in the month - I always find unusual things there, just right for several family members.
Thanks for sharing such a lovely day out.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Hello, thanks for visiting and Following my blog! Boy, it looks like you had a great time for yourself. Some of those shops look like a lot of fun! I'm about half-finish my Christmas shopping, of course I've been half finished since July, I could be finished if I'd focus . . . LOL! I've only had my tree up once and lighted on Thanksgiving, I usually don't put it up until December 15.

Janice Grinyer said...

Oh thank you for taking me shopping with you!! ~ thats one thing that I need to make sure I plan to do, as we live 40 miles from any town, and I mean 40 miles of gravel road. And I mean any place of business that doesnt involve cows - gas station, food store, or restaurant!

Theres a few local shops though in Broadus - one is called the Copper Moon and it has the neatest things, so Im pretty sure that there, a wool shop and the local hardware store will be my places to shop - and on-line!

That TV is the neatest thing!

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Amy, Christmas is my MOST favorite time of the year! I LOVE to decorate my house for the holidays! I can't wait to put up my tree...right after Thanksgiving holiday...:)JP

Mary said...

It sounds like you had great fun on your shopping trip. I love the pictures. I've been getting in the mood for decorating for Christmas earlier this year. We wait until the Sunday after Thanksgiving to decorate. We went on our first Christmas shopping trip this morning and found a few nice thigs too.

Your Chrstmas TV is great!


Country Gal said...

What a great day, photos and post ! WOW I havent even thought of Christmas yet let alone decorating lol We here dont decorate fully till the week before christmas ! Have a great weekend !

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

hmmmm, did i detect a bit of bragging? yes you were a very good girl and i was NOT~! hahahha! i have already lit my candle, and showed the good husband some pics who promptly reminded me that i needed to save my money! it was a great day and i love your pics getting to see things that i missed. you didn't mention the 'your boyfriend' the scary man so i will....too funny!!

Angela said...

Hey Amy!

After being in a few Christmas decorated stores today I am tempted to start decorating our house right now! I can't leave Thanksgiving out though.

You found some neat things on your trip! Usually I already have Christmas done by now but this year I just haven't been in the shopping mood.

Have a Great Day!

Unknown said...

My Favorite holiday too... I can't wait to get started decorating... But must wait until Thanksgiving trip is over and then watch outI will be in turbo mode.
Love your pictures.

Rebecca said...

So many great looking shops that I wish I could check out-thanks for sharing!

Deb said...

looks like a great time...I don't start Christmas till after Thanksgiving...I like to enjoy Thanksgiving first...

Michelle said...

I haven't started shopping, and don't until after Thanksgiving. I start to get Christmas overload if I start things too early. I like your finds...especially that little tv set.

Judy said...

What an awesome shopping trip. I have started my shopping but I have a long way to go yet. We usually put our tree up after Thanksgiving.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I do so love Christmas decor and looking at everything--But I stay in denial that I have any shopping to do until the last minute!!

Heritage Farm Village said...

looks like you had a great time! we would have loved to visit the antique shop as it is right down our 'alley'...jill

Staci@LifeAtCobbleHillFarm said...

Although I enjoy Christmas music while baking during the month of November, I am an after Thanksgiving tree girl. I love Thanksgiving and feel Christmas can have it's own month. :) I love the photos - particularly the turkey gourds. And the tv you cool is that? I'm not so sure I could've passed that up either.
Holiday baking has begun here and my house is filled with the smells of nutmeg, apples, cinnamon, pumpkin, etc. Yum!
I have not started Holiday shopping yet, however, I have started Holiday crafts, so I guess that counts.
Have a great weekend!

Melodie said...

It looks like a fun day and you got some cute buys!

Unknown said...

Hi Amy,

Some gorgeous trees! Also, I love that name "Cowgirl Attic"!



Inger said...

WOW!! I really enjoyed coming with you on your shopping trip -- and I didn't get the slightest bit exhausted. Just sat back here and enjoyed myself. Great photos and a wonderful story to put me in the holiday mood.--Inger

Kent Island Red said...

Hi Amy,
Cowgirl Attic looks like my kind of place! I don't know if I could have shown the same buying restraint that you did tho. Sounds like you girls had lots of fun.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Amy, I am trying to SIMLIFY, the leaves are still on the trees and my Halloween decorations are waiting to be returned to the attic. I must admit I did attend a few Holiday Crafts Fairs this weekend, lots of wonderful primitive wares out there and GIRLFRIEND I love your purchases, what a cute idea that little TV is. No Christmas trees here till after Thanksgiving!

Terry said...

Ooo, I love the tv screen!
I'm one of those folks who can't think about Thanksgiving until after Halloween, can't think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, etc.

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, thanks for sharing this with all of us.

That little TV is adorable, I've never seen anything like that. I know what you mean about being overwhelmed. A local store that I love just got all of their stuff up and I've stopped twice already. I just can't seem to pick what I want even though I really like most of it!

Just started my shopping this past week. A little online and a little in person. I used to get all my shopping done early, now I kind of like to let it take awhile and ENJOY it. I do quite a bit online so that when I am in the stores I can be more relaxed, not madly trying to find that "certain" thing.

Looking forward to more holiday inspired posts!

Teri said...

Hi Amy,
Well, I hope you stayed warm while shopping ... It was so cold here this weekend ... you were but a mear 2 hours away from me ... You bought some great items ... Love the pillow!
I always do my decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving ... I like to Enjoy ALL the fall and winter holidays! Each one is very special on its own ... I hate to rush them, they go by fast enough on their own.
Have a great week.

Maura @ Kisiwa Creek Photography said...

Oh Amy what a fun day you had! I know exactly how you feel though...I too get overwhelmed when shopping so many great stores and I usually regret not buying the things I really like. I tell myself that I'll get back one day but life get's in the way and I never do! You brought home some wonderful things though and good for you for not getting 'carried away' with the impulse shopping. As for us...we only finished the renovations by the end of last September and I think we were so burned out even by December we didn't do much Christmas decorating. The other thing is that we just moved to the little farm cottage after living in a HUGE Victorian with all kinds of rooms to decorate for the holidays and I must say that it was a little bit of a let down. We never even had a tree last year...where were we to put one? Our last tree was a HUGE 9' tree that was so thick with branches that it looked real! This year I'm not sure what we'll bring out of our 'treasure' of decorations ...I guess it will be a surprise for all of us ;) I'm looking forward to seeing what you do for the holidays...have fun!
Maura :)

Lisa Sall - Sall's Country Life said...

Hey Amy, thanks for the prelude to my Christmas shopping trip. I've been hearing the commercials on t.v. already! If it weren't such nice weather I could appreciate the holiday stuff, but I'm still stuck in Fall mode. It's probably time to move on though, or else I'll be scrambling as usual. My tree goes up if there's snow on the ground and I'm hearing Christmas music. I really don't mind if it is up and decorated during our Thanksgiving get-together. I'm usually more relaxed the earlier it's done. I do love our house when it's decked out for the holidays! It will be fun to share with blogging friends this year, a first for me!

FarmHouse Style said...

It looks like you are off to a good start. I love the little bird ornaments. I'm afraid if I were to enter the Cowgirl Attic, I might never be seen again... what a wonderful little shop:-)

I always wait until after Thanksgiving to begin my Chistmas decorating and shopping, but since a good bit of my gifts will be handmade this year, I've had to start much earlier.


thecrazysheeplady said...

I love Cowgirl Attic! We are just 30 minutes north of Lexington if you ever have a little extra time :-).

Carla said...

Our tree goes up Thanksgiving weekend if all the ducks are in a row. Sometimes they aren't.
I'm glad you had a great time and saved some money for getting gifts. :)

Unknown said...

Amy, That looks like so much fun! I really love that tv with the village scene, how unique!

We don't put our tree up until December, we always have a real tree and our Thanksgiving is long gone! : )


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- Daniel