An Old Fashioned Christmas

I have always told my hubby that I should have been born in the pioneer days.  I greatly enjoy the conveniences of today, but the simplicity of years gone by has such an attraction to me.  Today, I am inviting you to take a little trip with me.  We are going to go back to the days of no electricity and running water.  Back to the days when life was simpler, and everything you had, was made with your own hands.  As you read along, just pretend that you are preparing for…



As Christmas time drew near, some family members were designated the fun job of going into the woods to select the perfect tree!  In this case it was the father and son.  The girls, (mother and daughters) were at home tending the fire and by the looks of this table, they were preparing some decorations for the tree.  


Oil lamps and candles were ready for the long dark evening ahead.  A nice big bowl of chestnuts is ready for roasting on the fire and nibbling while they decorate their Christmas tree.



The popcorn kernels were dried this fall, and have been popped in the popper held over the fire.  


The needle and thread is at the ready, to string long  garlands of popcorn interspersed with plump red cranberries for the fresh Christmas tree.  Ahh…can you smell it?


Mother has placed her red and white quilt on the kitchen table as a Christmas tablecloth.  Some other Christmas decorations the family has gathered in the woods nearby are; pine cones, pine boughs, alder cones, and wild holly berries.


Father found an old bell on the floor of the barn.  It is off the harness that he uses to hook the horses up to the sleigh.  He brought it in the house and now it will be a decoration on the Christmas tree.  Nothing is wasted!


Baking is also on the girls list for this week.  Spice cake and sugar cookies are two of the families favorites at Christmas time.




I hope you have enjoyed your brief trip through time…but it is time to come back to 2011.  I really enjoy using many of these special items in my decorating each year at Christmas.  

The two larger bowls belonged to my hubby’s grandmother.  The small white bowl, and the tin flour sifter belonged to my grandmother.  The popcorn popper (sitting behind the bowl of chestnuts) belonged to my dad.  The box of Schwartz Allspice is a treasure I found in an antique shop.  My father worked for Schwartz Spices for many years.  Long after he died, I came upon this and just couldn’t leave it there!  The oil lamp is not antique.  The enamel pitchers, cookie cutters, and the quilt are items I have picked up in antique stores over the years. 

The beautiful photos are all courtesy of my daughter.  You can visit her at Nicole Payzant Photography.

December 6, 2011 - 5:16 pm
December 6, 2011 - 5:58 pm

FABBY'S LIVING - How lovely, warm and cozy, wish I could visit you for a cup of coffee in your beautiful and very traditional C’mas decor. Hugs, FABBY

December 6, 2011 - 7:09 pm

Phyllis@Around the House - Love your old fashioned Christmas…adore the old spice box…wow does that look familiar…I am a new follower…

December 6, 2011 - 7:40 pm

Barbara F. - Beautiful beautiful post. Such warm memories, and that Nicole oh my she takes gorgeous photos. xo

December 6, 2011 - 7:42 pm

Pamela Gordon - Oh, I love this table top! Of course I love all things vintage and have many similar items myself. Except for a red and white quilt. How I’d love to have one of those. It all looks so wonderful! Blessings, Pamela

December 6, 2011 - 9:59 pm

NanaNor's - Hi there, I love all your vintage/antique items-such treasures! I love all antiques; no wonder I was drawn to you today. Can’t wait to visit more. Thank you for sharing!

December 6, 2011 - 10:22 pm

Bella Vista - Tanya, how you have ministered to my soul today. Your pictures are divine.

Happy Tuesday, sweet one,
Barb ♥

December 7, 2011 - 12:44 am

Sweet .n. Simple - This is so lovely! I am inspired ♥

December 7, 2011 - 1:01 am

Leslie - I LOVE an old fashioned Christmas!! I’ve always felt like I should’ve been born in a by gone era. I grew up on Laura Ingall’s books, and since then I’ve always been fascinated by a simpler time.
Beautiful table. Love your lantern and the popcorn looks yummy!
Great post!
Merry Christmas

December 7, 2011 - 1:52 am

LV - Indeed this was a simple, but fun way to celebrate the holidays. I been there and done that.

December 7, 2011 - 2:54 am

~~Carol~~ - LOVED this post! I too sometimes feel like I was born in the wrong century. I like all of the modern conveniences too, but I really wish we could all go back to a simpler time!
Happy REDnesday,

December 7, 2011 - 4:46 am

Blessed Serendipity - I love all these things and the story to go with. Great post.


December 7, 2011 - 5:37 pm

Bonnie ~ a wee Meenit - love this!! I have so many old cookie cutters, never thought about decorating with them, I am running to the cabinet I keep them in, thanks for the inspiration!
Found you on Momma Hen’s, new follower!!

December 7, 2011 - 6:44 pm

The Joys of Family and Hearth. - I tell my husband the same thing, I often feel as if I was born in the wrong time. I crave that simplistic yet hard pioneer life. We know it wasn’t easy…but they relied on eachother…

December 7, 2011 - 8:25 pm

Designs By Pinky - I lOVED my walk back in time! You have some delicious treasures!!! What a find the allspice was!Loved your story!!! XO, Pinky

December 7, 2011 - 8:27 pm

❀~Myrna~❀ - I loved my journey into the past with you !
Merry Christmas !

December 8, 2011 - 12:05 am

Babs - I love an old fashioned Christmas and yours is perfect. It’s so nice that so many of your things have special meaning to you. That’s the best kind of Christmas decoration.
Thanks for visiting and Merry Christmas.

December 8, 2011 - 12:11 am

Jacqueline - I was going to say that your photos look amazing! She did a beautiful job. I keep working on mine. Sometimes I like them, other times, not as much.

What a fun table! Everything does bring you back. I sure love all of the tinware. My great grandfather was a tinsmith and I would love to have some of his pieces. I love the little bear mold. We had cookie cutters just like those. I wonder where all of those things went from my parent’s home. Thanks for the great escape to a simpler time.

December 8, 2011 - 12:37 am

Kathleen - I loved that, very nostalgic! Wonderful items you have collected and you weave a great story!

December 8, 2011 - 2:06 am

Christine @ Stonehouse Living - Hi Lisa,
What a great post…love the homespun feel!
I would have liked to have lived in the past too!
As a family we love visiting historical villages.
All the Best,

December 8, 2011 - 2:39 am

Pat@Back Porch Musings - I love your old fashioned Christmas and your photos are fabulous!

December 8, 2011 - 2:52 am

Geneva - It was fun seeing your old fashioned Christmas… and I love that so many of your things were actually passed down to you and your husband. That makes everything even more special! Thank you for sharing these beautiful photographs!

December 8, 2011 - 2:55 am

Mary - Love your old-fashioned Christmas and what a wonderful find your Allspice box was! I’m drawn to things with a history and kinder gentler times but I’m afraid I would have made a bad pioneer :)

December 8, 2011 - 1:34 pm

Coloradolady - I love your table….very charming! Happy VTT!

December 8, 2011 - 5:38 pm

Sandra - Your table is very cozy. Now I am in the mood to string popcorn and cranberries. Thanks for sharing.

December 8, 2011 - 10:17 pm

Marlis - Loved our stroll down memory lane.. How clever to put it all together for us! Love your bowls.. and the other pieces are also beautiful treasures.. xo marlis

December 8, 2011 - 10:34 pm

Nani - SO nicely written!! I love the presentation of the table ready to make the garland. Super post!

December 9, 2011 - 12:35 am

Sylvia - I truly enjoyed this brief , but very charming trip through time …very inspiring , indeed ! I love the simplicity and the lack of pretension of this period of time . I remember stringing popcorn garlands for the Christmas tree with my grandma .
Thank you for your visit and kind comment .
Enjoy a warm and gentle season!

December 9, 2011 - 9:08 am

Chari at Happy To Design - Hi Tanya…

What a wonderful and sweet post, my friend! I agree with you…the simplicity of “days gone by” really appeals to me! I could truly picture the excitement of the this pioneer family as they prepared for their special Christmas celebration. I loved the photos (your daughter is a talented lady)!

Thank you so much for taking us back in time…to celebrate this special holiday! I loved it!

Warmest Christmas Wishes,

December 9, 2011 - 12:51 pm

Magical Mystical Teacher - Thank you for the trip back in time!


Sing a song of scarlet—
Red on Christmas morn!
Sing a song of scarlet—
Blue is so forlorn!
Sing a song of scarlet—
Red for girls and boys!
Sing a song of scarlet—
Look at all those toys!

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Red Leaf and Red Mary

December 9, 2011 - 1:06 pm

Sue - What beautiful photos and a lovely narrative that took me back to a simpler time…. I have to say that I would probably not have been a good pioneer wife! Too pampered- LOL You have some nice pieces to remember family. :-) Sue

December 9, 2011 - 2:48 pm

Nook & Cranny - I so love your post. I agree with you, I think I lived in those days in another life for I love all of these items and love collecting them.
Thanks for sharing.

December 9, 2011 - 5:47 pm

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage - Love your old fashioned Christmas!! It’s so rustic and charming!!

December 9, 2011 - 6:35 pm

Ann from On Sutton Place - I think an Old Fashioned Christmas is the way to go…a much simpler time. Your photos are wonderful. Enjoy the weekend!

December 10, 2011 - 12:50 pm

Hands to Work, Hearts to God - I traveled through time with you! Thank you! Great pictures your daughter took! Patsy from

December 10, 2011 - 3:39 pm

Cindy@OldTimePickers - What good old fashioned fun! Great post!

December 10, 2011 - 3:45 pm

K @ Aurora Blythe - Oh what a lovely and inspiring post this is! I do love my modern conveniences, but you have made me want to go back to the pioneer days for at least an afternoon so I could take part in such a fun activity as this!

December 10, 2011 - 7:42 pm

Lorie - So pretty!!! Thanks for stopping by Reading Confetti!

December 11, 2011 - 11:57 am

Debbie@Mountain Breaths - I would also enjoy going back to the days when life was simpler, and when things were made by hand. Your daughter is a wonderful photographer.

December 11, 2011 - 12:21 pm

Mandi - Lovely vintage elements! The close-up photos are a nice touch. Love all the colors, the teal of the thread and sparkley of the chestnuts are wonderful touches!

Happy holidays!

December 11, 2011 - 12:46 pm

Maggie - What a delightful, nostalgic post and how lovely that you have so many family heirlooms in your possesion.

December 12, 2011 - 12:19 am

Martha - A delightful post! Love all of your special treasures. It is nice to have an old fashioned Christmas isn’t it?

December 12, 2011 - 11:59 pm

Angie - Simply heartwarming!

You are being feature on Knick of Time Tuesday!

I hope you’ll come by and link up again tonight.

Angie @ Knick of Time Interiors

December 13, 2011 - 2:06 am

Alycia Nichols - What a cool post!!! I tried really, really hard, but the fact that I was typing on a souped-up computer with iPod headphones blaring Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby” in my ears made it kinda tough to imagine myself “back in the day.” :-) Beautifully constructed post, and I love it that you kept the spice container that reminds you of your Dad. That is truly so, so sweet.

December 15, 2011 - 4:44 pm

Debra @ Common Ground - wow, such wonderful photos, I love that you’ve used family things here, nothing like a vintage setting. thanks so much for sharing the fun at Vintage Inspiration Friday! xo

December 22, 2011 - 2:38 pm

Redo 101 - I should have been born back in that day, as well … and as you said, with modern conveniences please :) I love your table so much, I pinned it to my Pinterest – with credit to your blog. Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.


November 13, 2012 - 3:31 pm

Gwyneth - Just so lovely Tanya! Feels so warm and inviting! :) Thank you for this lovely display! Photos are indeed beautiful! Good job Nicole!

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