#327 Home Home.

Downtown is my home, but everyone knows your true home is where your mama and daddy are. For me, HOME home feels like Christmas every time I walk through its door. It always has cozy glowing light in every room, lamp light in every corner. It always smells like she’s baking apple crisp even when she isn’t (and it’s not like she’s got magic candles everywhere, they’re not often lit).When she washes clothes, they smell like Gain for at LEAST 2 weeks. There are always delicious leftovers in the fridge since she has stepped into my grandmother’s shoes and is the family cook every night of the week. Her kitchen is red—hello, Christmas! Even when she insists it’s “a mess” it looks like a magazine spread to me. The beds are all white with fluffy down comforters that beg you to fall asleep in them. For these reasons and about a billion more, home, mama and daddy’s home, is where my heart is and I will always come home to decorate the tree.

Today she’s been very busy preparing for our family to come over for Thanksgiving tomorrow, so we’re spending the night to help her out. The game plan changed at the last minute when Aunt Bert fell ill, so here we are whipping up pies and butchering hams. It’s festive. Once I got the sweet potatoes in the oven, we started decorating the tree. My favorite ornaments are old and shabby ones, the valueless yet priceless ones that are (fortunately) unbreakable but precious in every way.
Mama collected ornaments of decades for a while. I love this one for the 1940s.

My first Christmas ornament. I bet you other 1985 babies had this one too!

This is it. My all-time favorite Christmas ornament. A tiny cardboard house decorated for Christmas with a sloped roof covered in a floral fabric. It has a tee-tiny little tree attached to the front porch. As a toddler, I wanted to get inside that little house and dance around. As an adult, I’m astounded by how weird it is and I adore it. Mama bought this one at Walters Salvage in 1974. Before Clark was even born!

Mama always believes that the little red book about the Christmas teddy bear is my favorite ornament, but I’d give it a close 2nd to the tiny house. Maybe I just love anything that’s a normal thing but in miniature? They bought it my first Christmas in 1985.

Look! Another precious miniature! This tiny quilted stocking is so delicate. Mama thinks a lady in their church made it for her in the early 80s.

Finished. Her dining room is gorgeous, but we only use it on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I always tell mama that when she dies, the first thing I’m doing is snatching the Graceland Christmas scene. I wish I were joking about that.

It’s got all the little yard decorations that are exact replicas of the real Christmas decorations at Graceland. How cute is that?! I saw them in person in 2005, when Ben and I went there for our 1 year dating anniversary. We’re pretty serious about Elvis around here.

And just for kicks, a portrait mama commissioned my senior year.

Kidding! I was 7, and I was actually wearing a t-shirt with ice cream smeared on it. The New Orleans artist was kind enough to “imagine” a dress for me.