Friday, December 10, 2010

Guest Post: a lOTT of Christmas decorations

Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the winner of the Huber's Gift Certificate Giveaway.

Ott, A the gardner, canner, baker over at a Latte' with Ott, A. A frequent customer at Starbucks, this farm girl fasionista is just as comfortable back home on the family livestock and grain farm wearing work boots as she is wearing stilettos in a trendy store in downtown Indianapolis. She spends her time shopping, scrapbooking, decorating, collecting Longaberger baskets, wine tasting and hanging out with family and friends. Professionally she is the Director of Operations and Grants for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and is author of the Ag Grant Guru blog. Married to her best friend and a fellow Boilermaker, (affectionately called Ott, E in this blog) the two spend their time together traveling and cheering for the Boilers. 

Twitter: @SunflowerOtt
Facebook: Amy E. Ott

a lOTT of Christmas decorations

I was up in my attic this past weekend getting down my Christmas decorations. It was cold up there so I was in a hurry to find the box labeled “ornaments.” As I rushed down the stairs to get to a warmer section of the house my thoughts lingered back to my teenage years of this one time when I was in the upstairs of my grandparents farmhouse looking for decorations to get their house all ready for Christmas. My family’s farm is located in North Central Indiana, in Fulton County. My grandparents have a big old farmhouse that is probably about 150 years old. It is white with green shutters and a large front porch with cobble stepping stones leading up to it. You step in the front door and right on into the living room which has higher ceilings and this beautiful 6 inch wooden trim with curves and a circular design which runs along the floor and all around the window and door frames. Just south of the house a few hundred feet sets a large red barn with some sheep usually grazing in a pasture out in front. On this farm they raise corn, soybeans and purebred Shropshire sheep. 


Growing up I always looked forward to that one weekend in December when I would go out to their house and decorate for Christmas. I’ve always enjoyed decorating for the holidays, but there is just something about Christmas time with the tree and lights that just made this farmhouse all the more warm and welcoming. 
The day usually started with me in the upstairs storage room looking for boxes of decorations, lights, ornaments, candles, bows, nativity scene and holiday linens. My grandmother pretty much gave me full reign to decorate her house as I pleased and I could use as much of her holiday stuff as I wanted. (Looking back on this now, she probably let me do so much because she knew I would also be the one coming back in January to take everything back upstairs to be stored after the holidays were over.)

Next came the tree.


This is a picture of my grandfather and brother in the wind break on the farm. In the background you can see the barn.

On my grandparents farm there were a number of White Pine trees planted as a wind break along one of their fields. My grandfather and I would drive back to the field and pick out two trees which he would then cut down with an axe and we would drag to the truck to be taken back up to the house. One nicer tree would be picked out to put in the living room. And one tree that wasn’t quite as nice would be selected for the front porch. This second tree would usually be a little thinner or not shaped as nice or bare in one area, but it really didn’t really matter because it was just going on the porch where I would put lots of lights on it and no one would be able to tell the difference. 

We would drive back up to the house where Grandma would have hot cocoa waiting on us and as we pulled into the driveway she would step out the front door and onto the porch to inspect what we had selected. Grandpa and I would always pull that thinner, funny shaped tree out of the back end of the pickup truck first. We would hold it up to display this tree to her, and trying very hard to suppress our laughter we would ask; “Well what do you think of our Christmas tree for the living room this year?” (Knowing full well that it was going on the porch.)

Grandma would look at it and say, “Now why did you pick out that Charlie Brown style of a Christmas tree? It’s bare over here and one branch in longer than the others over there.”

Usually at that point we would started smirking and she would figure out what we were up to. I would prop the “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree up on the porch as Grandpa would pull the nicer tree off the truck and make his way on into the house with it. After warming up with some hot cocoa and wresting the tree into its stand it was finally time to decorate.


Besides the tree I would set out candles and little Christmas time figurines as well as change the doilies on the end tables and the table cloth on the kitchen table to more festive colors. There were some wreaths for the doors, stockings for everyone in the family and a reindeer with a red nose that lit up, as well as music boxes, snow globes and red candy dishes. There were more lights and decorations to put on the front porch and any place I could find to try a red ribbon around I usually would. 

By the end of the day I would be exhausted but now looking back as I decorate my own house for Christmas I fondly recall these old memories of seeing that big old farmhouse all lit up and ready for the Christmas Day!

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Congrats to Jane! Please email us at and let us know where you'd like us to mail your gift certificate!

Stay tuned for another great giveaway announcement on Monday!

1 comment:

ann said...

Liked your story. Christmas is a great time for old memories and make new ones