December 16, 2011

The Chimney

It's made of paper.  It's remade for every Christmas.  It was born in 1997.  It is our Chimney.

When I first entered into a relationship with my Hubs, I wanted to create our own traditions, for us and for The Kids.

Growing up, the farm house I lived in had a fireplace (non-working), complete with a mantel from which to hang our stockings.  When I moved here, the places I chose to live did not have hearths or mantels, and as I didn't really have a family here to celebrate, this did not really bother me.  Until The Kids.

Our very first Christmas as a couple was in 1997.  I lived in a small apartment on the third floor of the building.  The Hubs (then The Boyfriend) helped me get my very first, on-my-own Christmas tree.  As The Kids were helping decorate, I was desperately trying to figure out what to do with the stockings.  Pulling out some old construction paper, I fashioned the very First Chimney.  The Boy (the artist) drew the fire, I fashioned some logs out of old paper bags and the Eldest Girl thought it would be fun to put some paper boots with cotton around the ankles, depicting Santa dropping in.

First Chimney was very small, perhaps only 3 feet wide.

Now it has grown to the size you see here.  Instead of construction paper, it's made out of red wrapping paper with hand-drawn "bricks".  We still use paper bags for the logs and often the mantel itself.  The Hubs gets creative with the lights (he LOVES lights) nowadays, not like that First Chimney.

Over the years, I have grown tired of putting it up, especially as more and more gets piled on.  I'm either moving slower, or time really is speeding up.  It really is a lot of work.  Something had to give (for me). I have nagged and cajoled The Kids into doing it for a couple of years.  This year, though, it's been 100% The Hubs.  Every year I wonder, "Is this the last year?"  Because I know as The Kids grow up and move on, Christmas traditions will change again.

Hard work or not, I will miss this one.  It is one of the major traditions that started the very first year we were all together, and has continued on.  And every year, I think about what I said back in 1997...

... the Chimney is up, now Santa can come!


  1. What a very creative idea! When our kids were little we had the fireplace (real, working) covered with a bookcase to protect the kids. So stockings were hung from the staircase railings and we told the kids Santa came in through the front door. Your idea is so much more fun!

  2. That is an awesome tradition and so very creative!!

  3. Oh, I love this. I hope you DON'T end this tradition...its amazing!

  4. Wow! What a great idea! :D We have a real, working chimney, and we used to hang stockings every Christmas. I can still remember how my dad tells us stories about Santa and our chimney. We become very excited whenever the chimney sweep visits us for cleaning since that's the way Santa gets into our house to bring us presents. Haha.

  5. What a nice idea! :) We always design our chimney with personalized socks every Christmas. During normal days, we gather around the fireplace and share stories about our everyday lives. ;) I love your creativity.


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