I have to ease into it and I can't be the only one. (Yes, we really do have a dolphin door knocker. It came with the house.)
What follows is my sure-fire formula for how I get motivated for Christmas, every single year:
1) Buy a few real wreaths from the grocery store.Hang on gates and front door.
2) Get a couple dozen Poinsettias (all sizes) from local nursery.
I group them by the front gates, the front door and, well, everywhere. I use old pots I have bought, saved, and stored just for this purpose. Those of you who know me well, know I don't store anything. My exception being Christmas.
I like to use my old Bauer pottery near the front door. And yes, I buy pots on eBay just for this purpose.
The wrought iron behind the bench used to be a divider between the garage and the front door, forcing you to walk to a back side door from the garage door rather than walking right into the house. Albert moved the wrought iron, re-painted it black and put it against the garage wall as a decorative element. Cool, huh?
Close up of a big turquoise Bauer pot. I got it super cheap in a Thrift store. It has a huge crack, but perfect for once a year use at Christmas. More of our wrought iron.
3) Purchase peppermint candles from Candlessence on Balboa Island.
Annie loves Christmas.
These two candles are sitting on a Target tray. Target. Best place on earth. Next to Costco.
Isn't the light fixture fantastic? It's a real mid-century. Getting it to hang at the proper height has been a chore but zip ties seem to have finally done the trick.
Bauer dish used for Christmas napkins. I have a thing for chartruese Bauer.
4) Go on the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk.
Every year, our little beach town has a Christmas Walk on the first Sunday of December (12/2/2012 this year). It is a chance for the merchants to get a head start on the season. And a chance for the best and the brightest of Newport Beach to strut their stuff. It has turned into kind of a Christmas pub crawl. Not that I am complaining -- the people watching is unbelievable.
I enjoy seeing the dolphins decorated for Christmas in the center of the Pacific Coast Highway median.
You can see the Beer and Wine Garden tent in the background. **Sigh**