The Little Train That Could

I have decided that decorating for Christmas is very similar to the story “The Little Train That Could.”

It’s one of my favorite childrens books, right after Goodnight Moon.  I love reading these stories to my grandsons.

Who doesn’t love a story about optimism and the spirit of giving it your all.

Like that Little Train, I think the process of decorating for Christmas, in many ways, carries the same storyline.

“I think I can, I think I can.”

You start out early November “thinking” about Christmas decor.  You may even start pinning a few inspirational pics.  But, you just can’t grasp the idea of decorating with Santa’s and Snow and and Reindeer, because for the moment there are pumpkins and gourds and mums all around your home.  

But, as Thanksgiving nears, your Little Engine is starting to build up steam, and you’re ready to get on that track and take off up that mountain.

But, first – there is turkey and dressing and giblets.
One must survive the Feast of the Giblets in order to earn the right to move on to the Celebration of Lights.

So, it’s Thanksgiving night, and the last plate has been scraped and loaded into the dishwasher, the last of the giblets and pumpkin pie bits have been placed in the fridge….and the steam is building at a high pitch now.  The Little Train whistle is starting to blow.  Can you hear the shrillness of the whistle?

Then in a great parade of pageantry, out comes the Christmas bins.  Out comes the rolls of carefully stored lights in perfectly unwadded form. Out comes the collected ornaments.  Out comes the ribbons and bows.

The Little Train has left the station and we are headed full steam up that mountain.  

The Mountain of Christmas Decorating Bliss.

Morning and night and every minute in between, you decorate…

“I think I can, I think I can…”

Decorating and crafting.  Crafting and decorating.
One mantel.  Then, a tree. A few wreaths.  The front porch.  The back porch. The Little Train is climbing up that mountain, and then suddenly you realize something….

That darn mountain is starting to get a little steep.

“That’s when you find out what you’re made of.”

There is still some steam, but the effort is getting a little harder now.  But, the Little Train has to keep plugging along because there is a party on the 16th.  And everyone is counting on that Little Train to get up The Mountain of Christmas Decorating Bliss.

“I think I can, I think I can.”

The mountain is really steep now.  You look over across the mountainside and see trains on other tracks, and some of them have already made it  over The Mountain of Christmas Decorating Bliss.  Some are close behind, and others haven’t even left the station left.  Oh, my. They better get moving before the snow moves in.  😀

So you feed the Little Train some more coal in its hungry little engine.  Eggnog and candy canes.  And wine.  Little Engines really like Robert Mondavi.  😀  “Oh, that’s silly Farnsworth.”

The Christmas decorating continues, even though its getting really, really hard now, and the Little Train needs some nightly soaks in the hot tub.

“Be careful, kid. Don’t bust a boiler.”

But, there is great joy.  Because the spirit of Christmas is shining bright, and there is a sense of pride in what has been accomplished.  And, the Mountain of Christmas Decorating Bliss is just over the ridge.

“I think I can, I think I can.”

With a final push,  a great plume of steam spills out over the tops of the trees, flowing out towards the mountainside.  

“When your feet are dragging on the ground stand up and face whatever you are afraid of…”

All the townspeople get a small glimpse of the steam, and know that the Little Train is near.

The townspeople gather at the station to wait the big arrival.  It’s drawing near, and not a moment too soon.

One last bit of coal, and one final push…

“I think I can, I think I can….”

The Little Train pulls into the station of The Mountain of Christmas Decorating Bliss.

“Yes, I did, and it was worth it!”

Yes, it is worth it.  And I could not have done it without the help of Mr. Main Engine.  Feeding me coal, refilling my wine, hanging garland and lights and generally just saying…

“You did it, Tillie!”

I will be announcing the winners of the French Grain Sack Christmas Pillows tonight on Facebook.  (and again here tomorrow)
Wait!!!!! Did I say “WINNERS?”  As in more than one?   Yep….surprise!  I am giving away TWO pillows to TWO lucky winners.

(Boy, Tillie’s sure fired up today!”)  😀

I can’t wait to announce the winners.

Sharing with:

Boogieboard Cottage – Masterpiece Monday
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life – Tabletop Tuesday
DIY Showoff – Holiday Showoff Party
Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesday
Kristens Creations – Show Us Your Creations
Setting for Four – Its a Party!
Gina at Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursday
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for Open House Party Thursday
Niki at The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Thursdays
Pamela @ From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thurs
Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thurs
at the picket fence – Inspiration Fridays
My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday
Common Ground – Vintage Inspirations
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Fox Hollow Cottage – The Power of Pinning

Do you have a party too?  Send me an email and I will be happy to join in.  Cause you can’t attend too many Holiday Parties now can you.

(As always, please feel free to pin any of my pictures, 

with my permission.)




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  1. Toot toot!

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  2. Whooo-Hooooot-whoooooo-hooooo…(whistle blowing here). I am beyond I think I can (now that I am almost done) and am onto I KNOW I CAN! You have done a wonderful job decorating for Christmas-I love it all- xo Diana

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  3. Your mantel looks beautiful, Barb! I think I ran out of steam myself! : ) I had such high hopes with all the things I pinned {starting in September!}. I may need to start a little earlier next year ~ just doing a little bit here and there for a head start!

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  4. You definitely are a steam engine, plowing through holiday decorating (great story)! Another beautiful mantel … love the bow … the beautiful reindeer and the stacked bookcases. Gorgeous, my friend!

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  5. very pretty Barb.. ya know what they say- As a Man Thinketh- you thought you could and you did…

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  6. Barb, you have outdone yourself! That little engine really pushed thru…lol!!! Your mantel is gorgeous; and all of your decor is just stunning!!

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  7. Very pretty mantle!

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  8. This mantel is beautiful even before decorations. Love the gallery wall above too. Beautiful lush garland.

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  9. Beautiful, yes you did!

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  10. hahahaha! Fun post, love the Robert Mondavi inspiration! Where I’m going to need some “steam” is putting it all away!
    Merry Merry!

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  11. I love the story with it!! Thanks for the inspiration….

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  12. Your mantel is just gorgeous! Thanx for sharing at tHT.

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  13. I totally enjoyed the narrative of the book–perfectly depicted in your mantel. What a beautiful fireplace. I also love vintage suitcases-yours looks lovely all stacked.

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  14. Your home is truly stunning and I completely relate to being that “Little Engine that Could”! Thank you so much for sharing this with us last weekend at Inspiration Friday!

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