Oh, I'm such a big spender this year, plopping down 18 bucks for garland (a dollar a foot), and another 20 for a pot of narcissus.
Since there isn't really room for a tree in the apartment, this is a good as it gets, though I am thinking of putting a small tree in the pot were the narcissus are now blooming like mad. They'll be done in a few days, with another two weeks to go. Then again, I may just spring (ha) for another pot of bulbs.
Yes, those are jingle bells on the mantel in front of Paderewski. They find their way there every year, and have been put into service during parties, though we are not planning on having one with a lot of people this year—just friends for dinner, one or two at a time.
There aren't any cards to be placed on the mantel yet, the slow trickle of greetings not having commenced. Of course, with the ubiquity of online communication, one wonders how much life the tradition has left in it. Are you sending cards this year? I'm guilty myself of sending Holiday greetings digitally, reserving cards to family and a handful of friends, which, come to think of it, may be as it should be.
Egyptian purple ornaments, gilt pine cones (made them myself a couple years ago), pink ornaments from the 30's and 50's (which talk to the pink velvet ottoman), gold ribbon and faux berry branches—that's the sum of it. I think I did pretty good with that 18 bucks at the Korean deli.