Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Banner 2011

Again, thank you Cheriecity for helping me with this banner!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Wherever I go, the holiday cheer is evident. I can smell it too, even at home. I decorated the house with garlands from our Christmas tree, and when you walk in, you could smell the distinct fragrance of pine. After our first real Christmas tree two years ago, I don’t think I can ever go back to plastic.  And while there are advantages to having a fake tree, nothing beats the fresh sweet smell that comes from a real one.  For me, having a fake tree is synonymous to decorating your home with plastic or silk flowers. But then, if we live back in the tropics, it would be an entirely different story. Maybe we can make do with a palm tree.

I love how the star seems to float over our tree.

But I digress. This is after all about My Desk and not about the tree. The garlands on the banner are some of the branches that we trimmed off the tree which I dressed up with pine cones and red balls. I didn’t want to go overboard with the Christmas decor lest we forget that this is still a travel site and not a store display window.

The gift that keeps on giving: Last year he was the best gift under the tree. He still is.

Aside from the garlands, the one recurring theme on the desk is the trains. The holidays is all about trains for me, especially since aside from the birth of our Savior and my mother (I wish I can just take the train to see her this Christmas), we are also celebrating the birth of our son. Since he came into our life, I had developed a fascination for steam locomotives. The interest in trains was further heightened by Paul Theroux’s (one of our favorite travel writers) The Old Patagonian Express, narrating his travel across the U.S. and Central America aboard different trains.

The inside of The Old Patagonian Express is the inspiration for my son's room.

The inner part of the cover, illustrating the route of the Old Patagonian Express on a map, is the inspiration for the nursery. In fact, one wall of the room is covered by an old world map, and all over the room are different modes of transportation, including choo-choo trains.

This Old World wallpaper which I also use for the banner is inspired by Paul Theroux.

The tiny choo-choo train across the journal is a vintage candle holder which I got for my son. The other train resting on the Amtrak  magazine is a Christmas tree ornament for this year. It will be a tradition to get a train ornament for him every year until the tree will be encircled with trains aside from the one on the floor.

This train in his room goes underneath the tree every Christmas.
Incidentally, the first part of Theroux’s trip was taken aboard the Amtrak from Boston. This is why I included the Amtrak Magazine (40th Anniversary edition) in the banner.  We picked it up from the recent OKC annual Train Show, because we’re planning on a short trip in the next few months via the Amtrak. Perhaps to Fort Sill. This will be quite the adventure as I have never been on an Amtrak, and I haven’t been on a lot of train rides either. The most significant one so far is when we took the direct sleeper train from Singapore to Malaysia.

Every year we will get a train ornament for the tree. This one was from last year.

A longer trip to Nicaragua can be seen in the horizon, and I find it interesting that Nicaragua was one of the countries that Theroux skipped  from El Salvador because of the unrest that was happening back then. And so we will venture where Theroux did not dare go in his great train adventure. We chose Nicaragua because it offers two worlds: the colonial culture and the Creole and Caribbean culture. Of course all of these trips will depend on my son (If we can find someone to watch him for a couple of weeks or perhaps more importantly, if I can condition myself to be away from him for that long). Those of you with kids know that having children pretty much dictates your plans including your vacations.

Father and son at the Train Show.

Wherever we’re going in the next few months, I will be sure to take you with me. In the meantime, I hope you travel the path of peace and joy this Christmas.

All aboard!  

Aboard the Parlor Car at the Science Museum


As the seasons change, so will my desktop banner. I will be adding little touches to it, moving the items around, and customizing it for the season. I will archive its transformation on My Desk. 

Read more about how I put the banner together and how my real writer's desk looks like at My Desk. And tell me how your desk looks like, and I will tell you who you are.


fake plastic trees are soooooooo..... LOL. yes, they're so LOL. =P it works if you're in the philippines, yes. but if i had access to a real tree, i'd never go back to plastics again either. glad my bro bought a tree before i left. haha. =P

I know what you mean! I have nothing againts them; We had plastic trees growing up but real trees weren't the norm back then either!

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