Like a Kid Again and a Country Christmas Table Centerpiece

I wish my family had owned a video camera when I was a kid, back in the 70’s.

Because if we had, I would have proof that once upon a time, before childbirth and aching knees, I was a pretty  athletic person.

My kids never saw me climbing the trees in our yard so many times, I wore the branches smooth.

They wouldn’t believe I always did the “guy” version of push-ups and pull-ups in PE class – not the girl version.

I ran track, I played volleyball, and I was actually coordinated.

That’s me – far left, from row – circa 1983 on the drill team – complete with saddle shoes, and a skirt that was too short.

80's high school photo

While hanging out in Arkansas over the weekend, I went to a rock climbing gym, where my middle son was participating in a fund-raising climb.  Each volunteer climbed the wall 50 times, and all together that equaled the height of Mt. Everest.

I was just there to watch, and be amazed at their youth and vigor.

And then they asked me if I wanted to climb.

     ME?   Climb???

Those childhood memories of tree climbing came flooding back, and I  had to try it – had to.

I decided to climb just like I did as a kid – barefoot.

Forget the climbing shoes.  We didn’t have them when I was a kid, thank you very much!

They directed me to the easiest wall to climb (not the one my son is on below).

rock climbing wall

My son stood below me – ready to catch me if I fell (or die trying to catch me).

My toes gripped the first foothold, and I reached for the hold above me.

He cheered me on, “You’ve got this, Mom!

I reached for the next hold, and climbed up higher.

“You’re doing great, Mom!”

So I went a little higher.

I felt like a kid again – this was fun!

But then I struggled, trying to reach the next hold.

I moved one foot to a different hold, but still couldn’t reach one above me.

I moved my  foot again, but still couldn’t get a grip on one.

  And that’s when I realized why they wear climbing shoes.

Suddenly, those footholds were digging into my feet.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel like a kid again.

It was all I could do to work my way back down the short distance I had climbed – my feet screaming, “you idiot!” at me all the way.

Once I had my feet firmly planted back on the ground, I realized I should probably stick with things that don’t hurt my feet…

     Like putting together a country Christmas centerpiece.

The worst thing that can happen is I get a splinter from the barn wood, or a pine cone pokes me.

Natural elements and barn wood are the beginning of a farmhouse holiday centerpiece -

Layering things on wood is what makes me happy these days, and it’s much safer!

Create a country Christmas centerpiece with weathered wood, old milk bottles and natural elements as the base - tutorial at

My kids are just going to have to take my word for it that I used to be athletic…

     Back in the day.

Farmhouse Christmas Centerpiece Tutorial -

Create a rustic Christmas centerpiece with old milk bottles, vintage kitchen tools, a little ribbon, pine cones and weathered wood -

Country Christmas farmhouse table centerpiece -

One piece of barn wood decorated 2 ways – on the left for autumn and the right for Christmas.

A weathered wood plank is the base for a rustic table centerpiece for Thanksgiving or Christmas -

I have a set of 6 of the old milk bottles available in my online shop HERE.

signature pin

Create an easy Farmhouse Christmas Rustic Centerpiece with a weathered wood board, natural elements and a few vintage kitchen tools -


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  1. So cute, I love this!

  2. Oh to be young again! Or at least be able to do some of the things we did back then. No bike helmets, no backpacks weighing us down on the way to school so we could climb and run and do just about anything we wanted. I was like you – swim team, cheerleader, gymnastics, track & field. Now I could barely run the length of the driveway. Oh well. We have other talents now – like that great centerpiece. You’ve inspired me for my kitchen table centrepiece for Christmas. I have tons of old wood in the garage just waiting for an idea like this. Thanks
    By the way, I recently subscribed to your blog and am enjoying it immensely. Found you on PInterest searching for printables.

  3. Angie, what is holding up the candle in the bottle, please? I love this!

  4. So very pretty. The ribbon adds such a lovely touch. What did you put in the milk bottles, flour? And congrats for climbing even a short wall. We have to be happy for every extra move we make, I’m practically welded to the office chair.

  5. Very cute arrangement, BUT, I was dying laughing at your memories. Part of the reason the knees and back are gone is because we were athletic. As a Mom of boys, I had more then my days chasing, throwing and running from them. Now we try and keep up with the 3-year old Grand…impossible…so we tag team her. LOL. Love your post. Sandi

  6. Angie,

    Loved your school pic and I enjoyed your rock climbing story… so cute! Time flies and it flies faster the older we get. I too was extremely athletic and active back in my youth and today suffer from time to time with aches and pains but who cares? The aches and pains is the rights of passage along with gray hair and spectacles.

    Those little glass milk bottles bring back memories too. Even as a kid, I disliked when our school stopped using the bottles in favor of the small cartons. The janitor probably loved the cartons because it was such an easier clean up when one of those were dropped. Remember when one of those full glass milk bottles crashed to the cafeteria floor? What a milk explosion…and everyone there would clap and cheer over the shattered glass and spilled milk. LOL! I haven’t thought about that in decades. Thanks for the memory triggers!

  7. Marlene Stephenson says

    I liked your story,at least you tried and that’s half the battle and i just know your sons were proud of you for it. But i sure am glad you like to create because you give me so many ideas.Thanks for sharing Angie.

  8. Angie … Glad you got to act like a kid again … enjoy it and not get hurt.
    Love both your table centerpieces. I had a very rare milk/cream bottle that I put faux snow (Epson salt) in and a candle and I loved it. One day, I left it burning too long and the flame was inside the bottle … got too hot and the bottle broke. So be careful and watch that the flame stays above the glass. Thanks for the inspiration.
    The Fall one with the old white pitcher, the bed spring and pumpkins is my favorite. Could easily be changed to Christmas by removing the pumpkins and add Christmas ornaments and greenery in the pitcher.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  9. I want those jars that hold your candles. Pretty table-scape.

  10. Hahaha I was on the drill team too! Only it was more like circa 1973 LOL… saddle shoes and all!
    Oh and your centerpiece is beautiful! 🙂

  11. I was NEVER athletic! But I used to be able to get down on the floor to play with my nephew and later my own kids. And I used to be able to get UP again! At 71 my knees just aren’t what they used to be! But, I haven’t had to have a knee replacement yet, so I guess I’m doing okay!

    The centerpieces are so nice. Amazing what a simple board with some trimmings can be made into–a charming country centerpiece! I gotta go find a board!

  12. I love the story of the wall. I love cheering the grandchildren on when they are climbing, but I’m not as brave as you were to try it as my knees are gone from too much sports. As for your tray, thank you again for a great idea. I have all the ingredients, including expired baking mix, lol. We just hauled 5 pickup loads of old boards out of the house we are getting cleaned up to move into. I hope hubby doesn’t scream too loud when I tell him some of that wood is coming back(shhhhh).

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