New Year's Eve!

Here's a sneak peek at what's happening at our house tonight!  Colette is throwing a Gatsby-style New Year's Eve party!  There's glitz and glam and bubbly!  Full details to follow.

Christmas at our Home

I hope you had a delightful Christmas day!  It was a fun and relaxed day at our house!

In the morning, there was breakfast and present opening.

The itty-bitty girl and the big, big box!

The mystery gift was "from" me and "to" Technohubby, Colette, AND Max.  What could be inside here?

Happy with their new snowshoes!  (I bought a pair for myself too.)  We can't wait to try them out on some trails!  Now all we're waiting for is snow.  Where IS that this year?

My adorable grandkids in their new coats, which were our gifts to them.

Afternoon was devoted to naps (for all ages!) and dinner preparations.  Colette took charge of the table decor this year and went with a Scottish Christmas theme...fresh greens, tiny pears, pheasant feathers, and tartan!

-Christmas Dinner-

Brown-Sugar Glazed Spiral-sliced Ham
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Shallots
Green Beans
Cloverleaf Rolls and Butter
Chocolate-Raspberry Trifle

And now we're on to preparing for a New Year's Eve party!  A glimpse of that tomorrow!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our home...

...and our family

to yours!

Angels from the Realms of Glory

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:


Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.

Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:


All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.


Christmas Doors in New England

I love to see all the creative way people here in New England decorate their front doors for Christmas!  Here, from the last two Christmases (last year's with snow and this year's without) are some of my favorites.

Christmas Shopping in Boston

This week, Colette and I made a trip into Boston for a day of Christmas shopping and fun dining.  We did this last year too.  I think it may become an annual tradition! The first half of the day was cold and rainy, but we were undaunted.  We started the day walking the brick sidewalks of this historic area of Boston, peering in shop windows, and having lunch at Figs.

We explored affordable shops, a spectacular antique store that is devoted entirely to dining room antiques (china, crystal, silver, etc.), and a few truly beautiful the Ralph Lauren shop where even the stairway walls are a thing of beauty...

...and the Brooks Brothers shop, with its tie-inspired chandelier.

Then it was off to H & M, where the sales were great!  With tired feet and feeling a bit peckish, we stopped in at L.A. Burdick to refuel on their ultra-rich hot cocoa.

After a must-stop at The Paper Source (nothing like that in New Hampshire!), we headed back towards the parking structure, our car, and home.  I couldn't help but notice how all the lights on our walk were either Christmas lights, or red and green.  It's Christmas time in the city!

Bringing Home the Tree

Down some snow-packed dirt roads, we found a Christmas tree farm to get our tree this year.  An employee pointed out to us where to find the different varieties of trees.

The bigger trees were down the hill...way, w-a-y down the hill.

We hadn't even stopped to consider that the recent ice storms we've had would've encrusted all the trees with ice.

But after descending the hill about two-thirds of the way down, we found one we liked...mostly for its slightly quirky shape.

The tartan scarf came with me!

Loading up and heading home.

Decking the Halls

Decking the halls is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season!  Every year, the night of Thanksgiving, or the day after, Max hauls all the Christmas decoration boxes up from the basement, and Colette and I spend the next several days decorating for Christmas.  I enjoy the creativity that pulls raw materials from the boxes...books, candles and candleholders, ribbons, and more...and arranges them in a slightly different arrangement each year.

Colette wanted to be in charge of the family room mantle this year.  She had a plan and set to work with greens, pewter, beeswax candles, and pheasant and turkey feathers.

A little touch of Currier & Ives and she was satisfied.

The nativity scene was set up.

Love touches of tartan for Christmas!

The living room gets more formal touches.  The Victorian carolers take up residence on top of the piano.  And Christmas music stands ready for playing on the 1885 piano.

And hanging from a luxurious, velvet ribbon on my mahogany secretary is a mercury glass acorn, in a nod to the many oak trees on our property.

And even when everything else is in place, it never quite seems like the house is decorated before the staircase has been strung with greens.  Fresh roping was procured and then it's time to decide of the ribbons.  I have an entire plastic storage bin stuffed full of ribbons.

We opted to use the same tartan ribbons as last year, but adding in a black velvet ribbon too.

A wreath on the front door, and even the dog approves!

Prioritizing at Christmastime

"It's the most wonderful time of the year

With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you 'Be of good cheer'
It's the most wonderful time of the year 
It's the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings 
When friends come to call 
It's the hap-happiest season of all."

--Edward Pola and George Wyle (1963)

It is!  We LOVE the Christmas season in our household!  We love everything about it...decking the halls, Christmas music blasting from our playlists and carols being played on the piano, baking and feasting, sending and receiving Christmas cards, hosting our annual party, present name it, we love it all!  And, yes, like most families, we can sometimes get overwhelmed at all there is to do.  A little prioritizing is necessary to keep the household and Christmas preparations running smoothly WHILE retaining our Christmas cheer.  I've been pondering the next few weeks and how this is going to happen, and these are my thoughts and plans for this year:

Top Priority Given to the Fundamentals:

- Spend time in the Word of God daily preparing my heart for the celebration of His Incarnation.

- Keep healthy.  Fresh air and exercise in the form of a brisk walk works off those holiday calories and lifts the spirits.  (The dog likes this priority!)  Go to bed at a reasonable time and get a good night's sleep.

Do First the Things That Make for Craziness When Done Last

There are some Christmas preparations that I just REALLY love doing!  One of those is making Christmas pajama bottoms for our kids for their Christmas Eve presents.

This is a precious tradition to me, and one our kids genuinely appreciate.  But the joy goes out of it, if I'm holed up in the sewing room, by myself, late at night, on Dec. 23rd, scrambling to get them done.  Not fun.  So, I'm going to joyfully work on these in the next week.

Another preparation I take such delight in is making gifts to ship to friends on the west coast.  Coming up with the idea, creating them, and packaging them is fun.  But again, not so fun, if I'm slapping them together as fast as I can to meet the Christmas shipping deadline.

Primarily, it's those two creative endeavors that I really enjoy when I'm not feeling rushed, but my joy is zapped if I wait until the last minute.  So, those are happening first this year.

Let Everything Else Fall in Place

Shopping, wrapping, baking, Christmas card sending...all the rest always gets done, but doesn't make me feel stressed if it's happening at the last minute.  So, I'm going to focus on "peacefully going about the next thing".

Happy Christmas preparations to you!

Last Glimpses of Autumn's Splendor

The trees are striped nearly bare now, and the leaves that remain are sporting their deep copper color of late autumn. But I just had to share some (yet unseen) photos from our little corner of the U.S. when foliage was in all its glory.  Enjoy!

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