Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Memories and Traditions

Remembering an old tradition .....

When the children were young, we lived in a neighborhood that encouraged all homes to put out candles in small brown paper bags on Christmas Eve. The dads of each young family would faithfully fill the bags with a couple inches of sand, add a candle, light it and place the bags at intervals along the curb. We would line the streets, lighting a continuous way through the neighborhood with glowing candles.  The streets flickered with softly burning candles from sunset until sometime during the darkness before sunrise.  This was to light the way for Christ to come to each of our homes.  It was beautiful.  A very special tradition that continued for several years.

I was remembering and thinking about those past Christmas traditions.  I decided to try something similar.  This year I put small votive candles in glass jars, adding a few inches of kitty litter to the bottom of each jar.  The driveway was lined with them leading from the sidewalk to the front door.  It was my first attempt, and I learned some things I will change for next year. I will buy thicker candles of several inches in height, as the ones I used did not stay burning more than about three hours.  I will begin stashing empty cleaned peanut butter and small glass jam, pickle and jelly jars so there are more than twelve to use next year.  

Wally and I hope you have precious Christmas memories and are looking forward to a Happy and Joyous New Year.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas almost here!!!!

With the temperatures in the 50's and the skies sunny, the grass green, and people running around in SWEATERS instead of bundled up to the hilt in snow jackets, scarves covering faces, mittens and gloves, boots, knitted caps,   how can it be three days until Christmas?  We all feel blessed and happy and smug in the warmth, but some of us have a nagging fear lurking in the dark side of our brains warning us that the winter will soon be here with a vengeance and we will have to PAY for this!  The shoe (or do we mean snow boot) will soon fall!!!  I personally don't want to believe the 'pay for it' part and want to think the winter ahead will be mild and relatively easy.  Anyway, it IS almost Christmas, and I want to share some of the fun of decorating the house. 

First the tree in front of the window, where the lights sparkle and reflect and make the room look magical.  I love to just walk through the room and stare at the tree.  The ornaments are mostly things the children made through the years ... with some treasured memory ornaments that were gifts added from friends and family.  They all remind me of special times, or events, and the sweet people who gave them to me.  The little decorations made by the children make me smile and mean the most, I think.  The shrink art drawings, the marshmallow snowmen glued together and calcified with age, the construction paper with glitter, the toothless photos glued onto paper.  Those are the best.

The mantle is simple.  Just greenery, holly, some white poinsettias and the Holy Family in the middle .... all amidst tiny white lights.  

I was so fearful Wally would decide to climb the tree or 'redecorate' it by batting at the ornaments, removing them, and playing with them throughout the house.  However, he seems to think that under the tree, on the old lace tablecloth is his new napping spot.  He has made himself a nest there. When he isn't fast asleep, he gazes out the window (his large screen TV) at the birds flitting around the feeders. Only occasionally will an ornament get batted so it swings back and forth, but so far, no breakage!

I put a sprig of poinsettia garland across the top of Grandma Holton's portrait that my sweet little sister found as she was cleaning and reorganizing.  It is a lovely charcoal rendering of Grandma done in the early 60's we think.  I had it framed at a local frame shop.  Will show you the work in progress on another blog.

The Monday night sewing group decided for our party we would all bring appetizers.  Oh what a feast.  There are only five of us, but we managed to put out a spread quite delicious.  There was a cranberry cheese ball and delectable crackers, little sausage links wrapped in bacon with brown sugar, a sausage mixture in crescent rolls baked in the oven, tiny dough cups filled with chicken salad, spinach mini-quiches, and a cool grape salad to round it out.  Wonderful assortment.  We enjoyed each other, and exchanged gifts thoughtfully purchased or carefully made by hand .... all cherished and just right for each of us.

I will close with a last picture of Wally Kitty.