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Friday, December 9, 2011

A Chatty Post From A Yule Fool

First off, family news:  Howard's Dad, recently hospitalized,
is home now and doing well; we are grateful for this,
and for all the warm good thoughts, prayers, and wishes from you.  
It's Christmas; the ornament wreath is hung in the Powder Room!

In other family news, Alida and Josh arrive at That Old House
on Wednesday next, to celebrate Christmas with us.
This absolutely delights me; we have not seen them since they left here after their wedding in June.
But it also makes me feel badly for Josh's family in California.
Why can't we all live in one place, piled on top of one another?

But it will be lovely to have all three of our young'uns with us at Christmas.
See how happy I look?
Should I do something different with my hair, do you think?

Alida has asked me what her Dad would like for Christmas.
Why are men so hard to buy for?
Or is it that we just don't want to buy what they really want?  :-)

Dear Daughter Anne,
If you take a look at this picture:
you will see that I need a new red candle.
Love, Mama

The backstory:  When Anne was very young, she gave me a red candle for Christmas,
so I would have something to put in this Swedish candleholder. 
She was extraordinarily proud of this gift, for it had been carefully chosen
with singleminded concentration and care.
Each year, she checked that the candle was in place at Christmastime.
Over the years, the candle bent, then finally broke, and I secretly replaced it with a new one.
She found out about my sleight-of-hand years later, and after that 
I decided that the candles in this candleholder will only ever be replaced by Annie herself.
How sentimental do you get at Christmas?
If I'm not careful, I can melt into a puddle of nostalgic goo.
December 1989: Anne (L, 2-1/2) and Alida (3-1/2), in the dresses
I'd made for them for Thanksgiving that year.
This was right after Alida's nursery school Christmas pageant.
They are on an old oak Mission settee that is now in the Pink Room.
Typically, Anne looks thoughtful; Alida looks about to speak.
What are your "firsts" at this time of the year?  What has to get done before anything else?
I hang the ornament wreath in the Powder Room, and decorate the feather tree for the kitchen:
Feather trees were probably the first faux Christmas trees, and migrated to the USA with
German immigrants in the late 1800s.  This one was a gift to me from my sister-in-law Doris
(I don't count our husbands in on this one, as this was definitely a girl-to-girl type gift).
It is from the Winterthur Museum in Delaware.  I went slightly bonkers buying wee little ornaments
for it, before realizing that if I kept adding ornaments, my feather tree would pretty much collapse.

Looking at it, though, I think it may need a few more . . . . 

This year, I'm going to actually do some baking.
Just remind me not to eat any of it, OK?
My sister, and maybe my niece Mary, and I are planning a Baking Day for next week.
We've talked about this every year for several years; I vote that it's time to actually do it, don't you agree?
Peggy has my Mom's old cookie cutters.  Santa Boots and Christmas trees, here we come!

Plaster Santa is out of his storage box.
If you think he looks like he's been in a terrible street fight,
it's because this old guy is older than I am,
and believe you me (as Grandma used to say), that's pretty old.
I rescued him a few years ago from my parents' garage, and nothing brings back
memories of my childhood Christmases like this St. Nick, chips and all.

And then, there's Mary.
As we journey through Advent, preparing our homes and -- much more importantly -- ourselves
for the joyous celebration of the Gift of Jesus, I often think of Mary.

When I was expecting Alida, and, like Mary, great with child at Christmas,
I thought of what it was like for her.  Childbearing is no picnic under the best of circumstances.
But in possibly the worst circumstances I can imagine,
 Mary gave birth to the Light of the World.

What a very odd and wonderful way for a Saviour King to announce himself,
with the cry of a newborn, in the poorest of places.

My favorite line in the Christmas Story comes from Luke, Chapter 2, Verse 19,
in the beautiful words of the King James translation, after the shepherds visit and praise the infant Jesus:
". . . Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."
Such a Mother thing to do.

By the way, I was expecting Anne the following Christmas . . . but I didn't know it!
 And now, adieu.
Mr. Dion DiPoochy is asking for some attention, and he shall get it.  -- Cass

Link Parties!

At My Romantic Home, it's Show And Tell Friday Click here!
Feathered Nest Friday makes its home at French Country Cottage.  Click here!
The Charm of Home features Home Sweet Home on Fridays.  Click here!
It's Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground.  Click here!
Honey at 2805 is hosting a Christmas Tree Party today.  Click here!
It is part of the big Bloggers'  Block Party group of Link Parties.


  1. Wonderful pictures. I love your loaded feather tree! So pretty.

  2. I love Christmas traditions and having certain things the same every year. I find it comforting. There is still continuity in my world.

    Uhhhh, did you happen to notice that there is a rather large graduate dinosaur who has ambled into your Nativity? I wonder what he graduated from.... Now I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure there were no actual dinasaurs (either graduate or undergrad) at the original Christmas. Camels, yes....dinasaurs, no! (Just fyi, in case you hadn't noticed.) lol!

  3. Dion has the most expressive eyes! Please go feed him. Your Santa is adorable. I have one that has a wonky foot from my Mom chewing on it when she was a baby. Means more to me than anything else at Christmas. BTW, I think your t-rex is in the wrong time period there, unless he's a time traveler.

  4. Feather Trees are among my Favorite Christmas decorations. I have several I use in the shop and or home. I love the way the ornaments stand out on them. When I look for a real tree, I like to find one with limbs far apart, kind a like the feather tree. Yours looks darling. Richard from My old Historic House.

  5. I'm a mush at Christmas too.... I lost triplets on December 12 one year.... nearly bled out. The following year on the 11th I gave birth to my twins. They were preemies and came home on the 245th. Then Jacob had his transplant on December 15, seventeen years later. We spent that Christmas at Columbia, but came home on New Year's Eve. Yup... Christmas is all kinds of emotional for me.......

    I'm so glad you'll have the kids home !


  6. lovely picture of the girls. I love the crafts, they look easy, cute and festive.

  7. Loved your chatty post and the pics of your little girls! They grow up too fast don't they -- however, I was expecting a picture of Howard in a Santa suit!

    Love your nativity -- that's the real meaning of Christmas isn't it -- the other stuff is just trappings for a holiday!

  8. Your tree and wreath so very pretty! Dion has a "Mom - I need your attention" look. :D Usually the tree goes up first, but not this year because I almost did not put one up.

  9. I love the feather tree, and the girls looked lovely in their dresses!

  10. I wonder about a feather tree - do I really want one or not? When I see yours I think 'yes'!
    Um - did you know that there's a rather large - errrr - prehistoric creature looming over the creche?

  11. I love that a very educated dino made the trek to Bethlehem.

  12. My 24 yr. old son said the other day that I didn't really have to go crazy with all the decorating at Christmas. I told him it was just the way it has to be and down the road if I have grandchildren they will have the most amazing memories of how Grandma's house looked at Christmas.
    So far I have been the lucky one when it comes to having my kids here at Christmas. My son's various girlfriends have always spent Christmas with us and not their families.
    Uhmmm there is a dinosaur in your nativity?

  13. Oh Cass, I know what you mean by can kill me, if I dwell on my daughters lifes growing up. It went way too fast, and goes faster as you have you back turned trying to raise them. xoxox, Susie

  14. I love your ornament wreath. I don't think I have ever seen a feather tree, the things you learn in Blogland!

  15. I just went back and caught up on your posts. You must be so happy to have the kids coming home. Makes decorating so much more fun!
    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

  16. That's the best kind of Christmas decorating, filled with sweet memories! Love that feather tree...just a few more ornaments. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  17. Love this post with all your sweet memories! Your tree is so beautiful and festive!. Thank you for linking to the Christmas Tree Party at 2805!


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