Easing into the rest of the week with a few of my favorite things

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Not  very original, but true. Considering that three days ago there were yet no cookies nor candy, no Christmas tree, and very little direction or plan to get me to the finish line, I’ve not only made progress, I’m beginning to feel the enthusiasm of the season.

I’ve been energized. As proof, there are more where these came from!

Cookie Platter

Maybe the colder than usual weather has contributed to a little of the holiday spirit.

I’ve never experienced a White Christmas. But this year I can at least imagine Jack Frost nipping at my nose.

When I hopped into my car for work this morning it was 36 degrees F (2.2 C) offering a rare glimpse of frosted window panes.

Frosted Window Panes

When I was teaching I wondered what the children envisioned while we sang Frosty the Snowman or working with paper and scissors creating snowflakes to decorate the classroom. It was often 80 degrees outdoors in December and the children were dressed in shorts and sandals.

Not this year.

And I’m happy to report I’ve been enjoying the spirit of Christmas with just the right holiday tempo–smooth and easy–at least so far.

I’m slowly making progress on the tree. It takes me a while to decorate. I have at least one hundred older ornaments collected over forty years. Some are much older than that, having once belonged to Jay’s mother.

The tree is a Nordmann Fir with short, dark green needles and a waxy cuticle that helps prevent against drying–after all, this cold spell may not last! This particular tree holds up well, too, with the weight and heat of old-style bubble lights. I just had to have them with a nod to my childhood memories.

Did you notice Darwin has his own ornament? I hope Zena doesn’t feel left out. Maybe I’ll find one that has her personality.

To ease us into the rest of the week let’s share a little music.

Several years ago I purchased Andrea Bocelli’s Christmas CD, and every time I hear Welsh lyric mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and Italian tenor Bocelli I slow down and really listen.  This isn’t a traditional holiday song, but it’s beautiful.

Keep breathing lighter and enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of the season.

And remember one very important thing. Calories don’t count in December.

Now sit back and enjoy!

58 thoughts on “Easing into the rest of the week with a few of my favorite things

  1. Since we now have Godzilla & Barbie, the turtles that made the cross country trip with Colin and I, love the Darwin ornament!!

    • You are doing very well if you untangled lights without too much frustration! Every year I tell myself that when I take them down I’ll put them in some kind of contraption that keeps them tangle-free the next year, and I never do! I needed to do the baking to take to a party, otherwise I don’t think I’d have jumped in quite so freely! Now that I’m into it, though, it’s more fun. I’m also sampling too many…thus the calorie-free comment. :-) Thanks for sharing–now get with it! LOL!

  2. I applaud all you’ve accomplished so quickly, Debra. I’ve not even started yet. Well, I did buy Christmas postage stamps but if I don’t buy some cards quickly, I’ll be using them to mail my bills in June! Things have been so hectic around here of late. Luckily, though, it’s all come to an end and I’ve still time to get things done. Great musical selection,by the way. :)

    • I’m so glad you listened to the music, John. I just adore this piece. I am a little fixated on it…angel voices! I have the cards, but I’m thinking they may still be “Happy New Year” messages to my friends. I have been busy and making some progress, but I haven’t had many interruptions. That really helps! I do hope that now you can settle in for a bit. I am listening to holiday/Christmas music non-stop and that is keeping me on an even keel. I hope Max is keeping warm…I’ve felt sorry for Zena a few times lately when she’s been outdoors. She’s a Southern California dog. I doubt she understands this frosty weather. :-)

  3. I love how you’re decorating your home and I especially love how every member of your family has a special decoration – we do that here too! There’s no reason for our furry friends (or shelled friends) to miss out! I didn’t know LA had temperatures as low as that – I thought the winters were a lot more mild. My sister leaves in a couple of days. On Saturday she’ll be here in Sydney – I can’t wait to see her and meet her brand new baby boy. So much to celebrate this Christmas. Oh – and I love your cookies too! Very festive colours xx

    • I am glad you noticed my baking efforts, Charlie. LOL! They are few and far between, but when I do, I must admit I really enjoy myself. How thrilling that you’ll be with your sister and her new little son. What a wonderful time to be together. I hope you’ll find a way to share about that, although you will probably be very active and spending your time enjoying each other! She’ll tell you about this cold snap! It’s very, very unusual. I can’t remember the last time the temperatures were this low during the day. It’s due to warm up this next weekend and I have mixed feelings. Although Darwin does NOT like this cold and I’m even a little concerned about him. We’re trying to keep an eye on him but he is getting to big for us to move! I don’t know where he went to hide last night, and I’ve about decided when we find him he needs to come indoors for a few days and warm up! Hugs to you and your sister for a delightful reunion!!

  4. I have good news for you … Cincinnati is in the teens this morning and single digits are coming tonight …. Oh … and the ground is white from yesterday …. It’s only early December and the worst two months lie ahead.

    Wonderful post about getting into the Christmas spirit. We’re running behind schedule, but the tree went up Sunday. Love the song! WOW!!!!

    • I’m glad you listened to the song, Frank. I knew you’d like it. I am “new” to the talent of Katherine Jenkins. Were you watching Dancing with the Stars when she was one of the finalists? I wasn’t, and now I’m sorry I missed that. (youtube to the rescue). I know you must be feeling a little deflated going into Christmas, but perhaps this year it will be all that more meaningful to your dear family. I do hope so! ox

      • We’ve only missed the first season of DWTS … and she looks great in those dancing outfits! Christmas will be fine this year, but I imagine with a bit of an empty feeling. Seeing that today is the 11th is a big YIKES.

  5. I think most of the country is going through its own form of deep freeze right now. We’ve had snow twice in the past 3 days (yay!) and I’m now looking out at a carpet of sparkling whiteness. I’m very much like you in that I have a number of heirloom ornaments on my tree from my grandmother. They mean the world to me and I always give them prominent spots so I see them whenever I look at the tree. And we also have the same turtle ornament that a friend gave us some years back when we had 2 little turtles! :)

    • So you have that ornament, too! I love it. My niece gave it to me and it always makes me smile that she thought Darwin needed to be represented. :-) I’m sure the carpet of white is really gorgeous. I make a lot of noise about how we don’t have any snow and that it’s so warm (typically) this time of year, but I must admit I’d love to experience a really traditional “White Christmas” just once! I’m a little terrified of driving in ice and snow, simply because we have NO experience with that, but we could figure it out, I’m sure. I hope all is going well and that you’re not overdoing it this year. I hear more people telling me they have completely cut back on what they have previously held as expectations, and so have I. It feels very nice. Enjoy your day, my friend. ox

  6. Yet another reminder of how much we have in common, Debra. I love you ornaments and all the memories they hold. Years ago, I would go out the day after Christmas to get a Hallmark dated ornament at half price. Now, they are snatched up fast. In fact, if we’re to have one, I’d best trudge out in the snow today and pick one out. We do have a few ornaments from both our mothers, and they are tenderly placed on our real tree, which is usually a Frasier or Noble Fir. I love the firs for holding ornaments, and don’t know your fir, but, do know I’d like it. (The tree Kezzie decorated is artificial, and the ornaments are still where she put them).

    I think I have the same Bocelli CD, which is in my car right now. It was a birthday present that year – and a morning gift from you this morning as I start my day. Stay warm. That’s pretty cold for your neck-of-the-woods.

    • Our tree is very personal, and of course I think it’s beautiful. :-) I look at some of the very strategically decorated and well-designed and themed trees and I absolutely love and admire them. I often wonder if just one year I could make those changes, but I’m entirely too sentimental for that. There are some really well-loved ornaments that came from my grandmother or Jay’s mom and I’d be very sad if they fell and broke, but I put them up anyway. There’s no point in holding on to them in a box! And I just know that you have loved looking at Kezzie’s tree and those ornaments lined up and clumped in patches. I’m holding some ornaments out for the girls to place when they are next at the house, and it will be the same thing, I’m sure. I’ve kept a lot of spare room at the bottom. LOL!

      If you have this Bocelli CD I know you must have noticed this particular song. Katherine Jenkins has the voice of an angel, and although she’s been introduced to American audiences for some time, I’m learning now, she’s relatively new to me. I’m her “newest” fan. :-) We are due to warm up by the weekend. This was certainly an interesting cold snap. I hope my garden survived! :-) ox

  7. I loved Darwin’s ornament, it made me laugh. I’m glad things are slow and easy. Our “hectic” will only be in the going and running to see loved ones. And within hours we will have one more to love! :)

  8. You are WAY ahead of me. We set up the tree and hung the wreath. That’s it. No baking. No Santas. No Christmas cards or newsletter. No packages under the tree. I think I may be boycotting Christmas this year. :razz:

    • I doubt you’re boycotting Christmas, Nancy! You’re just keeping that balance that eludes so many of us! I am certain the season can be enjoyed without all the trappings. Some of my decorating energy is for the little girls. Also, we host Christmas morning. So I was slow to get started, but then found I was enjoying it. Now the rest of the house looks like something exploded. LOL! The weekend should help with that. :-)

    • Even though no calories are harmful this time of year, Cathy, I still think I need to stop eating the inventory! :-) It’s now an economic decision. LOL! Hope you’re continuing to enjoy this wonderful time of year. ox

  9. I just arrived back home to Toronto late last night (from my other home in Las Vegas) and now I’m feeling completely overwhelmed by the to-do list: buy a tree, decorate the tree, trim the rest of the house with assorted xmas décor, BAKE! It’s enough to make my head spin. So instead I’ll just look at your lovely pics and pretend I can borrow some of your cookies. :-)

    • Thank you, Nancy. I love the Toronto-Las Vegas connection. How delightful it must be to have a foot in two countries, and two such diverse places of interest. I love that. Given the responsibilities of both, I concur that baking is one thing you can relinquish! Here we have a quick reference when we can’t cook–“That’s why God created Costco.” The “big box” stores make gorgeous Christmas goodies at a fraction of the cost it takes to bake anyway. LOL! Enjoy! And thank you for stopping by to visit. :-)

  10. ahh, those chocolate cookies look tasty.
    The one with the nut on top are candy, right? do you know the english name? in spanish here is called “jamoncillo”, but I was wondering about the english name.

    • It is a candy. You’re right. I don’t know the name, though. It’s basically just fondant and powdered sugar. A friend gave me the recipe and I’ve kept it close ever since. It’s one of the easiest things to make. I’m very glad to have the Spanish name for it. I’ll start referencing it by that. Thank you. :-)

  11. I love love love those lights, Debra. I always wanted a set or several of those, and I never bought them. It looks like you’ve been very busy, and I love your ornaments.

    And, I can personally say that calories DO count in December when consumed in the quantities I am at the moment. :)

    • Oh no, Andra! I’m wrong about the calories? Oh dear…then I am really in trouble. I’d better stop, too! Also, it amounts to eating the inventory which isn’t helpful at the moment. :-) And I do love the old bubble lights. They don’t burn as “hot” as the ones we had when I was a child, so sometimes it takes forever to get them bubbling, but they are still very pretty to me. One thing I like is that the girls don’t see them everywhere and I hope they trigger happy memories “down the line.” Hugs to you…

  12. You have never experienced a white Christmas before? Conversely, I have never not had a white Christmas. But I am sure our Christmas’s have been equally delightful because it isn’t the snow that make the difference. I so have to comment on your tree lights. My parents had those same lights and I remember as a child waiting for them to heat up so the liquid inside them would bubble and move. Where did you get them because I have not seen them available for purchase?

    • No, Thea. Never once a white Christmas. In fact, most years we get up really early and I start a fire…which by the time everyone arrives I’m needing to extinguish and open doors because it’s too warm. Oh well…you’re so right about that not being a factor in any of our joy. We have a decorating and floral local business that is the “go to” place for all things Christmas. It’s quite huge. I’m giving you the link and I’m sure they ship. http://www.statsfloral.com/ The lights from my childhood bubbled a lot faster. It takes these a little while to warm up because they aren’t as hot overall. I’m sure that is a safety factor. They do a good job and I love the nostalgia factor. Thanks for asking. And I hope you continue to enjoy this wonderful season, my friend. ox

  13. Love the glass ornaments. Multicoloured things are my favourite thing when it comes to Christmas.
    PS Anytime you want to spend Christmas week here in Saint John, let us know and we’ll swap homes with you! ;)

  14. It’s looking definitely Christmassy at your place now, Debra. Your tree must look beautiful and it’s such fun getting out all the well-loved decorations. That’s something i miss now we’re always away over the festive season. It makes it not worth getting a tree at home, so my baubles haven’t seen the light of day since I retired.

    • Awww. I didn’t previously put it all together that you were always “on the move” during the holidays. You have a moveable home base! That would definitely make holiday decorating a challenge. My extended family also joins us Christmas Day so I try to decorate with that in mind, probably doing more than I would otherwise. Once I get started I enjoy it. It’s just the getting started. LOL! This is my first opportunity to thank you for your delightful and very thoughtful Christmas card, my friend. I am so appreciative. And wish you Christmas blessings, too. Be safe in your travels. ox

    • Ah! I’m so glad to know you came by via Rommel! He’s such a generous blogger…he’s very good at calling attention to others! I do agree with you that Christmas decorating of any kind is really a lot of work. Most of us don’t have that much “spare” time for all that it takes, but once I get it all done I must admit that I enjoy how festive it looks! I will make a visit over to your site, too, and again, thanks for stopping by. :-)

      • Rommel has also put a lot of efforts to pull the blog community together and promoting each blog. I got great support and encouragement from him when I just started and didn’t know what I was doing :)
        Glad we are connected :)

    • Thank you, Karen. I do love our old ornaments. There are many more than I can actually place on the tree at this point, but I enjoy handling each one and remembering, when possible, which parent or grandparent had them on their tree. Then we have the ones we’ve collected over the course of our married life–I guess they are getting pretty old at this point, too! LOL!

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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