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Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Traditions in my Home Country

To return to Sandra's  Blogmas,    click here!
Each  day of December  we have been sharing on each of the  above topics about Christmas.  Today is the 17th,  today  it is

Since I live in the US  we are  a melting pot of the world....
We  enjoy the whole    wonderful array of  Christmas  delights.
1. Christmas trees...  Germany
 start going up   right after Thanksgiving....  and many households have more than one.   I have  friends who have one in bedrooms and bathrooms..
I only have 3 ... this  small one stays up all year and is decorated by the season.
The other artificial tree  goes in the parlor.
 And  the  real tree  goes in the  sunroom for the kids... We will  have the lights on it,  but always wait til they arrive  at Christmas to  decorate it together.

2. Christmas cards.. England
  I love to send greetings to  everyone...  many years I will send  over 100 cards...   but this year   life has been so   up and down,   I  sent  about  75  electronically  using  Jacquie Lawson cards.. which I  absolutely love...  and   only about  30   by post!
3. Music..  global
Music is   the essence of Christmas to me  and again  there is  a  multiplicity of  range of  carols  played in our home.   I Love the old traditional carols,  but also the  medieval chants and     Christmas madrigals,  the Celtic songs,  and  the    popular  standards of the season   White Christmas,  I'll Be Home for Christmas, Etc. This year I cant wait to share the   fabulous Christmas  production  our choir  shared  last week in church   with our family...

4. Poinsettia.. Mexico
the  gorgeous  red of the    poinsettia  with its  story of  redemption   is a  beautiful  addition to American homes,  restaurants, malls, and churches.

  5. Nativity..  and  Advent..
the  reason for the season...  the  reason why  so many of us   will only say 'Merry Christmas' and not "Happy Holidays"
  to celebrate the  Christ child...  God in flesh and bone...
come to earth to redeem His  people.. that  their sins  will be     forgiven, through repentance and  turning  their  hearts  away from the  world and  live  the purposeful lives   that God  had originally ordained  that they live  and  thus be restored  in relationship to God, the Father.  We remember  this  act of love and  mercy  through the Nativity,    and   the  advent  celebrations..

Many people   decorate with  Creche's

and live nativity's  at  churches
 We  celebrate  advent Sundays  at church

  and in our homes

Since Christ is the light of the world...     we celebrate  with  candles everywhere

Churches everywhere hold  candle light services every Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Birdie's Room

Met Monday
I am  so pleased to   have something to post on this    lovely  meme!  Life   at our house gets so complicated so much of the time  that  making  changes in  decor  and transformation  never  moves to the top of our to- do list...  But   thankfully,   this time   this small project took precedence!
When  Our   wonderful, precious daughter  moved  out  to college  almost 10 years ago,   I  was missing her so much I  just thought  maybe if I moved into her room    and  utilized it as my office,  I would fell   closer to her,,, and it helped,,,  tremendously...  
Amanda's favorite color was teal,  and her  room    had a beachy  theme  years ago, but over time  things  were making gradual changes.  Bed spread and  other personal items  were displaced  to make room for     all my  ever  encroaching  mess of   files and    notebooks....    the  book cases were taken over   mainly with my    necessities....  and   actually,  my   10 years worth of    life of   Bible study,  church committees, and      record keeping  was  absolutely out of hand!...   But   we  had   the most  precious  impetus to reclaim this room....

Our   adorable  granddaughter  is coming  for  Christmas....  Our  Lil Ice Princess!

so     there has  been  somewhat of a transformation...
  Princess's  nickname is     there is  somewhat of a Birdie theme to the room!
And of course,   there are  2 bags  there with toys and books   for  Birdie's  pleasure!  At  15 months,     she  is   interested in everything!!

Of  course,    I  still have to have my   work space in  here,  and soon,  we will  install the  wall unit  that will house    all of my  'Stuff"!

   This bookcase is mainly comprised of   Amanda's  books   of various stages of life... So  they will  remain  as  they  are   for now....    Now that all of her   various  trophies are packed away, I now have  a place to  showcase a bit of my oil paintings
I am  just so happy to  get  this much done  considering  what all has been transpiring  in  our hectic  circumstances....   but  with our   wonderful kids  coming  in 2 days,       it is   just so  marvelous to have it this much complete!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Decor

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My decor is   typically  Olde World...   and sometimes I    will  do and redo   things   over and over until I feel  satisfied  with the finished  product...
I love to  utilize  my   Mr. and Mrs. Fox,   but     the   total  look of the mantel   never  rang true so  this didnt last long

Every other year the tree has been in the  SW corner of the parlor,  but   it was moved this year..

 last year the carolers  found a home on the piano,   but not this year!
 photo 2012-11-30041927.jpg
  Sometimes the  angels  enjoy  being center stage  in the dining room,   but  not this year!
 photo 2012-12-10052435.jpg

One thing that  will always be accomplished   from year to year is the  warm glow of fairy lights  throughout the house
 photo Christmas2011047.jpg
 whether in the   inner rooms, or the  outer room!
 photo Christmas2011013.jpg

IN 2011  The mantel looked like this
 photo Christmas2011002.jpg
  The   far side of the  room hosted the  breakfront  with this   vignette
 photo Christmasdecor2011021.jpg
  Sometimes the dining room looks like this..
 photo CHristmas2010156.jpg
  and that same year the mantel..
 photo CHristmas2010115.jpg

 and the  Fox couple   hosted the  dining room!
 photo CHristmas2010108.jpg

 I really liked the   houses on the mantel,   but, alas,  I cant find them this year...   Hubby put them   away in a really  (good) place  it seems!

And I am   partial to the  hutch like this,,,   it isnt there yet,   but soon!
and the sunroom like this...
 photo Christmas2009086.jpg

So   how is it this year... the  tree is   near the far wall

A smaller   Christmas  village decks the mantel

  and that corner is the only part of the parlor that is   what I  would consider  finis!
  As I wrote in another   post,,,  I am way behind in  things around the house.  But I have  many ideas   rolling about in like marbles in my  head!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas When....

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I have  two Christmases  that stand out in my memories from  my youth... The first was when I was about  4.  We  always spent  Christmas Eve with my Grandma on  mother's  side,   which was  always    spectacular because of all the aunts and uncles and cousins,  but  this particular year, I particularly remember    Christmas Day at  Granny's  on dad's side.  granny lived in a  typical  very old fashioned farm house way down in the country.    And  cousins lived very nearby. Now I  am the oldest of all the cousins on both sides.  ON Dad's side  I  have always  absolutely  adored my  next cousin, Gary.  Such a sweet boy, and even as a man he is of  the most gentle spirit.
That Christmas   I  called him my very own baby..  who needed a doll baby when I had Gary.  even though I got two dolls that year, and a baby stroller, too..

Spring2011137 photo Spring2011137.jpg
Now if ever  there was a model for the Campbell soup kids, it was Gary,    and he  barely fit in my little  pink stroller,  but  I strolled him all over the house,  and he loved it....  When I think of it,  what other  2 year old  would be so accommodating.  This photo cracks me up I look so forlorn,  I   always looked that way....   hahaha
except maybe on my 5th birthday , my only party guest, of course, was Gary!
Spring2011134 photo Spring2011134.jpg
  YOU may have realized by now  MY life  has always been sort of low key,  being an only child,   but the next super  awesome Christmas was  when I was  in college..
Now on grandma's side  by my college days the house would be  filled to the brim with  6  aunts, their husbands and 14 grand kids.  We kids would be delegated to the basement to sleep on old feather beds from the dairy farm days...  Well, when you pile  5 to a bed,  it can become  rambunctious,  as  it did that night  in my bed, and    I remember the  very moment  the slats  holding the  mattress  cracked and we all came tumbling down,,,
  No other slats were available as you might expect and we ended up just sleeping in the bed on the floor.   But come morning and we were happy for the  extra body heat  for  that was one   frigid basement,    but alas, even though  snow was expected,   there was nothing on the ground  come morning.

I found this photo online and this is very  near   grandma's house   same hill  a few  houses down the road.
 It was always the  tradition that  after Christmas dinner,  everyone would  start their venture on to other  places,    and  Aunt Betty with her    5  very adventurous   crew  had  already left  for Winston Salem,  when  suddenly the snow started  swirling  to the ground.  As  I said  this side of the family is famous for their pioneer, adventurous  spirit..  we knew it took Betty  90 minutes to  get home..  so we  very impatiently  counted the minutes  and once she arrived her phone was ringing.."  Hurry,,,  Betty, get back in the car and   come back, it's snowing!"   Sure enough  they all piled back in the car and trekked back up the mountain
  to return just in time.... By this time daddy had  built a  huge bonfire at the top of the  Sound of Music type of hill behind Grandma's house,

 and  we  had already made a couple of runs on mom's toboggan.

 Grandma had  pots of hot cocoa  with  marshmallows  steeping  and we spent the night on the hill  sleigh riding... such a  completely rare treat for me,  because my dad wasnt adventurous and when it threatened snow  we  stayed home.  So here I was  finally  enjoying the all  stops out  festive  white Christmas  in the country that  my other cousins  had come to revere and  had  done many  times in  our absence.
When we  came  back in   that night  we left a trail

  of wet  clothing and shoes

that  would  stretch from  the county to the city line! But we were  soon    drinking steaming   cups of  heaven!

I found all  photos online,  but they   recall one of the happiest  Christmases I ever had!


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