Tuesday, December 18, 2018


You might want to put on your cap or your kerchief and settle down - there is a lot to see here.

We left Christmas last week 
to the Victorians and,
 now this week, 
we are back in real time 
and as we move from one room, and one era, 
to the next,
 it is funny how time
 seems to have no meaning at Christmas.
  There is no line that is crossed, 
no door is closed or another opened, 
it is just a continuation of
 the magic of Christmas 
and the spirit of the season,
 in the way that each and everyone
 of us celebrates.

Our celebration, today,
 starts with a bouquet of pretty flowers,
 accompanied by two small santas
 on the game table, 
in the sitting room,
 with the Christmas tree 
as backup.

The sitting room 
is probably the most used room
 in the Cottage.
  As its name implies, 
a lot of sitting goes on in here.
  It is where we watch TV, 
read the newspapers,
 eat more than a few meals 
and just,
 generally, relax.

It is why our tree
 is positioned where it is.  
It can still be seen from 
the parlor's bay window 
but also we can enjoy it 
while sitting 
in the sitting room.

This year 
the sitting room has the honor of 
hosting most of the santas 
we have collected and made
 over the years.

This year, 
we have a special guest
 joining us...

Remember when 
Gertie, our Halloween Witch, 
came to live at the Cottage? 
 She told us she had 
a twin brother 
who was also in 
the business of holiday magic 
and what to our wondering eyes did appear? 
Himself, in his one-horse open sleigh!

Can't you see the resemblance?

My dad 
made my sister and me 
sleighs as a surprise one Christmas.
My mom painstakingly sewed 
all the little red cushions,
 covering little boxes for each one.
  I made the horse many years ago. 
 They just seemed to go together.

Santa came from Cold Creek Primitives,
 as did Gertie.  
April is a wonderful, imaginative artist.  You can reach her through Etsy.

I ordered this cute rocking horse from Antique Farmhouse
 and I bought the tree last year 
and added the red and green braid
 for just a little color.
 It snugs nicely next to the pine cones,
 just like it was made for it. 
I thought the little horse 
(cute though he is)
 could benefit from a 
painted saddle and halter. Maybe?

Moving into the dining room 
there is a bright patriotic tree
 to greet you 
and a shelf full of crocks 
with celluloid vintage reindeer
 mixed in.

If you look up 
you will see a 
little yellow rocking horse and Goatzie 
all draped in
 Christmas finery.

We uncovered our old sled
and set it on the table 
with another ceramic rocking horse
 that I made years ago.

Have you ever seen a red snowman? 
 As you know from years past, 
I don't usually decorate with
 snowmen at Christmas.
  My collection awaits for January
 when they come out in force 
to celebrate Old Man Winter. 
 This year, however, 
I had some red velvet 
and while still being obsessed
 with velvet pumpkins, 
I couldn't help myself. 
I know that pumpkins 
are not Christmas material usually 
but when you make two
 in the color of Christmas 
and stack them with 
a sweet little face on top - 
A red snowman is born!

I have a feeling 
I will be expecting a shipment 
of white velvet soon!

I added some faux greenery 
to the bittersweet left over from autumn 
along with some vintage gold snowflakes, 
and our dining room light
 joins in the festivities.

A small amount of sunlight, 
through the kitchen window, 
on a cold winter's morn...

...and holly and ribbons
 to brighten up the 
kitchen jars and cabinets.

The kitchen table is set 
with everyday white plates 
on a bed of faux greenery from Pier One, 
green dishes are Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe
 from Goodwill, 
and the holly plates and bowl are from Home Goods.

Cheerful candy striped napkins 
and cutlery, also from Home Goods, 
are caught up with a star napkin ring
 from a thrift find.

A pitcher of seeded eucalyptus 
from Trader Joe's
 and a spray of Heavenly Bamboo berries
 from the garden, 
along with the "gingerbread" house 
I painted last year 
and Season's Greetings glasses
 from a thrift store, 
make a festive setting 
for breakfast on 
Christmas morning.

I certainly enjoyed your visit
 to our Christmas Cottage. 
 Where has the time gone? 
 It is getting late and
 I know you all still have so much to do.
  Instead of dropping bread crumbs, 
I have lit the candles 
to show you the way out. 
 Please come back 
after the first of the new year and
...until then...

...I will be taking 
a couple of weeks off,
 sitting right here 
by the fire.

You may have noticed
 that there is a lot of "joy"
 in the Cottage
 this year and...

...some of the 
same old tricks
 are still at the top
 of the list...

...and not a creature 
was stirring...

 the usual suspects!

As you go out
 through the entry...

...take a peek
 into the guest room...

...the room is 
always available 
for a little get-away.

"From home to home
And heart to heart
From one place to another
The warmth and joy of Christmas
Brings us closer
To each other."

Emily Matthews

While you sit around your tree 
with the lamps and
 the candles lit...

...Take Joy!

After Santa 
has come down the chimney 
and the home fires 
are burning once again 
and the frost is 
sparkling on the roof...

...Take Joy!

And as you are going out the door,
 look back on 2018 and

...Take Joy!

 in the wonderful, happy, healthy and peaceful
 New Year to come.




Downton Abbey 
will be in theaters 
in 2019.

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