Tuesday, November 29, 2022



This has been a very long year not without trials and tribulations.  

As of this moment, everything is good and we are so thankful.  

We had a wonderful early Thanksgiving 

with the kids. 

 The Captain and I felt like royalty.

  We were the hosts and set a pretty table but 

Tim and Tami provided a beautifully smoked turkey and dessert 

while Jake and Jacenda made all the wonderful side dishes. 

 Everything was so good. 

 It was short, but sweet, 

as all of our gatherings are lately, 

but that doesn't make them any less special.

  I hope you all had a 

wonderful Thanksgiving as well. 

 The Captain is doing really well 

and today will be going to the doc

 for his three month evaluation. 

 Hopefully, he will be released 
for business as usual. 
 My vision is clearing up
 (much better than expected, I think) 
and the docs say they are amazed. 
 As of this writing, 
all is calm, all is bright.

Welcome to Christmas at the Cottage

'Tis the Season...


 As you enter, I hope you feel 

the warmth and wonder of the season.  

We are starting some early decorating because of our earlier 

Thanksgiving celebration

 so taking our time

 is how we are doing it this year.  

There will not be 

too much different this year. 

 Old tried and true measures

 are in the forecast with only just a

 very little new to add. 

 I am still looking forward to my

 annual birthday trip to Home Goods

 but, for now,

 I am finding happy places

 for some old friends.

The entry mirror is hung 

with a Christmas garland and wreath 

tied up with the same pretty red ribbons used last year.  

Yuletide greetings are added 

to celebrate the joy and glad tidings 

of years past.

A sparkle of gold from the jingle bells 

and the scent and shine of a candle 

add perfect ambiance to usher you  

in from the outside

 as well as welcoming  

this most wonderful time of the year. 


Now, may I invite you to step into 

our Olde Thyme Christmas parlor. 

 The yule log is burning 

and everywhere you look there is a reminder of simpler times. 

 Times and stories of long ago memories,

  when life seemed much easier 

but only because you were a child. 

 Knowing what we know now, 

our parents probably didn't 

always feel that was true

 but for a short amount of time 

we will make ourselves believe that it was.

"It is good to be children sometimes, 

and never better than at Christmas."

Charles Dickens

I have never met 

a Christmas tree I didn't like. 

 There is one tree, however, 

that has stuck in my mind 

for as long as I can remember 

and even though it was

 a different tree each year,

 it always looked the same to me. 

 It was in an old log house 

that belonged to my grandparents 

where this story takes place, 

and the tree was always

 cut and carried  down

 from the surrounding woods

 by my dad and my grandfather. 
 It was never a tree that had been
plucked or pruned by human hands.
  Looking back now,
 I can see that
  It was just a natural little tree
 growing up with the help of
 Mother Nature,    
but once it was adorned 
with all the colored glass ornaments, 
the silver birds clipped onto 
the branches draped in tinsel,
 with the large brightly colored bulbs
 reflecting off of the rustic log walls
 and the pretty star on top, 
it was a thing of beauty 
that magical childhood dreams 
were made of.

"Like snowflakes
 my Christmas memories gather and dance -
 each beautiful, unique and too soon gone."

Deborah Whipp

A keepsake from my grandmother.

My parents and grandparents 

decorated the tree 

while we kids were sent to another room until it was just so. 

 Only then were we allowed 

back in the room to see 

the magic that had happened. 

 It was then that we heard 

the sounds on the roof 

signifying that Santa was on his way.

  We almost couldn't breathe, 

never noticing that our older cousin,

 who had seen the tree with us,

 was now missing from the room.

  Then it was time to be 

whisked away to our car 

and taken to our own home, 

just down the road, 

where we were put to bed, 

dreaming about all the presents 

that would be delivered by Santa

 and placed under that tree 

for us to find the next morning.

Over the years, 

I have searched for a tree 

just like the one I remember 

but whether faux from a big box store 

or live from a tree lot, it has eluded me. 

 When we got rid of our big tree

 after last Christmas, 

I found one on line from Grandin Road 

that I thought might have potential. 

 It was smaller and had less branches

 than the ones we have had 

for the last  few years,

 but without the wonderful scent and feel 

I knew it could never really compare.  

But, then it wasn't going to be decorated exactly the same or viewed

 from a child's perspective either.

  When the box was delivered it appeared to be smaller than I thought it should be

 although I had measured the space and thought it was a good size. 

 Upon opening the box, my first impression was that it looked like a drowned rat! 

 The four pieces all looked

 so small and limp. 

 After placing it in the stand, however,

 my impression changed. 

 It now looked like a drowned ostrich! 

 It was so ugly that I didn't want to take 

any photos of it, 

all I wanted to do was cry,

 but I started fluffing and fluffing and more fluffing 

and here is where

 the magic really happened...

It is such a pretty little tree

 and even though it doesn't look

 a thing like my memories,

 I am very pleased. 

 I have used all the same ornaments

 that I used last year, 

along with the satin and velvet ribbons.  

I purposely ordered it without lights 

as you know my feelings about the lights 

on our last tree.  

I hadn't strung lights in quite a few years and, believe me, 

it was a job that I soon remembered

 I didn't like. 

 After placing 700 of those

 pretty little stars,

 I am happy.

So, here is the finished version 

of a story that started a long time ago 

and even though it isn't exactly

 like those trees from my childhood, 

with the tiniest bit of tinsel 

and popcorn strings, the memories are 

stirred of an

 Old Thyme Christmas, 

celebrated with family,

 most of whom are now gone,

 in that old log house 

that my grandfather built,

 long before I was even born.


"The Yule trees, and the dreams all children dream/

The tremulous glow of candles in rows/

The gold and silver of angels and globes/

And the splendor of tinsel and toys under trees."

Boris Pasternak

The mantel is strung 

with the same garland used last year 

with only a few different items,  

such as dried white roses 

from the bouquet the kids gave us

 for our anniversary. 

 I left the picture and frame 

that were used during the summer and fall 

just because I like it...

...and a new sign of the times is added.

There comes a time
 when you become content
 with what has come before 
and the thought that 
there is no need for many big changes. 

 I think I am there.

"May you have the gladness of Christmas/Which is hope; 

The spirit of Christmas/Which is peace;

 The heart of Christmas/Which is love."

Ada V. Hendricks

Until next week...


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda



  1. Oh Judy, I love your home decorated for Christmas. All those precious things so beautifully placed. Gorgeous tree and I adore the cushions.

    1. Thanks so much, Thelma. You are so kind and I appreciate it so much. Hope you are enjoying getting ready for Christmas..xxoJudy

  2. Judy your home looks lovely, filled with Christmas magic and that tree is beautiful. I love the vintage print pillows,too. Everything is so charming and placed so elegantly, it looks like a movie set, cozy, warm and just where you want to be during the holidays. I love your last thought, too, as I also feel like I'm happy with what is after chasing different looks each year. Contentment is wonderful. Glad to hear you're both feeling well!! Yay!! It's a great way to end the year!! xo

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. We are both good. Jerry did have his appointment and it was all good news. He has no more excuses now! Thank you for your kind words, I always appreciate them. It has been fun this year. I think because I have not had to wrack my brain for new ideas. Everything old is new again..Hope you are enjoying decorating with all your pretty new rooms..xxoJudy

  3. Goodness, Judy...how gorgeous everything is...I think I pinned at least 8 of your Christmas photos---as I know I will want to look at them again and again. Warm and wonderfully vintage, took my breath away! HUGS, and glad you two are evening out..and feeling better! Sandi

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi. We are doing much better and are very thankful for it. I'm glad you liked the decorations. I have fun doing it and love to share. Thanks for pinning. I get lost in Pinterest every day..Happy Holidays to you and yours..xxoJudy

  4. Hi Judy,
    Your new tree looks very pretty. I remember cutting down our Christmas tree each year. We would trek out in the snow in Michigan and find the perfect tree and then cut it down and decorate it. I remember those trees and how special they were. Glad you could have time with the kids for early holiday celebrations. The time together is what is so precious. Glad Jerry is doing better and I hope he gets a clear bill of health. Glad the shots are working so well for you. That is amazing. We just got home from vacation in Florida. Oh my it was hard to come back to Illinois last night and the cold. Have a great rest of the week. xoxo Kris

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. Jerry did get a clean bill of health so he is back at it. We used to cut our own trees when the kids were small. Those are wonderful memories and it was so much fun. I bet it was really hard coming back from vacation but glad you had a good time. Happy decorating..xxoJudy

  5. What wonderful memories you had t Christmastime! I too enjoyed my childhood Christmas' and we also had real trees to decorate. Love all of your decor and also love the twinkling of lights at night. Janice

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. This year seemed to drag along but then all the sudden it seems like we just had Christmas. I love all the hustle and bustle but will be glad to be through and just sit and enjoy it all..Happy Holidays..xxoJudy

  6. I am awestruck! It's gorgeous -- every single photo, every ornament and vignette. Best of all is the good news about both you and the Captain. Yes, a tough year but it looks like you are doing well and for that there is much to be thankful. I'm slowly getting started here -- TG kids and company the past few days has slowed me down. But it's all good. Your home is a treasure and so are you. Merry Season!

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. We are very thankful for all that is going on now and especially for all of the friends like you..Merry Christmas..xxoJudy

  7. Judy, sounds like Thanksgiving was fabulous with your family. Your Christmas decor is lovely. So glad your tree turned out to your liking. The hunt for a good Christmas tree is exhausting. Lovely vignettes everywhere and your Yule log blazing. Many blessings for a beautiful Christmas.

    1. Thanks so much, Linda. All is calm and all is bright. Looking forward to the holidays..xxoJudy

  8. Everything looks just beautiful, Judy. Your Christmas decorations are beautiful...warm and homey feeling. I think the tree is gorgeous! We had a nice Thanksgiving and it sounds like yours was wonderful-short but sweet like ours. Have a wonderful weekend- xo Diana

    1. Thanks so much, Diana. I'm glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Short and sweet seems to be the name of the game.. Looks like that will be our Christmas too..Happy Holidays..xxoJudy

  9. JUDY!!
    O MY!! What a lovely tree and to me, you have captured dreams of an Olde Tyme Christmas perfectly! The Cottage looks so lovely dressed in it's Christmas finery!! Gorgeous!! So glad that you and your hubby are doing well and that your health issues are under control!! And I am thrilled you got to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family!! I too like to put the lights on my own trees...Never enough if they come pre lit...And i go with warm white LED as they are more economical as far as my electric bills go...Thanks so much for sharing...I was so looking forward to another Christmas post from you!!Have a great week!!

    1. Thanks so much, Deb. Sorry I am so late in getting back to you. With everything finally done now I am hoping that I will be able to catch up. I know the LED lights are so much better to use for obvious reasons and your photos always look so pretty but I just couldn't get mine to come out looking right. I think I almost had too many lights on as the new tree has a definite shape and you just couldn't tell with the glow of all those lights. I am still trying to make my present tree match those old memories..Have a wonderful Christmas, my friend..xxoJudy

  10. Oh Judy, your tree is absolutely beautiful! There definitely is magic in childhood memories, especially in the simpler times we grew up in. Your Christmas decor is so cozy and charming, my kind of Christmas for sure. I'm finishing up my house in the next few days and up to get a post up soon. Jane

    1. Thanks so much, Jane. Sometimes I just wish for the "good old days" to come back. Wouldn't that be wonderful, for awhile anyway? I often wonder when things got so complicated! I love Christmas and try to make it a joyful time for us and usually, I succeed. I am looking forward to seeing what you do in your beautiful new home..Have a wonderful Merry Christmas with your family, my friend..xxoJudy


Your comments are so special to me...Judy