Tuesday, December 5, 2023



The colors of Christmas are colors of warmth and nature

 - red and green - 

often accented by or grounded in white, the color of peace and light. 

 Rooms decorated in the colors of Christmas 

resonate with energy and sparkle

 and they all perpetuate the spirit of welcome.


 This fact is only true if you live in a Hallmark movie, 

which it sometimes seems that I do. 

 In reality, 

Christmas is wonderfully warm 

and welcoming in any color.

In Tasha Tudor's imaginary world it was always Christmas. 

 It presented the world as it should be.

  All the creatures of the woods living in a sharing harmonious community

 with everyone taking some responsibility for the common good.
 Travel is made possible by lantern bearing owls,
gnomes slide through the air on white geese, 

rabbits ski through deep snow, carrying apples for grateful deer 

and birds carol by candlelight. 

 In "Forever Christmas" readers are shown the simple appreciation of 

the spirit of Christmas by celebrating it "as it used to be",

 and as it could be again.

In 1500 elaborate sweet-cake molds were being carved from wood. 

 In Germany the idea was taken a bit further and Black Forest wood carvers 

created cookie molds in the shapes of people and animals 

and embellished them with intricate designs.  

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, 

cookies made of gingerbread expressed greetings and affection 

and were a part of the celebration of Christmas.  

By the end of the 19th century cookie cutters were becoming mass produced 

and aluminum ware began in 1913.  

The earliest aluminum cutters made have wooden handles of red or green.

Pretty as well as practical, 

table linens known as "layovers" were used in the Victorian times

 to protect furniture from airborne dust.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first

 popularized the Christmas tree 

as part of the royal family's yuletide

 celebration in the 1840's. 

 Despite many attempts

 by early conservationists, 

including President Teddy Roosevelt,

 who banned Christmas trees

 from the White House in 1901, 

the Christmas tree, over time, 

became the symbol of the season. 


Electric tree lights were first used in 1812. 

 They were prohibitively expensive,

 costing the equivalent of $1,000 today, 

so until the early 1900's 

candles provided that Christmas glow.  

A damp sponge,

 tied to the end of a long stick,

 was kept handy to put out any blaze.


 Up until about 1900,

 only one in five families 

had a Christmas tree of their own. 

 Instead, an evergreen was set up

 in the schoolhouse, church, or town hall

 for everyone to decorate and enjoy.

Long before the first Christmas Day boughs of holly 

were brought indoors 

to mark December's celebrations 

and holly branches were exchanged 

by friends as tokens of goodwill.  

When the Romans introduced their

 December traditions 

to the Northern peoples,

 they found that beliefs

 in the powers of holly 

were already long established.  

Holly was brought into the dwellings to

 provide winter refuge for friendly spirits. 

 In Ireland, good fairies were 

thought to reside in holly. 

 Throughout the Old World,

 belief in the protective power 

of holly in winter was wide spread.  

The red of its berries 

was thought to ward off evil 

and the holly boughs 

to defend a house against witchcraft.

As for the inhabitants of this Cottage, 

all we need is a good spot

 in front of the fire

 to ward off anything 

that may be lurking in the shadows. 

 I imagine the presence of

 those little Irish fairies 

in the 100 year old holly trees in the garden 

don't hurt either.

I had picked this candle holder up 

at a yard sale quite some time ago. 

 I just saw something on Pinterest 

that sparked my imagination 

so I hauled it out of hibernation 

and here you have it.

  I just think it turned out so cute.

  If you take away
the holly berries and the pine cones 

 it will have found a permanent spot
in the dining room after Christmas.

I hope you enjoyed learning 

some of the hard facts about Christmas. 

 Mostly they came from Country Living's Holidays magazine, 1992 edition.

  Just one of the many Christmas magazines I have hoarded over the years, 

but some were just
 a figment of my imagination, more or less.
  I hope you found something out 
that will make your holidays
 just a little happier.

The quest continues 

for the perfect Christmas...

don't think I am not hard at work

 to make it happen 

and am hoping to show you soon.

Until then...

...and that is one hard fact!

On with the decorating!


Hope everyone had a
 Happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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The day after I typed up this post, my computer left this world never to be seen again.  I am struggling to master this new machine known as a laptop.  I can only hope to master it before the Christmas holidays are over and done.  I probably will miss another dead line as I can't confer with the professionals until next Thursday.  Wish me luck! 


  1. Hi Judy, from Virginia. I enjoyed this post so much. Thanks for the information about holly. I need all of the good spirits I can get this Christmas. Am a second time cancer victim. Your home is always so cutely, sweetly, lovingly decorated. Wishing you and yours, especially your fur babies, a very Merry Christmas !

    1. Hi and thanks so much for your visit.It has been awhile and it is good hearing from you. So sorry to hear about your medical news and wish you all good luck. I appreciate your kind words and wish you a Merry Christmas also..xxoJudy

  2. Hello sweet friend. I love your decor and all the information on where Christmas traditions came from. Loved reading about them. Your two sweet little fur babies by the fire are adorable. Dogs love those old fire stoves. My daughter and SIL have one and her little dachshund and mix dog just love laying there too. My daughter was worried that it was not good for them to lay so close to the stove and the Vet smiled and said if they get too hot they will move. They are smart creatures and as soon as they have had enough they will move not to worry and let them enjoy! Have a good rest of the week. Hugs. Kris

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. They really love the fire, especially Robin. Sometimes I will pick her up and she is so warm, I can't believe it, but they do survive..Merry Christmas to you and Terry. I am hoping to get more decorating done before too long..xxoJudy

  3. I hoard those Christmas magazines, too! Aren't they wonderful? And yes, I look at them every year!

    Your photos are enchanting and while I thought I knew much of Christmas lore and history, I learned a few new things here, so thanks for that! (1821? REALLY?) You have glorious touches in your home and while life may not be a Hallmark movie, your home certainly looks as though it should be in one! Right down to the dogs!

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. Every October, just about the same time I start humming Christmas carols, I start going through my old magazines. I just finished them last week so am starting over again..Merry Christmas to you my friend..xxoJudy

  4. Hi Judy..... I love your history lesson on Christmas! Didn't know alot of that either. was it true about the holly and berries or your little bit of mischief talking? I would love if it was true! I used to live by a holly farm growing up, and my mom and dad would always stop there during the holidays and buy some big boughs to place around the house. I miss the holly! Oh I'm sorry about your computer too. I don't like using laptop keyboards and the scrolly mouse thing, so my laptop has a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard, so I can use my normal full sized keyboard. I love it! I sit a little further back from the laptop screen, but it's a big screen so works OK. I CANNOT run the thing without my mouse!. You may want to give it a try! I love watching you work your Christmas magic all over your house! Enjoy! Marilyn

    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn. Of course it was true about the holly. The magazine said so! haha..I am seeing the person who sold us the laptop on Thursday so hope he will teach me all that I don't know. I am going to ask him about using my old wireless mouse. My fingers seem to be too clumsy for this keyboard. I am now typing with the old hunt and peck method and that works much better but I am a pretty fast typist and it doesn't work too well when I type normal. Hope you are enjoying the holidays so far..xxoJudy

  5. Judy, such interesting facts about Christmas traditions. The doggies look so adorable sitting by the fire. Wishing you and the captain a joyful holiday season. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, Linda. I think it is always fun to read about. Those sweet little things do love a warm spot to lay. Merry Christmas to you and your family. xxoJudy

  6. Loved reading about the history of Christmas through the years. I did know a few, but always enjoy reading again. As I get older, am getting more into just greens and things from nature...but I do still need to bring out my Santas. LOL Janice PS I love my laptop.

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. I agree with you about the greens. It is hard though, for me, to try to do less but I am trying and think I'm doing better. There is so much to love about the laptop compared to a desktop, I agree, and I know it will just take a bit of practice..Merry Christmas to you and your family..xxoJudy

  7. This is the most gorgeous and informative post----I love you for making it, and I know I'm goin got print it out and make it into a book...hint---you should format this as such with the photos. Absolutely PERFECT Judy, and in this imperfect world a comforting additions! HUGS and Warm Wishes...ps ..if you rest your hand too much on the keyboard it does all sorts of hideous things, still adjusting here since March to the new laptop. Sandi

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi. You are so sweet. My sister tells me the same thing and maybe I will someday. I guess there is hope for me yet. It is sooo touchy and my hands are too heavy!! If I do the hunt and peck method it works out better but that is hard for me to want to do that way..Merry Christmas to you and family..xxoJudy

  8. Oh no, I'm so sorry for your struggles with the computer issue - praying all gets resolved for you! Your holiday decorating is just beautiful - warm and wonderful is my style too. Thank you for the excellent recap of the history of so many Christmas traditions. We are very blessed to have snow that fell yesterday, everything looks so much prettier with its blanket of snow on it! Many blessings to you :)

  9. Thanks so much, Marilyn. It must look beautiful on your mountain. We usually get a small amount around Thanksgiving, but not yet this year. Hopefully is saving up for Christmas. Thanks for your kind words. I just got computer back from shop so am still practicing. Merry Christmas to you..xxoJudy


Your comments are so special to me...Judy