Ever since I have been a part of 30 minutes in the life, we have done a Festive Five theme at Christmas. We are very conscious of the fact that this is a busy time of the year and each and every one of us has something going on.
Mine is a couple more than 5 and one I did not take but have added in to finish off the photo blog.
Christmas is always my favorite time of the year. I love having the family gather in one place for a meal. Over the years growing up I remember my fathers family all gathering together. As a married adult, I gathered family at my home each Christmas. Not only my immediate family and my brother’s wife’s family, but Richard’s family and their families in-laws as well, along with my adopted brother and his family. So often we all want to spend Christmas day together and if it all works out that we can be together I love to do that.
Christmas is about love. My love for my Lord, who in Himself was Love Incarnate. My love for my family. My love for my jolly little fella’s who I lovingly unwrap each year and hang on the tree. My love for decorating and making the home look festive and my love for sitting at a Christmas table and looking at the faces of those I love, admire and respect.
I only bake once a year. It is at Christmas time. This is when I remember my mother and how she would bake up a storm. I pull out her shortbread recipe and I bake more than enough for the season. This year got a little more technical. I had to bake normal shortbread, gluten free shortbread, and vegan shortbread. I take time to be grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to bake this variety because it means that I have my children in my life.
I climb up in the attic after Thanksgiving and pull all my buddies down that I have collected over the years. My penguin is about 25 years old. My mother in law made it for me one year. I love that I still have him and that I can remember how talented she was when it came to sewing. Another thing that I am not very good at. My Santa was given to me by a friend about 10 years ago and I love to see him out and on display. My snowman was given to me more recently.
My Christmas tree is decorated in jolly little fella’s. It feels like I am finally seeing my little friends again. This year I added 5 new Santa’s to my collection. They come in all shapes and sizes and I try to always look for something different. This year this guy was one of the newbies. I also found a bottle top Santa that was pretty cool. Each one is hung in a specific place, with my favorites being front and center.
In addition, I wanted to remember the family members who have been in our lives for so many years. However, we do not necessary have typical names. Mine is Sharleen, my mother was Daphne, my mother in law Yolande. I cannot find Christmas ornaments with those names. I am still looking. I may eventually have to buy some that I can write the names on. However, I did find one that had my nickname, Charlie, so that is hanging on the tree in place of my name for now.
The other memory I wanted to include is our pets. So this year I looked all over for different types of pets. I found a few. My Noddy was a sausage dog (Dachshund) when I was growing up. We had Labradors as well, Duke and Monty. Richard and I had Flash a beautiful German Shepherd with a pedigree longer than ours. We also had Bella, a Rottweiler. Mika was our white German Shepherd. Over the years we have had Oliver, a tuxedo cat, who has an ornament with angel wings. He was the best. Then we had Moonshine, a little all black cat. We got Simba, our street rescue, who is a tabby kind of cat and he holds my heart. Finally our last addition has been Mirrabel or Ms Moo as I call her. She came to stay when we took someone in for a period of time. Her owner left and she stayed. That was 2 years ago. She is mine now. She is our scaredy cat who runs at the sounds of unknown voices. However, she is also rapidly becoming my cat. She has found her place on my stomach at night and loves to cuddle. The ornament above represents Mirrabel, our little gray and white cat.
Lastly I love to set the Christmas table and make it look pretty. I really don’t do snowmen but I did love these two when I was out shopping. Added to that everything has snowmen on them, I got snowman plates and napkins. I tied their napkin together with a letter ornament. I gathered a few other snowman ornaments. Initially I wanted snowmen snow globes but I wasn’t finding exactly what I wanted. I had a runner in tartan that I forgot to put out but maybe I will use it next year 🙂 Oh and white beads in all sizes make great snowballs.
Below is an image of each place setting which my daughter-in-law took, because I was in the kitchen getting everything ready and forgot to do it. Thanks to Kathryn I have another place setting to remember. Every so often I go back and look at the different designs I have had over the years and remember the folks that have sat at the table and smile and know that I have been blessed to be able to share that little bit of time together with others.
I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. As this year rapidly draws to a close, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope that this coming year is filled with family and friends, new and old, laughter and joy, good memory making moments.
In my mothers tradition, I will once again put outside the front door, a cookie, a drink, and a piece of coal. May there always be food in the house, something to drink and may you never go cold.