Friday, December 21, 2012

A Christmas Season to Remember

This is going to be a Christmas season to remember.  It is, most definitely, one of my worst Christmas seasons ever, if not the worst, because of that very, very, very bad thing which I've eluded to recently.  However, as bad as things are, the spirit of Christmas cannot be held back.  Despite the hell I may have to live in for quite some time, I have been surprisingly functional through the stress of it all.  Cookies & breads have been baked, crackers have been made, dinner goodies have been bought & are ready to cook on Christmas Eve.  The house has been decorated, albeit very sparsely, but the sparseness is actually quite comforting.  I think we've all heard it said, at least once, that "less is more."  Whoever came up with that idea was onto something   : )

Once again John & I will be alone for Christmas, but that's okay.  We enjoy each other's company, most of the time ... lol!  Our traditions are simple ones.  On Christmas Eve the lights remain lit on the trees.  The smell of turkey breast & ham taking their turns baking in the oven permeates throughout the house.  We fill our stockings & put our gifts under the tree & admire how pretty everything looks.  Before we go to bed, John reads me a Christmas book.  Every year since our first Christmas together, he has bought me a Christmas book to read to me on Christmas Eve.  Most of them are children's books & are quite short.  Others are more for adults ... perhaps someone's remembrances of Christmases when they were growing up in the 30s or 40s or 50s, or perhaps some sort of humorous book. Whatever the theme, without fail, John reads a Christmas book to me on Christmas Eve. We then go to bed.  When we wake up Christmas morning, once again all the lights are lit & we enjoy the contentment of another Christmas together.  I make our traditional orange rolls for breakfast, then we open our stockings, then our presents. It's always a bit sad to start opening these things because we know it's the start of the end of Christmas.  We take our time.  We each open one gift, admire it, maybe play with it a bit if playing is something you do with that particular gift, then go on to the next one.  We had our children open their gifts this same way when they were growing up & oh how they complained about it!  But you know what?  Our daughter has her children open their gifts the same way now ... lol!  Our son is on his own ... he has always said from the time he was a little boy that he would never marry ... but I know he opens his gifts this way as well   : )   We have never had a sit-down dinner on Christmas Day.  I do all my cooking & baking, with the exception of the orange rolls, on Christmas Eve, & we just grab ourselves a plate & munch on whatever strikes our fancy throughout the day.  In addition to the turkey breast & ham, I make potato salad.  That's the extent of it!  Nothing fancy.  We make or receive a couple phone calls during the day, & we may watch a Christmas DVD or two during the day/evening.  Then we sit back & talk about how lovely our Christmas has been & how we are looking forward to the next one.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I woke up this morning & saw snow outside!  Now before you picture a blanket of white, I will tell you that on the rare occasions when it does snow here in the devil's playground, it looks as if God shook some powder from a talcum powder can onto the grass.  Just a bit of powder.  You still see the grass. You see more grass than powder actually.  But, for what it's worth, it snowed & it's snowing now.  It's very windy & the snow is falling sideways & nothing is falling to the ground, but it's snowing.  You can't feel anything but happy when snow is falling ... even a pathetic snowfall like this.  Fluffy flakes of Prozac falling from the sky   : )

I have received some gifts that I would now like to share with you.  I usually save any gifts I receive from friends or other than immediate family members & open them on Christmas Eve.  However, this year I suspected that some of the packages I received from blogging friends might contain stitched ornaments for my tree, & since this year's tree was quite lacking in ornaments due to the fact that I didn't want to unpack any from the moving boxes where they have been residing since last year (some for quite a few years) anticipating Christmas in a different home, I decided to open these packages now.

June in England sent me this wonderful stocking ornament, an adorable sheep needle minder, a cupcake calendar bookmark assortment, yummy hot chocolate mix, & a beautiful handmade card   : )

Michelle, also from England, sent me this very pretty red & white felted ornament which has sort of a Scandinavian look to it.   Michelle & I both like red & white stitchings   : )   She also included a lovely card & a skein of very pretty WDW floss!
Myra, my finishing angel sent from above, sent me this lovely ornament ... such a great design & so beautifully finished!  She must know that cardinals are one of my favorite birds   : )
Myra also gifted me with a free finish!  I stitched this LHN design & sent it to her for finishing & was surprised to receive it back with a note that the finish was a gift   : )
Lastly, I received this beautiful ornament from Chris.  I either have this chart in my stash for a future project or I was planning to buy it ... but now I have it stitched & perfectly finished so hooray for me   : ) 
I will post some photos of gifts I have mailed, exchanges sent & received, & maybe a photo of my tree as soon as I possibly can   : )   I hope everyone is having a lovely Friday before Christmas.  Do try not to stress out about stuff.  Take a deep breath, do what you can, & don't worry about what you can't do.  Remember that the important thing about the season is the love that God gave to us by giving us the gift of His son & that we in turn need only to share that same love to others.  


The Bear's Blog said...

Hi Miss Shirlee,

Oh, I love your Christmas traditions.

Merry Christmas. Blessings to you and your Mr. And I hope it keeps snowing all day. (o:

"Love one another", so simple yet so complicated.

Prudence & Family ♥

jennifer768 said...

Good morning friend,I thought of you when I looked out and saw a flake or two on the ground.It is clear and no snow falling this morning for my area.Lovely gifts from some wonderfully talented ladies!
I loved reading your Christmas traditions!
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.Merry Christmas,Jen

butterfly said...

What a lovely post Shirlee I love how you s[end your Christmas Day,
Wow snow, we are going to have a wet one here

Love all your gifts. So happy for you , you are one of the kindest friends I know.

Thanks for your friendship. hugs.

Dawn said...

Shirlee, love the ornaments! I know how you feel, opening is the bigging of the end for me to, I rather like the anticipation and just staring at the lighted Christmas tree.
We have the same dusting here, i was hoping for more but I'll take it! Enjoy your holiday and stay blessed.

Grit said...

So beautiful ornaments.
I wish you Merry Christmas with all my heart.
Liebe Grüße Grit

Peggy Lee said...

I love John's tradition of reading to you on Christmas Eve. ♥So Sweet♥

You've received some beautiful gifts.
You greatly deserve them!
Thank you for your kindness throughout this past year.

~Merry Christmas to you and John~
☺ HUGS ☺

pam said...

What wonderful Christmas traditions. I do hope you cherish each year. I love your ornaments too!

Catherine said...

Your Christmas sounds perfect....simple and filled with love...
What beautiful presents you have received!

cucki said...

What a sweet post.. I love how you spend your Christmas Day...
i love all your cuteee
i so much love you dear friend..
hugs cucki x

Michelle said...

What lovely christmas traditions Shirlee thank you for sharing them x

Deborah said...

I love the fact that your DH reads a Christmas story to you each year. I think that is wonderfully romantic. Have a great Christmas!

Vickie said...

Thanks for sharing Shirlee. Your last sentence says it all.♥

Kath said...

What lovely ornament gifts you received. What a treasure your Christmas Days are to you and your family. I'd love to know the designer of the last ornament "Fill with love" if you happen to remember.

marly said...

Enjoyed your post Shirlee. Traditions are so comforting. Merry Christmas to you and John.

Pam in IL said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions. I have no idea what it's like to be home for Christmas. We travel to my in-laws for Christmas eve and then travel hours in the opposite direction to my sister's for Christmas day.

Love and prayers to you and your family! Merry Christmas!

prims by olde lady morgan said...


Whatever the diffuculties you have been having, I wish for you all is very well soon! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! OLM

Myra said...

Shirlee, I am glad you like my little ornament. Your Christmas sounds fabulous to me. I too have downsized this year and we are actually planning to grill steaks for Christmas dinner instead of the usual hoopla. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and wish you and John a magical Christmas.

Annette-California said...

Lovely Christmas traditions! I loved reading your post. I especially love reading a book on Christmas Eve:)
Your orange rolls sound wonderful.
Merry Christmas - love Annette

Nicola said...

Your Christmas sounds about perfect to me.

Chris said...

Lovely Christmas tradistions Shirlee! It sounds like you have a wonderful peaceful holiday.
The ornaments that have received are lovely. I am so glad that you liked the one that I sent.
Merry Christmas dear friend and wishing you peace in the new year!

Marie said...

I purchased Christmas books each year for my sons but stopped as they got older...I should have continued the tradition. After reading about your DH I asked mine to tart that tradition...purchase a Christmas book each year for me. :D I do love holiday books!

Your Christmas sounds wonderful. I do believe if I were your neighbor I would had to come over and join you, if you would have me. So peaceful, no stress, and filled with great food and lots of laughs I am sure. Enjoy the holiday with your husband.

Your received some lovely new ornaments!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great post. Your present opening is just like our's and like you it started when I was little and is being carried on through to my children.

I also have a Christmas book tradition, my son and I read different versions of The Night Before Christmas. we have the traditional, the Carol Ann Duffy and the Pirates version too! I bought that one last year, it's so funny.
This year I have Pirates 12 Days of Christmas (another favourite poem) and A Christmas Carol. He's seen the films (traditional and Muppets) so it's time he heard the book too.

Your ornies are gorgeous too. Lucky you!

Kaisievic said...

Such a lovely post - your Christmas sounds wonderful. So peaceful and stress free.
hugs, Kaye

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

What a wonderful Post, Shirlee!
Love your Christmas traditions.
And your gifts from others are Beautiful! Merry Christmas!

Anne said...

Lovely traditions you two have!! Very pretty gifts you received and displayed on your tree!!


Mii Stitch said...

You've received some beautiful gifts Shirlee!! Slowly catching up with all the blogs, hope you had a lovely time at Christmans!!