Thursday, December 27, 2012

Two Days After Christmas

This is the view out my diningroom window as I'm writing this blog post.

Yes, we got some snow here in the devil's playground!  It's typical central Kentucky snow ... God opening up His talcum powder can & shaking it a bit over the grass ... but snow is snow   : )   It looked quite lovely falling from the sky yesterday.  We had rain on Christmas Day.

I have been reading a lot of posts where people are saying they can't believe Christmas is over.  That's the theme ... Christmas is over.  It saddens me to see Christmas trees lying out on the curb for trash pickup the day after Christmas.  I cannot fathom un-trimming my tree & taking down my decorations so quickly.  My good friend Robin did a post on her blog yesterday & it brought back so many memories for me.  Christmas decorations were never sold or displayed until after Thanksgiving & they were not put up in our homes until, at the earliest, 2 weeks before Christmas.  Those 2 weeks were spent giving the house a good cleaning; unpacking treasured decorations & enjoying the memories each would bring; trimming the tree; writing & receiving cards; watching Christmas specials on television; listening to Christmas music; getting together with relatives to bake dozens & dozens of cookies which would be shared with neighbors, service people (like the mailman, the milkman, the dry cleaner, etc), & others; going shopping; & wrapping gifts.  My father, who used to be a cook & baker in the Merchant Marine,  always made a huge batch of nut horns which were out of this world!  On Christmas Eve he would go down to the local beverage distributor & bring home a case ... a whole case! ... of pop.  All different flavors! I remember my favorite was always black cherry & it was a special treat enjoyed only at Christmastime.  To this very day I buy myself a 6-pack of black cherry pop every Christmas   : )   My mother would be in the kitchen baking a ham, cooking kielbasa & sauerkraut, & making potato salad. Neighbors, friends, & a few relatives often came by on Christmas Eve to drop off gifts or just visit.  I was always able to open one gift on Christmas Eve & it was always a new pair of flannel pajamas with a pair of furry slippers.  I'd take my bath, put those on, & head to bed early so I would not be awake when Santa came by.  On Christmas day there were lots of gifts to open & lots of good things to eat & of course Christmas mass (I grew up in a catholic household). Aunts & uncles would come by to visit.  The days after Christmas would be spent visiting those aunts & uncles in their homes.  As Robin said in her post, everyone would show you the gifts they received.  They were not bragging or boasting, merely showing you their blessings.  You were never envious or upset that they may have received more or better things than you did.  You were happy for them!  Everyone was happy.  Everyone smiled.  Christmas lasted for 2 more weeks, until the Feast of the 3 Kings on January 6. That's when the tree came down & the decorations were put away for another year.  It was always a sad time.

John & I had a lovely Christmas this year despite the big lead balloon nightmare hanging over my head.  I managed to do way more baking & cooking than I thought I would. The decorations were minimal but that was a very nice change.  Isn't "SIMPLIFY" the motto of the primitive lifestyle?  Simplifying at Christmastime helps you relax & remember the real meaning of the day.  

Here are a few photos of our Christmas. This first one is my bear with his stocking.
And yes, believe it or not, here is a photo of me with my stocking   : )
Sophie always gets to open her present first.


It was a new little mousie for her to chase around the house   : )

I was, as usual, spoiled by Santa Bear.  I am lucky to have a husband who not only enjoys buying Christmas gifts for me but wrapping them as well!  He has a real knack for & gets a lot of joy out of making each package special.  Below is an example.  On this package he added a little snow shovel ornament & a snowman wall box that has a few small wrapped gifts inside   : )   
I can now share a few more photos with you of stitched gifts & exchanges sent & received. Do you remember me telling you about my metallic floss experience a while back?  I was given the name of someone in an exchange & she indicated that a Victorian theme & a blue/silver theme were among her favorite Christmas decorating themes.  With the help of one of my followers (I'm am embarrassed to say that I don't remember who that was) I found this design to stitch for her.  I hope she liked it.  It's a design which appeared in the JCS ornament preview issue back in 2008.  It was, of course, beautifully & perfectly finished by Myra   : )  

This was a beautiful gift to me from Carol ... my first Prairie Schooler design!  
Angela & I did a private ornament exchange & we decided to exchange LHN ornaments. Angela stitched me this absolutely gorgeous ornament, LHN's Bringing Home the Tree design.  For Angela I stitched LHN's Tree Farm design ... finished by Myra of course  : )

And here are 2 ornaments I stitched which I was not able to show you until the recipients opened them   : )   These ornaments were stitched for Edgar & Rico (note the initials). They are a BBD design which appeared in the JCS Ornaments 2008 issue.   I finished these myself   : ) 
With all the Christmas stitching I did this year you would think I'd be ready to take a break & stitch something else, but that's not going to happen   : )   I'm thinking of a little challenge I might give myself in the new year regarding Christmas ornaments.  I'll let you know if I decide to do that   : )   I had intended to start Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow yesterday.  I've had the chart for a while but not the necessities to go with it. For Christmas I asked Santa Bear for the suggested silk floss & bless his heart, it was inside one of my packages.  I neglected to ask for the fabric though ... lol!  As a result, yesterday went by without a new start ... but I'm hoping to find one today.  Heaven knows I have a lot to choose from   : )   

I'd like to take this time to welcome my new followers who arrived recently.  I'm very glad that you visited my blog & decided to add it to your reading list   : )   I'd also like to thank everyone who has been praying for me concerning the nightmare that came into my life 2 weeks before Christmas.  It's still here ... I have no idea when it will go away ... but your prayers are helping me deal with it & I thank you for them with all my heart.  I wish there were stronger words to use to tell you how much I appreciate your prayers but I cannot think of any.  I do ask that you continue to keep me in your prayers.  We most likely will be in this together for the long haul.  Your prayers mean everything to me.  

The new year will soon be upon us!  Are you making plans?  I'll talk about mine in the next post or two ... whenever I decide what they will be   : )   For now I wish you all very merry days after Christmas!  

18 comments:

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Shirlee ~ it looks like you had a wonderful Christmas ~ I'm happy for you.
Oh my goodness sooooo many wonderful and beautiful stitcheries.
Wishing you all the best in the coming New Year!
Prim Blessings
Robin

Peggy Lee said...

Thanks for sharing a bit of your Christmas memories. I agree about the commercialism of the holiday. If you allow it, it can take a bit of the JOY out of Christmas. Our tree will stay up until after the new year.
Judging from the mountain of beautifully wrapped gifts under your tree I'd say you and John were very good this past year!
Happy New Year to you both!
~hugs

Grit said...

Hi Shirlee,
your view from the window is so nice. Here isn`t snow. I miss it.
Your cat looks so happy with the mouse for christmas.
Beautiful stitching.
Liebe Grüße Grit

TheCrankyCrow said...

WOO HOO!!!! A photo of Shirlee!!! And bonus, of her Bear!!! Ahhh...I do not know why you were so shy in doing that....you are as beautiful outside as you are inside....But, holy moley....you certainly don't look your age!! How do you DO that??!

Very touching post word-wise as well - you articulated much more clearly what I attempted in my post. I was a bit hesitant - uncertain whether others had the same traditions growing up or, if they did, would they remember them as fondly as I do.... Anyway, bless you for honoring Christmas as a season along with me.

And you, my friend, are truly blessed to have a man who enjoys wrapping and does it so exquisitely. I used to take such joy and pride in wrapping beautiful gifts like that....with a pop of the unexpected.... But, as the years passed, it became such a challenge to even get paper on the boxes (ok - usually to even FIND a BOX for things to fit in....) and my husband is allergic to gift wrap. :o He used to even try to get me to wrap my own gifts. That's when I drew the proverbial line in the snow. This year, he was pretty much allergic to shopping too, though, so there wasn't much wrapping going on.

Glad you got a little taste of your beloved white stuff. If I could figure a way of packaging the stuff, you know what you'd be getting from me!

Beautiful gifts....but I wouldn't expect anything less than that from beautiful you.....

Happy Christmas!! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

butterfly said...

Look like you had some fun Shirlee just what you needed.
Love all your stitching, gifts and exchanges. Wish my santa could wrap better.
Blessings to you my dear friend.

Nicola said...

A lovely post Shirlee. Wish my DH could wrap anyway close to yours.

Vickie said...

I am praying for you Shirlee.
I am glad you and John and Sophie had a great Christmas.
My presents come unwrapped. Always. ;)

Catherine said...

Wonderful post. I loved reading your Christmas memories! I really don't like how commercial Christmas has become.
I saw and read of the many smiles you shared this Christmas season with your stitched goodies ~ and the pieces you have shown here are lovely!
Continued thoughts and prayers headed your way ~ may you be blessed in the new year....

prims by olde lady morgan said...

Shirlee,

Love seeing a photo of you! & the hubby too! Look at him wrap, he is good, though I love love my gift, though it was in a moving blanket... HEHE... and no truer words spoken on the traditions of Christmas! OLM

jennifer768 said...

Evening Shirlee,so glad that you had a wonderful Christmas day.Your bear has a way with gift wrapping.Such a sweet package you shared.It was a real treat to see the pics of both of you.Girl you look fantastic. Love the stitching you have done.Thanks again for my gift.Love it and will treasure it.Hugs and prayers,Jen

p.s. It was so special to read your Christmas memories.

Anne said...

What a lovely post Shirlee! I have really grown to love your blog more and more!! not that I didn't before...oh how do I word it?! You know what I mean! I hope!!

Anywho, lovely photos of you and your hubby and dear sweet, cute Sophie! Glad she got a little treat (so did Titus :D ) Gorgeous ornaments you made this year. Each one is so special. I've seen some of your primitive pillows you made and they are very precious. You have a great talent!!

Praying for you during this time....hugs to you Shirlee from over here on the West coast!

Chris said...

What wonderful Christmas memories. Like you I think the Christmas season lasts until after New Years. I hate that people take down their tree or decorations the day after.
It looks like you and john and sophie had a lot of fun.
Keeping you in my thoughts.

Hazel said...

Shirlee it looks like you had a lovely Christmas albeit a quiet one. Thoughtful husband you got there! Love your stockings and everything else you stitched and received. Look forward to seeing your stitching plans for next year. Xx

bettyj said...

Beautiful ornaments, Shirlee. I love the stitching! prayers and may you have a blessed New Year!

Carol said...

Loved seeing your Christmas morning photos, Shirlee--and you even got a bit of snow!! We have about six inches and more is on the way tonight. Just enough to make it nice without inconveniencing us :)

I can't believe mine it the first PS ornament you have--gosh. I have so many on my tree, I can't count them all. I am a PS nut!! I call it my comfort stitching as there is never any surprise stitch or weird color change, etc. You always know what to expect with a PS :)

Love your gifts for Angela, Edwin, and Rico--your stocking finishing is incredible! Honestly, Shirlee--you need to start believing in your finishing abilities and giving yourself more credit! They really are wonderful :) (REALLY!!)

Dani - tkdchick said...

Wow what a special man you have in your life and it looks like you two made Christmas special. My other half and I were discussing it the other day, why our Christmas didn't feel special this year. We do believe it the lack of kids, because children truly do make Christmas magical. I know there's something we can do to make the day special just for the two of us. I really should of put my tree up, this is the second year in a row I couldn't face it. Next year, the tree is up!

What lovely stitched ornaments you've sent and received! All so special!

Happy New Year!

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

Lovely Christmas post! Our tree goes up the weekend before Christmas and stays up until 6th Jan when it is fed into the wood burner and we play "don't set fire to the chimney pipe!"
Love the photos of you and your nearest and dearest. You look like my friend Ann and also Maggie, the lady that does some of my framing!
I love the ornies too, especially the LHN.

Suzanne said...

I am glad that you had a wonderful Christmas. Such pretty ornaments!