Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014

I am tempted to say that once again Christmas has come & gone too quickly, but that wouldn't really be correct since today is only the 6th day of Christmas.  Many people start taking down their trees & decorations the day after Christmas. A very sad thing to do in my book, but if you bought a real tree to decorate on Thanksgiving weekend, you probably don't want it hanging around the house too long after the blessed day   : )

It was another quiet Christmas here in The Devil's Playground.  After our traditional breakfast of homemade orange rolls ...
... we snapped a few photos & then opened our gifts.  

Yes, once again we we lit the fireplace DVD.  Just imagine our joy if we had a real fireplace!!! 

Some of my happiest times leading up to Christmas were opening & displaying our Christmas cards.  I had asked in a blog post at the beginning of the month if anyone wanted to exchange cards with me.  I received lovely cards from all over the world!  I'm looking forward to another blog Christmas card exchange next year!

What was my very favorite thing about Christmas this year?  It was when John & I visited our wonderful son the weekend before Christmas. We hadn't seen him in a long, long time.  Now that he's living closer to us, we will get to see him more often   : )

Matt & a friend have entered into a business venture ... breeding Lllwellin setters & Weimaraners. I'm not really much of a dog person.  Don't get me wrong ... I like dogs.  I just prefer cats.  Well, don't tell Sophie, but I fell in love with Weimaraners.  This is me & Chloe.  Do I look happy much?  Lol!  I had never heard of Weimaraners before Matt became involved with them.  They are the sweetest, most docile dogs I have ever seen. Right up our alley   : )   If I'm remembering this correctly (Matt will correct me if I'm wrong), Chloe is 6 weeks old in this photo & she's weighing in at 26 pounds.  I really, really, really wanted to bring one of these puppies home, but Sophie would not have been a happy feline if I had done so.  This coming year I'm going to try to sell her on the idea.  Wish me luck   : )  
I am going to be adding two new pages to my sidebar ... Christmas Exchanges & Gifts from Me to Others - 2014, & Christmas Exchanges & Gifts from Others to Me - 2014.  I also plan to make a page with the remainder of my 2014 stitching & even go back to gather all my stitching projects per year together on their own pages.  Nothing I enjoy more than making work for myself ... lol!  This, however, seemed to be the best way to go about things ... keeping them all on their own page rather than a little here, a little there in various blog posts.  I'll do a post as each page is created.  

Our decorations will stay on display for another week at least ... the tree longer.  I think it was nearing the end of January last year when I finally took it down.  I'm in no rush for Christmas to be over.

At the grocery store on Christmas Eve Eve I discovered jars of tulip plantings & had to bring one home.  I didn't think to take a photo until today so they aren't as nice looking as they were a day or two ago, but still much enjoyed by both of us.  
I will leave you with this photo of our newest acquisition for our home.  I never include wise men in a nativity display for several reasons, but John talked me into it this year because they were "cute" & "fit in" with the set.  Next year I'll leave them out, but this year I let him have his way   : )  
Remember to keep Christ not only in Christmas, but in every day of the year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Advent Calendar Blog Hop - Day 24

I was gifted by both Jo & Sharon with Day 24 of the Advent Calendar Blog Hop this year.  Thank you both again sweet friends ... a gift I will always treasure   : )

Jo has asked each of us participating in the Hop to share a bit of our Christmas stitching.  The ornament I'm sharing below is not something I've stitched, but it is one of my very favorite ornaments which I received in an exchange with Lisa last year ... O Night Divine, a design by The Sampler Girl which appeared in the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Ornaments issue.  Tonight is indeed a very special & holy night ... the night that Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of our dear Savior.

I suppose I should share a bit of stitching I've done myself as well ... lol!  There is a lot to choose from, but I've picked these three designs I stitched for my own tree over the past two years, & they were finished to the utmost perfection by my friend Myra.    
Good Tidings to You
The Sampler Girl
Peace on Earth
The Primitive Hare
His Gift
My Big Toe Designs

In addition to a bit of Christmas stitching, Jo wants each of us to tell about the best Christmas present we've ever received.  Well, like most of the other ladies it is difficult for me to decide which one present to tell you about, but for the purpose of an interesting story, it's got to be my 1914 Singer treadle sewing machine.  When I was in junior high school (1965-66), I had a friend, Anna Marie, who was given her grandmother's old treadle sewing machine.  I thought this sewing machine was the coolest thing I had ever seen, & throughout the coming years I always remembered it & always hoped to have one of my own one day.  Flash forward to the late 1980s.  My husband's job made it necessary for him to do a lot of traveling throughout the state of Tennessee where we lived at that time, & during one of these excursions he went into an antique store & spied a Singer treadle sewing machine.  He immediately asked the store owner if he could pay for the machine that day & pick it up before Christmas.  The owner said yes.  John left early Christmas Eve morning to make the 2-hour drive to the antique store to pick up the sewing machine & bring it back home.  We knew some rain & storms were possible, but little did either of us know that a tornado was going to occur!  It came close to the route where he was driving & he experienced quite a downpour with high winds accompanying it, but thankfully neither he nor our vehicle were in any way hurt or damaged.  Others that day were not as fortunate.  Anyway, John made it to the antique store & he & the owner carried the treadle out to our Toyota Corolla only to discover that it was going to take a small miracle to fit it into the back seat!  After some lengthy negotiating, they were able to wedge it in there & then John made the drive back home.  He was unable to remove it from the back seat himself, so rather than me finding it waiting for me next to the tree on Christmas morning, he had me come out to the car when he arrived home to help him pry it from the back seat & carry it in.  I have enjoyed sewing on this treadle machine ever since. It always mystifies people who have the fancy Berninas, Husqvarnas, & other high end machines when I tell them that I prefer sewing on a treadle. I think of the woman or women who owned that machine before me.  What were they sewing? What were their thoughts as they pumped the treadle up & down?  Did they ever for a moment think that a woman 75+ years in the future was going to be loving their machine as much as they had?  It takes me back to a simpler time.  I like that.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.  I wish you & your family a most happy & blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's All About Jesus

I don't know about you, but I am saddened by what Christmas has become.  People know that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ. Even people who don't believe in Him know this.  I was born in the 50s & fondly remember people wishing each other a Merry Christmas, & large nativity scenes displayed in the windows or on the grounds of various businesses.

The PewResearch Religion & Public Life Project published a report today that shows people who consider themselves to be Christians make up 78.4% of this country's population.  More than 3/4 of the people in this country claim to be Christians!!!  So why do we suddenly have "holiday trees" rather than Christmas trees?  Why are people wishing each other a "Happy Holiday" rather than a Merry Christmas?  Why are businesses no longer able to display nativity scenes?  Why do schools now have "winter breaks" rather than Christmas breaks?

Last year parents of children attending the Ralph J. Osgood school on Long Island, New York, were outraged when at the school's Christmas concert, the children sang the beautiful carol Silent Night with ALL references to Christ's birth removed.  I've been listening to the radio & have heard about this happening elsewhere.  What is going on here?!?!?  A nationwide radio station is broadcast here & they start playing Christmas music 24/7 right after Halloween.  I kid you not.  I listened to them off & on for a year or two after moving here.  I knew something was missing, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  It dawned on me last year.  No real Christmas music.  No Silent Night, no Joy to the World, no Oh Come All Ye Faithful ... nothing like that.  Nothing about the real meaning of Christmas.

The focus of Christmas for too many years has been gimmie-gimmie-gimmie.  Christmas for many people is kicked off by standing in a mile-long line on Black Friday just so they can elbow, shove, & trample each other to get a flat screen TV for $200 ... for themselves!  Christmas commercials encourage buying expensive gifts for friends & loved ones, or worse, gifting yourself!  I saw a Christmas commercial a couple years ago with the catch phrase "Don't you deserve it?"  Another commercial encouraged people to "Do something nice for yourself!"  Sad.  Oh so sad.  

John & I watched a Christmas movie the other night called Guess Who's Coming to Christmas. The family of 4 ... father, mother, son, & daughter ... have the tradition of buying only one gift for the one person in the family whose name they draw out of a jar.  There is a $10 spending limit on the gift. They have this tradition so they can focus on Jesus during the season, not on what they want or what they are going to get.  I indicated to John that I thought this was a nice tradition.  He thought so too.

Jesus is not only the reason for the season ... he is the ONLY reason for the season & the reason for every single day of our life.
Just a little something to think about   : ) 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm Here ... & a Note to Gisela

This photo has nothing to do with this blog post.  I just thought it was pretty   : )

I've been a bit overwhelmed lately & it has kept me from responding to emails & for that I deeply apologize.  I am going to try to start catching up in the next couple of days.  Please bear with me.  

I received a comment on my last blog post from Gisela in Nebraska who wants to exchange Christmas cards with me.  Gisela, you are a no-reply blogger & I am therefore unable to contact you.  If you still want to exchange cards, please email me.  My email address is on my profile page.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Cards - Anyone Want to Exchange with Me?

While looking online for a nice photo of a display of Christmas cards, I found this one.  Not as big a display as I had in mind, but wow!  I don't know whose house this is, but I want to be her when I grow up!  What a wonderful snowy view she gets to enjoy!  I can just see me sitting in my recliner across from that window, a cup of tea or hot chocolate in my hand, looking at all that snow!  I wonder if she appreciates it?  Maybe she longs for a home in The Devil's Playground.  I wish I knew who she was.  Maybe we could work out some kind of trade!

Sorry ... I got a bit off the subject of my post which is "Christmas Cards -Anyone Want to Exchange with Me?"  I am EXTREMELY late in posting this.  I had actually intended to post a while back to ask if anyone would be interested in a Christmas card exchange group.  No gifts, just cards.  I don't know about you but I LOVE Christmas cards.  I have childhood memories of all the relatives, all the neighbors, & all the business owners in town sending stacks & stacks of Christmas cards.  I miss those days.  I saw someone post recently that they had joined a Christmas card exchange group.  I asked if there was still time for another person to join, referring to myself of course, but I never received a response so I guess not.  So now I'm shamelessly asking ... would anyone care to exchange Christmas cards with me?  Again, no gifts ... just cards.  If you'd like to exchange cards with me, just send me an email with your mailing address & I will respond with mine.  

Next year I hope to be a little more organized.  I also hope whoever lives in the house above with that fabulous view will contact me about a trade  : )

Be Thankful

On Thursday, those of us in the US will be celebrating a day set aside to give thanks to God for all His blessings.  Sadly, many people seem to believe it's just a day to enjoy a good meal, watch endless football games on television, & prepare to "power shop" the Black Friday sales   : (  

I've been thinking all month about God's blessings. Don't get me wrong ... I think about them all through the year.  November, however, seems to make me think about them even more.  Is my life a bed of roses?  No.  None of us have a life like that. We can, however, focus on what's good in our lives rather than what's bad.  And there is always ... ALWAYS ... good to be found in our lives.

This coming Thursday ... while you're stuffing the turkey, baking the pies, setting the table, & cleaning up afterward ... really think about how God has blessed you.  And be thankful.  Be ever so thankful. A thankful heart is the best gift you can give to God, to the people around you, & to yourself.  

I wish you a very happy & blessed Thanksgiving day!   

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Final Eye Update

I apologize for not posting after my Wednesday followup with the eye doctor.  I'm behind in responding to emails & blog comments & my exchange mailings are going to be a wee bit late, but I've been trying to not overdo things.  I was actually given a good report.  Even though I was still experiencing some soreness & blurry vision in the injured eye, the inflammation & scarring were totally healed!  He said I would still experience a bit of soreness & blurriness for a few days, but he felt confident that all would be well.  I was able to stop using all but the steroid drops, & those I could decrease from 4 times a day to 2 times a day.  Tonight will be my final drop ... hooray!  He also suggested I not do any more yard work ... lol!  Don't know if I mentioned it but I injured this same eye in a mowing accident a couple years ago.  I was riding the mower around a small tree ... wearing goggles, mind you! ... when a little branch hit me at just the right angle to push up underneath the goggles & scratch my cornea! This eye doctor has a warped sense of humor just like I do, so we get along really well.  He had a good time teasing me & I laughed right along with him   : )

My thanks to everyone who said prayers for my healing & sent good wishes.  I appreciate them more than you know.

I'm just going to make this a short update.  I'll write about some other stuff in another day or two ... I hope   : )  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Joy Cometh in the Morning!!!!!

Not a lot of joy,
but I'll take what I can get   : )

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Simplicity During the Christmas Season

Technically it's not the Christmas season yet, but yesterday I found myself thinking about all the things I need to do before Christmas gets here, & I suddenly realized that I was starting to feel a bit of stress.  Just a bit.  It occurred to me that if I'm starting to feel a bit of stress, others are probably starting to feel it too.  

When we become stressed, we lose our peace ... & when we lose our peace, we lose our joy.  We often find ourselves focusing on what we have determined to be the season's "Things That Need to Be Done" ... cleaning the house, buying the food, cooking the food, baking the cookies, decorating the tree, decorating the house, buying/making the gifts, wrapping the gifts, writing & mailing the cards, mailing the gifts that need to be mailed, hosting guests (maybe even housing them), visiting family & friends, attending church or school programs, going to seasonal parties, volunteering, etc.  We find ourselves over working, over committing, & over spending.  

How can we have peace & joy during the Christmas season?  Focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  God's Son.  He was born in a simple manger.  He lived a simple life.  Simplicity brings peace & joy.  When you complicate things, as we so often do during the Christmas season as well as during the rest of the year, we block that peace & joy.

I wish you all a blessed & simple week ... & blessed & simple weeks ... ahead.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Eye Update - Improvement!

My visit with the eye doctor yesterday morning went quite well!  He was happy to see that the irritation & inflammation was subsiding.  I am to continue the dilation/antibacterial drops 4 times/day but now have the steroid drops to add to the regimen.  I have another appointment to see him next Wednesday.

I had to continue to keep the eye closed yesterday, but today I am allowed to be a two-eyed person again   : )

The eye is still rather painful, & my vision with it is not very good.  I'm somewhat concerned about the vision.  Hopefully that will return to normal in due time.  If not, I may have to get a new glasses prescription.

Thank you all so much for your prayers!  Please keep at 'em, if you don't mind   : )

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eye Update - Please Pray

My eye doctor appointment yesterday did not go well.  He was dismayed to see that I had not improved as he expected.  Inflammation developed inside the eyeball along with some sort of irritation (I forget the term he used) around the injured area that was spreading across my eye.  He likened it to little hangnails which explained the reason I felt scratchiness & pain while wearing the patch.  Also, my iris, or retina, was spasming.  His words were "You are a mess."

In order to get the iris, or retina, to stop spasming, I had to have dilating drops placed in my eye.  It took three sets of drops before the spasming subsided.  He then gave me a prescription for dilating drops as well as antibacterial drops to place in my eye four times a day for 30 days.  Because of the need for drops he could not patch the eye again, so I had ... & still have ... to purposely keep the injured eye closed.  This takes some concentration, let me tell you   : )

He told me that the antibacterial drops are not the strongest he could prescribe for me, but they are the next best thing.  He said he did not want to prescribe the strongest drops right away because they would destroy the good as well as the bad bacteria in my eye.  He is hoping to avoid having to prescribe those.  He wants to see me again this morning, & if the eye hasn't improved to his liking, he will need to prescribe these stronger drops.

After things settle down a bit, I will then need to add steroid drops to the regimen.

Your prayers are deeply appreciated.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Tuesday was a warm day ... sunny & dry. Temperatures after Tuesday were predicted to drop like a rock &, God willing, remain that way until spring.  I therefore decided it would be the perfect day to cut down the daylilies & irises & to put the Christmas lights on the little pine tree we bought a couple years ago to plant in the front yard.  I ran into a little problem while stringing the lights.  There were some dead branches on the bottom of the tree.  Not limbs, mind you. Branches. It was only after I put the lights on the tree that I thought I should trim these branches.  I walked back to the garage, took hold of the big pruner, & returned to the tree.  I knelt down & trimmed a few small dead pieces away from the trunk directly in front of me.  Then I don't know where my mind was, but seeing the dead branches to the right of me, I placed the pruner against the trunk of the tree & cut first the upper & then the lower "branch" & was heartsick as I saw the entire bottom right side of the tree collapse to the ground along with the lights that had been strung there.  I hadn't cut the branches ... I had cut the limbs!!!  Our cute little pine tree now looks as you it see in the photo below ... lol!  I can laugh about it now.  A permanent memorial to my stupidity!  
After composing myself ... & imagining John's horror over this when he returned home (he was out doing a bit of Christmas shopping) ... I carried the pieces I had cut from the tree back to where we put such things.  As I was was walking to this place where we put garden debris, I noticed how ratty it looked underneath our large myrtle bush, & so I decided to stop a moment & pull away this ratty growth.  So there I was, on my knees, making my way around the bush, bending closer to pull away this ratty growth, & suddenly a small branch which I did not see ... which was sticking up toward me ... met my eye.  I saw stars.  I blinked & blinked & blinked, then ... yes ... finished pulling away the remainder of the ratty growth, then disposed of it along with the cuttings from the tree.  I then headed into the house where I profusely rinsed my eye with eye drops, then showered & let the water rinse the eye further.  It felt like there was a little something in the eye, & I wasn't seeing very clearly with that eye, & what I was seeing kind of had a little aura around it.  I decided that if things weren't better in the morning, I'd call the eye doctor.  

When I woke up yesterday morning, the eye seemed to be okay at first, then started bothering me again.  I called the eye doctor's office & was told to come in at 10 o'clock.  It turns out that the point of that little branch had poked my cornea & then scraped upward a bit.  This is apparently a bad thing.  Not as bad as a fingernail poking you in the eye, but with what happened to me, there is a real concern for fungus.  Apparently fungus causes major problems with infections.  The debris & whatever else that was on the point of that branch takes a back seat to the fungus possibility.  My eye was slathered with antibiotic ointment & then a nurse put a huge patch on it to keep it shut for 24 hours.  I am seeing the doctor again this morning so he can take a look at the eye again.  I may have to be repatched for a couple days ... something I pray will NOT happen because this patch hurts!  After the patch is no longer necessary, I will then have to bathe my eye in antibiotic eye drops for a week or so.  I was useless yesterday as I couldn't read, couldn't knit, couldn't do anything because it caused pain.  This morning I'm a bit better.  I have my glasses spread open across the patch & I'm writing this post using only my "good" eye ... lol!

Incidentally, John took the tree damage amazingly well.  He said it doesn't look bad at all & that he could think of worst things that could have happened.  God bless him   : )

Monday, November 10, 2014

Luke 11:28

I am not a whiner, & therefore I will not whine about the difficulties that have come into my life over the past 3-4 weeks.  I shared some of them with you a while back.  Some of those things were resolved & then others took their place.  A friend likened them to a cloud hanging over me.  I thought that was a good description.

The things I experienced during this 3-4 week time frame were, of course, nothing compared to the problems that others experience.  Still, they were tiresome, bothersome, annoying, inconvenient, &/or painful.  The painful situation was the most difficult for me.  It involved another person.  Not a friend, but someone others think of very highly. This person, a professing Christian, betrayed my trust. When I told this person how disappointed I was in what they had done, their reaction was far from Christlike.  I was made to feel like the bad guy when I was the person who had been wronged!

I felt physically sick & very discouraged.  I immersed myself in prayer & reading God's Word, & God answered me in my distress.  Five times! The first word I received from Him was in a devotional reading one morning.  The reading focused on Philippians 2:3 ...

"Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy end] or prompted by conceit or empty arrogance.  Instead, in a true spirit of humility [lowliness of mind] let each regard the others as better than & superior to himself."

The reading talked about being obedient to the Holy Spirit, forgiving quickly & frequently, & how we must be generous in our mercy & patience. 

That same morning I also received a word via a Christian radio station.  Their "thought for the day" was Proverbs 23:7 ...

"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."  

The voice on the radio talked about taking captive every thought & making it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) ... a scripture I had been focusing on for quite some time!  

Again that same morning, while I was praying, God spoke directly to my spirit & said "Don't let another person steal your joy."  I realized at that moment that that was exactly what I had been doing ... allowing this person to steal my joy.  Why was I giving this person such power when I had the power of the Living God on my side?!?!?

Later that same day, I was referred to an online devotional by a friend ... the subject being Romans 8:18 ...

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

It is said that God speaks to us in a still, small voice.  I often tell Him that He knows how dense I am, & that when He wants to speak to me He needs to use a great, loud voice.  Well, these four words were, in essence, given to me in a great, loud voice!  There was no denying that He was answering my prayers ... that He was telling me how to get through this particular situation.  

As if His help up to this point wasn't enough, a few days ago I was re-reading one of my favorite psalms, Psalm 103, & when I got to verse 10, I immediately stopped.  

"he does not treat us as our sins deserve,
or repay us according to our iniquities."  

I must admit that, on occasion, a little nagging voice told me that this person should somehow have to pay for what they did to me.  I couldn't tell you the number of times I have read this Psalm, but verse 10 never jumped out at me like it did in this reading.  I immediately thought about how we are supposed to be like Christ ... & how Christ modeled Himself after His Father ... & how if God does not treat me as my sins deserve, or repay me for the things I have done ... then how could I have such thoughts against someone?  I know I'm "only human," but through His strength I am able to do anything (Philippians 4:13). 

This person's betrayal of my trust was devastating, but it ... combined with all the other raindrops this cloud brought into my life these weeks ... brought me even closer to God, & for that I can thank Him, & for that I can praise Him, & for that I can love Him even more.  

Friday, October 31, 2014

More Tea Stuff, a Grievous Error, & a Wonderful Surprise!!!

I am hanging my head in shame because when I did my tea post the other day, I totally forgot the two most famous tea drinkers of all!

Yes, Wallace & Gromit!  How in the world could I forget these two???  I love them so!  Here's Gromit pouring himself a cuppa.
And here's Wallace enjoying a cuppa ... along with some cheese & crackers it looks like!  Another favorite of mine, cheese & crackers.  Wallace & Gromit & I would get along very well if we were neighbors   : ) 
I remember when Wallace thought he had met the love of his life, Wendolene ... a knitting shop owner who I also thought would make a great neighbor   : )
Of course Wallace ended the relationship because Wendolene did not care for cheese   : (

And speaking of knitting ... that's another thing I have in common with Gromit!
And Shawn!
And then there's Babs.  She & I could pass for twins.  Same hairdo, same body build.  They do say that we all have a twin somewhere.  
This is sad, isn't it.  After 5-1/2 years living in The Devil's Playground with unfriendly townfolk & no family nearby, my friends & family have become Nick Park characters.  

Hmmmm ... I seem to have gotten off of the original topic here   : )   When I did my tea post, I forgot to post about some lovely Christmas tea books! If you are interested in learning more about them, you can Google them or look for them on Amazon.  

I've saved the wonderful surprise for last.  IT MIGHT SNOW TONIGHT!!!!!  Yes, you read that right!  Snow!  Yep, here's my twin brother again, born in my imagination after seeing his picture online, showing how we BOTH feel about the possibility of snow   : )
I need to think of a name for him   : )

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Long Post About Tea

You may remember that last Christmas, some of the packages John placed under the tree for me contained tea.  All kinds of tea!  I have been having a ball throughout the year trying them all. Needless to say, they are almost gone now, but I purposely saved a box of various Christmas teas to try when this Christmas season was upon us.  I realize that its not even November yet, but I've been fighting off the urge to put out my decorations for a couple months now ... so yesterday I decided to begin sampling them.

These Christmas teas are made by DavidsTea, & each one has a delightful name such as Santa's Secret, White Chocolate Frost, Sleigh Ride, Gingerbread, & Spiced Fig, to name a few.  I didn't think I'd care for those last two, but they are quite good!  As if the delicious teas with catchy names weren't enough, someone at DavidsTea went the extra mile by adding such things as teeny tiny little red & white striped candy cane looking things to the Santa's Secret tea ...
... & gold balls, representing ornaments I'm guessing, to the tea called Glitter & Gold.
I am, of course, looking forward to trying the other offerings in the assortment  : )

After my usual morning routine, I decided to Google some tea stuff ... & what fun I've had!  This looks like it would be a good tea, doesn't it?  I mean, it's a pretty tin, so the tea has to be good, right?   : )  
I thought the following tea looked good as well, produced by adagio teas.  I've never heard of this company so will need to do a bit more research. The photo of the tea looks good, but it is not able to be copied.  The website, however, did have this little extra photo that was able to be, showing the ingredients blended with the black tea ... orange peel, star anise, cloves, & cinnamon.  I'd say that's a great combination ... & that cookie is really yummy looking too!
This was another interesting tea I found.  Not a Christmas tea, & I must admit I'm not an English Breakfast Tea fan (my apologies to my British friends), but I do love the tin   : )
I know that some of you are not tea lovers, & I can't help but wonder how you can't be?  Having a cup of tea can make special times even specialer!  Having a cup of tea can help you feel better when you're sick, or sad, or stressed, or upset.  Even Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory fame knows that "when someone is upset or sad, it is customary to offer them a hot beverage, such as tea."  There is even a Sheldon Cooper tea that I discovered, made by the above-mentioned adagio teas!  It sounds pretty tasty too!  It contains black tea, natural coconut flavor, mango pieces, dried coconut, natural mango flavor, & marigold flowers.
Some people like to drink their tea from a beautiful fine china tea cup, like this one.
Those cups are lovely for tea parties & such, but for me, I prefer a big mug.  I wish I knew where the woman in the following photo got her mug!  I would love to be able to get my hands around a big mug like that.  It's just the right size for me   : )
Of course Christmas tea is very special.  This is a lovely looking one, isn't it?  Alas, the company, TWG, is in Singapore, & I have not been able to find any indication of them shipping or selling it here.
Many women's groups have Christmas Teas each year at churches, restaurants, tea rooms, or in their homes.  How fun it would be to attend one!
I think a couple weeks before Christmas each year, a few ladies here in The Devil's Playground put on clean t-shirts & meet down by the river to share a six pack.    

Look at these delicious Christmas tea cookies I found available!
And these yummy pastries!
Celebrities referenced or pictured above, like Sheldon Cooper, & Mrs. Tiggy-winkle & Lucie, are not alone in their love of tea.  Here are a few more.

Pooh Bear drinks tea sweetened with honey.

Julia Child always unwound with a cup of tea.

The Beatles enjoyed tea.

Paul still does!

And here's the world's most famous tea drinker, starting her day off right   : )
Are you a tea drinker?  If so, please comment & share you favorite teas, tea experiences, etc   : )