A Family Christmas, A Good Home, Canadian Families, Christmas Arrangements, Christmas Decorations

The Week Before Christmas

 

Here, for your viewing pleasure (I hope), are some images from our home in the week before Christmas. We started decorating a few weeks ago.

Blog Photo - Christmas -Advent Calendar

The thing above is our unusual Advent calendar.

Before Advent officially began (December 3 this year), we wrote notes/quotes and put them in the tiny drawers. Important reminders of love, slowing down and appreciating our blessings.

Next, we brought out an oldish but favourite Christmas book.

Blog Photo - Christmas book exterior

Inside are pop-up scenes marking the 12 days of Christmas, which traditionally don’t begin till December 25.

Blog Photo - Christmas Book third day

Blog Photo - Christmas Book Three French Hens

Blog Photo - Christmas Book inside

Then the tree got properly decorated…

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Peace Angel

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Golden Dove

Blog Photo - Christmas Tree 2017

Except for the lower branches.  We ran out of lights, planned to replace them before adding more decorations, but forgot.  

Blog Photo - Christmas Living rm 3

Then I assembled this centrepiece — using birch-bark candles by the talented artist Jean Long, pine cones, baubles, whatnots….

Blog Photo - Christmas plate and candles

And Santa’s sleigh, of course.

Blog Photo - Christmas Santa sleigh

Husband had already filled this very old basket with logs for the fire….

Blog Photo - Christmas Fireplace Logs in Basket

Blog Photo - Christmas 2016 - Logs Burning

Finally, the table was set with Christmas plates ….

Blog Photo - Christmas plate setting

Blog Photo - Christmas table2

And then I apparently ruined the “tablescape”.

Husband asked: “What on earth is that?”

“Those are real autumn leaves and real fake berries,” I replied. 

“Hmm,” he said.

I didn’t tell him I planned to replace the leaves with green sprigs. A woman must retain some mystery, after all.
Blog Photo - Christmas Plate with leaves

Wishing you a good week before Christmas and – whatever your special celebration or preparations — I wish you all the best of the season.

 

A Family Christmas, A Good Home, Christmas Decorations

Everybody’s A Critic…

Blog Photo - Christmas Angel

It’s Advent,  a quiet season that I love. And I’m determined to create something — something special to get into the spirit of preparing for Christmas.

“I’m making a creche!” I proudly declared.

“A creche?” my good man asked.

“Hm-hmm,” I said, eyeing the Christmas decorations. “I must be able to find some stuff around here.”

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Jewelled Pony

Blog Photo - Christmas Ornaments Baby angels

I was so proud of my creation, I sent pictures to the family.

“Er… Mum.” Younger daughter was the first to phone. “What’s that?”

“It’s a creche,” I cheerfully replied.

Blog Photo - Christmas Creche better

“Aren’t you supposed to have just one baby in the creche?” she asked.

“Yes. But Jesus was middle-eastern and I couldn’t find any middle-eastern-looking babies in my decorations, so I used the two little brown babies. They are representing Jesus.”

“What did you use for a blanket, Mum?”

“I used kleenex. Folded.”

Blog Photo - Christmas babies in creche

“Kleenex.” I think I heard her sigh.  “And why do you have bears by the side of the manger? The story calls for three wise men, but you have 6 bears.”

“I do not!”

“Go and check. I’m telling you, those are bears.”

I checked. Those are bears.

Blog Photo - Christmas bears.JPG

“They’re wise bears!” I said, brightening up. “Six wise bears!”

“And is that Santa in the corner?” she accused. “There was no Santa in the Bible story!”

“Okay.  You’re right. But did you like the two golden angels with the trumpets?”

Blog Photo - Christmas Angels in creche

“They’re okay… I guess. But why’s there a penguin? They don’t have penguins in the middle east.”

This had turned into an inquisition. But I knew what I knew. 

“There’s no penguin,” I insisted, on firm ground at last.

“I’ll wait while you go check, Mum. There’s a penguin in your creche.”

Blog Photo - Christmas candles and penguin

I checked. There was a penguin. A tiny one, lower left.

“And is that a lamb?  That’s kinda big for a lamb.”

Blog Photo - Christmas lamb

“Okay, alright,” I said. “But did you like the creche at least?”

“Oh, mum. You really are very special.”

And if you think that conversation is bad, just wait till the older daughter calls.

I’m sure it’s the thought that counts.

But everybody’s a bloomin’ critic.

A Family Christmas, A Good Home, Christmas, Christmas in Canada

A PERFECTLY IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS

Tiny Perfect Christmas Tree

The tree’s too small and tends to fall

The angel’s tattered most of all

The lights don’t work, the garlands drop

But in this home it’s Christmas.

 **

Photo by H. Grange

The Christmas gifts aren’t quite wrapped yet

The puppy peed, the floor got wet

(That smell we sniffed was a sure bet)

But in this home, it’s Christmas.

 **

Blog Photo - Winter Garden

The snow outside is fluffy and bright

The turkey’s cooked and it’s done right

The baked ham glistens in candlelight

And in this home, it’s Christmas.

 **

Blog Photo - Christmas Table

This house has seen a hundred years

Of laughter, hopes and even tears

Of festive times and warmth and grace

And joy and peace at Christmas.

 **

We wish you warmth, we wish you love

Peace landing gently as a dove

We wish you rest, we wish you joy

In your good home, this Christmas.

Selfie Ornament
Ornament Selfie

Poem Written by Cynthia Reyes, December 2013.

All photos by Hamlin Grange.