I Wasn’t Sure about a Christmas Tree This Year

Yesterday evening Charlie drove up to the house with a Christmas tree on top of his car.

The top of the tree is at the bottom of the photo.

He had stopped by Home Depot and picked out just the right balsam fir. He’s much more selective than I am.  I get tired of looking and I’ll take the next one. Charlie will look at every tree for form, height, and proportion.

Sawing the bottom of the tree.

He cut a small slab from the bottom of the trunk to allow the tree to soak up more water.

A tall, slender tree.

Then we propped it up in a bucket of water on the porch.  I’m hoping Charlie will set up the tree in the living room while I’m at work.

Do you have a tree? Real or artificial? Cut it yourself of choose it from a tree lot?

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Hope

We made advent wreaths yesterday just in time for the first Sunday in Advent.

Charlie lit the first purple candle in our wreath.

The theme for the first Sunday is Hope.

The advent wreath made by our youngest guest was used today for the first time.

Hope keeps us going.  Wishing great hope to everyone.

Are you hoping for something special?

Setting Up the Wreath Factory

It seems we’re still having a wreath-making party today even though may invitees have called out sick.  I can totally understand their dilemma.

Getting ready to wreath.

Charlie has set up the card tables as work spaces and all the ingredients are ready.

Recipe for 1 dozen muffins makes 6 dozen mini-muffins.

The soup is simmering and muffins are in the oven.

One for me, one for a friend.

Hoping the healthy ones who show up will consider making two advent wreaths: one to have and one to give.

First Sunday of Advent starts tomorrow. How to use an advent wreath can be found here with pertinent scripture and devotionals.

Hoping your weekend is full of joy.

The Season Begins

Today is the day we begin to bring Christmas decorations down from the attic.

Top of the attic steps — The Christmas Collection

Over the next week or so we’ll be decking the halls with boughs of holly and other evergreens.

This year’s theme.

Bears and bows and boughs and balls.

2014’s blue Christmas

I’ll start with the mantel as soon as I finish writing the narration for 3 Christmas programs (which I have not yet started).

What’s hanging over your head?

Seasonal Party Favors

I like to have a little something to give my guests when they come to the house for a party.

One year it was mini-cinnamon brooms for 99 cents each.

In the past I have given mini-cinnamon brooms, ring pops, and other small items.

The styles are varied.

This year Trader Joe’s has chocolate advent calendars for 99 cents.

An advent calendar for cat lovers.

I found 4 different types and bought a half dozen.

Less than 11 calories per piece of chocolate.

If the whole thing were eaten at one sitting it would only be 260 calories, but an advent calendar has 24 pieces of chocolate to be eaten one each day.

How do you count the days until a holiday?

Craft Party Inspiration

I have decided to invite the choir over on a Saturday afternoon to make Advent wreaths.

This pretty wreath incorporates a center candle to light on Christmas.

The Advent wreath is an old German tradition of evergreens with four candles that represent the four weeks preceding Christmas.

Any greenery can be used to fill the frame.

Three of the candles are purple, reminding us of the penitential nature of the season. A rose or pink candle is lit for the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday.

Sometimes the candles are all blue or all purple.

We are planning to use simple wreath frames with built-in candle holders onto which we’ll wire greens, ribbons, and other symbols of the season.

I hope we have both traditional and avant garde model from our travail.

I’m hoping these photos will give us inspiration for making our own.

Do you have holiday traditions?

Already Thinking About . . .

Christmas!

Someone has recently donated crimson choir robes to the church which we will wear at Christmas.

I always get a big head start thinking about Christmas because I listen to Christmas music in August so I can have about a month to learn it before I teach it to my choir.  We started our rehearsals this past Sunday which means Christmas Day is 10 weeks away.

Love these colors.

I was talking to Charlie and Sug about this year’s theme and they both looked at me like I was nuts.

I am inspired by the white-painted branches stuck into the Christmas tree.

In order to show them that I’m not as whacky as I seem I decided on themes myself.

Coir polar bear welcome mat.

The House (the house where Charlie and I live) will expand on last year’s theme of polar bears. To that end I bought 2 new door mats. If we ever get the side porch cleared of project supplies down they will go.

The penguins on the half-round door mat are very welcoming.

The Cottage (where Sug lives) will have it’s own theme of penguins (Sug’s favorite).  I got her a door mat as well. Hers is already in place because the Cottage is always in order.

Last year we made gingerbread cookies shaped like bears.

We also have cookie cutters for these two animals.

Hoping to come across some penguins.

Last year after I declared the theme I kept coming across things that went with it.  I trust this year will be no different.

Have you got a holiday theme?