Merry Christmas!It’s such a magical day. Here in my neck o’ the woods, Connecticut’s a New England winter wonderland! Celebrate this special season with me…let’s getFarmgirlFestive!
We’ve been blessed this December with beautiful snow. Nothing’s prettier than branches covered in white, and Christmas lights reflecting through frosted glass.
Can you spot the beautiful red cardinal?
I love to decorate, especially at Christmas! It doesn’t take much to make every corner festive…a little red or gold makes merry and bright, and we farmgirls love to re-purpose! This year, I draped a shawl my grandmother crocheted decades ago, as a runner for the sideboard. I think of her every time I pass it. A vintage Santa, some old wooden and felt nutcrackers, and beautiful poinsettia plants look so festive. Did you know that the colorful blooms aren’t flowers, but leaves? I read recently it’s a myth the plants are poisonous, but I keep them where my pets can’t nibble them, just in case.
A friend liked a bowl I had, and I liked a vintage sled of hers…so we bartered! I made a display for my porch by wrapping a greenery swag from top to bottom, using hot glue to embellish the swag with ribbons, a glittery bird, cinnamon infused pine cones, and some old faux fruit. (Fresh greenery and real fruit could also be used but would have to be redone each year). The whole display (minus the vintage sled) ran about $5.00! Guests are greeted to a warm display and the welcoming scent of cinnamon gently wafting through the air.
I updated my Christmas wreath to match. I love the unexpected little snowman in the greens. Can you guess what his original use is?
George Bailey’s daughter said, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets her wings”. Well, bunches of angels earned wings at our house recently! My farmsister, Jackie, made this jingle bell wreath using bells from the dollar store and a re-purposed wire hanger. It’s elegant and simple, and I love the sound it makes every time the door opens.
Some things just say “Christmas”, like candy canes. I was thrilled when my farmgirl friend Ali brought me a box of organic Christmas candy canes from Whole Foods. They have such an old-fashioned look and taste much better than conventional peppermints, with no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial colors. Don’t they look delicious in a vintage Westmoreland milk glass celery vase?
Both my family and my husband’s live so far away. I wish we had family with us at the holidays, but weather, health, and work schedules make it impossible for any of us to see each other at Christmas. At home, we’ve created our own little traditions, hoping when our daughter’s grown, she remembers holidays with warm, happy feelings.
We’ve made a Gingerbread house together.
We start with a pre-made kit and embellish!
We’ve cut our tree and decorated it together.
We’ve visited the Gingerbread Village at St. George’s in Middlebury, Connecticut.
We’ve watched Christmas movies by a warm fire.
“Happiness is a warm puppy.” -Charles Schultz
Christmas Eve dinner is always followed by a drive in the car, Christmas music playing, to see the lights. It’s a tradition my Daddy started when I was little.
With Christmas coming so quickly after Thanksgiving (we “lost” a weekend), and snowstorms slowing us down, I felt stressed. Would I get it all done? Could I perform a Christmas miracle and get my cards mailed, my presents shipped, cookies baked (“Clark Griswold luck” struck with a broken oven one week before Christmas), my home sparkling in time? Seeing an advertisement for a store opening on Christmas Day urging customers to come shop (and return), I realized it’s easy to forget what Christmas magic is all about. Here’s my “Christmas card” , a poem about what the day really means to me. I hope wherever you are, you are surrounded by love and kindness…
Christmas Is…by Nicole Christensen
Christmas is…thinking of loved ones passed,
Christmas is…knowing that their memory lasts.
Christmas is…gingerbread houses and spicy hot tea,
Christmas is…sentimental ornaments hung on a tree.
Christmas is… twinkling lights festive and bright,
Christmas is… wrapping gifts late at night.
Christmas is…finding THE present and the smiles it‘ll achieve.
Christmas is…cozy new pajamas on Christmas Eve.
Christmas is…toasty inside, when outside it’s cold.
Christmas is…new memories mixed with traditions of old.
Christmas is… red and green, and festive white flocking.
Christmas is…finding something special in your stocking.
Christmas is…a hug from a friend you are meeting,
Christmas is…a card with a handwritten greeting.
Christmas…is a feeling not found at a mall,
Christmas is…peace, love, and happiness for all.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
Until Next Time, Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole