Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Christmas Wish

The Christmas season is ramping up.  Malls are hectic, and I've tried my best to avoid them.  And other than Target, I've succeeded in staying away from the confusion and jostling that take away (for me) the Christmas spirit.  I was lucky this year to be able to get my thoughts and gifts organized, ordered online, and either sent or received in plenty of time to be finished with my shopping by the first week in December.

L and I decked our halls last weekend.  We trimmed the tree, and it flowed together easily for a change.  L had wrapped the lights on the tree while I was still in Texas (yes, we are old school, and don't have a pre-wired tree) and so it's my job to hang everything else on it.  This usually culminates with frustration and mild obscenities when it comes time to do the top.  It's loosely made up of a large golden bow with long curly ends, 2 or 3 other long ribbon garlands, and then I loosely fit gilded branches and berries into the whole thing so it looks wild and unconstructed.  It's always a delicate balance getting those branches to stay put and at just such an angle, and normally I end up with bad words tripping off my tongue as I (almost) fall into the tree for the 10th time.  For some reason, this year it went together without a hitch.  Magical and beautiful, and I was thrilled that, for once, decorum had reigned supreme.  As with the tree, the rest of the downstairs went together with ease.  Where I usually struggle (and fail) to remember just how and where I'd placed things the previous year, this year everything seemed to know just the perfect place to be.  Sweet silent night.

I love my little dining table this year.  The beautiful wounded - and healed - reindeer and the jolly elf riding astride are the perfect centerpiece, set off beautifully by the glittered trees we'd already had.  It's a pity we won't be having Christmas Eve dinner at my house this year, but at least I can look at a beautifully appointed table every day.  In case you hadn't guessed we've been eating a lot in front of the TV this month - partly so the effect isn't ruined, and partly because the days have been so busy.  But come Christmas morning we'll have a gorgeous brunch at our festive table, and enjoy the whole effect.

The lovely new angel graces the mantle this year and is a perfect addition.  The room is fun to be in during the day with all of the bright and glittering ornaments, but at night it takes on a special look, with the twinkling glow of the tree lights reflecting off of the gold and sparkly items placed around the room.  It's warm and beautiful, and sets the stage perfectly for the true spirit of Christmas to abide.  Even L's train set and Christmas house seem to make me want to settle in and be cozy with family and friends.

Presents are wrapped, menus are planned, and the list of treats to be made is ready to be implemented.  This next week will be scented with gingerbread, cinnamon, and peppermint.  The kitchen will be warm and carols will be playing.  Our home will be warm and bright with Christmas spirit and peace, as I hope yours will be also.  In that vein, to steer our troubled hearts away from evil deeds and mayhem, and plant a seed of hope for good things to come, I offer you the following music for you to enjoy.  I'm a huge fan of John Schmidt and this is his latest offering for Christmas - and as luck would have it, it's one of my all time favorite pieces of Christmas music.  So peaceful, so majestic - it illustrates perfectly the wondrous miracle that occurred in that stable so many years ago.  It conjures up the bright star, the shepherds' wonder, the adoring wise men, and the amazing angel choirs singing to welcome the sweet baby in the manger who was the Savior of the world.  Whether you share my faith or not, this beautiful piece will settle your hearts and minds for a long winter's nap, and help restore your peace, sanity, and hope for a better world - my little gift to all of my blogging friends.  Merry Christmas to all -


  1. This post is much more than a little gift, dear karen. It is a blessing. You amazed me with your Halloween decorations and I am equally impressed by your lovely tree and other trappings of Christmas. I can almost smell the nurturing sweet scents that will be filling your warm and wonderful home.

    Folk singer Tom Rush articulated that "it's a world of trouble when I got here, it's a world of trouble they'll bury me in." Sad but oh so true, and that's why I greatly appreciated this simple yet exquisite piece of music that you selected for us. It is a tonic that heals. It truly does settle our hearts and minds and helps restore peace, sanity and hope for a better world. Thank you for the gift of your friendship, dear karen, and Merry Christmas to you and all the members of your family across the country.

  2. Merry Christmas Karen. It made me slow down and feel peaceful just reading your post.

  3. Your tree is stunning. And all the other decorations too. By the time I get everything out and primped, Christmas will be over ;)

  4. So warm and inviting- truly your home exudes peace and good will. I loved seeing your pics and am glad the damage on the trip home was fixed up so well.

    Enjoy your lovely atmosphere!

  5. I loved the gift! It was so evocative of the sacredness of that night when the Light came into our world. Your home is so so lovely, and I am very impressed by the way your photographs just simply GLOW with the warmth, as if we are there. May your heart be filled with peace, comfort and joy this Christmas. Blessings to you my sweet friend!

  6. so pretty!! you home looks beautiful. You have the real Christmas spirit!

  7. It's all so beautiful and classy.
    I so admire the ability in others to deoorate and decorate so beautifully.

  8. It sounds as if you really have everything under control for the holiday season. I wish I could be as organized as you are Karen! I thought I was and I got my packages off early this month, but fussed and worried because Nikki dodn't get her box. We sent all of our kids a Danish tea ring that Dick specializes in baking and I figured they would get it on the third day and it would be perfect going into their freezer until Christmas morning. Everyone got theirs except for Nikki and I fussed because Dick had paid a fair amount to insure her package as we mailed cash gifts to her children. It spent a week in the post office because she didn't respond to a notice in her mailbox that she had a package to pick up at the post office. For some crazy reason, she didn't get it even though they said they left it there. Sure enough though, it had been sitting in the P.O. all weak. I'm sure her tea ring won't be too fresh. It's okay though, we are going to stop in at her house when we leave Sue's on Dec. 27th, when we will present her with two fresh ones. I am pretty tired of baking I can tell you. I made cakes for our local friends. Do you know that none of my four girls bake? The only one of my kids that bakes is Rich, my only boy. Figures, doesn't it?

    Your tree sounds and looks great!! It is quite different than any I have seen. We did manage to get a few of our pictures posted of our party that we have on New Years Eve, but you'll have to read my latest blog to see it.

    All of you have a wonderful Christmas and I must say, you do have the right spirit with you.

  9. Thank you for the lovely musical number..wonderful! I'm not quite as prepared as you, but it will get done and I know it will be a great day. I have to give a talk in Sacrament this week...figures! So think of me and send along a little inspiration would you?! Love your tree and dining room table BTW! Have a good rest of this week!

  10. Warm and elegant...just like you! (I know, you're feisty too, but still elegant.)



  11. I really like your Californian Christmasy thing, you really go to town. It must be the warm weather that does it, over here it so cold and damp it puts a downer on things.
    Merry Christmas back!

  12. settle in and be cozy in such a room I agree..I love such things as you have shared...words fit just how I would say it too..
    Merry Christmas two days ago - wink!


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