This Week In My Home: Holidays Ahead

This week in my home....
                                                  Another tree from a past Christmas...

We have just had our family gathering.   It was Bess' idea to have a once a quarter family day here at our home since it's about halfway between Katie and Sam.  This time we shared Christmas with them.  Early yes, but I put up the tree on Thanksgiving week as a rule anyway, so no hardship to have Christmas early.  I made a single batch of a family favorite cookie, we had a nice meal, we opened presents and enjoyed one another. 

We went to Bass Pro to meet up with Bess and Sam and watched Josh run with excitement all the way to the entry to Santa's chair...and there he hung back, suddenly shy, crying as usual when placed upon his lap.  But oh the joy as he watched the train run through snowy mountains and tunnels at the train table, played with Lincoln Logs with his daddy, rode the elk on the carousel and watched the fish in the huge aquarium. 

But my favorite part of all was when I lit the Christmas tree lights once we were all home and his eyes lit up, too.  "Happy Kismas Genny Genny, Happy Kismas."

It was a lovely day and we were all happy as could be.  My house rang with talk and laughter and it was such a joy to see the two young grandchildren playing together with toys.  I felt baby Isaac kicking in his Mama's tummy and watched as my Katie's eyes gleamed with tears when she felt him, too.  I was given lovely presents but I most enjoyed others open their gifts.  I heard squeals of delight from grownup children and John laughed out loud with joy at his musical gifts of a triangle, a slide whistle and a ukulele, multiple packs of guitar strings and his favorite picks. 

Taylor is very independent now she's walking and she's as tall as Josh though there's 11 months difference between them.  But she grinned at me often.  The 'ooooohhhhh!' that escaped her as she gazed upon the baby doll that Mama gave her was precious.  I loved her Daddy's reaction to the dresses I'd found last week for her. 

Josh was liberal in his loving on Mama which warmed her heart and made her happy.  It was a joyous, happy day and I am eternally grateful for it.  I felt so happy I could barely drop off to sleep, tired as I was Saturday night.

John and I have just finished planning meals for Christmas and New Year's Day at the end of the week when we had a quite moment.  It will be just the two of us.  I think we've only had a few Christmas days together in all the years we've been a couple (24 years this year).  I am pretty sure I've spent 20 of them with him at work, or pretty near. 

This week, I'll bring out one of the Nativity sets and set it up.  I should have my wise men on camels by then, and yes, I shall do as Granny did and set the Wise men on the opposite side of the cabinet, so they are seeking the Christ child.  ne year Katie and I decorated a whole scene on a tabletop with the nativity.  We made hills and rises from books, we had angels singing to shepherds and a huge star hung over the stable...We even had some real palm trees, quite small ones that were houseplants at that time that we used about the stables and hills.  I won't do anything half so elaborate this time.  I am pretty happy overall with the simple decorations and don't much care to fuss it up too much. 

And though it may sound like Christmas in my home is over, it's never really over is it?  No, it's always a wonder, all year long.

...I plan work: 

                                          Detail on the front door wreath that same year.

At this writing I could care less about work but nevertheless it must be done!  I've already stripped beds, done dishes and picked up the house.  I must hang clothes to dry, get mail from the mailbox and take off the trash.  I must vacuum, because just at the end of the day when we were all tired and happy and full and complacent, Josh snitched a roll and gave it to Taylor who proceeded to wander around with it, pinching off bites to feed to Josh as they played on the floor.  Big No No and not one of us bothered to reprimand her.  But after those things are done today, I shall rest.  Then the rest of the week I will...

Plant pansies and bulbs and prune roses.

Clear out the gift wrap and boxes where we've stored bows and tissue papers etc.  Toss the tatty and donate the unused that is fresh and make a list of what is needed to look for at sales.

Bring out the Nativities bin and set up ONE.

As we're sliding hard towards the end of the year now, I need to start my lists of projects, needed items, etc. for the coming year. 

Refresh my housekeeping routines sheets.  I must get back to my deep cleaning and such or I'll be overwhelmed come Spring.

Bring out the warranty file box and pull booklets for washer, dryer, dishwasher, stove, etc.  Note cleaning and maintenance suggestions and plan to do those things routinely this next year.  More lists!

Make bubble wrap pads for the pets.  I've a lot of older pillowcases.  I read that bubble wrap under a towel or rug will help insulate pets against the cold as well as insulate their houses.  I thought I'd make some pads to go under their towels and rugs in each of their houses.

Fix a plastic barrier over Maddie's entry so that if it rains the sheet that covers the door won't be soaked.

Encourage John to winterize the outdoor faucets and set up the lamp in the pump house.  We had our first real cold weather this weekend and I am sure there will be more to come, since it's not even winter yet.

Spend some time in the shed if weather's nice and try to sort out some more of my stuff.  I need to make lists for that space, too: bins needed, things to replace or repair,  etc.

Go over the calendar and add some important dates to it, make a list of things I need to do before month's end so I'll stay aware of what's coming up.

Mail several items that were forgotten: a pair of dress pants for a little boy, a bag of cookies for the youngest girl who set them aside then forgot them.  And mail off things Mama brought to the house and asked me to tend to, a later card for a friend...

...I plan meals:
The pine swag I used on the back door that year.  I like this very well...I might use the same idea on a cedar wreath next year...but no red bow since the back door is now red.

I hope to see a good sale on some good ground beef very shortly.  I'm down to one pound of that meat and that's very unusual for us.  I have a gracious plenty of chicken at present, except no whole birds.  I foresee another list getting made...Lists!

Roast Beef, Baked Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Steamed Broccoli, Salad, Rolls, Cookies and Pies
(Family day meal)We had sandwiches from the roast beef and rolls tonight, and I still have enough to make that soup I'd planned to make.

Turkey Pot Pie, Cranberry relish, Steamed Broccoli, Pear Salad

BBQ Chicken Legs, Butter Beans, Twice Baked Potatoes,  Green Salad,  Baked Apples

John works x2

Vegetable Beef Soup, Cornbread, Peach Cobbler
(Use leftover roast beef, any pan juices for this soup.  Make a small cobbler, just enough for two).

Cheeseburger Mac, Tossed Salad, Oranges and Christmas Cookies
I'll use half the pound of ground beef and make sliders from the other half.  That will likely make a meal for the weekend.

...I plan my leisure:
One of my favorite sideboard decors.  Loved the brown and white transfer ware with Christmas greens and reds.

It's time to pull out my Christmas books and start reading those. 

I have two new December issue vintage Woman's Day magazines, too.

Gaze at the Christmas tree lights while sipping Vanilla Milk or Hot Cocoa.

More list making: this time of musicians I'd like to purchase CDs from, books I'd like to read, things I'd like to look up online, etc.   Sometimes, just dreaming over a list is fun!

Spend sometime watching some of my DVDs now that Sam has hooked up the DVD player.


Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

So happy you and your family had a wonderful Christmas day.. My kids /grandkids will come on Dec. 23rd, as my son is a pastor and will be having church services on the 24th and the 25th..We too , will have church on th 25th.. It never matters to us what day we actually have Christmas [As you and John, Kenny and I have had to work those actual days, both of us Hospital personnel].
Love the swag on the door.. So pretty.
Have a wonderful 2 weeks of enjoying the pretty decorations you have up.

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter what day we celebrate a holiday on, as long as we are blessed with family. We will have Christmas Eve with my daughter and family and the rest arrive the 26th, dependent on weather. It sounds like Gramma had sone wonderful memories to savor when the days get shorter and colder. So happy for you, Gramma D

Lana said...

I spent about 12 hours traveling to and fro and on visits at my kinesiologist last week with my friend and she left to go home yesterday after 8 days in much better health. It was a blessing to be able to have her here and she was the easiest house guest we have ever had. That said not much was accomplished other than basic cleaning and meals here. I did make a double batch of granola to refill the jar so that I have my favorite breakfast ready for the next few weeks. And I baked a lot of bread! After my friend was cleared of her gluten problems she just wanted to eat bread. I think she will be buying a new bread machine this week. (smile)

The grandchildren are very good about my decorations here, too. I have a lovely nativity on my coffee table that has never even gotten so much as a scratch. We tell them to just look and they do.

We have to get a box shipped to Florida this week as soon as the last of those gifts arrive from Land's End. They sent me a card with a 50% off code and the short sleeved and summer weight clothing on clearance was perfect for gifts for those family members.

Tonight Hubby will pick up our free spiral ham from his employer and the main part of Christmas dinner will be taken care of. Tomorrow I will make final menus and cookie and candy plans. I am going to work to get some cookies in the freezer this week. I make a lot of cookies and candies as those are our neighbor gifts every year.

Have a good week!

Living on Less Money Blog said...

Your celebration sounds wonderful, peaceful and memorable. Having a small gathering gives you more one on one time. We have 2 Christmas celebrations this year. December has been extra full, but wonderful! Merry Christmas!

Rhonda said...

Your family celebration sounds so sweet, that Bess is a smart girl to plan the family meet ups ❤️
Our Elizabeth is 16 months younger that our Gavin but she is a good bit taller than him. I don't point it out to him as he would prefer to be the biggest but he is not. Her feet are a couple sizes bigger too.

Your home photos are so pretty, I'm glad you shared them,

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