Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Nicer than Usual

The other day I was in Michael's. Now, that's a mistake in December! The line was long and all the registers were open, but it didn't seem to speed things up all that much. And yet, it wasn't unpleasant. Strangers were chatting about what they would do with the things in their carts or excited about a sale item.

I finally got to the counter and needed to do my purchase in two transactions -- one with my gift card, the other to be paid with my credit card. My clerk is a fellow who has been there for seven years (he told me), very Goth with the black scarf, hair dyed a color I'm not sure I could duplicate and piercings in places I don't want to think about.

I apologized, knowing it would hold up the line and he said it was all right. I said "I'll bet when you go home at night, you don't want to see a single person again, ever!"

He laughed and said, "There've been time I've felt like that, but this year is different. Everyone seems a little nicer, more patient. Friendlier, I guess. And that makes the day seem easier."

As we were chatting (and checking out -- he could multitask well!) we determined that it was perhaps that in the past six or seven months there has been a lot of anger in the world, and even now a lot of uncertainty. And people are tired of the anger, the "I'm right, you're wrong" mentality and all the heat the comes with it.

And maybe, just maybe, people are trying hard to be a little nicer, a little more patient, a little kinder.

I've noticed it when crossing the street, people stopping to let you pass, even if you're not in the zebra stripes.

I've seen it in check-out lines -- "Why don't you go ahead? You only have a couple of things."

I've noticed it on the highway -- drivers letting you in when it seemed like you might never get over a lane.


Oh, don't we all need it? And isn't this the season when it should most be present?

Or is it? Perhaps every season is the season for kindness.

At least, maybe it should be.

Please join lots of us bloggers for joy and good cheer at Share Your Cup! Oh, the inspiration will make you dizzy with happiness!

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's the most wonderful time of the year. At least for me. Apart from periodic meltdowns because I'm not sure I'll get everything done. But other than that...!

I love all of it. Decorations, the music, the cookies, the parties, the gift-giving, the fun!

So, here's part of the house so far. And more to come!

Remember the wreath I wrote about in the Southern Exposure post a few days back? Here's the finished piece!

Not long ago I got my brand new hutch and I couldn't wait to decorate it for Christmas.

Let's peek inside!

It's a perfect spot for all my bottle brush trees and some of the Santa collection.

And a good way to include Mom's Christmas plate into the decor!

Having some of mom's things help keep her with me over the holiday. She really loved this Christmas Royal Doulton girl. Most times of year she's not my style -- but at Christmas, perfect!

The "white" tree isn't all white -- it has lots of pastels and a bit of red!

Once upon a time I only had one tree. Then two, then three, then more! I loved discovering these tall skinny trees.

The "white" tree is in front of a window and above -- garland with the pressed paper ornaments I make. I keep thinking I should put some of those on the Gypsy Caravan -- but that'll have to wait another year!

And some of the ornaments are among my favorites!

Then there is the desk -- not much here. A couple of Santas and my very favorite reindeer!

Atop the china cabinet, a favorite Santa in front of a photo from Ste. Chappele -- a gift from a good friend...

Silvery reindeer...

And one of last year's cage creations. Behind it, a photo from another good friend with sweet pink vintage ornaments.

An old lute of my grandfather's, a Santa and a nativity. Not a likely combo -- but it works for me!

The woodland tree is mostly snowflakes and birds with the occasional angel or two!

I have a big weak spot for snowflakes. Interestingly enough, I'm not fond of the real thing.

But on the tree -- perfection!

Remember the Greeting Angel? She's been dressed up for winter.

And beside her, a bit of light. I took the autumn branches and feathers out and added some sparkle!

You might remember the cotton boll wreath. To make it simple, I just added a bow and a little "peace.

There's a nativity scene here and there...

...and of course, "A Christmas Carol."

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with the Marshmallow gang in the kitchen!

Back for more soon! Meanwhile...

Keep the gingerbread coming!

Please join lots of us bloggers for joy and good cheer at Share Your Cup! Oh, the inspiration will make you dizzy with happiness!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ghosts of Christmas Past

I borrow this wonderful idea from several bloggers who (probably, like me, running frantically!) decided to share a few favorite past moments! ("Yeah, right," says the Marmelade Gypsy, "You had to lead with me!")

Yes I did. I miss my Orange Boy terribly, my Christmas Kitty. This one -- Lizzie -- well, you have to keep your eye on her!

I started out as a child... Yes, that's me. And that's how I spent Christmas Day for a lot of years -- with old people. All gone now, since Marie, dad's only remaining cousin, died this spring. She's between Mom and Grandma. (And speaking of Grandma, she is the same age there that I am now. Thank you, Paula, for keeping my hair young...)

When your parents are avid amateur photographers, you get "used" a lot. Above, it's a three-year-old (or maybe 4?) discovering the magic of Christmas. And below...

With my best buddy Major. No fire in that fireplace. Just a couple of well placed lights.

I can't think of Christmas without thinking of my mom and dad. She loved her Christmas tree skirt!

And of course, there were the Christmasses with the cousins. We did that for a number of years till families got too big to travel at the holiday.

The men of the family -- always good times.

And times with friends. Even in college I had to have a Christmas tree!

And friends today! Each year we do a Christmas exchange with our friends Mark and Jan. We pick a Christmas song and all the gifts in our $25 limit relate to that song or theme in some way. We've done this for 11 years now! This picture was from "Let It Snow" -- and as we had our Christmas brunch at Mark and Jan's, it began to snow!

There was that first Christmas with the kids. At about four in the morning, Kevin got the hurlies. I guess I knew I was supposed to be with this family when I realized I was cleaning up kid puke and the kids weren't mine!

But now I sure feel like they are.

Then there was the year we went to Frankenmuth and world's biggest Christmas store, followed by the traditional Christmas dinner. Don't you love Kevin's smile -- complete with blackjack gum!

They're a lot taller now! We've added Molly to our family and next year a baby KevMo!

It doesn't feel like Christmas if we don't do our annual Christmas Eve cookie decorating after dinner. There have been quite the cookie designs. Greg's "haz-mat" symbol, after his cancer treatment, Kevin's multi-layered frosting bombs and then the traditional!

Christmas is sharing and there was the year we shared the holiday with Japanese friends, introducing them to the American Christmas. On one of the coldest days of December!

There will always be a Cork Popper Christmas.

And a visit to Southern Exposure for some holiday eye candy.

We will remember sweet Kitty Boys who graced our hearts, like Stimpy, Ace Tree-Knocker-Down Champion.

And listen to yappy Sweet Lizzie purr her carols! (And sing -- very loudly -- howl for her dinner.)

And then we will toast to the season...

...and to all the new memories to be made in the coming year.

What are some of your favorite Christmas or holiday memories? Please share!

Popular Posts