Monday, December 26, 2016

And Then We Look Back

I can think back and recall a few hard Christmasses  -- the ones after mom, and then later, dad, died. The year Greg was in the hospital and our whole city was in the midst of a power failure after an ice storm. But most are wonderful -- and this one, in particular, felt particularly lovely.So much so, that I don't want to see it end. And so we remember.

I remember the first Christmas I had with Rick and there were few ornaments on the tree. It became my mission to make that tree tell his story and now you will find things that represent our travels, the kids and their activities growing up, hobbies and family. On Christmas Eve (also the first night of Hanukkah), we ate on the china I gave him -- because you must have Christmas dishes!

Rich made wonderful latkes for dinner.

Then it was off to church for the Christmas Eve service, followed by a dessert reception and looking at lights. Then home, a quiet evening of Christmas, watching a cooking holiday special where they butchered a hog. (Really -- it was called "A Chef's Life" and it was kind of fascinating but a little weird.)

Christmas morning. Presents first. For Rick, books and coffee, a new red sweater and bike reconditioning.

For me, new trees for the cottage to cover the future monstrosity next door, a video set (Midsummer Murders), socks, a heart charm for my Pandora bracelet.

Home to make dinner --Julia's Boeuf Bourguingon, Rick's bread (made fresh that morning), Kate's salad.

And then we welcomed our guests, friends Kate and Mike, Oldest Kid Greg with Kim.Yes, photos.

The same, only different.

Yes, Christmas crackers.

Yes, everyone must wear the crown!

After dinner, we are joined by the other members of Rick's classical music trio. Byron and Josh add joy to our festivities as the three of them play holiday music and another of their pieces.

We are joined by others for dessert...

...and the music continues.

So, too, does the conversation. Artists and musicians,

Old friends and new.

And it all seems so Hallmark movie, it kind of surprises me. Do things ever goes this well in real life? Is there ever so little stress on dinner?

Yes, they do go this well in real life. And the did. And it was very happy.

This post is being shared with Share Your Cup and Sweet and Simple Fridays link parties. (And thanks to Jody for including my "Visions of Sugarplums" in her Sweet and Simple Friday features this week!)


  1. Glad you had a well deserved delightful Christmas. I enjoyed relistening to Silent Night. It's so wonderful to have musicians in your home. Interestingly, I am currently going through Midsomer Murders on Netflix (up to season 11 as of tonight). I hope this is a prelude to a peaceful, artistic, friend-filled New Year for you.

  2. I really enjoyed looking at your past post with all the pretty vintage postcards – I do love these types of cards. As for your Christmas it looked picture perfect, too. You had all the right elements there, the right company, right décor, food, atmosphere, not to forget the beautiful live music - a Christmas to remember my dear friend, so truly warm and lovely – I am happy for you. Have a great New Year celebration as well and continued happiness and good health in 2017.

  3. I'm so glad you had a Hallmark Christmas. Yours looks like it really WAS perfect. You have so many wonderful memories, and gorgeous gifts, too.

    I was SO glad it was over, I've already boxed everything up and have it ready to go back downstairs tomorrow morning. Mine was not as perfect as yours. I burned everything I made on Christmas eve, and didn't do too much better Christmas day. I did enjoy Boxing Day, though.

    So glad to read a very positive Christmas post. It is wonderful and truly uplifting. Hope you have a wonderful New Year planned, too. You are so inspiring, I look forward to every positive post.

  4. What a wonderful Christmas you had. I had latkes, too,for Chanukah, I so love them! Enjoy your new gifts, and have a good last week of the year Hugs, Valerie

  5. That looks like a truly lovely holiday well spent indeed.

  6. It does look like a marvellous Christmas Jeanie. I love your decorations. The food looks wonderful and the music was sublime. xx Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

  7. What lovely Christmas days you had. Seems just the way it should be. Nice being with friends and enjoyinf music, games and conversations. All the best for 2017!

  8. Dearest Jeanie! HAPPY HOLIDAYS my dear! This year, Christmas just got away from me, and I think because school went up to the very last moment on Friday 12/23. I had no time to think about hosting any parties, but the quiet here at home was well needed. You are so right; so many Christmases evoke such memories, and several new ideas for poems swam in my head, but never made it to shore. But remembrance and loved ones are at the core of every poem I come up with, so I hope that in 2017, I can revive those ideas.

    Your celebration looks marvelous and DELICIOUS! Sending you warm greetings dear one! Anita

  9. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. It's great to learn that sometimes they do end up being as perfect as you see on TV.

  10. Lovely!

    Thank you for sharing it (including music!) with us.

  11. Who wouldn't want to be a part of THAT?! ♥
    And those dishes? Well, you had me at dishes, but those really do rock! Where in the world did you find those? I love them, and since we visited that monument this past year, I'm pretty sure if I had bought a few of those my husband would have delighted in my dish fetish too. ;)

  12. The music gave me goosebumps..
    They play so well..

    and you had favorite people with you and great much ambiance and joy.
    I am happy you had a Hallmark looks so wonderful Jeanie:)

  13. Looks like a fun time at your home. Very nice photos.

  14. A lovely grown up Christmas! It looked fun and enjoyable! Hugs!

  15. That was a wonderful post. Surprisingly, our family Christmas was very similar - I got socks as well. Our dinner was much simpler than yours but so good! I totally went off my diet this week and will have to start fresh again after the new year.

  16. Your Christmas sounds delightful! I'm envious of the beautiful live music you get to enjoy as that makes it extra festive! I also like that you have friends that drop by throughout the day! Our Christmas Day was nice as well. We got to Joan's around lunch so she made us a spanish tortilla (eggs, potatoes and ham - so good!). We opened presents in the afternoon and played a dice game before having dinner. And then when we dropped Phil's brother off at home, he drove us around to look at lights. It was a wonderful holiday!

  17. What a magical Christmas you had. I think your house is so festive and then to have live music. That is pure heaven. You were indeed a lucky lady! :) My Christmas was wonderful too, but quiet, which was good. Have a great day.! Oh yes, and I lvoe those Christmas dishes. Hugs-Erika

  18. Perfect, absolutely perfect! I love that you had musicians as well! I also love that you got a set of Midsomer Murder! I've been watching episodes on Netflix. Take time to relax. -Jenn

  19. So happy you had a warm and wonderful celebration which is captured beautifully in your photos dear Jeanie.
    Memories certainly do have a way of swirling all around us even more so around the holidays. Mr Magpie and I are so very grateful to be able to feel J♥Y again after so much loss in our lives.
    Still lots of healing to go...
    Sending every good and special wish your way as we head toward a new year. oxo

  20. What a lovely remembrance and Christmas. The music so special. Now how did you get that video on your blog, I have tried; but it never works. Greg is tall. Everything looks wonderful.

  21. It looks like your Christmas was delightful! Live music, that would be dreamy. Everything looks picture perfect :)

  22. Jeanie, your Christmas was so lovely. Family, friends, traditions, your photos says it all. So cozy and happy. I feel like I was almost a guest! I enjoyed your photos, thanks for inviting us in. Hope to find time to see what my hurried photos edit out. Wonderful to have my family here, missing them now they've all returned home.
    Have a wonderful week leading up to a Happy New Year sweet friend..............

  23. Sigh... so much loveliness! Beautiful sights, beautiful sounds, a perfectly beautiful day -- so glad you captured all of these moments. Merry Christmas, friend, and all the best to you in the year to come!

  24. My Christmas was nothing like yours, but it was a pleasant day, indeed. It's always such a delight to read your holiday posts -- so full of treats -- and this one's no exception. All the best as we let go of the past, and move into the future. Here's to a great New Year for you!

  25. Oh my goodness, please tell Rick thank you for the special song he played of Silent Night. IT IS MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CAROL OF ALL!!


  26. This is what Christmas is all about! Friends, family, and food. Doesn't get much better than that. Glad y0u had a wonderful holiday! Wishing you a very Happy New Year!!


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