Tuesday, December 21, 2021

A 2021 Final Christmas Post

A Joyous and Merry Christmas

 from our family to yours.

"I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:  Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord."

For your personal enjoyment and pleasure I recommend listening to the following link which provides 3 continuous hours of the best instrumental Christmas music.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

12 Days of Jolly Hodgepodge

Merry Christmas
on the

Join all the Hodgepodge bloggers on Joyce's Blog.

1.  'Tis the season to be jolly....so are you?

Oh yes!  There are too many reasons not to be joyful and merry.  Giddy jolly?  Probably not!

2.  Do you trim a tree this time of year, and if so is yours all done?  What's something in your home-closet-life that needs to be trimmed in the new year?

No, I do not have one single Christmas decoration out, much less trimming a tree.  We will be leaving for Northern Indiana where we traditionally spend Christmas with our family there, this weekend.  But, no fear, daughter-in-law will have the whole house bedecked and the tree trimmed when we get there.

I honestly can't think of anything in my life or house that needs to be trimmed in 2022.  I'm sure when I go through and transition my closets for spring/summer, I will find some winter things that weren't worn and could be trimmed out.  Maybe.

3.  Are you 'dreaming of a white Christmas'?  Is that a possibility where you'll be celebrating?

Oh yes, I always dream of a white Christmas, and my dreams usually come true.  I trust this year will be no exception.  If we don't have it at our house in Indiana, we won't have far to drive into Michigan to find it.
This was last year in Indiana, so this is the place I most want to be for Christmas.

According to this site the top ten places in the US you can count on for a white Christmas are - North Pole Alaska, Crater Lake Oregon, Yellowstone National Park, Winthrop Washington, Aspen Colorado, Ketchum Idaho, Mt. Washington New Hampshire, Whitefish Montana, Duluth Minnesota, and the Lake Tahoe town of Truckee California.

Of the snowy spots listed which would you most like to visit?

I would either like to go to Mt. Washington, New Hampshire or Aspen, CO.  We have always dreamed of going to the New England area and think winter would be great.  Yet, Colorado has never disappointed us regardless of the season.  I might not prefer Aspen because of the crowds, but a mountain cabin nearby would be divine.  Just give me plenty of snow and a cozy fireplace.

4.  December 8th is National Brownie Day.... will you be celebrating?  How do you like your brownies - chewy or cake-like, frosted or plain, nuts or no nuts, a piece from the middle or give me the corner?  As a child were you a member of a brownie troop?

As I love brownies, I may celebrate with this recipe.

I prefer chewy, plain with lots of nuts, cut right out of the middle please.  No, there were no Brownie troops in rural South Louisiana in the 50's.

5.  Share a favorite line or two from a Christmas carol or holiday tune.

There could never be just one.

"In the Bleak Midwinter"

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part;
what can I give him:
give my heart.

"Mary Did You Know"

"When you kiss your little baby you've kissed the face of God?"
"Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect lamb?"
"This sleeping child you're holding is the Great I AM."

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

One night last week a dear sweet friend invited us and another couple to dinner and then to see the amazing "Twelve Days of Christmas" decorations at the Dallas Arboretum.
Margaret, Carol, Libby

These are only a few of the pictures I took.

Day 1 Partridge in a Pear Tree

Day 2 - Two Turtle Doves

Day 3 - Three French Hens

Day 4 - Four Calling Birds

Day 5 - Five Golden Rings

Day 6- Six Geese A-Laying

Day 7- Seven Swans A-Swimming

Day 8 - Eight Maids A-Milking

Day 9 - Nine Ladies Dancing
(the dresses were absolutely gorgeous)

Day 10 - Ten Lords A-Leaping

Day 11 - Eleven Pipers Piping

Day 12 - Twelve Drummers Drumming
(One of my favorite pics from the night)

The German Village was also a highlight

And what is a Christmas event without Santa.
And the look of delight on children's faces.

Thank you, Carol for a spectacular evening.

As we will be on the road next week, I will skip next week's Hodgepodge.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Blackwell Byers' Caroler Christmas

Several weeks ago, I featured the home of friends and neighbors, Dick and Dena Blackwell.  You can see that HERE

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, Dick invited me back.  And the following is why.
They love to decorate for Christmas and do it early!
Remember that amazing garage with all the built-ins and closets?  That is where Christmas lives when it isn't Christmas.
The Nativity scene is in the place of honor on the dining table.

Dena started her collection years ago after receiving a caroler from her sister, who along with her husband continue to contribute to the collection. With
 almost 100 Byers' Caroler figurines, the number continues to grow even with new ones being added since these pictures were taken.
Thanksgiving Carolers were allowed to show up for Christmas.

Byers' Carolers began back in the late 60's when a young lady named Joyce, became very disappointed with the tinsel and glitter Christmas decorations on the market, and decided to make her own.

From her dining room table came what is now an international, family-run business.  The Byers' create the finest handcrafted iconic Caroler® figurines in their facility in Pennsylvania with hopes that each special character will bring warmth and the true traditions of Christmas into each home.

Dick and Dena's home testify to this.
he pedals on this bike actually turn and is Dick's favorite item in the collection.
Even the animals are not left out.
Can you not hear "Joy to the World" or "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" pealing forth from this group of faithful singers?
Along with the Carolers are many 
decorations with personal  stories because they were handmade through the years by Dena.  This was to have been a tree skirt, but she realized it would never be seen, so instead decorates the ottoman for all to enjoy.
Dena also painstakingly created each of the unique stockings for every family member, including a now deceased family cat.

Another treasure are these pictures of each of their grandchildren taken when the now almost grown grands were small.
She told me about making the advent calendar and the amazingly detailed needlework below.  Each was done meticulously and with so much love for the true meaning of Christmas.

Dena laughingly said this one was done out of desperation due to too much time on her hands while Dick was an executive with IBM and on the road a lot. 
The kitchen has a "Gingerbread " theme.  From the top of the cabinets to the counter tops, everything is related to the theme; even the carolers.

This happy Santa dates back almost 50 years when their children were small.  He still gets the chair of honor.
From the entry into the home,
to the smallest detail of the carefully placed glass ice cycles on the tree,
to the inviting sunroom,
everything in the Blackwell's Christmas home, speaks of love, memories, and the true meaning of Christmas - the coming into the world of the Christ Child, Jesus Christ.

Thank you Dick and Dena for again inviting us into your home and sharing Christmas with us.

Just for transparency sake, this is my one and only 2021 Christmas decoration.