Friday, December 20, 2019

Holiday Five on Friday

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

"Once a year wonder mists our eyes,
and we see the world through
the wide eyes of a child at Christmas."

My Jacquie Lawson advent calendar reminds me it's December 20th today. Already? That means there's only four more sleeps till Christmas Eve, my most favourite day of the whole year when I was a little girl. When you're six or seven, the slow build up becomes excruciating as you wait for the Big Day ... what with the prospect of wearing the new Christmas dress Mom sewed especially for the Christmas Eve service at church, not to mention being so aware of the mound of presents under the tree waiting for us when we got home, candy bags spilling peanuts and candies as we raced to get to the door. At last, the moment arrives for opening presents and eating special snacks together with family in our little farm house all snug and warm on a frosty Christmas Eve. Those memories still sparkle with the wonder of it all.

Reverie ... ah, let me return to this post. As you will have already figured out, I never did do a daily Christmas Countdown here this year. I ended up doing a tiny post on Facebook each day for those who follow me there. So, today let's celebrate here by sharing a Holiday Five on Friday.

With family arriving in a few short days and preparations underway I might not be back until after the festivities. So in case I'm not, I want to wish those of you who celebrate a very Happy Christmas!


Glorious view outside my front door this morning

The weather outside is not frightful
In fact it's quite delightful
The weather's been mild and we've had lots of snow
Travel will be good for those on the go


Old Country Roses at Christmas

It's been a quite a few years now since Mom hosted Christmas for the family. It's usually now held at one of her girls' homes which means the beautiful Old Country Roses china that had been such an important part of our family gatherings over the years has not been part of the festivities. So when Mom asked if we could use her china for our family dinner this Christmas, I knew what a beautiful gift that would be for her...and for all of us.

With a couple of china packing boxes in hand, I visited Mom. We carefully packed up the fragile plates and I brought them to my house where they now to await their big day.


Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
A few of my seasonal favourites

fairy lights
family being together for Christmas
wrapping presents

nice surprises that arrive in the mail
almond nougat and snicker-doodles
sitting in a darkened room with only the tree lights turned on

carols and Handel's Messiah
the chance of snow
turkey, stuffing and gravy

the colour of cranberries
early evening twilights and pale morning sunrises
a winter storm, if everyone is home safe and the larder is full

snow laying in dormant fields
music from a Charlie Brown Christmas
smells of Christmas baking filling the air


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
Looking for moments of joy

"December can be a hard time for many people,
who keenly feel their life losses at a time when
they expect to feel nothing but joy and celebration.
Instead of expecting holiday times to be a perpetual
infusion of happiness, we should learn to identify
small, fleeting moments of joy in everyday things."

Every day things like...

-A stranger's smile at the post office
-An out of the blue call from a friend
-A gorgeous red winter coat someone is wearing out shopping
-Brilliant blue jays wondering where the peanuts are
-Clinking spoons in saucers mingling with happy chatter
-Festive sparkly pins on a jacket collar
- Songs that remind you God really, really cares about you

The key to recognizing some of these is learning to pay close attention, to watch, look and listen to the world right around us. Sometimes these little joys are hidden in the ordinary, sometimes we don't hear them for stormy howls of world woes and personal problems, sometimes we're so busy thinking of what we are missing or don't have we entirely miss the good gifts staring us in the face. For as Meri also said in her post at Meri's Musings, if we wait for the ruffles and flourishes to tell us it's time to take notice, we will have missed a thousand little episodes of joy.


My skinny tree in the front window

“...inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.”

The tall skinny frosted tree is making merry in my front bay window these days. My heart makes merry to see it decked out with its white lights and red glitter balls. Just like when I was a little girl, I will often plunk myself on the couch for a few minutes to watch the tiny lights grow brighter as the daylight fades into night. It’s a moment to relax and let a little magic happen.

* * *

My writing friend Joy recently sent a wish and prayer for me as a new week began: 'Christmas blessings on your week ahead: peace, joy, love, with sprinkles.' Yes, I'll take that, especially with sprinkles. That's my wish for you today as this last weekend before Christmas begins.

With love and hugs,


  1. Lovely Christmas Five on Friday! We're looking forward to the big day with gleeful anticipation; I'm prepared to indulge in a few sweet treats and to get stuffed with stuffing! And I'm very eager to see family faces all around the festive table. Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one!

  2. AWW the china on the cupboard almost made me cry!! Memories of those far away days, the baking, the decorating, Dad bringing home the Christmas tree,and and a new set of singing Christmas lights ! I wasn't overjoyed with the music lights,but he loved them. Now he is gone and my girls are hosting Christmas dinners, and they are all wonderful! Now we are making new memories , but the old ones still linger in my heart

  3. Love the closing! I also love that your mom’s dishes are going to be used this Christmas...a beautiful set. I will take your words to heart and look for the many joys in a world of troubles. The Word of God allows for grief; however, it never tells us to be sad. Rather, we are to rejoice. Many things, after all, are in God’s hands and our prayers...they are beyond us, but not too big for Him. Merry on, Brenda. Enjoy it all and that beautiful tree!

  4. What a truly lovely post. It has left me with a renewed sense of Christmas Spirit.

    Thank you for that inspiration.

    May you find the joy and hope of Christmas lighten your burdens - and good health be yours in the coming new year. Merry Christmas, Brenda.

  5. Lovely post, dear Brenda.
    May your Christmas be a time of blessing.

  6. I love that you're going to use your mom's Old Country Rose at your family Christmas. Sweet memories will be made through something that's special to her and maybe a new tradition will be created. I have a few pieces of OCR, six teacups and six dessert plates and I'd like to add more someday. I have my mom's Lavender Rose dishes, teapot, serving pieces...another pretty pattern.

  7. My Five...comments

    1. Every time I read you posts, I find JOY!
    2. Beautiful pictures that you share.
    3. Honoring your mom by using her beautiful dishes.
    4. Perfect Christmas tress, framed by the picture window.
    5. Always adorning your post with a wonderful quote.
    🎄 Merry Christmas Brenda 🎄

  8. A lovely Christmas Five, Brenda. I think it's so wonderful for your mom (and all of you) to know her treasured china will be used and appreciated once again. A sweet list of wonderful things about this special and holy season.

  9. Such a wonderful post my dear friend...It made me so warm and happy for you....

  10. Wonderful post, Brenda! I'very been feeling a bit down this Christmas season, but your post did cheer me up. :)


  11. Bren, Such a lovely post. How wonderful that you will be using your mom's china. I know that will make her heart so happy. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas. Know I count you and the gifts you share as one of my blessings.

  12. Christmas blessings to you! So glad you popped in for a post before the festivities! No worries about the daily posting thing. I imagine there is not a one of us who has checked every little thing off of our lists this season. At least, that is what I tell myself, because this girl has not! I pray we have done the most important things: rejoiced in His most precious Gift of salvation . . . lavished the gifts of time and love on our dear ones . . . Is there anything else that is of higher importance? (I am thinking that using her china for a family celebration is a very special gift to your mom!)

  13. fun remembrances, we will have one of my son's and his family here for Christmas so it will be fun. The youngest is 13. Merry Christmas to you.

  14. So glad that the OCR are making an appearance this Christmas.

    Your skinny tree reminds me of my mom's pop-up Christmas tree. She bought it a few years ago, expecting it to "pop-up" into a nice, full Christmas tree. We all got a good laugh out of the "lithe" tree.

    Looking for moments of joy is one of my goals for 2020. Thank you for all your thoughtful posts this year. Merry Christmas, Brenda!

  15. This is some of your most beautiful and poetic writing ever, Brenda! Reading it now, a day after Christmas, helped me to experience it all over again. I identify with so many of your thoughts here, so many of the things that are so meaningful to you are to me also. Now I'm going to read it slowly all over again.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo