Sunday Supper #2: Christmas Decorations, Thanksgiving, and Why I Love Champagne

I mentioned in my post on Friday that it’s been a busier week than I expected. And the truth is, it’s also been a not very good week. Bad news, coupled with busy-ness, and also not feeling great after my flu shot and COVID booster, and I’m seriously ready for a few good days with family and food. But in the meantime, Graham and I took back a little bit of control this weekend, and put up our Christmas decorations. Let’s make some happiness, y’all. Haul out the holly!

Yes, I decorated for Christmas yesterday. I have no regrets.

Let me explain.

I grew up in a household that put up Christmas décor after Thanksgiving and took it down before the new year. No judgement here. Honestly. But as I’ve made my own home, I’ve made my own schedule. And I like a Christmas tree.  (To see more about my decorations, look here and here. I have lots of beautiful heirloom pieces, and whenever I decorate, my family feels close. It makes my heart smile.)

So, here we are. Our Christmas decorations are up, Thanksgiving (for the U.S.) is coming, and I’m in my cozy chair, drinking some champagne in front of the fire.

I firmly believe that champagne is appropriate for every occasion. Sad? Have a glass of champagne. Happy? Glass of champagne. Questioning humanity’s very purpose? Champagne. Putting up Christmas decorations? Well, I think you know.

I hope that the week to come is better. But in the meantime, champagne. And what’s for supper? Roasted zucchini and yellow squash with kielbasa over rice. Easy, tasty, not super unhealthy.

A quick note, I’ll be taking a break from posting in the coming week, but I’ll be back on Monday, November 29th. I’ve got a short story in the works, and plan to share some of my favorite cold weather recipes. I hope you come back to visit! And if you’re in the U.S., or you feel so inclined, I wish you a good week to come giving thanks and being grateful for the little and big things that make life wonderful.

Found Friday #14: My Grandmother’s Christmas Heirlooms

I know y’all are probably tired of hearing about my Christmas decorations, and, honestly, I don’t blame you. But, ‘tis the season! So, one more post about them, and then I promise I’ll be done.

I wrote a post back in January about my grandmother. She died at the beginning of the year, and I had a hard time processing it. (I had no idea how much harder the year would get.)

After the funeral and once everyone had some time to grieve, her children – my mother and aunts and uncles – set about going through her things, passing them down and making sure everyone got a memory or two. I didn’t ask for much. I’m an admitted packrat, and I catch myself all the time attaching sentimental value to things other people would probably consider clutter, but I felt like there was no one item that could really help me mourn her and remember her. So, I didn’t ask for…anything, actually, and until last week, didn’t get anything.

Boy, did that change. When my parents came to visit for Thanksgiving (after we’d taken some major precautions), my mom brought a packing tub full of dishware, a few very old baking dishes, and, in the kind of perfect timing only a super-mom can pull off, a large collection of Christmas decorations and ornaments.

I quite like this little boot. You’re supposed to fill it with candy canes or other goodies, but there’s a pandemic, and I haven’t been to the store in…a while.

In 2002, I sang in a national choir in San Antonio. We bought my grandmother a little souvenir while we were there. My mom and I couldn’t tell if it had ever been taken out of its packaging, but now, it’s hanging on my tree.

My grandmother also had quite a few Normal Rockwell-themed bobbles. I’m not sure how old they are, and like the Texas souvenir, I can’t tell that she ever even took them out of their boxes.

And, to go with my snowflakes, I now have some lovely, handmade, crocheted bells in both red and white. The red stands out so well against evergreen branches.

So, my tree has a few new pretty decorations, and I’ve got some physical reminders of my grandmother. I didn’t think I needed them, but I confess, I’m glad to have them. Grief’s a funny thing, isn’t it?

Found Friday #13: Christmas Treasures

I mentioned in Wednesday’s post that I’ve already decorated for Christmas.

Normally, I’d wait until after Thanksgiving, but the holidays just feel different this year, and I figure in 2020, we need all the joy we can get.

So, I’m cheating a little bit this week and writing about the things I “find” every year when we unpack the Christmas boxes and haul out the holly. I love decorating for Christmas, and so I always like to take a little extra time to look through my collection of Christmas-y things and appreciate them.

The first items I always unpack? My Christmas bears.

I’m not really sure where they came from, but I’ve had them forever. My mom says she thinks she bought them for me, but let’s face it, 1987 was a long time ago.

Not so long ago, when I moved into my first place, my mom gave me some of the ornaments she’d collected for me over the years. I have lots of favorites, but I particularly love this one.

It’s my first Christmas ornament.

I’ve also got a number of handmade snowflakes that she and my grandmother crocheted over the years.

And a few that I made for her when I was in primary school. This one?

Not sure when I made it, or how old that candy cane is…

Even the garland peeking out here and there in these pictures is an heirloom. My mom made it for me the first year I put up my own Christmas tree.

When my husband and I got married, I felt so honored and happy to be able to include his special ornaments. I love this one, which looks like his first dog, a little Sheltie called Daisy.

And we’ve also started our own collection. We get a new ornament engraved every year. This is the one we got in 2016, our first Christmas in the new old house.

It felt appropriate.

I love that every year at Christmas, I get the opportunity to showcase all of these little treasures. The memories they carry are precious.

*A quick note – I’ll be taking a break next week for the holiday. Check back on Monday, November 30th, for this month’s short story. In the meantime, I wish each of my readers a lovely weekend and week, and, to my American crew, a wonderful (and safe) Thanksgiving!*