Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ready for Christmas

The last little while has been filled with Christmas preparations.  Last week I spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking up all our Christmas favourites.

IMG_4432Starting at the top we have fruitcake. Go ahead and make the obligatory fruitcake jokes but the extended family loves this recipe and just this year my son acquired a taste for it too.  The gingerbread cookies need decorating still.  The first batch was mostly given away and now I need to sit the kids down with icing  and candies to embellish this batch.  They’re still tasty though.  In the middle are my hubby’s shortbread cookies.  I love to bake but I can’t make shortbread like he can so I’ve been waiting for the baking mood to strike him.  He finally obliged on Sunday night and these are the best ever.  Beneath the shortbread are frosted orange cookies.  Mom found this recipe in a newspaper back in the early 70’s and I cannot remember a Christmas without these.  Christmas just wouldn’t be the same!  That last little cookie, a maple log,  is a recent addition to the Holiday lineup but a popular one.  The one on this plate is the only one left.

There was also a batch of caramel corn in pretty little packages but I neglected to take a picture before they were given away.  I also didn’t get much of a chance to indulge in it.  I’ll just have to make another batch soon.  Maybe for New Year’s. 

IMG_4393_r1Tree trimming was later than usual this year.   The kids asked to wait until they were out of school for Christmas vacation, so we waited until this past Friday afternoon.  I set up the tree and brought up the bins of decorations before they came home from school, hubby came home early and we spent the rest of the day and early evening IMG_4398_r1decking the halls. 




It is becoming a challenge to fit all our ornaments on the tree.  When my husband and I were first married, we had a little 2 foot tall tree and about a dozen ornaments that were carried over from my childhood trees.  It needed work, so every year we made something new to add to the collection.  We graduated to a 6 foot tree so needed to keep adding.  Of course a when the kids came along they started contributing creations.  Soon adding new ornaments became less a necessity and more a tradition.  I’ve recently suggested that we could either stop adding or start removing a few to make way for the new but that was met with resistance, so this is what our now 7-foot tree looks like:


This is not a decorator’s dream by any stretch, but it’s exactly how we like it.  I’d say except for the lights (which are hard to see in this daylight picture) and the coloured balls, 95% of the ornaments are homemade by me or the kids, and/or have a story attached.  In fact, I think even the three oldest boxes of coloured balls have a story attached.  Part of the reason it takes hours to decorate this tree is that stories of the Christmas we made this one or that one get trotted out and that slows down the decorating process.  It’s a fun tradition though.

Here are some of my favourite ornaments.  Some are by me (one of them circa 1976), some by the kids, some by us together. 

And here is the only bit of quilting this house has seen in the last couple of weeks.IMG_4437

Merry Christmas!


  1. Your tree looks wonderful! All of the memories that decorate the tree are of more value than the "look" of the ornaments! Enjoy your traditions and your family. Merry Christmas!

  2. First of all, I love fruitcake. My mom still makes her light fruitcake, and I love the richness of a dark cake. Your tree looks amazing. The best part of decorating is recalling all the wonderful stories attached to each ornament. What a great Christmas pillow, too. You have been busy. Merry Christmas!


  3. No tree could be more beautiful than yours! And the memories and traditions make Christmas so very special for your family; don't ever let that die! Your goodies will be enjoyed and remembered by all too. That little pillow is cute as it can be too. Thanks for sharing! I'm getting all inspired --- for NEXT year! *wink* ---"Love"

  4. That's the best kind of tree! I'm not too partial to the fancy schmancy Christmas trees. Love your pillow!

  5. Your tree is fantastic! (Way better than any "designer tree".)
    Great pillow too.
    Have a wonderful Christmas!!♥

  6. The tree looks terrific. It's Christmas and that's they way it should be. Love, Love the pillow. Connie204

  7. Wow, a tree decorated with memories! What better Christmas could you ask for! Merry Christmas to you and yours!


  8. My parent's tree looks just like that. Well, it used to. When we kids moved out, my mom packed up a box or ornaments for each of us that she felt had special meaning to us. Some were made by us, some were purchased and our names had been put on them, some were just ornaments she knew we loved through the years. And now that my mom has given away so many of her ornaments, she often has more organized trees...they just don't feel the same, though!

  9. I think the tree is great! Stories behind ornaments are wonderful memories to share;) Enjoy the season, and Merry Christmas;)
    Happy Quilting!!


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