Tis the season

I like Christmas, I always have. I have more decorations than one woman needs, but most of the indoor ones have a story. The outdoor ones are, well, outdoors and don’t have much of a history except that they are needed in order to be festive.


The arbor has a kissing ball that I made several years ago from four wreaths, and there are wreaths on the barn shutters and the front door.

The Santa at the top is sixty plus years old – my Grandfather gave it me. I get it out every year and think of him when I look at it. The horse was made by a second grade teacher when my daughter was in grade school – let’s be kind and say thirty plus years old. About eighteen years ago, I made the Santa feeding the geese.

I’ve been baking up a storm. The family as well as friends have enjoyed cranberry bread, sugar, snowball, and chocolate chip cookies, maple fudge, puppy chow with cookie spread instead of peanut butter, and tomorrow there will pecan pie bars with wheat nuts (we’re a peanut/nut free zone).

Back in my human resources years, I wished people ‘Happy Holidays.’ I’m retired now – I can say ‘Merry Christmas’ and hope that people know I mean no offense if it is not relevant to them.

While many of us are awaiting the celebration of the birth of Christ, others are celebrating Hanukkah, and there are those who choose not to celebrate anything this time of year. This is a big world. It should be big enough for all of us to have our individual beliefs and not step on the other person while we do it.

Tis the season – let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller wrote “Let There Be Peace On Earth” in 1955.

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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48 Responses to Tis the season

  1. Joyce says:

    I think Christmas has arrived at the farm with grace and style – both inside and out! I love the kissing ball and the wreaths on the barn. But the sweet little Santa from grandfather appeals to me the most because my favorite Christmas decorations are those that my parents or grandparents once held in their own hands, too. Merry Christmas, Judy! You are a positive, peace-loving influence in this crazy world of ours!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dawn says:

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at your house, Judy! I love the idea of a kissing ball hanging from your pretty arbor. It’s so heartwarming to hear the stories of your Christmas decorations. You have been really busy in the kitchen sharing handmade goodies! Enjoy this most wonderful time of year! ♡

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Judy, I love that you have all the outdoor decorations. We don’t have any outdoor decorations but we have a lot of indoor decorations which are just beginning to get put up now. I love Christmas a lot also, so I really enjoyed this post.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. reocochran says:

    I like how you made your kissing ball. I was wondering, Judy, if you made the ceramic Santa and then, hand painted him? When you said you made it, I was curious since it was my favorite piece in your collection. I like when people take out their decorations since there are usually several stories to share for their ornaments, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The kissing ball is four wreaths the same size pushed inside of each other and then rounding out the branches. Very cost effective and looks good too. I did make the Santa in a ceramics class – cleaning the bisque, painting, and then they fired it for me. I love ceramics but at a certain point what do you do with more pieces. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      • reocochran says:

        Thank you for sharing this, Judy. You show great talent with painting. There were shadows even on this sweet Santa. The older Santa means a lot due to who gave it to you. ♡ Grandparents are so special with sometimes not many years spent together. Happy memories and making some new ones, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    I love that your decorations have a story to go with them. I started collecting tree ornaments when I was a teen, so I have lots of stories! 😉 It is nice to bring them out and reminisce.
    I like your kissing ball – I haven’t made one in years. Maybe I should try my hand at it again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ogee says:

    A perfect sentiment in true keeping with the season…room enough for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. it’s coming, we’re waiting 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You captured the Christmas season perfectly, sentimental decorations, lots of baking and good will toward men. 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan Antion says:

    I think you have the perfect place for Christmas and you have decorated it well. I really like Santa feeding the geese. I also know what you mean about taking out the decorations and thinking of others. It’s a magical feeling. Thanks for sharing this Judy and have a wonderful Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. KerryCan says:

    A friend was just saying yesterday that she was using the “and let it begin with me” quote on her handmade Christmas cards this year! I can’t think of a better promise to make to oneself at any time of year! Your decoration are so lovely–the stories make them more so!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Murphy's Law says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours. Love this post. Love your decorations. Love the stories that go with them. When our girls were growing up we took them every year to a place called Handleman’s. They had an amazing Christmas display and a petting zoo. Each year the girls would choose ornaments and when they went off on their own, those ornaments went with them.

    My favorite ornaments are the ones we made ourselves, especially the ones the kids made. They are missing an eye or part of a nose. The heavily glittered macaroni necklace has a few cracks in it! The toilet paper roll angel, decorated in weird color felt, has a candle stuck in her head that leans to the side now.

    But they’ve survived a lot of years (a LOT of years!). I love seeing them every year. Reminds me of times that were simpler. When the world seemed safer. When everything wasn’t so politically correct.

    So maybe to change the way things are now we all need to “let it begin with me.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Handleman’s sounds like a wonderful family Christmas adventure. 🙂 I can only imagine your smiles and great memories as you unwrap each one of those very special hand-made ornaments. It is fun to just take that moment and stop to remember. Merry Christmas, friend. 🙂


  12. Lovely post. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. joey says:

    Lovely! I’m particularly impressed with the Santa you made! And wow, vintage Santa is in great shape!
    I’ll wish you Merry Christmas because it’s nice to be merry 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Laurie Graves says:

    Lovely post with a wonderful sentiment! I so enjoyed hearing the stories behind your Santas.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pbmgarden says:

    These are all beautiful. I love the understated effect of the wreaths on the barn door. Wishing you peace. I may nominate you for President.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. joyroses13 says:

    Great post! Never heard of a kissing ball, I like it 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas to you 🙂 And I love the , “Let it begin with me!”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lovely, lovely…how can one ver have enough Christmas decorations!!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a lovely mix of old and new among your decorations, and what a lucky bunch of friends and family to get all those yummy sounding treats💕

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love the glitter and music of Christmas and have always been glad that I married in a legitimately Christmas celebrating family. Phew. Otherwise, I’d still have my nose pressed against the glass, yearning for a tree of my own. We have dropped down to a very minimal set of decorations, but they are there … lights, a small tree, snow globes and nutcrackers. It’s a beautiful season, no matter what you celebrate. Have a good one!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Lorrie says:

    Your outdoor decorations add bright touches to the landscape. I so much enjoy the memories that come at this time of year. Yes, let there be peace on earth – and let it begin with me. A good sentiment in these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. So festive! But I do wish the weather was a bit cooler; the forecast for Saturday is 72!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Judy, you have a wonderful way of saying things, certainly a big heart
    from where it all springs from. Love the Christmas decorations! I have
    many that have been gifted and passed down, all with a story or a fond
    remembrance attached to it. We have never been very big in the buying
    frenzy of what the Christmas Holiday can bring, but the baking festive
    treats, making time for one another, and collectively celebrating the birth
    of all of us…..that’s how I like to think of Christmas. And by the way, my
    friend…….I could hurry over ( yes, more than just a few miles) with some
    eggs and bacon to go along with that cranberry bread and maple fudge.
    All bases covered, right? Peace on earth and Happy Holidays to you, Judy denise

    Liked by 1 person

  23. pagedogs says:

    I see that you don’t have any Charlie-Brown-esque decorations at your house! It’s so warm here, there are dandelions blooming in the lawn and I saw a few pussywillows emerging this week. It’s a little scary. But, global-warming aside, Merry Christmas to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have any Charlie ornaments, but Snoopy and Woodstock are both well represented here. LOL I have a little Snoopy in a saucer sled with Woodstock and friend pulling him sitting next to about a 18″ lit tree, and I wound the last two lights through the sled so it looks like it is lit too. 🙂 I also have them both hanging on my tree, and I have two of those really noisy Hallmark musical items where you press the button and they sing. LOL The change in climate should be evident to about everyone – we have one tree budding, my Pulmonaria is coming up and large sections of the property are still green. I’m not wishing for feet of snow, but I sure wish it would get out of the 50’s and 60’s. I can’t imagine what this will do to the maple sap production and the fruit trees. Merry Christmas to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. sweetk8 says:

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Hyvää Joulua & Onnellista Uutta Vuotta!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Zambian Lady says:

    When I lived in the States, everyone said “Happy Holidays” at work, but here in Austria people I work with say both happy holidays and merry Christmas. No one bats an eyelid at that, which I find interesting. So, Merry Christmas to you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Grandma Kc says:

    I just love all your decorations and your excitement about Christmas. I don’t even have the tree up yet and I should be in a panic but I’m not. I need to get in the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas and Peace to you, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. germac4 says:

    Merry Christmas Judy, I’ve enjoyed your blog …from all the way in Australia. I agree, may the new year bring some peace on earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. that kissing ball is amazing, Judy and you have me wishing I had some of your cookies for breakfast 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Love everything about this post. Wonderful decorations – love the wreaths on the barn shutters. And you MADE that Santa?? Just so pretty. And I respect and appreciate the “Merry Christmas”. My husband is Jewish, and we of course celebrate the Jewish holidays including Hannukah with his family. Even his family agrees it’s Christmas and they don’t get offended. Having said that, no doubt some others might be, and the workplace is a good place to make a distinction. I tend to say Happy Holidays when I’m out and about and talking to people I don’t know at all unless it’s obvious they celebrate Christmas, but it’s Merry Christmas all the way with everyone I know, friends and family and others that I have no doubt celebrate. But if someone out in the world takes offense, I say “get over it – much bigger problems we have, and it’s the spirit of the greeting that counts!”

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Collecting Christmas decorations is one of my favourite things when I travel. I love how they remind me of the places that I have been as I hang them on the tree and place them around the house each year. My favourites include a Loch Ness Monster Bauble from Scotland, a singing sock monkey from New York and Tiki wearing a Christmas hat from Hawaii :).
    I also love your kissing ball. I saw the instructions on how to make in the previous comments so I might be my addition to the collection to mark spending this Christmas at home.


    • Your ornaments sounds wonderful. I forgot two countries we visited, and I could kick myself every year. I may have to resort to going on line and finding two. 🙂 Yes, buy four wreaths the same size, push them inside so each one is at 1/4, then pull the branches out to make it round, attach, bows or decorations and something at the top to hang it with. We have red ribbon but underneath the ribbon there is a wire to provide more strength. The ‘real’ ones cost right at $30 each and then you toss them. This way you get to use them every year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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