Holiday favorites

It’s here – the week before Christmas, and it makes me smile because of the great memories.

Do you have favorite memories?

I do and maybe you’ll share one or two of yours.


Memories – Sugar on snow (hot maple syrup on snow) with my grandparents, our four-year old daughter wearing pink footed pajamas coming down the stairs to see Santa’s presents under the tree, midnight mass with the family, and watching grandchildren enjoy those same Santa presents pulled out of the big red bag left for them.

Christmas decoration – stockings and tree skirt my Mom made. I haven’t gotten them out in a few years because even before Covid we don’t host the holiday celebrations anymore. Maybe next year I need to get them out just because I like looking at them and remembering all the good times filling the stockings with presents.

Nativity – a huge set that I made in ceramics about forty years ago, my husband and daughter helped paint, and my husband made the stable. It’s quite heavy to get down from the attic so for the past couple of years I’ve used a smaller wooden one. The great thing about memories is I can enjoy both just looking at one.

Movie – White Christmas. I watch it every year.

Song – Silver Bells. The lyrics do make me think of the Salvation Army, the red kettles, and the bell ringers which in our area at least we don’t see anymore.

Toy – Snoopy playing the piano and how much my grandchildren enjoyed him when they were little.

Flower – Poinsettia

Food – If I’m honest, I enjoy most food and all desserts.

The holidays though are almost never perfect because Hollywood doesn’t script our lives. There are those we’ve lost, those that can’t visit, Covid, and things are different. Different can be tough so take care of yourselves this holiday season.

If the holiday is not looking exactly like what you remembered or want, try to make new memories which I know is easier said than done, get some exercise, and enjoy some good food even if you buy it. Delicious is still delicious.

From my husband and I to you and yours – Merry Christmas and have a safe but wonderful week.

It’s going to be a white Christmas for us here in New England. 13°F this morning. Brr but pretty to look at.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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71 Responses to Holiday favorites

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Memories are the best part of life, Judy. We may not have a white Christmas. It might snow Friday or on Christmas, but not yet.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Enjoy these memories and add a few more.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. pastpeter says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Judy! Stay safe and warm,and enjoy the gift of Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eilene Lyon says:

    Enjoy your white Christmas, Judy. You have some wonderful memories. Childhood Christmases were very special to me, especially the very few we spent with extended family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful memories Judy! I love the ritual of taking out all the Christmas stuff. We didn’t do that last year, we had just a little tree and a few of the favorite ornaments. But I didn’t decorate the rest of the house. We did have our grandkids over for a brief few minutes, distanced, masked, and it was better than nothing. This year, everyone is vaccinated so we’ll all get together and have our present opening and feast. Fingers crossed!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean says:

    Your memories are warm and charming. Christmas can be a lovely time of year, pretty and companionable. Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. swesely says:

    Merry Christmas to you! We’re going very easy on the decorating, as my other half has a sore arm, and can’t lift stuff. But we’re going to see family this year. Yaaa!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy says:

    Oh, sweet memories. It is those sweet memories that carry us onto new memories.

    I have so many wonderful memories. But the one of me as a little girl is when I could not come down stairs to open Christmas gifts until I heard Burl Ives singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, played on the living room stereo record player. That is many moons ago… but still a tender thought.

    Thank you Judy for sharing yours…
    Merry Christmas to you and yours my friend!
    Enjoy the snow!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Murphy’s Law says:

    Your memories are much like mine, except I never had snow w/ maple syrup! I love the picture of your shed in the snow with the tree limbs frosted with snow. Looks like a postcard.

    Many things have changed physically over the years, but our memories remain constant. A nice comfortable place we can visit any time we want. I still use the tree skirt a dear friend made for us in the early 70’s! Amazingly it still looks like it did the day she presented it to us.

    Wishing you and Dennis a healthy, happy Christmas and a safe, uneventful trip to SC. Hope it’s wonderfully warm there and you get to squish your bare feet in the sand!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good words – comfortable place we can visit any time we want. I really like that. 🙂 I can only imagine the warm fuzzies you get when you unwrap that tree skirt every Christmas. Yes, fingers crossed it is an uneventful trip. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.


  9. Joyce says:

    Awww I love this post! I have similar memories! One funny one is how I unwrapped just enough of my sister’s gifts to see what she was getting while mom and dad were out shopping. When they got home, I excitedly announced that I finally had my list: Little Drummer Boy 45 record and Alfred Hitchcock board game among them. Needless to say, name tags were not changed in my favor! Our tradition was that Santa filled stockings, and gifts placed under the tree ahead, were from mom and dad. I liked that, so we continued it with our kids. We added breakfast at home right after midnight Mass. I loved that dark, cozy, candlelit experience, allowing girls to open one gift each, then off the bed in new pajamas where they all slept together in one room for the night….but not for long! Five AM came so early!
    Merry Christmas, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, you and I both did the wrap piece. Too funny. Santa was a jolly old soul who really knew how to pick out just the right stocking gifts, and Mom and Dad always got some surprises and what we needed. I haven’t been to Midnight Mass in many years because it’s way past my bedtime now. 🙂 We would go to our daughter’s to watch the grandkids unwrap Christmas morning and would set the alarm early so we could shower, dress, and wait for the call to head over. Good memories – all of them. Merry Christmas to you, hubby and your three beautiful daughters and families.


  10. Sweet post! And a very merry Christmas to you and yours. Even with the pandemic, this is my favorite time of year—the dark, the light, all of it coming together into one beautiful, heartfelt blend. And this year definitely beats last year, when Clif and I were alone. This Christmas, we will all be together, and wearing masks will not diminish our joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Eliza Waters says:

    Merry Christmas, Judy! Wonderful memories of past Christmases keep us going, for sure. I realized this year that it was up to me to create the holiday experience I want by focusing on the small things I can do to feel festive. Making and delivering homemade gifts has made me happy and talking to people on their doorsteps isn’t ‘the big party,’ but it warms the heart none the less.
    Enjoy your holiday week!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You have snow! We don’t and won’t. Not for Christmas. I always think it makes the season merry but this year I’m ok without it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Those are wonderful memories, Judy and it looks gorgeous at your place! We’re supposed to get more snow this week in time for Christmas so, we’ve got our fingers crossed that we can get over the mountains to see our Grandsons. This will be the first year Littlest kinda gets it. I’m so excited for that.

    Movie- I love all the old Christmas cartoons like Rudolf, Frosty the Snow Man, and Charlie Brown’s Christmas. I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow them if I haven’t by now. 🤣

    Food- Osso Buco, Lasagna, and Pantonne, and the big juicy Orange always in my stocking.

    Memory- The year I got my very first 2 wheel bike. It was beautiful. Navy Blue with white bits here and there that sparkled in the light. White Handlebar thingies and blue and white pompoms coming out the ends. It had training wheels b/c I couldn’t yet ride without them. We lived on top of a high hill then out in the country in San Diego with stairs from the top of the driveway to the front door. After managing to get the bike down the stairs and halfway down the drive without the bike getting away from my 5 year old body I was just getting comfy on the seat, and plucking up my courage to lift my feet and fly down the rest of the hill when my Dad called me to bring it back up to take off the training wheels and begin riding lessons!! Sigh. I didn’t even get to ride it with training wheels yet!!
    Oh, it wasn’t easy. I crashed, and fell over, and drove it into the ditch across the road, barely missed getting hit by a pickup truck coming up the road, but after half a day I finally got it and was riding a two wheeler!! And, I never rode a bike with training wheels!! Every scratch, bump, scrape, and bruise was well and truly earned! 🤣 You know I never did get the courage to ride it down the whole hill from the top of the driveway to the bottom of it. My little brother did though! Oh my bike could fly!

    Song- I’m dreaming of a White Christmas- probably because I’ve had so few of them in my life. This year will be white!

    Flower- Toss up between Poinsettia, and the Holly Bush with berries.

    Your quilted topper looks beautiful! Merry Christmas, Judy! 🥰

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, I love your memories and thank you for sharing. I had a bike at my grandparents farm, it was blue, I started with training wheels, but I had flat road surface to ride on. I do hop you get to see your grandsons and maybe even watch a couple of those favorite movies together. It doesn’t get much better than Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that everyone is healthy and you have safe travels so you can feel those little arms around your neck in a wonderful hug.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. John Hric says:

    Judy a blessed and merry Christmas to you and yours. There is a place in the heart where we can visit those that we remember. Once you are there the hugs can last as long as we want or need.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Sheree says:

    Your garden looks so pretty

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You have some wonderful Christmas memories! Your snow is beautiful! Wishing you and your family a Christmas filled with joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Helen says:

    Merry Christmas and hopefully lots of wonderful memories to add to your existing ones

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Happy Christmas to you and your family, Judy. When we travel overseas we usually buy a tree ornament or two and it’s so nice every Christmas to hang them on the tree and remember where we have travelled. They always bring on some happy memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Judy, I envy your snow, but not your low temperatures. Your garden shed with the red bow and snow-covered trees remind me of a Christmas card. You absolutely should unpack those stockings and tree skirt. Love your advice to make new memories when things aren’t as expected or remembered. Change can be a good thing. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It looks beautiful, Judy, and I would enjoy a white Christmas, but not here. That would really shock everyone. 🙂 We have all the usual decorations (as you’ll be seeing throughout the week) except for a large tree. At Christmas I like to deliver plates of homemade cookies and candy to places like our bank, store we frequent, the library, etc. Making Christmas cookies with the girls with sprinkles all over is good, if messy, memory. Finding just the right gift or getting just the right gift (like the keyboard last year from my husband. The children’s Christmas Eve service when we were in grade school, all done by memory not projected on the wall, and getting a paper bag of candy, an apple, and an orange when we left. Going to my grandparents’ house on the farm on Christmas Day after having Christmas at home on Christmas Eve after church. Good stuff.

    Have a blessed and happy Christmas!


    Liked by 1 person

    • You gave me goosebumps with your wonderful memories. You’ll be making new ones next year that’s for sure. 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday, and I wish I could send you some snow for just a few minutes so you could explain to the neighbors what it was. 🙂


  21. germac4 says:

    What a lovely Christmas post Judy, I enjoyed reading about your memories, and especially the snowy images. We are looking forward to having the whole family for Christmas, and even decorating the tree brings back such happy memories. Merry Christmas to you and your family, may it be peaceful and joyful.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Oddment says:

    I read your insightful post yesterday morning, and then took it with me through the day. I kept thinking about that whole Christmas memory thing; it’s a two-edged sword, isn’t it? Even the happier ones are tinged with loss now. Since I can’t remember where I left my coffee, I have my doubts about making new memories, but it’s good advice. As to my favorites: all Christmas carols, but maybe especially “Adeste Fidelis”; the family gathered around the piano with trombone, violin, and voice giving Spike Jones a run for his money; peeking at the Christmas tree from my bed; my Uncle George’s tree with bubble lights; the electric train in the basement toy section of the local department store; my mother’s bajillions of Christmas cookies; “The Stingiest Man in Town” at Purdue; the box of Mrs. See’s sent by my Aunt Jean from CA every year (you knew chocolate would figure in there somewhere!)…it’s a mishmash, isn’t it, for all of us? As always, I love your posts and the way they make me reflect. Ditto the comments you invite. Thanks, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes – the Christmas season is rather up and down emotionally between losses and changes out of your control. I guess the season mirrors life with its ups and downs. I smiled thinking about the family gathered around the piano and what raucous fun you must have had. We never had bubble lights, but I did so want some. I haven’t had See’s candies in several years, but I do remember how absolutely delicious they were. Top notch chocolates! I wonder if they ship to SC? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Oddment says:

    p.s. The photo of your winter garden is gorgeous. I think it is emblematic of the peace we all wish we could give each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. What a gorgeous photo! It looks like a perfect place for Christmas. You have such lovely memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I have so many happy memories of Christmas, especially when our children were little! We would have them wait upstairs on Christmas morning until my husband could go down and turn on the tree’s lights , then they would rush down to open their stockings first. So much excitement! We had a lot of fun filling the stockings the night before, wrapping gifts, finding the special Santa gifts for them, etc. I miss those days, but it was a LOT of work. There was the year when one young daughter (I think she was five) told me quite seriously that Santa WOULD bring her a life-size mermaid doll. A little creative adaptation of a large “Groovy Girl” doll, and voilà! A mermaid. Our little believer was happy.

    The kids started singing in our church’s children’s choir as pre-schoolers, so Advent was filled with Sundays when the children would sing, which was so lovely. Both of our daughters performed in the annual professional production of The Nutcracker in our city, for several years, and parents were called upon to volunteer as chaperones backstage, staff for the souvenir sales booths, etc., so I spent a LOT of time watching The Nutcracker, and it never got old. I also enjoy the winter gardening that our Southeastern climate allows, with pansies mingling with cool season vegetable, camellias, and hellebores. I love all aspects of the Christmas season: lights, sounds, scents, food, children!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful family memories, and I bet you could ace a crossword puzzle on the Nutcracker. 🙂 You made my gardening pulse quicken just seeing pansies, veggies, camellias, and hellebores. Young children do make Christmas so much more festive, and I can imagine those choir memories are truly special. Happy Holiday to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Denzil says:

    A merry and healthy Christmas to you both! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Michelle says:

    Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. So many great memories, Judy! Although our Christmas celebrations have changed a lot over the years, much of the joy and warm, fuzzy feelings are still with us… oh, and egg nog, definitely egg nog 🙂 Have a very Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Karen says:

    Enjoy your white Christmas, Judy. I hope your Christmas Day is wonderful. My fondest memories are of our Christmases in New Hampshire. I had a wreath hanging at the top of each window as well as a candle lite in the windows and a Christmas tree in each room of our main floor. I still enjoy looking at photos of our historic old home decorated for the holiday with snow on the ground, it looked like one you might see on a Christmas card.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Tina Schell says:

    A beautiful trip down memory lane Judy – loved reading your favorites – next year you must post an image of the manger you made! You’re so right, things change and instead of being surrounded by 26 family members as was our norm, for the third year we’re “home alone”. We spent the day with 8 other “orphans”, one of whom hosted all of us for a beautiful dinner and many smiles. New memories indeed. Not the same but some day I’ll look back and smile about this one too! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

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