Merry Christmas 2021

Merry-Christmas-2021

God grant you lightness in your step,

A smile on every face you meet,

Loved ones gathered at your hearth,

And at your door, good friends to greet

A holy hymn upon your lips,

A window candle burning bright

And may the Good Lord bless your heart

And come to dwell here Christmas night.

—Irish Christmas Blessing

From our house and hearts to yours, Dave the Builder and I wish you a very Merry Christmas 2021 filled with everlasting joy, peace, splendor, and love.

Darleen-signature-custom

 

 

Christmas Season 2021

The pace for Christmas season 2021 is set to slow in order to savor the season, embrace the true meaning of it all, and cherish the memories old and new that rush my mind and heart.

Christmas season 2021 Pretty At The Holidays highlights a collection of gorgeous images featuring scenes of the season guaranteed to inspire and impress.

Flocked-Christmas-tree-John-Loecke-Jason-Oliver-Nixon-photo-Hector-Manuel-Sanchez-styling-Kendra-Surface-Southern-Living

John Loecke & Jason Oliver Nixon – Photo Hector Manuel Sanchez
Styling by Kendra Surface – Southern Living Magazine

“Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin—
inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.”
—John J. Geddes

living-room-holidays-fire-interiors-Mark-Fox (1)

House & Garden – Photo by Mark Fox

“The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious
faces with a Christmas greeting.”
—Louisa May Alcott

Christmas-big-bulb-lights-around-ankles

“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it
by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”
—Ruth Carter Stapleton

cardinal-on-feeder-red-holidays

Flickr

“We count down the days, just to experience it nearly
exactly as we always have.
It is so comfortable, familiar and perfectly nostalgic
that, frankly, we have no desire to improve upon it at all.”
— Joanna Gaines

sparkler-copper-Christmas

Kitchen Ghosts

“Christmas magic is silent.
You don’t hear it—you feel it.
You know it. You believe it.”
— Kevin Alan Milne

purple-christmas-decor

House Beautiful – Photo by Gordon Beall

“Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago.”
—Tom Baker

pantone-color-of-the-year-2022-very-peri

“Christmas is a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.”
— Freya Stark

purple-walls-garland-framed-art

Victoria Magazine

“As long as we know in our hearts
what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”
– Eric Sevareid

winter-white-holiday-decorated-bedroom

Victoria Magazine

“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.”
— Helen Steiner Rice

House & Garden

“Let us keep Christmas beautiful without a thought of greed.”
—Ann Garnett Schultz

Whimsical-Christmas-Kitchen-In-Pastels

Summer Adams

“Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever.”
— Richelle E. Goodrich

Retro Christmas Tree Cake

Retro Christmas Tree Cake

“May your hearth be warm, your holidays grand, and your heart
held gently in the good Lord’s hand.”
— Unknown

Carolyne Roehm candle fireplace mantle

Carolyne Roehm

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful.”
— Norman Vincent Peale

blue-Christmas-night

Festive anticipation is super setting in as Christmas week draws closer, and I fa la la la love it!

Flights carrying loved ones begin to arrive, Dave the Builder is patiently awaiting a pan of Fantasy Fudge brimming with chopped walnuts, and as much as I would love a visiting elf to grant me the pleasure of wrapping all the gifts for me, that’s one Christmas miracle I’m pretty sure is not going to happen.

Christmas season 2021

Holiday happenings, tasks, and undertakings can bring immense joy, however, the holiday hustle an bustle can be quite overwhelming at times.

Balance is a key component of design and decorating, life, and essential at this the most wonderful time of the year.

I’ve adopted a slow the pace, win the race attitude towards Christmas season 2021, seeing the beauty and the meaning of the season through a different lens.

Years of holiday decorating, open houses, and professional retail antiques and design business services brought joy, but I noticed by the second week of December I lost all interest in the holidays.  Can you say oversaturation?

For this reason, I keep my holiday social media postings light as well as my blogging in order to experience the joy rather than looking up and it being all over.

Remember this, my dear friends; the Christmas season is short at best. Treat yourself while treating others to the joy, the beauty, the goodies, and the glory of this beautiful season.

Merry Christmas, dear ones.

Darleen-signature-custom

 

Merry Christmas From Our Home to Yours

On this most blessed day in December and from our home to yours, Dave the Builder and I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.

Mary-figurine

As you and yours celebrate this wonderful holiday Christmas season, may the love of family and friends, joy of life, comfort of home, hope of brighter and healthier days ahead, and a glorious sense of style fill your heart and home with peace and love.

angel-display

trees-merry-Christmas

 

Festive Photos of the Christmas Season

Festive photos of the Christmas season reminds and reinforces the notion it’s magically beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Christmas at Forde Abbey

Christmas at Forde Abbey

“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…”

– John Geddes

Victorian-Christmas-tree-Photography-Kimberly-Finkel-Davis

Victoria Magazine

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

– Norman Vincent Peale

House-Garden-pusey-house-stairs-Simon-Upton

House & Garden

“Christmas isn’t a parade or concert but a piece of home you keep in your heart wherever you go.”

– Donna VanLiere

man-Christmas-tree

Pinterest

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.”

– Marjorie Holmes

Holiday-decorated-entryway

Bless’er House as featured by Better Homes & Gardens

“Christmas… is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.”

– Freya Stark

snow covered fur trees

“Kindness is like snow- It beautifies everything it covers.”

– Kahlil Gibran

Martha-Stewart-Christmas-tree

Martha Stewart

“The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money.  There’s a kind of glory to them when they’re all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy.”

– Andy Rooney

regency-house-photo-Paul-Massey

House & Garden – Photo by Paul Massey

“Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.”

– Pindar

Market Street – Corning, NY

“Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever.”

– Richelle E. Goodrich

farmhouse-bedroom-Jason-Donnelly

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Jason Donnelly

“The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.”

– Louisa May Alcott

church-South-Tirol-Italy

South Tirol, Italy

“Thank you, Dear Creator, for Life.  Thank you for Dreams.  Thank you for Ideas and Thoughts and Feelings.  Most of all, thank you for choosing me to grow – just for today – and to know the Wonder of Your World and its many Possibilities.”

― Janie Jasin

Jennifer-Chapman-Christmas-tree-photo-by-Marcy-Black-Simpson

Victoria Magazine – Photography Marcy Black Simpson
Styling by Melissa Sturdivant Smith

“Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago.”

― Tom Baker

Darleen-signature-custom

Christmas Songs and Sights

Christmas songs and sights rule the festive fun around Places In The Home this time of year.

Why certain things come to mind when we hear Christmas songs is anyone’s guess, but I believe traditions old and new, coupled with cherished memories near and dear to heart and mind, work together to awaken the spirit of the season that beautifully dwells within all of us.

As I was listening to classic Christmas songs late Saturday night, an imagined slideshow broke out in my thoughts- some obvious, some silly, but all telling.

So here you go, my wonderful friends, a Christmas songs and sights ’tis the season pictorial.

dashing through the snow

Flickr

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring tingle tingling too
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling “yoo hoo!”
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you

snow covered Smoky Mountains2

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I met a man who lives in Tennessee, and he was headin’ for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie
From Pennsylvania, folks are travelin’ down to Dixie’s sunny shore

Santa on beachFrom Atlantic to Pacific

– I know it means from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean(s), but the line always brings to mind thoughts of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, better known to some of us as A&P

A&P Coffee

Gee, the traffic is terrific

Christmas traffic

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas

Christmas-shopping-image

Chasing Daisies

Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear
Silver bells (silver bells) silver bells (silver bells)

Christmastime in the City

Flickr

It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling (ring-a-ling)
Hear them ring (hear them ring)
Soon it will be Christmas day

Santa and friends

Santa and Friends

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland

blue jay in snow

Gone away is the bluebird
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song, as we go along
Walking in a winter wonderland

candy-canes-on-Christmas-tree

Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel

Frosted window panes
Candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree
Santa’s on his way
He’s filled his sleigh with things
Things for you and for me
It’s that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear seems to say
Merry Christmas
May your New Year dreams come true

Silent-Night

And this song of mine
In three-quarter time
Wishes you and yours
The same thing too

heading home in the snowstorm

Fine Art America

the snow’s comin’ down
(Christmas) I’m watchin’ it fall
(Christmas) lots of people around
(Christmas) baby, please come home

montana-christmas-home-living-room

Elle Decor – Photo by Douglas Friedman

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

mistletoe

Skonahem

Have a holly, jolly Christmas
It’s the best time of the year
I don’t know if there’ll be snow
But have a cup of cheer
Have a holly, jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet
Oh, ho the mistletoe
Hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me
Have a holly, jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas
This year

candle-in-a-window

In The Fields

For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet

Christmas-tree-on-pianoYes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we’re in a hurry

retro Christmas partyThere’ll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting

Carol-Brady

And caroling out in the snow

sears-1969-christmas-wish-book-cover

There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago

twas the night before christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Christmas-stockings

Country Living Magazine

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

holidays-at-home-blog

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Christmas songs

tis=the=season-in-red

 

 

Sharing the Christmas Cheer

Time is short on this Friday before Christmas, but there’s always time for sharing the Christmas cheer.

vintage-style-gift-bagsChristmas on sale emails get my attention at this time of year.

I sourced, shopped, and scored these Simplicity vintage gift bags at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, and they are so super vintage style cute.

Christmas-potpourri

Apples, lemons, cinnamon sticks, whole coves, and bay leaves brought to boil and set to simmer fills the house with the scents of Christmas.

poinsettiaBrothers bearing gifts of poinsettia in winter white and Christmas red kick off the week before Christmas gift exchange.

porcelain-Christmas-tree

This year’s Christmas decorating is less extravagance and more emphasis on special touches rooted in memories, provenance, and simple I love that beauty.

angel-wings

oranges-cloves

Oranges and cloves remind me of my great grandmother’s house at the holidays.

cloves-oranges-cedarHer uncomplicated approach to Christmas decorating translated into a unique style all her own and adorned in understated grace.

bottle-brush-Christmas-trees

I conducted a Christmas tasting trial run while the kids were home.

Hands down, this cranberry fig cheese ball took top honors in the holiday appetizer category.

cheese ball

Cranberry Fig Cheese Ball

Ingredients

8 ounce block cream cheese softened

8 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

½ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup fig preserves

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning, optional

½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese to soften.  Add shredded mild cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, Worcestershire sauce, fig preserves and chopped parsley.  Mix all ingredients together to blend.

cheese-ball-ingredients

Form cheese mixture into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 hours or even better, overnight allowing cheese ball to firm up.

cheese-ball-form

Once firm, unwrap cheese ball from plastic wrap.  Roll the cheese ball in Creole seasoning and chopped walnuts to cover.  Serve with snack crackers of choice.

Santa-figurine-on-table

Sharing the Christmas cheer is the best part of the holiday season.

I’m spending this weekend in the Places In The Home test kitchen churning out cakes and cookies for family, friends, and neighbors.

After all, it is the most wonderful and tasty time of the year, the present is in the process, and the gift is in the giving.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and love from me to you at this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

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At The Holiday Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Santa’s elves are working diligently to give last minute Christmas gift ideas inspiration to those of us who invariably feel the need to pick up one or two more little things for that special someone on our Christmas gift giving list.

glitter wristlet

Zip-Top Wristlet For Women

All that glitters is a winter glam gift idea.

This super on-trend glitter wristlet from Old Navy is a great gift option for the holiday of it all as well as winter fetes and Mardi Gras gatherings.

I know this firsthand from the “I love it” reaction our daughter-in-law had when she found one in her stocking when they visited last week.

last minute Christmas gift ideas

Target order pickup is a life saver during these hectic holiday times, especially when the son and daughter-in-law volunteer to go on a Target run.

Earthenware Stocking Mug Pink - OpalhouseEarthenware Stocking Mug Pink – Opalhouse

As I flipped through the pages of last week’s weekly ad, this stocking mug caught my eye.

It’s got pencil, pen, and whatnot holder for my desk written all over it.

Clydesdale painting print

Art is the gift you can’t go wrong with.

Horse pink canvas print clydesdaleClydesdale Painting Canvas Print

JOSH YÖUNG DESIGN HOUSE

Josh Young – Domino

James Dean canvas print

James Dean Print by Phil Stern

An encore from Josh Young Design House.

Emma in blush framed

Emma in blushEmma in Blush

Leopard love this haircalf tray with leopard print from TJ Marshall’s (what I call it when the item can be found at both outlets).

Haircalf Tray With Leopard PrintHaircalf Tray With Leopard Print

There’s nothing cheesy about spending the night in with delicious bites served in style with a side of all things cheesy trivia.

the big cheesy night in

Big Cheesy Night In Game

greens-ryobi-handheld-flashlights

Dave the Builder’s idea of Christmas lights.

18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless LED Light

18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless LED Light

Cookbooks, spices, sauces, and grilling kits are my last minute Christmas gift ideas go-to for the host, hostess, him, and/or her.

The Southerner's Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and StoriesThe Southerner’s Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories

last minute Christmas gift ideas

Jim Beam Grilling Essentials

Color, texture, and pattern for the holidays.

JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Carabiner - CamoJBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Carabiner – Camo

We’ve already had our big Christmas when the Canadian snowbirds were home, so I’m hitting the reset button for the second round of celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.

With all there is to do in these last few days before the big day, last minute Christmas gift ideas come in holiday handy.

I don’t want to rush, forget, or overlook the season and all its fabulous traditions, which can be easy to do if you don’t take a moment or two to take it all in.

Classic, old, and vintage Christmas songs on YouTube are keeping me company as I source and sip Christmas cider (apple cider or juice and red hots warmed on the stove until the red hots melt).

Now for a blast from Christmas past.

I found this Kmart in-store Christmas music from 1974 video on YouTube and to say it brings back holiday shopping to merry Muzak memories is an understatement.

Happy holiday shopping.

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