Welcome to my Christmas blog ~ Christmas Pudding

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year." ~ Charles Dickens

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

O, little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years 
Are met in thee tonight. ~ Words- Philip Brooks 1868,  Music- Lewis H. Redner, 1868

"...for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." ~ Luke 2:11-12

The greatest Christmas gift of all
Was never placed beneath a tree,
But lay within a manger 
Beneath a star, for all to see. - unknown

From my home to yours, I wish you all a 
Merry Christmas!

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Tree and Mantel 2015

Hello friends! I am sharing my Christmas tree and mantel today. This is all the decorating I will be doing in the living room this year. I am trying to cut back and enjoy it all more.

The tree is the same as last year only with all white lights instead of a mixture of coloured and white.

The mantel is much simpler with my Christmas goose. At first I had him up there without any adornment at all because Hubby thought he looked better that way. 

I have added a golden ribbon and a poinsettia on his long graceful neck. I think he looks much more festive now. 

I have also changed up my centerpiece this year. A mercury glass hurricane lamp with crystals embedded around the top of it looks pretty here on the coffee table. Here it is unlit.

And here it is with the candle lit.

Have you finished your decorating yet?

 Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Monday, December 7, 2015

Easy Steps to Decorating Your Christmas Tree

Hello friends! I know most of you may already have your tree up but just in case you don't, here is a list of tips to help you create a beautiful tree. I find this works best for me.

If your tree is a faux tree like ours, always air it out for a day since it's been packed away for a year. This is the time to fix a bent branch or something else that may be wonky. Pick out those old pieces of tinsel and ornament hooks that you missed last year.

Next, when it's time to decorate, put on the Christmas music. Music always sets the mood and helps you to work better.

Now, fluff the branches. 

Put on the lights. Some folks put the lights on near the end of the branch inside the tree. Others wrap the lights around each branch. It's up to you how you want to do it. I always start at the bottom of the tree and string them inside the tree at the other end of the branch. This first string I always have plugged into the extension cord which runs behind the tree. This helps keep the wires out of sight as much as possible.

If you have made your own beautiful tree topper now is the time to set it on top of the tree. Or use your angel, star, etc.

Next apply your wired ribbon. Wired is best because you have better control and it adheres to the branches easier. There are different ways to use the ribbon. 

One year I applied it horizontally and the next year, I cascaded it down the tree making sure I used the branches to hold the ribbon in place.

I always put my tree skirt under the tree before I put on the ornaments. If an ornament happens to fall, it will hit the skirt with a soft landing instead of the wooden floor where it might break. 

Now for the ornaments. Place your cheaper, glittery ones inside the tree. Add the biggest ones on the bottom, working in triangles. Next add the mid-sized ornaments in the same triangle formation in the mid-section of the tree. Then add the smaller ornaments working towards the top. 

I find your tree always looks nicer when it is colour coordinated with the rest of the decor in the room. 

Now is the time to showcase your special ornaments such as your ornaments with memories and your favourites. 

Fill in gaps with flowers, pine cones, twigs, berries, etc.

Plug in your tree and enjoy it!

This was how I decorated last year.

Now I would love to see your tree! Leave me a comment to let me know your tree is up and I will come and visit you. Till next time....

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Friday, November 27, 2015

Crafting with Timothy the Teddy Bear

Good morning everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

I have been doing a little crafting. Last year at the after-Christmas sales, I found these little trees which are about twelve inches tall. 

I removed the stand from one and glued it into a ceramic Santa boot which was part of my mother's Christmas bouquet last year. 

I tucked cotton around the base of the tree and decorated the tree with tiny white satin balls and sugared cranberries. 

Timothy the teddy bear is propped up on the boot with his sparkly ball ready to spruce up a little area on the kitchen counter. 

I think it turned out pretty cute. What do you think?

Have you been crafting? 

Now, I'm going to enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of my crustless pumpkin pie. Would you like to join me? 

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend and till next time, I'm....

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Trip Down Memory Lane with Christmas Trees

Hello everyone. I have been going through some family pictures and I ran across some pictures of our Christmas trees over the years. I thought I would share some with you today.

You guessed it; it's the seventies! This was our second Christmas and our first Christmas in our new mini home. This was a 6 foot faux pine tree. Notice the wood paneling and the orange drapes? Yup, there was orange shag carpet too. It was the latest decor at the time.

This one is the early eighties with my little guys and me. Lots of red, green, gold and blue. 

Still the eighties. Lots of gold, red and blue.

This is 1989 when pastels were all the rage. Pastels and white lights in a bay window; very pretty. My kids didn't like this tree so I decorated another tree just for them in the family room. It was more traditional with red and green and coloured lights. 

I just realized I don't have any pictures from the nineties although I looked at them. The trees were much like the pastel tree only with a mixture of white and coloured lights and traditional colours mixed with the pastel ornaments.

Early 2000's we got a new six and a half foot blue spruce tree from my mom.

About 2003. I set the tree in front of the door that year. We never used the door anyway.

Christmas '08 when I started to use pink ribbon instead of garland. I put it on horizontally.

Christmas 2010 I started to cascade the ribbon vertically. I decided I liked this way better.

And last year's tree, decorated with sheer white ribbon. This is my favourite. I have to admit I am struck on pastels.

I look at all these trees through the years and I can recall so many wonderful memories of my children growing up. A Christmas tree can be beautiful all on its own but it's the family gathered around it that makes it special. 

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. ~ Ahnes M. Pharo 

Did you have a favourite tree or theme? I'd love to see it!

I hope you enjoyed seeing how my trees have evolved over the years. Thank you for your visit and God bless you!

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Special Ornament

Hello friends~ Are you excited about this new season which is on its way? After November 11, Remembrance Day, we here in Canada really start to get into the Christmas spirit. 

A week ago I received this adorable snowflake ornament in the mail from my middle son and his family. I'm glad their new puppy is in the picture too.

This picture was taken just recently and on the back is 2015.

I am looking forward to hanging it on the Christmas tree this year. My son and his family live on the west coast so we won't be spending Christmas together. But I am thankful for Skype and a lovely ornament which enables me to see their sweet faces.

Have you gotten a new ornament recently? Please share it with us.

Till next time, I'm....

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Vintage Christmas

Welcome all my Christmas loving friends to a Vintage Christmas!

Is there any other season that tugs at your heart strings more than Christmastime? Those days of yore when the family gathered around the Christmas tree all a-twinkle with coloured lights and those vintage ornaments lending their sweet old-fashioned appeal to each branch. There was just something special about those days. Bells that tinkle and horns that toot are a-plenty now but when I was a girl they weren't so plentiful. Yet my mother had them on our tree. 

My boyfriend, now Hubby, standing beside the seven foot Christmas tree at my parents' home. The walls were painted in my mother's favourite colour; aqua. I think every house we lived in had aqua walls in the living room. Sorry about the glare.

I wish I could zoom in on some of the old glass ornaments. They were in the most beautiful jewel tones; red, gold, turquoise, fuchsia, emerald green, and royal blue.

I wonder if I may transport you back to my Christmases as a girl? 

As a child, we didn't have any more than the average family. I grew up mostly in rented houses and apartments but when Christmas came around, I felt like we were as wealthy as the royals. 

The weeks leading up to Christmas were always busy with Christmas concerts and church festivities, my mother baking, and lots of secrets. My brother and I would have been mistaken for angels those few weeks leading up to the big day!

Mum and Daddy would trim the house before bringing in the fresh spruce tree. I can still remember the scent of fresh boughs hung over the doorways and windows sparkling with silver glass balls and icicles. Then there was the tree itself. Never was there a more beautiful tree! My mother had a gift for decorating and I always thought that our tree was the most beautiful in the neighbourhood.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, which Daddy built and my mother painted, took his place of honour in the front window and when he was plugged in, his nose glowed bright red and all along the base were many coloured lights. To us kids, Rudolph was quite magical!

This little china deer was a gift from my mother many years ago. He comes out every Christmas and spends time on the window sill reminding me of the Rudolph in our window so many years ago.

Christmas Eve, the stockings were hung and the next morning my brother and I would get up to find them bulging with candy canes, fudge, nuts, barley toys, and hard candy of every kind imaginable. In the toe was the biggest and juiciest orange and the shiniest Delicious apple we had ever seen.

We always had the best presents because Daddy worked as an accountant at a home and auto shop which also sold toys. 

These little tykes build a snowman every Christmas on my window sill above the kitchen sink.

One magical Christmas when I was seven years old, my brother and I found the most adorable puppy next to the Christmas tree in his brand new dog house which Daddy had built. He was a blond and white pure bread cocker spaniel and he was the sweetest thing!

This pup belonged to our good friends but he could pass for our puppy's brother. 

That was the best Christmas ever! We called the puppy Jingles.

This ceramic spaniel puppy was made by my son in High School which he gave to me. The pup reminds me of our puppy, Jingles.

After the gifts were opened we always had a big dinner. The turkey took center stage and all the fixings were spread out around the turkey on the festive tablecloth my mother would use that time of year. Of course everything was homemade in those days. The dressing, rich with onions and summer savoury, sweet and tart cranberry sauce, home made pickles and relish, and the wonderful savoury gravy. What a feast! Dessert was always mincemeat pie with whipped cream or plum pudding. My brother and I always enjoyed both!

In those days, Walt Disney had an afternoon special to watch on TV every Christmas Day. That is when my father would get down on the floor with my brother and me and watch the cartoons with us. He laughed and enjoyed them as much as we did. Lady and the Tramp, Chip and Dale, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc. Walt Disney was the icing on the cake so to speak because we knew Daddy was going to enjoy the cartoons as much as we did. If the truth was known, he was just a big kid himself at Christmastime. Such warm memories of family times!

My Daddy is gone now and my mother is in a nursing home so Christmas is bittersweet at times. But my love for Christmas burns bright because of the legacy my parents left me. 

When my children were growing up, I did my best to make Christmas magical for them. 

Christmas '82

My middle son has the same love for the Holidays as his mom and his grandfather before him and he too becomes a little kid at Christmastime. His children are enjoying the benefits of Christmas magic passed from one generation to the next.

Christmastime is so very special to all of us because of the extraordinary Gift that was given over two thousand years ago. 

So enjoy the music, the food, the decorations and the presents. Greet one another with kindness and extend good will to all men. And remember to thank Him for it all. For without Christ, there would be no Christmas!

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Thinking About the Holidays

Hello my lovely friends. I know it's been several months since I posted anything here on my Christmas Pudding blog but it is October now and well, I'm usually starting to plan for Christmas about this time. 

Autumn has a way of bringing Christmas closer to home. I mean, take a look around and there are golds and crimsons showing up everywhere.

Gold and crimson are not only autumn colours but Christmas colours, right?

Having Thanksgiving next week really helps inspire the planning too. Because we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than our American friends do, it gives us more time to get things under way.

Pumpkin pie is most definitely on the menu for Thanksgiving and I also make it at Christmastime. This is the time that I also begin stocking up on the ingredients for my fruit cakes as well as other sweet delights on my baking list. 

Oh, and let's not forget the pate or meat pies. I usually only make one pan now with a bannock crust since my boys are no longer living at home. Mmm, I can just taste the succulent chicken, beef, and pork all inside that savoury crust!

Getting some gifts bought ahead are just some of the things I do this time of year. And don't forget those beautiful Christmas cards! 

Got to get them early before the prettier ones are all picked up.

Taking a trip into Michaels helps put one in the mood. Maybe pick up a new ornie for the tree or some ribbon that's on sale. 

I really liked my tree last year and will likely decorate it much the same as I did last year. The only difference is that I plan to use all white lights this year instead of both coloured and white like I did other years. 

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me; ~ Tom T. Hall

I changed my decor up a bit the last few months so that will also reflect on how I decorate this year.

Thinking back, Hubby's and my very first Christmas tree was a little silver tinsel tree about two feet high much like the one below. It ended up in the display window of the jewelry store where I was working at the time. 

Courtesy of the Internet

We purchased a nice six foot faux pine tree for our home after that and it was the tree that our children grew up with. It could tell a lot of stories. We used that tree right up until my mother down-sized and gave me her almost new beautiful blue spruce which is about six and a half feet high. This is the tree we use now.

What do you use for a tree? Do you have a real tree or a faux tree? Do you use coloured lights or all white?

You should always be the best decoration in your own house. ~ Phoebe Howard

Whatever we use, we all decorate with a lot of love and care, for Christmastime is a special time. A time for family and friends, good food, and good will toward men. 

And until next time I'm.... 

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Little Pink Tree Decorated for Valentines Day

Hello friends. I hope you're all keeping warm this Winter season. Once February arrives, we are decorating our homes with hearts and cherubs for Valentines Day

My hubby had gifted me this pretty pink iridescent tree at Christmastime and I have kept it out to decorate for this special occasion.

It's not decorated quite the way I had planned, with snow storms and my kitchen is disarray, I couldn't get out to Michaels. So I simply used what I had, a few hearts and pink roses. This is how it turned out. 

I used it this week as a centerpiece for my Valentines Tea.

Hope you like it! To see more, please click on the link which will take you to my Valentines Tea Party.  

Happy Valentines Day!

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Look What Just Flew In ~ Christmas Birdies

Hello again Christmas loving friends~

I didn't think I would be sharing something so soon but I received a late Christmas present and I just had to share it with you.

My son who knows my love for birdies, especially goldfinches and cardinals, sent me these beautiful ornaments. They are made of blown glass with glitter on them.

I have never seen a cardinal here on the Island but I think they are beautiful with their red plumage.

I had taken the tree down earlier and then these arrived. 

My plan was to keep the mantel decorated with the evergreen and candles until the end of January so my little birds are perched in the garland and I can enjoy them at least for a little while. I just love them!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my little feathered friends. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi