Sunday, December 22, 2019

Mosaic Monday #59: Christmas Contentment

Greeting cards have all been sent
The Christmas rush is through
But I still have one wish to make
A special one to you
"Merry Christmas Darling", written by Frank Pooler/Richard Carpenter

Are you still in the grip of the "Christmas rush"?  Leading up to December 13, I was feeling that crush.  #1 Son was due to arrive that evening, and I had a long list of to-dos: housecleaning, finishing the tree skirt, completing hand-made gifts, tying up loose ends on my various volunteer projects, decorating the house.  Unexpectedly, I was called upon for an evening shift at the Sparrow's Nest; it became a win-win in that I was able to work on one of my hand-made gifts at the same time.
This runner was an early Christmas gift from my mother-in-law
Preparing to cut the tree
But since then, my days have brought delightful relaxation.

First up?  Cutting and decorating our tree.  As I reported in last year's post, we are blessed to have a wide variety of trees on our property.  Spousal Unit and I had pre-selected two candidates, and #1 Son had the privilege to make the final choice.  Isn't this spruce a beauty?
Heave-ho, boys!
Tree nears the house
Drip dry in the entry
Tree in the stand, warming by the fire
We bust a gut when Spousal Unit went to install the angel on top of the tree.   (I will admit that she climbed into the place of honor a little bit out of order.  Traditionally, she is the last decoration on the tree, but logistics with a 15-foot tree dictate a different approach.  We employ a 10-foot step ladder to populate the upper half of the tree, and if you place ornaments on the lower branches while moving that ladder in and out and around the spruce, you are bound to break some delicate decorations!!!)

Anyway … imagine if you will, Spousal Unit near the top step of said ladder, armed with a marshmallow skewer.

"Glad Mom is capturing me as I fall to my death," he says.  (Note: capturing, as in photography, not catching, as in falling.)

He stretches forward carefully and maneuvers the angel onto a branch that is pointing straight up to the ceiling.

"Glad you have life insurance," #1 Son says.

But is the angel straight?  No, she leans, somewhat to the side and somewhat forward, as if preparing to fall to earth.

"That may be as good as it gets," #1 Son offers helpfully.

Spousal Unit withdraws the skewer and pokes with futility at the cotton.

"Yep, you might want to cut your losses," #1 Son says from the safety of the floor.

And so she remains, a bit tilted.  But isn't that a suitable metaphor for the human condition?  None of us are perfect.  And what better time than Advent and Christmas to strive for improvement?  "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Make straight the way of the Lord'" (John 1:23)

A couple of weeks ago, we were surprised and delighted to receive a medley of tree ornaments from a good friend.  Catering to our whims, he sent fishing-oriented decorations for Spousal Unit and moose-adorned baubles for me.

We have been debating about the size of the tree - taller than last year?  I dug through my archives, and hereby present a side-by-side comparison for you.  What do you think?
Left - 2018 tree                                                                 Right - 2019 tree
Did you notice the new tree skirt on the 2019 tree?!?  SO EXCITED to finally see it in place.  November 17 was the last post that showed progress on the skirt; at that time, it had three rows of burlap pleats.  The final skirt has 10 rows; I had planned to add three more, but at the time we were ready to put it under the tree, I realized it would be necessary to cut some slits in the remaining felt in order for the skirt to lie flat around the wooden structure that holds the spruce upright.  Boy, am I glad I didn't burn the midnight oil to attach those remaining rows!

Holidays are joyful
There's always something new
But ev'ryday's a holiday
When I'm near to you

Once the tree was complete, we turned our attention to other family traditions, such as board games, movie nights and baking cookies, often accompanied by Christmas music playing on our 52-year-old Magnavox stereo.  
I won Trivial Pursuit - 1980's version (but I am REALLY bad at trivia)
"Do we have any paperwork on the stereo?" queried Spousal Unit earlier this week.  For some time, he has been thinking we should replace the needle on this vintage Magnavox Astro-Sonic Radio Phonograph.  "If we have it, it would be in with the records on the storage side of the stereo," I responded.  And voila!  Look what we found!

It may not have helped with locating a new needle, but the paperwork was fascinating in its own right.  Mainly because there are not one but TWO receipts from Rike's Department store, dated four days apart.  I asked my Mom if she remembered a story about two stereos, but she said Dad handled all the purchasing at that time.  The receipts show two different model numbers, and the one with the later date was slightly more expensive - $414.44. To put that in perspective, the median household income in 1967 as $7,143 and an average house would set you back $24,600! Stated another way, $414 in 1967 money would be worth $3,000 today.  Wow!  Here is Marshmallow World by Johnny Mathis, a vintage song spun on that very stereo.

My friend wrote the following: This card reminded me of your
beautiful new Christmas tree skirt.  Awww!
As December 25 draws near, each day brings new Christmas cards, and an occasional holiday surprise such as a neighbor dropping off a plate of home-made cookies.  Yum!

The lights on my tree
I wish you could see
I wish it ev'ry day
Logs on the fire
Fill me with desire
To see you and to say

I am content.  The cat is on my lap, and a Frasier Fir candle is casting its pine scent into the air.  I sip a holiday highball, and my thoughts turn to our daughter, who will arrive Monday morning.  Our family foursome will be complete.  What could be more fulfilling than that?

I wish you Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, too

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
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  1. WOW, everything at your place is so beautiful and festive, but that doesn't surprise me, y'all always do it up just right!

  2. ...I thank my lucky stars that I don't have to decorate a tree that tall!!! Merry Christmas to you Angie.

  3. Wonderful decoration, dear Angie... most I live to hear tue Carpenters. Happy MosaicMonday and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Heidrun xxx

  4. Your tree looks truly wonderful, and to be able to cut it from your own property, doubly wonderful. I heard recently that in the Netherlands, they burn their Christmas tree on New Years Eve. Do you think it is time for your son to climb the ladder to install the angel? I made gingerbread with my grandson the other day. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and thank you so much for Mosaic Monday this last year.

  5. We Wish You a Merry♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Christmas♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
    We Wish You a Merry ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Christmas ♥ ♥ ♥
    We Wish You A Merry ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Christmas ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸
    ♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ And a Happy New Year!!!

  6. What a wonderful Christmas adventure you took us on.
    "Greeting cards have all been sent
    The Christmas rush is through"

    I think you did an excellent job on the tree skirt.
    Merry Christmas and a jolliest of New Years

  7. Oh my goodness, how on earth do you clamber to the top of that tree......with the help of a crane?? =) It is beautiful though and the fragrance must be divine! Love the red table runner with the sweet deer and the deer baubles are so pretty. Aah...there is nothing quite like a game of trivial pursuit. I have many fun memories involved around that game. As always a fun and fabulous post, Angie. How perfect that your family will all be together for Christmas. May your Christmas be a blessed one.

  8. Merry Christmas, Angie! Enjoy the very best of the season with your loved ones nearby!
    That is a magnificent tree, wonderfully decorated!

  9. Your tree is beautiful and perfect for your home. How nice to have the new skirt and new ornaments too! Merry Christmas my friend! Have lots of holiday fun!

  10. It's such a beautiful tree in a lovely window. A gorgeous home.
    We haven't a tree. Maybe next year... maybe not. Cinnamon cat isn't settling down much!
    Merry Christmas!

  11. you live in a magic world. Hallmark could do a movie at your house.

  12. What a beautiful tree, and warm, comfy photos. You've inspired me to do a post on decorations. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  13. By now your dear daughter has arrived and you are ready to move forward with jolly and bright festivities. Love your massive tree and was cracking up at the dialogue of getting that angel just right or just tilted. Glad no one was injured in the effort. Don't tell anyone but I haven't done any Christmas baking. Oye! Have a very Merry Christmas with your family under your roof!

  14. Oh my gosh! The console sounds exactly how I remember it. The Husband said just now, "That's martini music. High-fi!" Now I want a martini.
    This year's tree looks a tad bit taller. Maybe the tilted angel hsd something to do with it. lol. Remember the wise old saying There's perfection in imperfection. Something like that. Merry Cheers, Angie, to you and your beautiful family!

  15. Merry Christmas to all Angie! It is so cool that your son got to help choose the tree ..and I love the slightly tipsy angel. I think she *is* perfect that way. A beautiful Christmas time for your whole family in your beautiful location. Love it all.

  16. How lovely! I stopped putting breakable ornaments on the bottom half of the tree many years ago. Glass ornaments go on the branches that children and pets cannot reach.

    Merry Christmas!

  17. Hi! Merry Christmas The angel of the top of tree is very cool. The tree's skirt is awesome. I knew you made it taking for a long time. I want to say congraturations for you. Your posts have good sense of humor. I hope you will have a Happy New Year.

  18. Your tree looks beautiful.
    Merry Christmas wishes to you and yours.

    All the best Jan

  19. perfect decorations and views...

    Merry Christmas

  20. Your tree is wonderful Angie. And virtually the same size as last year. It must be very satisfying to grow your own Christmas trees and to then be able to choose the special one for pride of place.

    Have a lovely day Angie. It's pretty much over here now. Back from the family and settling down for a drink and an hour or two together.

  21. Merry Christmas my friend! Everything looks wonderful. I love your tree. And your husband was a brave soul with that angel. 😊 I am sure you had a lovely time with your family. We have all 4 of us together and that's all I need. 💕 Kit

  22. Looks so very pretty and festive!

  23. i just about wet my pants as i read the tree story. our big trees always fell, but not before they were fully decorated. after 2 years of falling on their side, we started tying the tree to the handle on the sliding glass door. a good tip if you ever need it!! this years tree is beautiful, it almost looks the same as last years!!! i really like your pretty new skirt!!!

    i was not on my computer at all yesterday, merry christmas, i hope it was wonderful!!!

  24. magical christmas post ~ love that Xmas tree and the tree skirt is divine ^_^

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  25. Hope you had a wonderful White Christmas with your loved ones.

  26. You are celebrating right, do things that you get satisfaction out of and contentment.

    I love the story of your tree. That is a huge one.

    Growing up, my dad was a forest ranger and he would sell himself two Christmas tree permits. He would pick the best tree and then clip branches off the second tree to fill in gaps on the first tree. He would drill holes in the tree and just stick the branches in really tight. And then the rest of the second tree would be used for greenery.

  27. Thanks for this ....and happy holidays to you !!
    And i am too much intrested learing from you

  28. I heard from LeeAnna that you like moose. I have a marionette that is almost an antique - from my daughter's childhood. It has wooden feet and body and rope legs. Suitable for hanging but not really a child's toy. I would send it to you if you're interested. PM your address. I could send a photo first.

    Totally understand if you decline - I collect frogs and am running out of space for all the gifts and wonderful finds.

  29. Hello, what a great tree, I love the ornaments. Especially the moose. We had our first Christmas vacation, a road trip to NC and Florida. I hope you had a lovely and Happy Christmas with your family. I would be nervous putting the angel on top of a tall tree. Thanks for hosting MM and for all your comments on my blog. Enjoy your weekend! In case I miss you, Happy New Year!

  30. What a beautiful tree! Down here, the only evergreen growing would be a juniper and those are a little too shaggy for Christmas trees.

    btw, In 1967, I had a Johnny Mathis album I played every night to put me to sleep. His voice was so silky.

  31. What beautiful trees, you have the perfect place to show them off there! The decorations you were given are beautiful. Good to hear you had a relaxed approach to Christmas.


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