Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On the Day Before December

Just in time for December, the Advent calendar is ready for the countdown to Christmas. 
This calendar is a beloved tradition in our family.  My mother made it from felt, decorating the tree and holly with miniature red glass ornaments at least 30 years ago.  Here's an old photo I found of our daughter with it on Christmas Eve in 1982.

Each pocket holds candy -- traditionally miniature candy canes or Reese's cups. Our daughter, and later our son, were delighted to learn that they were allowed to remove candy each morning and eat it, even before breakfast! The year my son was almost three, I remember explaining how the tradition worked, concluding, "And when all the candy is gone, Christmas will be here!"  He looked at me excitedly and said, "Let's eat it all NOW!"  Another year, we left the children with a babysitter one evening, and when we returned, I noticed that a few extra candies were missing.  When questioned the next morning, our son replied sheepishly, "Well, in the night...I got hungry."

Here's a closer look.
I continued the tradition by making an Advent calendar exactly like this one for our grandchildren.  I wonder if theirs is ready to go for tomorrow?

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Gentle Beginning to the Holidays

Now that the holidays are upon us, I hope to blog a bit more frequently. This fall semester has just been a whirlwind of travel, campus activity, and family. Our Thanksgiving, though, was lovely and relaxed. Our daughter and her family drove up from Houston, and my husband's father joined us for Thanksgiving dinner and another meal.  We were blessed to have four generations around the table, and using my grandmother's wedding china represented a fifth generation.  Her pattern is Heinrich H&C Admiral. It includes a lot of colors, making it versatile for various seasons, but for Thanksgiving, I highlighted the gold with a gold tablecloth and napkins. Here's an overview of the table, set for seven.

For the centerpiece, I used a tureen that was a gift from one of my sisters years ago, brass candlesticks from my in-laws' collection, and two small arrangements of mums, berries, and greenery from the yard.

Here are my grandmother's dishes, which I inherited, including 24 plates, cups, and saucers, and many, many serving pieces, including two gravy boats!  Our first course was a wonderful cream of broccoli soup my husband made, served in the teacups.

Here's another view of the placesetting, which includes my sterling, Lunt Belvedere, silverplate soup spoons from my in-laws, and some plain water glasses.
Here's a closer look at the pattern, and you can also see the mums and rosemary in the napkin rings, which were a gift from my daughter last Christmas.
We have a wonderful collection of brass candlesticks from my in-laws.  Three pairs of them worked wonderfully with this warm color scheme.

I love the colors of the mums -- two types of bronze and one of burgundy, along with hypericum berries and clippings from a bush in the backyard. 

We enjoyed having our grandchildren -- ages eight and five.  The weather was glorious -- sunny and cool -- so they spent a lot of time outside in our yard and at a nearby park.  We will see them again Christmas Day.

I hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings, filled with family, friends, and good food!