Category Archives: Christmas decor

Christmas time

It was a White Christmas

Right on time the snow began to fall on Christmas Day making it one of the more picturesque ones we’ve had in a few years. It put a damper on travel plans for some people, but for those who didn’t need to go anywhere, it was a wonderful day to curl up at home, relax, perhaps read a book or watch a movie, and enjoy the company family and friends. Even though there were only three for our celebration (myself, hubby and pooch) it was a nice, quiet day. There was time for conversation, relaxation and appreciation for the things we have. Since this year Joel didn’t have to battle his way through the snow to work, we could sit back and enjoy the day.

I made a centrepiece with the flowers that the Smyth family gave me and it brightened our table for yesterday’s dinner and today’s breakfast.

The Holiday Bird

Since there were only two of us for dinner, we decided to forego the traditional turkey in favour of a more manageable roast chicken. It turned out well. There are enough leftovers for today’s dinner, but not so many that we’ll be sick of it in a few days.

Since our day was filled with joy, peace and happy thoughts, we wish the same for our friends and family as we start to wrap up the Christmas celebrations and prepare for the start of a new year.

We wish the best for you in 2018 – health and happiness throughout the year.

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas, New Brunswick, seasons, winter Tagged , , |

Winter Solstice

It has happened. Twenty minutes ago was the official “Winter Solstice”, indicative of seasonal change. Today, depending on your point of view, is either the shortest day or longest night of the year.

For the optimists among us, it means the end of declining daylight and the beginning of lengthening days as a prelude to the warmth of spring and summer. It also means it’s only a few very short days until that most emotional of all “Christian” holidays – Christmas.

Advertising agencies, toy companies, merchandisers and retailers are bombarding us with advertisement after advertisement lauding the perfect family Christmas. Even charities are getting in on that act. We are told that, in order to truly celebrate the season properly, we must gather around the dining room table, laden with a feast fit for royalty, and be surrounded by our nearest and dearest.

For many the reality is quite different. How many children will go to bed hungry Christmas Eve and wake up on what should be the most joyous day of the year to find nothing under their Christmas tree, if indeed they even have one at all? How many lonely elderly folks will sit and stare at the phone or the front door hoping for a call or a visit from someone they care about? Many families are separated, of necessity, due to work or other commitments. Sisters and brothers, parents, children and grandchildren scattered across this vast country or even around the world. And what about the homeless, ill or otherwise tortured souls that we try to ignore at the best of times, and especially when they intrude on our own happiness? What kind of celebration will they have?

There are so many TV shows that celebrate conspicuous consumption. Armloads of merchandise, worth a small fortune, are given away to screaming, grasping hoards of people in the audiences who, in all likelihood, already have all of the appliances and goodies that they need – and more.

Regardless of your religious beliefs (or none), perhaps we should think more of others at this time of year, in fact, all year long. A new season has begun and it’s a wonderful time to look around, offer a helping hand up to those who need it, and to celebrate with heartfelt gratitude if we are among the fortunate ones.

To all of my friends, family, customers and acquaintances, I wish you joy this season. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope it brings you and those you care about great happiness and that the coming New Year will lift hearts and spirits. And please, take a moment to think about others. Be kind and generous most especially with your time, your attention to those who need it.

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays – Happy Hanukkah – Happy Everything!

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas, photography, seasons, winter Tagged , , |

Choices, it’s all about choices

Sometimes I like to play with my photography but that usually ends with me having to make choices. It’s hard to decide which few photos (of many shot) to spend time editing.

Then a choice has to be made about how to use the final photo. Will one become a print? On regular paper? On canvas? Metal? Wood? Some other medium or a product like a mug or coaster or something? And if so, what? Or will it or another version be used for social media banners or a blog post highlight?

I went to the local Dollar Store today and bought a single, large Christmas ornament to play with. I roamed around the yard hanging the ornament from the branches of a blue spruce, a regular spruce, a lilac tree devoid of leaves, set among the branches of a burning bush – you get the idea. I put it anywhere I thought I could make it look interesting.

I narrowed my selection down to a few of the forty images that I shot and played with them. Now it’s down to the final ones and I need help. Have a look at the images below and let me know which one you like the best. It would really help if you could tell me WHY you made the choice you did; but if not, that’s ok. Also, any suggestions you might have about an end-use for your chosen image would be helpful too. Just leave a comment for this post with your photo selection and anything else you’d care to say!

To encourage participation, I’m offering a random surprise prize to be drawn on Friday evening from among the respondents to my ‘quiz’ – so get your answers in to have a chance to win something!

And, here are the contestants in the Choices line-up!

#1 Red and White Christmas ball


#2 Red and White Christmas ball


#3 Red and White Christmas ball


#4 Red and White Christmas ball


#5 Red and White Christmas ball

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas, photography, Photography techniques, seasons Tagged , |

’tis the season

By the glow of the Christmas tree...

By the glow of the Christmas tree…

Advertising moguls, Coca Cola, and Currier and Ives have done their level best to portray idyllic Christmas scenes with images of families and friends, gathered around a feast or a tree laden with gifts, laughing and smiling with seasonal joy. For those who have that experience, congratulations. Enjoy that feeling of satisfaction and abundance.

But for those whose experience fails to measure up to those ideals – perhaps due to the loss of a loved one, or family members who are too far away to share in the celebrations, family members working through the holidays, or even relationships gone bad – may you find pleasure in the memories of good times spent together in the past. May you find peace in your solitude and from the beauty of the little things like Christmas lights twinkling on a tree or the sound of a favourite song.

Although wherever you turn you will be bombarded with symbols of unadulterated happiness, remember that those are often created in response to a perception of what the public wants to see and frequently merely to sell products. Remember to celebrate your own reason for the season – be it religious, a general caring for your fellow (wo)man, or a simple celebration of the changing of the season and the beginning of a new year. You are entitled to celebrate as much, or as little, as you feel like.

So, whatever it may mean to you, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Feliz Natal e um Feliz Ano Novo e Propserous!

Also posted in BLOG, caring, Christmas

One more sleep

Ball ornament square_web


On this day before the most magical evening of the year, when children of all ages hope and dream for a beautiful future, we have a chance to pause and reflect on what has happened in our lives in the past year. This is different from the New Year’s Eve reflections and promises to do better in the future. No, this day is the one to focus on appreciating the good things that have happened – to us and that we have done for others.

The Christmas season is indeed magical. Even for the grinches among us who find things to complain about there comes a moment when a small sigh escapes the lips to be followed by a wee smile. Even for those who have lost loved ones and are facing Christmas without them, perhaps for the first time or even for the gzillionth time, there is still magic in the memories of Christmases shared. Even for those for whom this might be their last Christmas, there is magic in sharing peace and love with those who care and creating one more set of memories for those who will be left behind to keep them alive in their hearts.

So – on this day before the most magical evening of the year, I wish you happiness, peace and good will toward all.

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas

Small towns are pretty

I live in a small town. There’s something nice about being able to walk around downtown taking photos of the Christmas lights and having total strangers wander by and wish me a Merry Christmas and good luck with my photos. That alone makes it a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all!

Also posted in BLOG, buying local, Christmas, community, GALLERY, happiness Tagged , , |

Silent Night

Rocking horse chimes_web


Yesterday afternoon the power lines, somewhere, succumbed to the weight of the heavy, wet snow that had fallen for hours – and the power went out. Never fear – we were prepared, and I lit the propane fireplace/stove and heated soup for our supper while warming the room. What is truly amazing is how noisy our lives are – and how silent the world when the power goes out.

No fans were blowing; no fridge kicking on and off; no TV, no hum and no glow from computers, and in our case, compliments of wireless phones, no phone.

With no electronic amusements, we actually spent a peaceful couple of hours playing cards, talking, sharing a snack and sharing life. Even Hoover and Halo were content to observe our truly silent night.

Around 3:a.m. the power came back on after 12+ hours of blissful, if chilly, silence. Luckily it wasn’t a very cold night and the propane fireplace kept our home cozy. But, when the power came back on, a few lights that had been left on when it stopped resumed their glow. The fridge began to hum. The heat pump began to blow. The fan on the stove came on – and we woke suddenly to a no longer silent night.

Sometimes a reminder of a more primitive time with fewer distractions can be a very good thing!

Winter twig_web

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas, family Tagged , , , |

‘Tis the season – for remembering

I lost a good friend and talented craftsperson earlier this year. There wasn’t a lot that Fran (Simmonds) turned her hand to that she couldn’t do. Among her many artistic endeavours she turned eggshells into works of art. This egg, with its wee horse with saddle and bridle on it, hangs on my Christmas tree each year – a gentle reminder of someone who touched my life in so many ways.

Some people’s trees are beautifully decorated with carefully chosen matching ornaments and accessories. In their own way, they are works of art too. But my tree is an eclectic collection of assorted, and definitely NOT coordinated, ornaments and trinkets, each one bringing its own story to my Christmases each year – reminders of people, places and events in my life that have shaped, prodded and pushed my choices toward the person I am still becoming.

What kind of memory tree do you have? Let me know. And have a Merry Christmas this and every year!

Also posted in appreciation, BLOG, caring, Christmas, friend, Friends and Family Tagged , , , , |

Another frosty morning – but no snowman of the same name

It IS that time of year, of course. We should expect steps to be slippery, coated in frost, and noses, fingers and toes to feel the nip in the air. But surprisingly it is staying relatively warm for the near-end of November.

I have friends whose homes already sport signs of the season to come: Christmas lights adorn their roofs (even if not turned on just yet) and ribbons, wreaths and decorations have already been strategically placed over doors, on mantles and throughout the house.

Me? Not so much. One pitiful string of lights is draped over the railing by the front door – more to illuminate those slippery steps than to herald the arrival of “the season”. Most of my thoughts have failed to turn to frantic shopping for gifts or even writing out this year’s cards. How awful is that?

Instead, I watch sunrises with my dog, Hoover, and continue to enjoy the vestiges of autumn while they last.

How about you? Has the Christmas spirit struck yet?

Also posted in Autumn, BLOG, Christmas Tagged , , |

Let the magic begin


The Christmas season is upon us and, for those who enjoy the annual festivities, decorations and lights, here in Sussex the kickoff is Goold’s Flowers annual decorating event. Floral designer (and someday stand-up comedian) Pam Goold dazzles the packed house with her gorgeous creations – while inspiring even the least ‘crafty’ of us to give it a try. Telling us “it’s easy”, and offering advice about where to buy the supplies (not just at their shop), as well as which projects may be kid-friendly, Pam exhorts us all to grab a glue gun and go for it. Here are a few of her 2012 creations. Enjoy!

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