It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Right now. Andy Williams belts out ‘O Holy Night’, its clear notes echoing through our house. I hear coughing, deep-throated and strident coming from the living room couch. Joel’s asthma is acting up again. Connor and Nora are just beginning their school day. Paul’s working away, hours into his day. It’s cold outside. Really cold. Little snowflakes are lazily falling down at random, not doing anything but floating here and there in the air. It’s warm inside, according to our thermometer. I feel little drafts coming into our 1940′s Cape. My feet feel like ice, and my hands type a little slower due to their inefficient heat patterns. And right now? I am happy. Pensive. Realizing how blessed we are to have the life we do. Healthy children. Great memories. Everyday moments that accrue to be the unimaginably happy, big moments. And I think of others who have received news of unhealthy children; whose lives are changing even as I sit here at my computer. There are others who at this time of year, with a greater intensity, are remembering those who are deeply missed. Still others who struggle and work and feel their efforts are fruitless. And I hear the strains of that Christmas carol and remember this past year. I am thankful for so much- realizing that we have been so fortunate. Thankful for the lessons learned, the struggles faced, even the hard and disappointing parts. It has been a pivotal year. A good year. And right now. I am happy.

I finally got to Christmas decorating- and have yet to finish, but here’s where we are thus far.

Before I start with my next sentence, I’m going to admit it right off:  I’ll be sounding like my Mom for awhile here.

My sisters and cousins and I used to tease my Mom and Aunt Lou for their discussions of the bargains they had found. We gave them such a hard time, loving every minute. And now, we’re just as bad. (Maybe worse?) See that wreath on our mirror? I like it. I was at Michael’s last week, debating whether I felt like spending money on a wreath- and then I found this one, which was less expensive than the ones I really wanted. I still liked it, and it was the last of its kind, so I brought it to the register with the rest of my purchases, figuring $19.99 wasn’t too horrendous. The lady rang it up and I smiled from ear to ear. It was a penny. One cent. As in point-zero-one. It was a ‘fall wreath’ on serious clearance. And I laughed inside, because I knew what my Mom and Aunt Lou were talking about. And now I’ll really sound like them:  As I was standing in line, I heard someone say, “Hi, Betsy!” – and a friend was next to me at another register. She checked out, and then asked if I’d like to use her leftover 40% off coupon on one of my other items. Um, yes? Funny, I like my wreath even more now. So my house got decorated at a price my Mom and aunt would be proud of… (Thanks, Dawn!)

Wreath from Michael’s. Clock from Pottery Barn. (A long time ago…)

Christmas pinwheels from my Etsy shop. Below timepiece handkerchief on sale from Anthropologie.

I know that I missed this past Friday’s Favorite, so I will make up for it now by sharing a really good link– (‘Miscellaneous Monday’?) I have yet to begin my Christmas baking, since I won’t be having my annual Christmas Cookie Exchange this year. But I intend to start baking soon. Here’s where I introduce one of my favorite baking blogs: ‘Annie’s Eats’. This woman is seriously talented and has a beautiful website. That in itself is something of an accomplishment, as she is mother to a young son. But she’s also a resident physician. As in working hours upon hours training at a hospital. You know, a doctor. And a really good cook. An example of what I’m eyeing for Christmas treats, taken from her blog:

Speaking of Christmas treats, how’s this for a sweet sample? More soon, but I couldn’t wait to put this one up of my squishy nephew in a hat that reminds me of his great grandpa.

Doesn’t Ryker look delicious?

He is.

Okay, one last thing:  Cans for Comments. Could you go one last time for me and comment again on Erica May’s blog? Today’s the last day, and I know a bunch of people in Kansas City will be happier and have more to eat, because you took a couple moments to drop by her blog and say hello.

Thank you.

Happy Monday.

December 6, 2010 - 11:55 am

Ellen - you know, I think you were just what I needed to push me into the Christmas mood. :) I finally feel like decorating, after seeing all your gorgeous pictures.

December 6, 2010 - 12:13 pm

Betsy - Thanks, Ellen! Always good to hear from you.

December 6, 2010 - 12:28 pm

Dee - ‘Love the wreath story!!! Isn’t it so much fun to decorate for Christmas?

December 6, 2010 - 5:17 pm

Karen - Had it been one of our Moms buying the wreath, I’m sure it would have been buy one,
get two free!!

December 6, 2010 - 6:03 pm

Betsy - Karen, you made my day with your comment! So true, so true…

December 6, 2010 - 6:07 pm

Cheryl - Hey Karen,
I resemble that remark!!

December 7, 2010 - 10:05 am

Jennifer - Betsy,
I love this, so cheery and inspiring!
Where can I find those cute little snowmen, I was hoping in your Etsy shop?!

December 7, 2010 - 12:02 pm

Minna - Betsy and Karen there have been MANY times lately I have felt like our Mom’s going right to the sale racks and have mentioned it a couple of times also :) LIVE and LEARN They weren’t as “crazy” as we thought they were.

December 7, 2010 - 3:34 pm

Betsy - @ Jennifer: Thanks! Those snowmen aren’t in my Etsy shop, despite good intentions. Maybe next year? :) Shoot me an email if you’d like to make them; happy to share the instructions. They’re really easy.

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