Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Perfect Christmas


We had a roof leak over the weekend. The water was all over John's bookcase upstairs. His precious books—oh dear. I have been drying them for three days and running the fan constantly. A few of them are not going to make it. Since it's all in the way of hauling out Christmas, I must wait a little longer before all of Christmas can be reached. This year is another when I won't be reaching for all of it.

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Below is my idea of how a perfect Christmas should look. There must be snow. There must be New England and farmhouses and sleds and churches in hollows.  Aren't you glad, especially if you don't live in New England, that my idea of a perfect Christmas is just that and nothing more? I spent two Christmases in an  Arizona desert where I was not a happy camper. So much for being content in any situation. I was too young to have learned that. 

~perfect Christmas~

Other than all those things that make for "my perfect Christmas" and every room in that farmhouse lit, there's nothing to suggest Christmas — not a wreath, not a tree in the front window, not a Nativity scene outside the church. I don't want my Christmas to look like "something" and be as hollow as those chocolate Santas.

*** 


Have I told you how highly suggestible I am? Yes! Many times. If I see something on Pinterest that inspires me and I can do it because I have the materials or the ingredients...well, I have seldom been disappointed by trying a new idea. Have you seen those Christmas trees in a trunk, a crate or a toolbox?

 
I had the trunk.


I think it'll work out okay. John says that he is going to tattle on me and tell Sam and Jake that we have a tiny little tree this year. LOL! 


Oh sure, it needs more tweaking. When I've done all that I can do, I'll share a picture.

***

Say, what does your perfect Christmas look like?

*** 

A blessed Tuesday to you...


post signature

61 comments:

  1. Oh no ! I hope you can salvage the books glad more didn't get damaged ! I do love these types of Christmas cards always a favorite of mine ! The trunk with the teddy and toys is wonderful there by the tree ! Thanks for sharing , lovely photos, have a good day and hope all works out well !

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  2. The perfect Christmas tree is the one I have every year ... no matter how different it is from the year before, that first time that the lights are turned on in the dark of the morning while my coffee perks, I sink down on the couch and whisper to myself, "It's just so perfect!"

    I'm so sorry about your roof leak, Vee! And on the books! Oh dear! Best of luck drying things out and getting things sealed up up there on the roof! Tell Santa to tread lightly and don't make another split in the shingles !!!

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  3. I just hate that you had to deal with a leak and ruined books. I treasure mine and am certain you do as well. I so agree with you that the idea of Christmas is a snowy evening in New England. Peace on earth. It is a shared wish I think. Love this post Miss Vee!

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  4. Love your header (thank you also Susan Branch!) It seems you have your humor back and are in "good spirits". Of course it is a big sadness about the books.

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  5. I am so, so sorry about the water damaged books!!! Your tree in a truck is just what I need to do. It looks great and I too have all the ingredients. Thanks for the idea! My perfect Christmas would simply mean that all the family would be here, go to church together on Christmas Eve, eat clam chowder and popovers, read the account of Jesus' birth from the Bible, and play board games beside the fire. Not necessarily in that order.

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  6. Good morning! Sorry to hear about your leak and those books....hopefully you will get that all patched up soon, and the overall damage won't be too bad. Yes, your scene does look like the "perfect" Christmas and I LOVE LOVE the tree in the trunk. For this California gal Christmas looks quite different, but it's pretty much all I have ever known, so it's OK. lol. Christmas to me is LOTS of lights, crowded houses, fantastic smells, and warm feelings of love from family and friends. Enjoy your day Vee!

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  7. Is that your tree in the trunk, or your inspiration photo? It's awesome either way. My perfect Christmas has snow gently falling in large flakes, (and preferably melting permanently into Spring on January 1). White lights, and the scent of fresh baked cookies. Hot cocoa and my girls home...that is the part that won't be perfect this year. Both married and the first time in 26 years I will wake up Christmas morning with no kids in the house. It will take time to adjust my vision of the perfect Christmas, but I am working on it. Some day maybe my perfect Christmas will include the wonder in the eyes of some grandchildren, that will be an easier adjustment to make:>)

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  8. Oh dear! A leaky roof and ruined books!! Ack!! Poor John. :(
    A "perfect Christmas" would definitely involve having everyone healthy. When one (or more) of our loved ones has to miss the festivities because of illness, there is a hole. Other than that...candle light, times for quiet, beautiful carols, the smell of pine, and a sense of awe that God would come into this dark world as a man to redeem us. I suppose if I can keep that sense of awe, then everything else is way down on the list...

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    1. Oh, and I love your tree in the trunk! Fabulous idea!

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  9. My perfect Christmas is close to yours, but it is on a lake in Michigan and there are ice skates at the door waiting to be put on to go skating on the lake. I grew up on a lake in Michigan, we always had snow and the lake was usually frozen by Christmas.

    I LOVE YOUR TREE IN A TRUNK!

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  10. Oh my, too, too, bad about John's dear books, Vee. However, your tree in the trunk looks especially delightful!!
    I'm not sure what a perfect Christmas is for I'll always have a part of my heart missing. Being with family is what keeps me going, and knowing Jesus is the reason for the Season. Hugs and blessings, Vee.

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  11. Ah...a woman after my own heart...that picture of your perfect Christmas is what I envision as well and I have always loved those beautiful cards and calendar artwork that portray those kinds of scenes. I even go as far as fantasizing that I can actually walk into the scene and become a part of it! I have done that all of my life and that's the first thing that came to me when I saw this post. I also think back to the days of my childhood when my siblings and I walked the neighborhood, singing carols, (my brothers instruments in tow) and some of the folks inviting us in for hot cocoa and cookies...OK...I'm getting all nastalgic here and I'm gonna make myself cry if I don't stop! Your tree in the trunk is just PRECIOUS and you have done a wonderful job pulling it all together...your grandboys will love it :) I am sorry to hear about the misfortune of your roof leak and the damage to John's books...hopefully you will able to salvage most of them. Have a good Tuesday, Vee :)

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  12. For all of us who love our books, finding them saturated with water would be an awful discovery. I hope that even the ones you think might not make it, have another life left in them. ~ The "perfect Christmas" picture might just be Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas. It is the perfect winter scene. And what a wonderful idea and beautiful re-creation you've made of the tree in the trunk. I like your's better than the picture you found on Pinterest. By the way, it's wonderful to log on and find you here more often. Missed you when you weren't here, but your time away was used in a great way. What a treasure you uncovered!

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  13. My perfect Christmas would still have my daughter with us, but since that's not possible, I could wish for peace and tolerance throughout the world, XOXO

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  14. That is an adorable tree and I love the idea of the trunk....now you have me looking all around to see where I am going to put my tree...and what I can use to sit it on. I always put it in a bright red produce basket and put it all on my mama's little gate leg table....A perfect Christmas will always be when I am blessed to have my family around.....snow or not. :)

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  15. I love, love, love that tree in a trunk! How cool is that? The picture of your perfect Christmas is pretty, but I wouldn't want to be there. I hate snow. Hate the shoveling (with my bad back and not so good heart) and the cold (that hurts my arthritis and starts my asthma). My perfect Christmas is spent with my family, laughing, enjoying our afternoon of brie and crackers (a family tradition), and just enjoying being with them. Each year it seems the family gets smaller. But as long as my hubby, sister and I are together, it's perfect.

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  16. Oh how gorgeous! I would have never thought of this. It is perfect! The perfect Christmas in my head is also one with some snow. But that so rarely happens where I live..I just wish for it now.

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  17. The Perfect Christmas! Great minds, running in the same tracks, or whatever that saying is! Your post here... And Dear Dweena just posted her idea of a Perfect Christmas.

    Which got me to thinking, of how "The Illusion Of A Perfect Christmas" is foisted on us, year after year after year.

    And I feel, it _is_ foisted on us. And I am thus inspired, to do my own post on this. :-)

    Thank you, to both you ladies...

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  18. I love your tree in the trunk. Too cute. Sorry about the roof leak and the damaged books -- no fun. My idea of the Perfect Christmas is the same as you. I've never had one of those, but I love the twinkling lights and sometimes the temperature even gets below 50! I lived in New Mexico for 23 years and loved Christmas there. Cutting your own tree and having a Solstice tree trimming party. Things move slower now. I usually put up 3 trees (oh, my), but this year I'm putting up my little tree and that's it. Going through old boxes of ornaments and decorations and having fun! I may even have a blog post soon! Shock!

    Merry Merry and a Ho Ho HO!

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  19. Oh my, a leak in the roof and wet books. So sorry. But your tree in a trunk--wow you really pulled that off beautifully. How fun!

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  20. I love it Vee! We had a small real tree one year that I put in a crock and it was my favorite! I have an old trunk so thanks for the idea!

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  21. My dear Vee, I, too, picture Christmas just the way you shared, but have learned that a perfect Christmas is when precious family is present.

    Your Christmas tree is beautiful and I just love it in the trunk. Hugs to you!

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  22. So sorry about John's books and the water leak. Ugh. Your tree in the trunk looks lovely. My idealized picture of Christmas includes snow (we've had it once in 12 years here and never in Ecuador), family gathered together in complete harmony, delicious food, and the ability to eat whatever I want without gaining a pound.
    A perfect Christmas, on the other hand, includes faith, family and fun - and food, even though I will be careful about what I eat.

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  23. Oh dear...sorry about that leak. Ugh. Love the tree in the trunk. If only I had a trunk LOL I have the perfect little tree for it. You are a great writer, Vee. "Hollow as those Chocolate Santas." You can make me laugh, smile, frown, and cry.

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  24. Vee I love your tree trunk! As for my perfect Christmas, it only exsists in my memories...

    A tiny little weathered three room house in a hallow, kerosene lamp in the front window softly glowing, a pot belly stoves puffing breath visible in the frozen clear night air and it full belly's glowing warmth radiating cozy heat throughout the tiny rooms. A freshly chopped cedar tree is decorated with popcorn and cranberry strings, candy canes, a few old chippy glass balls, glittered construction paper gingerbread men, topped off with a tinfoil star. Delicious smells waft from a wee corner of the kitchen, it is the smell of Christmas perfume, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and other spices mingling in the air. A boisterous family is gathered there. A grandmother with a cherry red apron and her three daughters stir, chop, and mince making the most delicious pies, cakes, and candies as they share the latest tidbits of juicy news. Three uncles sit around the pot belly stove swapping stories of "Remember the time..." or "Did I ever tell you..." with much booming laughter. Three cousins are sequestered under the tall iron bed with sticky peppermint scented fingers having just sneaked candy canes off the tree. A pineapple and clove studded ham is waiting in the wings for the last pie to finish baking. The cousins are put to bed. There is a rusting of paper with whisper of adult voices, tiny ears straining to hear. It can only mean presents being placed under the tree. Fingers and toes are crossed in hopes that stockings will be filled by Santa and a coveted thing or two will appear under the tree. These are the Christmas' I remember best, those in the Old House of my youth.

    Those days have faded and now I am the grandmother in the same cherry red apron passed down to me. I fill my home with Christmas perfume using those same scents and recipes. I am the only one from those memories present, two having passed and the others living far away. I have my own three little grands who sneak candy canes off the tree (this is wholly encouraged here, its a tradition). My tree is still trimmed with the remnants that remain of those old cracked balls. Instead of a pot belly stove I have a fire place but its warm glow gives the same effect. My home is more modern by still small and cozy and stories are still swapped, tidbits of news shared, and wriggly anticipation still builds in the children. I guess my perfect Christmas is all about family, being surrounded by those I love best and who love me best.

    Merry Christmas Vee!

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  25. Your ideal Christmas setting is the same mine has always been. I've always been drawn to those beautiful cards and picture myself in the scene with everything just perfect inside the home. Is my Christmas picture perfect in reality? Nope! But, it does seem like every year someone will say that it was our best Christmas, so I guess we do something right. And really, the perfect Christmas is not in the setting, but the love of family and friends and being with them during this most special holiday. If we can be together and healthy, and enjoy some good food and fun and laughter, that is perfect to me.

    I'm so sorry about the water leak and John's books that got soaked. I hope some of them can be salvaged.

    Your tree in the trunk is really pretty. You'll have us all wishing we had an old trunk to copy this wonderful idea!. Have fun decorating!

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  26. OK. #1: The Christmas in my head looks like your picture, complete with snow. Actually, it looks like the main street of my home town right after the Christmas tree lighting. (My town, Sheffield, looked a lot like Stockbridge, MA)

    And # 2: I LOVE THAT TRUNK WITH THE TREE!! I wish I had seen it. Or maybe I'm glad I didn't. I would have spent the last month chasing down the perfect trunk. My mom has two such perfect trunks, and I am going to make sure she has read this if she hasn't. She would love that. It's wonderful looking.

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  27. I love your Christmas scene, Vee. And you are far ahead of me. Not sure anything along the lines of decor will be achieved here this year. Oh how I would love to experience, just once, the "traditional white Christmas" in New England, or even better, perhaps the Cotswolds! But Christmas itself will be celebrated with love and affection all during this advent season in my heart each day. May your season be joyful with the True Reason!

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  28. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Seems we do this every year and there's only been a few that we looked out the window and saw green grass. As long as we're with family I'm happy.
    A shame some of John's books have been ruined by the water, perhaps some new ones will be received for Christmas.
    I think the tree in the trunk with toys spilling out the side looks very nice. It will be interesting to hear what the boys say when they see it.

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  29. My perfect Christmas is fresh snow, ALL the family here (a house full), Christmas Eve church service, little grands running around, playing in the snow with said grandkids, gathering with the rest of the family on Boxing Day for pot luck (good roads for travel), being thankful for our Saviour and our blessings (which is every day!). I love your tree in a trunk! I think it's awesome. I'm sorry about John's books and the leaky roof. Not something to attend to this time of year for sure! I hope it all works out. I enjoyed this post. xo

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  30. Oh no what a shame about the leak and John's books.

    That sure is a pretty picture! I've rarely had snow for Christmas in the past but living here I'm sure we will have many of them. Living in Puerto Rico for three years we did have Christmas in the warmth but we didn't mind. After there wasn't snow at the first Christmas. : )

    I have a couple of old trunks. I just may do that this year too. Looks like a great idea.

    My perfect Christmas would be to have both my children and all the grands here with me and all go to church the night before. Then wake up to fresh snow and have the whole day with them.

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  31. I left out after ALL there wasn't snow

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  32. I'm sorry your had a water lead too...what a mess! I hope it's all taken care of now and you've dried out. LOVE the trunk. I have something that might work for a big arrangement. Will you pop over and help me put it together? lol It's 80 degrees here today so you can wear your shorts. I don't know what my perfect Christmas looks like. I had one that seemed like out of the olden days up at my Dad's old cabin a few years ago. Carolers came and sat around the living room and sang. Sweet hugs, Diane

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  33. Vee, I hate that you have a leak. I found a shingle in my yard as I picked up sticks...I walked around the house twice looking for any spot on our roof....I could not find any...so it could be from the neighbor's house. We have had some awful winds. I love, love that tree in the trunk with the toys. Love it !! xoxo,Susie

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  34. Oooh, I do love that tree in a trunk with all of the vintage things around. Delightful!!
    I share your love of those photos of snow and farmhouses but that is more Winter to me. Christmas is all about the family time we share...a huge meal....and making each other laugh. Another key part of Christmas is our church traditions of a service and spending extra times together.

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  35. I like your Currier & Ives type of Christmas vision too! I lived many years in Arizona and my parents would sometimes make tumbleweed Christmas trees - flocked, and bearing tiny colored lights or back-lit with a colored spotlight. Very pretty, but they can't hold many ornaments. I miss those 'trees' now but still prefer an evergreen. Lately I find myself wanting a snowy, mountainous Christmas...Telluride or something like that!

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  36. Vee
    Your Christmas trunk is adorable! I get a lot of my ideas from pinterest too...
    What Christmas should look like to me...A family happily gathered together to celebrate the holiday together. I haven't had this for so many years, so it would be the grandest Christmas ever to me!

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  37. I think your tree in the trunk is awesome! It looks really good! I would seriously pin your photo!

    I hate that John's books got ruined. Hopefully not many, though.

    The Christmases of my childhood involved mild weather, no snow, roller skates and bikes for gifts that we went right out and used!

    My "perfect" Christmas is snow gently falling, the family together, (though once they get married that gets harder to do), good cheer, thankfulness in all our hearts for HIS appearing! Lights, a tree, some tasty food. I'm easy to please.

    Deanna

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  38. A perfect Christmas picture has my family and dear friends sitting inside my house. Perfect.

    Love,
    S

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  39. Your ideas just sleigh me. *grin* That is adorable. Very clever. We're using an "abbreviated" tree up on a table this year to discourage the Jack Russell Terrierists from any new adventures. A perfect Christmas for me would be for all the family to get along and be in the room at the same time but I don't see that happening any time soon. We'll just have to wait for Heaven to remedy that. ~:)

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  40. A christmas tree in a box well that's different but my christmas is hot and steamy, we often eat prawns and seafood, we always have ham but never turkey.
    Merle............

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  41. Oh Vee, I think your idea of Christmas is just so perfect. I remember hoping against all odds every year that we would have a white Christmas on the west coast. Every year they tell us what the odds are and it is not usually very high. There have been a few and I've loved them all.

    Your trunk scape is most beautiful. I am thinking about the smaller trunk I have now and wondering if I can use it too help decorate.

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  42. Oh Vee, I had another wonderful visit to Maine, complete with snow and a two day power outage starting 9 pm Wednesday! and no water, and no toilet! Thanks to a generator we had heat, light, coffee. Used up lots of bottled water, seven of us. But it turned out to be a wonderful adventure, which I will post all the details. I am so not a winter girl, but I enjoyed it. Just a nervous wreck walking on the ice.I was impressd with the plowing!

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  43. I'm so sorry to read about John's books. What a shame. My husbands books are very dear to him as well and I know he'd be devastated if something happened to them. Ideal Christmas - let's see . . be in church on Christmas Eve, family, homemade chex mix, the smell of balsam somewhere in the house. Oodles of handmade things to give away, So many things Vee. Your trunk is delightful. I could look at it all day.

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  44. Vee - your "tree in the trunk" is absolutely beautiful!!! If I still had my little country store - I would totally steal this idea for the Christmas window display! Sorry to hear about your leaky roof - so annoying and damaging.
    My Christmas will be perfect the minute my daughter and son-in-law arrive! I'm counting the sleeps!

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  45. Your tree in a trunk is gorgeous!!!! It's PERFECT!!!! I have never thought about what a perfect Christmas would look like.....there are so MANY kinds of Christmas and I'm sure they are ALL 'perfect!' I imagine I would love a Colorado Christmas!
    So sorry about John's books. That hurts!

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  46. What a shame about the leaky roof and damage to John's books. I hope the repairs won't be too costly.
    Your Christmas vignette in the antique trunk is as sweet as it can be. What a great idea! If I had a trunk, I'd copy it. It would be a great place to corral some of my old toys and books.
    I think your Christmas card portrays my image of a perfect Christmas pretty well. Definitely has to be snow and those white birch trees are lovely as well. Inside the home the fireplace would be lit and the snap, crackle and pops from the real wood logs would be heard. The scent of Christmas dinner in the oven would mingle with the piney scent of the real tree. Incidentally, the tree would be covered in the family's ornaments collected over the years. Beautiful carols would fill the air. Children and pets on their best behavior. It would be a day where pain and suffering would disappear and love and family harmony would prevail and, like all good Christmas movies, the snow would softly fall outside the windows.

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  47. I want to add to my previous comment - - our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is the highlight of the Christmas season for me. It is so worshipful and beautiful. Takes me as close as I can be to being ever so thankful for Jesus, the reason for the season. ~ Abby

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  48. So sorry to hear about the leaky roof. That is one of those things that identifies itself by ruination! Mine was in the attic last Spring, and if I hadn't moved all my Fall things into plastic totes it would have been worse. I had a crack in a fish aquarium once which sat on a bookcase. It was a slow leak and by the time we discovered it, well.....I wondered why those books were getting so chubby! Perfect Christmas? I'm always happy to survive it.

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  49. I forgot to mention that I LOVE that picture of your tree in, what is that, a chest of some sort? I'll admit it is a perfect Christmas picture. :D

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  50. Dear Vee, My perfect Christmas is all in my heart and head as we all well know this; but I think where we all feel loved and happy and snow on the ground, Christmas music playing. Wonderful smells coming from the kitchen! But just knowing my loved ones know and trust Jesus as their Saviour!
    Christmas lights and seeing the horses running in the pasture!
    Love to you, through this season!
    I loved the Christmas in that box, and so sorry about Johns books...
    Roxy

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  51. Pretty photos. I hope the books can be saved. I love books too, so I would feel really bad. Any where but the desert is great if you want Christmas in Az. I like Payson or Prescott: mild weather, mostly warm days, and sometimes snow.

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  52. I love it...the tree in the trunk! My perfect Christmas? Though snow, food, decor, Christmas music and gifts are all nice...what really matters is family that is right with each other and (most importantly) right with God!

    So sorry to hear about the leak and the damage to John's books. I remember drying out books for weeks following a flood in the basement. Not fun!

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  53. So sorry to hear about your roof leak and the damage to John's books. I hope they can be saved!
    love your tree in a trunk, Vee! Very pretty and unusual, and I love the vintage toys around it.

    I've had many "perfect" Christmases. One of my favorites was the time we took our then young children into Manhattan on Christmas eve afternoon to see the Christmas show at Radio City Hall. We then took a horse and carriage ride around Central Park and walked down 5th Ave to see all the decorated store windows. We stopped in St. Patrick's Cathedral and heard the choir practicing for Midnight Mass --when they sang Silent Night I almost cried as it was so beautiful! We went home had our traditional Christmas Eve fish dinner at my in-laws and allowed the children to open their gifts. The next morning we went to church and had a wonderful day visiting my family.
    Last year was also a memorable Christmas, as it was the first time in many years we were all together as a family again -- children and grandchildren, and my granddaughter's first Christmas! I think every year from now on will be perfect, as long as we are together as a famil!

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  54. Hi Vee. Would you be willing to tell me where you found that blackface sheep? The blackface sheep are my FAVORITE. I would love to find one like it. And about that tree in a TRUNK (not truck, stupid phone!), I went upstairs and opened the trunk, discovering that it's full of stuff that I have to remove to a different spot before I can use the trunk. Sigh.

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  55. Oh, I love, love, love your tree in the trunk vignette. My sister has a trunk, I must tell her... it's so adorable.

    Do tell John that we offer our sincere condolences as we are very sorry about his books. That is a disaster for any book lover. You are good, Vee, to be drying out what is salvageable.

    Your picture of Christmas is very similar for me. Lights in the windows, but for me there are signs of a tree festooned with brightly-coloured lights. I do love the church in the hollow. And there must be lightly falling snow against an inky dark sky.

    As I sit here, I realize that another perfect Christmas picture is one that comes from my young childhood as I would study Christmas cards that came where the little town of Bethlehem, set in the hills against the midnight sky, would have light from tiny windows and a bright star with beams shining overhead. I always felt safe and snug looking at such a picture.... still do.

    Sigh... 'twas lovely to think about.... Thanks, Vee!

    Brenda
    xox





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  56. PS. Our Christmas Eve candlelight services with dimly light sanctuary and carols sung ... oh that is Christmas indeed.

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  57. Your picture looks much like a puzzle I just got for us all to put together during the Christmas break; I think we're all drawn to such lovely scenes. Such a shame about the books, I do hope most of them have dried out by now.
    The tree in the trunk is so clever and cute, love it!

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