A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas 2021

Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.

My son may have felt that that was my story as I explained to him just last week why I was sitting in the dark without turning on my Christmas tree lights. After a bit more conversation between us, he looked at me intently and asked, "Mom, are you all right?"

No, I really was not. Two years of this covid scare + a year of this joke of a president=one grumpy, annoyed woman. I needed Christmas in the worst way.

Early in December, this arrangement arrived from LL Bean courtesy of Laurel. It smelled so fresh and Christmasy. I used the ribbon Mary gave me to wind through it and called it good. 

Then, for the first time, I purchased an amaryllis bulb and was pleasantly surprised when it actually bloomed and is about to bloom again.

There were a few ice storms this month and a couple of snowstorms. Snow fell gently most of Christmas day.

Since I did not feel like decorating the tree, I used candy canes and Christmas cards to fill it out. 

The overstuffed chair holding Christmas gifts needing to be wrapped. The poinsettia was a gift from the Garden Center because I spent too much money there.

The poinsettia, the amaryllis ready to bloom again and a lovely lap quilt gift from a dear friend.

My grandsons Jake and Sam had chairs to sit in on Christmas Day. Now that they are adult sized, they appreciate those kinds of things. I hope Sam wasn't watching a spider. 

Michelle and Adam tend to gifts with only a box of fir tips behind them. I remember the year I had the crockpot behind them and it snapped and crackled all afternoon.

At day's end, I wanted to document how tall Sam has become so used Aunt Laurel as a comparison.

Laurel gave me this pretty Christmas card with a message that doesn't fit me at all, but makes me wish that it did. 

Now that Christmas has arrived, I am perfectly willing to let it continue right through January 6. I am slow to the party, but once it starts, I am all warmed up and ready to enjoy the season. I must remember this. 



  1. I so understand...it has only been 2 weeks since our son passed on...and I most def. did not feel the Christmas Spirit...and this covid, president, government, NY gov etc...messes all around. I am just done with it all and as you know, we are running away to Florida for freedom and to spend time with family and put my toes in the sand and water. Please excuse the attitude---it's not my intention to be so down. I am sending you very big hug and lots of love. I wish I could visit you and sit in that pretty home of yours. ANYWAYS...

    The card does fit you, Vee. And as for all those feelings you mentioned, I think it's fair to state the majority of us feel that way, sweet friend. I simply can't believe how much the grandkids have grown (and that brings the startling thought, OH MY GOSH, Have I known you this long? Where have the years gone?)---love you Vee. truly.

    1. My dear Linda, I have ached for you and your husband this month. We don't know the whys, though we do know The One Who does and we will trust Him one day at a time. You have been amazing through all this. Love you right back...

    2. Linda, I too, am so heartbroken for you and your family. I have prayed and will continue.

    3. Linda, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your son! I had no idea, until I just read your comment here. Please know you and your husband are in my prayers! I tried to go visit your blog, but can't find it under your name, so I assume you aren't blogging any longer. But my heart is broken for you, and you will be in my prayers. Hugs, prayers and love from Idaho!

  2. Merry Christmas, Vee, all year long.

  3. Hello dear friend. Love these pictures of your family. Your grandsons look older and of course taller. I guess those things happen when we feed them. I love seeing how you found glimpses of joy in the darkness as the light slowly seeped in. Many of us feel as you do of course, thanks for sharing. That's a great idea you had to decorate the tree.

  4. We all have our moments when we feel the weight of what's happening in our world, and our nation. I believe you are one who says along with Scrooge "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." That's all any of us can do.

    Sam has grown so tall! Wow! They are handsome boys.

    How wonderful to have had gently falling snow all day long on Christmas Day. We had about half an inch yesterday. It was beautiful falling down in big flakes.

    Love you friend!

  5. Love your home and decorations - keeping it real, not magazine picture looking which is not real at all! Your grands like mine keep growing and getting taller than me, too. Blessings in the New Year ahead. Feeling like you this year - slow in getting the Christmas spirit. I continue to learn to keep looking at Him and not the world around which is hard at times!

  6. Hi Vee~

    I understand how you feel about the state of our world, our nation and the covid crisis and all that goes with it, it sure does seem daunting. Winter is such a hard time of year for me, I need sunshine, lots of vitamin D3 and prayer, lots of prayer.

    I absolutely love your warm, welcoming home, Vee. I loved the idea of decorating your Christmas tree with cards, it's always a challenge for me to decide where to put the Christmas cards, although I love getting them and sending them. I didn't decorate my tree either, I just had the white lights and that was good for this year. I did all my "Christmasing" at my children's homes, so it was only me and my husband who really saw the tree, and we were fine with no ornaments :0)

    I can't believe how big your grandsons are! Why, I can remember when they were so small - we have been blogging for a long time, Vee! They are very handsome young men.

    I think the snow has stopped for today, but the temperatures will take a dip into the single digits now, time to bundle up!


  7. Dear Vee, the kids are so grown looking! Where does the time go? I absolutely love how you placed your Christmas cards upon the tree! That is a brilliant idea. The Christmas arrangement from Laurel is beautiful! Dear Vee, it is surely hard with so much going on in the world with sickness, politics and even religion that one can surely have the joy zapped from them. I try so hard to remember that our Lord gives peace and not as the world gives it but as He gives it. Even in the midst of so many things in our life that is constantly changing, I praise the Lord that He never changes. I pray that you have a most wonderful New Year dear Vee. May the Lord blessed you in ways that is beyond your beyond. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  8. Dear Vee, It's so good to hear from you! I know exactly how you feel about what's going on in our country right now. I get cranky and depressed too, but I do love you're since of humor too! Those boys have grown so much! Wow, where has the time gone? Christmas always cheers me up and puts a smile on my face. We keep most of our decorations up until after my husband's birthday on the 7th. Praying that the state of this country changes soon! Hugs!!

  9. Lovely post, Vee! Thanks so much for all of the photos and words too. The arrangement from LL Bean -- gorgeous, and how thoughtful of Laurel to send something that has the scent of the season. That must have helped.

    Decorating your tree with cards -- looks beautiful. I remember our very first Christmas, most of our tree "ornaments" were cards. They really did fill it out nicely.

    I'm so thankful that you are now warmed up and ready to continue the party. I do understand your feelings of grumpiness ... the reasons for it are exactly why we did so much with Christmas lights this year!

    The grandsons are getting so big. The photos of Sam and Laurel together are great!

    Oh, your Scrooge quote -- that is sort of a running joke in our house. ("Darkness is cheap ... and I love it!" -- Mr. T) But this year he is going all out with the lights.

  10. Dear Vee,
    I'm so glad your son picked up on your mood - your children and grandchildren love you very much. That's a sweet card from Laurel, and while you may not feel that you meet the sentiments, she obviously does, and that's what matters.
    I pray that the love and peace, joy and hope of Christmas will follow long into the new year as you walk each day with our loving Lord by your side.
    Your tree decor is lovely, and shows your creativity. How tall and grownup your grandsons are - we've all watched them grow up here in blogland.

  11. It looks all warm and cozy in your cottage...with the amaryllis, the poinsettia, the tree and the arrangement! Glad you had a lovely time with your family at Christmas. How did Sam get to be all grown up? Like Lorrie said...we've watched Sam and Jake grow up right here in blogland!

    Love the card from Laurel! May it bring you joy...even after January 6th.

    Sorry that December started off rather dark for you. Totally understandable! May the joy and peace and light of Christmas go with you into the new year!

  12. Glad you finally enjoyed your Christmas! :)
    I like the idea of cards and candy canes on the tree.
    I haven't seen my grandson for a few years but he too is tall now!! They sure grew up fast!
    I am walking on Ken's layout! :) I've posted a picture today. :)

  13. I’m so happy to know that you’ve arrived at the party, Vee! We must find JOY even in the darkness. Those boys sure are growing. It was so nice to see them and your family. Happy 2022!

  14. It has been a stressful couple of years. Some times it is hard to shake off the gloom. I am glad you were able to get into the spirit of Christmas. Let's hope 2022 brings more light and gladness into the world.

  15. I'm glad Christmas did eventually 'find you' dear Vee, and in fact from these lovely family photos, yours looked a heck of a lot brighter than mine! We only saw one real family member and a couple of friends, as we age our family seems to stay distanced. We are so grateful for neighbors and friends - they make it all worthwhile during this horrible time of health problems and a disgraceful government!
    Wishing you a safe, healthy and brighter New Year dear - things have to get better. (Nice you found a spot for the ribbon!)
    Hugs from us both -

  16. Christmas came and found your home all cozy and welcoming. The tree and lights, the fresh pine arrangement, the poinsettia and flowers…..and gifts and family and cards and a fireplace glowing (on the TV? I could not find my Fireplace CD this year!)….
    Oh, my! That Sam and Jake! I have t seen them in a good while and they just grew up! That’s happening to my grands, too.
    Don’t let the world steal your joy. There’s still much for us to do in this present darkness…..we continue to shine and reflect the Light of Christ. Love you!

  17. You could be Russian Orthodox for a year and celebrate with them on January 7th! Wouldn't be good to continue as Russian Orthodox, though. Glad the light prevailed. It feels like we have 3 more years of the White Witches Winter so we are going to have to embrace our deep down joy for sure. We were singing "I've got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart" with the grands yesterday. Those boys of yours are now young men and so tall. Soon our grands will tower over us, too. I like the idea of a card and candy cane tree. More and more I say, "Come Lord Jesus, come." Hugs to you dear lady.

    1. I rebuke that in the name of Jesus! 😁 There is no way this country will exist with three more years of this nightmare. Yes, Maranatha is my prayer as well.

  18. Well Vee..sometimes it is hard to meet the expectation of being joyous! We all want to, but I think we can also feel a bit blue...looks like a festive and fun Christmas day and I am happy you did finally feel the joy in your heart...blessings for a lovely New Year ahead!

  19. Vee, I always love it when you invite us into your cozy, pretty home. The wood walls, the snow outside the windows, and all the homey touches really speak to me.

    Yes, there is much out there to discourage us, as you outlined your lack of desire for Christmas at the beginning, but you came around and that's good for all of us.

    Christmas in Florida is strange without holiday-type weather. I'm still getting used to that. The actual week of Christmas we had cold weather and fog most mornings, which helped it to feel more "Christmassy." Isn't it strange to say that, given the climate our Lord was born into was more like Florida than New England.

    At any rate, thank you for your thoughts and pictures. Your family looks great -- those boys: ya feed 'em and they grow!!

  20. You are certainly not alone in feeling downcast, Vee, as I also have moments of when will this ever end? And then the ones of how much longer can people endure changing mandates. I am glad that you did get into the spirit of Christmas in the joyful time with your family as we did this year. Your home and decorations looked wonderful and putting cards on the tree is lovely and something we have also done. We will keep our decorations around until early January because they bring us joy and that is what we all need for sure. Sending best wishes to you for a better and Happy New year. Thanks too for your comments on my ppsts this past year, all were much appreciated.

  21. I did zero decorating this year, and was just happy to have the public spaces cleared of boxes by Christmas Eve when my family gathered here. I feel similarly to you about the state of affairs politically, and the virus - which, unfortunately has been politicized to the point that I've all but given up paying attention to the noise of it anymore.

    I think your pictures look positively cozy and project a sweetness that I'm glad you were (and are) able to enjoy from now 'till you put it away. Your card-decorated tree looks festive, and is a tribute to some special people who thought of you this year. :)

    Happy New Year. I hope to read more from you and about you in 2022!

  22. What a cute and cozy home! I love the idea of having snow as we really missed it this year! I wish you a Happy New Year.

  23. Oh my goodness, Vee! I LOVE this post...so real and perfect...we all feel that way from time to time...I had a hard time getting going this year for Christmas...physical limitations led to mental doldrums, but GOD kept nudging me forward and it finally all came together for me too. Your home is beautiful! I've never seen pictures that show it's cozy cabin warmth and beauty. It's the kind of home I've always dreamed of having! And yes, the amaryllis is such a beautiful flower to watch grow and bloom...I have one that was ready to bloom when it came out of the box! Looks like it will be a beauty. And your poinsettia is gorgeous!!! And that arrangement from LLBean is so fresh and pretty. I love their greenery. My DIL from Maine used to send me a wreath each year, but sadly here in our hot sunny Florida it did not last very long on the front door so I told her not to send them anymore. It would turn brown within a couple of weeks or sooner. I guess I could have brought it inside...but well...now I get a gift card to Cracker Barrel instead, which is nice, except it's too far away from us and I don't know when we'll ever get there. LOL. But I am so happy she remembers us at all. That is a blessing. Your family is beautiful! I haven't been friends with you long enough to know your handsome grandsons, etc. You are blessed. And the tree with the cards and lights and candy canes is perfect! What a great idea! I used to put the bows and ribbons from packages on our tree each year. They sparkled in the lights and looked so pretty. Who says we have to do the conventional/traditional decorations? It's your tree. enjoy it. Thank you for this post. I loved having a more personal look into your home and life. Makes me wish I could come give you a hug. Happy New Year!!! Enjoy some snow for me!

  24. Wishing you all the best for 2022, dear Vee. A big, strong hug.

  25. Aw Vee - what a Christmas it has been indeed! I too felt like sitting in the dark many, many times. My skinny tree with no decor except for some lights went up very last minute just so I'd have a spot to place the wrapped gifts. It has already been put away. We are going into another lockdown as I write this and it couldn't come at a worse time for me but, here we are once again!
    I have to say tho, your haven looks so cozy and inviting and I can.not.believe how tall Sam has grown to be!! I love Laurel's card and believe it to be true. Hugs to you ...

  26. Stopping by to say "hello", wishing you a most blessed, healthy, and Happy New Year!
    Enjoyed reading both posts, Jake and Sam have grown up so fast, and so handsome!
    Looks like that green thumb of yours has been busy producing such beauty in a dark and dreary season of life for us all!

  27. Hi Vee,

    I love this post!! I couldn't agree with you more about the past few years. Old Joe was going to fix this Covid by his second month in office, right? What a farce. All I'll say about that at the moment.

    I love your den and think it should be in a magazine, as I know other readers love that room, too. :) It just shouts cozy. Your new lap quilt is lovely and looks so warm, and that's a beautiful Christmas arrangement Laurel sent you. It must have smelled wonderful. Your amaryllis is so, so pretty!! I've never tried one, but now I'm inspired to do so. Everything in your room looks cheerful and festive, and I am glad you found the Christmas spirit (or that it found you).

    Your Sam has grown up, Vee, and what a handsome young man. I remember he and Jake were small when I first started reading your blog. It's been a few years, hasn't it?

    Wishing you, and all of us, a better year in 2022, Vee -- it may require a miracle. We will remain hopeful. Have a great weekend, my friend.


    Denise at Forest Manor

  28. My goodness your grands have grown! Your amaryllis is amazing and, no doubt, helped to cheer things up for you. I like your solution to decorating the tree this year. I never seem to find a place to showcase my Christmas cards nicely. I'm tucking this idea away for a year when I may not be interested in lugging out all the tree trimmings. Good to know that you were able to be with family and find the Christmas cheer that was slow in coming. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

  29. What a special Christmas celebration you had! So wonderful to see your family together. Oh my, the amaryllis sure is a gorgeous bloomer! That is so exciting! I read your newest post too... more gorgeous blooms! It is so nice to enjoy the hope of spring in the amaryllis blooms. Hugs to you from Idaho, and wishes for God's best in this New Year!

  30. You have such a beautiful home, Vee! Love how you had it decorated for the holidays, and the tree is wonderful with the cards and candy canes!. I also wondered about the look on Sam's face... I had to chuckle because I thought, "Is he looking at a spider?" Ha! I would bet that the sentiment in the card that Laurel gave you really applies to you... we sometimes do not see the special things in us that others do. Many blessings to you, Vee! (I found you via Linda's blog.)

  31. Even if it started slowly, it looks like you had a wonderful Christmas with your dear ones! I loved the candy canes and cards on your tree! It was lovely . . . and who says we must do the same thing year after year? Oh yes, this world is definitely weary. I'm so glad that He came to save us from it and from ourselves! "The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!"

    Blessings in the New Year!!

  32. I love your idea of decorating with candy canes and Christmas cards. Simplicity can create such beauty and provide us with the peace we need. Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Savior and He certainly didn't celebrate His birthdays the way we've come to celebrate them. I think you made Him quite happy. Love the pictures of your family; the card from Laurel is definitely you; and the boys have really, really grown!


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