December 25th

mood lighting

To be quite honest, I'm neither traditional or sentimental about Christmas. I'd be perfectly content if the calendar was wiped clean of the holiday. But I'm not a total Scrooge. I do love the way we spend December 25th each and every year.

We have a standing date with George's side of the family at his sister and brother in law's house. Their house is perhaps my favorite home away from home, decorated in a style I hope to emulate in time - the beautifully eclectic, layered look that comes from living and loving over many years.

I love the colors of the walls, the soft light from old lamps, the row upon row of framed photographs, the soft cushion of wool rugs under foot, dishes and stemware that belonged to grandmothers I never met, children's art hanging next to exquisite oil paintings.


The smell, the food, the company - it all brings back memories of December 25ths past. It was 11 years ago that George and I sat on the couch in the living room and shared news of our engagement. Two years later we announced we were expecting. That same night my brother in law Mark gave me a baby name book he no longer needed, and within the first few pages I found our firstborn's name and imagined the following December 25th when I would be holding a baby named Avery. A few years later we showed up at dinner with a two year old girl with curly ringlets and a nearly two month old boy with raging colic.

The ringlets have disappeared to be replaced by waves, and the colic subsided long ago. We no longer hold babies or toddlers in our arms on December 25th. Now our children find their own amusements at Uncle Mark's and Aunt Sandi's house - the rope swing in the back yard, the low hanging branch of the magnolia tree out front, or the fake cigarettes high up on a shelf in the kitchen hutch.



Nothing delights a crowd like seeing young ones puff on fake cigarettes.

Aunt Sandi and Uncle Mark, thank you. Thank you for opening your home to us every December 25th and many other dates in between. Thank you for setting a place for us at your ever growing table; the new faces that appear around your table each year are clear evidence of your warm hearts and generous hospitality. I may not celebrate Christmas, but I always enjoy celebrating December 25th with you and yours. I'll keep bringing the Yorkshire pudding as long as you continue to cook the prime rib.

I hope you all had a wonderful December 25th and I wish you a happy and safe December 31st! See you next year friends.


  1. Ha! The faker ciggs! That is funny.

    Happy New year!

  2. Avery and her ringlets! I was just looking through some old pictures a couple days ago and was reminded of those beautiful curls. Avery and Grace with their curls that don't exist anymore :(
    At least I still have the pictures!

    Happy New Year, friend :-)

  3. I love the picture you create. I want to spend Dec. 25th at that house! Happy New Year to you :)

  4. Beautiful tribute to family...and fake cigarettes. Silly, silly!

    Happy New Years Molly!

  5. You're a great raconteur!

    I love stories that unfold over time.

    Great shots, too, as always.

  6. Aww! That's beautiful. I too love children's art everywhere in the home. Great blog. Peace.

  7. Thanks for the props Molly. Sandra will be extremely pleased to hear your appreciation since she admires everything you do. We are happy to host the 25th, and all the more because it has become a tradition, the familiarity of which adds its own sheen. It wouldn’t be the same without each person’s unique contributions to the familiar. My personal favorite is Jeff’s almond brittle, which has no equal in the candy world, and I am always happy to find you brought Yorkshire pudding because that is the one day I traditionally get it.
    The cigarettes started as a joke with Sandra & Kathleen walking into some high-end stores with the cigarettes dangling from their lips (a bit of homage to their grandmother Kit’s actual cigarette use) to watch the reactions of the store staff in the no-smoking establishments. We have since been advised that fake cigarettes are inappropriate and not funny, so please do not be amused.

  8. Yorkshire pudding? They are certainly part of any roast dinner at my house, but I didn't really know about them until I moved to the UK. Are you British? Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful holiday and enjoy tonight's celebration. I'm really looking forward to the new year.

  9. merry christmas molly and family. those cigarettes had me fooled! lol happy new year.

  10. Sounds like a wonderful house to spend time at! I didn't know they still make fake cigarettes - those look real.

    Happy New Year!

  11. happy new year, molly! it sounds like you have the perfect place to spend dec 25.

  12. Christmas memories..(or Dec 25th whatever you'd prefer)..yum...and the fake cigarettes...what a scream. I had to do a double take!

  13. great pics! funny funny! love the obama poster too.

    happy new year to you!!Karen :)

  14. "We have since been advised that fake cigarettes are inappropriate and not funny, so please do not be amused." lol

    Have a wonderful New Year.

  15. Happy New Year Molly! I hope it's a wonderful one for you and your family.

  16. those fake cigs are amazing! my husband was cracking up:) glad you had a lovely holiday!


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