And All Through the House

December 24, 2012
By

Christmas headshot betterChristmas

It’s quiet and raining here.  Even though it’s mid-day, it’s dark enough that the string of lights around my front door is visible, adding a touch of color and festivity.  Although I’d love a little snow, it will be easier to run my last minute errands without it, especially since people here generally don’t know how to drive in snowy conditions.

This is my favorite holiday, with tonight being extra special.  Growing up, Christmas eve was filled with intense excitement.  In an effort to calm five young children, my dad would load us up in the car to go look at Christmas lights.  I remember snowy roads, singing Christmas carols with my brothers and sisters, and coming home to hot chocolate in Santa mugs.

Christmas libraryChristmas tree

After being put to bed, I would “sneak” out to the living room.  It would be dark except for the shimmering tree, and the smell was intoxicating.  One year Santa brought me a china figurine of an antelope; another year he left a craft kit where you could make a poodle out of plastic bags, trimming them with scissors for the perfect “poodle cut”.  Every year the stockings that my mother had knit for each of us would be filled with nuts, candy, and small toys, with one large candy cane hooked on top.

Through the years of raising my own children, I’ve found myself doing the same.  Joey grew up with similar traditions, including the drive on Christmas eve to look at lights.  This year we’re low key.  Tonight Joey, Alex, and I will lay out our stockings.  I’ll adjust a few ornaments on the tiny tree as we head for bed.  Later on I’ll wake up and set out the gift or two that “Santa” has for us this year, unwrapped of course, since Santa is very busy.

Christmas glovesChristmas chocolate

I’ve decided to make hot chocolate tonight.  I’ll melt the baking chocolate in a pot, adding sugar and evaporated milk, stirring it with a wooden spoon so it doesn’t scald on the bottom.  That’s the way my mother always made it.  I don’t know if I’ve ever taught Alex, but if not, this evening will be the perfect time.

Wishing you Peace and Light, wherever you are.

My outfit consists of a vintage “crimplene” skirt from Goodwill, Kenneth Cole gloves from long ago, wool beret-?, self-made top, boots- old and can’t remember, leather and feather neckpiece- gift from the designer.  If you click on the pictures once, and then again, you’ll be able to see more detail. (Check out the second photo at the top of the post.  You’ll really be able to see the neckpiece.)

Christmas Bella

I can’t resist giving you a preview of one of the items I received from Bella at The Citizen Rosebud for the Christmas swap organized by Lakota at Faith, Hope, and Charity Shopping.  I couldn’t wait for Christmas, so I opened the box.  I wore this scarf that very night.  I’m sure you understand.

28 Responses to And All Through the House

  1. pao on December 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    The perfect touch of Christmasness, sounds peaceful. And you look glam. I’ve been baking all day – it feels like anyway. A surprise for my true love when he gets home from work. I don’t usually cook and I made him brownies from scratch that flopped in the looks department and biscottis that turned out most excellent. Can’t wait to see his face. Peace on Earth.

  2. Megan Mae on December 25, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Happy Christmas Jean!

    A suggestion about the melted chocolate – it sounds weird, but using a heating pad instead of the stove can be a good idea for non-scorched chocolate.

    • Jean on December 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Someday I need to hear the story about that! :-)

  3. Grunge Queen on December 25, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Happy holidays to you and yours, Jean! That scarf is just gorgeous. Xo

  4. Lisa Walter on December 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas tradition memories. Wishing you a warm Christmas.

  5. Louisa on December 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Ooh, crimplene! I remember that stuff. Made shift dresses for my mom and aunt in the 60′s but not such lovely stuff as yours. It dulled the needles rather quickly and wouldn’t press flat. Lasted forever though!

    Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  6. linda davis on December 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Have a blessed holiday. You look amazing as usual. Merry Christmas!!

  7. SACRAMENTO on December 26, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I can understand so very well, lol.
    Merry Christmas, dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  8. Joni on December 26, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Now that’s the way hot chocolate is made! Can you believe I’ve never had a proper cup of hot chocolate in all my life? Only the nasty packets, sometimes with the little fake marshmallows on top. Now I must try your recipe soon.

    Love your beret Jean. Reminds me of Joni Mitchell’s Hejira album cover.
    Best Wishes for the coming New Year to you!

  9. Debbi on December 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Jean, you look elegant as always.
    I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.

  10. Lisa@Dreamz~n~Wishz on December 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    You look so beautiful and I loved hearing about your Christmas and traditions. And now I’m really craving some of that hot chocolate!

  11. Vix on December 27, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Happy Xmas, Jean! I absolutely adore that crimplene maxi, it looks wonderful on you, what a find! Hope you had a fantastic time. xxxxx

  12. Amber of Butane Anvil on December 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

    What lovely memories and traditions, thank you for sharing them with us, Jean! You are incredibly glamorous and elegant – what a fabulous skirt and beret, and a wonderful scarf from Bella!

    Hope the rest of your holiday season continues warm and merry, xoxo

  13. Bella Q on December 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    You are such a stunning beauty inside and out. And a marvelous story teller. I can feel the childhood thrill of Christmas eve, as experienced by you. Taste the hot chocolate, see the tangle of lights, and smell the deep scent of pine. Your Christmas outfit is glorious- matching the holiday grandeur and mystery and beauty, bound by knit beret, shock of red, and grasp of midnight black. And the bonus thrill to see you own that plaid silk is a gift I will re open whenever I visit your blog. Thank you for being such an incredible and kindred, spirit!

  14. Tamera on December 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    You look gorgeous as always!!! The scarf Bella sent is stunning!!!

  15. The Style Crone on December 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Happy Holidays to you and your family. Your stories of tradition and holidays past are touching, and you embody the spirit of the season with your ensemble. And the holiday scarf/wearable art via Bella is breathtaking.

  16. pastcaring on December 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    You look absolutely gorgeous, Jean, that skirt is wonderful. And I love a black and red together (just did a post featuring that colour combination myself).
    It’s funny how many traditions and rituals from our own childhoods we pass on to our kids, without consciously intending to do so. I have slipped into having the kids open their stockings all piled into our bed on Christmas morning, just as my sisters and I did with my parents when we were little.
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family, Jean. xxxxx

  17. Mrs D on December 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I hope you had a nice Christmas! I love the red beret, it looks great on you!

  18. Jeannie on December 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

    A wonderful story by a gorgeous lady!
    Hope you had a glorious Christmas and wishing you and yours a Happy & Healthy New Year!
    Lovely skirt, and the scarf from Bella is beautiful!

  19. Rosalind on December 30, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I adore hearing about the different Christmas traditions and rituals of other families – and I agree with Bella, you are indeed a marvelous storyteller. Ah yes, that beret – so very Joni Mitchell on Hejira (thank you to commenter Joni for pointing that out). You look positively infused with the beauty of Christmas spirit. Hope you are continuing to revel in the festive season. Wishing you a happy and (of course) creative new year.

  20. Sistergirl on December 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Your outfit is very chic. I also love the scarf.

  21. Krista on December 31, 2012 at 10:45 am

    That maxi looks gorgeous on you, and I just adore this most festive outfit! I love hearing about Xmas memories, it’s like they are universally good and I find that comforting. Have a happy new year dear whatever you get up too.
    Xoxoxo

  22. BaleaRaitzART on January 1, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Thanks for contacting me. I am sorry fro the late reply!

    I wish you a happy new Year! I would love a collaboration one day. Let me know if you have something in mind.
    You can find me here!
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/BaleaRaitzORIGINAL
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/BaleaRaitzART

    I am looking forward to hear from you!

    Lorena

  23. BaleaRaitzART on January 1, 2013 at 6:44 am

    PS: Your Outfit is superb!

  24. anne-marie bruun on January 1, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Happy New Year. Lovely pictures and lovely thoughts. You look great in the red and green. Thank you for your lovely blog which always provides inspiration.

  25. Practical Paralegalism on January 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I love it that we both shop at the same designer shop, GW Boutique :)

    You are so stunning; that skirt and necklace are outstanding.

    Thanks for sharing your childhood Christmas memories; your parents sounded like they focused on the important stuff that create wonderful forever holiday memories.

  26. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas on January 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    What a wonderful narrative about Christmas tradition. It really is the simple things that leave the deepest impressions on our hearts. You look absolutely lovely. Sending warmest wishes for a blessed year in 2013.

    Sue xo

  27. Lakota [Faith hope and Charity Shopping]c on January 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Sounds like the perfect Christmas. I do hope my children have the same intensity of Christmas memories that I do when they’re grown up. Your outfit is beautiful – you look so poised in your photos (note to self to learn this skill), and your scarf from Bella is very her, whilst looking wonderful on you. I bet she wondered about giving it up!
    Happy New Year.
    x

    New Year’s Resolutions of the Stars!

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