I Will Honour Christmas In My Heart

I will honour Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.
The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!

~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

WELCOME TO MY CHRISTMAS BLOG!!

WELCOME TO MY CHRISTMAS BLOG!!

Christmas is my favorite Holiday and my favorite time of year!

I go all out decorating our small townhouse for all Holidays but especially Christmas!

Every room in our home has a different Christmas Theme and Color Scheme!!

I prove that you do not have to live in a large home to have several Trees, over 20 in all shapes and sizes!!

The majority of my Christmas decorations are placed in the same spot every year and I know that this is not what most Decorator's care for but it is like seeing old friends again when I decorate each year for Christmas.......

I do try to add a few new things and change up things a bit but for the most part, these decorations are part of my Christmas traditions and I will not change them until I can no longer decorate like I do......

This blog is dedicated to All Things Christmas!!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Celebrations and It Is What You Make of It, 2019


  Welcome to my Christmas Blog, A Debbie-Dabble Christmas!!
I am so happy that you decided to stop by my Christmas Blog....

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas......

We did!!

If you missed my Christmas Home Tour showcasing our townhouse all decked out for Christmas, both inside and out.......
 Please click HERE

My Christmas Home Tour posts sharing each room decorated are located on my side bar so please feel free to just click on the pic to see the full blog post!!

I pride myself on trying to keep this blog and my regular Blog, Debbie-Dabble Blog, as personal as I can when so many Blogs are becoming Professional and filled with so many advertisements....

 I view my Blogs as a Journal of my Life that someday, I hope my family can look back on and remember me and what I did in my life and that my home and family were my passions......

For about the past year, even though my blogs are Home and Garden based, I have included family,  friends and personal things at the end each Blog post and I will continue to do so in 2020.......

Today, I wanted to do a personal Christmas post......

I post many of these things on my face book site which is private because my Blog was hacked a few years ago through a face book page linked to my blog, causing me to create a whole new Blog and copy from the old one...

Click HERE  if you would like to send me a Friend Request to my Face Book site....

The title of this post is Christmas Celebrations and that is what we did........celebrated!!

During the season, I had friends and neighbors stop by to see the house decorated and visit for a while.....

On Saturday, the 21st, Joe and I attended our Great Niece Caitlin's Christmas Dance Recital at the F.M. Kirby Center here in NEPA......
Last Christmas, I fulfilled a wish on my Christmas Bucket List when we were able to see Caitlin perform in the Nutcracker......

I had never seen The Nutcracker, especially as a Mom of 2 boys.....

This year, Caitlin dedicated her performance to her Dad, my late nephew John, so it was bittersweet for all of us....
Quite a bit of family was there in support of Caitlin........

Besides Joe and I , her Mom and sisters were there, of course!!

Her Mom, my niece, Renae.......
My Nephew Dan, who is talking with my Great Niece Cortney, and his wife, Heather came in for the weekend from York, Pa. where they live.......
My Sister and my brother-in-law were also there.......

Joe was trying to read the program without putting his glasses on......

Renae's sister Charlene and her grand daughter were also there........
Caitlin performed beautifully.......
She had sustained a knee injury before Thanksgiving......
She is the cute mouse to the left of the Tree......
She was in pain during the performance......
But she pushed through it......
Determined to make her Dad and her family proud!!
And that, she definitely did!!!
Bravo, Caitlin!!!!!

The next day on Sunday, the 22nd, I hosted a family Christmas Get Together at my house.......

I made 2 pans of lasagna.......
Turkey Kielbasi.....
And cheese Kielbasi.....
 We ordered a Wrap Tray and Chicken Tenders from Wegman's and of course, I had Christmas cookies, candy bark and fudge that I made, nut roll and chips and dip.....

I did manage to snap some photos.......

My niece Renae, great niece Caitlin, great niece Carly, our youngest son Jim and his wife Danielle......
My niece Heather , standing in the background, Renae, Cait and Carly.....
 Our great niece Cortney......
Renae and the girls were sweet enough to gift me this lovely Cardinal globe!
The saying about Cardinals is special in our family as Renae saw a red cardinal on their deck shortly after my nephew John passed away.....
Lit up.......
 It can be used outside but it is staying inside and will be part of my Winter decorations.....

They also gifted Joe these Pittsburgh Steeler knives and pizza cutter!!
The girls could not wait for Joe to open them and he loved them!!

He already went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought a magnetic cutlery bar to hang them on!!!!

I have to find a place to hang them in the Kitchen.....

Our great niece Cort and my nephew Dan and his wife, Heather.....
Whoops!! Dan had his eyes closed.....

Better......
Our niece Heather gifted me this Bayberry candle......
Every year, I have been lucky to have been gifted a bayberry candle by a friend and now by family!!

I love the tradition of the Bayberry Candle!!
And also this lovely bar of soap named Christmas Tinsel!!
 Our son Joey does not like to have his picture taken and would not let me even sneak one but he was there too....

And I hate having my picture taken so none of me!!

We had a wonderful time and I sent them all on their way with take home containers of Lasagna, cookies, kielbasi and even nut roll.......

This was all that was left of 2 pans of lasagna afterward!!
It was my pleasure!!!

Joe went to Valley Seafood here in Wilkes Barre to get our fish and chicken for Christmas Eve Holy Supper.......
Shrimp, scallops and chicken tenders with tartar and cocktail sauce.......
Traditionally, Polish Holy Supper is supposed to be a meatless meal but Joey will not eat fish so we get him Chicken Tenders and Jim and Danielle also have some.....

No Mess, No Stress....I get them already fried up so all I have to do is heat them up in the oven!!

Pierogies are also part of a traditional Polish Holy Supper on Christmas Eve......

These Joe got from a guy who eats in Wegman's Cafe daily who he struck up a freindship with while working there.....

This guy bought them from a little place here in Wilkes Barre Twp. called Just R Pierogies.......
All I had to do was add the butter and onions......
They were quite good!!!

We will be going back for more .........

I also made boiled potatoes with butter and a vegetable side of mushrooms like my Mother used to serve.......

It is just the 5 of us for Holidays and I set a simple table because Joe's Maternal Grandmother's table is not that big even with the leaf in it and I need room for the food on the table!!!
Pink tablecloth and gold poinsettia place mats.......
My rose china that I bought at Acme Food Markets before I was married......
Crystal glasses and my gold flatware.......
The Bayberry candle in the center of the table waiting to be burned and a package of Polish Oplatki Christmas Wafers......
Even though we not longer follow the tradition of breaking the Oplatki because my sons cannot stand the bland taste of them, I put them on the table paying homage to the Traditions of both my and Joe's parents.....

If you are curious as to what the tradition of the Oplatki is, click HERE...
Joe and I do not exchange gifts and have not done so for any Holiday or occasions in probably over 15 years.....

If we want something, we just go and get it.......

The boys have wanted money for Christmas since they were 16 years old and I started giving them money for Christmas and their Birthdays, which are also in December, when they turned 18......

It is no big deal that there are no gifts to open on Christmas for our family....

In fact, it has shifted the emphasis of Christmas from opening gifts to enjoying a meal together and enjoying each other's company, laughing and talking, making Christmas more heart felt and special if you ask me......

It also gets rid of a lot of the stress of running to buy gifts and it keeps one on budget because you do not overbuy!!

Our sons and daugther-in-law gifted us money and gift cards so now we can shop after Christmas when things are even cheaper!!!

I also gift them a huge container of Christmas Cookies and fudge that I have made and a ring of Kielbasi which the boys love!!

I always wish for a White Christmas and have ever since I was a child......

Growing up and living on NEPA my entire life, I can not imagine a Christmas without the cold weather and snow!!

Even though we experienced an unseasonably warm Christmas with high temps. near 50 degrees, we still had snow and ice left over from previous snow and ice storms........

Since we will not get the Sun in the front of our house until April, we still had a bit of white in our front yard!!
You can see how the townhouses across from me get the Sun and we do not in the Winter.....

In our back yard, the Sun is too low in the Winter so the trees behind our yard prevent the Sun from hitting our yard so we still had snow and ice in the back there.....
So I feel I still got my White Christmas!!!

Ready for round 2.......

I also cook dinner for our family of 5 on Christmas Day!!!

I made my Dad's recipe for Sausage Filling.....
A nice little 2 lb. boneless ham......
A turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, kielbasi and corn........

I threw the pink tablecloth in the wash , put the rose china away and reset the Dining Room table for Christmas Day Dinner.......
Again, another simple tablescape to allow room for the food on the table!!
The gold poinsettia place mats show up better against the white tablecloth......
White dishes with a gold rim bought at The Christmas Tree Shops a few years ago for $1.00 each!!
We enjoyed Christmas Day dinner with our kids and then when they went home, Joe and I relaxed and enjoyed watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Elf!!!

Poor Jim and Danielle had to go home to get some sleep because they had to be at work at Target at 3:30 am on the 26th!!

Sorry there is no group family picture and definitely no group picture of us all in the same Christmas PJ'S!!!!!

Joe does not wear pajama's and my sons have not worn actual pajamas since they were 10 years old, I think!!!

Let me clarify....They do wear tee shirts and shorts or knit pants......NOT pajamas!!!!

I think the pajama thing is more for girls....

The only one of us who does not mind posing for a picture is Joe so here he is on Christmas Day, sporting yet another of his crazy Christmas tee shirts that he wears to his part time job at Wegman's......
Sorry no suits and ties or dress clothes here either!!

LOL!

Now I have to vent a bit......

I am a member of 3 face book Decor groups and on Christmas Day night after Joe went to bed ( He goes to bed at 9 pm and I stay up past 11 pm), I saw a post on one of the sites asking Who else is glad that Christmas is over.......

Hundreds of people commented that they were thrilled Christmas was over for one reason or another and some had already taken down their Trees and decorations !!!!!!!

SAY WHAT?????

On Christmas Day night, they were taking down their decorations!!!!!

I was shocked and quite frankly, appalled at the lack of Christmas spirit!!!!

I LOVE Christmas and if I could keep up my decorations year round , I would...

I think that is why I keep Trees up and decorate them for different Holidays and Seasons because there is nothing like the lights of a lit Tree in my mind's eye!!

Now I do understand that Christmas is hard for many people because of those they have lost....

My niece lost the Love of her Life this year and yet she and her girls decorated the outside and inside of their home beyond belief for Christmas this year!!

She got the biggest, widest Tree I ever saw, set up the village underneath it, hosted Christmas Eve Dinner for her and her sister's families, cooked Christmas Day Dinner at home, a tradition that they started last year, and had a wonderful Christmas at home even though it was extremely hard for them without their Dad and husband.....
BUT it is what my nephew would have wanted......

He LOVED Christmas!!!

I celebrate Christmas like I do because my Dad loved Christmas and decorated and crafted and cooked for Christmas with reckless abandon and I do so because of him!!!

I understand that many are alone and have no family...

I was reading these comments as I was watching the 11 pm local News which featured nothing but stories on how volunteers devoted their Christmas Day to helping out in Shelters, Veteran's homes and Senior Citizen's centers to help give them a Christmas Day meal and gifts...

If you are alone, one can go to one of these events to have a meal with others and if you are able bodied, you can be a volunteer at one of these events.....

There is no reason to choose to spend the Holiday alone....

Many commented that their children were not home for Christmas and that ruined their Holiday.....

Really?????

Okay, yes, my kids are at my house for every Holiday because it worked out that they have no where else to go but should that change, Joe and I would be perfectly okay with that!!

I always thought that once the kids moved out, we would get to go to one of those nice Christmas buffets that some of the local restaurants and Hotels have....

And again, I hate to cook but I do love cooking for the Holidays for my family....

So if you are an Empty Nester whose kids are not coming home, start a new tradition and maybe go away for Christmas somewhere even if it is for a day or two......

Christmas and Life is what you make it and if you choose to behave like a Ba Hum Bug then that is what you will be and your holidays will be awful for you.....

As far as ripping down decorations right after Christmas, many here in NEPA are of Eastern European descent and follow the traditions of the Catholic Church and their Nationalities in not taking down Christmas decorations until the Feast of 3 Kings which is January 6th.....

I can not imagine New Year's Eve without Christmas decorations.....

Now I must admit that Christmas this year was a heck of a lot easier for me now that I am no longer working.....

BUT I did everything that I ALWAYS did even when I was working......

Our Christmas celebrations will be continuing with an upcoming hockey game where we are treating our nieces to and going as a family....
A visit to my good friend Anne Marie's house....

A Birthday celebration of my oldest son's 38th birthday....

A New Year's Eve Lobster, fish and chicken dinner for our family of 5 .....

A New Year's Day dinner of lasagna for our family of 5......

Last year, I was sick for 2 weeks with the flu that started the day after Christmas and it killed me that I had to cancel our New Year's dinners..

Hopefully, everyone will be well this year......

And with that, I will leave you for today......

Remember Christmas and Life is what YOU make of it!!!

In my next post, I will be sharing our trip to one of my favorite shops to get Christmas inspiration, Country Folks Gifts......
 It is a 3 story Barn that sells furniture, rugs,lamps and all kinds of Home Decor items......

They close down the last 2 weeks of October to decorate for Christmas, reopening the first weekend in November......
It is family owned and located on a fully functioning farm!

This year, we saw these amazing Scottish Highland long haired cattle grazing right next to the parking lot!!!!
So I hope you will stop by to visit again soon!!

Thanks to those who took the time out of their busy day to spend a little bit of time with me!!

If you do not have a blog, PLEASE  give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment.  If I can not find a way to reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check back......

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19 comments:

  1. I still follow you and love every word. I am always uplifted when I finish seeing your comments. I still have the lovely bathroom lavender set I got many years ago and you are thought about literally. They look as lovely today as they did the day they arrived in the mail. We downsized last summer to a townhouse. We have no stairs now.
    I am so excited that you are going to show that wonderful place decorated for Christmas in your next blog. Patricia Taylor
    taylor637@epbfi.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your celebrations look like so much fun! I am with you on the early removal of Christmas. My Polish, Catholic in-laws always celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve and spend Christmas day taking down all the decorations. I just don't get it. Christmas is actually the FIRST day of Christmas. We always leave our decorations up until Epiphany

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  3. Merry Christmas to you and yours! We keep up our decorations well into January. In fact, we enjoy doing so until we get a nice snowfall. Our family definitely has the Christmas spirit and I love seeing that you and your family have it, too! God bless you for giving so much of your time to make the Christmas season so beautiful and festive for your loved ones!

    Blessings in the New Year! Net

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  4. First, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I'm glad that I am not the only one surprised by people taking down decorations on Christmas day. I always wonder why they put decorations up in the first place. I leave my decorations up until the 2nd weekend in January.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! I LOVE Christmas and wish I could keep it up year round...I just can not understand why people are in such a hurry to get rid of it so fast..
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  5. I really enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions. Your posts are very inspiring. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary,
      I could not find another way to get in touch with you so I am doing it here...Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment! I hope you had a great Christmas!
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  6. Looks like you had many wonderful days to enjoy your family and some good eats!! Love the table setting too!

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  7. I do love reading about your Christmas traditions and your sweet Family.Congratulations to Caitlin!I also leave my decorations up until Epiphany. Happy 2020!

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  8. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
    Happy New Year,
    Kippi

    ReplyDelete
  9. Give em H***, Deb. Merry Christmas, my friend. I agree with all that you said. Life is what you make of it and even though we all have our sad times, let yourself have a good cry and then get on with it. It isn't always easy and takes some folks longer than others but it can be done. I'm so glad that Caitlyn had a great performance and that all your family got to see her. Those are the important things in life. Our daughter had to work until 5:00 on Christmas Eve and then they made the 4 hour trip to us. We were opening presents at midnight but it was so special. Hope your New Year is filled with happiness, my good friend..xxoJudy

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  10. It sounds like you had a really nice time celebrating Christmas with your friends and family. I too had a nice Christmas season with friends and family. I do not plan to take down any decorations until sometime in January. Wishing you a happy new year Debbie. Hugs, Julie xo

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  11. Looks like you celebrated in style, dear Deb, as always. Happy holidays!
    Amalia
    xo

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  12. Growing up Mom would always say a few words or bless the tree after it was put up. Usually took it down on the 12th day depending on how dry it was as it was always a live tree and a fire hazard after a few days with those big old lights. I usually keep mine up til the 6th. I start taking a few things off to pack away before then. The Creche stays up and the last to put in are the wise men on the 12th day.
    I missed having my daughter here on Christmas day but maybe next year. We had a large family gathering and I must say after they left, I took a long nap. Lot's of sugar eaten that day.
    Your lasagne sounds great and that would have been what I would have wanted to eat.
    Happy Christmas Holidays
    betsy

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so glad you've had fun celebrating and decorating for Christmas, Debbie! Even though we really didn't get going until just the weekend before we went off on break (for me, Friday, December 20th), due to cleaning up zillions of acorns/leaves each weekend since the end of October, etc. I love how the house looks and it'll get taken down slowly, too. <3 I go back to work on Jan. 6th, the day before my birthday, so I'll have to get the tree done before then or it'll be Easter... Lol!

    Loving reading about your family and I still remember last year when you posted about your nephew being ill. I cried for you all and especially for your great-niece! Ever since my first fiancé died when I was 21, it hits me hard as I know just how difficult every holiday can be after a loved one passes. I am glad their family kept decorating and got the biggest tree they could! <3

    Enjoy your trees and I'll be back to read more.
    Many New Year's hugs,
    Barb

    p.s. Shared your hubby in his Awesome Abominable sweater with my husband. We loved it!!! And Joe would have won the Ugly Sweater contest we held on Dec. 21st. ;) My friend Loretta had a shirt on that said something about "Does this sweater make my butt look big?" Crass but it was funny! Another friend had a sweatshirt that was homemade and hotglued with ribbon and ornaments. She won this year. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I don't get people who want to take everything down the day after Christmas. We don't take ours down until after Epiphany.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aleigh,
      I could not find any other way to get in touch with you so I am doing so here. Thanks so much for stopping by!!
      Hugs,
      Deb

      Delete
  15. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas celebration, Debbie! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

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  16. Thank you for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

    ReplyDelete

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