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Christmas Recap



Today was a wonderful Christmas.  It was definitely one I will look back on with great fondness.  First, we got about 3″ of snow last night, which was magical for both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.


My parents, brother & his wife & mother-in-law came over to join us.  It was the perfect amount of people and was very relaxed.  I did get a little carried away with my super simple Christmas table I talked about a couple of days ago.  I decided to make a fruit topiary centerpiece and add some name cards.


The topiary looks fancy, but it was really simple to make.  I’ll actually be making a tutorial for for next year.


 I was a little in love with photographing it.


The name tags were craft card stock punched out with a decorative circle cutter.  I wrote on them with chalk pencils, which are thinner than regular chalk, so they’re easier to write with.


 I used the bird holders (from the Lucketts Design House last year) for the adults…



…and some zinc tags (with a pinwheel magnet made by Lisa Leonard) for the kids.  They also had their own special cups…




Some folks were asking for a full shot of the table and here it is…



…and with the food…



We’ve always had a Christmas brunch instead of a turkey dinner.  The rest of the family had tenderloin and flank steak and I have a veggie quiche.  We all had hash brown potatoes, rolls, roasted asparagus, cheese grits and my great-grandmother Rosa’s fruit salad.  It was the kind of meal I wish I could eat with a bottomless stomach.


(And the love affair with the fruit topiary continues.)



I used rolled out pumpernickel bread for the crust of the quiche.  I’m going to try it with white bread next time, so I can roll it out a bit thinner.   (I just wanted everyone to know that was pumpernickel and not burnt pie crust!)


 I loved using my heirloom silver, including this gorgeous pitcher that has my grandmother’s initials engraved on the bottom.



Of course we opened presents.  I wrapped most of them in run-of-the-mill grocery store paper, but I did wrap a few for the adults in some French paper, jute twine and velvet ribbon.  I used chalk pencil and a fine Sharpie for the tags.


(My gorgeous sister-in-law posing with her gift.)


And the boys had a blast.  They are at a very fun age for Christmas.



Yep, I allowed rollerblading in the kitchen.


I got a lot of gift cards to shop for clothes (woo-hoo!), but my favorite gifts were my Redskins sweatshirt (I’m a HUGE fan)…



…and these beautiful boots my husband bought for me.


I’m not a “shoe girl”, but I saw these at LL Bean when we went on vacation in Maine and I was in love.  I went on-and-on about how much I loved these boots.  My sweet husband remembered and bought them for me.  Perfect size and everything.  I wore jammies all day, but I couldn’t resist tromping around in them for a while.



After cleaning up all of the open boxes, wrappings, twist ties used to hold toys in the package, half-eaten cookies and mini marshmallows (thanks, Aunt Susan for the marshmallow guns), we are ready to crash and just bask in the glow of the tree lights and memories of a wonderful Christmas.  We are so blessed beyond measure and are so thankful for all that we have.

I know that Christmas isn’t a happy day for some.  It’s a reminder of hurt, loneliness, brokenness and pain.  It can be a time when loss is felt more acutely than the rest of the year.  For those, I heard a quote today that I thought was so beautiful and encouraging…

“Take the very hardest thing in your life – the place of difficulty, outward or inward, and expect God to triumph gloriously in that very spot.  Just there He can bring your soul into blossom.”

 – Lilias Trotter

Merry Christmas to all.

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  1. Sue Isham says:

    I received your book for Christmas – it is wonderful and I can’t wait to curl up and read it!! Merry Christmas to you and your family and thank you for your inspiration! SUE

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. Love the apple tree on your table along with that gorgeous silver pitcher that once belonged to your grandmother. What a treasure! I have your book, too, and I cannot wait to curl up and read it either!

  3. joyce says:

    Merry Christmas! Your grandmother’s beautiful silver pitcher ñearly took my breath away! It is so lovely. I love seeing meaningful pieces being treasured by using them instead of just having them on display. I do the same. Thank you for sharing your special day.

  4. Merry Christmas Marian, that quote is so beautiful and just what I needed. I’ve been missing my mom this holiday season, so thank you for that. Your table is so beautiful, love the tablecloth and that pitcher is amazing.. Your boots are gorgeous too, what a sweet husband.

  5. Surprises from Hubbies are the best. Your boots are GORGEOUS!!! Mine surprised me with an antique “one horse open sleigh”. He told me to look out the window on Christmas morning and it was on the front lawn!!!!!

    I got your beautiful book for Christmas and am loving it! Merry Christmas and a blessed 2013 to you and your family!

  6. Love all that heirloom silver!! Good for you, using it!
    You never cease to amaze me in every category…

  7. Mary Ruth says:

    I loved your Christmas post. Your table was magnificent and your quote incredibly healing!
    Love your boots too!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Mary Ruth says:

      I FORGOT to mention your grandmother’s PITCHER! BEAUTIFUL! And with her initials engraved on the bottom it is that much more special!

  8. I LOVE the pitcher. Everything looked beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  9. Your table was lovely Marian! The topiary was very photo worthy :) Looks and sounds like you had a great day – God bless!

  10. Annie Vee says:

    Merry Christmas Miss Mustard Seed. May your 2013 be as good or better than 2012.

  11. Chrissy says:

    I too loved that topiary. I had my sister and niece over for dinner last night and it was so fun using the good china and silver, and linen napkins, etc. I just love your blog and the joy and appreciation you have to the Lord for your success. It spills over to your readers. And thank you for the promise you shared from Lilias Trotter. Happy holidays.

  12. Anne Boykin says:

    Dear MMS, Happy Holidays! Hugs, Anne Boykin

  13. Merry merry Xmas darling… from me …enjoy these days…..thanks for your friendship… you …Ria…xxx…


  14. Donna says:

    Your grandmother’s beautiful pitcher took my breath away…gorgeous! I’m so glad you had a wonderful Christmas! Love the pictures and the BOOTS! :)

  15. Thank you for the quote.

  16. What a beautiful Christmas… Thanks for sharing it with us. Love those boots!

    Do you have a source for the zinc name plates? Love those too 😉

  17. Lovely table and absolutely you! I love the orange juice pitcher, so unique, but your grandma’s pitcher is amazingly gorgeous! Swoon!

    And I’m looking for water glasses exactly like those, cannot find them anywhere. I’d love to know where you bought them.

    Seems you had a lovely Christmas!

  18. Love those boots . . . and the Redskins sweatshirt! I asked for an RG3 jersey (but just two days before Christmas – guess that was a little late notice!)

  19. My daughter gave me your book for Christmas! I’m so excited and can’t wait to read it!
    Merry Christmas!

  20. mary gladhill says:

    I also received your book. Cant wait to read.

  21. I got your book for Christmas from my daughter too! I love it! I have already started reading it cover to cover. Love the boots and I’m so glad you had a very blessed Christmas. The snow looks divine.

  22. Merry Christmas Marian! I am so glad that you had such a wonderful day! Your table setting was just beautiful and I especially loved your apple topiary and antique silver pitcher. My family lives in the DC area and they are huge Redskinns fans and would love your sweatshirt too. I myself love those boots! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful last week of 2012!

  23. I WANT that pitcher and oj pitcher. I WANT it. Merry Christmas…~~~~~!!!!! God’s blessings, and I wil try not to covet these two items now. :)

  24. Trish says:

    Beautiful quote……

  25. Mike Parsons says:

    Merry Christmas to Jeff, Marian, and my two grandsons, Marshall and Calvin. Blessedly, we did not have a white Christmas, just a normal central North Carolina one. Linda noted that this was the first time in 39 years we had not been with the “kids”, one set or the other as our daughter was in Georgia. So, we opened our home to five couples who would have had to sit out Christmas day by themselves. I prepared a roast tenderloin, my first, and everyone else brought the trimmings, salads, veggies, and desserts. What a feast. High carb, high protein, and high fat. Perfect! I must admit, I did not get arount to making my special pecan pralines. But, that can change anytime. We did have a terrific Facetime get together with Jeff, Marian and the kids. Wow, that iPhone is the best. Thanks, Jeff, for talking me into getting it. The tree is down, the decorations are put away until next year. Best to all.

    The Captain

  26. I loved reading your recap. It sounds like such a wonderful day and your table is so beautiful I hardly know where to begin. The topiary is gorgeous but what I love the most is the pitcher that belonged to your grandmother. How special and what a perfect day to use it.

  27. What’s amazing to me is that some people’s traditions are so different. In the northeast we usually put the tree up in the middle of December. We can’t put it up in November because it is fresh and wouldn’t last until Christmas. We also keep it up at least until New Year’s, if not Twelvth Night. We also play Christmas music the week after Christmas.
    Did you know that LLBean has a lifetime guarantee? They will fix or replace your boots as long as you live. What a deal!
    Thanks for the quote. I am struggling to understand it. Jeff should preach a sermon about it. I know the Newtown families are struggling with it also. Sometimes I think that extreme pain makes us more compassionate and mature.
    Loved meeting you this year. In 2011 I met DeeAnna from Denver at National Thrifting Day. Next year Aunt Peaches and Funky Junk Donna are on my list. I COVET that silver pitcher. I will have to hunt one down. Between you and Betsy Speert I have found many things that I have never seen before. Ann

  28. The quote made me cry and the silver pitcher made me jealous. The boots just made me smile. Sweet husbands are worth more than their weight in gold.
    Merry Christmas Marian. I am so glad it was a happy one for you.

  29. i got your book for Christmas, too! (and i wore red plaid pajamas ALL day as well!!)

  30. Maria says:

    Merry Christmas! I love everything about your table. Just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. Blessings in the New Year!

  31. Paula Lusk says:

    What a beutiful table you set. I love traditions at Christmas especially. And love your boots. Blessings Paula Lusk

  32. Linda C says:

    Love your table…what a gorgeous place to sit, eat, and enjoy your company. This was my first Christmas to have name plates (for the four of us). Our 31 yr. old son was impressed. I made them from small frame I found at Goodwill. I spray painted them and ran Christmas scrapbook paper through the printer to add the names. They were a great touch.

    I also got your book for Christmas. I am loving it….such a great read and so encouraging.

    God bless you and your family in 2013! LC

  33. Beautiful pictures and I love your grandmother’s pitcher. So gorgeous. I loved your quote at the end. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Sarah says:

    Chan you please share where you got the kids drinking cups, the ones with the straws in them? LOVE those! Merry Christmas!!

  35. What a beautiful post….and lovely boots! :)

  36. Your table was just beautiful… the apple topiary!!…and those boots are the greatest…so nice of your hubby to remember!!!….so glad your Christmas was filled with joy!

  37. I love your apple topiary and those zinc nametags!

  38. Eileen says:

    Your grandmothers silver pitcher is so gorgeous. Pretty topiary.

  39. It looks like you had a fabulous Christmas! I LOVE love love those boots!

  40. Janie says:

    Thanks for a year of inspiration. Each morning during my coffee I read what you are up to. I love your book and all the good things that have happened to you. I was wondering what kind of camera you use; your photography is so special and helps to tell your story so well? Continued blessings on you and your family in this New Year!

  41. Maggie Fieger says:

    I received your book for Christmas this year. You have the same taste that my mom had, and it feels so warm and peaceful. Her house was white walls and blue and white everything else, with red and yellow accents, and it was so peaceful and beautiful. Thank you for such a beautiful book.

  42. Lovely quote. True & reflective! It’s a keeper

  43. Yvetta says:

    Hubby gave me your book for Christmas, I love it! You are so inspirational, georgous photography, and impressed that you did it all. Will be watching for a book signing in OK!

  44. Peggy Brogdon Morgan says:

    My daughter bought your book for me for Christmas; it’s a beautiful book and I am enjoying every page! I love the heirloom silver pitcher that belonged to your grandmother as well as the one you served juice in. We were stationed at the Army War College in Carlisle from 2002-2005 and we took several trips to Gettysburg, what an awesome place to live.

  45. I love the topiary and that silver pitcher…wow, just gorgeous. And your sister-in-law is beautiful, she looks like a European movie star!

    Here’s to a wonderful 2012!


  46. Marian, your table was wonderful. I love the topiary centerpiece. I make one with a form I was given by a friend many years ago. The form appears to be handmade, not sure if it is. Your’s turned out beautifully…can’t wait to read your tutorial. I love the special quote at the end of your post. It’s so true that for some, the holidays are more difficult than any other time of the year. That was so sweet and so thoughtful of you to think of that and to mention it in your post. God Bless you and your dear family this upcoming year. I know 2013 will be wonderful and will hold amazing things for you! :)

  47. Just came across your blog……think I’m obsessed : )


  1. […] hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  It was an awesome day for me.  You can read the recap HERE if you missed it.  I love the rush of presents on Christmas, but it’s always a bit of a […]

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