Posted by: christinelaennec | December 19, 2014

Christmas spirit, continued

Thank you everyone for your very kind comments about our Christmas preparations in the last post.  I thought I would share a few more Christmassy images with you.

A few days ago J and I went to stock up at Whole Foods on the south side of Glasgow.  J and her family were our downstairs neighbours in Aberdeen, and they moved to Glasgow just a few months before we did.  I feel so blessed to have her nearby, as our friendship has deepened.

Whole Foods (which as many of you will know is an American organic supermarket) has a most wonderful Christmas display:

Gingerbread village at Whole Foods Market in Giffnock.  December 2014.

Gingerbread village at Whole Foods Market in Giffnock. December 2014.

My own efforts at edible forms of Christmas decoration have not all been so successful.  I had such an enthusiastic response to last year’s post, The Good, the Acceptable and the Ugly, in which I included some Christmas cookie anomalies (wouldn’t want to call them failures as such!), that I thought I would share some from this year with you:

This year's runners-up...

This year’s runners-up…

Here we have the scary angel, a snowflake that a silver bird seems to have pooped on, a snowman who looks as if he’s been shot full of silver bullets, a very wobbly star, a dozy flower and a couple of burnt offerings.

It seems to me that the ingredients of the old familiar silver balls, and also writing icing, have changed.  The silver balls never used to melt, and the writing icing doesn’t behave the way it used to.  Well, a poor workman blames her tools!  Nevermind, they are all tasty.

The tree smells lovely.  Here is a photo that includes some very old beads from my great-granny May, straw ornaments that we bought in Bishop Hill, Illinois, and an ornament that we bought when we stayed at the wonderful Izaak Walton Inn in Glacier National Park one December.  We took the train from Illinois, for two days and a night, and then hopped off just next to the hotel.  It was a wonderful couple of days.

The Christmas tree, 2014.

The Christmas tree, 2014.

The little mouse in the red coat with an acorn-top hat is new this year, brought back from Portland, to remember my Dad by.  I don’t really associate Christmas with my parents, not having celebrated it with them for many decades.  So I don’t have the heartache of something missing this year, at least not as far as Christmas goes.

Do you know what the strangest thing is?  When I was let into my Dad’s apartment, in the first week of November after he’d died, all our Christmas presents to him from December 2013 were on his coffee table!  Unwrapped, but unused, and collected in a little pile.  It reminded me of how we enjoy our little piles of presents on Christmas Day, and it warms our hearts to feel so loved by people.  Perhaps that gathering of presents from us reminded him during the year that he was loved and thought of.  Which, of course, is the true significance of any gift.

I will miss my Dad in September, which is when I Christmas shop for my American family and friends, in time to send them surface mail.  As I posted our UK parcels this year, I felt keenly that it’s a privilege that we are all here to enjoy life, Christmas and each other’s friendship.

I wish you a really good weekend!



  1. Dear Christine,
    what a lovely post …………your cookies look so delicious and your tree is decorated wonderful!
    I can feel with you , thinking of your Dad …….mine died 1999, adn I still miss him so ….
    Your last words are wonderful thank you for those!
    Let’s enjoy Christmas, Life and all our wonderful friendships arround the world!
    Sending Love and hugsand Christmas Blessings for a wonderful 4th Advent-Weekend.
    Claudia xo

  2. Christine, your home is oozing Christmas. And your dad is close by, because you make sure of it. Quite a comfort. Have a lovely weekend, yourself.

  3. Christine, your home is oozing Christmas. And your dad is close by, because you make sure of it. Quite a comfort. Have a lovely weekend, yourself.

  4. Holiday greetings Christine. It was so interesting to read about you having a Whole Foods market. I was just at the one in Laguna Miguel,CA. I love that store as it reminded me of my favorite grocery I used to go to in Tacoma where I could but all the gourmet European foodstuffs. Your remembrances of your dear father are touching. I wish you and your family a blessed nativity.

  5. Your Christmas cookie presentation inspired me to utter some hearty HO HO HO(S), Christine! 🙂
    I also appreciated your remembrances about some of your Christmas ornaments and your relationship with your dad and other family members…and have similar feelings about mine.
    Life is mostly full of comfort and joy in my neck of the woods, and I hope it will be for you as well this week as you continue your celebration. xx

  6. You are way too funny about those cookies. They looked wonderful to me until I read your comments. I laughed so hard I could not read. All the rest looks so pretty. Here is wishing you more happy memories of your dad and less saddness. Merry Christmas.

  7. I think you are right about the cookie decorations changing formula – I have noticed the same….I do think your funny cookies are much better than the perfect ones and much easier to eat, I would say 🙂 The tree is very pretty with all the memories. I know that this is not an easy year to celebrate, having just lost your Father, but I like to think our parents are still with us, especially at these special times, even if they weren’t in life. Wishing you and your dear family a very blessed Christmas and all good things for the coming New Year, Christine. xo Karen

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