pens or pins? that is the question...

What's one to do when the heart and hands enjoy words and fabric, the pattern of paragraphs and quilts to an equal enthusiasm? To solve my dilemma I'm writing the print that stirs me and sharing the journey of blending fabrics into quilts and wearables, the discovery of old--be it quilts or friends, and the pleasures of today. Come...have a visit with me.

Monday, December 27, 2010



Merry Christmas, Joy to the World, Christmas Greetings and Happy New Year...I love these traditional greetings. For me it is not the same to say Happy Holidays. For me, the lack of sentimental language falls cold.

 I like tradition. I like repetition of years gone by. Time spent opening and hanging old decorations, addressing and sending cards to friends far away, preparing favorite recipes, and making time for visits and parties with extended family and friends identifies the spirit of Christmas. The sameness reinforces joyful memories built one year at a time.

"Twas the night after Christmas" when my daughter and I looked at every ornament on her tree. They sprang eternal to her 32 years...childhood memories built in the form of shiny glass balls and classic painted wooden shapes in the style of sleighs and little trains. These beginning stories of Lis and her husband Andy continue to multiply.From childhood memory  ornaments to college and early marriage years, a recall of the giver and the occasion rings clear. Even now, more ornaments are being added for their young children, my precious grandchildren. The tree is glistening with beauty, smiling with 30+ years of Christmas stories. So many tales are told in these simple shapes--vacations, summer camps, school awards, children's births, work and friendship connections.   Indeed,a dimensional journal of family history is recorded in the glitz, homemade style, sentimental paint or stitch of every ornament.

The allure and sentimental value of the decorated tree is enhanced with an advent calendar, old ruby-red nosed Rudolph setting on the chair (from Lis's childhood), the scripture opened to Luke 2's recording of Christ's birth and gingerbread men cookies ready in the kitchen. In addition, the phone conversations with sister and daughter "do you think he will like....?" add spirit to the hustle and bustle of the season. Augment these sentiments with wrapping paper, tape and ribbon, all awaiting the wonder of the hospitality of  the family get-together for fun and gift giving.

I cherish the menus of years gone by and the delicious flavors of this season's fare. I save magazines and love to group several Christmas issues from various years--Martha Stewart Living, Cooking Light and Bon Appetite read awesome to me with their golden baked turkey on the cover and layed cake inside--be it a 1998 or 2010 issue. It is a joy to flip pages in favorite cookbooks and see a note "mom made this, Christmas 1986." I am always tempted to prepare it again. I cherish the time to make a home-made gift by needle and thread for family and friends--even though the goals of completion are never fully met. The calendar seems to always run out.

Enter the drive from one city to next, joining family and feeling their hugs and smiles exchanged with sincerity. I love the dinners amid laughter and conversations "do you remember the Christmas when?" with everyone adding their personal version to complete the annual story. Don't forget to add the tale of the snow blizzard of 2009 and our Christmas Eve time in the generous snow shelter provided by Goldsby Baptist Church. In the not expected blizzard, 9 hours of snow packed driving led us to spend the evening in a spirited round of favorite carols, the reading of the Christmas story and a night's rest on the vestibule church pews. The novel experience provided one of my all-time favorite Christmas memories. Family connections were possible the next day and the tradition of old and new  (with a new story) began again.

I am thankful for all these years of tradition. I cherish family and the stages we are in. Grandparent, parent, sibling, cousin, niece and little ones--every age writes a different chapter. Every chapter spells j-o-y and thanksgiving for God's blessings. Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night. May you and yours be blessed in the coming New Year.



p.s. I regret I fell behind in my blog season of 2010. Thanks for reading my weekly words. I'm back on go--once a week I look forward to sharing 2011. Let me hear from you. Tell me your stories, your favorite books, your travels...stay in touch.


  1. Merry Christmas, dear friend and a Happy New Year! You are a true blessing in the riches sense and an inspirtion to follow! I so enjoy readig your words of wisdom and shared insight! Can't wait to see what the New Year has in store for us! Blessings to you my dear friend!!!!

  2. Merry Christmas, Ali! I'm thrilled to be able to read again your delightful words and to see the heart of family Christmas memories. I especially love your description: 'every age writes a different chapter' in a family's Christmas history. Thank you for leaving a surprise stocking for me to read!