Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 2016~










When we returned from our visit south..we both knew we wanted to get our tree up as soon as possible..and we wanted scones..
We love the tree..we bought this artificial one about 12 years ago.
It just wasn't working for us anymore a natural tree..the needles..cutting the trunk dragging it in..watering it..not to mention scraping door frames..

so after Christmas that year..we spotted this one and bought it..it was so tall and the girth was so wide at the bottom..we took that part off.
There's no theme to the tree..decorations since we married almost 43 years ago.

Some I leave in the box/bin..because some have become a little more favorited..
Jacques is a child at heart for Christmas..he puts the tree up..and it's a feat..especially when the pre-lit tree became less and less lit until it just didn't light one light this year..so all the lights are strung by him....he sets all that up..and then I add the decorations..it takes a few hours..I even forgot the topper.and I am not going back up the ladder...I place each one carefully and we admire..
I think I told you that story about our tree when I was young.The lights were larger..multicolor..and I would see my mom in the dark..contemplating the tree..and the light of her cigarette was the only other light..smoking wasn't that frowned upon 45 years ago.
I have wondered what she was thinking about..her daughter that passed away,my dad's health? Financial concerns?My brothers? Me?
I just know she seemed to be in another quiet place.
Have I mentioned I loved her so much?♥

Anyway that's our tree and I feel lucky to be able to look at it.
It's getting old and it seems to be getting bigger as we get smaller.,shorter,weaker.

Then the scones..I think he is hooked..
so I made them more Christmasey yesterday w/ cranberries..I've shared this recipe many times it is one of the several we like..It's from All Recipes..from Mylène our daughter..Noah's mommy.

Our dear friend Nancy is in Thailand..relishing every spiritual moment..she is there for 1 month ..she returns Dec 24th.
I have received an email..and really..that place is her.She was looking at it as a pilgrimage.
I call her my Buddha:)
She obviously ordered the pointsettias before leaving as they were delivered after her departure.
A box arrived also with dear dear things in it for Christmas..
As you know Jacques and I don't exchange gifts..fun to see someone thinks about you.
Grateful.


I'll start some baking soon..but not to much since my girls make so many for Xmas eve.I do brunch Xmas morning..and everyone is a little less on the desserts.

.
Who knows how long we will be able to keep doing this?
So I will appreciate while we can.
I must say I LOVE the simple vignettes people are posting..of a white stark room and Charlie Brown real tree..and hardly anything in it.
Maybe that's the future for Jacques and I.
Jesus is already in his crèche under the tree..it was mine as a child..he is missing a wax arm..
The boys always go and look:) And ask me questions..
I hope The holidays will be All Is Calm All Is Bright..for you.
That's it..health before everything.
I hope you feel the love of people that have left us:(
Or the peace of just being on your own..
Maybe with friends..or maybe not.
Just peace in your hearts..in your families and friends.
Those of you I know battling illnesses.
Here's to a cure.



73 comments:

  1. What a sweet and heartfelt post, Monique! Christmas really brings up so many memories, doesn't it? Your tree is beautiful! We went to a reusable tree (I hate the word 'fake') years ago too after vacuuming and picking up needles for it seems like weeks after Christmas. We went for a 'slim' line tree and love how it fits here. I wired all the lights on myself. Heaven help me when they go out. Jacques must have the patience of a saint :) I love all of your vignettes and your thoughtful words. 21 days to go - hard to believe! Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family, Monique ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How many years have we shared this Season Susan?Gardenbuddies about 17 years ago:) Longest penpal ever:)
      I am grateful.
      He has the patience of a SAINT for lights..figuring out technology..reading isntructions..building when he used to build..oh so many things..don't get him in traffic..waiting in line..or other drivers:)
      I rarely drive when he is in that car as a passenger;)
      Reusable sounds "stinkin,cuter!" To coin one of your phrases!:)
      x

      Delete
  2. You are so sweet and thoughtful Monique. I'm sure that is your prettiest ever. Oh how I wish I could get my husband to not exchange gifts as we have all we need and it is hard to find anything. I would love a fossil or nest or something like that. He wants all the presents he can get. I'll try once more this week, then whatever he agrees to, I'll either just finish up the littles or look high and low for gifts for him. Scones are my favorite and I need to make a recipe I used to make for oat scones. They were so good. I just wish I didn't eat them all. The days do grow dearer don't they, as another year ends. Who sped up time? I am looking forward to Christmas this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I knew we were past gifts about 25 years ago:)One year I bought him a keyboard..he had bought me the same one..I even get uncomfortable at the thought of exchanging gifts.I feel we both have what we need.
      But the children..that's a different story.I know you would love a fossil or nest:) Nature,pets..grandkids,the city house..family.The good stuff:)
      We noticed the top branch is crooked..Staying like that:)

      Delete
  3. Beautiful tree and poinsettias Monique. And the scones? Well, I just wish I was there to savor one or two, they look wonderful. We switched back to real trees a few years ago. This year we had no idea till we brought it in that it was a total Charlie Brown Christmas tree. So homely and misshapen - but it's funny, I've become quite fond of it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find some friends have been like that..we grow so fond of them..homely and misshapen being a funny comparison.
      I bet your Charlie Brown tree is lovely.
      Lucy,Linus,Pig Pen and Peanuts:)

      Delete
  4. Your tree is gorgeous! We switched to an artificial tree 2 years ago. I still miss my real tree but this is so much easier. The lights are already attached and it comes together in three parts. So easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was pre-lit..not anymore;)With the years..well they have taken their toll.
      Ours too in parts..but yikes so dang heavy..that's why I say..I will appreciate it now..as we will surely go smaller one day sooner than later..
      Thanks Penny!

      Delete
  5. Is this your Christmas tree? Oh my! It is absolutely gorgeous and fairy-like. I think I am in love with it :)
    We did ours today, it is less proud but still quite cute!
    I also bought a Poinsetta to put in our living room, it makes it very Christmassy ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet it is beautiful Camille..and less is best..on se dirige..tranquillement pas vite mais vers la simplicité..je crois que cela va prendre un siècle...
      J'aurais aimé découvrir cette simplicité toute jeune..comme toi..
      Certaine que chez toi c'est la paix.:)♥

      Delete
  6. Such a lovely tree and decorations. Oh how Tom and I enjoyed the Christmas season so much. It saddens me that I still don't feel like decorating. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Just not today. Until then I will enjoy looking at your lovely photos and wishing I had one of your scones to have with my cup of tea.
    **hugs**
    diane @ thoughts&shots

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane..I remember your Christmas with ALL the presents:)The holidays are awful for those cherished memories.
      I hope one day..you will find that joie de vivre again..and I wish you the courage to get there.I know you have it..it's a"knowing'.
      Take care.

      Delete
  7. Oh, Monique, you have the prettiest heart! Your thoughtful words are filled with peace and calm. Thank you! I love seeing this view in your home, the arched door way, your piano. You tree is huge! I can't imagine that it had yet another lower section. Our home doesn't have space for a large tree, but I found the perfect size for us a few years ago. Yes, we too have gone the faux tree route. Many reasons why, but for me, the best part is how easily it is to bend and move the branches to allow the decorations to fit just where I want. Silly, I know! Yes, the ease of pulling it out of the box is right up there too. ;-)
    This year, I moved the tree back into the living room so we can enjoy it while sitting by the fire. In recent years we've had it out in the sunroom. Change is good! I also limited the number of ornaments I used this year. Like you, my ornaments are ones that have been collected over 40+ years of marriage, plus some from my single days. At this point there are enough to decorate a huge tree, so many stay in the boxes in my "Christmas" closet. Many hold special memories and bringing them out each year is like a visit from an old friend. Your tree is so festive with all the lights, garland, and wonderful ornaments. Love see it! No gift exchange here either. We fill each other's stocking. The chef will get some things that I found while in New Orleans at La Riviere Confiserie. It's an French artisanal candy shop, but they had other treats for my guy who like savories too. It's fun to find things on trips that I save for his stocking. Kansas City goodies too.
    Will try the scone recipe. We have been buying them from a local bakery, but I should make my own.
    Happy Holidays, dear one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Sarah..I know your tee and decorations are beautiful.I have yet to meet someone who has a knack for the beautiful..Never gawdy..always always so tasteful..I bet you have many boxes..through the years..w/ marriage..etc..it is normal to have memories to hang..friends we once saw..trips..outings..all make for hanging each one w/ so many thoughts.
      I bend and lean some on the branches also.I much prefer adorning it..that putting it away.Le chef will love your offerings..I bet Sadie has a stocking too♥
      As always thank you for your nice words Sarah.Happy Holidays to you also.

      Delete
  8. Love from me Monique ...x❤️

    ReplyDelete
  9. A lovely post. What counts are the moments now and the memories of loved ones past.
    Our tree this year is much smaller (we always have a real one). Our kid decorated it, with about a quarter of the usual baubles. Minimalist. I like it.
    BTW, the French never water their trees. I searched and searched for a stand to pour water into, and they are non-existent here. A lady at the garden center told me it was fruitless to water a tree that has no roots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love minimalist..too late for that here for now..it would make us sad to not continue tradition..our family likes it..we like it..eventually it will be minimalist..
      as far as the watering..I sure like her answer..makes sense..however..

      I thought I would Google because our natural tree seller who I liked so much..told us we had to..so I just peeked and the first article Google came up with..cited this:

      The base of a cut tree should never dry out..in order to keep the needles fresher..(a recent university study even confirms watering works)
      A rough rule of thumb..is that a typical tree may consume one quart of water..for every inch for every inch of it's diameter.~
      The National Christmas Tree Association states the same thing..
      so who's right LOL?
      I know here they dry out so fast w/ heating homes in winter..fireplace heat etc..perhaps France is entirely different.
      Happy Holidays to you and yours.

      Delete
  10. Oh Monique, what a wonderful post. I love your tree. I have mine up and decorated and will do a post this week.

    I know exactly how you feel about the tree. I have have my faux tree about the same amount of time that you have had yours. It gets harder and harder to put each year. Your trees is stunning with all your beautiful ornaments on it.

    Have a wonderful week....

    Hugs,
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You too Mary and I will keep checking to see your post..KUDOS for continuing to keep having fun..I hope I am like you when I grow up.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing the start of your Christmas celebration M. The photos are wonderful as is the accompanying text. Oh, and your tree looks great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank for making me smile from The Starlight Lounge🎻

      Delete
    2. You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed. :)

      Delete
  12. Your tree is dazzling, Monique. I know what you mean when you say you don't know how long you'll be able to do all this -- so do it up! That's what I believe with all my heart. Like you, my big tree is crammed with lovely things -- and crammed with memories. It is my biography -- things I love, things I made or that were made for me. Decorations picked up while traveling, gifts from dear friends and old family pieces, too. They hold our history, those big green trees. And yes, some things stay in the box, maybe this year or next, maybe forever. We tell our stories and our stories stay the same -- and change.

    Every photo is telling me there is a big bundle of love in your house. Love and beauty. Bring it on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanie..that is priceless..our trees are our biographies..I think you just summed all of it up in one absolutely perfect word.
      And the bring it on..you sound like a bundle of joy if we are speaking about bundles🌞
      Maybe you will share yours.Have a nice day🌲

      Delete
  13. So very pretty and festive!!
    Mille merci

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your home is looking so pretty and festival, Monique. Nobody know what will happen next year, all we can do is enjoy this one.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too true..let's hope it is good for everyone:)

      Delete
  15. Lovely, Monique--the tree and sentiments. Christmas is always bittersweet, I think--at least after a certain age. The Christmas I was eleven was the first one that found me more concerned that my younger brother--six at the time--have a good holiday than concerned with myself, and that's when I knew I wasn't exactly a kid anymore. And after awhile for us all. . .with losses and changes. . .it becomes bittersweet. We are blessed for every bit of happiness year-round, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly bittersweet..I learned long time ago..giving is more for me..I get excited at the prospect of giving..even a card:) It is always nice to be thought of..but when we give we have sometimes more time to think about it..the anticipation of the result..

      Delete
  16. Hi Monique...
    You sure have been busy since you got home! That tree is gorgeous!! I am trying to talk the boyfriend into an artificial tree...he is not buying it!
    I am really tired of the slugging...just like you described...and the clean-up! I wish we didn't buy each other gifts...we do have everything we need..and more!! I am going to work on him again today, as I need to get a tree tomorrow...dinner guests on Saturday...need a tree! 🌲
    Have a great day...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes yu need a tee..I remeber visiting friends and when the tree was up..it cast a whole different feeling..of cozy and introspection..even a tiny tree on a table w/ lights:)
      A home w/out a tree is sad.
      To me..even nice branches w/ baubles and lights.
      You too have a great day Linda..it is snowing here!

      Delete
    2. Guess what?
      We got an artificial tree! I fluffed and primped it! Looks great! Lights are on...will finish decorating it tomorrow... Glad that is done!

      Delete
  17. Wow, you waste no time getting the house all decked out! That tree must be hard to manage. I've gone to a table top one but still live. My tree is like yours, the ornaments are a collection from over the years. I don't put them all up. Your story of the tree ights made me think back to when the bulbs were big and multicolored. If one burnt out none would light. Then it was the hunt to find the problem bulb. My dad did that, with a few grumbles, and he was in charge of the tinsel (the lead kind that hung beautifully). I made some gingerbread houses and will do one with Frankie and Katherine. I bought Ricardo's 3D house, tree and sled cookie cutters. I made one with his recipe for gingerbread cookie and jerry loves it. For the kids I made with another recipe that is sweeter.i wonder how many gum drops little miss will eat before gluing on the house. Enjoy your baking and the holiday festivities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad the gingerbread worked out well:)
      For a switch I have a chocolate house in the making..need to think of what to put it on..and what decorations:)
      I remember the big bulbs..the mini lights promise to stay lit of one burns out..LIARS:)
      The tree is hard to manage..I did say that to Jacques and he said at least 2 more years:) he is a trooper.
      I have only made one cookie recipe..and the house pieces that's it so far..we had snow:)
      I love a white Christmas..hope it stays..balmy and green last year felt very weird.Have fun with all your Christmas preps!

      Delete
    2. He is a trooper! I still have to put the houses together so I'm not out of the woods yet. Chocolate sounds good. I would just pipe in white or if powdered sugar would last dust some snow on the roof? Maybe do all chocolate, semi sweet and milk chocolate morsels with a touch of white piping.

      Delete
    3. I think that is where I am headed..simple..maybe a marshmallow roof..:)
      saw one somewhere in a magazine I think..thank you for the suggestions..:)
      My piping is terrible...yet I have to do some gingerbread things..

      Delete
  18. Merry Christmas Mon Ami! Everything looks like magic!
    Bisous xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very sweet post. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Your tree is gorgeous, tall and regal. I have one tree up so far. A few small ones scattered around. I am doing less this year. You keep doing until you can't any longer. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda..I can see you loving this time of year..trees..tablescapes..:)

      Delete
  20. Merry Christmas..I have missed a few of your beautiful posts.
    The tree is just magical.
    Enjoy your beautiful family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ..I bet you had a ball with family!Hope to read about it..

      Delete
    2. I certainly will. What a different country it is.
      Love this post darling M.
      Xx

      Delete
  21. Our tree is not up yet Monique, but oh I have so enjoyed seeing yours. It is just beautiful. I love that you decorate it together. I hope we can get ours up tomorrow. Todd gets everything down from the attic and then I do all the decorating. Its because I am far too pedantic about where everything goes. He just sits and admires my handiwork when it is done. Your Poinsettas are gorgeous. My boss used to buy one for each of us when I worked down South. She would send the gardener out to buy however many and we would each get one. I always enjoyed having one. I loved the memory of your mom and her light. My mother only quit smoking about 12 years ago now. My father quit when we were very small. My mother still chews nicorette and probably always will. Your scones look fabulously delicious! I keep telling myself I am going to make some scones and then my day escapes from me. Maybe today. Thanks for all that you share. It cheers my heart. Merry Christmas! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pedantic too(love that word marie) so for the top..I am on a ladder and I have placed the ornaments close by and he hands them to me..he doesn't decorate...but doe the hardest lest fun job..tree and lights..Marie no wonder the days escape you..you do so much!Nicorette..I remember that..
      I would not treat myself to a pointsettia..she is a very thoughtful girl and loves doing this..
      Enjoy getting your decorations done..I remeber seeing your beautiful tree last year..will it go by your fireplace?

      Delete
  22. Your tree is one of the prettiest I've ever seen! Love the tall ceilings and you already have presents wrapped! The poinsettias are beautiful. I bought one for myself the other day - so festive. I finished my decorating but not the baking! So much to do :) Enjoy your day and thanks for the beautiful photos that make me smile!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thank you..for your stellar shots..blog and recipes..Happy Holidays....

      Delete
  23. A lovely sentiment -- I am still battling election blues and haven't decorated a thing... must get to it this weekend. You certainly put me in the mood -- just a perfect tree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many many of my US friends/aquaintances are battling the very same feelings...:(

      Delete
  24. Your tree is gorgeous! :) Love all the festive flowers. I know many are, or know someone who is battling an illness or hardship in life. Thanks for your warm wishes. May you and your family be blessed and have a wonderful holiday. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yours also Amy...thanks for all the cute things you share through the year.

      Delete
  25. Hi Monique, I really love your Christmas tree, it is amazing! And what a lovely gift of poinsettias you were given. I have yet to put my tree up, it will have to wait until week-end, but I have managed to buy and wrap all of the presents. Thank you for the kind sentiments :) I hope that you have a wonderful advent. Hugs Rose x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do too Rose..I started wrapping yesterday:)The less onour mind of to do's..the calmer the holidays are.

      Delete
  26. Monique your tree is gorgeous. Thank you for the heartfelt holiday sentiments. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wish for you is that the coming year is as happy with the events as your year this year has been:)

      Delete
  27. Such a beautiful tree...full of light and memories. Wonderful, Monique.
    My daughter and I put ours up yesterday...it's live ( and I'm not going to think about the bugs that are supposedly on the live trees this year) and because I've lived in condos for over 40 some years, we always do a table top tree that reaches the ceiling. In my last move, we sorted through ornaments and discarded those that weren't favorites. Most ornaments are sea oriented now, with a few family treasures thrown in.
    Glad it's done and glad my daughter likes to do it. ( or does she? Must ask) She leave for NYC this morning and will be back in 10 days. The cat stays with me. ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's her cat? I thought it was yours..I guess it's both of yours..she sounds like a lovely daughter barbara..loved that vintage pic you posted..
      I am sure we will get to tabletop..hanging on..
      If I lived in Florida..our tree would be much different..this is too heavy ..you need light and airy there..

      like wood paneling..cozy here..never loved in in Fl..so dark for so fresh and light.
      Happy preps Barbara.

      Delete
  28. It certainly is a stately tree! I was wondering the same thing - how long will we want to do this? I still love it! I put on the Christmas music and am in my happy place, but you think about those things at this age. We had the large lights too, and we loved sitting on the floor and just looking at it! I wonder what my kids have thought and what their kids are thinking. What a wonderful time of year. May your Christmas be magical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yours is already magical..You really are a nana that creates magical magic:)Thank you..

      Delete
  29. Oh my goodness! What a gorgeous tree!! You all did a fantastic job with it. Our pre-lit tree is also starting to fade, I don't know why I thought those lights would last forever?! I like that idea about the Charlie Brown tree, simple and less hassle. To good health! Love you Monique! Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To good health Bev!!
      I honestly thought the lights would last forever too..you made me smile..So happy to see how well you have settled into your new home..:)Happy Christmas to you and yours Bev♥

      Delete
  30. What a beautiful tree and beautiful memories. And those poinsettias. I love pink. Have a wonderful happy Christmas, Monique!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your tree is so lovely...much good health and happiness to you and yours... xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  32. Monique, Prettiest tree I've seen, love it :) Your family will enjoy your beautiful festive home!! Happy Sunday!
    Hugs, Jody ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot the angel..my Lucas and Max said..but where's your angel? I just coudn't have Jacques drag out the ladder..enjoying while we can Jody..jacques spotted a much smaller one and said..look how nice that tree is..I looked away..:)

      Delete
  33. Allez, une petite dernière, pour le plaisir et parce que je n'ai pas envie d'aller travailler aujourd'hui ... tant de choses à faire. Je t'envoie un mail très vite pour te raconter ... Rebises

    ReplyDelete