‘Tis The Holiday Season —So Why Do I Need A Push To Get Into It?

The sky is white on this very quiet Sunday.  It looks like it could snow—although I don’t really think its cold enough for anything more than flurries.

The house has pretty much been decorated. And this year I’m keeping it simple and understated.  Actually, I’ve never gone overboard but I’m cutting back a bit this year.


Come on in! Don’t be a stranger!  Come see how the house looks!


Are you a fan of the rustic look? This year I’m sticking to a rustic and casual theme!


The tree is lit up..


The stairways are lit up too..and festooned with the burlap ribbon and greens. Simple but nice.


I would have made more big bows, but I can’t find my Bowdabra. I may go out and buy another one! I friggin’ love my Bowdabra and fear that a certain someone threw it out! I need it for wrapping the gifts!

Selfish me–but I miss my kids terribly this time of year.  I pick Oona up at the airport on the 21st. I’m counting the minutes.  Oh. We’ll most likely get into an argument within the first half hour of driving back home.And after arguing, we’ll make up and cuddle with tea and a Hallmark Christmas Movie! My new favorite is Family For Christmas!   And the boys arrive on Christmas Eve.  I’m excited!!!!!!!

FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS - An investigative journalist finds herself wondering what would have been had she stayed with the love of her life instead of pursuing a career.  With some Christmas magic, she wakes up one morning as a wife to her former love, and mother of two girls.  Though initially baffled by her new stay-at-home mom life, she navigates the comical day-to-day challenges of the suburbs and discovers all the love, family and Christmas spirit that she had been missing.  Faced with the question of what "having it all" really means, she realizes that being part of a family may be even more fulfilling than her glamorous career.  Photo: Tyron Leitso, Lacey Chabert.  Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Cate Cameron

FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS – An investigative journalist finds herself wondering what would have been had she stayed with the love of her life instead of pursuing a career. With some Christmas magic, she wakes up one morning as a wife to her former love, and mother of two girls. Though initially baffled by her new stay-at-home mom life, she navigates the comical day-to-day challenges of the suburbs and discovers all the love, family and Christmas spirit that she had been missing. Faced with the question of what “having it all” really means, she realizes that being part of a family may be even more fulfilling than her glamorous career. Photo: Tyron Leitso, Lacey Chabert. Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Cate Cameron

Read the synopsis under the photo. I’m telling you, this movie is Oscar-worthy in my book!


But back to the decor. I’ve been told to stop with the pillows.  I can’t…


My favorite corner of the house. The sunroom. It’s not too sunny today but my pillows make me happy!


Dressing this OVERPRICED Ethan Allen sofa isn’t helping the looks of it. After Christmas we are having it re-stuffed.  


This is what all those throw blankets are for.  Chippy is a sofa dog. He will be in this position all afternoon. Oh. He’ll get up every so often to look out the window, then he’ll go right back into this position.


See how this rustic pillow ties into the casual theme?  This pillow was a great find last year at Home Goods!


See the two green pillows? They were five bucks each at Primark. I snuck them into the house a few weeks ago!


Our little club chair in the downstairs family room does not go ignored by the pillow decor–or throw!


Even the downstairs guest room gets a touch of Christmas..


Poinsettias are the greatest and most inexpensive way to decorate. Four dollars each at Walmart. YES. Walmart!  


..and the smaller ones are $2.22 each!  I made Salted Caramel Nuts yesterday and another batch earlier this morning.  Four jars full are now up on shelves that I can’t reach. The temptation is too much for me and I haven’t given up on my weight loss!


This is about as “over-the-top” as the decorating gets.  Two Irish Santas, a little Irish Banshee from Madame Alexander, two snow globes, some evergreens and more poinsettias.  Looks like Chippy got off the sofa for a minute!


More greens and more poinsettias on the top of the cupboard!


I also like little touches throughout the house. Like this red platter..


..and a cute bowl for the remotes!


Christmas mitts and a pot holder..


more stuff…


..and my little red hen sitting on a wreath!


Seriously-Bonaparte doesn’t get into it. At all.  And I’m left to my own devices to decorate the tree. It was different when I had the kids to help me. And even when they would get bored after ten minutes, there was always hot cocoa and cookies, Christmas music and their favorite Christmas movies to keep them entertained while I took over adorning the tree.

This time I got bored after twenty minutes and left a great number of ornaments back in the plastic bin.

I did manage, though to put some wonderfully memorable ornaments on the tree.


I do not care how old and damaged these hand made decorations are or get. They will always hang on my tree! The kids made them with love!


I can always travel back to Paris whenever I see this ornament..


And this ornament always brings me back to Roman’s guitar lessons..


This year’s Starbucks ornament.  I’ve amassed quite the collection over the years..


I’m amazed at the condition of this stuffed reindeer ornament dating back to 2003. Three…no–four dogs later and still on one piece!


This Fisher Price Tick Tock clock is one of my favorites. I still remember the cute little tune that played. It just reminds me so much of when the kids were young.


And whenever I look at my beloved Barbie ornament, I am transformed to the Spring of 1960. I was five years old.  It was a few months after the introduction of the original Barbie doll. I was five years old and this doll was the start of my love of all things Barbie!  I remember getting the doll at Green Acres shopping center and taking her out of the box in the car on the ride home.  My eyes are misting up as I read this but these ornaments bring back memories. And memories are what we are left with when the time is no longer in the present.  I’ve got such happy memories with these ornaments!


..and then there’s the Moravian Star!  Do you remember my adventure from LAST Christmas with the Moravian Star ornament?  Let me refresh your memory (Click:) Moravian Star Post From Last Year!

And yesterday I did manage to get a bit of Christmas shopping done. Oh. And when I went to Sally Beauty to purchase my hair dye, a woman in the store stopped me to tell me that I had beautiful hair.  I told her most of it was fake!


The photo is overexposed to get a better look at my bio hair blending into this wig. I just plopped the Brie wig by Vivica Fox, on top of my bio hair.  I sprayed dry shampoo to get the shine out of it. Looks like the hair I was born with. A Christmas miracle!

We ended talking for a half hour. She was telling me all about her sister who lost a ton of hair due to menopause and I gave her a ton of information. I’ll tell ya, when I left that store, I was in such great holiday spirits.  It’s fun when you can give helpful information to others!

Ok. I’m starting to get my Christmas Spirit back now!

Anyway, I decided to make a couple of loaves of Brioche—and since it’s been awhile that I’ve baked this delicious bread, I thought it a good thing to make a couple of practice loaves before Christmas Eve.


Hard to believe that with these eggs and the ton of butter, I’m still watching what I eat. But I am!


In the oven..

Good thing that I did!  Normally I make a loaf in my Pullman pan and another one in a much smaller loaf pan. This time I used a larger pan and the loaf turned out a bit on the flatter side.  Now I know for the future to use a much smaller pan when making two loaves.


The Pullman pan loaf is on the right. Perfectly risen. Perfect shape for toasting. The other loaf is on the left. I should have used a much smaller loaf pan–or better yet, I should have used my round fluted brioche pan! Duh!!!!! Oh well, it’ll make great bread pudding!

The good news is that the loaf tastes great. So, I’ll cut the bread into large cubes and make bread pudding. Never a fail!

I also made some salted caramel nuts.  I figure these will be a good amuse bouche when we are having aperitifs.

This year, I’m not overdoing the food either.  Next weekend I’ll bake biscotti and our dessert will be the usual Buche de Noel.  But I won’t go cook crazy because there’s always a ton of stuff left over!

I’m being pragmatic!  But—I’m also starting to really get my Christmas on now!  And in reflecting upon what my daughter Oona suggested for Christmas 2017, I’m very touched by the suggestion she had. She suggested that next year, instead of exchanging gifts with each other, we adopt a family in need and only get them  gifts.  I think that is a stellar idea!

Overall, it has  been a great weekend.  And normally I add a song at the end of my posts. But today I’m adding something different. It’s the monologue from Friday night’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  At the end of the monologue, Jimmy mentions a revival of the cartoon “DuckTails” and at 3:18 of the video, DuckTails starts.  MY SON ROMAN IS DOING THE SINGING!!!  Proud Mom Moment!  Not only is Roman a stellar Cue Card guy but he can sing!!!!!


Please click on the link. God forbid NBC should allow youtube to show the monologues!

How about you?  Do you need a bit of a push this year to get into the spirit of things? Do tell!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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20 Responses to ‘Tis The Holiday Season —So Why Do I Need A Push To Get Into It?

  1. You are really well organised. Love the decor. 😊

  2. animar64 says:

    Oh wow!Look how beautiful everything looks! And I la la looovvveee the Barbie ornament.

  3. hipchick66 says:

    Aww shucks! I thought I was going to SEE Roman singing…lol. He does have a good voice :). Your decorations looks great! Very simple here, as it’s just me and Mom. The living room is black white and red anyway, and we have this bare lighted tree up all year. I just added some silver beaded garland and tiny silver balls. And a twig wreath I decorated on the front door. I do need to grab some poinsettias too!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! Happy Christmas to you and your mom!!! I’m a fan of the simple and I’ll bet your home looks great!!!! Yeah–at least we heard his voice!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  4. It all looks mavalous!!!!! 😊

  5. T. Tribble says:

    I knew there was a reason I instinctively was drawn to you…I also grew up with Green Acres Mall on Long Island!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Tribble! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear to god, every time I’m on Sunrise and pass that mall, even with the newer look, it still warms my heart!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!! I love Long Island!!!!!

  6. Momcat says:

    Well my husband has been a Hallmark rep for 38 years….we have amassed 13 Rubbermaid bins of ornaments ( the uber tacky ones don’t make the cut had to veto the Death Star on the tree but Darth Vader is hiding out somewhere in the back branches along with Michigan J. Frog)we have an 8ft pre lit tree that took 15 hours to decorate this year…that’s only using 1/3 of the collection PLUS a bunch of German glass baubles we inherited. The tree is our labour of love so the rest of the house is pretty plain a few pillows, pointsettias, stair railing. December in our house has always been insane…because birthdays!!!!!..Dad 7th, Thing one:24th(!) Thing two:21st.
    This year we gave ourselves quartz kitchen counters for a Christmas gift….true to form had them installed yesterday, sink and dishwasher out of commission until tomorrow….Jenny Air was moved back into place today….and Friday night I hosted a dinner party for 10…..because December!!!! To top it off we have French Canadian family so Christmas Eve is big but the Anglais side gots to have it’s Christmas bird…tourtière and turkey ( gimme a Gavascon cocktail..) but Thing one is a pescatarian so I have to prepare salmon and vegetarian stuffing/gravy for him…
    God, I love January…..

  7. Miss Bougie says:

    I love your red throw pillows. They look so festive!
    These last couple of years I haven’t bought a Christmas tree. The children are older and I was always the one doing all the decorating and then taking it all down in January. But I do decorate as the Advent season is very important in our house. So we have a decorated wreath with four candles, Poinsettias and other traditional wooden angels, starting the week before first Advent, end of November. I also decorate the House, mainly the staircase railing but also a four candle arrangement for Advent. I’ll post some pics on FB.
    This year will be different as it will be the first Christmas without my Father in law, so my Mother in law is spending time with us at the House, as is one of my brothers in law. I’m off to Versailles this morning for a tree; My mother in law is looking forward to helping with the decorating. Being with her sons and grandchildren will keep her mind occupied.
    I’ve also been baking traditional Christmas cookies, like Vanillekipferl and Heidesand.
    Roman has a good singing voice. Did he take any lessons?

  8. patricia blaettler says:

    We had 9 kids in our family. Probably in an effort to keep the chaos in check, we decorated for Christmas on Christmas Eve– Wreath on the front door, Christmas tree, and a creche. Boom. Done. I told my daughter this and she was horrified. I explained to her that for us it was SO EXCITING!! Makes me laugh…

  9. doodletllc says:

    Long Island Christmas memories and Barbie…Perfect. Although I was at Walt Whitman Mall…across the street from Walt Whitman’s house(!) Love all your festive decor. And I especially love the song!

  10. mareymercy says:

    I’ve had a hard time this year, since I am not working anywhere and am not around a bunch of excited kids and a school that gets decorated. The daylight savings time change also messed with me in a way it usually doesn;t, I think because I am usually too busy to notice the difference and this year I do. Plus, the damn election depressed me and I am still stressed every time I read the news, so there’s this gloom hanging over me right now that is hard to shake. I’m hoping come January I can finally start feeling motivated to get busy again!

  11. Julia Poulos says:

    Thank you for the “Duck Tales” . You are a wiz at the Xmas decorating. Go GIrl! As always I get a good buzz from your blog.

  12. Leah N. says:

    I must find that kitchen towel with the red truck on it. I own that vintage red truck. Swoon.

    Dry shampoo to remove shine from wigs is brilliant. I have an awesome Jessica Simpson clip in ponytail I but it’s too shiny. Can’t wait to try that idea.

    Don’t get me started on the Hallmark Channel. Very addictive. I soon as I finish watching all of the ‘Grace and Frankie’ episodes for the 10th time I will switch to Hallmark.

  13. Q.D says:

    Here in Australia, the Starbucks ornament was the same cup as last year with 2016 stamped on it, i was so disappointed 🙁

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