Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Celebration of Winter..It Is Time To Go Sledding

I really hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas celebration.  Now that the holiday is another cherished memory of family fun and laughter, the winter celebration still continues but now with more casual, carefree outdoor activities.  Prior to the Christmas holiday, I spent several quiet hours alone viewing old family film which was converted from brittle strips of film to dvd format. Viewing past Christmas celebrations and winter play time in the snow was for me one of the highlights of this year's holiday (even though I felt a bit like Clark Griswold from the movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation).  This moment of reflection on days gone by further helped me to sum up the end of this year and to look forward to the next. The family Christmas was still what I remember it as being and yet, in some ways continues to be at the present, that is......a hectic, frenzy of activities, an over abundance of great food and tons of relatives crammed all together in a little kitchen where the good time occurs.

Furthermore, the film reminded me of the heart warming snow-centered fun trips to the neighborhood park where the local baseball field of the summer now became an ice skating rink for the winter. In addition to the rink, the park also offered the warmth of the Adirondack-style pavilion as a way to retreat from the sting of the bitter cold and provided simple refreshments to young skaters with money stuffed inside each knitted mitten.  Nothing was more soothing than a cup of hot chocolate after a evening of dancing across the not-so-smooth ice.  There was pure comfort and pleasure in slipping off the stiff, white, snow-covered skates complete with bells and colored pom-poms into warm woolen socks and snow boots for the walk home.

I might also mention that it just wouldn't be winter if the family did not capture on film the moments of building a fashionable snowman complete with all of the accessories in the front yard, sledding at the nearest hillside or catching the fierce competition of a snowball fight among brothers and sisters. Truly a winter wonderland of fun.

So in keeping with all of the season's merriment, I dedicated the following winter holly and plaid tablescape complete with winter sleds, snow balls and ice skates to my brothers, sisters, friends and relatives.  I am certain that they too enjoyed these special moments and consider them to be priceless, cherished memories.  Happy New Year too......

The snowman images in this posting are provided by:  Free Dearie Dolls Digi Stamps website.

My sister's elderly neighbor knitted these beautifully designed mittens.  She could knit all sorts of patterns and made those knitting needles weave like magic.

Homemade ice skate ornaments were made from my daughter's sweater that was unintentionally shrunk during wash day.  Now she will have a new set of ornaments for her tree.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas in the Mansion 2016

How are your Christmas plans coming along?  The holiday is just around the corner and the preparations for it are picking up speed.  I am sure it is a busy time of year for most everyone, but I do hope you can find some time to rest and enjoy a quiet moment of peaceful solitude. To help you to do so, take a walk with me in this post as we tour the Christmas in the Mansion 2016 exhibit at the Rahr West Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This splendid event of Christmas enchantment is on display until January 8, 2016 and can be just the thing to add a bit of calmness to the holiday's hectic festivities.  If you are looking to stop in to visit in person, the museum is located at 610 N. 8th St., Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

After completion of my work setting up the Traditional Red and Green Christmas Tree in the Porcelain Room at the Rahr (see my previous post:  A Traditional Red and Green Christmas), I was eager to return to the museum after the exhibit opened to the public and leisurely stroll through each and every room filled with lovely decorations and trees.  Without a doubt, this visit can put you in a relaxing yet happy, excitable frame of mind for the upcoming holiday. For that reason each year, I make sure that I attend, not just as a participant in the exhibit, but as a viewer. I gladly make it a part of my annual Christmas enjoyment and engagements.

So may I suggest you pause from some of the busy shopping, cookie baking, volunteering, parties and events to catch your breath.  Claim a brief moment of tranquility for yourself. Relax and take a bit of pleasure in the following pictures. The opportunity will for certain provide you with a chance to rejuvenate yourself and, at the same time, offer you wonderful Christmas decor ideas that can help you to eagerly tackle more of the holiday decorating tasks.

Now its full-speed ahead......let the fun continue.  Enjoy your holiday moments.