Thursday, December 23, 2010


Janet Chester Bly


Each year we think this might be the time to downsize in our Christmas decorating. And we did. A tiny bit. But what we really mean is No Big Tree. Just a small one. To sit on a table or in a corner. Well, maybe next year. . . .


The Big Tree. We fussed with it again. But you know. . .it provides many charmed hours of pleasant musing. So many memories from special ornaments. Our tree’s full of family fun and the love of friends over the years. Even though I’ve changed the basic theme to peppermint colors in ornaments and ribbons and lots of different sized sparkly balls. But the same angel's at the top as our first tree. . .47 years ago.



Can't wait for the kids and the grandkids to see it. (Notice the unwrapped gift tucked at the bottom of the tree?) That's mainly why we keep doing it. 


And when the sun hits a certain place through the window in the late morning hours, disco-type lights bounce all over the ceiling and walls. Like fireflies. We love it! 

Our small town, country way of celebrating the birthday of the most important person in the universe: Jesus!


I’m not into crafts at all, but I do love making wreaths. Go figure. I’ve created dozens. . .and given most of them away. . .to family, to friends, and filled the walls of our local church too.


Tamales are a must for us on Christmas Eve. Used to make them myself, sometimes with the help of friends. Learned that from a neighbor when we lived in California. An awful lot of prep and work though. Now I buy them from Schwan or Costco. Almost as good.


One thing I’ve stopped doing is creating homemade Candy Cane Cookies, from my mother’s recipe. So tasty. With almond extract. So fun...measuring & twisting & coloring the dough. So enticing to look at. But a lot of work too. Simple is the key word for Christmas at this season of our lives. But we love receiving all the varieties of baked goods from our friends.


This Christmas watch for special blessings. Enjoy them fully. And remember by whose Hand they come from.


The baby in Bethlehem ushered in a new covenant through his life and death. . .and the world was changed. . .forever!

Be filled with love! And laughter! And thanksgiving. By kneeling before God’s gift of love. Then, no matter what, you will have a happy one. 

Yard sign at Blys' house

What is special for Christmas at your house this year?


csthankful said...

Love seeing your decorations (and love having one of your wreaths out each year at our house). I still make the candy cane cookies because of my my cherubs (Scotty) can't ahve Christmas without his mom making them! ha!) Makes my mouth water.

Janet Bly said...

Dear sis Connie Sue: I do miss having those cookies...very special! They are fussy though. Thanks for the note. Hope you have a very merry Christmas!

Mommy of KraftyGang kids said...

Enjoyed looking through your blog :) !!!

pcqpig said...

Great Blog I love the lay out and the color scheme is it possible to get a copy of your Moncler Handbag Brown theme?

Carla Gade said...

What a creative Christmasy post!
I loved hearing about your Christmas traditions. We made those same candy cane cookies, years ago. And maybe I'll make them again sometime. Thank you for the reminder. We also make wreath treats from corn flakes colored dark green with little cinnamon candies to decorate them. We alway, always make snow pudding, a frothy lemon gelatin with custard sauce and soooo good. Having trouble getting in the "Christmas spirit" this year as my dad passed away a few months ago and trying to focus on the true meaning. Thank you for your lovely post that truly warmed my heart. Christmas blessings to both you and Stephen and your precious family!

Pamela Sonnenmoser said...

Janet, What a great walk down memory lane. I loved reading about your candy cane cookies, it reminded me of the one's my mom used to make. I may have to whip some up today. Since we don't have children, I'm sure children's home in town would love to have them. The picture of the tamales made my mouth water. I grew up in Southern California and Arizona; tamales were a must this time of year and they were so good, made fresh by my aunts and my mom.
This Christmas for us is simple and quiet. Usually I go all out, decorating the house,having people over, but this year as I decided to spend a quiet and reflective Christmas, just enjoying our savior quietly. This fall was very busy, three book releases, a class reunion, a road trip with my 7-year-old nephew kept me running. I think sometimes we forget that we need to slow down and let God speak to us. Traveling to Israel earlier this month caused me to consider the gift I would bring to Jesus if I were in that land 2000 years ago. I imagine that I would not have gold, rare spices, or expensive perfume, but perhaps what I would have is time. I could give Him my time. So, this year we will go to candlelight service at our church this evening and tomorrow, I will give Jesus my time.
One of my favorite things about being a farmer's wife in the midwest is the chance for a white Christmas. God is good, and as I write this comment, a peaceful snow is falling on our farm.

Merry Christmas Janet and Chester! Thank you for your gift of encouragment and love throughout the year. God bless you, and God bless us, every one.

Janet Bly said...

Carla and Pamela: Thank you so very much for your wonderful posts! Appreciated each memory that you brought to this blog on this very special season. Know that it can be a sad time for many too. God's blessings of comfort to you, Carla, as you miss your dad. And a big congrats to you, Pamela, on your book releases!

Kathi Macias said...

Thanks for the invite, friends! Love your blog and plan to REALLY visit your spread one of these days. Blessings to you!

Janet Bly said...

Kathi: Thanks for stopping by. Wish it was in real time. Blessings to you and all your loved ones!

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog


Hi Janet

Happy New Year from Southern California. No snow here but a lot of rain storms and mud slides!

I hope you and your family had a Wonderful Christmas Celebration.

God Bless You, ~Ron

For His Glory said...

i so enjoyed this post, even tho it's after Christmas. it reflects so much of what i, too, have felt re family ornaments, using the same angel, and because of aging, needing to keep things simple. the quote re "wise men still seek him" reminds me that there was a Bible verse i recently came across relating to those who are lost seeing the wisdom of serving God (tho that's paraphrasing a bit on my part). i'd like to find it again and write the reference down. the pic of the pinecone with the sunlight was beautiful. thanks for sharing.

Janet Bly said...

Thanks so much for all the posts. Appreciate them all!