Christmas in the Dining Room



The beauty of the Christmas shines in our dining room.

It is quite a difference from the farmhouse  kitchen casual decorations.  Often we find ourselves eating our evening meal in here.  It is a special room in the evening with the twinkling lights and sparkling colors and silver.

Somehow, the elegance of the room and decorations help me prepare for us to come together.  Planning ahead helps.  So does being flexible.  The daily table scape is simple but properly set with place mats.

When the extended family comes next week for several days, I’ll be changing the tablescapes for the different meals.  I love making special meals and gathering around a specially set table.  It brings me a lot of pleasure to do that for my loved ones.


almost full Italian nativity


The dining room decor is simply traditional this year.  Our traditional Italian nativity set on the buffet is wrapped in bronze shiny ribbon, garland and  twinkling lights.  They stay on all the time.

Jim’s great-aunt bought this in Italy years ago while on the Grand Tour of Europe with her sisters.  Thankfully, it has survived many moves.



I left the candles and silver pieces in place.  Then large glass balls were set out.  I bought them at Pier 1 several years ago.  The rich  colors of the nativity haven’t faded over the years. The rich earthy colors are reflected those balls and teal vintage glass candle sticks. The mercury glass and silver box bring a touch of old world elegance adding highlights to the earthy natural richness of the colors.  Behind I folded over a garland, fluffed it and tucked in a shiny bronze ribbon with a few twists and turns.  Twinkling lights finish the look.

Silver and glass sparkle against the black walnut wood of our dining table top.



Gather unbreakable colorful Christmas balls in a silver bowl.  The angel votive was a gift from my son years ago when he was a 4th grader. The glass tree was a party exchange gift.  Neither were expensive.  The balls are from Wal-Mart.  Silver pieces are wonderful additions to any table vignette.  Mine is from my mom; other pieces were wedding gifts or flea market finds.

Arranging in threes with varying heights  is a classic “rule”.   The silver chafing dish is not too tall to block your view across the table with each other.

This season, we have taken to eating in the dining room for our evening meals and Sunday lunches.  We all feel just a little more special, more festive.

Making an effort to spent time together can be tough as schedules and commitments change.   With each season it seems we establish new routines for gathering as a family.  I am finding I look forward to these quiet meals together several times a week.  Having high schoolers means we need to be flexible.  Often, our dinners often slip to later in the evenings so we can all sit together.



Surrounded with twinkling lights and colorful sparkles with the nativity that reminds us of  the why we celebrate Christmas, the dining room regularly becomes a quiet oasis for our family.  In the evening light, it is quiet and pretty.

It doesn’t take much to make a room warm and pretty for the Christmas season.

‘Tis the season to come together. Next week, it will be humming with activity as our extended family comes together for a few days.

Can not wait!!


What ways do you make the season special for your family? 



linking at

Wow Us Wednesdays

Amaze Me Monday

 Metamorphosis Monday 

Thrifted Merry Christmas

Home Garden Thursday

Display Thursday  




Christmas in Our Kitchen



It is our gathering place.  “Welcome to our home!” happens here as soon as you come through the door.

When the girls come home in the afternoon, we all congregate there.  Snacks are eaten. Sometimes our evening meal is ready for them because of their schedules. Sometimes we have an afternoon tea with heavy snacks and a late supper when everyone is home from the evening practices and activities.

I LOVE those times of connecting, the almost daily tradition.  One aspect of the girls now being in high school is finding those new ways of connecting as a family around our afternoon and nightly activity schedule.  Yes, we do eat together regularly but there are times that just is not going to happen.  So we have cast about for a new way. That can change with each semester.

See the tree over the Annie Sloan Emperor Red table with the bowl full of pine cones and a candle.


pine cones on table


It’s the first tree in the kitchen for more that a few years.  There were just so many ornaments on the living room tree already.  I really wanted to use the handmade old family ones.

The ” falling over all the time flat on the floor” old tree with some sad branches tree had not been thrown away yet!  Jim pulled it out and  stabilized the base so it wouldn’t fall over all the time.


kitchen tree


It’s perfect on front of the side window decked with the ornaments the kids have made over the years and ones I made with my mom decades ago. Twinkling lights with a candy cane here and there is perfect for our farmhouse kitchen.

It warms my heart to see the tree each morning before the sun brightens the sky.  I like our tree ornaments being separate and easier to view.  So many represent a memory.

There is just something extra special this year that is drawing our family even more together.  Loving it!


How is the Christmas season drawing your family together this year?



Maybe linking at these lovely places!



Sabbath Word…Hope



This past week the word for Advent was


Was there a time when hope is not  needed?  Never.

It was hard week for our son who received word one of his close friends was in a severe car accident.  It was a shock.  Kyle is still not breathing on his own after 2 surgeries.  He has feeling in his legs but future function is in question.

We are praying for Kyle and our son who is understandably shaken and concerned.

How fleeting life can be.

I made it to my weekly study after several weeks of absence. Lingering “crud” kept me away.  It was the week for the video and our teacher was with her son at a regional hospital for a consult regarding treatments and possible surgery.

We had an extended time of prayer.  As many of us shared the heavy concerns we had for family and friends that included surgeries, wrecks, illnesses and unexpected deaths of young and old, I knew I needed hope.


Daily Jim and I pray for friends with ill parents, dealing with loss pf loved ones.  Friends who have cancer.  Not to lament but to


When surrounded by dire worldly events of harsh deaths, wars and rumors of wars,


is there. Not despair.


is the promise of Advent. Of Christmas.

The coming of Christ gives


to a lost and broken people with the promise of a future with Him.


Now that is a reason to live.


linking with:

Elevenses for Thanksgiving


I love to read.  It is no secret. I like thought-provoking and “heavy” reading and I like the entertaining escape reading  of mysteries.  One series heroine is curious and struggles with the fashion of the flapper days who likes food.  Set in post WW1 Britain, the characters often have “elevenses” which also helps the plot move along.

Strictly speaking, it is a midmorning refreshment primarily consisting of biscuits or cookies as we Americans call them.   When we lived in Germany years ago, many people stopped mid morning for a refreshment usually of a brotchen  and cold cut with cheese.

My family loves Thanksgiving!  For the first time in years we are not hosting!   Or cooking the turkey.  Looking forward to change!!

Our  Thanksgiving Day usually starts rather early.  Breakfast may or may not be cooked.  By mid morning after making pies and cutting up veggies, after watching the parade, it is time for “elevenses” .

Pies and sweets are for later in the day.  I usually have several appetizers set out for light refreshments in anticipation of  THE meal.

The refreshments last year were ham & swiss cheese make it yourself rolls.  I set out the condiments, plates and forks.

The girls had fun making the veggie turkey! Do you remember it making the rounds last year? A “sure to make you smile” offering.  Dips were Ranch and Linda dip.

Here is the very simple recipe!


Linda Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy delicious vegetable dip with a pop of color!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10-20
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 small bottle Wishbone Russian dressing
  • Substitution: Though Wishbone Russian more flavorful for this dip it can be hard to find. Use Catalina Dressing as a substitute.
  1. Mix the 2 ingredients until blended throughly.
  2. Chill until serving.
  3. Serve with fresh raw veggies especially cauliflower! Great for any large gathering.


Okay, just in case anyone is wondering, there is a lot of grazing that goes on !


How does your Thanksgiving Day begin?




linking with these great blogs!    Wow Us Wednesdays    The-Inspiration-Gallery      Share Your Cup Thursday   Shabbilicious Friday    Weekend Retreat  Grace at Home   Home Sweet Home   Foodie Friday
%d bloggers like this: