Sunday, December 31, 2017

A winter memory jar

I just posted a couple of photos of this project on Instagram, so thought I would quickly describe how it's put together.  This huge glass jar is actually the jar from a churn that belonged to my grandmother.  It had a hole in the cover for use as a churn, but my grandmother, once her butter-making days were over, used a Mendet
Found this on Google images! I thought it was spelled "Mend-it".
 to seal the hole.  She then used the jar as her doughnut jar.  When she taught me to make doughnuts, she gave me the jar.  It's been used for doughnuts and also for cookies in the past, but probably 20 years ago I put a string of white lights in it and have never looked back.  Sometimes it's just the lights, but at Christmas I usually put in some faux greenery and berries, and silk leaves in fall.

Last year I saw several ideas for this type of jar and tried to make one.  I put some snowflakes and a pinecone or two  in the jar along with this photo, which is just an enlargement of a vintage snapshot, printed out on card stock.  The branch of glittery leaves is in there too but it's behind the photo.  It all looked okay but wasn't exactly the look I had hoped for.

This year I decided to try again.   I arranged the photo and snowflakes in a slightly different way to their best advantage, and tucked the green leaves in on the side where they are more visible.  I decided some red berries were necessary, so added a spray of those.  It all made a difference.
I'm much more pleased with this jar.  It's a memory jar in more than one way.  Not only does it contain a memory of my cousin, brother and me and a wintry snow fort, but the container itself -- my grandmother's churn -- is also a memory.  Best of all, we can enjoy its light on our kitchen counter all through February!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A new page in my Christmas notebook

I really can't believe I never thought of doing this before, but it occurred to me this week to make a new page for my My Christmas notebook, Part 1.  This time of year, just after Christmas, I have loads of work to do in the notebook, making a final note of gifts we gave,  doing an after-Christmas debriefing,  and jotting down ideas for the coming year.
After-Christmas debriefing from Organized Home
 Still, I think this is going to be a very helpful addition to my notebook.  The new page is called "After-Christmas deals" and on it, I've been listing down things I pick up at the after-Christmas clearance sales.

I write down the name of the store, what I found for deals, and what the intended use of the items may be next year.  For example, these mugs

will be great to give along with mix and marshmallows for Hot Chocolate Mug Cake.

And these napkins
will be a great addition to a gift basket.

I'm not going to take time to share all of my after-Christmas finds, but so far there are some really great ones that will fit right in with our gift-giving next year.  I love the idea that I already have a plan for these items and that it's written down where I can't fail to find it!  If you have a Christmas notebook, you might consider a page like this too.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Classic no-bake cookies with a festive variation

Knowing that our granddaughters would be with us for our Christmas Eve supper, I decided to make some classic chocolate no-bake cookies.  One of the girls is not a fan of traditional cookies, as most are made with eggs, an ingredient she is sensitive to.  I would have fudge on the cookie tray, which she does eat, but I also happened to think of no-bakes, a real favorite of hers.  I brainstormed a bit as to how I might dress them up as a Christmas cookie.

It was pretty simple and I already had all of the ingredients at hand.  First, I estimated how many marshmallows I might need and cut them in half crosswise, placing them in a small bowl so that a bowl of marshmallow halves would be all ready when I was ready to drop the cookies onto waxed paper.  (I didn't want to put marshmallows on all of the cookies, not knowing for sure how they would be received.)

Then I cooked up a batch of my favorite no-bakes.  For years, I had sporadic results with this classic cookie.  I tried various recipes.  Sometimes the cookies firmed up and sometimes they stayed really sticky and gooey.  This is the recipe I now use, from my friend Veralisa:
So, as I spooned each cookie onto the waxed paper, I placed a marshmallow half atop it, pressing the cut side down.  Then I allowed the cookies to harden.

After the cookies were set, I drizzled some melted chocolate over each one.  I happened to have some on hand that I had used for making the chocolate-dipped oranges.

Another time, I am going to sprinkle some of these cookies with crushed candy canes, as I think that would be delicious as well as pretty.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The actual 2017 baking list

Remember this?  It's the baking list I posted a few weeks ago.  I always like to revisit each year's baking list and see what I actually did bake.

Chocolate Spritz -- actually made 2 batches of these.
Sacher Torte Cookies    -- made just a single batch of these.
Eggnog Log Cookies -- made the double batch of these.
Whipped Shortbread Cookies -- made the double batch of these.
Secret Spice Cookies-- made 2 batches of these.  Excellent!

Chocolate Mint Crisps -- made just 1 batch of these, but it makes a lot.
Almond Shortbread Thumbprints -- pretty sure I made a double batch of these.
Gingerbread Men -- did not make these.
Christmas cut-out cookies  -- did not make these.
Macaroon Kiss Cookies -- made just a single batch of these, but it also makes a lot.

I also added No-Bake Cookies to the list.  My granddaughter doesn't like most kinds of cookies, but I knew she would eat these.  I dressed them up with marshmallows and a chocolate drizzle and hope to post the recipe soon.

On the reverse side of the baking list, I listed candy and then other kitchen gifts. 

I had several different kinds of candy listed, but I ended up only making three kinds:

Arlene's Easy Fudge
Heavenly Delight (2 batches)
Chocolate-Dipped Orange Slices (2 batches)

And then I made some other kitchen gifts:

Christmas Granola (2 batches) -- I just added dried cranberries and pistachios to my regular granola
Cinnamon Pretzels ( 2 batches)
Christmas Jam (7 jars)
Chocolate Mug Cake (2)

I still have to make bran muffins and hot chocolate mix; the recipient was out of town over Christmas so I didn't bother to make these before.

All in all, I feel like I accomplished a lot in the kitchen this Christmas!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A thoughtful gift

My friend Rhonda brought me the most lovely gift as a thank-you for hosting last week's cookie swap at my home.  Yes, that is it above!  You can't tell (unless you double-click on the photo, which you may wish to do) but there is a chickadee on those berry branches to the left, an owl and pine cone to the right, and a sweet deer sniffing at a snowflake just to the right of center.  I love it! 

And best of all, it matches these plates:

And this wax warmer:

which my daughter Carrie gave me last year for my birthday.

A thoughtful gift, indeed.  No thank-you gift was needed, but I am thrilled with this platter!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December 26

It was a quiet day for the most part.  I did laundry, put away a lot of the wrappings and cards.  We did get 2 more cards from folks today, so I will be sending some out in response to those.  Supper was easy as we had leftover Ranch House Chicken from yesterday's Christmas dinner.  I just made some mashed potatoes and baked a butternut squash to go along with it.

Decorated my last jar of Christmas Jam in preparation for giving it to neighbors.  Cut the last batch of fudge, wrapped and froze it.

Spent an hour or more at my dad's going through old things.  It is like a treasure hunt some days!

I also opened all of my cards (at long last!) from a Christmas card swap I took part in.  Such creativity!  I hope to scan the cards and show you all eventually.

Speaking of cards, the one at top is another of my recent finds.  I love it.  The house actually looks a bit like our house.  And, just there at the far left, do you see what I see?  Yes!  A mailbox!  You will want to click to enlarge this lovely picture.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Image courtesy of Gooseberry Patch
A very merry Christmas to all of my blog readers and friends! I hope that each of you has had a truly wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and that you took time to think about and celebrate the true Reason for this glorious season.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Another of my newly discovered vintage cards

It's been a busy but happy Christmas Eve day.  No time for a long post but here is one of my newly discovered finds.  This scene just speaks to me and tells a story.  The child and dog with the sled, the man with the Christmas tree, the neatly kept farm and welcoming farmhouse.  And even one of my favorite Christmas card motifs -- a mailbox brimming with gifts!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A day in the kitchen

 Well, mostly.  I also did some cleaning -- especially scrubbing the tub.  I got a new shower curtain (which I am ridiculously pleased about) and finally got the tub clean so I could put it up.  My enthusiasm concerning the shower curtain has to do with the fact that it has grommets.  The old one had buttonholes, which I didn't realize when I bought it, and over time they have frayed and it has become very difficult to get the curtain on and off the rings. 

But all that's not very Christmasy.  So let's see.  Yesterday afternoon I made Chocolate Mint Crisps and Whipped Shortbread.

Today, I made two batches of Heavenly Delight (a layered chocolate-peanut butter fudge that's a tradition for us) and a double recipe of Chocolate Dipped Orange Slices.  I also got a huge gift basket prepared for my husband's boss and family, and figured out a way to dress up my jars of Christmas Jam a bit.  No photos yet of how I did that.
Thankfully, I didn't have to cook supper.  Mr. T and I took our two teenage granddaughters out to dinner (and they came back with us to spend the night).  We had a nice relaxing meal at our local seafood place.
Then tonight, I baked a cranberry coffeecake to take to church tomorrow.  Now the Christmas kitchen is closed for the night and I'm headed to bed!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Mulled Cranberry=Orange Juice

Here's a warm, delicious holiday beverage!  I just made this again for our simple cookie swap on Tuesday evening.  As you might guess by the above image (which I found on the ever-helpful Pixabay), I failed to take a picture of it.  When I mentioned this drink in my post about the cookie swap, a reader asked for the recipe.  I had to go back and look: it was 2007 when I posted this.  So in my view it is high time for a repost.  Here it is, with an update or two:


1 orange
12 whole cloves
a cinnamon stick
1 cup water
2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail -- I used the kind without sugar that is 100% juice.  It includes other juices, obviously, but that's preferable to sugar.
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional) -- I have never used these
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom -- again, can be optional if you don't have it.  I didn't
3 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice (bottled will work)
3 Tblsp. brown sugar

Use a vegetable peeler to peel off thin strips of orange peel from the orange. Set the orange aside. Put the peel in a small saucepan with the cloves, cinnamon stick and water. Bring this mixture to a simmer; cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

In a larger saucepan combine all of the remaining ingredients. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into this larger saucepan. Using a strainer, strain the liquid from the spice/peel mixture into the larger saucepan as well. Add the lemon juice and brown sugar.  Heat the mixture in the large saucepan over low heat until it is hot. May be kept simmering over very low heat and ladled out as needed.

(For the cookie swap, I tried making this in a slow cooker and it worked beautifully.  About 2 hours before serving I put the cranberry juice into a 3-quart slow cooker and set it on high.  Then I proceeded to peel the orange.  I simmered the peel with the water, cloves and cinnamon stick for the 20 minutes as specified.  Then I strained this mixture into the slow cooker and added the juice of the orange, the brown sugar and the lemon juice and let it all cook on high until ready to serve.  Then I turned off the slow cooker and it stayed plenty hot enough.)

If you want to be fancy, pour the mixture into mugs and top each one with an orange slice with a whole clove or two stuck in the rind.

Save the cranberry juice bottle to store any leftover beverage.  It reheats well by the mug in the microwave.

This recipe came from Cook & Tell, my favorite cooking newsletter. I discovered this beverage recipe a dozen years ago and it became an instant favorite of mine to serve to guests at holiday time.  I still love it. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Just for fun

I so enjoy the look of Christmas trees atop vehicles that I have an entire Pinterest board titled "Bringing Home the Tree."  I actually obtained the pattern for that mug rug you see at top right, but of course I've had no time to sew one.  Maybe this winter!

We don't have any adorable vintage toy trucks around our house, so even though I've seen those with trees lashed to their tops or in the back, that wasn't an option for creating my own tree-toting vehicle.  Then Tuesday I happened to notice a metal bank we have in the form of an old pickup truck.  I decided to see if the bottle brush trees I had were the correct scale.  Close enough!  I tied it to the truck with vintage, faded red string. 

I was pleased with how it came out.  Just for fun.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A simple cookie swap

As readers may remember from previous years, our church usually plans a Christmas fellowship for ladies each year.  It has looked different ways over the years.  We've held it on an evening at church or at someone's home.  Last year we tried a brunch on a Saturday morning.  Some years we've done a craft project; for the past quite-a-few years we've had a Yankee swap.  Always there has been good food and fellowship.   But this year we didn't have time to plan a Christmas activity due to the fact that our ladies had a tremendously busy fall.   Four funerals were held at our church between the months of September and early December.  In every case the church ladies provided food for a family luncheon following the service.  We're a very small church and currently without a pastor (and hence, without a pastor's wife!) so all of the ladies had to pitch in and do what needed to be done.  That left no time (and little energy) for planning anything else.

One lady had the idea of hosting a simple cookie swap in her home and broached it to the rest of us.  Many could not come for one reason or another: illness, work, impending travel and so on.  We decided that we would go ahead with it anyway and I volunteered to host the swap at my home as it's a more central location.

The swap was last night and was a lot of fun, very relaxing.  We had about a dozen ladies and girls in attendance and we basically just ate yummy food and chatted.  There were yummy cold drinks like creamy eggnog, and cider.  And wonderful hot drinks -- mulled cider, and a cranberry orange hot drink that I just love making.  We had hearty appetizers -- cheese pizza, little  barbecue sausages, a cheese log and crackers, a hot pizza dip and tortilla chips,  seafood quiche squares and more. 

For the cookie swap itself we kept it very low-key.  No competition as to the fanciest or best-tasting cookies or whatever.  We just had everyone bring two dozen cookies and, after sharing about the cookie we chose to bring and the recipes, we simply filled containers with the cookies as desired, and everyone went home with a nice variety.  Below are some of the cookies.
Espresso-filled spritz cookies by Julie, mint chocolate and Christmas tree spritz cookies by Rhonda, no bakes by Kim, little jam tarts by Heather, cranberry orange shortbread by Carrie.  All delicious!
 I brought these jam-filled shortbread cookies.

All in all, a delightful evening and a form of Christmas hospitality I highly recommend!

Another vintage card

Just popping in very quickly this morning as I didn't get here yesterday.  I was occupied with things in the real Christmas kitchen so had very little computer time.  A friend and I hosted a cookie swap here at my house.  Hopefully I'll get back here later today and share about that.  But for now, here's another recent find that lovers of antiques and vintage will enjoy seeing.

This is titled "Home for Christmas" and depicts a family just arriving at grandmother's house after disembarking from a stagecoach.  The baggage indicates they intend to stay for awhile and have brought gifts.  Grandmother looks very pleased indeed to see them. 

Although this scene is out of the 1800s (I would guess), the card itself is likely from the early 1940s.  It was an unused card found in an old box full of odds and ends.  I just never know what I will find in this clearing-out process.  It's like a treasure hunt in many ways!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Does your Christmas season look different this year?

I've been thinking this week about people whose Christmas season is looking a bit different this year.    Maybe it's different in a huge way, like the loss of a spouse to death or divorce, or the loss of a child or a parent.  Maybe your celebration of Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is going to look different due to finances or health or not being able to travel, or your grown children deciding to spend those times with friends or in-laws. 

I was reminded of a post I'd written and have shared several years called Christmas Traditions for the Empty Nest.  If your nest is emptying, or has just emptied for the first time, you will want to check out that post. 

In 2014 I had written a post concerning making every day merry in little ways.  The ideas I'm sharing today are adapted and expanded upon from that one. 

As regular readers might have guessed, I just love December and the Christmas season.  This beautiful and oh-so-meaningful season passes so quickly.  One thing I like to do, to make the season last longer,  is to give every day during December a little bit of a festive feel.  This is especially helpful if, like me, you happen to be an empty-nester, or if you are single -- or even if you are a mom in a busy household. 

Even if you are sad today and just don't feel like doing anything Christmasy, humor me and read through these ideas anyway.  As believers, we have so much to celebrate this season.  You might be especially blessed by the ideas I've suggested for your quiet time:

*  Do an Advent Bible study for your devotions.  I'm a bit late suggesting this, but it does help keep one focused on the true meaning of Christmas.  If you jumped into one now, it probably wouldn't be too late; you could double up on each day and make it work that way. 

Abby's 25 Days of God-Given Gifts over at
Little Birdie Blessings is another great option to help you look at Christmas as a time of appreciating the gifts we have as God's children.  Abby's graphic for Day 9 is shown below.  ↓↓↓

Another thought is to do a Christmas Scripture writing challenge; that's what I'm doing this year.  Or, refresh your memory on some verses from Luke 2 or Scripture passages where the Savior's birth is predicted or described.  I like to review Luke 2:1-20 every Christmas season.

Or read a Christmas devotional and read and/or meditate on any Scripture that is shared.  I have a few Christmas devotionals here on my blog.  One of my favorites is this one: Comfort and Joy.  I also have a Pinterest board featuring Christmas devotionals.  You can find it here: Christmas devotionals.

Here are a few more ideas:

* Use festively flavored coffee as your everyday coffee during this month.  What we do is to buy Christmas coffee at the after-Christmas sales.  Places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx often have it for 75% off a day or two after Christmas.  (They often have regular coffee in Christmas packaging on clearance, too.  We snap it up.  Coffee is coffee!)

* Or use regular coffee and a festive flavored creamer.  Sometimes I use fat-free half & half along with just a splash of the flavored creamer.  Still gives the jolly flavor with less calories.

* If you enjoy tea, stock up on the holiday teas as you have opportunity and sip a mug daily.  Sometimes these are reduced after Christmas and sometimes not.  Some of my favorites are Christmas Tea by Twining's, Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings, and White Christmas by Stash.

* If you frequently use lotion or cream on your hands, feet, etc., switch to a holiday scented one for the season.  My daughter found me some Candy Cane Lane lotion (with green tea actually in it) by Jason.  I have also used a sugar cookie scented cream and a cranberry one.  I use it on my feet, and when I take off my boots there is this lovely cheering scent.

* Some people use their Christmas dishes all through the month of December, and I think this is a great idea.  I've actually moved my Christmas dishes to a more easily accessible cabinet to facilitate this.  Setting the table with Christmasy colored placemats is a nice idea too, and do add a simple Christmasy centerpiece. (Mine at the moment is a red, white, and green striped bowl filled with cookie cutters.  And little tea lights in shiny tart molds -- in the Yankee Candle Gingerbread Maple scent.  You can't imagine how nice they smell!)  Again, even if you are alone at Christmas, take time to use these table-setting ideas.  You will be much more apt to actually sit down and eat if the table is pretty and inviting.

  At the very least, using Christmas mugs or teacups for your coffee or tea is fun.  These also may be acquired for very little money after Christmas.  The vintagey-looking ones below were 75¢ after Christmas at Walmart one year.

* Listen to Christmas music as you go about your daily work.

* Take time to do some fun things like attend a Christmas concert, watch a Christmas DVD, bake some goodies or craft some simple ornaments.  Set up an Advent calendar or a Christmas countdown.   Yes, even if it's just for you!  A friend sent me an online Advent calendar with activities for every day.  So much fun!

* Decorate with fresh greens, fresh fruit,  or festively scented candles for an energizing scent.

*  In fact, put something small and Christmasy in every room of your house, like this little soft blue tree on my bathroom counter one year.  (Both bathroom and counter look completely different now!)  Little touches like this will make you smile every time you see them.

 Even a little festive votive holder with a battery operated tea light on a kitchen counter, bathroom counter, or a bookshelf can just lift your spirits when you see it.  A little light and sparkle is necessary for all of us, especially in winter when the days can be dreary and darkness comes on so early.

* And when you do have opportunity to do some celebratory things with family, friends, or your church family, go for it.  Take full advantage of the opportunities!   Even if it doesn't look or feel like your usual celebration,  or if it's not on your preferred day or in your preferred location (like your own home, for example), go anyway and be in the moment!  We all could use a reminder that this celebration isn't all about us.

There are a few ideas!  I'm sure you will think of more.  We have so much to celebrate -- the coming of our Savior to earth, to be born as a Baby in a humble stable, to grow up and die on a cross, then rise again, so we would have a way of salvation.  No, Jesus was almost certainly not born on December 25, but this is one time of year when the focus is on Him.  Let's go about each day with a merry heart, ready to share His love with others at this festive time!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A very vintage card

Here is a very quick post tonight, just to share a very vintage card that I recently found.  Although it looks as if someone set a coffee cup on the lower right corner, I think that is intended to be part of the design.  The card is unused and was found in a box of unused cards, so I don't believe it is truly a coffee stain, as much as it looks like one! 

Don't you love the red cottage at the end of the lane, with evergreens behind it and birch trees guarding the fence line?  Below is the inside of this card:
Interesting design, don't you think?
Hope you've enjoyed this vintage find this evening!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A wonderful little kitchen gift!

Oh, my, do I have a great kitchen gift idea for you!  This Hot Chocolate Mug Cake from Denise at RefreshHer is one of the best things I have tasted in a long time.  And it was SO easy!

I did leave out the nuts and the cinnamon, because I prefer my chocolate unadulterated.  I also assembled my ingredients a little bit differently than Denise did.  She just put them all in the mug and stirred them up, but I decided to sift the dry ingredients together and put them into a zip-top sandwich bag along with the chocolate chips.  I sifted them onto waxed paper and could easily roll the waxed paper up a bit to transfer the mix to the sandwich bag.

Since I was out of miniature marshmallows, and probably would have wanted fresh ones for this recipe anyway, I picked some up at Wal*mart.  I was so surprised to find this tiny bag of Campfire marshmallows which will fit right in the top of the mug.  It was 39¢ and so cute, I just had to use it.  The bag is about 3 inches by 4 1/2 inches and contains one ounce of marshmallows.  I think it would likely contain enough marshmallows for two mug cakes. 

My directions were going to vary a bit from the download Denise linked to (since I left out two ingredients), so I made up my own tag to use with the mix.  I just tucked the tag into the mug with the packets of mix and marshmallows.

I had some sweet "Winter Wonderland" paper bags and used one of them to package the mug in.  I folded the top down, punched two holes and threaded some baker's twine through to tie the bag shut.  Then I added a homemade gift tag from one of 2015's Christmas cards!

 Mr. T and I tried out the mug cake recipe last night and shared the cake.   It was absolutely delicious and so easy to make.  Our mug that we used was rather tall, so we used iced tea spoons to eat the cake.

Christmas mugs would be fun to use for this, also!

I can think of many, many people who would enjoy a gift like this: teens, college students, singles, busy moms and dads, older folks who no longer bake ... the list could go on and on.  Have fun with this idea!  And if you were inspired by the post or if you make a mug cake, leave Denise a comment and tell her so!

Friday, December 15, 2017

1959 vintage calendar page

I have found a few more of the little Scripture calendars that used to come bound in Woman's Day magazine's January issues.  Today I thought I would share the page from December 1959.

There are so many sweet details in this picture, but the best way for you to see them is just to click on the picture to enlarge it.  (I tried making it a larger size, but that cut some of the details out and that just wasn't a good thing, to my mind.)  The eyeglasses and book -- maybe a Bible, maybe a nature journal?; the plant in the window -- likely a poinsettia; the grandfather clock; even the cute homemade ornaments on the tree.  I remember making those woven heart baskets like those with students at the small Christian school where I helped out.  I brought in craft materials and simple patterns, and the kids worked on Christmas ornaments during their breaks all through December. 

Hope you've enjoyed this little vintage calendar page as much as I did and that it may have brought back some memories for you as it did for me.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Zesty Potato Soup

Photo from Taste of Home
I tried this recipe sometime last winter and filed it away to share in December, so here it is: Zesty Potato Soup.    I think I originally found the recipe in an early issue of Quick Cooking.  The picture looks so familiar, I think it may even have been on the cover of the magazine.

This soup is very easy to make and takes basic ingredients.  If you don't ordinarily keep chopped green chiles on hand, you will want to buy some for this recipe.  (I do try to keep them on hand, myself.) This is a very warming soup for cold December nights.  Tonight is predicted to be around 0º and it's already down to around 10º -- chilly indeed!  If I didn't already have our supper in the oven, I would be whipping up a batch of this soup.  I hope you enjoy the soup if you try the recipe.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A great resource!

This is going to sound silly ... but I really wish you would all check out my Christmas in July posts.  Go ahead -- go right over there to the label cloud in the sidebar at right and click on "Christmas in July". You'll find some great ideas there.  I can say this because most of them are not original with me.  I've linked to dozens of wonderful Christmas projects and ideas, many of which will be new to you.  I always find these great ideas in July (or earlier, if I schedule the posts) and I need to go back and look at them closer to Christmas when I may be in need of some fresh inspiration.  So go ahead ... check out Christmas in July tonight or tomorrow.  I plan to!

A little vintage mystery

In my cleaning and sorting, I'm finding many treasures as well as a lot of trash.  Often I wonder just why this or that was carefully saved.  The items I'm sharing today are a case in point.  There was a small cedar chest that had been on a bookshelf in my parents' living room for as long as I can remember.  I think my mother told us she had received it as a girl from a friend of their family, and that her three sisters had also received cedar chests at that time.

One of the things in the box was the Santa sticker at the top of the post.  Then there were two more stickers (only I think they called them "seals" back then), one of them still attached to pretty, very fancy green ribbon.  There was a very long piece of ribbon and it was carefully folded around all three stickers. 

I'm not sure why these trims were saved so carefully.  They obviously had been part of the wrappings for a very special gift.  My guess, though it may be inaccurate, is that they had trimmed the gift-wrapped cedar chest and that it had been a Christmas gift.  What do you think?