Looking for answers to life's questions

The day of reckoning is fast approaching. My days are long and the nights, oh my gosh short. The Charlie Brown tree from the last 5 years was pulled from its falling apart box only to find that most of the lights had not survived the darkness of storage. How does that happen? Every strand I added to it had sections that no longer lite up. It sat for a week glaring at me.

Last years tree. Boughs broke in the box.

Last years tree. Boughs broke in the box.

My sister arrived to do some errands with me in tow. I was her clothing advisor at our local Goodwill store. As I headed to the front for checkout, a sassy, fluffy tree caught my eye. It was decorated with stockings but I asked if the tree was for sale and how much. Yes, and $25 was the reply. With my sister’s approval, we loaded that monster into the back of her pickup. How fortuitous. (see me smiling here)

Angels everywhere

Angels everywhere

We couldn't get it all in one shot.

We couldn’t get it all in one shot.

 

What to do with Charlie Brown. Sis had contemplated a small artificial tree for her new abode. A real one was probably not a good idea there this year, so Charlie was loaded into her truck for the trip home and my son, (tech support) brought in the newer one. It’s really too big for my place but looks quite distinguished. New LED lights were strung, and every ornament I have fit on the tree nicely. I’ve had this collection for oh, SO many years.

 

Fat Friars doing the baking

Fat Friars doing the baking

Heavenly bakery

Heavenly bakery

Each Saturday, my daughter arrived to bake our Christmas cookies. I have a real kitchen, she has an apartment kitchen with a stove as old as the building. She took a tin of cookies to her Christmas party at work and I have enough (I hope) for guests coming by, the mail lady, (Mo) my baskets for neighbors and UPS delivery people. I did a little of the baking too but my daughter makes them like a pro now while I work on other projects. (And supervise)

The outside is lit up courtesy of tech support and all the presents are wrapped. This last Saturday, my daughter spent her visit putting all the ribbons and bows on each one to make them extra festive. It’s her thing and she does it so well. I must say, not a single piece of wrapping paper or ribbon was purchased this year or for the last few years. We use so much recycled stuff that is kept from year to year that I will probably never have to purchase ribbon and bows again.

All the handmade gifts that were finished, went in the mail along with cards. Hopefully they will find their destinations without a problem. I’m still looking for a package that was sent from Australia in late August. (see me not smiling here)

There are many gifts that were on my list to make that had to be set aside for my sanity. Some things just moved to the end of the priority list. I’m learning, slowly, that some things just have to be let go of in order to enjoy the moment. The motto now is: we do what we can, and enjoy what we do.

2 Sandwiched and pinned, one still waiting till after Christmas to be done. Oh well. Sigh.

2 Sandwiched and pinned, one still waiting till after Christmas to be done. Oh well. Sigh.

Hopefully, by the time company arrives, the house will be tidy, the decorations visible and the last of my gifts to be made are checked off the list. If not, have a cookie and don’t look.

How are your holiday preparations going? Are you HO, HO, HO-ing, or Bah Humbugging?

Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, Happy Solstice, and anything else I missed. Oh, and Happy New Year too. Thank you all for stopping by and visiting with me.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of My HO, HO, HO" (62)

  1. You’ll get everything done, Marlene. Enjoy the journey of getting to that finish line.
    You’re tree is beautiful! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    • I’ll get done what absolutely needs to get done and delegate the rest. 🙂 Not bad for a $25 fake tree that I’ll have for years to come. Looks pretty solid too. It’s ready to welcome company. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful tree! Maybe a little big for you, but the ornaments look great. I ordered a 3 ft. fiber optic tree from Amazon but so far the little baby hasn’t darkened my doorstep. I guess Amazon Santa is on overload. But the rest of the house has all new paintings and wherever I could put lights — they are there inside and out. I gave up baking 20 years ago when I discovered I was gluten intolerant. I made candy for a few years, but now I bypass that too because my beam has broadened too much. I send out Christmas thank you cards, but no Christmas cards. Between buying them, writing them, and mailing them on time, it’s too expensive. So enjoy your Christmas, Marlene. My daughter who lives in Seattle is making it home for the first time in five years, so I know I will enjoy mine. God Bless.

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    • We have baked up a storm around here but not one bite has passed my lips. I keep the neighbors happy and all those delivery people that are still lugging those boxes on the run. Glad your daughter will be there with you. It makes such a difference. Merry Christmas Barb.

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  3. Good morning Marlene! Very nice tree! The old Charlie Brown had its charm too! Now I can see how busy you truly have been. Love your new motto! Looking forward to Wednesday! Stay dry and don’t get blown away today! 😉 Merry Christmas!

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  4. Wow! When you do Christmas, you really do Christmas – in spades! Wonderful tree, parcels, everything. You put me to shame. Have a lovely time.
    love,
    ViV

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are smaller than they were when I was married. He had 4 kids and 12 grand-kids and then the great grands started coming. I just have 2 and no grand-kids. So we have paired way down. I’ve given so much away but this family loves their Christmas. Have a very happy Christmas too, Viv.And hubby too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  6. Carol Ferenc said:

    Your tree is beautiful!! There’s nothing wrong with rearranging the priority list or eliminating a few things, either, and relaxing a little. Have a very Merry Christmas, Marlene!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your motto is perfect; especially, to enjoy what we can. I love your tree and little snow babies. It looks like a miniature winter wonderland. Happy Christmas, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Merry Christmas Marlene xxxx I am at tenother end of the spectrum, looking after a home and dog on a 100 acre property in splendid isolation with my husband over Christmas….it is like being on retreat! Love your tree and your clever creative preparations – best wishes and hugs from me xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • that was “the other end of the spectrum”

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      • That’s how my mind read it. Funny how that is. You could mash up all the words and we would still know what’s being written. I love how you will spend Christmas. 100 acres is a lovely retreat. No husband here, only 2 adult children. Very, very quiet adult children. :)) Have a peace filled holiday. I’m behind on my reading but will catch up soon. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely new tree. Happy Christmas.

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  10. Love those fat friars and snowbabies! They add a delightful twist to the holidays. Hope your holiday is as sweet as your decorated home.

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    • Aren’t those Fat Friars fun? I’ve had them since the late 80’s and you can’t find them anymore. The snowbabies were mostly gifts and I have some that hang on the tree.I always hate to put them away after the holidays are over. Maybe by next year I’ll have my full steam going. This will be a wonderful Christmas because most of the people I love will be here. At least both of my children. My son had no Christmas at all last year so we are doing it up for him. Hope yours is full of twinkle and delight as well.

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  11. You sure put a lot of pressure on yourself–your preparations are amazing! It looks wonderful and I think it’s time for you to sit down with a cup of cheer and relax for awhile!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get to do the sitting down part on Christmas Eve for a few hours. Dec 26 is the day I look forward to most. Clear sailing from then on. 🙂 I do put too much on myself and have taken quite a lot off the list. 2 more gifts to make before tomorrow and a good cleaning with some cooking for guests and I’m all set. I love guests. Hope you have a wonderfilled Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. A very Merry Christnas to you and yours, Marlene! You’re a bright star in the sky of life 🙂

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Have a wonderful, magical Christmas Marlene! I got your card yesterday…thank you my friend! big hugs and I love your tree and decorations! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love you motto, Marlene! We absolutely should love what we do and accept we can’t do everything! Such a beautiful tree. My Charlie Brown tree is still holding up so will make do for at least another year but I did hold back a twinge of envy at how fabulous yours looks and all of the lovely decorations. Sounds like you are about ready for the festivities.Thank you for taking time to send me a card. Very special and warmed my heart. 💖 Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you have not all floated away with all of the rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by. It’s such a busy time of year that we barely have time to read directions, much less blogs. I was hoping Charlie would make it a few more years but he is doing a good service elsewhere this year. I think the new tree was presented so I could pass Charlie on. I am never quite ready for the festivities but they come anyway. 🙂 So far, no boats required here but many have not been so fortunate. One set of apartments in our town was not set up with proper drainage during construction and the residence are being evacuated. Some builders are quite cheap and use too many shortcuts. Not the case here. I’m glad the card arrived hope it brought some cheer. Merry Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I smiled my way through this post, Marlene. I’m tickled pink with your Goodwill find: what a grand tree. Since you were able to hang all your ornaments, I would say it’s the perfect size. Hurrah for you. I spotted a teacup and saucer ornament on your tree that looks a lot like one of mine, a gift from a friend several years ago. Another smile.

    Your festive snow babies and friars are adorable. I love that they surround you this time of year.

    Books under the tree sound good to me, too. There are a few under our tree as well, mostly for me. 🙂

    I love that you’ve gathered everyone together to participate: tech support, your lovely daughter and your sister, too. Isn’t it amazing what you can find at a Goodwill store?

    Merry, merry Christmas to you all. Let all the rest of the to-do list fall away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Alys. I love Christmas and having my family and any friends around. So many like a simple Christmas. I like all the lights and color of the decorations. I don’t care about what I get for Christmas. I have so much more fun giving. I plan for such a long time but sometimes my plans go awry. Have a very merry one. Giant squishy hugs.

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  16. Beautiful decorations. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones too!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Well now Marlene-ski-do, you look far more organized than I. Your tree looks positively awesome and I’m sure it’s making your evenings sparkly and bright. Mr B has now gone to bed but I had an evening nap and happy to have quiet time to visit.

    I have done zero baking. We’re going out for Christmas and Boxing day and there wasn’t a need to have baking around. I haven’t an once of willpower, so that’s best. I think I’m getting books from Santa too. I happened across a hiding spot (very accidental) but luckily they were wrapped.

    You have yourself a wonder holiday and thank you again for sending along a gift for me, I’m overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness Marlene. Love and Hugs K

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merry Christmas dear heart. I’ve been where you are and glad those days are over. Mine are too full without a job.I’ve had not a nibble of the baked stuff. Give it all away as gifts to the neighbors and friends. Had company the last 2 nights so more was eaten and taken away. Will have my sister, her ex-partner and their daughter (16) for dinner today. Teenagers eat! So do the fellas. I am so glad the package arrived. You know how I don’t trust the mail. It’s not a big deal, just a little something that had your name all over it when I laid eyes on it. I wanted to you well before the holidays but the making took longer than expected. Too many interruptions. 😦 Hope it works for you. Have a Happy Christmas and Boxing day. Enjoy Maui. I’ll be thinking of you while the rain comes and comes and comes. 😦 At least it’s not snowing so family and friends can visit. Pretty warm too. For now. Giant squishy hugs,. M

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  18. Marlene I love the decorations in your house so much! The Fat Friars are absolutely my favourite, and isn’t that the neatest effect that has them in the clouds. What have you done there, is it lights beneath cotton? Your fat tree is beautiful too. Do I detect a theme in what I’m liking best? ha ha

    Of course there are books under the tree. Anyone who knows you knows that books will top your list. Well, aside from family being with you for Christmas, and I can tell how happy you are about that. I am glad TS gets a real Christmas this year, to make up for the last one. My how things have changed in a year, huh? Isn’t last Christmas what brought us together? I offered to send my annual Christmas letter, even though you knew none of the people in it, and not even me. ha ha!!

    Speaking of not having time to get ready for the holidays, I haven’t sent out my letters yet this year. Usually I am not THIS late, oh my goodness. But you know better than anyone that I simply have not had the time. I actually am done writing it (did that while visiting my step-father in Idaho last weekend), but I have yet to get to a Kinkos and print it out for mailing. Then I need to buy envelopes and stamps and spend the hours addressing them. Sigh. It’s such a huge operation. While I’m at Kinkos, I also need to print out the Mt. Hood Cherokee newsletter that I just finished last week too – also very late. Did you know I am the editor? Anyway, I email most of them, but some of our Cherokee elders do not have email, so I print those and mail them. I could email the Christmas letter too, but I adamantly insist on mailing paper. I love the old days when letters would show up in the mail, and I want to be one of the people that still does it.

    Thursday they let us out early from work. My lovely Tara was bustling around decorating and wrapping gifts and I fell asleep on the couch in front of the tree and the woodstove. The cat climbed up on my belly and took a nap there too. I never take naps, Marlene. I can never ever make myself sleep in the daytime, no matter how tired I am. But this time, zonk. I was out. That let me know that I really am one tired puppy.

    I am late wishing you a Merry Christmas, but I mean it from my heart just as well. I hope you were surrounded by all the love you could absorb, and that you had two hundred reasons to smile and to laugh, and that you were able to rest and do what you can, and enjoy what you do. What books did you get? Kisses and hugs to you. Oh! And we received your card – THANK YOU! I am so grateful and pleased to have you in my life.

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    • Good morning, Crystal and Tara. I feel like I already have your letter. Thank you so much for it as it’s nice to hear from you. I know how insanely busy you have been with a new job,a new house, new chickens and an insane commute. 6 1/2 hours is a very long time to sit in a car. Maybe now you can catch your breath for awhile. Focus on your tribal newsletter and let the rest wait till it happens. I’ve had to push a lot to the back burner. Today I’m going to a couple of craft stores to see if I can find something for 20 quilters other than the towels I was going to embroider. I spent the night of Christmas day dealing with constant leg cramps and couldn’t sleep. There were too many interruptions to my sewing plans that put me further and further behind until I finally decided to let go of it for this year. I’ll start making them for next year and be done with it.
      Yes, there seems to a theme going on in my place with the fat friars and the fat tree. I’ve had the friars since the early 90’s. We had a wonderful Christmas too with my sister, her daughter and ex-partner. (daughters mother). They enjoyed the nice quiet calm day. My favorite kind. There was plenty to eat and coloring books kept everyone happy. TS helped my niece learn her new camera. He was in heaven. Can’t get better than that. I though about inviting you down but I know when you get in your own home, you want to stay there and just chill. Hope you had a good Christmas too. We will find time to get together. I have Tues and some of Wed already booked this week but if you and Tara get down this way, you are welcome to stop by for a visit. Miss you both. Giant squishy hugs to you both. Naps are good for the heart.

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  19. sorry I wrote a book. I guess I miss you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The Eco Grandma said:

    Marlene, your tree is beautiful but I think I like the fat friars best. 🙂 Who cares if your tree is bigger than the space “should” hold, anyone who puts so much time into decorating should have an over-sized tree and with your decorations it belongs.

    I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit until this week. Then the four year old granddaughter wanted to spend a couple of nights with me. Just her infectious excitement that Christmas was coming was all it took for me to get excited and in the mood. We even watched Christmas programs before bed each night. Funny how a child can completely change out perspective.

    I hope all who visited you appreciated the time you put in to get your home ready and those projects that didn’t get finished….there’s always tomorrow.

    Of course there are mostly books under your tree, it wouldn’t be Christmas at your house if there weren’t books and handmade gifts for all. 🙂

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    • You are so lucky to have the little ones to usher in the Christmas spirit. They can certainly do the job. I love my new tree too. It looks so real you almost can’t tell it’s a very cheap fake. 🙂 I love my fat friars too, in their heavenly bakery. I’m going to start getting ready for next year now so I won’t get caught short again. I wasn’t able to get the things done that I wanted to make so I had to make a sorry substitution. They will be ready for next Christmas though. Moving in here and moving my son in took most of my energy this year. So I hope to get ahead of the rush on next year. Nothing beats time with family and friends though. I had plenty of that this year. Hope yours was merry and bright too.

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  21. It is the 27th and I am just now visiting friends around the WordPress World.
    BOTH of your trees are beautiful, but oh that new one is extra lovely!
    Your traditions of baking, and wrapping with recycled products are just right.
    I still have not managed to get gifts in the mail (the darn job does not allow me to get to the Post Office easily) but I it’s on the To Do list 🙂
    Health, happiness, and peace to you in the coming year!

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    • Health, happiness and peace; what more could a person ask for. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I myself am quite tardy getting around. By the 27th, you discover just how tired you are. I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all things good in the new year. Giant hugs to get you through.

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  22. Oh so loved your Christmas post Marlene.. I hope you enjoyed a Wonderful family Christmas.. and are now settling into some more relaxed moments of Peacefulness.. 🙂 Loved the coal.. 🙂 we always had a piece in our childrens stockings along with a sugar pig 🙂 and an orange.. Something we never usually had.. So much has now changed as the gifts get Technical and more expensive and abundant..
    Loved your new Tree.. We too treated ourselves to an artificial one this year. and was thrilled my daughter remembered the old decorations we have had since she was a baby 🙂 when she came home to visit.. 🙂 The angle upon its top is old and only small, it was a gift from my Grandma upon my very first Christmas.. and has been hung on the tree and passed to me when I left home.. It stands at the top now dressed in fresh lace skirt from my lace curtains 🙂 and tinsel for belt 🙂

    Christmas is made up of memories, love and the smell of freshly baked cookies 🙂 :-D…

    So happy you shared your wonderful preparations with us Marlene..

    Wishing you a Joyful Happy Healthy New Year.. May you and yours be blessed in 2016 and Beyond..

    Love Sue xxx ❤

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  23. Ps that should read ANGEL not angle LoL… many thanks xxx

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    • It’s good to hear from you and thanks for stopping by. You have so many wonderful memories of your childhood Christmases. Nothing was passed down in my family as most was lost or left behind in our many moves. Maybe that’s why I collect and hang on to things? Hopefully, some of it my children will want but since they don’t have children, I’m passing some on to my niece. Mostly, everyone wants something new. Glad you had your daughter with you for the holiday. Ours was fantastic and it had nothing to do with gifts. I kept a relaxed, calm attitude that spilled over to everyone else. My sister, niece and nieces mom all said it was their best Christmas ever. Since my son had no Christmas last year, he was so happy to enjoy it at all. And no plane to try to catch to get here. My daughter spent the night so we had no rush for anything and another niece surprised us Christmas eve with her visit. It was grand. Have a wonderfilled new year. Wishing you light and love. Hugs, M

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Marlene!! I just love your new tree…fabulous!!! A merry Ho Ho…and best wishes for the new year on the horizon. May you be filled with love and peace, my friend! ❤ ❤

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    • Thank you, Lorrie. The tree is fabulous, isn’t it? I’m so tickled with it. My house is filled with peace and love all the time. Maybe that’s why everyone wants to hang out here. I’m learning to chill. 🙂 Happy New Year to you dear heart. Wishing you all things good. Giant hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Wow looks like you had a great time preparing for Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did have a good time getting ready for Christmas. Now I have to take it all down.:( That will take another week or so. It was a wonderful holiday and now we all have to get back to our regularly scheduled work. And the list is long. 🙂 I’m already working on next years projects now that my brain has started to come out of hibernation. Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully, I’ll get time to write again by tomorrow. Being old and retired is very busy work. 🙂 Have a wonderful New Year celebration. Giant hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Marlene, I think you definitely found your Ho, Ho, Ho! What a lovely Christmas setting you created for the holiday. And its obvious it was done with much joy. Happy New Year to you, may it be a wonderful and blessed 2016, with a bit of adventure just to make it interesting! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you dear heart. It was a wonderful holiday and last night was quiet. This morning filled with introspection. A phone call last night has already set the tone for the next year. It will be one of significant change. Of course, each day holds that possibility. I think I’m up to the challenges now. My life has always been an interesting one. It’s like turning the pages of a book to see where I’m going next. 🙂 Wishing you all the blessings of a New Year as well. We have high winds today. The winds of change.

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  27. It looks like you had alot of fun! Thank you for sharing it!

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  28. Happy New Year, I’m new here and attracted by your beautiful Christmas trees and your writings. Wish you have a great New Year!

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    • Thank you for reading and for following. I have taken a brief browse at your blog and will visit further as I get caught up. I wish you great success in the New Year.

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  29. I love the new tree and all the great ornaments. Your baking looks delish and your posts always make ME SMILE! Thanks for being beautiful Marlene Herself. I am blessed to be connected with you! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, dear heart. Looks like we are all playing catch up now that the holidays are over. My daughter does most of the baking these days. Trying to train the next generation. Ornaments are a 30 year old collection and assortment of gifts from so many people. I can’t part with any of those wonderful memories. I’m glad I bring a smile to you and happy to see you here.

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