Christmas Cheer

With holiday gatherings back in full swing, even if they are smaller and scaled down, it still means a busy time. We are having a bit of fun, seeing some friends, and enjoying some Christmas cheer. This past week, we were once again able to do Winter Lights at the Arboretum with friends. It was a drive through event last year, but this year it is back to a walking event around the gardens.

This year you could walk through the caterpillar with the cute face.

The quilt garden was set up with a light show. The ‘blocks’ with trees changed from gold…

to red and green with the music. A medley of songs from Christmas movies was playing. See my post from a few years ago, Winter Lights for a full tour.

I have been painting rocks again, and made these to hide. The top ones are painted, while the two on the bottom are stickers. I had to go back after the photo was taken and fix the one on the lower left as the sticker was lifting. All are varnished with clear gloss so the stickers stay on and the paint stays nice. Also, on the back are labels to tell anyone looking that they can keep the rock if they wish.

In the category of Christmas cheer for home, I was surfing ebay for another mug to go with this Susan Winget dish set. I had three mugs last year, and one got broken. I looked last year for them as well, but they don’t come up very often. Amazingly, I found one at a thrift store for 25 cents two years ago. But I still need two mugs to have a complete set for four. While I was surfing, I came across these bowls and just had to have them. I’ve never seen these before and the price was right. Yes, I did just take a load to the thrift store of other stuff, so now I have room, right? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I have the dishes set out on the pub table, not really a tablescape, more of a display. The big platter I found last year is in the center. I’ll grab a plate to use for a breakfast or lunch, as I do like using these during the holiday season. I mix up the patterns, putting the tree plate with the sleigh mug and the stocking bowl.

Oliver came by for a sandwich, looking cute as usual. He might get some jelly on a sandwich for his Christmas cheer later in the month.

Jack was here on another day. As they were both facing the same way in the pictures, I have tried to see if there are differences between them on their markings, and they look like identical twins to me. Oliver may have a couple of white feather-like extensions of the white fur from his chest to his shoulder where Jack seems to have a curved line. But that’s all I can find. The light is a bit brighter on Jack, so it seems his brown areas are brighter, but they really aren’t any different. The only way to tell who is who is by where they eat their treats. Oliver always goes to the retaining wall, while Jack favors the stairs. They hold their sandwiches a bit differently with Oliver grasping with his fingers while Jack holds his more in the palm area. And no, I still don’t have a clue if Oliver and Jack are really Olivia and Jackie.

We did a car club coffee recently at a lovely bed and breakfast in Black Mountain called the Monte Vista Hotel, founded in 1919. Oh my goodness, what Christmas cheer!! This main building was built in 1937, and still retains much of the original historical details.

Out front was a fully decorated gazebo.

I added a couple of those Christmas painted rocks to their garden.

Inside, they are the venue for a charity fundraising event called Deck the Trees. Each tree is decorated by a charity, and you can donate money to your favorite. In the lobby, several trees glowed with lights, reflecting off the warmth of the wooden floor, stair railing and furniture.

Another tree along with a windowsill garland with lights were near the area where members were gathering for coffee and scones. Cushy sofas with festive pillows were inviting.

These were in the sun porch breakfast area.

In the formal dining room, more trees were lit up. Each one had a different theme.

The darker walls provided a nice backdrop, but it made it a bit harder to get good pictures. This snowman tree was clever.

One more photo of a few more trees on the other side of the dining room. There were a bunch more, each one unique. Such Christmas cheer for guests to enjoy!

Back home, I watched a fun new-to-me Christmas movie this week called Christmas by Starlight. It is a cute one if you have the chance to see it. More movies are on my agenda for the next two weeks, with some on DVDs, and more on TV. How are you enjoying Christmas cheer this season?

24 thoughts on “Christmas Cheer

  1. Julie

    It looks like Oliver has white eyeliner & Jack has a little ear nip. We have a squirrel named Handy for the way she picks up her sunflower treats. Most squirrels pick up with their mouth then hold with their paws. Handy picks up with her paws. I love Susan Winget designs, especially her birds and woodland animal themes. Good score on those bowls!

  2. Althea Liscombe

    HI Carole, I enjoy getting your daily emails. They’re so informative and inspiring. Do you ever sleep? I know you’ve been leaving the painted rocks around. People in our area do that too. Have you heard of the “I found a quilted heart” project? It’s similar and uses up a lot of scraps from the ever growing “stash”.
    I’ve put out the word to all my friends, neighbors and family to save the little tags for the person you posted who turns them in to make wheelchairs. Thank you for bringing that cause to our attention.
    Have a beautiful day.
    Althea

  3. Lesley Gilbert

    I always love the photo’s you share throughout the year, especially the Christmas ones. I don’t have a tree any more but I enjoy seeing other people’s decorations. Merry Christmas to you both and all the best for the NEW YEAR 2022 – let’s hope it’s a better one 🙂

  4. Rita C.

    Love your dishes and your story. That lighted quilt is pretty amazing!
    Christmas is just two weeks away….hoping the viruses stay away and family can be together.
    I hope tou have a good week, Carole. You’re certainly making others’ good by sharing your little painted rocks as nice surprises.

  5. Sandra B

    We attended our nephew’s wedding yesterday…our new “niece” did an amazing job decorating for the reception…the hotel let her bring in all sorts of things…there were several Christmas trees, lanterns on all the tables, and each guest received a little green box containing Hershey kisses…there was also a visit from Santa Claus, and even a photo booth! It was so much fun, and we were so happy to welcome our new niece to the family…the weather was a bit damp, but the temperature was right at 70 degrees (not typical weather for December in central Virginia) so at least there was no chance the roads could become icy. It was a great day!

  6. I like the Deck the Trees charity idea. What a beautiful place that is!
    We hope to get out and enjoy Christmas lights sometime before Christmas. Last night we tried a new Mexican restaurant with our neighbors, but today we need to get our Christmas decorations put up!
    Loved your cheery post. 🙂

  7. Fun to see where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing, Carole! I love the Christmas light shows, and there is one here I hope to go to. Also the historical homes decorated for Christmas – we went to one in the small town in Kansas where our son lives. Enjoy decorating the table with your new dishes – they are pretty!

  8. Carla H. Webb

    Love the pictures in your posts. The Christmas pictures are beautiful. Great idea, Decorating Christmas trees for charity. I am a quilter and also love to do crafts. I have painted some rocks but forgot to do any Christmas ones. Thank you for the reminder.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Holiday Hugs,
    Carla Webb

  9. All of those trees are beautiful but glad I don’t have to decorated all of them.
    Where do you get your rocks..I might need to get my grands doing ths.Always good to give someone a lift. And what is it you print for the back? Thanks.

  10. Rosemary B

    I read, rarely comment. Wow, I love the photos you shared today, Carole. Those dishes are sweet. Lucky you going on adventures. I am so sick of this covid ordeal. The ends justify the means. The authoritarians have to show their power. ….. Thank you for sharing some of the lighting extravaganza. You blog is a joy to read.
    I have been crazy busy, just the usual, but babies growing, I need to play with them, daddy turned 98 and just had orthopedic repair of his displaced fracture of his olecranon — it was rough but he is incredible. I have also been dealing with angry ugly siblings. That has been brutal. I am grateful for my hubbs.
    I would love to paint rocks and put them in pretty places to discover. Maybe one day.
    I have been sewing a lot. Making piles of quilts and clothing for bears and bunnies

  11. Jean McKinstry

    The lights, last year I thought they were outstanding, this year even more so.And the trees at your venue, what a grand idea to fund raise. Loved the blue and purple ones with curled ribbons by the tables.

  12. lois92346

    What a lovely column this morning. I have my favorites among your photos, the first being the gazebo. I always know a Christmas movie is going to be uplifting when the opening credits include merry music and a gazebo. I also adore Oliver and Jack and the subtle differences between the two. I’m no artist but I have some adorable Christmas stickers I can attach to some painted river rock and place around the neighborhood as I walk my dog. Should be FUN!!

  13. Elaine Nemeth

    Merriest Christmas and holidays to you. Thank you for your wonder filled blog. You truly are an inspiration to me. Happiest of new years too. Celebrate.

  14. Joan Sheppard

    Thank you for taking us with you on your Club Car Ride. I can almost smell the trees and the cooking aromas! We had a similar week, Arboretum on Thursday, also thankfully a walk through so we could pause and watch some of the action lights. Then last night was the Company Christmas party at Navy Pier. Beautiful! Great food, chatting, music, the lake, so much fun. Still so much to do before Christmas. Thanks again,

  15. vivoaks

    Looks like you’re getting lots of Christmas joy! Have fun and enjoy every bit of it!! 😃 Blessed Christmas to you and yours.🎄🎄🎄

  16. Melanie

    Beautifully decorated trees, lights are fantastic, esp. in the gardens. What fun you have been having! I’ve been sewing more this year than ever for Christmas…just so much fun to make for gifting, and I’m using up some of my Christmas fabric that comes out once a year…from July to December. LOL

  17. Arlene Reed

    You are one busy lady. Your rocks are pretty, my granddaughter makes them also. You’re right there’s a difference better Jack and Oliver one has a white streak and one is a bit browner. Can’t believe I’m getting into the squirrel faze. You’re getting me hooked. The quilt lights are fascinating. You find so many places to go. So much fun.

  18. Arlene Reed

    A few weeks ago you sent a link out about how we can tell the difference between a Christmas cactus and an Easter cactus and I some how deleted that message. Do you somehow recall that link? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much.

    On Sun, Dec 12, 2021, 7:21 AM From My Carolina Home wrote:

    > Carole @ From My Carolina Home posted: ” With holiday gatherings back in > full swing, even if they are smaller and scaled down, it still means a busy > time. We are having a bit of fun, seeing some friends, and enjoying some > Christmas cheer. This past week, we were once again able to do Winter Li” >

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