"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas anticipation...

The last few days before Christmas are always a highlight. Perhaps even more exciting than Christmas itself as we are all full of anticipation. I am enjoying a more simple Christmas this year. I did not do as much decorating as usual but still find our home to glow in a festive light...

Above the hutch a garland with my lit branches twisted among it while the mirrors on either side of the hutch have a small wreath hanging from a gingham ribbon. Just the right touch.

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

I placed a small quilt on the table with my urns. The arrangement this year is layered ivy, grapevine and berry wreaths, pine branches and red amaryllis. I placed red and black ornaments in a gold and red bowl. My books are softened by a piece of lace and a pretty white Christmas tree candle.

I use candles to decorate all through the house and out in the garden. I love candles glow in the evenings.

"A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away."

~Eva Logue

My pictures ledges are now filled with my beloved collection of framed vintage postcards and some stitched items I have made over the years.

"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." ~Harlan Miller

My patchwork wreath had to be on our coffee table this year. It brings back memories of my quilt group's fun Christmas in July evening each time I light the candle.

I have always wished I had a mantleplace but creating a Christmas arrangement on my fireplace screen gives me a chance to add some festive cheer to the woodstove.
The laundry room in our home is also our cloakroom. Since people walk in here to hang their coats, I like having it looking cheerful. The village gives a magical glow where most stop and take a good look as they come and go. I did not get out all my nutcrackers this year. A few are in the living room and these in the laundry room. I added two winter floral arrangements in the room and also filled my clothes peg pail with pinecones.

"Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved."

~Augusta E. Rundel

The music playing Gaudete is actually a Christmas carol written back in the 16th century. I have had people comment that they too love to listen to Gregorian Chant and thought it would be fun to include this on my blog this year. Here is the text in both the Latin and in English translation. Sometimes, reading what the song says gives you a greater appreciation of the music. Enjoy!

Translation from Wikipedia
Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!
Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary, rejoice!
Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.
The time of grace has come
That we have desired;
Let us devoutly return
Joyful verses.
Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.
God has become man,
And nature marvels;
The world has been renewed
By Christ who is King.
Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.
The closed gate of Ezechiel
Has been passed through;
Whence the light is born,
Salvation is found.
Ergo nostra contio
Psallat lam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.
Therefore let our gathering
Now sing in brightness
Let it give praise to the Lord:
Greeting to our King.


Carolien said...

Hi Heidi,

It looks very cosy in your house now with all the decorations!

In church we have the 3rd Sunday of the Advent which is called 'Sunday Gaudete'. The gregorian hymns start with this text of yours: 'Gaudete ...' So originally it's a pre-Christmas hymn and of course later also used as a Christmas Carol.

Have fun in the snow!
Hugs, Carolien

Reginas Cottage said...

hello heidi,
what a wonderful post. i love the poem from laura ingalls wilder.your
home looks very cosy with all the nice christmas deco.
i wish you and your family a merry christmas and a happy new year!
hugs and kisses,regina

Tammy said...

Beautiful Heidi!
Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

It all looks lovely Heidi.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas.

Marie x

Nancy said...

Merry Christmas Heidi and Jos. I hope your day is perfect. Will you be watching a Christmas movie? Kristy is just starting to bake pies. We are having ham and turkey. I hope to talk to you on Skype tomorrow too, so I can hear if you like your gifts. Your house looks wonderful as usual.
Love you, Mom

Anonymous said...

Love your kerstversiering in your home! You did a great job and volgens mij heb je juist heel veel gedaan. Ik moest glimlachen om je vorige blog entry: op de foto leek je op Mary Poppins.… en iets later schreef je daar zelf ook over. Wishing you a merry Christmas!! Liefs Sonja ( vanuit San Diego).

Jennifer Ann Fox said...

Hey Heidi!
Your house is so beautful and stunning!
I just love your pictures and reading your inspirational messages.
Feathers in the Nest

DonnaTN said...

Your decorations are lovely. Sometimes simple decor is just as nice as elaborate. Thanks for the song translation! I have a CD with that song and I love it, but I had no idea what the words meant!

Jeanne said...

Merry Christmas Heidi! Your decorations are beautiful -- your home always looks so warm and lovely, no matter what the season!
I'm enchanted with your patchwork wreath. Can you direct me to more information about how it was made?
Thanks ~ Jeanne

angelasweby said...

I can't believe I missed this wonderful posting. I was so tired over Christmas I must have overlooked it. I always love wandering through your beautiful home and seeing how you create such wonderful ambience with your decorating. The shelves look amazing with their seasonal framed prints and stitching. As always I wish I could see more and even pick each frame up and learn it's story. You know me for detail :>) I adore the little red cloaked girl in the oval frame and the beautiful print next to her and your collection of vintage Santa cards is lovely.

The twinkling lights above the hutch and the little vignettes create such a soft glow and the village is perfectly suited in the little laundry room - a name which so inadequately describes its many uses and its ever changing faces :>)
Thank you for your invitation :>)
Warm wishes Angela xx
PS As always beautiful music and wonderful poetry and prose :>)

Nishant said...

. i love the poem from laura ingalls wilder.your

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