No humbugging allowed

November 20, 2015 | My Jottings

I got up the other morning around 5:50, and Sara (who is recovering from jet lag after her month-long trip to Ireland, Scotland and England), had put up the Christmas tree, had carols playing on the stereo, had festooned our dining room mantel with ribbon and holly and stockings, and was generally jump-starting us into the Christmas spirit. I usually consider it early if our tree is put up the day after Thanksgiving. We’ve never had our tree up before Thanksgiving. I think my children are trying to prevent me from becoming Mrs. Scrooge, so I’m trying to cooperate. I am firm in my resolve to not utter the words bah or humbug this year.

I’ll post more photos in the next weeks, but here are a few today. You can click to enlarge if you like:




Two cherished gifts are on our couch — the cardinal pillow from Peggy, and the quilt from Helen. I. Love. Them.


And of course Mendelssohn the moose is doing his part to bring a smile.


And here’s a picture of our parakeet Phoebe, who is almost five months old now. We can’t get over how much we love her. She chatters and peeps and plays with her toys, and eyes us warily if we try to get her to eat a millet spray from our hands.


I see many parakeets online who sit on their owner’s shoulder or hand and I’ve tried all the tricks recommended, but Phoebe isn’t buying it yet.

Maybe the Christmas decorations will put her in the mood.


  1. Kay says:

    What a beautifully decorated tree. I’m afraid that my lack of artistic skills means that our tree often looks a bit sad.
    This year we’re making Christmas as easy as possible. For the first time we’ve bought a Christmas cake instead of making our own and as we don’t feel up to dragging all the decorations down from the loft, I’ve bought a small 4ft tree. Because this is a Christmas with breaks from tradition, I decided to have a completely new look for our tree. We now have a white tree which I’ll decorate with pink and silver. This is such a change for us! ๐Ÿ™‚
    We’ve always kept to safe and traditional, but after the year we’ve had, it seems right to let a breath of fresh air into our lives.
    Also, we need a tree that can fit on a shelf. Our Archie is gorgeous but he is such a little thief! Tissues, socks, pencil, slippers – his thievery is quite eclectic! And sometimes he’s so brazen about it!
    Phoebe looks so pretty. Such a little display of God’s beauty.
    If it wasn’t so early, I’d wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, but I suppose I just did! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ xxxx

  2. Just Julie says:

    Kay, when I was younger I had a small (tabletop) Christmas tree with pink and silver ornaments! It was stunning. I would love to see a picture of yours when it’s up. That devious little Archie! He keeps you and Alan on your toes, it sounds like. Hugs to you two dears… xoxo

  3. Peggy Johns says:

    Julie. Your email about the pillow lit the spark in me to catch up with you. Not sure what caused the horrible depression I had this summer, but I am fighting my way back again. God was still there waiting for me… Thought about you, and your journey many many times, but couldn’t seem to communicate. It is good to be back! Your writing is soothing to me, and teaches me about God’s love. I know how much you miss Michael. So glad your daughter is safely home. Love, Peggy

  4. Just Julie says:

    Almost everyone I know has faced the darkness of depression in some way or another…you are not alone, Peggy. Thank you so much for checking in. Your cardinal pillow is a reminder to me of hope and God’s love and your kindness every single day. Pretty wonderful things to be reminded of. Hugs, dear Peggy… xoxo

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