Have you noticed how bare it looks outside as winter moves in? The late fall landscape in New England is a striking backdrop for visions of sugarplums. Does it also drive you inside to plot and cook up mischief for the holidays?


            The garden sleeps today

We finally got the lawns and garden put to bed- I love the quiet they project in winter. Gardeners take grateful rest from outdoor labor this time of year.

I remembered as I woke up thisFestivitymorning that once again I’d forgotten to buy Advent candles for next Sunday. I’ve always found that Advent offers an important ritual to help slow the onset of sometimes frantic holiday preparation. Each day at dinner, you light a candle, and build to four candles, increasing light, during the four weeks before Christmas. Also required in my house is singing O Come Emmanuel, which was always a huge treat for my kids. (not) But you know, they sang together.

Anybody else suffer from IAA (Intense Activity Acceleration) this time of year? 

I have to admit, Amazon was the answer for candles -especially as the tradition in general, has fallen by the way. You can’t easily find pink and purple colored candles locally. (On Amazon, you can shop “Vermont Christmas Company for candles, calendars etc.) You’ll find sets of 4 and 5, and longer candles that last all four weeks, especially if you’re lighting them every night. Advent Calendars-great if you have kids. Festivity

Holiday lights! Are you as crazy as I am about holiday lighting? Inside and out. Last year, I got hooked on battery operated lights for the door. These are cool.  You can search for Micro battery operated led lights on Amazon- single and multiple strand lights at all prices. I use solar powered string lights on the miniature lilac tree in the formal garden. They usually last a year but it’s no work or electric $$ and it’s pretty at night in all seasons.

This year, outdoors, we’re trying out laser projection lighting to eliminate climbing ladders and hanging cheap light strands in the cold, that turn off inside a week. Simple is best in laser options but look for a sturdy, weatherproof housing with a 20’ plus cord, remote, and multiple settings. You can add a timer later if necessary. Read  reviews for light brightness and coverage area per unit. Don’t forget return policies-outdoor lighting is historically not durable.

Spending quality time with family.Festivities

The really important part. Each year, we try to find a holiday show that all ages will love- in whatever medium that works. I’m a sucker for history and romance so it’s importance to take time to cull from options that will interest as many tastes as possible. It can be tricky but really worth it. Some years, we pay and call it their Christmas gift. What’s better then spending time together anyway?

You can always google search “holiday shows near me”  Here are some links I found in certain select cities. New York City,  

Boston Shows

Seattle, Washington State– Events for 12 months – includes caroling!

And right here in our backyard -It’s a Wonderful Life at the Landmark Theater, a great old, small town venue. Thomaston, Connecticut


                           Perfect Rose

Perfect Roses are hard to find in winter unless you look up Paola Pillows– always in stock.

There’s nothing like country music to make sure you enjoy life during busy times. Just so you won’t Fall Asleep at the Wheel.  Try this. Route 66.

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