Christmas cheer abounding

Marie Antoinette gets a bow

(I inherited one of my mom's lamps when she passed away recently-most interesting little statuette--so Joy thought she needed a bow--then my stocking, a red jar for a candle and a needle point mother and child--a gift from a friend.

From my earliest childhood, I remember Christmas as a time of lights, sparkles, smells, color and delight. One of the gifts my mother gave to me was a love for hospitality. My father was, for most of his life, a real extrovert. He loved people and the more the merrier. Often, we would have 100 people in to our home--they just spread all over the house and the yard and the porch and everywhere.

Remember how I told you I am using wreaths for my tables? This is the dining table.

This is a coffee table (missing in the picture are some of my Christmas books.)

In preparation, all of us kids were given rooms to clean, goodies to make in the kitchen, dishes to wash, lawns to mow. We were the staff that my mother learned to employ. Because it was a part of the oxygen we breathed in our home, we all became used to hosting people in our home. And so, my children have grown up decorating tables, cooking, putting lights outside, and providing the candles and music that adorne each event in our home.

We have to have a place for my mama's Santa cookie jar that I have had since childhood.

The messes are not all tamed ever--there is always a pile somewhere or dust or a smudge--but who would notice with all the people living and laughing and sharing life--and so perfection was never the goal.

Excitement has been bubbling up inside me all week as we are celebrating our Mom's Bible study Christmas tea in my home tonight. Everyone has to bring their own tea cup or coffee mug. I will provide hot wassail, (cider with spices), two kinds of tea and decaf coffee to fill their cups. They will all bring a savory and a sweet and we will spread out all over my home and celebrate this season together.

A cake stand filled with greenery became an easy centerpiece. And of course books everywhere. (I have collected red jars over the years for just plain candles--as the candles look beautiful--but cinnamon or apple red candles make my family sneeze, so there are odorless.)

At the end of our evening, we will crunch into my living room and women will sit on the floor, up my winding stair case and peering through the dining room and entrance hall. Somehow we will all be together. Usually we have between 50 and 80, but sometimes we have hit over 90 women--we just all squish into the rooms. I love these dear ones and I am so very grateful that we can have this fellowship once a month.

But, I look back to my childhood years as the time I learned all about making my home a place of life and food and fun--to my mom who taught us to work, to greet, to serve little trays of food around the house and to learn to love serving the life of Jesus in the walls of our home.

Of course, I must have a tea table--tea represents to me serving another, making a moment to really share hearts, thoughts, words of love--it takes time but restores hearts!

And of course it is hoped that all who enter will find here the peace of our precious Lord, and take His comfort and presence and worship home with them in their hearts after we part company.

Peace be with you today!