The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We’ve been decking the halls, girlfriends, in the Most wonderful time of year!

You know I love my bird trees . . . this is the white feather tree I did for the guest room. (We have the larger 24″ tree in our store now, in case you’re looking for one! Ignore the photo of it in the web store, that was the 12″ one — double it in your mind!  So darling!)

And, in case you missed it, here’s Jack helping me decorate the bird tree for the kitchen table.  Without knowing it, slowly, over the years, I bought little paper and feather birds whenever I saw them, and they ended up being a collection that was perfect for a small table tree.  My absolutely favorite holiday decoration! I put it out usually before Thanksgiving, because it represents my favorite thing no matter what time of year, nature. 

And speaking of trees, we brought in the big one last night!  Had turkey soup for dinner, turned on the Christmas music and brought in the tree.  When we first saw our house, we knew this corner of the living room was the spot for the tree, in front of those windows!  Figuring out where the Christmas tree will go is just a natural part of home buying! Out to the barn goes the dining table and chairs that are usually in this space — in comes the little box Joe made to stand the tree on.

Beautiful Christmasy night — under a cold moon shining through thin clouds we went past the barn to where the tree has been soaking and drying . . . don’t have photos of the next part, couldn’t handle the camera while carrying my end of the tree (the top) in the dark, singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful down the driveway, out to the front of the house, following Joe up the steps, through the front door, squishing past the piano in the front hall, into the living room, lifting it over the sofa, “fit it in the hole, back, back, no, too far, lift higher, there!” and viola!  Like buttah.

She’s in!  The first thing we did is tie her to the wall!  Taking no chances with you-know-who.

Then Joe unleashes the ropes and Pop goes the Magnificence! O Christmas Tree! We turned it to get the best side, “Is it straight? How about now?” . . . Girl Kitty came in to help.

 The tree was cold from being outside, you could feel little clouds of coldness when you were close to it . . . and it filled the room with that wonderful woodsy piney smell.  Heaven.  This morning I came downstairs and now the whole house smells of it.

And then Nightmare on Elm Street, all wrapped up in fuzzy cute ball of adorableness, shows up.  Asks Joe “Could you please explain this to me?  Please?  What is it what is it what is it.  Can I have it?  Please?  can i can i can i?”

 We had to pull him out of it twice, although the tree was still standing this morning, so I think we’re doing pretty good.  Today we’ll put the lights on, drape it with garlands, and make a true kitty toy out of it. 

Before I wrote any books, I used to have a list I kept in my recipe box.  My mom wrote it for me; it was a list of all the traditional foods we made for holiday dinners. I didn’t want to forget anything.  Which gave me the idea when I wrote my Christmas Book, to put together a list of every single thing I could think of about decorating for Christmas so that all I had to do is read it every year.  I still just pull out that book, run my eyes down the list for inspiration!  Lots of ideas for decking the halls!  Another handy perk of book writing . . . permanent lists!  For the most wonderful time of the year! In case you don’t have a list of your own, here’s mine:

I hope you found that helpful!!  My girlfriend Sarah wrote last night and gave me a link to a website that has lots of ideas for decorating I thought you’d like to look at.  I also love decorating with books.  Old books bring old Christmases into the house.  This year our house will celebrate its 162nd Christmas!  Since back before these books were brand new.

 See the little one on the top of the stack above? Here it is close up. Published in 1938, a charming story of Christmas-gone-by, complete with line-drawings by Lois Lenski.

In case you like to decorate with books too, I thought this would be a wonderful one to add to your collection, or maybe you’d like to start a collection! They’re darling on guest-room dresser tops; look wonderful in guest bathrooms; nice on the coffee table, and sweet to read to children. 

If you’d like to have this book, just leave a comment, share your Christmas doings with the Girlfriends or just say Hello, and you’ll be entered in our drawing!  In a few days, I’ll ask the magic random chooser to do its thing and draw one of your names and this little book will zip off, in fairy manner, with love from me to you.  Here’s one of the darling little line drawings in the book . . .

And I haven’t forgotten, not all the girlfriends celebrate Christmas!  We are lucky enough to welcome friends here from all over the country, all over the world — there will be more drawings this month, that don’t have Christmas written all over them — but this little book called my name . . . if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you may know someone who does, this would be a wonderful little gift!  Happy Holidays to everyone!  I wob you.

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884 Responses to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

  1. Linda says:

    Lois Lenski’s illustrations are charming in their simplicity. I have several vintage first editions of hers as I collect old children’s books. Decorating a home with books is every decorators trick for warming up a room and you are the “Queen of Cosy Decorating”. Your photos of the cats would make a wonderful book with you of course doing all the illustrating as well as storytelling as you are also the “Queen of Writing”!!! Thanks for always ending my day with a big smile on my face!

  2. Leslie Gammelgaard says:

    It must be Christmastime! Today your Christmas Book found its usual December home upon the kitchen counter! Orange and gold, pumpkins and leaves, have been replaced with red and green, ribbons and stars!

  3. Judy in Oregon says:

    I love to see people decorate with books! I just cannot live without all my favorite books all around me! And when I saw that little book you are offering, I nearly swooned. I have for so long LOVED the artwork of Lois Lensky! I have so many children’s books with her artwork in them. I still get them out and look at them often! I’ll cross my fingers and hope that maybe, just maybe, the chooser will pick me!

    By the way, I couldn’t find anywhere else to ask this, so I’ll ask it here. Are you going to do a 2012 Daybook? I totally love mine and hate to have to think of having to go look for one elsewhere! Please tell me there is one somewhere that I can buy!

    Thanks for all the many hours of reading pleasure, and the great grins and sometimes out-loud laughs from reading the books and blog, not to mention the rolled back eyes and Mmmmmms from cooking things from your recipes! I can feel the sparkle in your eyes and see the often mischievous grin in most of what you write, and I love the positivity and love of life you pass on. It’s so infectious! And very welcome!
    xoox Judy

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks so much Judy!! So glad you are here. On the daybook. . . the people that licensed my designs for the daybook decided they didn’t want to do it again this year! I know, we were sad too . . . you can write them at and tell them how you feel, if you like — plus they have that same datebook by other artists on their website, maybe you’ll see one you like! Thank you for asking!

      • Linda Pintarell says:

        FYI – I have written them…talked to them on phone, etc., etc. I ended up buying one from them BUT I am not near as happy with it as I was with my 2011 Day Book – and I did tell them that.

        • sbranch says:

          Well I thank you so much for trying! You never know . . . I was afraid they might cancel the blotter this year, but so far, that’s a GO! So I feel my cup is still half full, or more!

  4. Mia Sophia says:

    You make my day even better…Thank You! This darling little book would be a sweet companion to my Joan Walsh Anglund books, Christmas Is Love and Christmas Is A Time of Giving. I can see that Jack likes the addition of “his” tree already. Bringing the outdoors inside…genius idea! Let the tree climbing begin! 🙂

  5. Judy in Oregon says:

    P.S. and the first thing I do is spell Lois’ last name wrong! At least it sounds right if you sound it out! VBG!

  6. Marie says:

    One of my favourite things to decorate during the holidays is the mantle over our fireplace. It is different every year and the main focal point in our living room. Our new place is so tiny that we don’t really have room for a big tree, so I just have a tiny table top one, which I enjoy decorating, and then of course I love decorating my holiday table. I’ve begun collecting Jim Shore Angels over the years and they figure prominently in my decor as well. This years was a large one with a full nativity in her skirt, which revolves and plays silent night. I have a collection of Christmas books as well, which go out and are just waiting for someone to pick one up and fall in love. xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds like my old house . . . no room, so I would look for the skinniest tree in the history of tree-dom, and squish it in behind a chair! Now we have space and feel like there’s some sort of responsibility to have the biggest tree in the forest, which is beautiful, but the little one was beautiful too.

  7. Pam says:

    Love your list of Christmassy things Susan. All our Christmas things and books are packed away as we are renting a house whilst trying to find one to buy. Hope you don’t mind but I’m sharing your Christmas this year via your blog. It’s keeping me cheerful.

  8. Missy M says:

    A very Merry Christmas to you! I could almost smell your tree through my computer 🙂 We rescued a kitty last year two days before Christmas. He was too timid to “play” with the Christmas tree then. Now? Not timid at all. Thanks for the great idea of tying the tree to the wall (she says as she wanders off to find some rope).

  9. Cathy McC. says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful decorating ideas! I hope your tree is still in good shape. How I’d love to see a random “Jack” ornament on your tree in one of the photos!!!

  10. Becky says:

    Susan I love your lace on your windows. At one of my former houses I had a lace panel on my front door with kittens on it. Forgot about that panel until I noticed your lace. So pretty!

  11. Patricia says:

    Susan- I love seeing photos of your house- so much character and so beautiful! I wish I could find those little tiny lights you have on your little tree…they’d be perfect for our dolls house- Alice and I have been all over but can’t find them. I have two children- Mary- at 13- is my eldest..and she does love to cook- but Alice, the 5 year old, is really my partner-in-crime with all things domestic and crafty. And she loves the little bird that flies over the top of your website. She’s also my reader and I’d love to wrap that little red Christmas book up for her, so fingers crossed. I collect The Happy Hollisters, Ginnie and Geneva (both written in the 50s-60’s) and the Mary Jane series (written in the 20’s). I love children’s books and I consider it a real find if it’s been inscribed to a child for a birthday or Christmas. So wonderful. Merry Christmas- we’re getting our tree today! The girls are beyond excited. xx

    • sbranch says:

      I would try a craft store like Michaels. You probably already did! You are having so much fun with your girls . . . Merry Christmas!

      • Patricia says:

        Yep we looked there and a few other craft stores but we’ll keep searching. In the meantime we came up with a brilliant idea- we are going to cut tiny strips of paper and make little paper chains to decorate. And just now by sparrow post an offer of a Christmas party arrived (bless Tasha Tuder- it’s been really fun copying her dolls house ideas!)

        • sbranch says:


          • Judy Zuk says:

            Yes I have seen the tiny lights at Michael’s also. Where the Christmas village digs are stocked. Also, I have a silly Christmas necklace of lights that can even be set to blink if wanted. Can find these even in some grocery stores and they are tiny. Can use them on little trees,etc. Good luck. Hope you find some!

        • EsSuzy says:

          Patricia, It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a reference to The Happy Hollisters books! I still have mine from when I was a little girl…a while back. 🙂

  12. Terry Goodman says:

    Hello Susan!
    I love all of your sweet ideas for “Decking The Halls”! I can’t wait to get started here at my home. That little old Christmas Book is adorable! What a great idea to place old Christmas books out on a table to be read and enjoyed by all during this beautiful Christmas season. Thank you for inspiring all of us to “dress” our homes with thoughtful and beautiful decorations!
    Blessings to you!

  13. Donna says:

    I’m driving home for Christmas..well, to my brothers home, actually. One suitcase is full of my Christmas books and music. How could I be without them? Of course, your Christmas books are already packed for the trip. I plan to introduce my sister-in-law to you as my dear cousin introduced you to me.
    I love the Reason for the season!

  14. Christy says:

    ooo we’re getting pretty Christmassy around here too girlfriend! Here’s one of the homey touches new to us this year… bringing a little retro back : )


    • sbranch says:

      Are those giant marshmallows?

    • dottie says:

      Well, this just inspired a project — probably not for this year though it might get me out of the ‘Bah Humbug doldrums’ which are dogging every step of progress toward Christmas decor here. Will let you know on FOSB on Facebook later as to the decision.

  15. Sharan says:

    Oh Susan, I love that little book. I too collect old books. My grandmother started my collection. I’m a teacher and I especially love children’s books. I love that they allow us to peek into what life was like at another time. Hope your Christmas tree still standing. 🙂

  16. Sandy Perry says:

    What a wonderful idea to use old books to decorate for Christmas. I have some of my Mom’s old childhood books(she is no longer with us but is always in our hearts) and some of mine so I think I will tie them up and put them on the kitchen table and dream about Christmas’ past. Wish we could have snow here were I live but in Ca it doesn’t snow everywhere!!!! Can’t wait to make your sugar cookies with my oldest granddaughter( she is 6) and loves to bake like “Gwamma”. One of the companies I used to pick up accounts for called them “To Die for Cookies”. She was right. I give them a light coat of frosting or glaze and put them in the freezer to set up.

    • Sandy Perry says:

      While in the freezer you would think they were safe but my son(Sean) and his football team would come over while I was away and eat them all ! They still ask for them even today and I think that says it all.

  17. Lorie Hartsig says:

    hi Susan,
    The Lois Lenski book brings back so many memories! So glad that one of the Girlfriends will get to own it.
    Our church began a wonderful tradition this year of sharing our crèches with the community in a Nativity Festival we held yesterday. Our choir sang, cookies and punch were served. And our tiny little church put together a display of about 60 crèches from all over the world…3 from Bethlehem! Our little beach community asked that we repeat this next year.

  18. Lisa R says:

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas~ at your house, and mine! Guess what northern Arizona got starting on Friday? Yep, SNOW! It’s been coming down off and on all weekend. Loving it as I decorate, and welcome our first family guests of the season. O.k., I’m sending it your way now, to your beautiful home……..Love to decorate with books and dolls! Our girls American girl dolls have always found themselves standing next to a small tree, putting on ornaments, and sitting on sleds, anticipating a big snowy hill, etc! I have done this for years, and now my granddaughters are loving it too. Thanks for all your wonderful decorating tips, Susan. I’m on the hunt for birds now for our bird-loving 9 year old granddaughter! Enjoy adorning your big, gorgeous, fresh pine scented tree!

    • sbranch says:

      My dad lives in Cottonwood, he wrote yesterday, all excited — lucky you! How much I love American Girl Dolls — they are so wonderful! When my nieces were little I kept them fully stocked, living vicariously!!

      • Lisa R says:

        What a wonderful aunt you are Susan!! Your nieces were very blessed by you to enjoy the world of American Girl dolls!….. I do remember your dad and those sweet pictures of him when you visited in September. He’s just over the mountain from me, about 35 minutes away. So glad he is enjoying this beautiful snow!

        • sbranch says:

          We were in Chicago once and stopped to peek in at the American Girl restaurant, and there they all were: little girls, with their moms, aunts, grandmas, sisters, and their dolls, in those little baby seats that hook on to the tables! It was so cute. Everyone was all dressed up! Precious. Like a children’s book come alive!

          • Lisa R says:

            Oh, how darling!!! I have a large window shaped snow globe, that is a toy store window. It plays music and “snows” glitter amongst the cutest old fashion toys, like a Macy’s window scene. That is what your glimpse into the American Girl restaurant makes me think of. Magical!

          • sbranch says:

            It was just like that!

  19. Kim says:

    I have to thank you for ALL your beautiful ideas! I have been addicted to anything Susan Branch since I got my Christmas book signed by you when I was 20 on the Cape! I am now 43! I CHERISH your blog and read it with my girls (9 & 11) all cozy right before bed. We snuggle and dream of what we might cook or decorate next! Today we are dreaming of Mary’s Mother’s Snowballs! It is time to make them! I usually make them faithfully at the first sign of snow with hot chocolate. I live on the South Shore now, not far from you, and yep…NO SNOW yet, but no complaints here! So thank you for everything that is Susan Branch! I adore you and feel SO blessed for all that you share! I hope you never get tired of writing, painting, and cooking! Wishing you and your family many blessings this Christmas! Hugs..from Kim and Ashley and Lauren
    Ps. love the sweet book giveaway….our fingers are crossed!

    • sbranch says:

      SO beautiful, I’m not complaining either, even the lawns are green! Thank you so much for that nice comment! I’m sorry about how old you’ve gotten — you really ought to get a handle on that before it gets out of control! 🙂 Hugs back to you Kim, and to Ashley and Lauren — Merry Christmas!

  20. Susan A. says:

    I have Lois’s “Now It’s Fall” and read it to my son when he was little. It always brought back memories of leaves, fall, sunshine, and earthy goodness filled with love of family and God.
    To own your Christmas book with her drawings would be a bit of Christmas magic gifted from your heart Susan!!

  21. Bonnie L says:

    Oh! my gosh! How can you part with this book? I would have many more than I do..if I could..and when I have had to downsize, too many times in my past, it has been so difficult! How brave and gracious you are – all at the same time! An absolutely lovely ‘gift’ I received this year was finding out about you! Thank you so much again and again for being here. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • sbranch says:

      I get over the loss by the thought of the happiness of the receiver!!! My loss is about a 2 compared to a possible 10 in happiness!

  22. Linda Trokey says:

    Oh Susan, my heart skipped a beat as I saw your Christmas tree and the “bird” tree. Reading your Christmas decorating ideas, my mind raced and I wanted to tell you that you’re the one who inspired me to use books in my decorating. I love vintage books and actually have almost all of the Lois Lenski books – aren’t they wonderful? I stack books on a little reed chair my mom gave me years ago and change the books with the seasons, thanks to you! Joan Walsh Anglund, Mary Engelbreit, Tasha Tudor, Carolyn Haywood and of course, Susan Branch – they’re all a part of my Christmas decor and you’ve given me some new ideas. I can feel the warmth and love inside your home and thank you so much for inviting all of us inside.

    Linda T

  23. Debbie K says:

    I would love to be included in the drawing for that charming little book. My Susan Branch Christmas book is covered with splatters and dough from Christmases past! A family favorite are the lemon squares, and the snowballs mentioned in another post. Season’s Blessings to all!

  24. Helen says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan ! Such a special, wonderful time of the year ! The decorating, the baking, the Christmas card writing, all the little things of the season give me such a warm feeling. Happy Holidays ! Helen P.S. My two little Granddaughters would love Grandma reading that little book to them. 🙂

  25. chris says:

    Christmas books have been a special part of our holiday celebrations in this 200+ year old Cape. We have over seventy different versions of The Night Before Christmas that I stack around the rooms when I decorate! Each year my (now grown!) daughter and I give each other a version we don’t already have – we’re always so excited to add another old copy to the collection. Now we are sharing this tradition with my four year old granddaughter. I bought a recordable version of the book this Christmas and will read and record the story so she will have it in my voice when the collection goes to her.

  26. Deborah Mooney says:

    Dear Susan~ It never ceases to amaze me how we do many of the same things… such as decorating with books. Dorothy Thompson’s book looks adorable! Also, we were worried about our tree last year with our three month old fuzz ball of a kitten…. Everything was fine as I believe she was intimidated by the tree. This year? Look out! She has quite the mischevious personality! Thank you, thank you, for all of your inspiraton…
    Debbie Mooney

  27. Jan says:

    Memories ~~ you always evoke the recesses of my mind, going back to my ‘growing up’ years. Didn’t have much but it truly was a magical time. The tree was decorated a day or two before Christmas and only left up until New Years Day. At that “AHH” moment everything changed when the lights were first lit ~ it was breath taking and still is!

  28. Philippa says:

    I wob your blog..your house..your kitties…you..Christmas…everyfing !
    I really enjoy peeping in on your household.
    If you love the Brit way of life…have you come across books by ” Miss Read” ? Bliss. Not old though. Happy days to you all

    • Laura says:

      ….yes! Also Larkrise to Candleford DVDs, The Two Fat Ladies cooking DVDs, all books by Marcia Willett and Rosamunde Pilcher…I love her audio books with Lynn Redgrave reading…so cozy

  29. Philippa says:

    Saw a comment above by Patricia, looking for lights for a dollshouse…Led lights are the best, you can get them in many scales according to the size of the house.

  30. Mary F says:

    Loved your blog about setting up the tree! Getting me motivated to get busy with some decorating. Love your collection of Christmas books, too! Would give the copy to a special person in my life if I were to win it! Thanks!

  31. Pam Bengier says:

    I also have a black and white cat, similar in markings to Girl Kitty. His name is Charlie and he is two years old. His first Christmas not only did he get into the tree, he was obsessed with climbing to the very top, holding on for dear life while it swayed back and forth. We finally took ALL the decorations except for the lights off the tree because he was either breaking them or becoming tangled and trapped in them. Last year he just got into the tree, so this year we are hoping to have our normal tree again. I’ve collected all sorts of holiday books for years. Now that my grandchildren are old enough to enjoy them, each month I send a box of books that go with that month. Your blog and the comments from the readers are such a joy. I print every blog and mail it to my mother (who wants nothing to do with computers) that day. All of us live in different states, so the letters and packages are something for everyone to look forward to receiving.

    • sbranch says:

      We mail my mom all the Willards — she want’s nothing to do with computers either, but my dad loves them!

  32. Keri says:

    Thank you, Susan, for your wonderful blog. When I get your emails, I know I will have at least a few minutes of sweet escape reading about your cozy life.

    I would love to win the Lois Lenski book! Although I don’t collect old books, Lois Lenski was a favorite of mine as a child.

  33. Juliene Bramer says:

    I stage my home, too. (staging isn’t the prettiest word) but I love the views!

    I wob you, too!

  34. dee says:

    Lovely! Lois Lenski books were a part of my childhood and now I am sharing them with my grandsons! thank you for the give away and for such a BEAUTIFUL blog :o)

  35. debbie says:

    Good Morning Susan! I love the way your tree went “poof” when the ties were cut! It is going to fabulous! We just finished decorating tree number 2! We bought a real LIVE tree for the first time in years, and my daughter decided we needed another!! And she was right! It looks so pretty and the smell is divine!! Happy Decorating!!! 🙂

  36. Debbie Anderson says:

    I love to put out a basket full of Christmas books this time of year. The grandsons love it! And the older the book, the more I seem to treasure it!

  37. Les in NE says:

    At first glance, I thought that small book was Joan Walsh Anglund’s “Christmas Is Love,” which I just reread last night for the millionth time since adding it to my collection many, many years ago. I have several stacks of Christmasy books on our coffee table and Lois Lenski’s would be a wonderful addition. I love her illustrations, but have never seen this little gem.

    We had our first real snowfall yesterday, which gave me the excuse to stay inside, away from all the crowds at the malls (shudder), and listen to Frank, Nat, Bing and, Pink Martini (grin) as I decorated the tree and wrote a dozen and a half Christmas letters (by hand!) to tuck in with our annual photo card. After lunch we took our dog for her long mid-day walk, walking through the snowy neighborhood, enjoying all the Christmas decorations and the peacefulness that always accompanies a heavy snowfall. The snow was still falling, so we were lucky that no snow-blowers were out to ruin the mood. Today will be a bit warmer and the sun will be out, but the snow will be around for a while. I’m looking forward to another day just like yesterday, with a chicken roasting in the oven for Sunday supper.

    Here are a few my favorite things! I love December!

  38. Gail says:

    Lois Lenski and a Christmas book…what a lovely combination. I’m looking forward to enjoying the holiday with you….gotta get busy! Christmas is coming!

  39. Mary Weir says:

    Hi Susan,

    I haven’t thought of Lois Lenski or “Strawberry Girl” in decades, but seeing those illustrations transported me right back to childhood like a time machine. I’m going to get a few of her books from the library just to revisit her wonderful drawings.

    I, too, get out your Christmas book every year and reread the whole thing to get into the holiday mood. I’m not very handy or crafty, but the first year we moved back to California I made a “candles in the snow” centerpiece with larger candles of different heights and the kosher salt and it was truly magical. I so love all the sparkle of Christmas and am sad to see it all go away every January.

    Your tree is spectacular. Please let us see it all decorated!

    — Mary Weir

  40. It is such a treat to see on my phone that you have posted a new blog post! Something wonderful to look forward to reading … savoring is more like it! One thing I do is put my great-grandmother’s old mercury glass ornaments in a cut glass bowl. I keep these ornaments separate from my other ornaments. I also love setting out my little collection of Gurley candles, you know the ones … shaped like angels, choir singers, lamp posts, etc. I also get out a few old Christmas Ideals magazines and daydream while looking at Christmases past. Can’t wait to see your decorated tree! Thank you, Susan! ♥

  41. Emily says:

    Merry Christmas we are “decking our halls” today! I was gone most of my day yesterday and my wonderful 16 yr old began the process what a treat when I got home!

  42. Linda says:

    My girlfriends and I get together all year round to celebrate accomplishments, birthdays and ‘whatever’ but at Christmas time we take turns each year hosting very festive homecooked holiday dinners with all the sparkle we can muster up with husbands included!!! …It’s a our yearly Christmas Group and 17 years strong! It’s a lot of fun, time for catching up and celebrating the year behind us and the one ahead! …Bring on the tinsel!!! =)

  43. maureen wheeler says:

    my kids are “grown-up” and gone to school , i cannot part with favorite story books so i have saved many over the years , i recently found a wintry old book i love “Sleigh Bells for Windy Foot ” by Frances Frost, even his name is cozy ! My daughter and i could never get thru The Little Match Girl , with dry eyes . Merry Christmas ! God Jul !

  44. Cheryl says:

    What a beautiful tree! And the elf in disguise underneath it looks adorable as usual. What a Christmas ornament he is. All my cats love the tree also…and we tie ours up in a similar way, so far it has worked.
    My youngest grandson who is five, loves to go to the library with me. One day we picked out several of Lois Lenski’s books, and I am not sure if I was reliving my childhood, or passing parts of it on….Lies! I know I was reliving my joy in her books. He absolutely loved them. Mr. Small, and the Little series became his favorite bedtime stories while he stayed with me. Her books, (any books, all books, I love books) are such a source of comfort and bring the feeling of home, security and love with them. Exactly like the books you write. Thanks so much for all of them! I am adding my wish for another daybook also. I will email them and beg! I love mine. Have a wonderful time decorating and enjoy the season.

  45. Rosanne says:

    Seeing your little Jack scoping out the Christmas tree reminds me of the first year we were married and had a sweet (and wild) kitty. One night we were awakened by a clatter in the living room. Since it was too early for Santa, we got up to investigate. From the wreckage it appeared our kitty had climbed into the Christmas tree, grabbed the end of a garland, then took off running, dragging the entire tree and trimmings with him. Good luck! Thank you for all the Christmas inspiration, and for the loving spirit that shines through in all your posts. Love the sweet Christmas book!

  46. Pam Bradley - Yorba Linda, CA says:

    Oh Susan … I’ve mentioned this to you before, I would LOVE to walk in your shoes for 24 hours … but now thanks to your wonderful BLOG we ALL get to do so … you share your thoughts, dreams, adventures with such descriptive words that I truly AM walking your shoes, leaves crinkling beneath my feet, and I could even enjoy the beautiful pine aroma of your Christmas tree this morning as I read your latest blog entry. I, too, LOVED decorating with old books, and need to start my “collection” again (you inspire me so very much) …Thank you so much for just everything you do to make our “spirits bright” and no matter what my day brings me, I know that if I get a little dose of “Susan Branch’ the day AND myself, too, am better for it! Wishing you, Joe, Girl Kitty and rascally Jack a happy happy holiday! Keep writing and posting! I consider you one of my dearest friends … thanks for sharing!

  47. Addie Lynn Smith says:

    Your cute kitty reminds me of going to my daughter’s one Christmas and as I was standing there looking at her tree, I saw two eyes looking back at me! Her kitty was perched on a branch in the tree just loving it and looking at me as if he owned that tree! Tying the tree to the wall is a great idea, my daughter’s was tipped over a time or two! Thanks so much for such a fun blog! I’m always inspired and happy after I read it! Have a wonderful day!

  48. Susan Roubal says:

    You are a wonderful inspiration to all of us lucky FOSB, Susan! The old Christmas books as decoration is a super idea! I will have to put away bunches of things to put out bunches of things for Christmas! Thank you for bringing instant mindful distraction from the daily challenges of life and reminders of the simple pleasures.
    I think today I’ll have to survey the woods and see if I can find the perfect fir tree for our Christmas tree this year. I love an old-fashioned tree with lots of space between the branches, light and airy. Perfect.

    Yours very truly, Susan R. in the far north of Michigan.

    • sbranch says:

      Love the quote “Out to the woods do the merry men go . . .” Say it to Joe when we go on our walk, he looks at me the way Jack looks at me when I talk to him! 🙂

  49. Pamela says:

    I love what you wrote: “Old books bring old Christmases into house.”
    I adore decorating with holiday books – they are the first thing I bring out after Thanksgiving. Thank you for this giveaway!

  50. Debbie D. says:

    Hi Susan! Your Christmas Book is one of my dear Christmas “friends” and has helped me add that special touch to our celebrations. Oh, the molasses cookies… yummmmm!

  51. patty scott says:

    My grown up girls loved Lois Lenski books. Every year we have a marathon Christmas cookie baking day at my house, ending up with about a dozen varieties to share for our workplaces, friends and extended families. I do a separate day for the grandkids, the TIDDLES, to make shaped cookies & wild decorations.

  52. WendyO says:

    I love all of your Christmas ideas! My husband bought me Christmas From the Heart of the Home 20 years ago when we were first married (haha, and now I’m also 43…..I loved your comment about how old that is to the other lady! I feel I must get a handle on that as well :-)….) and it is my FAVORITE thing to get me into the Christmas spirit! This year we are doing something new for Advent, (or at least the last 11 days of it!) My daughter, Cathryn, wrapped all of our Christmas books in Christmas wrapping paper. So we will read one Christmas story each day leading up to Christmas and then we’ll stack the books all over the house as they are read. (we’ll start adding a couple each year now!) Hoping the giveaway book will make it to out little collection! 🙂 Merry Christmas Susan!!!

  53. Sally A Marshall says:

    My husband has his old children book, “Christmas in Song and story”, I was have it place on a end table. Yesterday, we did the decorating of the house, out comes the quilts, German Santa’s and Framed Cross Stitch Santa – then the snowmen pillows. The house is complete now send out the Christmas cards and make cookies. Sally

  54. Janie says:

    Oh Susan, I got so excited when I read your post today. I love Christmas and all that it represents..Hope..Peace..Joy..and Love. Your tree will thrill your felines I am certain. i have a picture with our Esther girl up in our tree with her eyes peeking through the branches. When I saw your Christmas books I got so excited. I have collected Christmas books for many years and have read all of them. Some of my favorites are: Christmas day in the Morning Christmas day in the Evening by author?, Ruth Bell Graham’s My Christmas Story, and Peter Marshall’s Let’s Keep Christmas. I would love a book to sdd to my collection. I must tell you again how very much I love your work, but even more I appreciate your simplicity an realness!!! Thanks Susan for adding Joy to my life! Janie

  55. Marianne says:

    We begin decorating for Christmas on the 10th each year because it is my son’s birthday! He’s 23 now and out of the house, but we still wait until the 10th… it’s tradition! And along with that, out comes the holiday children’s books we read to my children each year and hopefully someday I’ll do the same with grandchildren! Love your tree Susan! Can’t wait for that wonderful smell!

  56. Ellette says:

    Thank you for reminding me to pull out your Christmas book that I have. I love it and as a matter of fact I think I’m going to try and buy some for my friends that feel as I do that Christmas is the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”!

  57. I absolutely loved the pics of Jack heading up the tree….ready or not here he comes!!! Your tree took me back to our yearly trek of going on a Christmas Tree Farm in IN and searching for hours up and down hills for just the perfect tree…and my poor Dad knew it was going to be BIG….we lived in a 150 yr. old farmhouse with high ceilings and the bigger the better. The last year we had a real tree and I know why it was the last….I spotted the perfect tree and it actually was the top of a 30ft. tree and after we got it cut and dragged to the car….I heard Dad say “that is the last time”….when we put it in the room it was probably 12ft. tall and 5ft. wide…..we had old ornaments does anyone remember the glass pinecones with silver glitter on the tops? we haven’t had any of the ornaments out for over 20 years since my parents moved to FL. I will always cherish the memories of hunting the perfect tree. I hate to be a spoiler…but please remember to put live plants especially Poinsettias out of the way of pets because they are poison…and also candles and the flames especially around cats. I gave up candles and the beautiful aura of light when my daughter was young because of her long hair and now because of our cats. I love the scent of candles so I put them on a warmer and can still enjoy; although I do miss the light. Thank you for the giveaway Susan, I have always decorated with books mingled among the stuffed animals especially around the hearth of our fireplace which I miss greatly in our new “cozy” home, so this year I put out the Night Before Christmas and years ago I added the book “Small One” and the message it gives is great for all to read. I don’t have it with me so I can’t list the author it is about a small donkey chosen for greatness!!! May the force be with you and Jack soon tires of the tree before it is decorated?? just take a deep breath and enjoy….the kitten years go by quickly….Happy Decorating.

    • sbranch says:

      I think it was the Griswold Family Christmas (Christmas Vacation) with Chevy Chase where they went to the mountains to get a tree, and when they unleashed the ropes, the whole thing was so massive it went though all the windows? LOL!

      • HA I think you are right….I read all of the comments on Sunday and it took me most of the afternoon…it was really fun and you can learn so much. We also used the silver tinsel and that took hours because all my siblings just wanted to throw it on in clumps and my Mother knew that “Miss Perfectionist” (ME) would do it correctly by placing one strand at a time and with our big trees it took so long but looked so beautiful. Susan, I also read where someone talked about the bird tweeting on your blog when you log on….I haven’t noticed mine doing that lately and I miss it because it always made my kitties look up at me with curiosity any ideas why that is? Hope things are going well with Jack and your tree.

        • sbranch says:

          Maybe your sound is turned down?

          • Mystery solved…it wasn’t the volume; I have your blog set up on my homepage so I don’t have to log on to your site. I just typed in your address and sure enough there went the little bird across the top of your site tweeting away and Smokee just happened to be on my right hip and he just watched it. I enjoy hearing that; but, I sure do like having your blog titles all ready to just click on and right to your site so guess from time to time when I want to hear the little tweeter I will just do it the old fashioned way type in your address. We are having rain in IN and I hate to say the S word but it is time for cold weather and SNOW……

  58. sandi says:

    we have a huge collection of Christmas books…mostly children’s books…i collect childrens picture books of all kinds. both my boys (one 22 the other 7) love picture books too, and give me them for my birthdays or Christmas. they gave me one last year for Christmas that you would love…”velma gratch and the way cool butterfly” by alan madison and kevin hawkes…i had read it to my 7 year old during the year last year, and he remembered how much i loved it and got his daddy to order it for me. we go to the library every 3 weeks and check out about 25 books at a time, and read every evening before bedtime. both my sons love books and love reading. it brings so much joy to my heart to see that. i love love love this one! it would fit in nicely with my very small collection of antique childrens books which i keep on my desk in the living room. have a wonderful day!

  59. Joan B says:

    Hi Susan,
    So glad you & Joe tied that tree to the wall – or surely Jack would have it down by now!! Love love love your decorating ideas – thanks for sharing.
    Merry merry Christmas!
    Joan B.

    • sbranch says:

      I would not like to see him in that tree if it came down!! He would need a couple of those 9 lives!!!

  60. audrey Bell says:

    An old crockery bowl setting on the counter lined with a little Christmas tea towel and filled with a few cookie cutters, a couple of handwritten recipes for our favorite cookies and little jars of Christmasy colored sugar sprinkles ready to decorate fresh baked treats says, “Christmas is coming!” at our house.

  61. Terry says:

    Hi, Susan!

    We are cat lovers at our house too. We have two cats and one of ours is black and white. I remember the days when our kittens, we have had several cats over the years, used to climb the Christmas tree. Somewhere, I have a photo of one of our cats peering out through the branches of the Christmas tree.

    I just complete my twelfth Book of Days, now onto number 13. No, my books don’t go from January 1 to December 31. They go from December 3 of one year to December 4 of the next. I’m not sure why – I’d have to go back and look through my books to figure it out.

    Happy Holidays!

  62. Pam says:

    I so love your sweet kitties! Thank you for bringing them in to “our world” as well. You are so cute Susan – with tying the Christmas tree to the wall-such a good mom to your sweet little kittens. I love anything to do with birds as well and also have a small collection of birds; your idea to adorn them on the white tree is nice. Blessings to you! Thank you for always brightening my day!

  63. Carmen Wyant says:

    Jack is so cute with the tree. Today I got out my quilted wall hangings & changed out my regular one for my Christmas one. Slowly getting out the Christmas things, a few at a time, makes me think on each as I put it out.

  64. Carmen Wyant says:

    Tablerunner-forgot to add tablerunner! What a doofus I can be at times.

  65. Cathy Tolbert says:

    I love old books, but have very few Christmas books. I do have an old copy of “the Night Before Christmas” that I put out every year. Merry Christmas!

  66. Janice Kay Pipes says:

    Well your Jack must be about the same age as my Missy Meow because there flair and joy that Jack brings to your house she brings to mine. I just love her.
    I rolled over this morning and there she was all streathed next to me and ever sew gently puts her paw on my face to say hello. Now you got me thinking how am I going to kitty proof my tree….lol

  67. Cindy Tuning says:

    This week I’m getting ready for my annual Christmas party that I have for my friends and co-workers. I get all worked up about it and tend to go a little overboard! They ask if there’s anything they can bring but this is my gift to them so I just want them to bring their cheery selves. Lot’s of white candles,white flowers and FOOD. I want everyone who walks through the front door to feel special and cared for. That is my gift to me. Some years there are 20 people..some years there are 70. I never know many there will be. Kind of an open house thing.A party is only as good as the people that are there…and it’s always a great party!

  68. jan shafer says:

    Hi Susan, Hope the tree makes it with Jack around! This will be our first Christmas in 13 yrs. without dj, our cat. If you remember dj passed away the day you got Jack. We’re still hanging his stocking. My favorite Christmas book is Tasha Tudor’s “Christmas Cat”. Love all of her books and lifestyle.
    Also wanted you to know that you have inspired me to take a trip on Amtrak. Have it booked for January after visiting my daughter in California. Four days of just looking and enjoying. I am also taking your book, “Tell Me Your Story, Please” to write for my son and daughter. Merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry about dj — such a loss. But I’m excited for your train trip! It’s quite the adventure! Merry Christmas!

  69. Tammy in Colorado says:

    Love the white feather tree with birds! Love the table top tree with birds! Love you and your wonderful blog! I was at my sister’s for Thanksgiving and we stayed up one night reading your posts about Thanksgiving! It was such fun sharing your holiday and visitors! Merry Christmas and happy tree decorating… and then watching to see what Jack will do! =)

  70. Tammy in Colorado says:

    PS – lots of snow here in Colorado! And more to come tonight, with VERY cold temps!

  71. EsSuzy says:

    Susan , I just love your blog! The pictures of your tree were so fantastic I could nearly smell it. As a former teacher I have to get out all my Christmas books for kids & adults–both groups can enjoy books from both. Recently I purchased Christmas Is a Time of Giving by Joan Walsh Anglund at a library discard sale. I really NEED that Lois Lenski book, too.
    Years ago a friend gave me an ornament of a bird on a nest with a card saying it’s good luck to have a bird nest in your Christmas tree. So that began my collection of bird ornaments (“Oh, you do that too?”) those & natural things like bird houses, acorns, pine cones go on the “skinny tree” in the den.
    Today my granddaughter, age 2 1/2, came in, saw the tree, and exclaimed, with awe in her voice: “CHRISTMAS.”
    I am enjoying your blog and ALL the girlfriends’ comments. I have to read them all so I don’t miss any of the great ideas!! XOXO Susan L

  72. Judy Zuk says:

    What a sweet book and offering by you, Susan! I too put out old holiday books including caroling books. I just want to take a moment here as the year nears its end and the holidays are in full gear to thank you so very much for bringing all of us such good cheer all throughout the year. You, so kindly, inspire us to enjoy our nests and to enjoy simple everyday pleasures. Truly, you are a heartfelt girlfriend! 😀

  73. Theresa says:

    We added Jan Brett’s “Home for Christmas” to our book collection this year, and “The Gift of St. Nicholas”–a folk tale–will appear on Dec. 6th. We collect Christmas literature. We are bringing out things one at a time and finding a place for them–it’s the first Christmas in this house, so a time for all new decorating traditions! We do have our creche started (a figure appears every day until the Christ Child after Midnight Mass on the 25th), and our window candles are in the windows. But this year the children are elated to have TWO trees–one upstairs in our living room, and one downstairs–THE tree– in our lovely fireplace room.

    • sbranch says:

      Love Jan Brett. Was at a book signing with her one time and she had a stamp with a dog paw on it to use along with her signature! Was a book about a dog, so it made cute sense! Merry First Christmas, love your traditions!

  74. Bonnie from Iowa says:

    Your house is beautiful and I love all your decorating ideas. Books are my thing….have been a librarian….but the old books still have to be my favorites. I love finding old Dickens’ books and I grew up on the original Nancy Drew books….read everyone. How’s that for diversity! We also have a new kitty interested in the tree. A couple of “No’s” so far have done the trick. Christmas this year will be a little hard for us…..lost my Father last Christmas eve and lost Mother two years ago. Traditions change…..families adjust. We had a beautifully silent and serene snowfall here yesterday. Wishing you a wonderful white Christmas and the happiest holiday ever!

    • sbranch says:

      No works pretty good for me too! You remind me of a wonderful quote I saw written on a stone wall in England….
      Hours Fly, Flowers die, New days, New ways pass by; Love stays. xoxo

  75. Ilene says:

    Thank you, Susan, for bringing such joy to us with your words and photos, your creativity, and your sparkle! You are so dear and bring so much happiness to us all. I am a children’s librarian (and a grammy!) with shelves and shelves of books throughout our home (including most of yours.) I loved sharing books with our 3 children as they grew up, and I love to share these treasures with our darling granddaughters now. I would be thrilled to win this vintage find by Lois Lenski.
    Love you!

  76. Jocelyn says:

    I do think Christmas is the most magical time of year. There is so much to do and enjoy. This book looks so very sweet. My BFF lives 1000 miles away, so even though we don’t do Christmas together, whenever we do get together, THAT’S our Christmas 😉

  77. Joanne Conte says:

    I like to decorate with books too! I do it all year round using picture books, adult books, fairy tales, especially my Shirley Temple fairy tales that she put together for her children from the 50’s. Actually, I decorate with books sometimes without even knowing it with piles by my bed! Thanks for letting us into your home. It’s lovely.


  78. Kristina Moore says:

    My favorite time of year too…so glad to be back in a house large enough for entertaining again! WooHoo!

    I have a small stack of Christmas books on the sofa table and would certainly welcome another. “The night before Christmas” painted on a quilted fabric book is always a favorite to read just before bed on Christmas Eve, no matter how old the kiddos are getting (15 and 10 this year). Merry merry to you & yours!


  79. Bobbi Urquhart says:

    I love Lois Lenski and I love Christmas. Getting our Advent calendar up a few days late. Stack of recipes for cookie favorites is on the table, music playing, our new boy kitty getting inside every box while the old lady kitty looks annoyed.
    It’s cold out and snowed last night and more is in the forecast for tonight! Merry Christmas- all month, all year!

  80. Patsy says:

    I recognized Lois Lenski’s sketches right away from my epxperiences with “Strawberry Girl”, a book about Florida that I used in my classroom for many years. Love everything about old books, and also use them in decorating. Your tree is beautiful…………I can smell the fragrance from here.

  81. Nancy Ciminello says:

    I, too, love to decorate with Christmas books. I have some that my mother had as a child and she read them to us and I in turn read them to my children who are now in their thirties. It’s those memories that make Christmas for me.

  82. Debbie says:

    I decorate with books at Christmas as well, love them…..

  83. Janine in CA says:

    Love Lois Lensky “Mr. Small” books. So homey. Enjoyed your list! I have many of those old red Christmas books you pictured, inherited from grandma : ) I loooove old books.

    Everyday my 6 y.o. reaches into a paper bag and pulls out a figurine, photo, trumpet, angel, etc. for a Christmas object lesson, then our Fisher Price Joseph & Mary journey closer each day to the stable, and a card inside the bag tells us which songs to sing, books to read, and videos to watch.

    It was several hours of prep work years ago, but so worth it! I’ve got it down to a science now.

    Thanks for your inspirations!

  84. Denise Wysong says:

    I love my books, as well. The old romance novels,children’s books, gardening manuals from old-love them all! I have just finished reading stories and poems that my mom wrote over the years. So many memories. What a wonderful gift! Have a merry, merry with Kitty Girl, Jack and of course, Joe! love, Denise Wysong

  85. Denise Crandall says:

    Merry Christmas Susan & everyone!
    Just LOVE this time of year! Have a huge collection of the classic Christmas music – and some great new versions, especially love “The Prayer” by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. I turn it up loud and instantly know Italian 🙂 as I belt it out loud! Sooooo many special things, traditions, but when trying to think of something unique to write here….I instantly remember the year I got your Christmas book and wondered what Sugar Plums really were and where they came from? I found a VERY OLD recipe from a treasured little “Victorian Christmas” that I got in an antique shop. It had a story about the start of Christmas sweets and Sugar Plums! My family still talks about the box I made for each one full of my favorite cookies, homemade cocoa mix, Chocolat Cashew Butter and REAL homemade Sugar Plums. They were nothing like what I thought they would be – made from fruit and sugar. I thought they tasted terrible – but they turned out so beautiful with each walnut sized ball wrapped in beautiful foil christmas paper and tied with string. I had a paper tag I made for each and tied it on – it had the quote from your “Christmas Book” by Eugene Field – The first four lines from “The Sugar Plum Tree”….
    “Have you ever heard of the Sugar Plum Tree? T’is a Marvel of great renown! It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea, in the garden of Shut-Eye Town;”
    I just LOVE that! You see – dear Susan – your ideas and suggestions have always been at the heart of my own family Christmas’s. For 20 year or more – your sharing of talent and beautiful things like quotes and recipes has been a huge part of the ‘heart of our home’….:-) and you didn’t even know it – til now!!! Yay for blogging! xoxo

  86. Susan in Texas says:

    Susan soooo sweet of you! I would luv to give this book to my mother who gave me my first Susan Branch book (I now own all of them)!

  87. Cecelia from Virginia says:

    I wob you, too Susan. Happy getting-ready-for Christmas!

  88. Heidi says:

    We love Lois Lenski drawings. This year I decorated in a “child-proof” theme. Thought maybe this year the 3-yr.-old would be “safe” but no such luck. Maybe next year!

  89. Linda says:

    Tell Patricia that the little dollhouse lights used to be able to get at Craft Warehouse. They also might be at Hobby Lobby as they have an actual section for dollhouse accessories. Have read some negative things about HL but I bought a package of wooden spools there for 1.29–(made in USA) and were the same spools I bought at a specialty scrapbook shop by Mayan Arts for 4.99–made in China. It does pay to read your product and some might really surpise you! Thanks for the space….

  90. Mary says:

    Merry Christmas Susan and All,

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing your Christmas tree adventure! And thank you too for wanting to share your little Christmas book!

  91. Debbie Mays says:

    I love the sights, the smells, and the sounds of Christmas too! It’s one of gifts I have passed on to my two sons. It brings me such joy watching them start some of their own traditions and carrying on family favorites. Thanks for sharing your love of the season with us all.

  92. Danielle says:

    Hi Susan,

    So excited seeing your tree and decorating ideas! I love the look of the old books, especially the holiday ones. So darling! I do the same thing displaying your Christmas book and Christmas Joy on my kitchen counter during the holidays. Inspiriation at my fingertips : – ) Last night I made your coconut macaroons for a family dinner I had tonight. There I was, the house decorated, cookies in the oven, and It’s a Wonderful Life was on TV. It finally feels like Christmas! Thanks Susan xo


    PS the cookies came out delish!!!

  93. Darlene says:

    Hi Susan and everyone, just catching up on some blog reading. Love your Christmas Tree!!! Jack and girl Kitty are so excited and curious about the tree!! Too cute! I didn’t put my Christmas Tree up yet, will do that hopefully Saturday but I did decorate all around the house and my kittycats were into everything doing serious investigating of boxes, bags and bins. So much to look at, smell and just play with lol. They really do make everything that much more special. The Little Christmas book is precious, thanks for sharing it!! Kiss cute Jack and sweet girl Kitty xoxo

  94. Shaney Aguirre says:

    I want to thank you Susan Branch, for all the books and calendars that have made life just a little better, and cuter! I actually made your recipe for stew today and my family is enjoying it right now (as I sneak to my bedroom and my laptop for a few deep breaths). Happy, happy holidays!


  95. Teri (GiGi) says:

    I know you only have one book to give away…I thought I would share the names of 2 books that we love as a family. The first one is “The polar express”. The original one. Such dramatic artwork in it. The first time I read it to my boys (years and years ago!) my oldest one, with a deep love of Christmas gasped when I read the part where the bell was gone from his pocket that had a hole. By the end of the book, he was smiling and had that warm glow that all is well. Such fond memories a book will bring. The other book is Great Grannie Rose’ Christmas Tree. It is about a young boy who goes with his dad to help grandma with her tree. She states it isnt alive, which confuses the boy, because the tree is a real tree. As they pull the ornaments from the box and add them to the tree, they discuss where each one came from…mostly homemade by little hands! We all have those kind! Then at the end of the book, you turn the book long ways to see a completely decorated and beautiful tree. Then Grannie says that now it is alive! The boy understands what she means. I am lucky…I have ornaments from my great grandma, my grandma, and my mom as well as all the ones my boys made for me! I love them all…and I love all the memories that it brings back as we put them on the tree! I just wanted to share some favorites of mine that tug at my heartstrings for the feelings that they bring. I hope if you are interested…you are able to locate these books! Hugs to all!

  96. Karen P. says:

    Love the Christmas tree unveiling pics and the pic of Jack pleading with Joe is precious. How are things going? I’m sure you’ll be reporting further on the “curious kitty and his Christmas tree.”
    Love your book “gifting.”. I collect old (and new) illustrated children’s books and Night Before Christmas books. Amazing how many different editions there are!
    Love to use them in my Christmas decorating so this giveaway is perfect!!!

  97. Linda Wattier says:

    Love the book. Was just sitting this evening looking at a book my girls had gotten when they were little called “I Spy Christmas.” Has all old ornaments,toys, candies, etc that you have to find. They used to love that book. Went out yesterday and cut our tree in the Black Hills of South Dakota. So today the tree is up and all decorated. Looks very nice. Just relaxing, reading your blog. A great way to end my day. Your tree is very nice and full! Did you cut it? Do we get to see it all decorated?

    • sbranch says:

      We don’t have tree farms here on the island, so we got ours at the Boys and Girls Club. My dad and brothers went to the mountains every year when we were kids and brought home the tree tied to the top of the station wagon — it was so exciting!!!

  98. DonnaRay says:

    Susan, I could just feel the cold from your tree and ahh, the smell. We won’t get our tree until next week so seeing (feeling and smelling) yours is a lovely preview. Last year we hit the Christmas tree jackpot…….it had a nest inside! It looked to be a robin next. We didn’t notice it until it let down it’s boughs as it warmed up, as if opening it’s present to us. What a thrill!
    I like Joe’s litte box. Happy Decking! Your Christmas book is laying here beside me upside down so I’m waving “so long for now” to you in your cute little red skirt! : ) DonnaRay

    • sbranch says:

      Waving back! Need that snow!

      • Laura says:

        A nest in your Christmas tree brings good luck in the coming year! My Grandma told me that so of course it’s true:). We always tuck in a nest with a little red bird among the branches….magic! Xoxo

  99. Debbie N. says:

    I love decorating with books. My favorite book that I leave out all year is a very of leather bound copy of all Charles Dickens Christmas stories. I bought in at an antiques store way back when I was 18. It has a teeny weeny label on the front cover saying “Myers & Co, 102 New Bond Street, London, England”.
    Today I attended a holiday tea party at a friend’s home today. So much fun, food and friends. Pure bliss. Merry Christmas, Susan

  100. Debbie E. says:

    Hello Susan! I’m enjoying your blog so much. Reading about your little traditions and those of the other “girlfriends” is inspiring. I’m doing a little decorating each day and always finish up with the tree. I would love that sweet little book! How nice of you to give it away. Have a lovely holiday!

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