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. patti says:

    love the drawings in her books. hope i have a chance to win this time. enjoy the holidays everyone! patti

    • I am new to the blog so hopefully I am posting correctly.
      Just want to say how much I enjoy all tips on decorating and stories and recipes.
      I too have collected Christmas books to bring out every year . Brings back childhood memories of Mom reading to my sister and I before we went to bed each night.

  2. Debbie says:

    Just updated my computer desktop wallpaper and I love that whenever my dear hubby or anyone else sits down to the computer, I am secretly charming them with my elfish ways. Ah, it’s the little things, after-all, that make life just adorable. My house may be a mess from baby #3 (of 4) “decorating” as I wrapped presents, but somehow the tiny little white lights on the tree and garland give everything a hint of whimsy…(insert contented sigh here). 🙂

  3. Nancy B says:

    Your Christmas tree is gorgeous! I love how full and round it is…can hardly wait to see it all decked out. I agree with an earlier comment that your stories of Jack and Girl Kitty would make a darling book. I would be proud to own the little book illustrated by Lois Lenski. Brings back memories of our old brick library where I loved to spend time as a child and would often bring home the stories of the Small family. Thanks for the thoughtful giveaway.

  4. Buzz'n Bea says:

    I love my collection of Christmas Books. Guess which one always come out at Christmas? Yours, of course. Mine are not so old, just ones that I picked up to read each year or caught my fancy at a used book store or garage sale. I always have to have a couple of the new current stories that are published each year.
    Looking forward to seeing your kitty tree, oh, I mean Christmas tree!.

  5. Theresa Thayer says:

    Susan, I hope you are realizing how much joy you bring to all of us. For me, pure luxury is a cup of tea, a homemade cookie, and a Susan Branch book, as I curl up near a window with a view. Nothing will ever take the place of the true written word (on paper!) but I do so look forward to every new post here. I started a Christmas book collection for my kids when they were small and those books come out each year with all the other decorations. This year I will have the joy of reading some of them to my first grandchild. Yippee!! Thank you for being such a blessing.

  6. Natalie says:

    Best give-away ever! I love Lois Lenski:)! I wanted to share a tradition that my little family looks forward to every year. I wrap 25 Christmas/Winter books and put them in a big wicker basket. On December 1st, one of the kids chooses a book, unwraps it then reads it to the family. The kids alternate each night. We’ve done this since my kids were toddlers (they are now 10 and 12) and they love it! When they were younger, they would pick Mom or Dad to read the book. It is the most wonderful way to slow down and just be together. I hope you all have a great month–this truly is the most wonderful time of the year:)!

  7. Kim says:

    Happy Holidays are here again! I, too, love bringing out all my older Christmas books (along with your Christmas books, too, of course!) ~ You and I share the same oldie but goodie by Douglas: “Home For Christmas”. We put up our birdies ‘n baubles tree tonight (complete with those “cold pockets” you spoke of) while listening to Michael Buble’s new Christmas CD, followed by Bing and Dean and Perry and Frank! Then we enjoyed curried turkey stew with cilantro and slivered almonds over rice, followed by my husband’s delicious homemade pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream and steaming cups of tea. (Truth be told, he made the stew, too!) The cats and dogs (thankfully!) remained all nestled and snug in their spots for the evening’s doings!

  8. Marie says:

    Susan, hearing about your Christmas traditions starts my day in a cheery, chirpy way! You really know how to make the most of living in such a perfect place for holidays! Have a wonderful day, and thank you!

  9. Cindy says:

    I am a first time grandmother and am collecting books to read to my grandson Vance.

  10. Lori says:

    The most wonderful time of the year – is right! So glad we are able to see and be inspired by your Christmas decorations. Books are such a wonderful way to celebrate the season. (I just read Polar Express to my class and gave them each a bell to take home and see if they could hear it ring.)

  11. Robin in New Jersey says:

    You are so much fun!

    I have a very small collection of Christmas books. Finances, (or the lack thereof!), keeps me from adding to that collection.

    Have a wonderful day!

  12. Aggie says:

    I love setting out the few Christmas books I have….your Christmas book is my latest edition! What a beautiful Christmas tree…..looking forward to seeing it in all its glory.

  13. Georgie says:

    What wonderful ideas!!! I must now scurry about and gather up all of my Christmas Books and do the same. 🙂 Thanks Susan!

  14. joyce price says:

    I love to put stacks of Christmas books out at Christmas time all the grand kids pour through them and so does grandma. Hope you have a great holiday season.

  15. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♥ I Wob You Too Sweet Sue!♥ Good Morning…what a Wonderful way to Start My Monday! Reading Your Absolutely Wonderful Blog! Jack & The Christmas Tree…this could Be a New Christmas Story!…Jack Helping You Deck Your Halls…Jack asking Papa Joe what is this?…Pure Magic! & That is The Purrrrfect Spot for Your Christmas Tree! & what a Beautiful Tree it is! Our Christmas Tree continues to Scent Our Home Like a Pine Forrest & is Still Drinking! so He’s Fresh & Lush! ♫ Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree How Lovely are Your Branches ♫….ahhhhhhhhhhhh… I Love Christmas! I am Re~Reading Your Christmas Joy Book & on Page 10 We Burned a few of Our Herb Bundles over The Weekend & Oh what a Glorious Scent! Today I am Baking Your Candy~Cane Cookies…from page 27…I am very Excited…I hope I don’t eat too Many! 🙂 I Adore Decorating with Treasured Books too…& Oh My Stars….You are giving one Lucky Gal Your…”Once on Christmas Book” Yay! I am Keeping My Fingers Crossed…. 🙂 Ok so I am Wishing You Sweet Sue & Joe & Kitty & Jack a Merry Monday…Decorating Your Magical Christmas Tree! Stay Warm & Cozy & I am Wishing You A “Snowy” Week! (it could Happen!) L♥ve & Warm Hugzzz to All! xoxo Poof! ♥♫

    • sbranch says:

      I’m baking cookies too Angie, we have 4 and 7 year old nieces coming this weekend!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Oh My Goodness Sweet Sue! 4 & 7 Year Old Nieces This Weekend! Pure Christmas Joy! Yay! You Will Have so Much Fun! xoxo Poof! 🙂 🙂 ♥♫

  16. Crystal Burns from Cannon Falls, Minnesota says:

    Hi Sue,
    I am happy to say that we have our home decorated inside and out. It really puts me in the Christmas spirit to see all our old, familiar decorations. It is like opening up presents, each time I unwrap a decoration from it’s protective tissue.On the day after Thanksgiving we went to a Tree farm to find the perfect Christmas tree. We brought it home and strung popcorn and cranberries with our friends and family. Five pops and two crans. That is the pattern we always use. We drink either Spiced Cider or Rum and Eggnog as we listen to Christmas music. We have decorated our tree with popcorn and cranberries for the last 35 years. It looks so beautiful. I hope you and Joe have a Wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Take care.

  17. Oh! Your bird tree is beautiful! So glad you don’t have the real one on it you showed in an earlier blog, Jack would have way too much fun! Love the wood holder for the tree, great idea! What a perfect home for the tree, I am going to rethink our remodeling ideas! I decorate with old and new books, especially at CHRISTmas time, I usually set them in one of my old crate boxes that I have hanging on the wall, along with little trees and different items that I love, and old pictures. Would love to win the little book! Oh, I hope I do, It would love to be with my other books, I also have older CHRISTmas books, one with a paper tree that opens up when you open the book, it is just like one I used to have as a child! Found it at a library sale, I had been looking for many years, I saw it, carefully opened the cover, and saw the tree! I quickly put it under my arm, and would not put it down till I bought it for $1.00! I later saw it in an antique store for $90.00! Best buy I have ever made, I just love it! Have fun keeping Jack out of the tree, hope you aren’t putting out your fragiles! (sp)? Your home by the sea looks so beautiful anytime of the year, but especially this time of the year!
    xoxoxoMerry CHRISTmas, remember the reason for the season!

  18. Marcy Hail says:

    I LOVE my Christmas books, too. Especially yours. Was hoping we could decorate our home yesterday, but my husband decided to play golf instead. Wish he had Joe’s enthusiasm. Have fun.

  19. Mindy says:

    Morning! This is such a magical time of year!!! My 2 year old daughter has been a delight this season. She is head over heels in love with Christmas trees (not Santa, though — wish I could post that photo. HA!) Every evening we take walks in search of Christmas trees. She shouts out when she has found another one. It gives her such joy and thus me too. Merry Christmas!

  20. Patty says:

    My husband was watching football yesterday and I was behind him at the bookshelves, putting out my Christmas books. He turned around and said what is all of that racket? I said I am putting out my Christmas books. He said OK and turned back to the tv. After 39 years, he knows what my Christmas books mean to me! I would love to add one more to the collection!

  21. zinnia patch says:

    Good Morning Susan! ahhh so enjoyed the post this morning! And the fragrance from the tree when Pop! the magnificent tree! love it!!!! and oh how i love books. You will be glad to hear that i begin my Christmas decorating when in November i start pulling out my old Christmas books and magazines for ideas and it’s “Christmas Joy” that gets to lay on my kitchen counter for inspirations…… I just love it….it is a keepsake! Well, enjoy decorating that beautiful tree and give those fur babies a big hug for me…..have a great day….

  22. Mary Beth Wallace says:

    Oh Susan, I have loved your books, drawings, musings, calendars for such a long time. I remember saving as a young mother to buy your address book!! I absolutely love books, always have, and I have a collection of the old children’s books. It is amazing how when my grandchildren choose a book for me to read to them ,they inevitably go to this shelf! They love these old books and so do I! The simple but colorful illustrations, the smell of the pages and the fragility of the pages! Tiny hands turn the pages “verrry carefully” as reminded and eyes light up as I read. As a child I loved our local small town library and so I search for books that are library “discards” or those that were loving presented to children and signed from the giver; and my favorite, those with little names scrawled on the inside covers with slowly fading pencil. I have two Lois Lenski books and would love to add this one to my collection.
    Merry Christmas!

  23. Lisa Hay says:

    Hi Susan! I just love your blog and I love old books too. I stop by our little used bookstore every couple of weeks to see what treasures I can find. I like to imagine who had the books before me and sometimes I even find notes and writings inside to give me some idea of who they might be. I found a love note in my used Italian verbs book. It went like this:
    Angel Face,
    I know I tell you that I love you every day but one more time won’t hurt and I want you to be absolutely certain that I love you.
    You mean the world to me.

    Isn’t that the sweetest!? Thanks for all your great decorating tips!

    • sbranch says:

      Would love to find that!

    • Ginnie says:

      Lisa, your imagining the people who owned the books before you reminds me of Helene Hanff’s memoir “84, Charing Cross Road” about her correspondence with a used book seller in London (she lived in NY city) and the letters that went back and forth between them over about a 20 year period. She talks about how much more she loves books that someone else had read and made notes in. It’s a wonderful book (and was made into a wonderful movie, too).

  24. Nancy says:

    Ahhh, Christmas books. I don’t have too many, but what a good idea to start a collection, especially with my 1 1/2 year old grandson Henry loving to have books read to him. Alas I won’t see him this Christmas, but we shall celebrate Christmas on New Years Day!

  25. Gail says:

    That tree is really lovely. My husband ties ours to the wall also. We have new puppies in the house, so there are some decorations that just aren’t going to make it for show. Hundreds of snowmen are usually scattered throughout my home, not this year, have to puppy-proof…Love that little book! Have fun decorating everyone!

  26. Donna Hamilton says:

    Oooo, I love that little book and would be proud to add it to my collection. I have collected a variety of children’s Christmas books over the years and I put them in a basket on my coffee table. I have only one decoration up so far, and that is the mistletoe above the front door. Hopefully, as this week progresses my house will take on a more Christmassy decor!. Love your trees.

  27. Lynn says:

    Was wondering how you new “baby” would like the tree – I now know! You are brave to have bird trees within their reach – – I would have something that resembled a tree left and not a bird in sight. They would go the route of catnip mice finding only tails or bits of material. Future updates will be eagerly anticipated. Love the book idea. I actually put out your Autumn book in the fall and amazing how many people picked it up and thumbed through it. Think I’ll go on a search through my odds and ends to see what I can come up with. Enjoy this special time of year.

  28. Diana Lucas says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan! Love your ideas. I use old Christmas books in my decorating every year as well and I would love to add yours to mine. Haven’t seen that title. Thanks so much for all your ideas-I’ve gotten several new ones from you-can’t wait to see how they turn out.

  29. pat addison says:

    good morning Susan and good morning everyone from a frosty pacific northwest. its cold here this morning, 26 degrees and ice on the lawns and rooftops. left the sunlamps on a bit longer for the chickens in the henhouse so they can thaw out a bit and get warm, have a nice warm fire going in the woodstove and the cats are curled up in their basket by the fire..they send warm purrs to Girl kitty and Jack and tell Jack to go for it, they have been up and down our tree already several times, and are eagerly awaiting the ornaments…YIKES!!!! i have a funny hunch by christmas we will have snow, its been so cold here lately and soooo frosty. definitely nose-nippin’ weather here. still have the front windows to get done, have the design settled in my mind and on paper so i can see what i have to do, still have to put up my cookie cutters and get the tree up for the kitchen table, which for some odd reason the cats leave alone, but attack the one in the living room..go figure. and lots of baking to get done, cookies and breads to be done, i always leave cookies and chocochip pumpkin bread for the mail carrier and the newspaper delivery guy out in the mailbox, and have to get a platter of cookies for my hubby to take to work and share with co-workers. love this holiday time of year. so popping in to wish you Susan Happy Holidays and Happy Holiday wishes to everyone. hugs…… 🙂

  30. Wendy says:

    We went to cut our tree this weekend as well — house smells so good now. Love the little book!

  31. Sara says:

    Thank you once again, Susan for your books and blog and inspirations always. The sweet book would be a lovely addition to my little collection. We’re starting to get the house ready for Christmas. My daughter in law and I made wreaths last week and my husband and I put up and decorated the tree last night. I so love unwrapping and looking at each treasured ornaments from years gone by before hanging them up on the tree. Tonight we’ll wrap the porch railings in cedar garland and white lights. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…!

  32. Betty Warren says:

    The familiar sound of the Salvation Army bell ringers is always an important part of our Christmas giving. The first Christmas after our mother’s death, my sister and I (ages 11 and 7) were traveling with our dad when circumstances happened that we had to spend overnight at a Salvation Army Center. Of course, we were scared to death and didn’t know what to expect. But, total strangers realized this and made our time with them more at ease and as pleasant as possible. And when we left the following morning, gave us a bag with fruit and candy to take on our travels. That was many, many years ago but I cannot pass that familiar red bucket without leaving a token of gratitude.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog. It is a joy and warms my heart to read it.

  33. Janie Phillips says:

    It’s all beautiful! Your posts make me feel like I’m right there with you — so much so that if I live to be a dotty old woman, I’ll probably be convinced I visited you on Martha’s Vineyard many times. (No worries, that’s at least a couple of years down the road ;-)).

    The little book is charming. Only a very generous friend would part with something so sweet! xoxo

  34. Patty says:

    I would love a chance at this darling book. Such a vintage look to feel warm and cozy reading. Thank you for sharing!

  35. Kathy says:

    Oh, thank you for the chance to win this charming Christmas book!! Our family has been collecting one Christmas book each year since our first child was born. We now have a wonderful collection and a tradition of reading Christmas stories by the fire each night in December. Susan, thank you so much for bringing cheer to our home all year long with your blog, calendars and books.

  36. Bonny ~* says:

    I have a box of “Christmas Books” I bring out every Christmas. Some are from my childhood: The Littlest Angel; The Night Before Christmas (we actually have several…the hubs buys one every few years when he sees one with illustrations he likes). We have some newer books: The Little Book of Christmas Joys (lots of great tips in this one); Believe: A Christmas Treasury (a collection of stories, poems, songs); The Southern Night Before Christmas (funny if you’re from the South or have ever lived there); Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Christmas Collection (but of course, you have to have Christmas reading in the bathroom!); and last but certainly not least…my favorite…Christmas From The Heart Of The Home (a gift from my sister-in-law in 1992 and the start of my “kindred spirit” feelings with Susan Branch!)

  37. Christine Polkovitch says:

    This year, my husband and I are starting some new Christmas traditions with our 9 month old son, Nicholas! We are seeing Christmas through his eyes now. One of our traditions this year is watching children’s Christmas specials on television together as a family, which is something I did as a child with my parents and brothers (before there were videos or dvds). We watched them when they were aired. Even though our favorites are all on dvd now, there is nothing like the excitement of gathering together as a family to enjoy the evening’s Christmas specials! Merry Christmas Susan!

  38. Ginnie says:

    Love the story of your tree and Jack’s queries to Joe! I won’t put up our tree for another week (and then it will be taken straight from the car into the house to reduce the number of times I have to move it). I have, however, put the lights on our big tree in the back yard, which makes me very happy each time I see it out my kitchen window!

  39. carol pfeiffer says:

    Susan, I also love old books, maybe I will be the lucky girl this time. love everything you do and all your wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing with all of us.
    Tell Joe hi, I do believe he is a keeper for ever…….XOXO


  40. pat addison says:

    good morning Susan, good morning everyone, its 26 degrees here and its frozen out there, the lawns and rooftops have ice on them. definitely have a nice warm fire going in the woodstove, and the cats are all curled up in their basket for now, every now and then they have to jump up and look out the windows at all the birds coming to the different feeders…kitty tv. LOL!!!!!! still have to get the tree finished, and the front window finished and hang up my old cookie cutters in the kitchen window and get the kitchen tree decorated. funny thing the cats leave the kitchen tree alone, but they love the tall tree in the living room, and yes the climbing has begun. i will leave the tree like it is for a day or 2 then when i think they have had enough climbing i’ll decorate it with the ornaments and lights. as of now i have “my helpers” helping me out with the cookie cutters…tis the season. Happy holidyas Susan, Happy Holidays everyone!!! HUGS……… 🙂

    • pat addison says:

      oops forgot to mention that today is Midnight’s 4th birthday, and of course he is celebrating by swatting his new toy all around the house. thats my lil guy, Happy Birthday Midnight!!!! hugs…. 🙂

  41. Christine Barnhart says:

    Greetings from Enumclaw Washington! and a Merry Christmas : )I love this time of the year as well, and the Christmas book would be a special addition in my little cottage.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Christine Barnhart

  42. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Wob you too♥! Thank you for your generosity for the chance to win the darling little book! Great blog, the tree progress is fun to see, and I’m amazed your bird trees are still standing! Lucky little nieces, won’t that be fun & very entertaining for Jack! Have a great Monday. I’m off to put some more ornaments on the trees! xo

  43. This looks like a great book to give to my grandaughter “Elsa”, she loves to read. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thanks for sharing and all you do.

  44. Suzanne says:

    Hi Susan, It’s uncanny the things you like, collect and love…we are like sisters that were separated at birth. I’ve been collecting heart shaped rocks for years, I have a bird christmas tree, love kitties, love the ocean, love to cook and love the hunt for old things to make new again. It’s so fun to uncover from year to year our traditions from passed down from our grandmothers, mothers and our own, whether it be a recipe or a special ornament we made as children. Every day I look forward to your blog, it always makes my day so special.

  45. Linda says:

    When our kids were young, we’d spend all day getting all the decorating done. Once it was finished, we’d turn off all the lights in the house except, of course, the Christmas Tree. I’d pull out our Polar Express book (now tattered and lovingly worn), read the story and then everyone would get tucked into bed. This year our grown children, their children, my husband and I will get to actually board the Polar Express train in a neighboring town. As the train pulls away from the Carson City station all the while sipping on hot chocolate & munching on cookies we will listen as the story is read once again. Thirty minutes later we’ll pull into the Virginia City station where Santa boards the train, talks with each child there and then each lucky child will receive a bell !!! We are so excited to feel that magic again and all be together. Traditions made, shared and passed onto a new generation … Merry Christmas Susan!

  46. Helen says:

    My collection of Christmas books, started years ago when our children were just wee people, includes Tasha Tudor, Pop-ups, Story collections, Golden books, cookbooks (including yours of course:) and a Christmas treasury published in 1946, the year of my birth:)…..they are put out each year in baskets, on tables, piled up in an old wagon next to the fireplace with an Angel watching over them…..all available for 11 precious grandchildren to pick up and enjoy….to read themselves or to have someone cuddle and read with them…..happy warm memories in the making each year. I would love to have Lois Lenski added to the collection….(have several books illustrated by her..but no Christmas books). So pleased that you joined the world of blogging…..your words and cozy pictures are just my cup of tea! Merry Christmas to you and your family….and smart move in anchoring the tree….we had a tree toppled twice in one year (obviously we didn’t get the hint to tie the first time:) by our very large loveable orange ball of fur and mischief…who has gone on to kitty heaven after 17 years.

  47. ~Debbie DD~ says:

    Advent Blessings to you Susan… This is my most favorite time of the year as our family prepares for Christmas during this season of prayer and devotions for four weeks before Christmas Day. We have enjoyed learning more about our Catholic Saints during Advent and read their histories during our devotion time and I also enjoy preparing foods that represent the saints to honor them. Tomorrow is most special for our family as we celebrate Saint Nicholas Day with my Dutch traditions of gift giving, and eating delicious Dutch foods for supper which I am enjoying preparing. I wish I could send you the scents from my kitchen today! As a family we try to keep these four weeks before Christmas more spiritual as we pray together and remember those that are in need in our country with gifts. Happy Saint Nicholas Day to you!!!

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      I see you celebrate St. Nick too! Do you hang stockings or put out shoes?
      We also have an Advent wreath we light each night when we eat our supper.
      Hope whatever you leave out St. Nick fills it to the top!

      • ~Debbie DD~ says:

        Hello Lynn,
        Yes we do place our shoes out on a white tablecloth on Saint Nicholas Eve, December 5th. We have done this for 30 years and now that our children are adults they still come home for this festive Dutch holiday. As you may know “Sinterklaas” was brought to America by the Dutch so many years ago and his name was changed to Santa Claus in America. Saint Nicholas is the true gift bringer. My husband and I enjoy lighting our Advent Wreath each evening after supper and read prayers and devotions. This was always such a wonderful family time when our children were young and living with us. I am so happy to carry on these Dutch traditions and customs. Thank you for your sweet note…Debbie

    • dottie says:

      Debbie — I’m taking a bit of Flemish food to a Christmas dinner Saturday — witloof, ham and potatoes in cheesy cream sauce. One of my favorite dishes from our years in Belgie. Loved the yearly procession of St. Nicholas and Zwarte Piet from the canal boat landing to the Stadhuis steps to talk with the children.

      Prettige Feestdagen!

      • ~Debbie DD~ says:

        Hello Dottie,
        Your Flemish dish sounds delicious! How wonderful that you lived in Belgie and saw St. Nicholas’s arrival with his helper. We lived in Germany for several years and it was such a joy to see Saint Nicholas on the village streets in early December passing out candies to children~the Patron Saint of children. Our little preschool age children loved shaking his hand. I love the old European Christmas customs. Enjoy this special day~Happy Saint Nicholas Day! Debbie

  48. Kim says:

    This has been so fun to join you and Joe as you get the tree situated in it’s new home and safe (hopefully 🙂 from “you- know- who”. Your bay window with the lace curtains is a beautiful spot for the Christmas tree. I’m hoping that we might be lucky enough to see a picture of it all lit up from outside. I know it will be gorgeous!
    Once I get my Christmas decorating done, my favorite pleasure is to curl up under a fuzzy blanket with a good old fashioned Christmas story. I have a stack of books sitting on an antique child’s chair next to my reading chair waiting to be read. Looking at them inspires me to get my decorating done so that I can get on with the reading. I have a few old ones, but have never seen “Once On Christmas”. It looks so sweet.

  49. mari says:!/lifewithcats – this is one of the funniest cat cartoons I’ve seen! Better watch Jack when he gets older! 🙂 Happy Monday!!!

  50. Judy Claypool says:

    Like the rest, I love Christmas books,,I inherited a plain red book with a silver poinsettia on the cover that is a collection of old favorites,short and long,,,I still remember my mother reading, The little match girl, and not being able to finish because she was crying so hard,,Many years later, as I began to read it to my daughter, I too couldn’t finish the story because of the tears,,My daughter has informed me she won’t even try to read to her little ones,,also love theoldIdeal’s books with their bright shiny Christmas pictures,,,,,Judy

  51. Lynn McMahon says:

    Just wondering if anyone is hanging stockings or putting shoes out for St. Nick  tonight?
    I am! I’ve been a good girl!

    • Karen P says:

      So, no coal in your stocking, Lynn?! Diamonds, maybe? hee-hee!

    • pat addison says:

      we celebrate St.Nicholas day, we put our shoes out by the door and well my husband’s is always filled with nuts, oranges and chocolates.

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I like the chocolate part! Good girls get LOTS of chocolate!

        • Karen P. says:

          I’m all for the chocolate part, girls! The nuts, fruit and candy in the shoes are all very traditional St. Nick gifts, aren’t they. We used to get the same things when we were little soooo long ago! xoxo….kp. Happy St. Nick’s Day

  52. Susie says:

    Oh my opening you blog today was like getting a very wanted Christmas gift from you…I cannot wait to see the Christmas tree grow more and more beautiful as the decorations get added. I have a sister who does the antique book thing and I have always loved that she shared them with us at the Holiday time. Take care everyone… Susie

  53. Christine Furey says:

    Thank you for always sharing what makes you happy; it makes us happy, too!
    Your art work and writings bring such comfort and peace:).

  54. Brenda Shintaku says:

    Ohhhhhhhh! What precious drawings! Here I am, again. Hoping, wishing, praying that it’s my turn to win! I love vintage books. I am a “Library Technician” after all! Have you had a chance to dip into Janine Is French, yet? Teh tree is gorgeous. Hope Jack is resisiting every temptation to snoop out the tree.

  55. Marcia Massie says:

    I love your blog and I, too, decorate with old books. I collect old books of all kinds: small Christian books, Christmas books, autographed books, – you name it, I am a book lover.
    Thank you for all your book recommendations. I actually have purchased many you recommend. I just got the B. Potter one on her life. I look forward to reading it.

    Thanks for sharing your life with us and Merry, Merry, Christmas!!! I love your tree!!! It’s magnificent………

  56. Val in Cal says:

    Thanks for your cozy blog! Can’t wait to see your tree all decorated. Here in CA we’re empty nesters so we’re just doing selective decorating for Christmas. It all brings me cheer…..Val

  57. Sharon says:

    I would so love this book for my Christmas book stack. I started this last year when I got the idea from you. Have a Happy Christmas!

  58. Cheryl Jasina says:

    Christmas..memories of cats in trees and dogs underneath trying to take them out..sigh..old family traditons of midnite mass..troming thru the snow..shaking presents..helping Busia (grandma in Polish) make all the delicacies and a new one this year a Christmas tea!!!..we get to keep the cups and my sweet cousin won the teapot!! deserving since she is going thru so much heartache. Love your blog and everything else too..!! We must havebeen sisters in another life!!

  59. Karen P says:

    Susan, again I just want to thank you (and I know all the girlfriends will, too) for all you do to make every day a special one with your inspiration….tips….how-to’s….and just your sharing. We all “wob you, too!” xoxox….kp

  60. Kathy says:

    I too have a collection of Christmas books, displaying them on the coffee table at this time of year, including of course your beautiful books! Would love to add this one to my collection, especially because I don’t have anything from that era! Love the charming illustration. This has inspired me to seek out older Christmas books when I’m at thrift/secondhand stores……never occurred to me before! Thank you Susan!

  61. Susan in the country says:

    I love old books and have spent a lot of time looking for Penny Parrish books. (I think I have the name right.) It was a series that I just loved reading and want my granddaughter to feel the same! Old books just make my heart tingle when I hold them. Something really special!

  62. Vicki says:

    Hi Susan!
    It has been pouring down rain here in Cincinnati all day today and yesterday. I know it would be much worse if it were snow, but I am thinking it would be so nice for the Christmas season to have snow! I would love to add that book to my small collection. It’s going to be a Susan Branch Christmas for my daughters and daughter -in-law to be with recipe binders and address books filled with goodies! Thank you for all the kindness you bring!

  63. Beth Purcell says:

    I, too, love my christmas books…including yours in my stack!

  64. Gloria Groza says:

    Hello again Susan! Thank you for letting us enjoy bringing in your tree and seeing what the new baby would do. You do have the perfect place for the tree. We have been busy decking the halls today. So glad my hubby got the outside lights up last week as it has turned cold and rainy for 2 days now. He has been bringing in the bins, which I empty and then he brings in more! I have to stop buying Christmas stuff at the after Christmas sales! It is a disease and I just can’t help myself. Hopefully, it will be warmer tomorrow and we can get out to get the tree. We just have to get a live tree! The smell is heavenly and the one year we decided to get a fake one, the house caught on fire! The fire started in the chimney and the tree was right next to it, so it was ruined. No more fake trees for me! Most of my ornaments are homemade or special gifts from 44 years of marriage – like seeing old friends again! Like you, I collect Christmas books too! Of course I have your big Christmas book and Christmas Joy. We gave these to our daughters for an early Christmas present this year. I would love to have the little book to add to my collection. Thank you for making the Season so bright! I wob you too! Gloria from Nevada, Texas (pop. 671)

    • Lori from Maine says:

      Hi Gloria! I too hit the half price sales after Christmas. When I get my decorations out the following year, I’m surprised at what I’ve bought…I sometimes forget what new treasures I’ve acquired 🙂 One of my weaknesses is wrapping paper. I’m a “paper saver” and I also love to buy paper and bags after Christmas. There are so many pretty ones! I take a long time to wrap gifts too. I look through all of my supplies to find the perfect paper and bows for everyone’s gifts…especially my Mom and my Mom-in-law. It’s all so much fun! Take care and have a wonderful Christmas way down in Texas 🙂

  65. April O'Toole says:

    What a beautiful little tree you picked out–please post pictures of it all decorated! I love to decorate with Christmas books too–I have the Little Golden Book of the Night Before Christmas with the exact illustrations that I remember as a little girl–one of my favorites. I always put out your books that fit the season too!

  66. Marie says:

    I just love your blog! I get so excited when you’ve posted a new one, it’s like opening a present! And I love the pictures, they’re wonderful. I really enjoy your stories of Girl Kitty and Jack. I have three kitties, Princess, Annie and Max, who are also spoiled, as it should be. 🙂 Merry Christmas! I just love this time of the year.

  67. Kathy says:

    I remember my surprise (astonishment) when in her weekly newspaper article a librarian friend recommended books to read at Christmastime. Read during the holidays? Who has time for that? Well, I decided to make time. I selected one Christmas book and discovered it added to my observation of the holy day. From that year on it became a personal tradition with me. Libraries have a Christmas section in December and I always find one I haven’t read before. It is now one of my favorite traditions. I love old books and I love Christmas books. Happy reading!

  68. Anne says:

    Oh, how I love books, especially children’s books. And Lois Lenske, she’s a favorite. This little book would be perfect for my first great granddaughter! Thank you for your beautiful books, your upbeat blog, and your cheerful outlook on life. You help to make so many lives more beautiful!

  69. pat addison says:

    i have several old books that i put out for the Christmas holidays, one is a treasure bool of old holiday stories and poems by many different authors, and one is cute story about alittle boy named Pedro, Pedro of Olivera Street. and one from Frank L. Baum ( The Wizard of Oz) called The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause and of course the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas which i have enjoyed since i was a child!! love those old classic stories and books.

  70. Barbara Tabb says:

    Love your blog, Susan. Each afternoon I look forward to receiving your latest posting! I haven’t yet begun to decorate the house, however I stayed after work this evening putting up a small tree in my office (with lights, bulbs and ribbon garlands), a wreath on my office door and some other cute things to make it festive for me while I’m at work (after all, it seems like I’m there more than I’m at home!!) It was snowing as I drove home tonight. While we’re discussing books and your generous gifts that you “randomly” give away…..I always set up our old ratty copy (maybe I should say “much loved”) of The Night Before Christmas…it’s got many pages with scotch tape from us kids trying to turn the pages for Mom or Dad. Some would have thrown out that book long ago, but to me it’s a link to my past as well as Mom and Dad whom I miss dearly this time of year. I set it up on the mantel tucked behind the garlands. I enjoy thumbing through it – my favorite phrase is: The Moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gives a luster of mid-day to objects below. I just love that!! When I’m out walking at night and the moon is glistening on the cold snow, well, it just makes me think of that verse and wonder how do people write in such magical ways?? How can someone capture the poetry and the mood like that? And isn’t it true that sometimes the moon can be so bright that it is just like daytime, you don’t need a flashlight to see and it is indeed like mid-day! 🙂 Happy thoughts to you all….I read everyone’s comments and think … there you all are, my blogging friends. Couldn’t we all be friends if only we met each other? after all we have so much in common! I can just picture all your homes all so pretty and glistening with holiday decor. some cutesy, some elegant, some country and antiquey, some more modern, some way cleaner than mine!! and I wish all of you a Merry and loving Christmas 🙂

  71. Gaylene (San Jose, CA) says:

    Won’t you just miss this book when you give it away? Or do you buy the gifts you really love in twos, one to give and one to keep? I think we all learn that one eventually. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll miss it, on the level of 2 (maybe 3) — while enjoying the giving of it on the level of 10, so the giving wins!!

  72. Christie Ray says:

    Dear Susan…I opened your blog last night…after husband brought home our first fresh tree, yesterday afternoon! This thing is almost 10 ft tall…yikes! I have decorated it climbing up a little ladder…and it’s fragrance says Christmas!! So then I was in a baking mood, of course one fragrance leads to the next most important fragrance…molasses cookies;) I then flipped over to your farmhouse biscuit recipe (in Autumn..the cookbook I’m wearing out;) and made my very first batch of homemade biscuits! Warmed up a bowl of field peas cooked with a ham bone…slathered butter on those biscuits…lit the beeswax candles and turned on some happy Christmas music. I’m in my own little Christmas heaven…perusing my own little stack of favorite vintage and antique Christmas books. This sweet book you are giving away is precious, and it would be so perfect with my growing collection:) thanks for your ever inspiring posts during this holiday season…
    Hugs and blessings,

  73. MaryO1230 says:

    Love the blog, the artwork and the sentiment. Would love the book. Meowy Xmas from a fellow cat owner! 😉

  74. Jennifer says:

    Christmas is the best and most wonderful time of the year hands down! I just finished decorating my house this morning and it looks magical again, as it does each year….it’s like a little, feel good Christmas fairy came and sprinkled Christmas smells and Christmas wonderfulness all around. I can’t wait to go home each day and just sit and enjoy all my treasured ornaments, candles, twinkling lights and watch Christmas movies. I wob you Susan and to all my girlfriends doing the same thing as me across the country….enjoy the merriment and may Christmas blessings surround you all.

  75. April Anderson says:

    something new for us – evergreen garlands tied up over the trio of sliding glass doors in our great room, and two Christmas trees this year! 🙂

  76. Karen V says:

    Hello Susan,
    I just love that you are talking about Christmas books! I also have a collection of favorites that we put out every year, including (of course) your Christmas From the Heart of the Home that I take out right after Thanksgiving, and it always gets me into the Christmas spirit and ready to decorate and cook! I also have the original copy of The Night Before Christmas that my mom and dad read to my brothers and me every Christmas eve. It’s a bit tattered, but I read it to my children and it brings back happy memories whenever I unpack it each year.
    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your holiday decorating, love hearing about your kitties, I had to laugh when I read about you anchoring the tree to the wall. So funny, that little man Jack. My husband and I are putting up decorations right now, watching Charlie Brown Christmas..what could be better?

  77. I decided to put my lighted village on my mantle this year and hanging the garland along the front so I didn’t know what to do with my stockings. Now I know! Your suggestion to put them on the back of the chairs is what I’ll do. Thanks!

  78. Oh, Susan I love where you have your tree! Bet Jack is having fun! Hope you put out all unbreakables! I would love to win the sweet little CHRISTmas book, I put out all my old and new CHRISTmas books set some on an old pear crate I hang on the wall with trees and pictures on it as well. I commented yesterday but I don’t think it went through.
    Thanks for sharing your home with us!

  79. CAROL O. says:

    Hello Susan….

    The House looks great…and I have been reading your Christmas Book from cover to cover….every Christmas….I know all those wonderful things you do
    when getting ready to decorate, by heart….In fact..Have been working on it all weekend…My house looks great also…”My Christmas House”…thank you for all that you do for me…and all your “Girlfriend Followers…
    Your Tree is PERFECT….Love the “little Book”…I also buy used Christmas Books during the year…and have them all out…and add to them each year…Danielle Steel takes a rest…and I read a couple Christmas stories…
    Have a good evening…..
    Carol O in So. California…xo

  80. Cheryl says:

    Your little vintage book would look wonderful sitting on YOUR Christmas book 🙂 !!! Thank you for inspiring me Susan Branch!!!!!

  81. Tamar Weaver says:

    Christmas doings? Well, for 3 days while I was transitioning from Thanksgiving to Christmas, my house looked tore up from the floor up. Once I had Christmas up, I was DONE with all this hard mess. Shopping? No. I’m hittin the easy button, so I can spend more time here, enjoying the decorated house. 🙂 Baking? No. Easy button! Store-bought all the way. Wrapping? No way – gift bags! My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said “you know what, I know you are so busy…why don’t you just let me get it?” Pottery, come – to – MAMA. About books, my favorite when I was little was the Childcraft Poems and Rhymes from about 1970-1975. I spent hours and hours lying on the floor on my tum, pouring over the pages of that book. It gave me so much to dream about. I’m 41 now and decided to find a copy of it because I want to share that with my children – the pages that made me so happy when I was their age. I found some on Amazon and ordered a few from different years, hoping to find the same edition I had. One came in the mail today, and I really enjoyed looking at it. I recognized many of the pictures and poems. It means alot to me. Books are a really deep and meaningful thing. Well, that’s enough. Nite!

  82. Tami says:

    Your tree is huge!! And what a perfect place to put it! I too, would love to see a picture of it from the outside once you are all done decorating in (addition to, not instead of one from the inside)… Bet it’s an amazing view for passersby. Tiny, twinkling lights peeking out from lace curtains…(sigh) Haven’t gotten to the inside yet myself. Have been helping my Clark Griswold-esque husband take care of the outside since the day after Thanksgiving. Finally done yesterday & he did a great job even if I am a bit biased. :o) Inside decorations are next on the list. Got Christmas tree this weekend & the house smells wonderful! It is a Monterey pine this year so our 8 year old could “FINALLY” help cut one down. What kind is yours? Besides big & beautiful! :o) That Christmas book looks adorable & only a very kind and generous soul would part with it. The drawings are charming and tempt me to say that “they don’t make them like that anymore”. Even though “they” may not, you do! <3 How lucky we are to have you for that and all the other warm, fuzzy, kind and caring things you do!! Time to go tuck in my tree cutting kiddo. Take care!

  83. Stephanie says:

    Trees are decorated (well almost), mistletoe kisses candle is burning and we have beautiful snow covered branches to look at out the window!! I love this season! Hope some fresh, powdery snow finds you soon, Susan!

  84. Karon says:

    Christmas and books go together like peas and carrots as a certain Forest Gump once said. A Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas, it’s all those wonderful words that bring Christmas into our hearts.
    The snow started falling yesterday and it really looks like Christmas here in Ayrshire Scotland. Your tree looks wonderful, must go to the farm for mine and build my own cat toy again!
    All love from Scotland x

  85. Chrissy says:

    I gasped when I saw the dust cover of Home For Christmas book as my dear, dear elderly friend Anna gave me a copy of the same twenty years ago! Alas, it is the ONLY old Christmas book I have. It needs a friend;)

  86. Bridget says:

    Enjoying this post. It makes me smile because it reminds me of Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold cuts the rope to open his tree. I love your list, too. If I want to get anything done, I must first make a list. You must make a lot of lists because you accomplish so much.

    Your home is warm and beautiful; just like you, inside and out. Warmest Christmas wishes to you and yours,

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I call it “list central” around here. Somedays I have to stop everything to consolidate my lists! 🙂 Happy Christmas Bridget!

  87. Lori says:

    Good morning everyone! I enjoyed reading about your Christmas decorating. Unfortunately both my husband and I have miserable colds right now and the thought of going into the attic to get our “treasures” doesn’t hold too much appeal 🙁 …maybe tomorrow. I have a tree exactly like your kitchen tree that I keep in my kitchen too. One year I put cookie cutters on it with little red bows on the branches…cute. Another year I decorated it with…are you ready…my earrings! I love big, long, colorful, sparkely earring, especially in the summer, and I thought, why not. It was so pretty, especially when the sun was on it in the daytime and the electric candles at night. The past few years I’ve used miniature ornaments, it’s fun to play around with different decorations! I’ve kept all of my sons’ Christmas books. They’re in a pile ready for the grandchildren to grab. (I love reading to them!) No snow here yet (in Maine) but the neighborhood is pretty – everyone has lights up! As soon as our colds get a little better hubby and I will make a mad dash to decorate. Until then, it’s tea, toast and blankies for us!!

  88. Laurie says:

    I was at my sister’s in North Carolina over the weekend and noticed on one of her many bookshelves another old Christmas book illustrated by Lois Lenski. Now I wish I could remember the name of it. We grew up with her “Small” books–Cowboy Small, etc. so I have a fondness for her pictures, tho. I know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

    Loved the idea of the candles in coarse salt. I bought coarse salt a couple of years ago and never seemed to find much use for it–until now!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  89. Carolyn says:

    Your kitty vs. Christmas Tree dilemma reminds me of a similiar story in our Christmas-past memories. My husband and I decided to go out to eat after decorating the tree. We knew that the cats were intrigued with the decorating activity, but they had calmed down. Ha As we drove off, we took one last approving look at our beautiful tree. Upon returning, the first thing we noticed was the large void in our front window. Yes, the intrigue had overcome those darling cats who remained silent when interrogated about the incident. Tying the tree to the wall is a good idea!

  90. Diana Jean Hall says:

    Hi Susan and Girlfriends: I LOVE LOVE LOVE your area for your big beautiful tree! My husband always says I have the knack for picking the biggest bushiest tree in the world.. they look so lovely and small in the outdoors, but when you bring them in..they are gloriously beautifully huge!!! We have had to tie ours to the wall several times.. because they were so big!! We don’t have fur friends (asthma and allergies in the family) but I grew up with dogs and cats and miss having them around… I just get my fixes from my sisters pets!… Books.. how I love thee, let me count the ways! We also started the tradition of Christmas books when our boys (3) were young. My “baby” is now 28 but I cannot and would not ever think of not getting out those beautiful childhood books… I love to read them still, in addition to all the ones I have for myself!!! I hope to be the luckiest of them all and get to own this “new” book for myself, but will be so happy for whoever gets the privilege!! Have a wonderful holiday season!!! Merry Christmas!! From Diana in frosty Illinois!!

  91. Heidi Skanchy says:

    Thank you for the decorating ideas! My mother always magically made our home so beautiful with decorations and beautiful music. Thank you for the outline. It is so helpful. Every year I try to keep this tradition going. I love your blog, your words, and the love you share. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

  92. Kim says:

    Your Christmas book is my favorite one…I think I have all of your cookbooks…so love your wording,and all of your pictures…and of course the recipes!
    I have a collection of Christmas books….collected them over the years, a new one each year while my boys were growing up. I always look forward to getting them out for the Christmas season.
    Thank-you for all that you share with us,

  93. Debbie P. says:

    Hi, Susan~
    I’ve been away for the past couple of weeks, welcoming our first granddaughter into the world and helping out our daughter and son-in-love in SC. What a blessing the time was! While we were there, we helped them decorate for Christmas and put up the tree. It’s a bit of a challenge for me to get into the Christmassy spirit when it’s 75 degrees and sunny!
    One of the gifts we gave our daughter was your “Baby” book ~ so sweet! The first thing Alli said when she was looking at it- “She signed it?!” Such a very nice thing for you to do, Susan…thank you!
    Now that we’re home, I can focus on getting our house decorated…the first thing to do is get the candles in each window….let there be light! I’ll be bringing boxes down from the attic for the next week, pacing myself, and puttering until it’s cozy and Christmasy and inviting. Today I brought down the box of Christmas books…mostly children’s books for my daycare, including 2 small books by Lois Lenski. I also hung a large felt Advent Christmas tree in the hallway. Each day the children take turns adding a new ornament to the tree.
    Now that our children are grown, I still find it hard to give up filling their stockings. I stopped hanging the stockings off the mantel and instead, on Christmas Eve, I tie them with ribbon to the backs of the kitchen chairs. When everyone arrives on Christmas morning, the first thing we do is sit down to a yummy breakfast of Christmas ham (warming in the oven since the wee hours), eggs, fruit and cinnamon buns. And then we look through the stockings. For many years, when the kids were small, my stocking was empty. But now, magically, it’s filled by the time I sit down to breakfast….my little elves have grown up now!
    Thanks, once again, for your wonderful blog….so uplifting and inspiring! Enjoy this time of preparation…I think of you often and always with a smile in my heart.

    • sbranch says:

      Stockings are still my favorite things. They just have so much magic in them. Happy New Baby to you Debbie! Love to Alli too!!

  94. Rhonda Orozco says:

    Susan, the book is absolutely darling! It would be perfect in my house!

  95. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    I couldn’t help it, but I burst into tears when I saw the Christmas book that you are giving away. That is my Mothers’ name, Dorothy Thompson, and she used to love to write poetry. I know this is a different author but it brought back sweet memories of my Mom.
    Thank you!
    Until next time,

  96. Linda Fleming says:

    Being a young girl growing up in the ’40’s, Lois Lensky was my very favorite. I was flooded with memories when I read your blog about the book giveaway.

  97. Regina Brown says:

    I look forward every week to reading your blog. I open my store, sit down, and log on. Makes me smile!!! You decorate your home the way I do. You have such good ideas! Now I will be looking for old Christmas books! Love it!

  98. Julie Cavrich says:

    I have books on my fireplace mantel, but they are new books. An old one would be great. I love hearing about Jack and Girl Kitty. Love, love, love your blog.

  99. Cindy Berry says:

    The favorite thing two of my girlfriends and I do is to meet for coffee at a local coffee house. We also get to shop together on occasion when our schedules allow. Hope your holidays are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your Christmas cheer!

  100. Christine says:

    I love how your house is decorated for all the holidays and enjoy reading about your adventures…esp about Jack!!!
    Thank you for entering me in the contest.

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