‘Tis the Season, for the memories, for the things that matter . . . and for the MUSICA! Happy Monday! Rabbit-Rabbit!Being my camera-loving Mother’s daughter (except and because of the fact that that we no longer have to buy film), I have over a hundred-thousand photographs in my iPhotos … so many they don’t fit on my computer, I have to keep them in a separate hard drive with a ton of memory. They’re filed by category, under headings like “Holly Oak,” “Family,” “Quilts and Sewing,” “Birds,” “England,” “Tablesettings,” “Children’s Letters,” “Tea and Dishes,” “Heroes,” “Decorating,” and “Tiny Vases” ~ 135 categories! There are innumerable subheadings too, like “Diet,” “Time,” “Courage,” “Happy,” and “Dreams.” They’re also filed by color. So if I type “GREEN,” into my Photo Search, over 100 photos come up, all green, from green fireworks to my green Girl Scout badges. The color headings include lots of photos you haven’t seen because they haven’t necessarily fit into a story. I can’t wait to show you BROWN! Brown sounds so boring but it’s NOT! But today, in honor of the season, we are going to do RED! It’s my biggest color category, almost 300 photos, and as you might guess, over half of them have to do with this wonderful time of year!  

This is one of the pictures Joe took for the back cover of my Christmas Book.

“I love bright red drinks, don’t you? They taste twice as good as any other color.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery

You can see, the silverware and flowers aren’t even on the table yet, but I didn’t care, I had to light the candles to see what they were going to look like on that tablecloth which is actually a bedspread! Just thinking about that bedspread this morning . . . where is it? Need it!

Right now our kitchen table is a gathering of little piles with addresses and cards . . . this to there, and this to there . . . spreading cheer where we can.

As you can tell, I love this radish. As a lover and collector of whimsy, here was never a more perfect photo to add to my RED pile than this one.

Food is Love

It’s not a very big book, and it’s almost full … not every dinner party gets in, but every so often, I write down the whole thing, what we ate, who was there, what we were thinking . . . For the memories.

See what I mean? RED is everywhere in the Christmas season!

Even the tiny bits of red stand out in these guest-room towels!

And this old guy. Years ago we had a person making dishtowels for us, but he retired and so that was that, but not before I got this one for my collection! Joe modeled for me, that’s how I drew Santa… “His eyes ~ how they twinkled! His dimples ~ How Merry!”

‘Cause, when I can’t make them, I draw them . . .

Making the cupboards shine . . .

with sparkly glasses . . .

Symphony in RED, my Mom, Me, and my Dad. I’m mashing, she’s thickening the gravy, he’s got the salt. The perfect number of cooks in the kitchen, if you ask me.❤️

Joe’s handiwork . . .

Reflections . . . I don’t know what it is about them, but they feel like magic . . .


Heaven and nature sings . . . “…and so many orchards circled the village that on some crisp October afternoons the whole world smelled like pie.”
Alice Hoffman

Need I say more?

Sometimes the RED is very subtle . . .

And sometimes you really don’t have to look for it!

I am not allowed to throw out a poinsettia. I have to hide them to throw them away, because Joe will even take them out of the trash if he sees them. So, see the little one on the left? That came limping in from the previous year.

Just good RED.

And embroidered RED for the bread basket.

And my boy with his Christmas feather!

Through the pantry window to the barn after fresh snowfall, I should play the song, Isn’t it Romantic . . .🎶

Cheese Blintzes and Cherry Sauce!

5. You make magic, like Santa Claus . . .

Spiced Pecans and best old stove, heartbeat of the house.❤️ MAS MUSICA!

My other boy at work in his village . . .

A heart-shaped strawberry. Nature does make the most whimsical REDS.

In my next life, I will paint my house cranberry red just like this! I think I should even aim for this very one!

“But Jo, I think I will be homesick for you, even in heaven.” ❤️ Beth, Little Women

This slipped into the RED category because of his cheeks!

The pear is actually a candle. I think this and the book was a Giveaway from a few years back.

A Valentine from Joe. I do wear it sometimes, like on Christmas morning, when I want to be festive, even though it goes up to my knuckle! Do not think it is a real, what? Cranberry diamond? Because it’s not. It’s just sweet as pie.

Making memories…

I mean, did someone say RED? Remember when we went to Vermont for a sleigh ride?

Then there’s this . . . it snowed on our first Thanksgiving in this house, which was exactly thirty years ago this last Thanksgiving! ❤️

Just a picture I never get to use, but I love it. That dishtowel is hanging on my stove right now!

There’s that cranberry cake! Tea party, cozy fire, sugared fruit, vintage tablecloth . . . 

One of the other Photo-Categories I love is “GLASS” ~ 132 photos of sparkling pitchers, lamps, candlesticks, sugar bowls, and etched champagne glasses. These Star Bobeche are perfect additions. AND they are our Giveaway for this very RED Letter Day.

For the Lucky Winner, a pair of Star Bobeche will soon be flying your way, from me to you, just in time for decorating! Vanna was downstairs earlier, she climbed into the barrel filled with all of your names in her flannel Santa Jammies and kitty-cat slippers. She stirred the little slips carefully, and for a very long time, but finally, she did come up with one name (one, is not enough, I wish I could do fishes and loaves and have them for EVERYONE💞)… BUT here is our grand and I do mean grand WINNER:

G  I  N  E  T  T  E     W  H  E  E  L  E  R

Congratulations Ginette … I’ll be emailing you, please write me back with your address and your Bobeche will be on the way!❤️ 

I’ve been listening to and watching Little Women while writing this post . . . tears and joy and the spirit of Christmas.“Jo, your hair will grow back and it will be as lovely as ever, but you will never be more beautiful than you are right now.”  ❤️ MarmeeLove you, dear ones . . . Deep Breath, do what it takes to make your hours turn into Red Letter Days.❤️ A little cup of tea here, a little pet-the-pet there, a little baked potato with lots of butter here. 💋 Use your powers for good . . . XOXO


This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

500 Responses to THINGS THAT MATTER

  1. Gail says:

    What a wonderful surprise to find your blog in the mail today. It was an uplifting read, and the photographs and drawings of all things RED has lit a fire under me to begin decorating. Wishing you all a joyous Christmas.

  2. Gina says:

    Susan, I wish I could send you a picture… I have touches of red all over my home. Red is a power color, a strong, vibrant, feel good color. Maybe because I’m an Aries, red is my color. Loved all of your RED pictures… I remember some of them from prior posts… I actually bought one of the books in the picture you posted – found on eBay. Last year, I tried something different with my Christmas tree. White lights and red ornaments ONLY. With a big red bow on top. Stunning… I plan to do the same this year when the tree goes up! I really loved the picture in your post of the Christmas lights reflected in the windows… beautiful… Thank you for filling our lives with so much beauty and love. I wish you, Joe and kitty a wonderful holiday season!

  3. Pam Butterick says:

    Susan, how wonderful. Everything you said, illustrated, quoted. Absolutely loved all the photos, including the wonderful one of you and your mom and dad cooking. ❤️ I am now on track for my own red letter, Christmas~y season day. I am painting everything that concerns me with a warm, reddish tone and singing happy Christmas music. And I’m drinking coffee from your beautiful Holly cup. Thank you!❤️🎄🥰

  4. Renee says:

    Thanks for the post. Always enjoyable! Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

  5. Lynette Morley says:

    Hi there!
    I am so in love with the picture of you, Joe and the snowman. It is absolutely the perfect wintery….romantic picture…. EVER! Thank you for sharing your life with us. You my dear, play a big part in helping make the world a better place.
    Merry Christmas to you, Joe and Jack!

  6. Margaret Filling says:

    Good morning lovely, sunshiny lady. Thank you always for your beautiful pictures, words and mostly you. Merry Christmas to you, joe and kitty boy.
    Love your kindred friend
    Peg xo

  7. Lesley says:

    Thank you for these lovely images! I hope your December is filled with bright and shiny things, including the people in your life!

  8. Donna Crouch says:

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  9. Charlotte says:

    Merry Christmas from Williamsburg! What a lovely gift – your posts are like visits from old friends. I hope you and Joe have a wonderful Christmas and that 2020 turns out to be the best year ever for all of us!

  10. Annette Baker says:

    Thanks for the breath of fresh air. I treasure each and every post. Blessings and love for all.

  11. Jan davidson says:

    Just made your donut recipe and they are delicious!!!
    I did not have the donut pan so made donut holes that are kinda flat. I plan to send for the pan as soon as I can. Thanks so much for sharing the donut 🍩 recipe. Am going to freeze them and have them for Christmas Eve. DONUTS YUM!!!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Maybe you can go on another sleigh ride and jingle all the way!!! Love Jan

  12. Deborah James says:

    Dear Friend,
    I send extra love and thanks to you today for your (always) darling post! With the unsettling conditions and current circumstances within our country and abroad, a pause to be reminded of the pure joys of the Christmas season is a saving grace and the gift that is of the most value to me. You seem to be particularly blessed with the generous ability to use your many talents to uplift and inspire the tender hearts of others and mine is a grateful heart this morning.

    As a Private Chef and caterer, this is my favorite time of the year. It is the sugar frosted season of wonder that brings only happiness and gratitude to everyone. In the hours of preparation for a holiday event, I have found that a dash of something red is often the perfect secret ingredient to infuse that indescribable “flavor” of Christmas. It can elevate even ordinary dishes into something memorable. Pomegranates, Bing cherries, sprinklings of crunchy sanding sugar, crisp apples, frosted holly berries and cranberries are plentiful and make all the baking and decorating extra fun for the “worker Bee” in the kitchen! (Red aprons and tea towels also inspire more delicious creativity!) Thank you for recognizing the power of this lusciously cheerful color and remind all of us that these little heartfelt touches of beauty and kindness are at the very heart of this elegant and sacred season.

    May every moment in December bring you happiness and be shared with the ones you love most, viewed with the eyes of a child and enjoyed around tables laden with wonderful delights! May your heart and home enjoy the comfort and joy promised by a single birth.

    Merry Christmas to you, Joe and Jack,

  13. Linda Smith says:

    Thanks for a touch of joy in my email. Putting out my own fifty year Santa collection today . Per your advice, I’ll add some hot tea and a Christmas movie in the background. I like “Scrooge” because of the wonderful music. Happy holidays.Linda

  14. Marjory Abeyta says:

    Wonderful post about so many things which are not only important, but fun and BEAUTIFUL!!

  15. Sandi from the Cape says:

    Dear Susan, Happiest of holidays to you, Joe and Jack! Red is a wonderful color, we all need more of it! Thank goodness for Christmas and Valentines !

  16. Sharon Swift says:

    Hi Susan,

    Absolutely loved this blog (as I do all the others). This puts me in the holiday spirit. All of your photos were wonderful, especially the one with you and your parents, and the one with you and Joe. December is usually not a good month for me now…my father died in December in 2002, his birthday was in December and my parent’s wedding anniversary was December 24. But the most important thing about December is the real reason we celebrate Christmas. We haven’t decided which Mass we will go to for Christmas, but all of the Masses throughout the year are wonderful. Your home is decorated so lovely. I just got mine decorated yesterday. I thought I would change things up so I bought a beautiful gold wreath to put above my fireplace mantle and a matching garland to go on the mantle. Once I got them up there, I realized how much I actually didn’t like them…so they will go back to the store. I put up my red and green lighted garland I had on the mantle and it looks great! I can’t wait to start watching all of the old Christmas movies. I think my favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life, although I love a Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen too. Like you, I am a big fan of the movie Little Women. In keeping with the red Christmas theme, I have your “Christmas from the Heart of the Home” book on my counter…it looks great and so festive with the other decorations. Many blessings and Merry Christmas to you and Joe.

  17. Michelle F. says:

    “Tea and dishes” sounds like a wonderful category of photos, and right up my alley! “Red” was perfect as I am preparing my home for the holiday. Thank you, as always, for the beautiful words and equally beautiful inspiration.

    • sbranch says:

      Someday I should do the Tea and Dishes category just like I’ll do the colors, that would be fun! Thank you Michelle!

  18. Linda says:

    Please stop your political ranting. If you have ALL the answers, why aren’t YOU running for President???

  19. Susie (Rocky Point, New York) says:

    Oh my goodness what a lovely surprise to find. I loved it all. Even the fact that another girlfriend won my prize. It’s all good! Red letter days are a joy to behold. Thank you Susan for being joy in my life. xo

  20. Sophia says:

    Love,love, love your blog, notes, comments, recipes etc.etc. Have made 4 batches so far of your “wonderful apple cider donuts” (why did I wait so long to make them) thank you for everything – RED today really made my day- I also have RED all around my home- year round! Wishing you & Joe all the best for Christmas and the coming new year!

  21. Anne Smith says:

    Oooohhh…just read the blog you sent. Love all the RED! So festive! You always put a spell on me with your beautiful and whimsical drawings and photos! Thank you for bringing such joy and delight to my life, my kindred sister. Wishing you all a very Blessed and Merry Christmas! Looking forward to the next blog and book❤️

  22. Lee Gordon says:

    Happy beginning of the month of December to you. I just finished wrapping my best friend’s birthday present in white tissue dotted with red spots and a red bow, surrounded by red and silver metallic tissue! Perfect for this time of year. Loved Joe’s handiwork…what a work of love! I liked your book of dinner parties. Have you ever seen Jacques Pepin’s? He has a very large book that he paints the border in and then fills in the menu in the center. Really lovely idea! Finally winter here in SoCal…rained three days in the last week. Hope the next weeks are filled with lovely Christmas celebrations and blessings!

    • sbranch says:

      She/he is going to LOVE opening that package, Lee! I haven’t seen Jacque Pepin’s book, but I’ll go online and look for it. I met him one time and he was a very nice person!

  23. Fran says:

    I love your blogs, now that Thanksgiving is over and the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas is upon us, It’s nice to just sit in front of the fire with my vanilla flavored coffee with whip cream on top and relax and enjoy your wonderful pics ( as well as getting some really cool ideas)
    Oh, Just make sure kitty does not chew on those poinsettia’s , they are very poisonous to cats.

    • sbranch says:

      Good information to pass on. So far Jack must know it, because he is interested in lots of plants, even fake ones, but not poinsettias! I want that whipped cream.😆

  24. Laurie Walt says:

    Lovely….everything! Red is a very prominent color in my home. Bright red kitchen aid standing front and center on my counter, old kitchen tools from Grandma with a few mint green ones worked in. My hutch in the living room is filled with red transferware and red gingham is definitely a accent everywhere. I get red! Love it. Satin red bows are so romantic at Christmas and again Valentines. It just makes me happy. I love the pic of Joe wrapping gifts with a santa hat on…adorbs! I need to go watch Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Meet me in St. Louis! And already watched White Ch, but we all know its the red velvet dresses that are the stars! Merry Christmas Susan and Joe! Taking your advice and being the best elf I can be!

  25. Ann R says:

    Bravo Joe, for saving those poinsettia plants! No pun intended, but they deserve a place in the sun after the holidays. I’m a saver and planter of avocado pits, citrus seeds and pineapple crowns. It’s very satisfying when you get a plant from those discards. If we can make rescue dogs fashionable why not rescue plants? How about recycling them and bring them out for valentines day. Lovely red photos Susan, I have green section in my photo files as it’s my fave color.

    • sbranch says:

      I know. And I even know you’re right. But I have this weird thing. I got it into my head somewhere along the line that I don’t want to drag the dregs of yesteryear into the new year! I want to start it with a slate clean as snow and write a new story on it. So a RED poinsettia, after New Years, when I want my house to turn as quiet and peaceful as a church, somehow hurts my eyes. Joe would leave the tree up until April ~ and we’ve gotten mighty close in the past, but that’s only because I love him.

  26. Mary Vona says:

    Thanks for the inspiration to pull out all of my collections and scatter them around the house for every one ( especially me) to enjoy. This season is way to short to get it all in!

  27. Tami Bacskay says:

    I enjoyed this immensely ❤️ Thank you Susan and Merry Christmas dear friend in my mind. xx


    Hi Susan,
    Nice post. Gotta love Red. I was looking at your books on the table, and I ordered “THE “FIRESIDE bOOK OF CHRISTMAS STORIES”. I love old books.
    Just received the Gladys Taber newsletter a few days ago. I have a lot of her books so think of her often. I have a letter that she wrote my aunt years ago.
    I know you were at her house a few years ago.
    Have a great Holiday and thank you for your Joy.
    Nancy Jo

  29. Deborah Hatt says:

    Thank You! Oh, Thank You – for your beautiful blog! It has brightened my day with so many good things. God Bless you, dear Sue.

  30. Wonderfully festive! Congratulations Ginette! How fun! Writing from Montana but lived in Arroyo Grande 25 years ago….:)

  31. Anne Endler says:

    Thank-you for this wonderful post; you have made my day! Merry Christmas and all things happy in the New Year to you, and to Joe, and to Jack, and thank-you so much for all that you share. You really do make the world a brighter place.

  32. Ginny Evans says:

    Oh I loved the red photo idea!! My favorite was the memories of the Christmas in Vermont. How I loved following along on that trip! “O what fun it was to ride in a one-horse open sleight!” And the tea towels––so cute and cheery. Atmospheric cozy scenes, inside and out. Always cheering my day and life. Thanks friend!


  33. Nancy Brown says:

    Love this, you have been my inspiration since I received your first book in 1989. The Heart of the Home was the best Christmas gift I received that year. Merry Christmas to you and Joe and I look forward to all your future work!

  34. Elaine Woodford says:

    Dear Susan: I LOVED this blog! It (you) made me so happy! I loved every picture (drawn & photographed). What a talent you are! I adore you, Jack. You not only have a wonderful face, but also the most adorable belly! Oh, how I would love to kiss it. Susan you must let Joe save the poinsettias to revive again next year. Joe’s flower came back so darling!! A question: Is that a tiny chef on the top of your stove? It looked at first to be a Nun, but whoever heard of a nun, adorned in red?! She (?) is so cute and festive! Thank you Susan for all the joy you give to us!

  35. Mary Jo in MO. says:

    Susan thanks once again for such a wonderful post! The photo of you and Joe from 30 years ago is just adorable! Your organizational skills of keeping your photos is amazing and inspiring. And I loved seeing the pops of red in everyday moments come alive thanks to your keen eye and creativeness. Please consider bringing back the beautiful Santa towel! I love it and would certainly be interested in buying one for myself and my girlfriends. I hope you and Joe have a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in the New Year!

    • sbranch says:

      I just need to find someone in this country who can manufacture it affordably! Affordably being the operative word!!! So if anyone has any ideas, be sure to let me know!

  36. Valerie Johnson in Weatherford, Texas says:

    Susan, RED has been my favorite color since I was a child. My sweet parents let me choose it for the color of my bedroom carpet when I was about 11 years old and I never tired of the cheerfulness of it! Thank you for all the lovely pictures in this post.
    I was so glad to see you mention your trip to Vermont and the sleigh ride because I was wanting to re-read that post not too long ago but couldn’t find it. Do you recall what year and month it was??

  37. Cara says:

    Thank you for such positiveness! I appreciate the sweetness of your blog.

  38. Pamela Welter says:

    Happy December Susan!
    Awesome post! I had a Red Letter Day just by reading it! If I could throw you a kiss, it would be red lipstick marks travelling straight to you, like an auntie would plant on your cheek when you were a child. Mwah. . .
    The Alice Hoffman quote and cinnamon sugar jar – perfection! Wasn’t that a great book?!
    Also, the Little Women quote by Beth. . .I felt that one and teared up as I am someone who has always had homesickness when I travel. I am going to the new movie for sure.
    I love the photo of the tree lights reflecting – there truly is something about them and you expressed it in a way that had me in awe.
    Tis the season for the memories – beautifully written words! So true. . .old memories rise to the surface and new ones are made each day.
    I just love you, Susan. xoxoxoxo
    May this month hold Christmas magic, sweet memories, and a Red Letter Day to write about in your journal. Here comes some red fairydust*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

  39. pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

    Hello Susan, Girlfriends. just popping in to wish everyone a Happy St. Nicholas Day. I hope you all were very good and got some goodies in your shoes this morning ( chocolate coins, oranges, nuts and candy) or were you a bit naughty and maybe Black Peter left you a lump ( lump of licorice) of coal in your shoes. this is part of our holiday traditions since I was a child and we continue the practice at home, my hubby got some chocolate coins but he also got a lump of coal for being a bit naughty this year. Happy St Nicholas Day everyone, may SinterKlaas be good to you all. holiday hugs…. 😀

  40. Lillian Olmstead says:

    Happy St. Nicholas Day, I love this blog. I’m off to make your Christmas jam.
    Lillian O.XOXOXO

  41. Isobel says:

    Christmas is a wonderful time to bring on the red. I have seen so many blogs done in pale tones, white walls, white pillows, white trees, white candles, white dishes, white sofas, white throws. They are a wee bit depressing. Red brings in the joy and merriment. Even my every day dishes are a red tone. They are the same ones you have by Johnson Brothers, Rose Chintz. I was fortunate enough to snag 8 espresso cups and saucers. I purchased my dishes in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cozy homes are the best and your home exemplifies this. Enjoy the Christmas season.

  42. Margot in Sister Bay says:

    I love ❤️ this post! The cozy little cottages that you have drawn over the years tucked in, especially the house with the heart cut out. I’ll make a cookie like that one. The one votive made prism rays on the red tablecloth. 🎄. I love how you captured the wreath through the window. Red reminds me of my grandmother’s 1940s red kitchen! She got rid of the thirties depression gray. Even furniture was stained gray. 🧶 She taught me to knit with red yarn.

  43. suzette Shoulders says:

    OH, Susan! What a FUN and happy post! I need to get Christmas things out and up, and then next week, a tree! RED is a touchstone for the season, and always makes my heart sing! Happy Christmas to you, dear Anglophile friend, and I look forward to 2020 and your new book about England! Suzette in Oregon

  44. Hala says:

    Dear Susan,
    I don’t know how I missed this post but it was such a treat when I found it. I was starting to lose my Christmassy feeling (and I am the elf for my family and friends) but your post helped me find it again and makes me want to hold onto spreading cheer even (or more importantly ) through tricky times. I even fancy dressing like you in your Thanksgiving in the snow pic- you look so happy. Nice to see a bit of Bath too- you’d love the Christmas Market! Wishing you and Joe a Happy and Peaceful Christmas 🎄 xxxx

    Hala, nr. Bath

  45. Norma says:

    Really enjoyed the red photos. Puts one in a holiday mood for sure. Thank you.

  46. Laurie Nico’s mom says:

    Thank you for the absolutely gorgeous post, Susan. I love red, and I love Christmas! The picture of Jack playing with his red feather and showing his belly is adorable. So are Joe’s rosy cheeks!


  47. barb bussell says:

    I just now had a chance to read this little bit of heaven, Susan. My eyes are a little weepy from all of the sweet little detailed tidbits that are able to star in your photos: a teeny little red rim of a glass, a little bit of string, a berry in a farrow field. Your appreciation of these seemingly second-tier elements is just heart-touching to me, since I focus on these tiny gifts all the time. Thank you, Susan. For sharing so openheartedly and openhandedly. Your girlfriends feel so privileged to be part of your world, a world that you didn’t have to share with us all, but that you did, and for that, we’re so grateful. Much love from Indiana, Barbzie

  48. Debbie Boerger says:

    Greetings from Florida,

    We are tired, a teeny bit blushed by the sun, and very, very thankful for such an amazing week on a quiet beach. Everything exceeded our expectations.
    My Maine wreath and box of greens arrived while we were gone, early, but it’s been nice and cool, so I’m sure they are fine. Just too pooped to start on it tonight. Tomorrow I’ll put on some Christmas music and let Christmas begin in our home. Will probably scan this blog again and again to add to the Joy.

    Best of Cheer, Dear Lady, Gentleman and Dashing Kitty,
    Debbie in Tampa

  49. Dori says:

    Susan, your blog is my happy place every time I visit!

  50. Michelle says:

    Merry Christmas and thank you for all of the nice quiet moments I am inspired to have while I enjoy your posts. The art, music, quotes, photos, recipes and stories of your life are treasured; opening each post is like Christmas – full of warm and fuzzy surprises!

  51. Lori C. says:

    Merriest of Christmases to you and Joe! Can’t wait for the new Little Women movie to come out! Love all your red and white!! Love your vintage tablecloths! What wonderful finds! Christmas won’t be Christmas without Susan Branch!

  52. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Dear Susan, At my quilt guild party last night, I told 7 or 8 quilters ( all wearing red! ) to go to your blog and read about RED! I went shopping for more red after reading this post! Happy Christmas to you! Suzette in Oregon

  53. Patricia Dorwin says:

    Any chance of some Christmas letter paper for our new pen pals? I have some left over from past years but was hoping for one or two new forms. Thank you.

  54. Linda Michael in PA says:

    I apologize, I’m very late to reading your blog. I so enjoyed all the candles you light! I would love to do that; I even have a green creamer like yours that would look beautiful glowing with candlelight. I wonder, do you have a preference for the kind of votive that you burn? Over the years I’ve gotten so many warm home ideas from you – figurines on kitchen windowsill, dish towels hanging on oven door, sparkly garland over a dining room mirror, tiny poinsettia in a Santa mug, and on and on. Thank you! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Interesting that you ask. Because votives have been a problem for me. I used to have this wonderful brand of votives that burned perfectly, I even sold them in my web store ~ I still have really wonderful tapers, but the company that made the votives went out of business. And ever since, it’s been sort of one travesty of guttering after another! I JUST yesterday asked for samples from a new company. I want to be able to buy them by the boxful, 12 or 24, but first I have to find some that work well! I will let you know when (not if) I can claim success! Thank you Linda!

  55. Marcy says:

    Such a charming post; Susan, you always uplift me💗 Wishing you and Joe a very Merry Christmas with many sweet memories🎄💗

  56. Joanne says:

    Susan – I can’t find the phases of the moon book mark. I usually print it for my friends. Did I miss it? My computer was down for awhile. Or are you not offering it anymore? I will check back here for your response, or you can email me. Love your Christmas red posts. Thanks in advance.

  57. Rebecca says:

    Susan! WHAT is the name of those red berries (the photo beneath your red valentine ring)? I have been wanting to plant some in my garden but don’t know what to ask for at the plant nursery! (Or can anyone else shed any light?) x

    • sbranch says:

      And much as I would love to help you, I’ve forgotten the name. They are a very strong, large vine, that I actually had to pull out of my garden, because I found out belatedly they are invasive here (not everywhere) … they are GORGEOUS, the leaves turn color, the berries do too, but it’s not so good on a little picket fence . . . and unfortunately, I don’t remember the name! So sorry. Google “Vines with red berries” if no one else can help! Good luck!

  58. Annette Saul says:

    I love the Red blog!! Red is the color of Christmas to me!! No matter how festive, Christmas decorations in any other color just do not cut it for me! I love that you shared a quote by Phyllis Theroux… she is one of my favorite authors!

  59. shanna says:

    Oh, dear. That terrier doorstop (in the shot with the chairload of tablerunners). Oh, I need that! Yes I do.

  60. Kathy Maliszewski says:

    Many thanks for all the joy that you bring. Always love your blogs ! ! !

  61. Gill says:

    What a jolly post, all red and wonderful! I am finished decorating, bar the tree that waits until just before Christmas. I think we are going to go out into the woods to cut some trees tomorrow, if the snow isn’t blowing too much of a blizzard, and ours will stand frozen outside for a week or so. We also cut three for my father in law ( he has two by the front steps, flanking the front door and one indoors) and one 3-4 meters tall that we give to our church every year.
    I have a busy holiday season coming up, as all my family from England are coming over to Norway to celebrate! I am happily making up six extra beds, tucking cosy crochet blankets, teddies and hot water bottles into each one and scattering seasonal touches throughout the bedrooms.
    After Christmas my husband and I are going on an adventure, partly inspired by you, Susan! We are crossing Canada on the transCanada express train! Now I know you had lots of train travelling tips somewhere on your blog….but just where? Could you pretty please point me to the train travelling posts? All I can remember is to take a kettle and a teapot, and I’m not sure my European kettle will do🙄
    Wishing you and the boys a very merry Christmas indeed.
    ( Oh, and if you do stand for president, as one gf suggested, I might just have to become a US citizen and vote for you!!😂)

    • sbranch says:

      Talk about jolly, Gill! What fun you are having this Christmas! So many lucky visitors getting hot water bottles and crochet blankets! Your train trip will be so much fun, I hear it is absolutely beautiful. We haven’t done that trip yet, saving it for later, but it has a wonderful reputation! Check out this Train Trip from my blog . . . see if it’s what you needed. XOXO Love you Gill, have fun!

  62. Sandra says:

    I’m a big fan of delayed gratification and save your posts to read days after they arrive. This was a delightful read; Merry Christmas!

  63. Kathy (in Rialto, CA) says:

    Nice, nice post. Just today my great niece called to ask me about a Christmas present. What’s your favorite color, Auntie? RED! I love the Cinnamon Sugar shaker. I can tell it’s your writing on it. Precious. Is it something you sell in the shop…or a solo one you made? Do you remember what you used to do the lettering on the glass. If I cannot buy one…I’m agonna try to make one. Love, Love, Love it. Again, wonderful post. Merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      That was computer magic. I took a photo of the shaker, then wrote the recipe on paper, and asked Kellee to photoshop the recipe onto the picture! Merry Christmas Kathy!

  64. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    I was just thinking about this; I need a memory refresh. You decided to no longer do Willards, right? Instead it’s all just blended into the blog now?

    • sbranch says:

      For the most part yes, but I decided to go back to doing one Willard a year, they way I did when it went Snail Mail . . . I just sent it out about 3 weeks ago. The rest of the year will be the blog . . . they are two different mailing lists, you’re probably on both of them Vicki!

  65. Bridget B. in Tn. says:

    Love your snow pictures on Twitter today!!! We actually got snow in Tennessee yesterday and last night. So exciting and so pretty.
    Enjoy your day and happy holidays to you, Joe and Jack.

  66. Sue Wemett says:

    I am so behind in my reading, Susan, but your blog was just perfect for this afternoon- drinking a cup of tea & eating 4 recently purchased artisan chocolate bon bons, watching the lake effect snow fall as the sun set beyond the bare trees of the woods. All is quiet here & I took some quiet time to myself to relax while I could. Thank you so much for your art & your gift of your art. The love is in the sharing. Merry Christmas.

  67. Cindy says:

    Oh Susan, How I love your blog.. you inspire me.. I have about 50 Santas but we live in a small house .This year I decided who cares and put them all out. Hopefully the REAL Santa will be impressed..

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe..

  68. Debbie Boerger says:

    What a beautiful picture of a Woman who is so full of Love and the Milk of Human Kindness and it shows !!! (on Twitter this morning)

    We’re busy, busy, busy here on Jules Verne, Ballast Point, Tampa. Those names:Jules Verne set his science fiction novel about a rocket to the moon on Ballast Point, the blasting off part. We are just a hop, skip and a jump away. Beautiful arches of centuries old live oaks over nice old brick streets, some of the bricks were ballast for old sailing ships from New England. It used to be called Ballast Point Park, but is now something else. Great little park with lovely, safe play area for kids, picknic shelters that are always busy with family and friend groups, a nice long pier with fish cleaning stations, and a really good little cafe, where you can eat outside or inside. And…..have an ice cream cone, if so inclined. I like to watch the horses at the stables just across the street from the park. I used to ride, and I love even the smell of a stable. Extolling the beauty of our area instead of the ‘ugly’ is a new mantra for me………Be in the Present, Cherish the Past, and anticipate a Good and Productive Future.

    And we have been Productive…getting all things Christmas done, crawling around in the attic!! Oh, wait, that wasn’t I. Mr. Tom continues to keep me on my toes by doing just as he did when he was several decades younger…and before a heart attack, open heart surgery for valve replacement, and before his skin splits if you look at him too hard. I have now started putting a timer on his crawlings under the house and up in the attic. His doc says, 15 minute increments. He is actually taking my interference pretty well. He just came down drenched in sweat from being up in the attic, cleaning the lint out of the tube out to the roof. New W/D arriving today. New we need to clean up the new “BooBoos” on his sweet legs.

    We went together to the Dermatologist yesterday. Thankfully, I had nothing that needed biopsy, just blasts of Freeze stuff on my face and legs. Looks like I’ve been in a bar fight…uh??? Tom had another little cancer on his face, but he does every visit. Wait for the pathology report, have surgery, get stitched up, and have Debbie remove the stitches….My new hobby.

    Sorry for all the Jabber, but I’ll leave it be, as someone may be interested.
    Feliz Navidad, Sue,
    Debbie in beautiful Ballast Point, Tampa, Florida.

    • sbranch says:

      Life is for the attic crawling, ice-cream eating, present loving, Past cherishing, lint cleaning, inspiration-garnering, LIVING! Blessings on you and Tom, dear Debbie! xoxoxo

  69. charissa (tea, tartan, and tom on twitter) says:

    Thank you, Susan. This was such a glorious post!!! I loved everything about it and the magical fairy dust on top was Joe’s RED cheeks. I love red too and was just tickled pink (a shade of red) by this. It isn’t christmas for me without red. I super love that old photo of you and Joe by the snowman. I have seen it so many times it feels like a family photo and in a way, it kind of is ;)❤️❤️❤️ We just got back from Vermont, so I feel like I have gotten a back from a Hallmark movie thing of beauty and nature and snow and little towns and churches covered in diamond sparkling snow with lots of twinkle lights too. It snowed almost everyday we were there and we were in heaven with a crackling fire, wind through the pines and snowflakes swirling around. Now back from our dream and in TX, but happy to have the memories. Wanting to wish you and Joe and Jack the merriest of Christmases !!! My gift to you is to say… I love you and am so grateful for all that you bring to my life in large and small ways and have for 25+ years. You are a treasure and my forever friend xo I always find a little something that i think you would like and then remember how you had to ask people not to send things. I totally understand, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about it. This year, while estate saling, i found some vintage peter rabbit soaps. Remember the kind from the 80s that had the artwork on them? They were in pristine condition. I bought, but did not mail. Is it weird to say what I would have done? lol i guess and hope not:))))))) xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t Vermont just SOMETHING in the winter? The red barns, the green roofs, the graveyards in the snow, the covered bridges under icy rivers banked by snow. All so beautiful! You know, it’s always the thought my forever friend. You are a dear Charissa! Thank you!

  70. marilyn says:

    What’s not to love in RED! And now I want more than ever a baked potato and cranberry cake. Sweet red cheeks, towels, red berries, and so much more. And yes!!! “I want magic” and a cup of tea.

Comments are closed.