Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, and Happy-every-other-celebratory-thing that’s happening this wonderful time of year!!! What I’m doing? Oh lots, but mostly I just wanted to send love, and MUSICA of course!Here I am, on the darkest, shortest day of the year, looking forward to the longest most delicious night, but tomorrow, by the time you read this, it’ll already be the 2nd day of Winter, and we’ll be on our way BACK to the light. That’s why I love the shortest day of the year, it only lasts one day! And the very next day, it’s a new beginning!👏 And now, I have some tiny little Christmas gifts 🎁 for you that won’t even require unwrapping … Because as usual, I’m trying to 

First off, I was asked for a list of my favorite Christmas Movies ~ and for you old friends from way back, you know I have them! Any of them in that list above, even if they aren’t specifically Christmas, will make you FEEL like Christmas, and would be an excellent way to get through the winter in a happy, old-fashioned, everything’s-going-to-be-okay kind of way!💝 But to add to this list, don’t forget to see 2017’s The Man Who Invented Christmas (about Charles Dickens writing A Christmas Carol), 1946 It’s a Wonderful Life, 1947 The Bishop’s Wife, 1947 Miracle on 34th Street, 1949 Holiday Affair, and 1954 Hobson’s Choice ~ Hobson’s Choice isn’t Christmas but it’s old and English and SO CHARMING, try to find it if you can! You will thank yourself! Notice how so many of our classics came just after World War II? To a world of gratitude that the war was over, and a hunger for home, peace, love, family; to know what you do DOES make a difference; they wanted to see innocence in the eyes of their children, the world, so courageous, but so tired, wanted and needed magic ~ all the important, but normal things in life. I feel their humble relief and joy every time I watch one of these movies! I also love 1983 Christmas Story, and of course 1954 White Christmas, 2003 Love Actually, and 1951 A Christmas Carol (in this house, Joe will NOT have any other version, it must be 1951 with Alastair Sim! And it must be every year! And he cries every single time!! You’d think he’d get used to it, but he never does!) ~ and of course, Little Women, my favorite version is 1994 with Winona Ryder and Christian Bale, but I love them all. Toss in a little Palm Beach Story, some Roman Holiday, add Mrs. Miniver, and you will be mush for the season. As it should be!

And here’s something else . . .

Have you heard of this book? Joe and I have been listening to it on our walk, and twice, TWICE, I burst into tears out in the middle of the road. I loved it, he did too. Takes place in England at the turn of the century, it’s a novel based on history of the people who made the Oxford Dictionary . . . It was written by an Australian, and is her first book!!! If you read it, I’d love to hear what you think!

And our next little soul-feeder, it’s time for our yearly tradition . . . your Full Moon Bookmark . . . Gotta have it! It also explains the waxing and waning moon and how to tell whether it’s coming or going!It’s all the dates for the full moons of 2024! Just click HERE to print it out ~ then fold it in half, glue it, possibly get it laminated (they do that at Staples, UPS store, Office Max)  and voila!! A perfect stocking stuffer!🧑‍🎄    

Speaking of soul-feeders, mine anyway . . . Here’s a new page I just did for my 2024 Mini Calendar . . . I love it so much I thought I’d give you a preview. That quote! Doesn’t it just suit us to a T? It’s what we DO. So basically, this is all I’ve been doing, maniacally designing new calendars, over Christmas, if you can even imagine. Had to, supply chain still a problem and means everything is due to the printer’s early!

More preview, here’s the cover of the 2024 wall calendar … I’m ahead of my time (I’m imagining most of you are still in 2022? Not me)! So because of this and other things, we’re having a rather low-key Christmas this year. We helped friends trim their tree last night, drank heavenly eggnog with Bourbon, ate guacamole and chips, listened to Christmas music, and decked the heck out of those halls! Was small and sparkly and perfect. We have warm and cozy places to go and lots of old friends to hug on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Night and we’ve wrapped lots of presents  . . . but since Joe is upstairs at all times fixing floors and ceilings, painting walls and trim, making dust and noise, and I’m downstairs in my studio with Jack making calendars, we are taking Christmas off! We had to do that one other time that I remember, and we were fine ~ all it did was make us RAVENOUS for Christmas the next year. I love that!!I put this recipe on the 2022 December page of the wall calendar . . . so you’ve probably seen it and if so I hope you tried it, because it’s just DEE-Licious! And speaking of the wall calendars, Kellee wanted me to tell you that we’re almost out of them, but we still have the other formats, the mini, purse and large desk blotter, just in cases.

And speaking of recipes . . .

My sister Shelly (the mother of the twins who are now 106 years old, really just 19, but that seems to have happened way too fast!) called the other day wanting my mom’s recipe for Snippy Doodle so she can make it for her boy-men on Christmas morning. Just the mention of that recipe flooded my mind with memories! This was the coffee cake of our childhood! I sent her these photos and thought you might like them too… It’s such an easy little thing to make, I’m going to make it for Joe and surprise him Christmas morning. Inspired by my sister and my mom, a little family tradition . . . Because you know,

this recipe actually came from my great grandma . . .

Here it is in my mom’s handwriting. You can see, she noted that the recipe was hers, her mom’s and her Grandma Orr’s. I love talking about my mom, seeing her handwriting, eating her food, it makes her alive … as she will always be in my heart. I saw the most touching quote the other day  . . . 

Landscape of my heart.💘 Another something I thought would never happen! Growing old OR doing it without my mom! Doing it without Blog Daddy! But despite this total insanity, everything is as it should be, and for that, I have nothing but gratitude, and the most wonderful memories, the gift that keeps on giving. And all kinds of exciting plans for the future. Truly blessed. I would change nothing. Because I know what it is to put on sweet smelling flannel jammies still warm from the dryer and hold a sweet smelling baby wearing the same thing. Talk about Hygge! I know you know what I mean!💖 

So, another bit of soul-food . . . I want to thank all of you who took part in our first auction! I have lots of old things around, things that are now turning into “vintage” … that I put up for auction in order to raise a little money for charity.🎁

Like this teacup and saucer, part of my Lenox Dish collection . . . very hard to find these days. Off it went to a happy new home, and because of YOUR generosity, we were able to send a Christmas check to our local Community Services. They provide SO MUCH help to people on the island.💖 Makes me feel wonderful to do this, and it’s of course, like everything, all because of you.💞 I have more stuff, so we’ll do another one next year, and choose another non-profit charity to benefit. You know, there’s so much negativity these days, but I think there are always bad apples ~ every country, every race, every religion has them, some are rotten to the core, but look at all the beauty, look at all the goodness, it’s absolutely everywhere, in every country, in every race, in every religion. So much more of us than them!!! Goodness is just quiet, going about it’s business, making the world a better place, while bad apples are loud, proud of their badness 📣. Despite them, our cup is almost full to overflowing. So much hope for 2023!🙏

This is me and Jack last Christmas, doing a Zoom party with Hayley Solano of The Enchanted Book Club ~ and here we go again, we’re having another one! You can sign up to join us HERE … it’s going to be on Saturday afternoon, January 7, 3 pm EST, noon in CA, 8 pm in England, 1 pm in Salt Lake, 2pm in Sioux City, and everything in-between! We’ll be talking about starting off the New Year right, about the magic and power of New Beginnings!

I just bought myself these cozy jammie bottoms, flannel of course, and total heaven. No pockets, big mistake, but I LOVE them anyway, love the color, I’m wearing them right now with three sweaters and a turtleneck because I’m going nowhere today but feeling very hygge with all the frost on the grass and trees, so I checked and if you like them, they are now on sale . . .! ❌⭕️ 

I thought I would close with Jack, the perfect little gift that keeps on giving! That’s one of Joe’s work gloves⬆️, Jack LOVES work gloves and boots, goes wild, rolls on them, throws them in the air. Friends come over wearing work boots and he is ALL OVER them!!! Why? We don’t know. He must have been a carpenter in his last life! He’s great on ladders, perfectly fearless!

When he’s not helping me around the house, he’s helping Joe. Here he is, on high-wall bug-patrol.

Buddies. My two men.

On the ironing board . . .

on the sideboard watching me exercise, had to go get the camera to capture the cuteness.

Green-eyed monster at the screen door.

Watching over the world, making sure the squirrels get no where near the front door. Don’t even try it!

Lounging in front of the fire. Our soft furry little petty pet.♥️

Last and actually probably least . . . a little perky green and red for the season . . .💚♥️

And remembering other Christmases, this one at Holly Oak🎄, before the fireplace came in! I strung popcorn and cranberries . . . my little house . . . Notice the fabulous stenciling?🤣Killer weather coming all across the country … places with wind chill below -50º … yikes! Scary! And high winds. 😳 Here it will be a balmy 29º, but this is why God invented the people who invented TEA!🫖 And the wonderful knitters of the world! Stay warm! Shop today! Cuddle up! Turn on the oven and make Snippy Doodle! Be sure all your animals are inside and warm, and remember, days are getting longer now . . . nowhere to go but UP!💞I could not love you more! ♥️

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  1. Debbie says:

    Merry Christmas! The blizzard is just a few hours away from me here in east central Illinois and I’m ready to stay in for a day or two.
    I read The Dictionary of Lost Words a couple of years ago and still remember how it made me think about the power of words and language to unite or divide people. I questioned how often we silently judge others by their choice or words and how language is often a tool of colonialism. I really enjoyed the book!
    I’m scheduled to sing with our choir at 10pm mass and then return to be the cantor at 8:30am mass on Christmas day, so I will spend some time rehearsing today and then I’m going to bake a batch of cookies and may watch Christmas in Connecticut! Best wishes to you & Joe!

  2. Andrea Tandler says:

    Merry Christmas Susan! 🎅🏻🎄 I remember stringing popcorn and cranberry’s for my tree. Maybe I’ll start doing it again. I also remember putting cloves in oranges with my mom. This year I am watching Christmas movies and listening to Holly on the SiriusXM app.🎶 The Holiday is another good movie. I just read The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews. It’s a cute story.

  3. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    Such an uplifting post of great message; thank you, Susan; merriest holidays to you and Joe and Jack. You just fill me with hope and promise with your words.

  4. Beverlee Moreno-Ring says:

    Oh Susan, What a lovely post. As I sip my morning Latte from your Christmas cup I see Joe’s face in the face of porcelain Santa.. Very fun. So grateful for all the joy you bring to our lives and for the loving reminders of all the good in this world. Enjoy your quiet, restful home this Christmas. We are making Christmas memories for our granddaughters and will be ice skating at the Hotel Del on Friday.. Going to be 75.. So very So Cal. Well no skating for me.. Im a good watcher. Thank you for all you do and who you are and for sharing your life and perspective with us all..
    Love actually Is all around.
    ❤️ Thee Beverlee

  5. Diana Simeoni Soucie says:

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Jackie says:


    I’m with Joe on A Christmas Carol – Alastair Sim is my favorite Scrooge too! Second place – George C. Scott.

    Merry Christmas to you both,


  7. Susan Webb says:

    Merry Christmas to Susan and Joe! and Jack! Thank you for the new moon bookmark design. I’m ready to craft some and give them out to my family. They look forward to them each New Year’s. Some even keep them the whole year through! Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s together. We’re hoping we can survive the Big Storm with twmp of -25. Minus 25? Really? Hope the weathermen are wrong with that predicition.
    Susan W.

  8. Charlotte M. says:

    Merry Christmas Susan and Joe and Jack! We watch the Alastair Sim version every Christmas Eve as our tradition. My husband’s favorite version. I love the Muppets version too and we also watch Mr Magoo too. It’s a throwback to our childhood. LL Bean makes a wonderful flannel jammie pants that have pockets. I have two pair and I love them! Stay warm and have a lovely holiday.

    • Sharrie says:

      Awwww! The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of our favorites too. Very moving and Michael Cane is an excellent Scrooge. There are research videos online that detail how historically accurate the costumes are for this version. So interesting!

  9. Linda Michael in PA says:

    Thank you for a much-needed Christmas blog! I went right into my library system and reserved “The Dictionary of Lost Words” , I’m 12th on waiting list. I just finished Winter Soltice by Rosamunde Pilcher (I love her!), which I read every December. I have read quite a few of the books you mention listening to on your daily walks. I especially enjoyed “A Gentleman in Moscow”. You should recommend a book every month in your blog – a sort of Susan Branch book club! Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Jack! And much love to you all. ❤

    • Dianne in upstate New York says:

      Hi Linda
      I too love Rosamunde Pilcher and Winter Solstice is one of my favorites. I reread it every year around this time. I’ve also read and enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow (three times actually) and listened to the audio version also (I highly recommend it). Have you read The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility? I was fortunate to meet Amor Towles in person in February. He had the audience in the palm of his hand within the first 5 minutes. Have a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and every happiness in the year ahead. I’m watching season 2 (of 7) of A French Village. It is so good (French with English subtitles). It’s available through my library but may be on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I believe it was quite popular when on TV. (P.S. I’m still looking for my Oscar Blundell)

    • Dianne in upstate New York says:

      Dear Linda,
      I replied earlier but my reply seems to be lost in cyberspace. I, too, read Winter Solstice every December! I love Rosamunde Pilcher and that book is one of my favorites. ( Although I must admit that I am still looking for my Oscar Blundell!). I have read A Gentleman in Moscow 3 times for various book groups and listened to the audio version twice. I highly recommend the audio version. The narrator is wonderful and it adds a new dimension to the story. I’m currently watching season 2 of A French Village. I checked it out of my library, but I think that it may be available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It is so good, and the cast is wonderful. Be forewarned though one of the characters is quite sadistic. I gifted my son the complete Young Indiana Jones Chronicles for Christmas. It was such a good series. I remember rushing home from work in order to watch it with him years ago. Have a very Happy New Year. P.S. I put my name on the wait list for The Dictionary of Lost Words at my library also.

  10. Ann Y. says:

    Oh, Susan…what a wonderful post. SO cozy! I am reading it while I enjoy a leftover mimosa from a brunch we hosted yesterday. When that runs out I will switch to tea. Good on you for your donation to the charity that helps people live…so many people need help. People like you helping make the world better. We had a notice here that the Salvation Army had a HUGE increase in people needing help this year, and in a day or two they announced our community stepped up to meet the need. What Christmas is all about! And love your attitude of not being so sad over those who are gone, but enjoying the gift of great memories. I made tons of cookies and gave them to neighbors who ask “WHY DO YOU MAKE SO MANY?” – Because one of my best Christmas memories is making cookies with my mom, and now, using her recipes I can feel her with me. Good on you having a quiet Christmas! We went ALL out this year due to company coming, but I know that peaceful, not too decorated holiday is so nice. OK…a little more mimosa, then tea, fire, a good book, a nap…and tomorrow making piergoi for Christmas Eve dinner. Thinking of my Slovak and my husband’s Ukrainian ancestors who made them through the years and will feel them at our elbow saying the tradition lives on. Merry, Merry Christmas to you and Joe!

  11. Cathy D says:

    Merry Christmas! I will make your coffee cake sounds wonderful

  12. Maria says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, Joe & Jack!
    A Christmas miracle & a treat for all of us.
    So thankful that you still have this blog. So many have fallen by the wayside & I do miss them.
    I lost my breath for a second…how are your beautiful nephews 19 YEARS OLD?? My nephews are 16 & 15 & I had a mini breakdown at this realization. Time! It goes by so fast.
    Wishing you all a wonderful, peaceful, restful, cozy & warm end of the year. See you in 2023!! xo

  13. Mary Ann in Mid-Missouri says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Jack and Joe. I love the blog post. I am in cleaning mode today, trying to prepare for Christmas guests. This was the perfect way to take a break for a few minutes. Now, I need to get back at it. Those floors aren’t going to scrub themselves.

  14. ~C says:

    Dear Susan, Joe & Jack,
    Wishing you a wonderful Holiday season. Best wishes for 2023.
    ~Hugs, Charl

  15. Kathy Satteson says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Jack and all the wonderful people in your shop who have been so kind and quick at shipping out packages! May you all have a happy and healthy 2023!!

  16. Becky from Kansas says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It is a unpleasant -5 here in Kansas. Thanks for the Jack photos and giving me my kitty fix. Miss having a kitty. It has been 10 years since my Nippy went over the Rainbow 🌈 Bridge. I have my 2 dogs Dudley and Duke, who are not liking the weather right now. They want a walk.

  17. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    I now totally understand how you mix up what year you’re in – always working ahead on calendars and such, so I grinned when I saw that you said the beautiful bookmark was full moons for 2024. But NO next year is only 2023. I know this because in 2024 I turn 60 and I know I am not NEARLY to 60 yet! 🙂

    Merry happy EVERYTHING!

  18. Carol Ahlgren says:

    Susan the 1952 English movie The Holly and the Ivy is also a good one watch. Thank you for being you Susan your so loved and appreciated.

  19. Stacey says:

    I checked the weather map last night and feel grateful to be home (in toasty by comparison Pismo Beach). Merry holidays to all, stay safe and warm.

  20. Heidi says:

    I just moved from So Cal to Maryland and so far loving experiencing weather! (but ask me in February and i might think differently). Its going to be so cold this weekend that the dogs and I will hunker down and binge watch a few things. My Christmas movie watching will be 1983 A Christmas Story, 1954 White Christmas, The Bishops Wife, 1946 Brief Encounter (even though its not a Christmas movie) and also not a Christmas movie the 1946 french version of Beauty and the Beast.

    Happy holidays everyone!

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

    Hello Susan and Merry Christmas. and hello girlfriends, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you all. brrrr it has been cold here, for over 10 days we barely made it to 30 degrees and the nights were even colder. of course we had the wood stove going and kept the house warm and comfy, kept our cats indoors to protect them from the extreme cold. thought we would see a bit of a break and get a little warmer, but we have another storm brewing off of the coast that is due to hit this afternoon and through the weekend, can we all start singing “i’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” love those movie choices, but of course i have to add White Christmas and Holiday Inn, and The Shop around the corner, and Meet Me in St. Louis. and don’t forget In The Good Old Summertime. that snippy doodle sounds yummy and i may be serving that up for Christmas morning. it has been busy here, getting the lights up, the decorations and the tree and trying to keep the cats out of the tree. i give up there, i just let them climb and pray they do not knock the tree over, so far so good 😀 !! no disasters yet, they seem more intrigued with Rudolph’s jingle bell. Rudolph is a wooden reindeer my hubby made when he was in the scouts and we bring him out every Christmas and light him up …. he has a big red nose ( big old light bulb for a nose). the cats love swatting at the jingle bell around his neck. still have to scramble to get some stocking stuffers for the cats and for hubby. off to fill food and water containers for the chickens and ducks and break the ice off of the wading pools. i even have a deer (doe) who comes over to visit and i give her a bit of the cracked corn and grains for a treat. the cats are amused by the squirrels and you can tell Jack they defend their front porch, no squirrel had better even think of coming up on their front to go fill the feeders for the birds and put some peanuts out for the squirrels plus feed the chickens . you all have a wonderful day, and Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year, hugs ….. 😀

  22. Susan, I’m trying to find a beret like Joe’s for my brother. He had one for many many years and lost it, and I haven’t seen any good ones online. Any chance you could provide a link or reference?
    Of course, thank you for all your good cheer this season, and I wish you all the best for the new year!

  23. Norma says:

    Thank you for the moon bookmark. I always look for it. If you don’t mind , I wish the second line matched the rhythm of the first – horns to the west, soon to be at rest.

  24. Betsy says:

    Merry Christmas! For me it’s truly Christmas when I watch While You Were Sleeping. It’s such a funny, sweet movie.

  25. Mary Peterson says:

    Happy Holidays Susan,
    Thank you for sharing with us that you are having a quiet Christmas. Sometimes we just need to pause and reflect and that is OK. You bring us such joy and inspiration. Thank you for also modeling kindness.
    Mary Peterson

  26. Patricia Spellman says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan. Best wishes for the New Year. Thanks so much for the book recommendation. Have you read “The Professor and the Madman” by Simon Winchester? It is an amazing non-fiction account of one of the most prolific contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

  27. Gail Yard says:

    Merry Christmas to you and all of your family. Last night we watched ‘A Christmas in Connecticut’. One of my all-time favorites. Another favorite is ‘The House without a Christmas Tree’.
    It is a rainy day here outside of Philadelphia, with the promise of a flash freeze overnight. Stay safe and warm and cozy.

  28. susan morgon says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe! And a Merry Christmas to all who are kindred spirits here. I hope everyone will find the time to snuggle in, get comfy, and read a book or watch a movie or chat with a friend. Look out the window and dream a little while you watch the snow fly. Reflect some and remember Christmases past. Enjoy the present with some cookies and hot chocolate.
    Lovely post as always. Love on Jack for all of us!

  29. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    How lovely is all of this… I plan to make your Snippy Doodle on Christmas morning for my family, mmmmm.
    I love the memories of all the Christmases past. We plan to have relaxing day by the fires on the 25th, bookended by two special dinners. I hope to read aloud A Child’s Christmas in Wales (where my maternal grandparents were born and raised) while we are relaxing, as it’s perfect for any age listener.
    Thank you, thank you thank you, Susan and blessings and love to you, Joe and Jack (with much hygge). All the best for a fabulous 2023!

  30. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Merry Christmas! Hubby and I are in WV with my 97 year old mama, so blessed to all be together. Awful winter storm headed this way, supposed to be at our doorstep about 1AM tomorrow with temps below 0, wind chill -30🫣, and it’s hanging around for a few days.We’re tucked in, turkey soup simmering on the stove, reservations for Christmas dinner cancelled and a ham purchased to bake here instead. And we’ll make your cranberry tea cake for breakfast Christmas morning! All is calm, all is bright❤️I signed up for next month’s zoom event👏🏼 your sweet blog daddy once said, ain’t technology grand. Much love to you and Joe, so, so glad to have you in my life!

  31. Barbara Anne says:

    We watch Alister Sim and “Scrooge” with Albert Finney, along with many others that we watch every year, so after 50 years together, we’ve got them practically memorized. That okay, it’s not Christmas without them.
    I recommend liquored up hot chocolate with Carolans Irish Cream (product of Ireland). Yum!
    Thanks for the joy you spread on-line, in your calendars, and in your books and cookbooks!
    Wishing you, Joe, and everyone a Merry Christmas and much joy in the New Year!


  32. Karen Holly says:

    Merry Christmas! I hope you, Joe, and dear Jack have a wonderful Christmas celebration!

  33. Diane says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, Susan, and all your girlfriends reading this. In Central Oregon, it’s 4 degrees this morning and white with snow. I come from a family of 4 kids, and treasure all the memories of my two sisters and brother. All three of my siblings have left this life now (in their 40’s and 60’s) and I am in my mid-60’s. It feels way to soon to be without them. I must intentionally focus on loved ones who are still here, and also connect with those of my age group who grew up with the same music, styles, culture, etc. so I can still reminisce with those who shared many of the same experiences. Blessings of peace to everyone.

  34. Chris Wells Knickerbocker, TX says:

    Merry Christmas!! I signed up for the webinar and put it on my Susan Branch 2023 calendar.
    Tell Joe, that while my favorite Christmas Carol was with Alistair Sims when the one came out with George C Scott that was it for me! And now that is the one I have watched ever since. But also tell Joe he still makes the best Old Fashioned in the world and I always follow his recipe to the T.
    I am using my mother’s china for Christmas this year for the first time. It has been packed up in my barn since I moved her in with me in 2016. She died in 2020 and I just decided to unpack the china and use it. I had forgotten how pretty it is, plain scalloped white plates with a silver rim. Perfect for Christmas.
    I know you and Joe will have a perfect Christmas because you have each other! Give Jack a kiss for me.
    Merry Christmas from Texas where right now it is COLD!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Chris, that old-fashioned, Joe is truly a wizard. Now when we get invited to dinner, we ask what we can bring, and that’s the most requested thing! Bringing it to Christmas Eve dinner! Stay warm! lovely to hear from you! xoxo

  35. Christine Anderson says:

    Merry Christmas

  36. Rejena says:

    Hi Susan, what a lovely blog post for today. I hope you all enjoy your Christmas. We are sending a bit of snow your way from over here in PA. Enjoy.
    ♡ Rejena

  37. Karen Baron says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy 2023 dear Sue, Joe and Jack! I loved what you had to say about apples 🍎 as I know exactly what you mean! Thank you for blessing us with your positivity and your beautiful writings!! Thank you for the bookmark! I love the gladness you share!!

    I so loved meeting you in 2018 at Apple Farm!!🍎 I am so looking forward to another webinar!! See you January 7th, 2023!! My late mother same condition as yours!! Loved the landscape quote as it totally is true!! Blessings always!! ❤️

  38. Kim Young says:

    Dear Sweet Sue, Joe and Jack,
    That Garrison Keeler quote just grabbed me! I always get teary reading your blog. I guess you touch all the old,new and tender places in our hearts.
    We Just missed the chance for some snow here in the NC mountains, just rain. Praying for all of those who are in for a doozie of a storm.
    We skipped Christmas last year. We moved to our new house in the woods in November, stuff was everywhere, Kids were all with their in-laws, decorations were in totes somewhere? This year I had a fully charged holiday battery
    and decorated the dickens out of our house. Even had dinner guests!
    Snuggle up in your new flannels, with your boys and some egg nog and enjoy the fire. Merry Christmas dear Susan. You helped pull us through another year. xox
    Pillowcase Kim 😉
    Love you,

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what happened to me! I bet we do the same next year. Sometimes it’s good to take a year off, is what I think, especially if the floor in the living room is covered with calendar pages!!!🤣

  39. Sandi from the Cape says:

    I’m happy to hear you’re downsizing Christmas, as we are for several different reasons. Your message is warm and cozy and I can’t wait for the next zoom! I absolutely love all your pictures of Jack, he really is a dapper cat! Thanks for sharing him with us. Merry Christmas to you Joe and Jack and I’ll be trying those recipes! Happy New Year, look forward to your next Willard! xoxoxox

    • sbranch says:

      Down sized this year, not so sure it will last!🤣 Next year will probably be a lalapalooza! Happy New Year Sandi!!!😘

  40. shanna masters says:

    Thanks, Susan, and Merry Christmas to you, you one-in-a-zillion you!

  41. Larkin Marie Myers says:

    Merry, Merry Christmas!! Little Women with Winona Ryder is my favorite too. Watching Love Actually now to remember that good and love are everywhere if we just look. XOXO

  42. Amy G. says:

    I got so excited to see a new post! I feel like it’s just for my birthday (12/21) 🙂 I love all of your movie suggestions and plan on squeezing in a few while we’re home on break from work and school. The 1994 “Little Women” is my favorite version too, but I’ll watch all of them bc I’m a huge Alcott fan. :)Today, in Central Texas, winter has decided to show off a bit with 20 degree weather, 11 windchill! I love it. All tucked in nice and cozy inside with a cup of something hot to drink, wrapped in warm sweaters and toasty houseshoes, wrapping Christmas presents and enjoying the opportunity to be a hermit. 🙂 Love it! <3 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and all of the SB friends <3

  43. Sally says:

    Susan, if you know a sewing person I bet she could put pockets into your new plaid pants! I refuse to buy anything without pockets anymore. I have had pockets added IF I really like something without them.

  44. Susie Durrschmidt says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, Joe, Jack and all the Girlfriends. Stay warm and cozy. Happy New Year.

  45. Jody Wallem says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan! Thank you for your cheery blog which made me smile on this cold, dreary day. I want to reach out and touch hands with all whom I love! 💕

  46. Patricia Edde says:

    Dear Susan, Joe and Jack,
    A very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and, as you said, all of the other celebrations happening at this time of year to ALL people. Here in Iowa the wind and snow are blowing and the temps are lowering. I have a gentleman who shovels my sidewalks and it has become a daily occurrence lately – “cha ching”. Bix needs to go out more as, at 17 and on diuretics due to water around his heart, his bladder fills up faster. Usually he’s pretty fast but at times there are many enticing smells that must be attended to. All I can say is that as soon as the poop leaves his behind and falls to the ground, it is hard as a rock – TMI?
    I am the lucky person who got the lenox cup and saucer and it is lovely! So glad to help a good cause. I am not much of a tea drinker (except iced) but it is begging to be inaugurated with a good hot cuppa.
    I must share my “snickerdoodle” story, no, really I must! I was a preteen ready to celebrate a birthday and my mother was making the dough for snickerdoodle cookies. As time went by I kept sneaking tastes of it. Unfortunately I snuck (?) so much that I got a very unhappy tummy and spent a good amount of time revisiting its contents. To this day I cannot bear the thought of a snickerdoodle cookie, although a coffeecake is an entirely different animal.
    I am making oyster stew for Christmas eve. It’s been a family tradition since I was a child. Ours is a very simple concoction – drain the oysters, saving the broth, and cook in lots and lots of butter. Once they start to curl at the edges, add the broth back in along with a combo of whole milk, half and half and a soupcon (I thought I’d class it up a bit) of salt. Let it sit over a low flame for a few hours (stirring ever so often) and then put in bowls with an avalanche of oyster crackers. Some like to eat it while the crackers are crisp but I like mine nice and soggy, to each his/her/their own as they say. My dad was the cook in the family and, though he wasn’t Norwegian, he learned how to make lefse from my mom’s sisters. We would butter it while warm, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar then roll it up. I, however, did not learn the process for making the Norwegian pancake, sad to say.
    As I am writing this I can hear the wind whistling outside, this 1860’s house is not as airtight as I would like it to be. Bix and Silas (my cat) are curled up, asleep on either end of the loveseat and Livvie (my other cat) is somewhere – she is like Greta Garbo in that she “vants to be alone” much of the time. When the heater shuts off the cold immediately starts to build up until it starts another cycle. I know where I need to start my renovations come Spring.
    I so hope that 2023 is better than 2022. It has been a hard year for many, many people, our country, other countries and the planet but WE can be and need to be the change. I know it is possible and it can start with just one kind word at a time. We can’t bury our heads in the sand, we need to call out the wrong that is being done, but we also have to model what is right. There are indeed so many more good people in this world of ours, we just have to show up and speak our truths. Silence is NOT golden.
    Thank you for being there Susan and for sprinkling our lives with golden stardust. We must never lose sight of hope AND our animals!

  47. Kathryn Leneck says:

    Merry Christmas!

  48. Renee corell says:

    Love the blog. Love your cat. I have 4 month kitty named clover she is into everything . Merry Christmas..

  49. Amy B says:

    Sending you all Christmas hugs! It’s my first Christmas without both of my parents, so I teared up when I read that in your blog, too. <3 How lucky we are to have such wonderful memories and to be able to make more with the dear ones who are still here! Thanks for your lovely Willard and wishing you and Joe the very best going into 2023!

  50. Angie Watts says:

    Susan, I just rec’d my 2023 wall calendar and absolutely love every page! I know I will enjoy the artwork and beautiful writing each day ❤

  51. Judith says:

    Oh how I needed this today, thank you! You are making me realize I need to get another rescue kitty! Merry Christmas to you and yours. ♥

  52. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Thank you for another cozy blog, Susan.
    My son usually stays overnight on Christmas Eve with those that had too much fun and choose to sleep over. We will be having your Snippy Doodle on Christmas morning with our bacon and eggs. Snippy Doodle has become a Christmas tradition here. I make it about once a month too, but for sure on Christmas.
    I love your little houses all lit up. I posted mine earlier this month on Twitter.
    Thank you for sharing that last quote about friends and hands…we need each other…family and friends.
    🎄Have a very merry, holly jolly Christmas to you, Joe, and Jack. 🎅 Wishing for all good things for the New Year.

  53. Jody Collins says:

    Noshing on a bowl of chili with Fritos on the side while I read your Christmas missive. We woke up to 16 degrees here in the Seattle area and it’s all the way up to 23!
    Coldest I’ve seen it in the 30 years we’ve been here.
    Thank you always for the joy and inspiration you bring–especially the book recommendation 🙂
    Off to check it out.

    God bless you and Merry Christmas!

  54. Beth Lang says:

    Merriest and Warm wishes to you, Joe and Jack! Heartwarming entry as always – thank you for the nostalgia! Glad the auction went well. Hope to join in on January 7.

    From toasty warm Arizona! Beth

  55. Ann Woleben says:

    Wishing you peace, love and joy for the new year ~ wishing it could be the same for so many throughout our world~

  56. Krissie says:

    I’m going to make a nice cup of tea and read this post again as it was so lovely,
    pour over the pictures and ponder on the words you have typed.
    I am so looking forward to singing at Crib service, Midnight Mass and Christmas day service at our Church down the hill in town over the next few days, sending Christmas blessings to you from across the pond and sending love from Yorkshire xxx

  57. Linda M. Smith says:

    Hello!! Can’t wait to try the coffee cake recipe. Thank you. I loved your pj bottoms and will check out that website. I will soon be enjoying my 2023 Calendar and everyday will think of you. Thanks for bringing me so much pleasure. Enjoy your holidays. Sending love to you all during these happy days. I love the movie Christmas in Vienna

  58. Mary Lawrence says:

    Merry Christmas your blog is a welcome respite .I like you, miss my parents,I played an old 8 track of antique music boxes my mom gave me in the late 60s and it still plays.It made me cry thinking of her.I agree with you ,no one in their right mind could begrudge Ukraine for anything they need to get their freedoms back from Putin.Why the news reporters think they know anything,so sad to push such garbage.Have a splendid New Year!Mary Elizabeth in chilly Gloucester,Va.

  59. Jen Pen says:

    Your words about good apples 🍎.
    They do quietly make the world better.
    Let those bad apples rot.
    Pay them no mind.
    Thank you for another beautiful blog post!

  60. Debby says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, can’t wait to read the book you mentioned and try one of Joe’s old fashions. Was wondering if you knew if Carrie in Wales still has her little dog Jack? I have missed him in her recent tweets. It’s so cold here, made a big pot of Beef Barley soup and toasted cheese sandwiches. It’s supposed to snow soon, then freezing rain. Hope it doesn’t show up. Sending lots of Christmas ❤️ Debby

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Jack is still making Carrie’s day! Joe made us bean soup today, used smoked turkey legs instead of ham hocks, and it was delicious! You do should very cozy Debby! xoxoxo

      • Debby says:

        So glad to hear about Carrie’s pup Jack. Also found Joes recipe! I won’t have one tonight, only have the glasses and oranges at hand.😜 weather is coming in, getting ready to lose power. Ugh.

  61. Karen Werth says:

    Merry Christmas Susan and Joe. Here in our little town of Ottawa, IL it’s 2 degrees out with a wind chill of -20 and it’s snowing and blowing. I’m snug with a blanket, a cup of tea, three kitties, a good book and your blog. Thank you for sharing the memories of your mom. We carry our mothers in our hearts forever. Just wanted to share that my book club just read “The Dictionary of Lost Words” and had a great discussion and felt we had learned about a subject we had never given much thought to. My husband just finished it and is going to pick it for his book club. Also, the movie “The Man Who Invented Christmas” with Dan Stevens as Dickens has become one of our favourites to watch. You may enjoy reading the book “MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL” by Samantha Silva. Delightful! Wishing all a peaceful and blessed new year. Karen

  62. Debby says:

    Help! Where can I find Joe’ recipe for old fashioneds? Thanks, Debby

  63. Sara Schubert says:

    You are correct! The 1994 Little Women is the best one. That soundtrack just gives me chills when I hear it. But…did you see the 2017 BBC version with Maya Hawke as Jo? It was so beautifully done with another lovely soundtrack, and Emily Watson was Marmee and she was absolutely brilliant in that role. There were a few scenes where the cinematography and soundtrack together had me in tears. I also liked the most recent Greta Gerwig version, but was feel like the BBC version was really underrated. How fun to discuss versions of well-loved tales told time and time again! Merry Christmas!

  64. Barbara Vlcek-Vinikow says:

    Merriest of Christmas’s to you, dear Susan, & to Joe & Jack as well!!! 🎄🎅🎄🤶🎄Thank you for always bringing good cheer to us through your lovely Willard’s! And for sharing all the pix of adorable Jack🐈‍⬛…made me smile!!! 😊

    Wishing you all much happiness, good health and lots of p.s.creative inspiration in the New Year!!! 🎉✨🎊

    Sending a heart ❤ full of love 💕to you & your boys!!!
    Barbara from Reno

    P.S. I’m glad I ordered your calendars early…I gave several as gifts along with some of your cute notepads…also, I’m sending your sweet Christmas 🎅cards to all my friends!!! 🥰

  65. What a lovely Christmas post from you, Susan! Thanks for the bookmark. I print it out on heavy cardstock and it doesn’t even need to be laminated. I look forward to your moon bookmark every year!

    I’m on the wait list for The Dictionary of Lost Words at my library.

    Merry Christmas to you, Joe and darling Jack! From bitter cold and snowy Illinois.

  66. Kim Cook says:

    Merry Christmas from my home to yours! ❤️🎄🎅🏻

  67. Cindy Sharp says:

    Merry Christmas! I was so excited to participate in the auction. I am now the grateful, very happy owner of your mixing bowl set! It was like Christmas Day when I received the delivery!
    What a great idea to give all proceeds to a local charity. It was a red letter day!
    Thank you so very much!

  68. SallyD says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan, Joe and Jack! Yes, I read the Dictionary of Lost Words, and I cried too!! I wasn’t sure if I liked the ending or not. It was certainly different from what I expected ~ enjoyed her writing! Stay warm and cozy ~ the snow is starting to fly here in Indiana!

  69. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    Am I allowed a second comment?!! I wanted to re-read you so that I could make sure I took it all in, with the wonderful illustrations, quotes and photos with your post today.

    So, as I combed over the charming photo of the living room at Holly Oak (lots of detail in that picture!), is that a tabby-kitty doorstop? Made of fabric and stuffed fat and firm with some kind of ‘hard’ cotton? Somewhat weighty. Is one of the first things I bought for my own place, first apartment away from my parents’ home; about 1975 or maybe later thru the end of the 70s, but I think it’s the exact same doorstop!

    It’s gone with me everywhere; and came from my FAVORITE store of all time, which had been in my little town where I still live today, called a ‘general store’ but the creative owner had such specialty inventory; she had a fine decorator’s good taste; offered beautiful yet affordable items for purchase; lovely things from all over the world in the store, especially at Christmas; things of real-deal genuine quality, like little wooden toys from Germany and other Old World Europe decorations for the holidays like painted glass ornaments from I think Poland or maybe even Ukraine; a creche from Switzerland; even these intricately formed and painted little toy soldiers made out of lead which a local artisan from our Southern Calif town crafted from time to time; ‘keeper’ things I’ve now had, which I do bring out for Christmas, for nearly fifty years.

    (These kinds of stores are few and far between these days; gosh do I miss that store; was just part of a typical small-town Main Street which isn’t what it used to be; but, you know, not all things last; imagine, though, that I had access to such wonderful little things to build my nest as a young, single woman on a very modest salary and budget; makes me feel grateful for my assortment of keepsakes for Christmas!)

    A funny story about the tabby doorstop, in my subsequent life after getting it, when marrying later on and being able to live in larger ‘abodes’ to where I could actually HAVE a dog and a (real) cat, there wasn’t a one of my own many petty-pets over the years who didn’t ‘react’ to this fabric-cat doorstop! We’d have hissy-fit matches from the (real) cats, thinking the tabby (not real cat) doorstop was a (real) cat; the dogs would inch away from the stationary tabby doorstop and bark at it til we thought we’d go deaf from those loud, staccato woof-woofs.

    What would we do indeed without our canine/feline ‘domestic’ companions (they are very entertaining among 100 other things they do to improve our moods and enhance our lives [I love the story of Jack and the work gloves/boots!]).

  70. Dionne Street says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I am going to try and find the book you recommended. It sounds good! I am currently reading Outlander and watching the series. I am going to go straight to the kitchen and try the egg nog and bourbon. It sounds delicious!

  71. Beverly Boyles says:

    Dear Susan, Joe and Jack!!! Thank you so much for the 2023 Full Moon Bookmark!!! I was getting a bit anxious looking for it and was worried that I had missed it somehow!!! When I saw this post and the bookmark I jumped up and down (which is a sight to see for an old broad of 85!!!) and yelled Yippy Skippy!!! it is here!!! Your post and the bookmark brought much joy to me in our little cabin in the mountains of California!!! Have a Merry Christmas and may 2023 be happy, healthy and peaceful for all three of you!!!

  72. Anna says:

    Merry Christmas, Sue, Joe, Jack and all my fellow “girl” friends! I am so happy to read the newest post. We are all doing well, don’t think we will get any snow this Christmas. That is ok with me. Treats are already surrounding us. We had a visit from some of our favorite friends who delivered a plate of cookies. I just love it! Hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!

  73. Nancy Williams says:

    Oh, “The Bishop’s Wife”(1947) is my favorite Christmas movie! I’ve watched it twice already! Just love it!
    Wishing you and Joe a very Merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      Me too, twice. I think it might be my very favorite, but it’s difficult to choose just one. It’s a wonderful life is pretty amazing too…♥️💚♥️💚♥️💚♥️💚♥️💚

  74. Kathie says:

    I made your Snippy Doodle yesterday! It was so good. My Hubble is very picky about sweets, he loved it too. It is a good Christmas morning treat. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  75. Wendy S Marvin says:

    Merry Christmas 🎁🎄💜💜

  76. lak says:

    Merry Christmas to you!

  77. Pat LaPointe says:

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & Joe!
    Signed up for the January Zoom and am looking forward to seeing you then. Attended your Unlikely Story appearance and book signing, enjoyed so much!
    Best, Pat

  78. Davi Mondt Lowman says:

    Susan – “The Dictionary of Lost Words” was chosen as one of my book club’s (Carpe Librum) choices last year. Every member absolutely loved this book.
    It was so full of factual information and the personal stories were so well woven into the main story. We all agreed that we did not want it to come to an end!
    I bought a hardbound copy for my personal library and I will be reading it again in the future. Books such as this one do not come along often enough. Another I would recommend is “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. Absolutely excellent.
    I hope you and Joe enjoy a lovely holiday with people you love. At the moment, here in Boone, Iowa, we are in the middle of a horrendous blizzard. I’ve got this old farmhouse’s furnace set at 75 degrees and the house temp is at 67 degrees right now. The wind is literally MARIAH and the furance cannot keep up. But, we’re cozy with our fireplace and afghans and hot tea. It will certainly be a White Christmas here! Happy Holidays to you!

  79. Pat says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Joe, and Jack! 🎄 Can’t wait to read your book suggestion!! And try your Grandmother’s recipe for Snippy Doodle! Thank for a wonderful Willard to get our Christmas weekend off to a special start! Stay safe and warm in this storm! And Happy and Healthy 2023.

    • sbranch says:

      Thinking of throwing cranberries and walnuts into the snippy doodle this year!!! I like the sound of that!!! Merry Christmas Pat! ❌⭕️

  80. Linda, near Seattle says:

    Hi Susan,
    We love the same edition of Little Women as you do, though we have just watched a Masterpiece version of it, and enjoyed it so much. Every year we watch some of the old movies and the memories of Christmas years ago come flooding back. Here, they are predicting freezing rain tonight and we are waiting for part of our family to arrive before it starts. We will be cozy inside our warm house, enjoying love and laughter. Thank you for the wonderful posts you share with all of us. May your Christmas be relaxing and may the new year be filled with blessings.


    • sbranch says:

      Why isn’t “freezing rain” called snow?🤣 So easy to “see” your jolly Christmas … have a wonderful time!💞

  81. FayE in CA! says:

    The Three Of Us ❤️❤️❤️
    On the eves before Christmas
    we plopped ourselves by the fireside and curled up tight.
    The fire lit our cheeks to pink while we listened to Twinkle Cat’s lullaby.
    We stayed cozy and close…the three of us…
    ’til embers turned to a hissing, red glow.
    Then we untangled ourselves
    and up the stairs we went
    to retangle ourselves under quilts
    and rest in the toastiness of each other…
    thankful for the peace and joy we share…
    and those we love with tender care!

    Merry Christmas, peace and joy to the three of you! 🎄❤️

  82. Judy Young says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Jack! This time of year is so special an in Texas it was 82 on Christmas last year! So I’m enjoying this COLD snap. Windchill in Dallas right now is -7. Much more appropriate for the season. I’m ready to order the “Queen” mug!!! Let us know when we can. Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

    • sbranch says:

      One year, a thousand years ago, I was in Acapulco, sweating in an outdoor patio restaurant on Christmas Eve . . . I never forgot it, just miserably HOT. And what I learned is bring on the COLD! It’s almost funny that this storm is slamming us right at Christmas … here where I am, its going to be JUST Saturday and Sunday! Just hoping everyone stays safe. Queen mug is in production in England as we speak. We’ll put it up for presale early in 2023!💖 ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  83. Kathy W says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, Joe & Jack! Always love it when you put post a blog-such a bright spot to my day and a nice break amidst all the Christmas prep. And I feel the same about looking forward to the longer days to come.
    Thanks for the book recommendation & the Full Moon bookmark. The book looks interesting. I’m going to check with my library next week.
    Love from Michigan,
    Kathy W

  84. Claudette M.Jensen says:

    A Blessed and Merry Christmas to you and Joe🎄. So glad to see your holiday greeting. Have been looking every day for it!! As busy as you have been, thank you for taking time for all of your friends! Every Christmas I make some of your recipes including Scotch eggs and Christmas wreaths. My two daughters have also included some in their families. Reading this holiday message really spoke to and warmed my heart. My dear, sweet, mom just passed away November 27. She loved the Christmas season and all of the family and religious planning and celebration. I have 5 younger sisters so hearing stories of your large family celebrations as a child have many similarities. Thank you!!

    • sbranch says:

      I was SO happy to get ahead enough to squeeze in a huge heartfelt hello to everyone. I WANT to write more often. I’ll try harder in 2023!!! I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom… sometimes I ask myself how am I supposed to do anything without her, and then my spine gets a little steel-like and I remember she raised me to do this. I just don’t want to!!! Blessings and here’s to our wonderful memories, it just makes Christmas more important than ever.♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

  85. Renette Hier says:

    Hi Susan!
    I absolutely loved “The Dictionary of Lost Words”. It was just enchanting and also heart wrenching. Can just see all those “slips”! As someone who regularly read the dictionary in childhood, it was perfect. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

    • sbranch says:

      I loved it too, so happy you felt the same. Her “afterword” was wonderful, the whole thing was wonderful. Didn’t realize when we started it that it would be the story of a whole life. So well done. Merry Merry Renette! ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  86. Chris says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, Joe and darling Jack! We so enjoyed seeing you in Connecticut and looking forward to the zoom in January. Your new book has found it’s way under several trees this year. Stay warm have a good Holiday!
    Chris & Tom from Delaware

    • sbranch says:

      Loved our evening at RJ Julia, such a fun room full of girlfriends!! 💖 Thank you for being there! Stay Warm, ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  87. Danielle says:

    Is there a moon poem for the Southern hemisphere? Stuck here in Australia with a hot Christmas and an upside-down moon. Printing a bookmark anyway. 💙 Thanks for your wintery update. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, ha ha ha, I always forget to remember that! How’s your summer so far?? Have a wonderful Christmas Danielle!

  88. Nancy B. says:

    Merry Christmas, Sue, Joe, and Jack! 🎄🎄☃️☃️❄️❄️,
    I love the picture of you with your mom and dad and that purple skirt. And I love the painting of you with your mom when you were a toddler. You never miss a detail when you are painting
    from a photo.😊. Such a lovely post. They always perk me up. Thank you.
    I mustn’t forget to register for the webinar……better do that now. I hope you and Joe will enjoy your Christmas Day together and get all snuggled up cozy.

    Warmest wishes,
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Nancy! Just thinking how long ago it was that we met ~ it was Strawberry Patches wasn’t it? Such a fun day.🥰 Yes, please get signed up for the Zoom and Merry Christmas from me and mine to you and yours. ❌⭕️❌⭕️

  89. Nicoline says:

    Dear Susan,
    MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! What a treat, to see your festive post,
    thank you so much! Love Jack the man, it’s nice to have a little “helper” in the house, isn’t it….Does he sleep with you at night? Our 2 kitties sleep on our bed and they want to snuggle up against us, so I often wake up in a Z or S shape, with not much room to move, haha. But Kitty and Katy are sweet, so we put up with that!
    The Snippy Doodle cake sounds delicious! Just 1 tablespoon of butter?
    I have bought cranberries, so I’ll be making your yummy Christmas cake for sure.
    Happy Christmas, stay safe and warm, and lots of love from us from across the pond
    Nicoline & Gabri and the boys! XOXO

    • sbranch says:

      Nicoline … how I love your decorations… saving them for our tree NEXT year! Dear of you to send them.💖 I was just thinking as I read your words, I might put fresh cranberries into that Snippy Doodle! Never tried that before. Yes, a heaping tablespoon (Who does recipes like that?)! Happy Christmas to you and Gabri and your boys, it was wonderful seeing you this year!!♥️♥️♥️

  90. VickeyB says:

    Dear Susan—like Joe, my Mother preferred the Alistair Simms version of A Christmas Carol” above all others. My favorite is the George C. Scott version. To me, he was the PERFECT Ebeneezer.

    Thank you for the Snippy Doodle recipe. I will make that this weekend.

    Merry Christmas to you, Joe and Jack, and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2023 from me and my little cat, Frankie.

  91. PJ says:

    I am listening to the high winds whistling as I read your blog and am grateful to be cozy inside. Thank you for the list of films which I will be tracking down for winter viewing. This year we will have a quiet Christmas here, We also have a house project in the works and, with flooring spread out to acclimate to the house, there was no room for the large Christmas tree. So we have a sweet little Norfolk Island Pine sitting on the kitchen island and brining us cheer. It reminds me of our early days at the farm, eight years ago, when we had the same plant at a larger scale. Adapting to changing holidays seems to be the norm as we grow older. Happiest of Holidays to you, Joe, and Jack!

  92. Barbara H says:

    What a lovely bookmark I’m so blessed to have a small laminator at home. Merry Christmas

  93. Diane Woods says:

    Happy Christmas! I wanted to say how much your dear curly headed little girl book lover means to me, and my daughter who looks exactly like her…she is nearly 28 now somehow. She is a book lover, an artist. A sweetie and a deep thinker, and loves to see other artists work, appreciates it and is joyous to see this little dark haired girl who is “her” in every way….so a big Thank You❤! We couldn’t love her more…our local indy bookstore had her on a pamphlet of book recommendations …joy again to find that!

    • sbranch says:

      She is a darling girl, inspired by my niece . . . I’m so happy you like it! She will make the perfect cover for my new calendar . . . READING is EVERYTHING!💖 XOXOXO

    • Marie Edmiston says:

      Diane, I enjoyed your describing your lovely daughter as a “deep thinker.” I used to use the phrase about myself, then later my boys, then much later my grandchildren. This makes me wonder, “Are all, or most, children deep thinkers?”

      Marie in SoCal

      • sbranch says:

        Such a good question. I think they are. It’s a quest, trying to figure out life just as fast as we can!💖

  94. Kathy says:

    Thank you for the lovely Christmas post. We are in the throes of the arctic blast here in northern Indiana, perfect for hunkering down reading, baking, watching old movies and season 2 of All Creatures Great and Small.
    Christmas Blessings to you, Joe and Jack.

  95. Susie says:

    Zoom signed up, pajama bottoms ordered, recipes copied. Love our little on-line community of positive women, sharing what matters most in this world of ours.

  96. Bridget B. in Tennessee says:

    Merry Christmas to you Susan, Joe and Jack! Love your new Jammies. Thanks for the link to them, I have already briefly checked it out. I feel like I am in one of your winter blogs from past years. I love to go back and reread them. It is 3 degrees this morning in my part of Tennessee! Thankfully, very unusual. Just a dusting of snow.
    Thanks so much for the moons for next year. Have a wonderful Christmas with your sweet boys. Bridget ❤️

  97. Thea says:

    God bless and Merry Christmas!

  98. Helen says:

    Happy holiday season! I remember getting your Christmas book, my first purchase of a Susan Branch product back in the eighties! We were a struggling young family way back then, but your book really excited my soul! Since then, I have reveled in all that you share to focus on what is beautiful! Thank you so much! Tomorrow, I will share your Distilled Genius with my three daughters. I also found a vendor who printed a recipe in my Dad’s handwriting on a tea towel. Not sure if we can list a vendor on here, but feel free to email me if you like to see a picture. I also found a new movie called last Christmas that I have added to my list. It is one of those movies that you must watch to the end! Anyway, I have been a bit more verbose today than normal, so I shall sign off! Wishing you peace and joy every day!

  99. Pamela Pinskey says:

    It’s always a simple and delightful pleasure to read your newsletter. I think I was in high school (I’m 70 now) when I stumbled upon your art.. I still have little cards sold in a box for girlfriends, that I send now n then in my pen pal mail.
    Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Safe and Wonderful Holiday

  100. Happy Christmas to you, Joe, and Jack from Aromas, CA!
    Thank you for this gift of a post. I’m excited for your Enchanted Book Club event in January and will encourage my mom to join me.

    I’ve been slowly working through my favorite Christmas films, but I got an awful cough Thanksgiving weekend, not Covid thankfully, but it’s been horrible for a month, so I’ve definitely been slow to decorate. I sat on our ginormous bean bag with our ginormous dog looking at the tree with the lights on only until a few days ago when I finally had the energy to decorate. Going on day trips with friends, the most recent down to Morro Bay to pick up wool we had processed for fiber arts, has helped me get into the spirit despite the cough (don’t worry, we wore masks in the car and tested before we left).

    My family’s Christmas Carol favorites are Albert Finney’s Scrooge, love the musical, and George C. Scott’s Christmas Carol as the latter was the one we watched yearly. Something about David Warner’s performance as Bob breaks my heart *every* year. His passing this past year equally broke my heart.

    Thank you for continuing to post wonderful blogs for us to enjoy, and I’ll continue to adventure through your archives of Decembers past like I do every year for every season. Gonna go find the post where you vist the Holy Sisters and their den of creativity. It’s SO cozy!
    Much love to you.

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