Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Calm

The gifts have been wrapped and mailed out, the cards and letters written, and the house will be decorated tomorrow and the next day. Our Christmas dinner shopping will be over the next few days; and for the first year in a long time, I feel organized and prepared for Christmas. I mentioned to my husband today that it is kind of funny how we stress over what we didn't get done when it comes to Christmas; but when I think about last Christmas, or the Christmases before, I cannot recall exactly what it was that remained undone! So . . . I think that shows me just how things don't have to stress us out if we didn't get to them.

I am content. Of course, there are things that I just thought of today that would have been nice to make or buy for someone on my list, or the event that would have been nice to attend; but I am enjoying just being at home inside my own four walls, instead of being out in the cold with crazy drivers or in a shopping mall with frantic shoppers. The extreme cold and snow kept us at home last week. Was I complaining? No. In fact, I was not-so-secretly happy to be "snowed in", as I like to call it. When I see one snowflake flying, I am ready to proclaim it is a snow day in Alexander!

My sister has a favorite set of Christmas dishes that I made her napkins to go with many years ago. She asked for some new napkins, so I went shopping for just the right fabric. The dishes are now discontinued, but I found photos of them on replacements.com.

Dansk "Winterfest" Pattern
I found something that I thought would go well, and decided to make a set of 8 napkins for her. I wanted to improve on the last set, so I decided to make them with mitered corners, like on the fancy napkins from the store. I didn't expect that the learning curve would be so steep. After all, I have sewn since I was 12 . . . which means I have sewn for over 50 years. Gulp. Really? Am I old enough to have started sewing that long ago? Holy cow! I found a blog post with an excellent tutorial on how to make the napkins: http://celebrate-creativity.com/my_weblog/2014/02/mitering-fabric.html.

Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to make a practice piece with some muslin that just happened to be lying on my cutting table. After getting around all 4 corners, I decided I could move forward and get to work on them. It was slow going! I had to refer to the photos for each step on about the first 3 napkins until I got the hang of it. Now I think I could do those corners in my sleep!

A set of 8 Christmas napkins  . . . finished in time for an early Christmas present!
Up close and personal shot of that well-practiced mitered corner.
After 32 corners, I've got this down pat!
There are some other things the elves are helping me with in my sewing room that are Christmas gifts, so I will have to wait to post them after they are received.

It hasn't been that hard to take a step back and enjoy the quiet this year. For me, pulling the decorations out of their boxes and reminiscing about them is almost like a gift in itself. All of the traditions that Paul and I have established over our marriage are meaningful, yet simple. One of our new favorite things that we have been doing this year is having hot chocolate after dinner with a handmade peppermint candy cane, from Oliver's Candies www.oliverscandies.com, the local candy store, in it. Yum! What could be better than watching a Hallmark movie and having that for a special treat? I haven't convinced Paul to try eggnog yet, but that's okay. That means there is more for me!

I hope you will spend the days we have left before Christmas in ways that are comforting and meaningful to you. It's a wonderful feeling to be so calm. I hope you can be calm, too.

And, until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Merry Christmas!



  1. Nicely done miters!! I'm very impressed!
    Happy Christmas, Emmy

  2. Always enjoy your blog. Napkins are beautiful, perfect material choice. You are so very talented my friend.....is there anything you can't do?
    Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year to you and Paul.

  3. The napkins are beautiful! Tell Paul I said he should try the eggnog, he won't be sorry! Hope you both are doing well. Have a very Merry Christmas! Miss you guys!

  4. Very nice description of your Christmas preparations & how they weave together into such a pleasant experience for you. Merry Christmas! Karen Baase