Best Christmas ever, because it stayed simple


Christmas was a very relaxing and enjoyable day for all this year at our place.  My ex arrived Sunday and joined us in watching the Steeler game, our son arrived Christmas Eve to join us in a simple meal of cold sandwiches, fruit and yogurt for the little one.

When my son arrived he shared with me the news that his best friend from elementary school, who had lived with us for a period of time as a teen, was going to join us with his family. It was a wonderful surprise as I don’t get to see him often any more.  It did fill the apartment with 6 adults and 3 children but no one seemed to mind the limited space.  I  have a cardboard box here that my grand kids use as a house and have decorated, it was the highlight of the night which didn’t surprise me any.

Christmas morning we slowly aroused with coffee, or in my case hot chocolate and a light breakfast before heading to my eldest son’s home for the day.

Our meal was simple, ham or meatballs for the meat eaters, a bowl of mixed vegetables, rolls, and mashed potatoes.  Desert was a choice of apple or cherry pie.  There was a plate of cookies set out as well.

I did something I rarely do, I left my phone at home making the decision that I was with family and anyone else who wanted to call me could simply leave a message.  One thing I hadn’t thought about was that my phone is also my camera, so I have no photos to share of the afternoon.

Gifts were simple.  For my eldest son I gifted him a family heirloom.  A painting of the Ruins on the Rhine brought over (to the USA) from Germany in the late 1800s. This painting has been in my family for generations and has always been promised to my son at some point in the future.  I can’t remember a time I saw more amazement or appreciation on my son’s face…well maybe more with the birth of his children.

My youngest son and his wife received their gift in July when I made over their kitchen for them while they were going through tough times due to a major cut back in my son’s salary.

My son gifted his father with tickets to a college basketball game that they can attend together and his father gifted him coffee.  Both were happy.

The children received games, books and craft supplies and kits.  These were excitedly opened and loved. Some of the gifts included the game Chutes and Ladders, a fishing game, and a princess game, wooden toys to assemble and paint, construction paper, play food, baby dolls, and a few more things.

I had planned with my daughters-in-law to have a crafting time on Christmas, thanks to an idea sparked by Katerine at Pillows a la Mode.   But the children wanted to do things their way.  They wanted the adults to play their new games with them, and craft with them using their new presents.

There were several gifts that I loved giving, one was a set of lacing cards by Eeboo.  They were printed on post consumer cardboard and used soy inks.  I purchased a set of fairy cards and they were the most beautiful cards I have ever seen.  They were advertised for ages 5 and up, but since I had already introduced sewing with needles to my grand daughter I thought these would be fine. Not only did she enjoy using them, but so did her 22 month old cousin who easily figured out how to insert the laces and enjoyed the activity for more than half an hour.

I also gifted a set of beads.  A necklace was made for me to say thank you before the day was over.


Since my family has gotten used to the idea of gifting used presents with the popularity of used book stores, movies and the like I purchased an ottoman for my ex.  I found I couldn’t get a stain out of it and was going to keep it and reupholster it for myself.  He spotted it in my apartment and fell in love with it.  He didn’t care that it had a stain, it turned out he had been looking for something this exact size to use in  his apartment and the fact that it had the emblem of his favorite college team on it was a plus. It went home with him.

How do you feel about gifting second hand items?  Here’s one take on the subject.  You can see it sitting in front of my couch here.


I asked my children not to buy me any thing, my eldest son being out of work due to surgery earlier in the month complied, but my youngest and his wife refused.  They did great though. They gifted me with a glue gun and a new staple gun for my many projects.  My ex too ignored my request not to give me anything, I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble from him.  My neighbor wanting to thank me for being there for her through her cancer treatments and her 3 strokes gave me a crocheted blanket just the right size to cover my legs in the wheelchair should I need to go out when it’s really cold.  I was so touched by the gesture.


We were hit by a winter storm, my son was able to get home Christmas night to make it to work the next morning but my ex was stuck here until today.  Lucky thing we worked to remain friends years ago or this would have been bad in my little apartment 🙂   I now have the house to myself for the rest of today.

How was your Christmas? I hope everyone was safe and you didn’t lose power or have damage to your home from the storms.



  1. I’m glad you had a lovely Christmas. I enjoyed reading about your family and what you did on the day, the special presents you exchanged. I also loved your Christmas branch on the wall, so simple and very lovely. My mother was feeling overwhelmed by Christmas this year, so instead of the traditional tree, she had a succulent plant by the front door with red balls hanging on it and a tiny nest she had found, with a single bauble like an egg.


    • Your mother’s succulent adorned with Christmas balls and the nest sounds so beautiful, what a great idea. My eldest son had to be sarcastic when his wife asked him to look at my “tree” he replied “it’s a dead tree branch with stuff on it” then of course he laughed. Other guests remarked at what a great idea and did enjoy it. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas yourself.


  2. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones! I’m happy for you! (And congratulations to the new glue gun, they are wonderful to work with!)
    We too had a very nice Christmas, Christmas eve we keep to ourselves and the days before and after are dedicated to both mine and my husband’s families.


    • It was wonderful, so many memories were made and so many laughs, it would have bored you to death to share it all. I like how you spread out the holiday for your family, glad you had a great time.

      Yes, the glue gun was something I lost in 2001 when we lost our home to a fire and never replaced, I began to really miss it this year.


        • I wrote about our house fire early on on the blog. We were very lucky that none of us got hurt, even the dog got out. It was the strangest thing, I had just come home from signing papers on buying a new home, I was on the phone with the insurance company and making a list of all the things I needed to do to sell our current home when we began to smell smoke. It was electrical and in the wall so there was nothing I could do but get us out and call for help. We lost almost all our possessions and still had 60 days before we could move into our new home. We camped at a friends house, the family who were moving out of our new home rushed their move and we were able to move in in 30 days instead of 60.


  3. Christmas Eve we had a massive party with tons of friends and family and we made way too much food. On Christmas, it was family only. We exchanged gifts and ate leftovers all day, and my mom taught me how to play Spades and Rummy. We’ve been playing cards all week! 🙂


    • I haven’t played spades in years, not sure if I remember how. I love rummy it was always a family favorite. Our current card games seem to revolve around Go Fish and War 🙂 I love how you celebrated Christmas, so nice to be surrounded by friends one night and family the next, it reminds you of all the love you have and may not stop to think about during the year.


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