The very last day of the year! How are you feeling about that? Was your year memorable for the right reasons? I get very reflective on December 31st each year... Like most of you, my year was filled with both high and low points--I choose to focus on the high points, however, and move forward. 2018 wound down with my entire family here for Christmas. Nothing brings me more joy than to see those three "boys" sitting around our table together, poking fun at each other, and recalling fun times they experienced in their childhood. We played a lot of games, watched movies (balancing an action movie ("The Commuter") with romance (a Hallmark movie called "Once Upon a Christmas Miracle"), laughed a lot, cooked a lot, ate way too much rich and sugary food, watched old videos from the 1980s (getting a bit sad at how much our parents have aged--not to mention ourselves!) and simply relaxed with each other. I even went to my first NHL Hockey game!
As most of you know, I love to bake, but don't do nearly as much as I used to since it is just me and my husband left at home. I love holiday time because I do get to indulge in my second-favorite hobby, though! Here are nine of ten kinds of cookies I made for the holidays including a new-to-me recipe which I highly recommend. See those jam-filled cookies in the upper left corner? Oh, my--they literally melt in your mouth and I will definitely be adding them to my Christmas cookie lineup. If you are interested, the recipe, Evelyn's Christmas Cookies, can be found on this blog.
|My cookie platter for Christmas 2018|
I halved most of these recipes and that worked out very well--we were left with very few cookies going into the new year! It was still a lot of work, but I had this duo to help me out. I got these Possible Dreams baking Santas years ago and they have become an important part of my Christmas decorating. The boys used to (well, honestly, they still do!), stick the little peppermint sticks in the Santas' mouths making them look like they are smoking. I just shake my head and put the peppermint sticks back in the jar! Just one of those Christmas "traditions" that will go on forever!
|My baking buddies: the one on the right ate more than he baked!|
Here is a little collage of our Christmas Day... In the top row are my oldest son and dear daughter-in-law, my middle son and his girlfriend, and my youngest son. In the bottom row is our tree on Christmas morning and just me and "my guys" before opening presents. And yes, Santa was good to us! He even managed to figure out exactly what stitching gifts I wanted! Hmmm...
|Scenes from Christmas Day 2018|
I had many, many little "Santas" from all over the world sending me gifts this year and I am so appreciative. Thought you might like to see what I received, too...
|From June, in England, came a darling notebook embellished with her beautiful stitching and a packet of Christmas sachet. Thank you so very much, dear June!|
|From Robin, in Virginia, came this sweet red bird ornament and a charm pack of beautiful flannel fabrics to help me in my finishing. Thank you so much, dear Robin!|
|From Gabi, in Germany, came this sweet ice skating couple ornament for my tree. Thank you so much, dear Gabi!|
|From Liz, in Idaho, came this sweet With Thy Needle and Thread ornament (part of the "Letters For Santa" chart). Thank you so much, dear Liz!|
|From Lois, in Northern Ireland, came a darling Hands On Design ornament, a snowman chart, chocolate, a pack of little tags, and a piece of fabric featuring sweet woodland animals. Thank you so much, dear Lois!|
|From Stasi, in Virginia, came this teeny-tiny alphabet Christmas tree ornament and a very handy pack of graph paper to use in personalizing my stitching. Thank you so much, dear Stasi!|
|From Cindy, in Tennessee, came a cute birdhouse ornament and a lovely fabric star. Thank you so much, dear Cindy!|
|From Rosey, in Missouri, came this lovely blue crocheted bookmark that was included with a Prairie Schooler chart that I won in a recent giveaway. Thank you so much, dear Rosey!|
|From a sweet anonymous reader came a plethora of tiny stars to use in my finishing. Thank you so much, dear friend!|
|From Karen, in Indiana, came a beautifully stitched cardinal card and more of those elusive tiny gold stars to aid me in my finishing. Thank you so much, dear Karen!|
|From Manuela, in Germany, came this darling hexie Christmas tree ornament. Thank you so much, dear Manuela!|
|From Martina, in Germany, came this breathtaking hardanger card stitched in white thread with gold metallics. Thank you so much, dear Martina!|
|From Nathalie, in France, came some lovely wooden ornaments, spools of Christmas thread, and three fabric embroidered stars. Thank you so much, dear Nathalie!|
I was very spoiled, wasn't I? I wish I could send out more gifts myself, but with the cost of international postage these days, I've had to limit my gifts. I hope you understand... Please know how thankful I am for not only these gifts, but for each and every comment I receive throughout the year. I know a lot more people read my blog than take the time to comment so I truly, truly appreciate those of you who do! Speaking of commenting--with my family visiting for the past week, I am way behind on visiting your blogs, but I will remedy that this week...
On Instagram, my "Best Nine" generated from the photos that were most "liked," resulted in the collage below. Who would have thought a plain white box of cross-stitched Christmas ornaments would have been my most liked photo: over 1200 "likes!" I guess it's because those of us who stitch know all of the love and patience that have gone into filling that box higher and higher each year. I am still loving the Instagram experience and if you'd like to follow me, please click here.
|My "Best Nine" according to Instagram|
At this time of year, we have a family tradition of going around the table and recalling our favorite memory. This year, my husband and I both said the same thing--seeing that waiting truck as we emerged from the Panamanian jungle after our "hike from hell!" We were just so grateful to have lived through that experience and be heading back to civilization again. (If any of you are wondering what on earth I'm talking about, please read this post). So, now it's your turn--what was your favorite moment of 2018? I'd love to hear it!
The end of the year is just hours away... I know many of my blogging friends and family have faced new and continuing health challenges in 2018. You've met these trials with a courage that continues to inspire me. I truly hope that this coming year will heal you and ease your pain. And for those of you who are facing difficulties with other family problems, my thoughts are with you, too. Please know that each of you has a special place in my heart--I'm not going to name names, but know that I think of you often. So, that's it for Stitching Dreams in 2018--on to a new year... Let's make it a good one; positive thinking certainly goes a long, long way! Bye for now...
|Wishing all of my fellow stitchers every happiness in 2019!|