2023 Advent Blog Hop

Only 4 days until Christmas friends, how can that be?

If you are seeing this post with no or not very many pictures, you know things have been too crazy at my house to manage it, but hopefully that will not be the case! We are in the midst of our post-flood remodel and so in a calm moment before my official posting date of the 21st I thought I would write and schedule my post and then add the pictures when and if I can time and access to my technology. The plan is for us to be mostly moved out of our house in the days before Christmas, so we’ll see what I can do.

My favorite childhood memory of Santa is visiting the Santa House in my grandparents’ town of Midland, Michigan.

It was downright magical with a little cabin, now replaced with something more grand as you can see here, where you wait in line forever to visit Santa meanwhile, meeting the elves, Mrs. Claus, and having hot chocolate and cookies and candy canes. There are even real reindeer in the front yard! You can learn more about the Santa House here. It is still there and much more elaborate than when I was little!

In our family, our favorite traditions for Santa are leaving out some cookies and milk for him, and carrots for the reindeer. As an adult, I will say it is most fun, after setting up the presents under the tree and filling the stockings, to nibble some bites off the cookies and leave plenty of crumbs behind alongside the empty milk glass. We always make it looks like Santa just couldn’t finish the cookies because he has been served so many treats all night!

And my other favorite thing is making really fancy writing on the “Santa presents” to differentiate them from the the normal presents. My mom and dad used to do this for us too, but their elves had super wiggly writing like all the elves has palsy! Here are a couple of tags from my Santa’s elves. They have very curly writing…

We don’t make a super big deal of believing in Santa in our house…once every couple years we get a Santa picture, and we really admire a house in our neighborhood that has a window projection of Santa “at work” in their front room…it is a really cool and almost lifelike effect. But we are pretty gentle about it all being a fun game that represents and love and generosity of the season. My little kids still “believe” in Santa, and my big kids still want to…at least they refuse again this year to graduate to being Santa’s helpers. (the biggest kids are Easter bunny helpers hiding the eggs for the past couple years. But Santa is somehow more special and they don’t want to help yet. They still want the magic of Christmas morning, Santa or not.

One last thing to share about Santa is, last year we discovered the Tolkien work “Letters from Father Christmas.” It is absolutely charming…a series of letters written over many years to Tolkien’s children recounting all of Father Christmas’ adventures at the north pole with his friends, most especially the great North Polar Bear. Anyway, if you need a new Christmas book, get it. It is lovely.

My Christmas stitch to share with you is Rudolph and Friends, another design from Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread. It will eventually be finished as a pillow.

I seem to have enjoyed With Thy Needle and Thread this year as it looks like I’ve finished several items from her. They are always nice, relaxing stitches for me, and I think her Christmas designs are really among the nicest. I have a companion piece for this one, the freebie called Merry and Minty. I believe it is still available on the Facebook page for admirers of WTNT so if you are a member over there, check for it in the files. If the link works for you, enjoy it!

Wishing you all the happiest of Christmases this year! “God Bless Us, Every One!”

11 thoughts on “2023 Advent Blog Hop

  1. Thanks for taking part in the Advent Calendar Blog Hop this year. Love the Santa House. And that your children still want the magic of Christmas to last too. Great book choice, a nice way to share each year.
    Lovely design for the calendar, Brenda does make some great little designs.

  2. Thank you for the links and recommendations alongside the Santa traditions past and present.

  3. Thanks Mary, I have sent my sister-in-law the link to Santa’s house, they live in Michigan and have a uoung granddaughter. It’s lovely to read about your Santa memories, Merry Christmas

  4. I totally get your older kids. I too pretended for a couple years to still be a firm believer, just to keep the magic alive! Thank you for sharing your stitching and stories, and for that book I will have to check out.

  5. Beautiful stitching Mary. Lovely to read about the Santa House, must be great for the children to visit and keep the magic going. Happy Christmas.

  6. Merry Christmas! I want to stitch the freebie from Brenda Gervais too but forget! I’ve seen some very nice ‘projections’ on houses this holiday season, there’s one across the street right now. I sign the gift tags from: Santa/Mom but I do that just for my daughter. Happy New Year

  7. I loved reading your thoughts and memories (old and new) on Santa! I like to do the ‘fancy’ writing from Santa on gift tags, too … even to this day for my grown kids and husband! LOL! What a sweet time of year. Your stitchery is really lovely, too! I hope you had a Merry Christmas … and a very Happy New Year! Hugs! 🙂

  8. What a sweet place to visit with the kids, how nice that you grew up with it too!
    We used to do the cookie crumbs too, but never thought about the tags… oops.
    What a very special book, thanks for sharing it, and the link to the pattern.
    That’s such a cute stitch and will make a lovely pillow.

  9. Will you start working once again on the Dorcas Haynes sampler. I’m so tempted to order the chart.

    1. I would like to, I haven’t been stitching at all recently. We are resettling ourselves at home after a big construction project after we had a flood in November. My hold up with Dorcas is I prefer Darlene O Steen’s brighter colors to the Scarlet Letter colors. I have the color list but will have to decide where to put each one and it’s a puzzle project! Too much work and thinking right now! You should get the chart though, it is one of the most beautiful samplers ever made.

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