Friday, December 8, 2017

Sites and Sounds of the Season

Missy Tippens

I've been trying to decorate for Christmas. I had to jump in earlier than usual because I hosted a party here this past Sunday. So, fast motion prep! (I don't usually get decorated until about mid-December.)

First, the ever-important tree. We've always had live Frasier Firs. But this year I decided to buy an nice artificial one so we don't have to fight over who has to put on (and remove!) the lights. :) I really l like it!

You can see up close that it has a bit of sparkle that makes it look like snow.

I didn't get ornaments on it before the party, but with the lights and pinecones and "snow," it didn't look bad.

I actually spent more time on the mantel than I planned. I usually have the bottom tree branches that we cut off our trees. I totally forgot I wouldn't have that this year! So I got the berries out of the attic and went to do the mantel, and went, "Well, duh!" But I had bought a live wreath while at Home Depot, which didn't work out in the spot I had planned. So in a pinch, I ended up taking that wreath apart and used it!

I usually also have white lights through the greenery but ran out of time. I had to cook!

I made beef chili and vegetable posole soup. I tried this new recipe that turned out good (except I didn't like the smell! I think maybe it was the hominy that smelled bad to me.) It was so strange how it affected my nose. Tasted really good, though, with all the toppings.

Toppings for chili and soup included black beans, chopped black olives, green onions, avocado chunks, cilantro (I left it as a topping because I know how many people--around the cafe, too!--don't like it), sour cream, and cheddar cheese.

Oops. Took the photo after dinner.

I also made a spinach salad with chopped pistachios.

And one of my friends offered to bring something. She's an excellent baker, so I asked her to bring dessert. She brought my favorite...

Caramel cake!

Poor thing said she had to make two batches of icing. Said she burned the first one.

I enjoyed a nice, fat piece!

We had a great time at our annual ornament exchange! I still haven't finished decorating but at least got enough of a start to have a Christmas party. Once my daughter gets home after finals, I'll have some help finishing. :)

Oh! The sounds of Christmas...

I wanted to share this video. It's a piece our church choir will be singing for our Christmas music. It's become one of my very favorites! It'll give you chill bumps--the good kind. I just hope I can sing it without getting choked up. Enjoy! I hope it brightens your holiday prep.


  1. Here's another Youtube video that has the lyrics. So beautiful.

  2. Oh -- love that hymn. Have never heard of it before. It would be amazing to hear it in person. And you're talented enough to sing in a choir. Sigh. I so cannot carry a tune. It's horrid and embarrassing -- though I belt out tunes in the privacy of my own home. But I sure wish music had been one of my gifts. I can appreciate it though! Maybe all the more since I can't sing. :-)

    Love your Christmas tree! And that was quick thinking on your mantel. I like adding touches to the decorating along the way too -- kind of like a design Christmas countdown.

    1. Kav, there's nothing like making a joyful noise to the Lord! Even when it's in the privacy of your own home. :)

  3. I loved the song just from those beautiful opening notes. It's new to me, so thanks for sharing, Missy.

    I love your tree. With the lights and the bit of sparkle, I think it was perfect for an early December party.

    My daughter just had her first Christmas party for her first tree, and she asked friends to bring an ornament.

    I'm proud of creative Missy for creating that mantel display! Very nice.

    1. Mary Cate, that's a great idea to have people bring ornaments for a first tree!! How special to have those each year now. :)

      Yes, I felt very creative. :) And I was most pleased to have the fragrance of the live greenery. I was afraid I would miss that.