Peace In The Crazy: Signing Off For Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas?  Is your winter wonderland beckoning while you dream of a white Christmas, roasting chestnuts ’round an open fire and jingling all the way? No?  Well don’t worry – me neither.

Last week I made endless lists – to do; to buy; to bake; to clean; to organise; to run around like a headless chicken – and by no small miracle, these have now merged into one, final list.

Christmas 2012 (4)

(c) Sherri Matthews

With two days to go before my family arrives I am pushed to the wire, but at least the Christmas tree is up and decorated.

Ahh…Christmas trees.  Such things of beauty when doing what they are supposed to do, such as stay in place.   Unlike the year when I walked into the living room only to find the tree lying on the floor surrounded by broken ornaments and two, wild-eyed kittens.

In an effort to make everything so darn perfect for that one special Christmas Day, it seems that we may as well write an open invitation for misadventure to walk in through the front door.

For one thing, no matter what, every Christmas one of the kids got ill, usually the night before they were due to take part in a nativity play.

I’ve lost count of all the times candle wax has gone where it shouldn’t have.

Then there was the year when the Christmas cake I had spent hours lovingly baking and icing in my determination to bring my English roots into the American ‘Holidays’, got covered in ants.

And let’s not even touch the subject of Christmas road-rage (good job I was on the ball when that idiot on the roundabout cut me up).  So much for goodwill to mankind.  I’m not perfect, I know, but I try, I really do.

I like to think it is as perfect as it can ever be when I take in sights such as the Christmas beauty of Sherborne Abbey (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Christmas is as perfect as it can ever be at times such as these…breathing in the quiet solitude of Sherborne Abbey,what joy struck my heart as I marvelled at its magnificent beauty. (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Yet, we hold onto the hope that Christmas will indeed be perfect and put ourselves through so much to meet this ideal.  Stress piled upon more stress.

Earlier in the week, I was traipsing through a shop pulling one of those plastic shopping baskets on wheels behind me.  It was crammed to overflowing with all those things we don’t want to run out of over Christmas like food bags, laundry detergent, kitchen foil and yes, toilet paper, the biggest pack I could find (I’ve got a house full this Christmas, say no more…).

Yet to do my grocery shopping across town, I desperately made my way to the check out to the strains of ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ booming out from the speakers accompanied by the constant thud, thud, thud of items falling out of my basket onto the floor.

‘Tis the season.

But, putting all this aside, I know that when I’m sitting on the sofa with a glass of chilled Prosecco on Christmas Eve with my family gathered around, it is all worth it.

It really is the season…isn’t it? 

I don’t think there are many of us left who believe in this ‘myth’ of the perfect Christmas, but I do believe that it isn’t all doom and gloom.  Yes, there are those who are alone: My dad is one of them.   Ever since he was released from prison at the end of November I haven’t heard a word from him, which is what I expected. I can but hope and pray that he is being looked after wherever he is.

Taking time out to visit the Christmas Tree Festival last weekend and then sharing the photos here with you all brought me great joy amidst all the craziness.

The ‘knitted’ tree proved to be the most popular, but there is one more ‘knitted’ photograph I saved until today…

Knitted Christmas Nativity, Cheap Street Church, Sherborne But the angel said to them,  "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."' (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Knitted Christmas Nativity, Cheap Street Church, Sherborne
But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”‘
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

No matter where you are or who you are with, I wish you a Christmas filled with joy and hope and a New Year filled with every blessing;  I wish for you a smile from a stranger, a kind word or deed from a friend and peace and calm to live in your hearts.

**********************************

I’m signing off from blogging now until the New Year. I’ll say my goodbyes, but I look forward very much to catching up with you in 2015.  Thank you all, dearest friends and family for taking the time to read anything at all that I happen to scribble, and then for leaving me such loving and beautiful messages.  It’s been a tough year in many ways but one that has also brought so much that is good.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all…and in the incomparable words of Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol…

‘God Bless us Every One!’

Love, Sherri xxx

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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104 Responses to Peace In The Crazy: Signing Off For Christmas

  1. First to like AND comment on your blog is no mean feat! *Pats self on the back* 😀 Aah – ants – if I could have a buck for every time those little sods have eaten something that REALLY wasn’t meant for them I’d be able to buy quite a lot of sweeties. Have a wonderful Christmas Sherri – you of all people really deserve all the love that comes your way. And may all you wish for come true in 2015. Lots of Love and HUGS! ❤ 🙂 XXXXX

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…love it! But now it’s taken me a day to get back here and reply…!!! Those little sods…lol 😀 Yes, I can well imagine. That is one thing (or zillions of things I should say) I definitely don’t miss from my days living in California o_O Bless you my lovely friend and thank you so much for all the love…really looking forward to catching up with you in the New Year and here’s sending the happiest of wishes for a truly wonderful Christmas and much love and hugs right back to you. See you soon! 😀 🙂 ❤ xxxxxxxxx

      Like

  2. Genny says:

    Merry Christmas Sherri! I’ve been reminiscing about all our wonderful Christmas time get togethers. They are treasured memories! I’ve been really enjoying your holiday blog posts. Looking forward to reading more of your blog in the New Year. Hope you have happy holidays! Much Love, Genny

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Genny, how lovely to receive your message here, I love it! Aww…yes, what treasured, precious memories I hold so dear in my heart of all our Christmases spent together and all the fun, laughter and silliness 😀 I will never forget them ❤ Oh that is so wonderful for me to know that you have been enjoying my blog posts so much, wow, that really does bring a smile to my face! Thank you so much, and wishing just the same for you and yours…Happy Holidays and much love back to you… 🙂 xoxo

      Like

  3. hbobh3415 says:

    “Funny” in such a nice way. Your sort of experiences really do make it a special “season”.
    God Bless and so looking forward. (With a Proseco at hand !!)

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  4. I love that knitted nativity set. It’s adorable! Your photos are always beautiful. I loved the Christmas tree in the Abbey. I wish the best to you, too, Sherri. You have been an integral part of my blogging experience and I’m so glad to have “met” you. Merry Christmas! “See” you next year.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh isn’t it so cute? I just loved it and had to take some photos 🙂 Thank you so much as always, always such a pleasure when you drop by Bev. Yes, we have been blogging together now for almost two years, can you believe it? It doesn’t seem possible does it? It’s so comforting to know we can pop in and say hi anytime. I’m so glad to have met you too my friend…Wishing you too the merriest of Christmases and a New Year filled with every blessing into 2015. See you soon 🙂

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  5. I love the knit nativity set as well. Took a lot of love and patience, I’m sure, as well as talent.
    We do all fall all over ourselves as we prepare for the perfect get together, but you’re right, when you finally sit down and look around at the loved ones around you, it’s all worth it.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, as well, Sherri. I’ll be signing off on Tuesday until the New Year. 🙂 🙂 ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh can you imagine Tess? I used to knit, once upon a time ago, but never anything so detailed and tiny, I just thought it was the cutest thing, as well as the angel and the tree lights 🙂 Yes, a bit like giving birth isn’t it? Painful at the time, but all worth it in the end, LOL 😀 Thank you so much my friend, and the very same merry wishes to you for Christmas and the New Year. I’ll try to get over to your signing off post tomorrow if I can…but if not, I hope you have a wonderful break and that we can both return refreshed and raring to go, so far as we can anyway, ha! Cheers to you Tess 🙂 ❤ ⭐

      Like

  6. I loved this post, Sherri. You’ve captured the craziness that is part of trying to provide what I call “a quality Christmas experience” for others, and also for oneself. Yes, it is stressful and I do question all the spending, rushing, doing, but then when the family arrives and we enjoy that time of togetherness it does all seem worth it. A few years ago, my eldest, who is now over 30, talked to me about how she’s come to realize all the work I did to make Christmases wonderful when she and her siblings were little, and how much she appreciates that. Touched my heart, that did, and ever since reminds me why it’s worth the work. (Within reason. I used to bake like a madwoman every year, sometimes staying up until 2am to get it all done. Then one year, I made barely anything, and no one seemed to notice. So, I guess it’s good to assess the value of all the busy work we impose upon ourselves.)

    And yes, this can a tough time of year for people who are alone or suffering in some way. Like you, I’ve had a tough year with a variety of blows both public and private, and I know there will be some hard moments for me over the holidays. But those will be tempered by the love of my family, the joyful anticipation of two new grandchildren arriving soon, and the fact that I plan to be especially kind to myself over the next couple of weeks. I think it’s brilliant of you to take a break from the blog over the holidays; I probably won’t do that, but it’s tempting!

    All the best for the merriest of Christmases and all you wish for in the new year.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh and I love your comment Marlene, you have really summed it all up so perfectly. How wonderful for your daughter to come to that point of recognising and appreciating all you did for her and her siblings when they were little. It really does make it all worth it at times like that! I need to remind myself of that when I’m flogging my guts out trying to make it so perfect even now! That is a poignant remark you make about your baking. I still drive myself to make those Christmas cookies (American style, of course!) and gingerbread men as I have done every year. But we do have to make some adjustments at some point, you’re right!!
      Oh I am so sorry for the tough times you’ve had this year, some I know about from reading your blog, but it is so good that you are surrounded by the love of your family and how wonderful, more grandchildren! I don’t have any yet…hope to one day though 😉 I am so happy to know that you are going to take some time out for YOU too…so important. It will be strange not blogging for a while but I feel right about it. I admire you and those who will keep going. And I also want to make a point of thanking you so much for our ongoing support of my blog and my writing and also on my Facebook Page. It really means a lot Marlene and I never take that for granted. So yes, sending you the happiest of Christmas wishes and blessings for the New Year…and I’ll see you soon 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. restlessjo says:

    I was dancing through my walking post for tomorrow when I saw your comment and knew this post must have gone up. Here I am, lost in admiration of your knitted nativity and your determination to make Christmas as perfect as you can for your loved ones, Sherri. I know you will succeed. Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas in your company? Hugs, darlin! Enjoy that well-earned glass of Prosecco. 🙂
    Is that fluffy creature an owl near the top of your tree? Adorable! I’m mindful of my friend Marie who’s choosing to spend Christmas alone with her memories of Bill. We count our blessings. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sherri, and may 2015 be kind to you.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thank you so much, what a lovely thing to say Jo, I am smiling so much right now just reading this 🙂 Making it all perfect…hmmm…but then it is all worth it, with or without the many mishaps, lol 😉 Yes Jo, that is an owl! I have a robin, a hedgehog, a red squirrel and a little Inuit figure with real rabbit fur for its hood that my mum brought back from Alaska for me a few years ago. We have to keep that one away from Maisy the cat, she goes bananas over it, ha! Oh, that must be so hard for your friend Marie, my heart goes out to her just thinking about it. We can indeed count our blessings for they are many. And you are one of mine 🙂 Here’s to a New year filled with blessings galore and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours too…see you soon 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. See you in 2015 then Sherri. Wishing you a classically charming Christmas and a New Year that brings everything you want.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Teagan, and how lovely… ‘a classically charming Christmas…’ 🙂 May I wish you just the very same for Christmas and the New Year and yes, I look forward very much to seeing you in 2015:-)

      Like

  9. Heyjude says:

    Have a lovely time with the family, and don’t stress! I’m having a very quiet Christmas this year, still in the glow of an antipodean summer. Hope to meet up with the rest of the family in January, when all this craziness is over 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Jude! I’ll try not to…at least I’ve done the final shop now, couldn’t get out of the supermarket quick enough, it was like a mad house this afternoon. You’d think the country was shutting down for 2 weeks….oh…wait, ha! But you know what I mean 😮 You’ve got the right idea, lovely to have your family gathering to look forward to in January and then you can share all your travel stories and pics with them! Happy Christmas and New Year Jude and see you soon 🙂 xx

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  10. Have a wonderful time with your family Sherri – it goes by in a flash so enjoy every moment! See you on the other side!

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    • Sherri says:

      So true Pauline, so very true!! Thanks so much, and you too, wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with every good thing…and yes, haha, see you on the other side! 🙂

      Like

  11. Pat says:

    You said it all perfectly, Sherri. Though, this time of the year is definitely stressful in the pressures we put on ourselves, the feelings of love and joy, especially with having family around us, makes it all so worth while. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year! God bless. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      We do put so much pressure on ourselves don’t we Pat, but at that moment when it’s all done, we can be happy and then bask in the glow of the love of family. That is what keeps me going! My living room looks such a mess right now with wrapping paper all over the place and still loads of presents to wrap but at least I’m done with all the shopping now, phew o_O Wishing you the very same my friend, here’s to a Christmas and New Year filled with blessings, love and joy…and I look forward to seeing you in 2015. God bless you too 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat says:

        I know the feeling, Sherri — complete chaos. Funny how it all works out, though, and, like you said, it feels good when we can enjoy the love of our family and fruits of all the hard work. Merry Christmas and see you in 2015 God willing — hugs. 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise as they say 😉 Huge hugs right back you to Pat… ❤

        Like

  12. Christmas in all it’s richness, even the less than perfect happenstances along the way! You described it all so beautifully & love the humor you always seem to infuse somewhere in your (true) stories. Couldn’t help but think of one Christmas when certain someones were at my cozy little mobile home when the beautiful little Christmas church with a candle inside blew up (literally!) Good times!! But they actually were because those I loved most were there! Merry Christmas from across the pond to you and your dear ones. xoxoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh dearest friend, how many crazy stories can we indeed share? Haha…what a great story 😉 Will never forget that…and many others beside and all the joy, love and laughter we shared, the memories of which will never leave us. Merry Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to you and yours too Diane, may your heart be filled with great peace. With much love and hugs galore sent to you from me across that shining sea … 🙂 🐻 ❤ xoxoxoxox

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  13. cardamone5 says:

    Wishing you much, peace, love and happiness with your family this holiday and always. So grateful for your friendship.

    Love,
    Elizabeth

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh and I wish for you the very same dear Elizabeth, I too am so grateful for your friendship in return and so glad we met here. May your Christmas and New Year be filled with love, joy and laughter…and I look forward to seeing you in 2015 🙂 Love and hugs to you my friend… 🙂 ❤

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  14. The perfect pre-Christmas post, Sherri. Enjoy every second spent with your family. Nothing needs to be perfect when there are precious family times to be savoured. Love the knitted nativity scene. How creative some people are. I’m in total awe! Hugs and much love to you dear friend. See you next year. 🙂 xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much dear Sylvia, and I send you the happiest of wishes for you at Christmas and the New Year, both filled with blessings and joy and love and laughter with your family too 🙂 I knew you would love the nativity scene, it is delightful isn’t it? As I said to Jo, I can’t imagine being able to knit with such detail such as that 🙂 I’ll see you soon my friend and love and hugs right back to you too… 🙂 xx ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. mihrank says:

    May the peace and blessings
    of Christmas be yours;
    And may the coming year
    be filled with happiness.

    Like

  16. jennypellett says:

    I laughed out loud at the shop playing The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – how deliciously ironic 😄
    You capture here all the stuff that all of us go through – what madness, really. Why do we put ourselves through it every year – the family would be here anyway, wouldnt they?!
    Lovely post, Sherri – hope you manage to get all the chores done and sit down with your glass of Prosecco. Cheers!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…I thought of you Jenny when I wrote that, knowing all that you are also doing probably right now! As I type my living room looks a right mess with so much wrapping still left to do…yikes!!! But I’m done with the shopping now, thank goodness. It was utter mayhem out there today, the place has gone nuts. I know, why do we put ourselves through it? Every year my mum and I say we won’t do it again but we always do!!!!! Thanks so much dear Jenny, and I look forward to raising that glass and saying cheers to you too when that moment finally arrives for us both! Have a very Happy Christmas and New Year’s and look forward to catching up with one another in 2015 🙂 xx

      Like

  17. Wishing a beautiful, peaceful, joyous and loving Christmas to you and your family, Sherri.
    The more you keep your hands off the keyboard, the freer you’ll be to reach out and hug your family!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…you hit the nail on the head there Marylin! Never a truer word spoken indeed 😉 Yes, a great reminder that our hands are made for so many more things than tapping away on the keyboard incessantly! Thank you so much for your lovely wishes, I would wish you the very same for Christmas and here’s to a New Year filled with blessings and golden opportunities. See you soon my friend 🙂

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  18. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family, Sherri. I’ll be praying that your father has a warm bed this Christmas and into the new year. Enjoy your time with the family and we’ll chat soon. xoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much dear Jill and as before, the very same right back to you ❤ And thank you so much too for your prayers for my dad. I'm sure he has a warm bed lined up. I hope the run-up to Christmas isn't too stressful for you. Not long now and you'll be able to really relax and enjoy your nice, long break… 🙂 xoxo

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  19. Merry Christmas, Sherri, and a very happy New Year!

    Like

  20. Norah says:

    Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year, Sherri. Yes, at times the hectic schedule of preparation can leave us drained and wondering what it’s all for. But those precious moments with family and friends make it all worthwhile. At Christmas time I am always grateful that it does ensure we have those moments. Without Christmas the years could flow by with little contact being made. The days fly by too fast. Best wishes to all the family. I look forward to catching up next year!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You are so right Norah, and you describe perfectly all my reasons as to why I love Christmas so much, for the opportunities it brings, despite all the craziness and all that is pushed on us from the ‘outside’, to enjoy the joy, love and laughter of what is given us on the ‘inside’ with our loved ones, the best gift of all 🙂 Thank you so much, and wishing you and yours the very same for the happiest of Christmases and a New Year filled with every blessing. I look forward very much to catching up with you too Norah…here’s to a glittering 2015 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Norah says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say, your Christmas tree is beautiful! Keep those cats away!

    Like

  22. Rachel M says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Sherry. Having family around is what makes Christmas special. I’ve got my sister and her family here with me this Christmas as well as some time off work and so no matter what disasters unfold, I’m going to have a splendid time.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh how lovely for you Rachel to have your sister and her family with you, and yes, no matter what, you will have the best time I know it. We won’t let those disasters take our joy away will we (even as I type, we have developed a water leak in our bathroom which can’t be fixed until after the New Year…hey ho, all part of the fun, ha o_O )? Thank you for your lovely wishes, it’s been another great blogging year with you there and great to know you are back in blighty 🙂 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours and see you in 2015 🙂 x

      Like

  23. Rajagopal says:

    your post brings out the home-maker’s anxiety combined with an event manager’s professionalism amid the thick and throng of the fast approaching big occasion…sherrie this is wishing you and family merry Xmas and every happiness in the days ahead…Raj .

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      What a lovely comment Raj, thank you so much 🙂 Haha…I do like that..’event manager’s professionalism’ 😀 Ahh…and I would wish for you the very same during this holiday season for you and your family, a very Happy Christmas and New Year. It is a pleasure to have met you and I look forward to catching up with you in 2015… 🙂

      Like

  24. Steve Rebus says:

    Sherri, thanks for another wonderful post! Have a lovely Christmas with your family.
    Your photos are beautiful as ever, and i just love the way you write, you just capture everything perfectly! God bless you all. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh dear Steve, it is so wonderful to share the blogging world with you. I am always so thrilled when you compliment me on my photos and my writing, I can’t tell you enough what that means to me, thank you so much 🙂 I’ve loved following your blog (blogs!) and amazing photographs (so it is high praise from you my friend, really is!) and really look forward to doing the same in 2015! God bless you too with a Christmas and New Year’s filled with joy, love, laughter and blessings galore. See you soon 🙂

      Like

  25. prior says:

    have a nice break – and the knitted nativity scene 🙂 oh cute! I thought knitting was going out – and while it might be waning – it looks like it is also alive around the globe.

    and here is a little image I made for you…

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      WOW!!! Oh Y, my dearest mon amie…how on earth…? I am utterly speechless, and that NEVER happens!!!!! I honestly don’t know what to say…how did you make this? I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it and had to take in every detail of all the special meaning behind every image… ‘Perfectly Parisian’ comes to mind, ha, and the way you picked out the buttons on my coat as you prepared your beautiful Christmas Art post and then the beautifully comforting words you shared with me about dear John. And all in magazine form too!! You are amazing Y thank you so very much. And that’s all I can say…for now…will have to go away and ponder it all, that you took the time to make me such a beautiful and personal gift…just wow… ❤

      Like

      • prior says:

        well actually it is very easy to make from the photofunia set – even though I added some more touches – and I am making a page for my blog buds from 2014 and I have also been thinking about my favorite posts from different bloggers (and paris pipes ❤ hello!!!)
        anyhow, a few folks have said they are having hard time with photofunia – so a trick is to create an image by entering your image – and then take a screen shot of what you made and save out that way. But downloading has been not working for folks – go and check it out – I have had a lot of fun with it last week..

        Like

      • prior says:

        oh and the coat was not too much – I promise – but literally I just had read your cool post with that jacket and then I found that manet art piece and was like “sherri” – but don;t want you to think I am overdoing anything here – lol

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Oh I will definitely check out photofunia and can’t wait to read your blog buds page. Hope you don’t mind it will be after Christmas now as I’m really pushing it with the last of the preparations still to finish before my boys arrive this evening, already behind and still some errands to run…panic go away, lol 😀 But I will be over as soon as I can what fun!! Have sent you a little something by email in the meantime..and thanks again so much Y, I am truly blessed by all you’ve shared with me and your wonderful generousity. You truly are a shining star ⭐ See you soon mon amie…and haha, yes, Paris Pipes are a-calling, LOL 🙂 😀 ❤

        Like

  26. Charli Mills says:

    You have a generous heart and a joyous spirit–both are greater than any perfections of Christmas! Relax with your abundant TP, Proseco, tree and family! Until we meet again next year, be blessed and of good cheer!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Charli, and I would say the very same of you my friend 🙂 Ha…yes, now that the house is full of TP (but wouldn’t you know it, we have sprung a leak in the bathroom, no idea where it’s coming from and no plumbers available until Jan 5th…so we are hoping beyond hope that it stays small… o_O ). Still, there’s Prosecco chilling as we speak, the tree is bedecked, Christmas carols fill the air and the boys arrive this evening. I’ve done all the shopping, finishing the wrapping now, more baking and then…I shall raise a glass and say here’s to you, sending huge blessings and good cheer right back. Happy Christmas and See you soon 🙂 ❤ 🐻

      Like

  27. reocochran says:

    I have had quite a number of mistakes or illnesses in my past holiday seasons, but you made it all seem like a lark! Which I tend to do now, making light of the little disasters, grateful for no big ones. (You had a very scary one thrown into this mix, Sherri!) I think back and know it all flew by way too fast. I loved the days when my children were in the Christmas pageant or were in Cherubs Chorus. (Also, band concerts with their squeaking instruments…)
    The special parts of holidays were part of your post: love, kitties, children, tree and church, Sherri.
    I really liked the knitted nativity scene. I also, (of course!) loved the natural elements on your Christmas tree, Sherri. I have a small one on my black armoire, which I use as a place to close my television in. I live in a simple apartment, but my tree has little bird’s nests, lights and birds on it, with little red and white calico ribbons festooned on several branches. (Being a robin and having a variety of porcelain ones, I had a hard time finding the ‘perfect’ tree as my focus.) I got rid of seven tubs of decorations, when I moved here… my kids and grandkids have some of them, as well as neighbors and good friends. Hugs and hopes sent your way for a Merry Christmas and the very best in the New Year, too!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Robin, how I adore your comments and all you share with me, thank you so much and for your lovely Christmas wishes too 🙂 I can see we share the same of life’s many adventures, including the not so good ones. It is a good thing we can look back and laugh about them now, but at that time…well.. not so good! I love the sound of your tree, it sounds perfectly beautiful. How lovely to know of your dear bird’s nests on your tree too! I have two robin ornaments, a bird’s nest and bird house, and I shall think of you every time I look at them (oh, and my garden robin has been visiting a lot too!). A lot of my decorations I’ve had for many years, some the kids made long ago, others part of collections from my time in CA (some broken now) and then the one new one I buy every year. So really it is a tree of happy memories 🙂 Oh I have far too many Christmas decorations, great tubs (Rubbermaid!) of them that I brought back with me from the States when I moved back here in 2003. I do make the house a bit of a ‘Winter Wonderland’, I admit, but nothing like I did when the kids were younger. I love your idea of giving a lot away and I can see I will do the same at some point. So lovely to have met you here Robin, I look forward very much to seeing you in 2015 but until then, I wish you and yours a Christmas filled with joy, love, laughter and peace and here’s to a glittering, blessed, hope-filled New Year…Huge hugs from me to you from across the shining sea…see you soon 🙂 🐻 xo

      Like

      • reocochran says:

        I have an older, little book (from about 1966) where the title is, “Robin Finds Christmas.” The robin looks different from our American robin, so I opened it up and found it was published in London, England. I love the illustrations, Sherri, along with finding out your British or English robin looks different and smaller than ours here. When you mentioned hugs across the shining sea, I just wished to let you know I found the above warm and caring messages to me so sweet and I will from now on, remember you, Sherri, while I put some of my English books away, along with my tea cups made of porcelain, that have birds on them. Thanks for telling me about your ‘Winter Wonderland,’ which I will keep many of my snowmen and birds out now, in your ‘honor’ until March or April, when some Spring items may come hopping and chirping along…. Smiles, Robin

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          What an absolutely delightful message for me to read today dear Robin, thank you so much! I am only just now catching up so I do apologise for my late reply. I pay the price for ‘unplugging’ for so long! Your worlds have touched my heart so tenderly. What a sweet little book you mention, I wonder if I ever read it as a child? I’m sure I would remember it, it is just the sort of book I would have adored. And just as you noticed the difference between your American robin and our British robin, I did not know this either until I lived in California and bought a book for my children called My Spring Robin. My daughter adored it and I can’t tell you how many times I read it to her. But I noticed that the robin looked bigger and quite different and it was then, having not seen an American robin with my own eyes at that point, that I realised the differences! Oh what a beautiful thought, I am truly honoured at your kindest of gestures Robin. Now, I too, whenever I take a cup of tea in one of my porcelain cups with birds on I too will think of you …my spring Robin… 🙂 ❤

          Like

  28. Sherri wishing you a lovely family time at christmas, now you can relax just before you start the baking….. Happy we met this year looking forward to another bright writing, bloggy year ahead.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      How lovely Kath, thank you so much! I too am so glad we met here and yes, I really look forward to sharing our blogging journey in the year to come. I adore your artwork, and it’s great to see it over on Facebook too! Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and New Year…see you soon 🙂

      Like

  29. Marie Keates says:

    Loving the knitted nativity. My preparation have been very fraught too and are still not over. The fact I’m working on Christmas Eve doesn’t help. This year it will be very low key for us. It seems to close to Commando Senior’s death to be celebrating.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It’s beautiful isn’t it? I couldn’t wait to share the photo, I am amazed at the patience of whoever knitted it 🙂 Ahh, thank you Marie. That’s a shame about Christmas Eve, it’s the same for hubby too. My boys arrive this evening from Brighton (they managed to get tomorrow off work by no small miracle as they are desperate to avoid the train/coach horrors of last year thanks to the floods). Yes, this time of year can certainly be very poignant. I hope you will be able to relax once you finish work and spend a peaceful time with your family. It’s great to have met you and I look forward to catching up with you in 2015. Until then, I wish for you a Christmas and New Year filled with peace, calm and blessings, filled with good memories of your loved one. See you soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Stress piled on stress with more stress on top. Like a rotten cherry atop an ice-cream sundae of stress. Or something like that. I’m so happy that you’re taking time off and having a screen free holiday with your family. Love this: “…quiet solitude of Sherborne Abbey, what joy struck my heart as I marvelled at its magnificent beauty.”

    Happy Christmas and a lovely New Year! ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh yes, you got it Sarah…and what a great description, you really do nail it. Ahh…I hope that your heart is struck with peace and joy in certain moments of quiet solitude wherever you are and that you have a truly Happy Christmas with your beautiful family. I look forward to catching up with you in 2015 and the happiest of New Year blessings to you. See you soon Sarah 🙂 ❤

      Like

  31. Time to relax and enjoy being with your family. It’s been a great year Sherri and we’ve walked through some rough patches, skipped and frolicked in the good and relaxed and chatted in the Summerhouse. Thanks my friend for sharing all those times with me and I look forward to a New Year – can’t wait to see what it brings. Hope you and your family have a very joyous Christmas and that the New Year sees that pen flying over the page, unstoppable on a roll of its own. Lots of love your friend Irene. ❤ 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Irene, we certainly have, and what a year it’s been. Wow! After all that walking we’ve shared together, it is certainly time to relax, unwind and prepare for the journey to come. It has been and still is an absolute joy to walk with you through all terrain, the smooth and the bumpy. You have held my hand many times and I am so very grateful. Let’s see where the journey takes us…exciting times! Haha…well, I love that, and let’s hope that the pen is indeed ‘unstoppable on a roll of its own’. That is what I indeed hope for! And I wish for you the very same dear friend, I hope you a have a truly wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with blessings galore and the writing successes of your dreams. Lots of love and hugs to you too…see you soon 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Luanne says:

    I hope you have blessed holidays, Sherri! Enjoy your family, as I know you will! And I love the knitted nativity!! xoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It’s so cute isn’t it! I couldn’t wait to share it! Ahh, dear Luanne, thank you so much and I hope the very same to you too…that you can really relax and enjoy the holiday season. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you too…cheers my friend 🙂 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Ste J says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas my friend and an excellent new year. I shall miss you and look forward to your return!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Ste, just checking in one more time in between peeling veggies (oh joy!) and how lovely to read your message, thank you so…I shall miss you too but the 2015 will be here before we know it! A glass raised to you my friend for a very Happy Christmas and New Year…see you soon and hearty cheers!!

      Like

  34. Well, I never hold out the hope that Christmas will be perfect and then there’s a good chance that I’ll end up pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed.
    Hee, hee, hee, my daughter’s white cat, Henry (just out of kittenhood), demolished the first Christmas Tree this year but allowed the second one to survive as it was no longer a novelty.
    Have a fabulous Christmas and we’ll catch up with news after xxxx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Sarah! Boy oh boy, I feel as if I’ve been away for an eternity, how strange it feels to be replying on New Year’s Eve to your lovely message written on Christmas Eve… Haha…yes, better not to have the expectation isn’t it? Oh dear…naughty little Henry. What is it about kittens and Christmas trees? Still, better he has it out of his system now as you say 😮 Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, looking forward to catching up properly (and I’ll reply to your email after this) and see you back on blog next week. Happy New Year to you and yours Sarah, I hope it’s a great year ahead for you 🙂 xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Denise says:

    Happy Christmas. A beautiful post, as always. It is very poignant reading about your dad. I will think of him and you on the day itself

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Denise, how very kind and thoughtful of you 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Just having a quick catch up here (hubby still off until Monday so enjoying some R&R with him, nice long walks by the sea and resisting the urge to get back to blogging just yet!) Hope you have some fun plans for tonight! I’ll email you to catch up properly…but until then, wishing you and your LD’s a very Happy New Year…may 2015 be a wonderful year for you all 🙂 xx

      Like

  36. Seyi sandra says:

    Merry Christmas again my friend and I wish you a joyous New Year! I’m sure your dad would be fine, just try and enjoy yourself as much as you could. I await your return next year, and may we all meet to read good news from each other. By the way, I love the knitted figures, lovely!
    Much love to you my friend!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thank you so much dear Seyi, and I am so late in replying to your beautiful Christmas message. I do hope that you had a wonderful Christmas, we had a lovely time together, thank you, but can’t believe that here I am, replying to you and it’s already New Year’s Eve! Where does the time go? You are so very kind and thoughtful, so much appreciate your words about my dad and yes, won’t it be lovely to read good news 🙂 Let’s hope and pray that 2015 does indeed bring that good news for one another and I surely do look forward to catching up properly starting next week once hubby returns to work (enjoying this time of R&R with him in the meantime!). Bless you my friend and wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year filled with blessings galore. See you in 2015 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seyi sandra says:

        Happy New Year my dear friend, I’m so glad we’re now in 2015, I pray that this year would be way better than last year. Good news is what I crave for, and the ability to enjoy each day, and I hope that would be ours by the grace of God. God bless you my dear Sherri, and do send my love to your handsome beau! 🙂
        Much love. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Bless you dear friend…and I certainly will do 😀 And yes, good news and plenty of it and days filled with joy as God’s grace fills our every hour, as we hope and pray for such. Much love to you dear Seyi and here’s to a much better year ahead for us both 🙂 ❤

        Like

  37. Dear Sherri,

    I have been away from blogging – and life – since the summer due to unbearable workloads, but it is so good to read your posts again – you have such a wonderful way of writing… so honest, direct but also beautiful to read.
    That poor christmas tree – I can imagine the look for horror on your face… isn’t it just when there’s so much to do, that these dramas happen!
    I love your pictures of the knitted nativity – what love must have gone into making them… it’s great that they are shared by so many – and enjoyed by even more, thanks to your post.
    Thoughts for your dad, and all those we know and somehow love, but who do not seem to know us anymore. Thoughts too, for those who no one may know – alone and lonely, especially at this time of year.

    With very best wishes to you for a happy and healthy year in 2015.
    Emma 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Emma,
      I am just quickly catching up here while I have a few spare moments before returning to blogging next week (hubby has a break from work until then, so we are making the most of some R&R!). What a delightful surprise and pleasure to receive your beautiful message! I always love to hear from you, I have checked in on you from time to time to make sure I wasn’t missing your posts and I am so sorry to learn of the difficult time you’ve been having. I do so hope that you have been able to take some time away from what sounds like a horrible workload, and take a well deserved rest and break from it all. Thank you so much for your lovely, kind words about my dad and yes, all those who have found themselves alone at this poignant time of year. Thank you too for what you say about my writing, I am deeply humbled and can’t tell you enough how much I needed to read such wonderful encouragement when I peeked in on my blog this morning…writing can wreak havoc with me at times! I will catch up you with you properly next week dear Emma, but until then, I wish you a very Happy New Year filled with every blessing and good thing…and a much easier work load. Big hugs… 🙂 ❤ xx

      Like

  38. Wow. You had the falling-down-tree-syndrome once too. Had to laugh — at myself though. Geez, the things we put ourselves through. Hope your Christmas was lovely and your New Year full of terrific things.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Renee, it is crazy isn’t it? Haha…I know that quite a few of us can relate to that story, 🙂 Although far from funny at the time…! Ahh…thanks so much for your lovely message and wishes, sorry I’m only just replying (just quickly checking in before returning to blogging properly next week after hubby returns to work) but yes, thank you , we had a lovely Christmas, hope you did too. I will catch up with you properly soon, but meanwhile, I wish you a very Happy New Year…may it bring you every good thing. See you in 2015 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Andy Oldham says:

    You have been given an award because I have appreciated you in 2014. Please see my newest post and accept your award. Thanks for being a part of my WP Family! Thank you for being a faithful followers. Blessings in 2015!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Andy! Thanks so much for this delightful surprise as I quickly check in before returning to blogging properly next week! I will be over as soon as I can to read your post…and may I say that I am deeply humbled and touched that you would think of me and thank YOU 🙂 It’s great being part of your WP family, as you are a beautiful part of mine! Happy New Year to you my dear friend, may 2015 be filled with blessings galore 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Away for a few days I missed your lovely post, Sherri. Forgive me. Happy New Year to you and to many more great blog posts in 2015.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…no worries dear Evelyne, nothing to forgive!!! I have missed many posts and won’t be returning to blogging properly until next week (hubby is off work until Monday so I am enjoying this time of R&R with him) but quickly checked in here and thank you, always your messages bring a huge smile to my face 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and before I catch up with you properly next week, I wish for you and yours a very Happy New Year…may it bring you every blessing. See you in 2015 🙂 xo

      Like

  41. Merry Christmas and a happy , prosperous New Year to you and your family. A wonderful holiday post that brings about our reasons for smiling and joy during the holidays and the days thereafter. Thank you for being a generous, thoughtful blogger friend. You are truly an inspiration my friend. God bless. A blessing filled 2015 to you and your love ones.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear friend, thank you so much for such a beautiful, kind and loving message! I do hope that you had a truly blessed and beautiful Christmas, as I did with my family. It really is what it is all about, spending precious time with our loved ones and thanking God for all His marvellous blessings to us all which we remember during the struggles and hard times. Thank YOU for your generousity and support of my writing and my blog, your visits always make me smile and I look forward to sharing the year ahead through our blogging journey. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year filled with every blessing and joy, love and laughter 🙂

      Like

  42. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Sherri! Here’s to a joy filled and blessed 2015 for you 🙂

    Like

  43. I hoe you had a wonderful Christmas, Sherri! All the best to you for the New Year 🙂

    Like

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