Welcome to my home

Come right on in girls… and make yourself ‘t home!

Check out the new digs, my sweeties, and feel free to look in every nook and corner. The kids have spiffed up their rooms and I’ve pulled some old treasures out of the attic that I’d forgotten I even had. And  seriously, take a look at those new kitchen cupboards!

Sooooo….. what d’ya think?? Pretty snazzy, huh?

I must say I’m rather fancying myself as the hostess with the most-est this morning. Yes, I’m rather reminding myself of a Grace Livingston Hill heroine, and we all know there is no hostess, no homemaker who can compare to the heroine of a GLH novel. Oh yeah.

Case in point: the lovely Daryl and her dear Mother from The Substitute Guest which just so happens to be my personal fave GLH novel.

“As the morning went on the kitchen began to take on the air of being ready to feed a hungry army. Crisp brown loaves of bread were cooling across their iron pans, pies in a fragrant row stood on a broad shelf by the window, and the turkey full to bursting, was just getting its waistcoat buttoned across its breast.

“The hardest things are done now,” said Daryl, as she measured out the sugar for the cranberries.

“Yes,” said her mother with satisfaction. “I’m glad I made the fruit cake several weeks ago. It’s always nice to use between times during the holidays. I think we have plenty so that the work can be kept at a minimum while our guests are here. And the lunch is all ready as soon as our men get home.” She looked complacently toward the kettle of old-fashioned bean soup on the back of the range, getting itself cooked without fuss or trouble to anybody. “The soup with bread and butter and applesauce and coffee will be all we’ll need. And for dinner tonight there will be the scalloped oysters. I can whip those together while you are talking with the guests and pop them in the oven with the potatoes to bake. We want everything to move along as if there were no such thing as work to be done, don’t we?”

“Oh Mother! You’re simply great!” said Daryl, casting a loving look at her. “It’s such fun to be having a real house party. And it’s going to be so much nicer than any of the city house parties because we have your cooking and a real home!”

Now in case you don’t have your own copy of the book handy, let me spell this all out for ya…  the two gals prepared a hearty farm breakfast for their menfolk, cleaned up after same, then made “packets of sandwiches” for the guys to take on their way. They then proceeded to fry up doughnuts, made bread, both pumpkin and mince pies, bean soup, polished all the family silver, and prepped all of the holiday table linens. They made stuffing from homemade bread and butter from their own cow fer cryin’ out loud. Then they stuffed the turkey …all in the space of a couple of hours. And with sufficient leisure for Daryl to “drop into the living room for a minute to ripple out some notes on the piano, or trill a bit of a song.”

oh my.
Thank goodness Mother made the fruit cakes ahead of time,
that’s all I have to say.

Anyhoo, because the best parties always have gifts, and because I couldn’t help noticing that Daryl and Mother’s party was conspicuously lacking in gifts, and because I secretly long to outdo them in the hostess dept, but mostly because you girls are the best-est, most darling-est readers a little old blogger could ever hope for…

seriously, Gretchen couldn’t get over how sweet and chatty you all are.

Anyhoo, because of all that, I have a little gift for you, or at least for one of you. I’ll be sending out my very own cherished copy of  “The Substitute Guest” (complete with penciled margin notes by Joanna Smith, this copy’s original owner.) And to help with your very own holiday “house party” I’m tucking in these vintage Christmas table linens: a luncheon set of tablecloth and matching napkins. Just cuz I love ya. Mhhmm.


And won’t you leave me with a little gift before you click on outta here? I’d so love to hear your family’s favorite holiday tradition, or your oddest tradition, or maybe even a tradition that you wish your family had… so yeah. Tell me all about it! In the comments. And on Wednesday morning, I’ll use random number generator to determine which one of you lovelies to bustle this package of vintage goodies off to.

May the sweetest gal win.

 

Note: this give away is now closed… but feel free to share your family’s holiday tradition. We can never have too many of those!

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103 Responses to Welcome to my home

  1. 1
    Beth says:

    Great way to start my day, with a dose of Diane Shiffer.com! Love ya!

  2. 2
    Lyzz H says:

    What a nice read to wake up to!

    My family is still so very young, so we are in the process of making traditions while we make memories. When they get a little older, I want to make a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas and we will have candles and sing :) .

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Lyzz… there’s a gal in our church who has a “Birthday Party for Jesus” shin-dig every year, and the kids love it. That’s a tradition I’d have loved to have started with my children too:)

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh and Lyzz.. your comment is #2!

  3. 3
    Sondra says:

    When I was a little girl Christmas excited me more than anything. 4 am and I would be awake standing over mom who was fast asleep in her bed. “Mom, is it time to get up?”. Of course my parents wanted to sleep a little bit later LOL. Dad had been up all night in his wood shop finishing up our handmade toys and mom frantically getting it all wrapped. So….mom started a new tradition for our family. Instead of our stockings hanging by the fireplace, she hung them on our bedposts. Every tiny thing in there was wrapped. A pack of gum, new lip gloss, all sorts of cool little gadgets. This way when I awoke in the early hours and insisted on waking my sister in the bed next to me we would have something to occupy our time…at least for a little while. Well, today Christmas still excites me just as much. I am still up early and my youngest son and I always compete to see who will wake up (naturally) first. I too wrap each tiny thing in the boys’ stockings and we gather around and watch as each tiny surprise is open…..and now this gives my hubby extra time to sleep ;)

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Sondra.. what an absolute sweetie your mother was! And I love that you’ve continued to follow along in her footsteps<3

      And girlie… you’re commenter #3!

  4. 4
    Tina says:

    Love the new site! Very pretty!

    Our “weirdest” tradition is having Chinese on Christmas Eve. We started as newlyweds of two months 16 years ago and have done it every year since. Christmas Day is so full and busy with extended family that we try to take the Eve and just have it be our own. Wrapping presents, probably, but also enjoying each other’s company.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh Tina, I LOVE weird traditions! Our weirdest one involves Christmas Eve food as well… we have clam chowder (which I realize isn’t all that weird.) However we call it “chewed chicken chowder” in honor of my sister Beth (aka commenter #1 in this post.) One Christmas Eve when she was a teensy little thing, she was confused as to what exactly the little diced clam pieces in her soup were and burst into tears saying, “Somebody already chewed the chicken in my chowder!” Nobody in my family calls it clam chowder anymore… it’s always Chewed Chicken Chowder.

      So yeah… with a family like that, you can see that I come by my weirdness very naturally, hehehe.

      And you, my sweet, are commenter #4 :)

  5. 5

    The Christmas season is officially “here” at our house when we all go out to pick a tree, bring it home and decorate it while baking Christmas cookies (which we eat of course) and drinking egg nog.

    That, and our prayer and reading of the Christmas story from Scripture before opening gifts Christmas morning.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Terry, Christmas at your house sounds like the perfect balance of fun and devotion…. why am I not surprised at that? :)

      and you’re commenter #5!

  6. 6
    Trina Holden says:

    Favorite tradition, handsdown, that we’ve managed to create so far in our young family: Sleeping together in a giant nest made out of couch pillows under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. Jesse’s been talking about it for months. We can hardly wait. :)

    Gosh, I just love coming to visit you here. I really do feel as though I’ve been welcomed in to a cozy kitchen, decorated in just my taste for kitchens (vintage!) and I can just smell the baking and adore the company. Merry Christmas! Thanks for your hospitality!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh my golly Trina! What a fantastic tradition! I lovvvve it:) and I love having you stop by my darling♥

      Trina is commenter #6!

  7. 7
    Sara says:

    Ha ha – our unique tradition I guess is that we have both Swedish ‘jultomten’ and the American Santa come visit, laden with gifts. The kids are spoiled rotten, really: We celebrate Christmas on the 24th here in Sweden and so they open presents on the evening of the 24th with my family. But lo and behold – ‘American Santa’ as he is lovingly called in our house, still manages to find his favourite little half American-half Swedish kids up here in the North, and after feasting on cookies and milk (Swedish jultomten eats rice porrige outside of the house, thank you very much) – and leaving crumbles and a dirty glass under the tree every year – there are yet more gifts to open on the morning of the 25th. I wonder how many years we’ll be able to keep this upp.. Kids are 7 and 4 now.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh Sara (aka commenter #7) may I just say how heartily I approve of the Christmas festivities at your house?! I do! And I imagine you’ll be able to keep it all up for a very long time. I’ve found children to be very obliging about such things… especially when it involves more goodies for them, hehehe:)

  8. 8
    Penny says:

    Diane,
    I love your new site! I am so looking forward to enjoying a cuppa coffee with you daily.
    Many successes!
    Love,
    Penny

  9. 9
    Penny says:

    Family Tradition for me..the most memorable was spending time with my beloved Gram, we had her brother and sisters and all of my Aunts and Uncles, cousins, friends, gathered together on Christmas Eve, Gram played the piano and Uncle Larry played the fiddle, the rest of us all sang and ate Christmas cookies that were thickly iced and covered with sprinkles. The family time we have together is by far more important than any gift we can receive outside of the Blessed Love of our Lord Jesus Christ, He gave the ultimate gift so that we may live.

    So..traditions, well gathering your loved ones together and sharing memories, it is simple and loving…that tradition I pray never ceases in any family.

    God bless you Sister Diane and your lovely family..you truly bless me!
    Penny

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Penny, that truly does sound precious… almost like something straight out of a Grace Livingston Hill novel! May the Lord bless you, my dear.

      ANd Penny #2 is commenter #9

  10. 10
    Becky F says:

    HI! can I say I love your new place, so tidy and pretty!
    My family has 1 strange holiday tradition, we dont have thanksgiving or christmas on the correct days, and very rarely have. It started when I was young and my dad worked 12 hr rotating shifts, and he would rarely be off on the holiday, so we would just have it on the day he was off closest to the holiday. We have had Christmas as early as dec.16th and as late as Jan 14th. As the family has gotten bigger (I have 4 brothers, 5 sisters, 1 SIL, 2 BIL, 1 niece and 2 nephews) getting everyone together on the same day has been a challenge. So this year New Thanksmas is on jan 14th.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Wow Becky… that has got to be the most creative way of celebrating the holidays I have ever heard… and I LOVE it! A merry New Thanksmas to all of yaz!;-)

      and you are commenter #10!

  11. 11
    Elena Rulli says:

    A beautiful new blog for a beautiful blogger!
    I’m glad you moved succesfully and I can’t wait to read more from you in the future.
    Can I ask you a favour, please? Do not include me in your giveaway, because I live outside US and I don’t wish to mess with the random number generator :)
    Thank you!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh Elena… you do say the sweetest things! And I won’t enter you, much as I’d like to, my dear. Seriously, I don’t mind the international shipping thing, in fact I accounted for the possibility:) Soooo… all that to say, if you change your mind, just let me know and I’ll tack you onto the end, okeedoke?

  12. 12
    Terri T says:

    I will be back to explore all the nooks and crannies of your new blog home. I loved the exerpt from the book. It certainly reminded me of you.

    We don’t have a lot of special traditions at our home. My mother used to buy those really awful cinnamon rolls in the tube with the frosting and then manage to burn them every Christmas so I always buy them too. I don’t burn them, however, but it is a funny tradition we have…which reminds me of my mother….

    We also used to open just one present on Christmas Eve which was usually a new nightgown or pjs….flannel….

  13. 13
    Terri T says:

    After reading the comments, I remembered another tradition. In order for our son to start his Christmas morning and let us sleep longer, I would fill his stocking with something to read, something to snack on and a few little toys. As he got older, the reading material turned into a paperback book and the snacks were bigger.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Terri T, personally I love the burned cinnamon rolls story… it kinda reminds me of our family’s “chewed chicken chowder” ;-) And girl, I wish I woulda thought of the stockings on the bedpost thang! I can remember some Christmases when my kids were little…. they fell asleep so late and got up so early! They ran fine on adrenaline and candy canes all day, but I was ready to conk out by noon, lol.

      And you my darlin’ are commenter #11!

  14. 14
    Jenni says:

    Squueeee! I love it, Diane! Can you come over to my little ‘house’ and spiff it up too? I adore yours…

    My Christmas tradition is not really ‘mine’ but one my mother did for us kids. As I was growing up, every Christmas my mom would get me and my brother a new ornament for the tree, and she would write the date on it somewhere. The ornament usually had something to do with whatever it was we were interested in that year (soccer, band, etc.) When we graduated from college, left the nest, and started our own homes, she packed up all of our ornaments, and gave them to us so that we would have ‘memories’ to hang on our own trees.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Jenni my love, I hate to tell ya, but most of the spiffin’ up that was done around here was Gretchen’s doing. She’s most definitely the brains behind the whole shebang ;) And oh man! I wish I had thought of doing something for my kids like your mom’s idea. Seriously, it’d be like packing up a lifetime of Christmas memories to take along when you moved out on your own <3 I love that.

      Jenni is commenter #12!

  15. 15
    Lady Dorothy says:

    Thank you for inviting me to your housewarming! I love it here.

    I love GLH, but you are so right. Those heroines are amazing. They can take a shambles of a shack and in one morning, clean it, go shopping for new linens, decorate, make a huge lunch, AND makeover an old dress so that they can welcome their guests in the newest fashion!

    I am such a traditionalist that I still get my stocking filled every year. When I first got married, I realized I didn’t want to grow up and not get a bunch of little goodies stuck in my stocking. So, I told my husband that he HAD to fill it every year. He still does (and I do his). And all my girls still get theirs filled, too!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh Dorothy, girl you totally nailed the whole GLH thing! All these illusions of perfection, all these completely unattainable ideals…it’s like.. it’s almost like… housewife p*orn or something :-P I suppose I should probably feel guilty, huh?

      Anyhoo…. love the stockings! We stop with the kids as they turn 21, but I kinda regret it. I think EVERYONE deserves a stocking on Christmas morning:-D

      Lady Dee is #13!

  16. 16
    Daja says:

    OK, so I laughed so suddenly and forcefully when I got to your sarcastic little fruitcake comment that now I have to clean the computer screen. I’m not kidding. Thanks for that.

    A good laugh in the morning. Nothing like it.

    OK, so one of my favorite traditions is that in December the ladies of my family–grandmother, mother, sister, nieces and daughters see a morning performance of the Nutcracker. Then we go out to a proper Christmas tea at a local tea house. Such fun!

    Hope I win!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      ah well Daja, I aim to please, oh yes I do! hehehe

      And you want to know something? That Nutcracker outing was my very first exposure to your family…. your mom wrote about it on her blog. And I feel it is important to mention that that was our first glimpse of the lovely Jael, as well ;) Such a neat tradition!

      As for winning.. you’re #14, so now you know what number to root for!

      • Serena Abdelaziz says:

        What year was that? :)

        • Diane Shiffer says:

          Could it have been last year? Or maybe the year before? I clearly remember the sweetest picture of Jael- she had these adorable little gloves on and her hands up to her face♥ You have beautiful children Serena!

        • Diane Shiffer says:

          OKay girl.. I was curious myself, so I went back and looked through your MIL’s archives. It was early December of 2009 :)

  17. 17
    Donna says:

    I feel the same way about Grace Livingston Hill. It is fun to imagine that it is possible, but I accept reality as soon as I set the book down! Honor Girl is my favorite for fantasy, by the way.
    We have a tradition of singing The 12 Days of Christmas on Christmas Eve, just before reading the Christmas story from Scripture. We have 10 children, so for some years, it worked out just right. it is a little harder since some of them have their own homes now, but we still manage. (since I am tone deaf, I usually take the 11th or 12th day)

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Donna… that is a great way of looking at the GLH heroines. I’m afraid I’ve tended to read them and feel inadequate, even though I realize how unrealistic their accomplishments are. You have inspired me to be more balanced! Hurrah!

      And yeah, your family was the perfect match for that song, right? :D

      Donna = commenter #15!

  18. 18
    Tasha says:

    I love your new “place”. This is really awesome!!!

    My favorite family tradition is…when I was little, on Christmas eve night, mom would allow me to open one of the smallest gifts under the tree. That was to help with the excitement and anticipation so that I could at least fall asleep a bit more peacefully.

  19. 19
    Kren says:

    Your new blog is lovely, Diane! In our home we always have a birthday party for Jesus. We have a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday. We read aloud the Christmas story from Luke 2, with each child taking a part as soon as they were old enough to read.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Thanks Kren… I told Gretchen that I feel like I have the prettiest dress at the party after years of being the frumpiest ;) Love the birthday party idea!

      And you’re number 17!

  20. 20
    ellen b says:

    Oh yes, This is very nice and homey Diane! Love it. The cupboard is a great touch! So much creativity here. Enjoy!!

  21. 21
    Serena says:

    “Thank goodness Mother made the fruit cakes ahead of time,
    that’s all I have to say.”
    You are too funny! The new digs look great! Very you, you know! ;) As for traditions, my favorite is our Advent Calendar. It’s a cute green thing with hearts and holly berries and a wee mouse that moves from pocket to pocket. So cute!

  22. 22
    Elizabeth says:

    Everything looks lovely Diane! Our favorite Christmas tradition is when my husband writes a blessing for the coming year for each of our children, then reads it over them on Christmas morning.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      What a precious tradition Elizabeth… how meaningful that must be for your little ones♥

      and Elizabeth is #20!

  23. 23
    Julie A. says:

    I love the new blog!!! Very cute! Your smile in the first picture is just radiant :) Merry Christmas!

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Keary Onken says:

    Our family is still very young (we will have been married two years on January 2nd and our daughter is 15 mos), so the traditions that are unique to our family are few right now. However, we do have a few, so I will share two that we started, and one from my own childhood that I hope to continue with my family…

    The first tradition is one that is almost as old as our family. Every year (for the past two, and hopefully many more after), my dear friend Allison (whom I have known and cherished as a friend since we met on the middle school bus 17 years ago) get together as close to Christmas as we can and bake a gazillion cookies! We always begin really early, are far too ambitious, and finish up far too late– but we have a blast!

    The second is a tradition that I started with my husband the first Christmas we spent together as an engaged couple. As a kid I loved watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV, but as an adult I either forgot to watch it when it aired or couldn’t watch it, or the commercials ruined it for me. The Christmas we were engaged, I happened to find a DVD copy of the special, and we had so much fun watching it (so wonderful without commmercials!) together on Christmas Eve, that now we do so every year.

    Finally, when we were children, my sister and I would be allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve (although our parents had veto power over the choice of present). And then on Christmas morning, we could go out to the living room, and open our stockings, and play with the set up toys– but we were not allowed to open anything wrapped before Mom and Dad were up (several hours later) and had brewed and poured their coffee! And the amazing part was that we obeyed– despite all of those tempting presents just waiting for us!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Keary.. Your family has oodles of wonderful traditions! And your Christmas morning sounds a lot like ours… we had to wait until my mother had the turkey in the oven too! Oooh, the torture! ;)

      You my dear, are commenter #23

  26. 26
    Libby Reese says:

    Oh, I love all the GLH novels, although my favorite would have to be Happiness Hill. As for a family tradition, my family always makes the most delicious molasses cookies (which we call crinkle tops) and listen to Christmas music.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Libby.. I love Happiness HIll too! I have a paperback with the tackiest cover from like the 1980′s (big hair and shoulderpads and all, eek!) but the story is still just as sweet♥

      You’re commenter #24

  27. 27

    We have lots of traditions, but probably the most unique is to go out and buy weird fruit and cheese on New Year’s Eve and snack on it as we read until midnight. We love trying new things, and we’re always looking for something a bit healthier after all those cookies!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Mrs M.. that is a really great idea! We’re in search of some healthier options as well, so I may be importing that tradition, hehehe..

      And you’re commenter #25:)

  28. 28
    Bernadine says:

    This is my first time visiting your beautiful blog and your post made me smile. In fact I’m still smiling. I LOVE GLH book. In my dreams I have the super-powers her heriones seem to have

    My favorite Christmas tradition from my childhood was our family prayer before Christmas dinner. We would gather around the table, hold hands and my mom would pray.

  29. 29
    Nicole says:

    I LOVE it!! it’s beautiful :D

  30. 30
    vivian says:

    Love it Diane! what a great new place to share your awesome self with others!
    you know I love ya!
    xoxo and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    vivian

  31. 31
    Carol says:

    My husband is of Danish descent. We adopted celebrating on the 24th of December. We have our big meal in the late afternoon, followed by Christmas Eve service. If we are able, it’s nice to share our meal with a family or friend who do not have family in the area, or is not doing anything special on the 24th. On the 25th, things are very quite and peaceful in our home, allowing us to all enjoy the day. In the evening, we have birthday cake, since it’s my birthday. :) We have the bonus of the 26th being Boxing Day, so we have another day off, which is wonderful! Quietness and simplicity in celebrating the season. :)

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Carol, that does sound very quiet and peaceful.. two of my favorite things♥

      Carol, you’re commenter #29:)

  32. 32
    kristin says:

    Oh my goodness I am so excited!! I quit reading your blog in November, b/c I thought you hadn’t posted in awhile because you were quitting blogging (I can’t even remember why I thought that … sorry, holiday brain). But I missed your blog so much and sort of mourned after it. I checked again today, just to see … and you’re back, and how could I have missed it, and hooray!

    I LOVE GLH; my favorite is split between Crimson Roses and The Enchanted Barn, and I, too, am fascinated by her descriptions of meals and homemaking. I once read something her daughter wrote where she said her mother so often had barely enough to get by on that she loved to put wonderful plenty in her books! And though I have a boring old paper copy of The Substitute Guest, yours would be SO much prettier and nicer!

    The family Christmas tradition that I think of was that after we had decorated our Christmas tree, my mother would make cocoa and we would sit in the living room drinking it and eating cookies, and admiring our lovely handiwork with all the room lights off so we could really appreciate the beautiful colored ones! I have continued this with my own family. :)

    kristin

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Well Kristin.. I did kinda give up blogging… but I took it back up again, and here I yam! I’m so glad you rediscovered me ;)

      And you’re #30!

  33. 33

    About twenty years ago I bought a ceramic Nativity set that had very good detail but had been glazed poorly. While my husband was away for a two-week training school on a new machine that he would be servicing, I removed the glaze and hand painted the figurines as a gift for us. I woke early and worked on them all day for the entire two weeks only giving myself time to feed the pets and myself. I had back problems then and sitting for hours each day to paint was painful, but I finished it before my husband returned. Since then we have always placed this Nativity set predominately under our Christmas tree that is skirted with natural burlap to remind ourselves of how humble was the birthplace of our Lord.

    Since our daughter has been born, every Christmas Eve we read the story of the Christ child’s birth. Then we place open vials of frankincense and myrrh oil essences to smell them before placing them in that same Nativity. For gold, we use a gold plated bracelet. We do this to remind us that Christmas is in celebration of the birth of our Savior and that we only reason we give and receive presents to each other is because He was given these gifts. It has helped my daughter to place more importance on the Gift more than the gifts and it has worked well for she has asked for very little in the form of presents all of her young life.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh Linda, how precious, how lovely…. I would love to replicate a tradition like that in my home. But of course I wouldn’t have your lovely handpainted nativity ;)

      You my darling, are #31.

  34. 34
    Ace says:

    Sweet Mercy Girl!

    This little children of mine got me going crazy and I take a break to get a hit of some tomato soup cake and you went and got a makeover on me! It looks wonderful Diane, I am going to have to read backwards and see whats going on. I could have sworn I stopped by just last week, but maybe it was two with all the hullabaloo going on around here :)

    As for traditions, here is some I have decided on. First, I don’t personally celebrate xmass as the Birth of Christ. However, my Sweet General has deemed we will decorate and celebrate something. So off we go :) I decided we will celebrate light coming into the world (because it is around His conception as far as we can tell) and we are doing lots of lights. Then, because I am a sucker for it and because I have sweet little girls who love nightgowns (ah, who doesn’t :) we are getting new jammies (pajamias…is that how you spell that LOL). Also, because I will again attempt to diet my fat butt off starting in the new year, I think that I will deem xmas day…an all day dessert fest. AND, I personally will ask for a long hot soak in the bath with a good book (maybe the one you recommended, that sounds lovely, maybe the library has one) and I hope, though it will never happen, that no one will bang on the door and scream for me when their Father is sitting right next to them. Why on earth do children do that? LOL.

    Last but not least, I think I may possibly do my gift shopping the day AFTER xmass. Why not, you get the best deals and the holiday is when I say it is. HEHE! You just have to find a way of putting off seeing the relatives until almost new years :)

    Happy Holidays to you sweet Diane and family. Diane who was sweet to me when I was going through a very, very angry and painful time long ago.

    Many Blessings Friend :)
    Ace

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Oh Ace… I love you sooo much. I really really do. I want you to start a blog so I can come and visit you and leave sweet comments that will make your day just like you do for me ((hugs)) and more ((hugs))…

      As for the bathroom thing.. I have no idea! it is one of the mysteries of the ages, I suppose… but it was the same thing at my house. Everythign would be calm and peaceful, the kids would be happily occupied or engaged with their father, but as soon as I slithered my way to the bathroom for a second of blessed privacy… POOF! There they were. And the neeeeeded me, so very dessssperately! so yeah,.. being a mommy means never having to go to the bathroom alone ;)

      My Ace-y bug is commenter #32 :)

  35. 35
    Serena Abdelaziz says:

    So, we have lots of traditions, but I think I will post our most recent addition to the holiday. The day AFTER the big holiday meal about 6 couples (our very closest of friends) and their families bring all of their leftovers over for a nice meal to share together. We have been calling it our Friendship Feast. It really is fantastic, and we don’t have to dress up anything or make it extra special, just our “second family” coming over and enjoying a nice day. (also a great way to share leftovers)

    Merry Christmas…..to my favorite New Yorkers! :)

  36. 36
    kateri says:

    When I was growing up our big celebration was on Christmas eve and Christmas its self was a quiet day. Now that I am married, my husband I go to midnight mass, then stay up late watching a christmas movie and have a cheese and cracker/snack tray…the sleep in on Christmas day…sometimes we will have dinner with some of his family, but if it is just us, I’ll fix something special like lobster or filet mignon….you know, stuff you only eat twice a year…on our wedding aniversary or Christmas!

    I always wait to set up my favorite nativity set on Christmas eve…I have several and usually set up a few well before christmas.

    Loving your new look! And I am so thankful your posts still feed into my blogger dashboard so I don’t have to figure out how to resubscribe!

  37. 37
    Kristine says:

    Hi Diane!

    So glad to see you back blogging and your new look will have me poking in all the corners for any tidbits that may have missed in the past and hoping to find new nuggets of wonderfulness. As always, you have me smiling and looking forward to stopping by your place with my cup of coffee.

    We have several traditions that we wouldn’t consider missing… We have a nativity set that each year we look forward to setting up. The wise men start at the easternmost portion of the house and work their way toward the nativity throughout the Advent season while Joseph and Mary travel from another direction. Christmas Eve finds Joseph and Mary at the stable; Christmas Day the baby Jesus appears; and a few days later the wise men arrive.

    We have food traditions, which includes a day of baking piles and piles of pizzelle cookies of various flavors. Another food tradition is the making of homemade doughnuts on Christmas morning – real old-fashioned doughnuts, raised overnight, rolled in the morning and deep fried, then decorated with icings and sprinkles. So decadent! There is also the requisite watching of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

    And this will be our first Christmas in our new home after a cross-country move so traditions are nice to remind us of other Christmases and anchor us in our new location as well.

    And maybe 2012 will be the year you and I finally get to meet in person for a cup of joe.

    Hugs to you sweet lady,
    Kristine

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      It may not surprise you to hear that I am a hard core Wonderful Life fan as well :) And I was so hoping that we could get together sometime around this Christmas, but sadly Amelia has the baby on the 23rd and again on the 26th, so we are hemmed in on either side of Christmas day :( We may have to aim for a special trip…. and I don’t know about you, but it would be absolutely, completely and totally worth it for me to meet you gals♥ Seriously.. we MUST meet. It is a life requirement of mine!

      And my sweet Kristine, the sistah I have never met, is commenter #35!

  38. 38
    Sommer says:

    Lovely new spot!

    Well, we don’t have a lot of traditions, but one is to make paper snowflakes(being in our part of CA that may be all the white Christmas we ever get) and of course the making of frosted sugar cookies. I hope we continue to make more traditions as the years go by, but those have been stand bys since I was a girl :-)

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Girl it just don’t get much better than frosted cookies and paper snowflakes! Sounds like serious fun to me :D

      And SOmmer is commenter #36!

  39. 39
    Jane says:

    I love your new look! We have a few traditions, but the first one that comes to mind is watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, with plenty of popcorn, of course.

    BTW, my favorite GLH is “Rainbow Cottage”. My dear daughter got it for me a couple of years ago after we read a library copy. Merry Christmas!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Jane… you’re not the first gal who has mentioned “Rainbow Cottage” as a favorite. I am hot on the trail of that one now!

      Jane, you’re commenter #37!

  40. 40
    Deanna says:

    Diane,

    Your new home on the web is wonderful.

    You know I love this book – I think GLH heroines are so fun because they embrace their womanhood! Love that about them!

    This was a fun post! I love Daryl’s mother “We want everything to move along as if there is no such thing as work, don’t we?” Yet I realize that is what I do…cooking ahead so the day is relaxed and easy….

    Our biggest tradition is opening our stockings on Christmas Eve!

    Merry Christmas!
    Deanna

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Absolutely Deanna! They just seem to glory in their womanhood and are always so buy and fulfilled. It’s truly inspiring. And that line you pulled out? It’s my fave too♥

      Deanna is commenter #38

  41. 41
    Christi says:

    Our family tradition is we always have a “shepherds meal” on Christmas Eve. Our children really look forward to it. It always includes things the children think the shepherds ate while out in the fields tending sheep. We always try to have quail eggs, olives, flat bread, cheese and grape juice. I like to add baked chicken legs (for protien) and some sort of soup as well to round out the meal. We eat by candlelight and read the account of Christ’s birth. They love it, we love it!

    I love your new blog look. I haven’t been to visit in a long time and I don’t think I have ever commented…maybe once. The cupboard is a cute idea…I love your whole theme! Very creative.

    Hugs and Merry Christmas.

  42. 42
    Alana Tatter says:

    Whee! So many fun Christmas holiday traditions!

    I think my favorite traditions are that we read the Christmas story from Matthew and Luke before opening presents and make a Birthday cake for Jesus. It isn’t a big rush, and it’s not about the gifts, but through the whole day we remember that Jesus came to earth to save us from our sins!

    Your new blog looks lovely, by the way. Merry Christmas!

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      I know Alana.. aren’t these traditions great? I wish I could make my kids little again just so I could institute one or two (or ten or twenty!) of them :D I love the way you put it especially…. “it’s not about the gifts, but through the whole day we remember that Jesus came to earth to save us from our sins!” Amen sistah!

      You, my sistah, are commenter #40!

  43. 43
    Cindy says:

    Our family tradition is to have a huge celebration with all our extended family at my house on Christmas Eve. We have had up to 30 people, and all the children open gifts from one another. My mom started that tradition so that, as we grew and had our own families, all the little ones could be at their own home on Christmas Day. Now that my children are older, Christmas Day is sort of quiet, but not in a bad way, just in a peaceful way.

    I have lurked on your site for a while, and I am so glad you are back in full force. Thank you for inspiring me daily to be a better mom and a better person.

  44. 44
    Amy Jo says:

    Good Morning Diane,

    Your new site is amazing! I can never figure out half the things I would like to do on my blog…. Oh well I try :) My favorite family tradition is having all of the family over including extended family. We normally do this on Christmas day, because after presents, what do you do? Well we decided to have a party! So every Christmas we focus on cooking and getting ready for everyone to come. Mom brings her smoked salmon dip made in the shape of a pinecone and it is the Best! There is my sister in laws Jello cake. Our Aunts salad and cream pies. OH I Just can’t wait!!! My husband and I cook the meats and the main sides and then there are lots and lots of goodies….but most importantly there is love and laughter and just a whole lot of fun!

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Amy Jo.. I can’t figure these things out either. That’s why I had Gretchen help me… or more accurately, that’s why I had Gretchen do the whole thing ;) And wowserz.. I’d love the recipe for your mom’s smoked salmon dip. Do you think she might be willing to share it?

      Amy Jo is number 42… hey maybe if you win, you’ll share that recipe, huh? ;)

  45. 45
    Jennifer V says:

    I love Christmas traditions! We track Santa on Norad on Christmas Eve and then we have certain foods that are only made on Christmas that we eat. Those include my mother’s meatball recipe, thumbprint cookies, meltaway cookies, and fudge. Oh and we also watch Rudolph before the boys go to bed :)

    I’m pregnant with our third child this year (7 weeks now!) and I’m not up to making everything but we will still have the thumbprints and the fudge :)

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Tracking Santa! How fun is that? You know when I was a kid, Walter Cronkite would announce that “the satellite weather service has spotted an unidentified flying object coming from the area of the North Pole.” And then they’d show a silhouette of a sleigh progressing across the globe. Mr. Cronkite would act all perplexed as to what the object could be and all us kids would be shouting at the TV, “It;s Santa! It’s Santa!” hehehe… ahh I miss Walter Cronkite!

      Jennifer V is commenter #43

  46. 46
    Jenni says:

    Growing up we would stay up till midnight Christmas Eve and open one present, then go to bed. Thinking back now I think it was my parents way of making sure we didnt wake up too early the next morning:) hehehehe Now with my children we make a birthday cake for Jesus. They are still little so are always adding to our traditions:) Praying you have a blessed Christmas!

  47. 47
    Amelia says:

    On Christmas Eve, the kids get to open up ONE present. We make them wait until dinner is over and has been cleaned up (they are the fastest eaters and most helpful cleaners you’ve ever seen). Then they hem and haw for several minutes over what gift to open-they inspect the wrapping, shake the box and try to make sure they don’t pick out something they might not be able to play with.

    Then we watch them open their gift and play with it for the rest of the night. it is a great reminder every year that a little can go a looong way in the gift department :)

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Hey Amelia.. great name girlie;) We always were able to open one gift on Christmas eve as well. Those were some very appreciated toys, that’s for sure♥

      Not-my-daughter-Amelia is commenter #45 :)

  48. 48
    Cindy says:

    Diane, love the make-over and look forward to more wonderful posts.

    Our longest traditions include my Grandma’s fudge. I remember her having some for Christmas when I was a little girl. Then one year we decided to go cut our Christmas tree and I didn’t have anything for a picnic lunch. All I had was Pepsi and fudge. The boys loved it! They now insist we take fudge and soda each year.

    Another tradition, which may seem very strange, that just started 6 years ago. Is we give all the girls (daughter-in-laws and granddaughters) a flower for Christmas. We had four sons, so we try to go out of our way to help the girls feel special. Even our daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Texas get a flower from us.

    • Diane Shiffer says:

      Hey Pepsi and fudge sounds like the perfect Christmas tree hunting lunch to me too! A boy needs to keep up his energy, after all;)

      Cindy, you’re commenter #46!

  49. 49
    Erin Parker says:

    My mom and I always decorate my Christmas tree together.

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