Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"I Don't Wait for Christmas"

[House Beautiful 1983]

"And as soon as that Thanksgiving turkey
becomes a big pot of soup,
I zoom into Christmas with great expectations.
I don't wait for Christmas,
I create it."

Dee Hardie

The picture above is the side door of the house of Dee Hardie, my Christmas mentor. Isn't it just as beautiful today as it was when it appeared in the 1983 issue of House Beautiful magazine? And the boxwood wreaths are one of many she made each December from the bushes on the front lawn of their Thornhill Farm. Dee said that after she pruned the bushes she patted them and thanked "them for their winter kindness." She wrote that she could "whip up a wreath in twenty minutes." I have to remind myself that this is the woman who also wove her own Nantucket Lightship Baskets so it would probably take me quite a bit longer. I wish I could have had private lessons in making both the wreaths and the baskets but one thing my Christmas Mentor taught me was to begin getting ready for Christmas much earlier than I had ever done. 

When I was a child I doubt if my parents even thought about Christmas until a couple of weeks before. My father remembered his oldest brother hitching the horse to the wagon and going to town on Christmas Eve to buy a few sweets for the young kids, and that was Christmas.  

It doesn't happen that way anymore, does it? And I can't say that I'm sorry it doesn't. Like Dee Hardie, I prefer not to wait for Christmas. It's much more fun to "zoom into Christmas with great expectations." Around our house, there is still so much to be done. R.H. wonders if I'll ever get it done in time, but I assure him that I will, with his help. 

I'll even have time to watch all the old Christmas movies and read the old Christmas books. Like this one, Elizabeth Yates' Once in the Year.

Sorry for the blurriness. I was behind the camera on that one. Here is one R.H. took that shows the charming illustrations of Nora S. Unwin. 

"Martha was making Christmas cookies and Peter sat on the stool in the kitchen watching her." Yates' story is a version of those about the age-old question, "Do the animals talk to each other in the barn on Christmas Eve at midnight?" Here is a link to some old 1947 copies of the book that I found.

I hope you don't mind me showing you some of my old favorite Christmas books in these December posts. I am choosing ones that I haven't yet seen on Pinterest. I want to be able to include them on my Christmas Books board, and this is the best way for me to do it. And there might be one or two of you that collect vintage Christmas books who would like to add these to your collection. 

Meanwhile, I'm busy like you all are, trying to get ready for Christmas. We don't have any of the big boxwood bushes that Dee Hardie had at her home in Maryland. What we do have is lots of holly and ivy and sumac with pretty red seeded branches so that's what we use here. 

Please don't forget to join the bloggers listed below on Monday December 9 to Saturday December 14 for the Tis the Season Blog Tour!

Monday December 9, 2013
Tuesday December 10, 2013
Poppy of Poppy View

Wednesday December 11, 2013
Sherry, Jess, and Nel of Red Rose Alley
Patty of Home and Lifestyle Design

Thursday December 12, 2013
Melanie of Comfy House
Brenda of Cozy Little House

Friday December 13, 2013
Melinda of The Refeathered Roost

Saturday December 14, 1013
Kathryn of The Dedicated House
Dewena of Across the Way

And before Thanksgiving memories slip too far away, I thought you might like to see a picture of my sister Jenn's Thanksgiving table.

My sister Deb took these beautiful pictures. Don't you just love the pink glow?

And isn't my great-niece beautiful?


  1. Hi Friend! I start early but never finish. When folks say "Are you ready for Christmas?" my reply is "No. I just quit when it comes and start on next year." I'm truly not as bad as I once was. You will chastise me, but there is no tree again this year. Miss Molly Beagle is still much too rambunctious and my collected and treasured ornaments too fragile. I wish you the most fun decorating and enjoying this season.

    1. Sami, I believe completely that you have to change traditions as the time demands it. Next year I may just put some fresh flowers and flowering plants and greenery around and take the time off to read more and visit some of the historical homes that Nashville is so blessed with, like Belle Meade Plantation and Cheekwood.

  2. Dewena, it is not surprising, (according to your words of praise for Dee Hardie), that her beautiful side entrance is just as stylish today as it was thirty years ago!! Natural touches, wildlife inspiration and a less is more philosophy, makes the perfect seasonal statement, especially when RED is involved!

    Your sister Jenn's Thanksgiving table is absolutely charming, and her guests look quite thankful to be part of this cozy gathering, where the spirit of the day glows on the table, set with a pretty centerpiece of candles.

    You and R.H. sound busy as ever! Glad to see that you are confident about making the decking the halls 'deadline'. You must be extremely organized and well taught by your skilled and savvy teacher, who has bestowed upon you her expertise and elegance, I'm sure.

    Looking forward to visiting you on our blog tour! Until then...happy zooming!


    1. Poppy, wait until I post the picture of her kitchen with its red touches! It is still just as relevant and beautiful today as then also.

      I was so glad Jenn gave me permission to post her Thanksgiving table picture and that all the guests agreed. I know the food must have been amazing too!

      As far as being well taught by my Christmas Mentor, oh, how I wish that when I grow up I could be just like her!

  3. My Mom always put things up the day after Thanksgiving and so I have done the same thing until a few years ago. Our Christmas has changed in the last few years. Tommorrow I will start to decorate our home, but in a different way than usual.

    1. Then your mother did get an early start! I can't wait to see how you've decided to change things up this year!

  4. Dewena, will there be a series of links for us to use to get to the tours?

    1. Yes, Becky, I'm glad you asked! All you have to do is click on the names of the blogs listed above and it will take you to their blog. And their blogs will have the list of names to click on also so you can go from one to another as the week goes by. We will keep posting these names and links from now until the tour ends.

      And of course, please visit them now, even before the tour begins, to get to know any that you don't already visit.

      Thank you for asking!

  5. A beautiful post, Dewena. We don't wait for Christmas. We are in the midst of Christmas!

    Enjoyed this so much.

    1. Thank you so much, Pat! I knew you would be in the midst! And loving every minute of it!

  6. oh my gosh dewena! so very beautiful. i'm loving your Christmastime posts! but then i love all your posts! LOL.
    thank you for the links! i'm going to visit them early.
    jen sets the most exquisite table! a lovely family round it too! xoxo

    1. Thank you, my sweet Oklahoma friend! And do visit my tour-mates. Most of them are new friends to me and they are so nice!

      Yes, Jenn does set a beautiful table!

  7. I have been tweaking Christmas decor all day and still have a few touches to do! Will I ever be completely done? I also need to get a start on baking some Christmas cookies. Your sister's Thanksgiving table was beautiful - and yes, so is your great-niece!

    1. Thank you so much, Melanie! I love it when I can put my sisters on the blog. All three of them of dear ladies. I keep trying to talk them into blogging too!

      You are ahead of me on the decorating if you only have a few touches still to do!

  8. Deweena, you will laugh.. I have never watched the whole movie "It's a Wonderful Life"... but I can't wait to see "The Bishop's Wife" yearly, and cry every time. I wanted to be so beautiful as Loretta Young... !
    I think your house will be wonderful and will look forward to seeing it on the tour.

    1. Oh, Mary Ann, me too! Loretta Young was the epitome of beauty and grace! And then later I wished I were Leslie Caron.

  9. Dewena, Your table looks pretty and all of you look happy. You know as soon as thanksgiving is over...I just can't stand to look at pumpkins...I do not want to see them in the snow either. I don't know why. I guess I want it to be totally Christmas. There's some people in the town north of here....they decorate like crazy for halloween and then leave it til almost Christmas. Yuck. LOL. Take care sweety, xoxo,Susie

    1. Hi Susie, thank you so much, but the table is my sister Jenn's and my sister Deb is taking the picture and so was not in the photo and it is part of their two families there enjoying Thanksgiving! Just wanted you to know because I did so much appreciate Jenn letting me share the pictures of her table on my blog!

  10. You our family looks so happy and loving around the table. This is the first year ever that I decorated before Christmas. Even though I was having thanksgiving company I knew these past thee days would be extremely busy. And I'm glad I did. I would have never gotten it done this week with vet and dr appointments, and concerts. I thought by now I'd have some pictures up but they will have to wait until I get back fromVA. If I don't post for a few days you will know I'm busy shopping and enjoying my sister's company. Love to you, peg

    1. They do look happy, but they were missing sons and their families who couldn't make it home for Thanksgiving.

      Have a great time with your sister! You and your sisters really know how to have fun!

  11. I love to see natural elements used for Christmas decor...the holly/ivy/sumac/red berries bouquet is perfect. The Thanksgiving pictures really capture the beauty of what the holiday is all about! Beautiful family!

  12. Dewena,
    What a lovely Thanksgiving table and you are absolutely correct about the lovely glow! I can tell by everyone's faces that a good time was had by all.
    I would love to have a side entrance like your Christmas mentor Dee Hardie- in fact I would love to have Dee as my mentor as well!
    I am covered in glitter and have a stiff neck tonight from embracing the Christmas spirit with a zest and zeal! I shall begin again in the morning.
    Beautiful post-

  13. Dewena:

    The Thanksgiving table looks wonderful. It is so wonderful to be able to get together with family during the holidays. Dee Hardie's side entrance looks so lovely - I love everything about it. By the way you can mention all the books you want - I love books. It is nice to prepare for a holiday and not just let it happen. Lovely post!
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

  14. I love that old illustration and the dining table with all of those beautiful candles burning is beautiful. Lovely family photos and yes your great-niece is lovely indeed! :)

  15. Another great quote from Dee! And yes, her décor is timeless. I love the illustrations in old books, and I'm so glad you're sharing Christmas books. Looks like a wonderful time at your sister's beautiful T'giving table. laurie

  16. What beautiful Thanksgiving pictures! The candlelight reflect the spirit of love! Just beautiful!


Hello! We would love to hear from you and get to know you in return. Thank you for visiting.