Snug at Home in December

During the month of December, it's so nice to enjoy time at home.
Taking the time to notice the play of light and shadows in the entrance of my apartment.
Noticing the colour of the wood on my chair and the butterfly cushion.

Moving in closer, to see the Chinese lanterns that I love to keep in a vase at this time of the year.
The little dove wall hanging given to me by a good friend
and the tiny doll in a rocking chair given to me some years' ago
by a charming American lady called Belle, who used to paint
dolls' faces and dress the dolls.

When I made my bed in the morning sunlight, I enjoyed bathing
in that gentle light and was reminded of the book
that I want to finish reading during the holiday period.

Since Christmas is coming, it's the perfect time to get out my blue Mason Cash
mixing bowl and make some cookie dough for gingerbread men.
I froze most of the dough to bake these cookies fresh just before Christmas

... but I had to bake a few to taste, just to make sure they were spicy enough!
The pretty tea-cloth is a gift from my son who bought it when he visited
Windsor Castle recently!

I hadn't made rum balls for a few years, so decided it was time to make them again.
They're also in the freezer!

Then I made some chocolate truffles.
Oh my! They were too good to keep out, so I ate two and froze the others! 
I also made two other kinds of cookie dough that I've been making since my children were small.
Everything will be baked at the last minute so that it's extra fresh.

My little branch elves have found a special place on my small round table.
I bought them years ago in a craft market and they come out every year
to warm themselves by candlelight.

December is also the month for crocheting decorations.
This year, I found some glitter yarn in different colours and decided to make trees.
I like to try out different patterns and also use old favourites like the snowflakes
in this posting from 2012.

I love the atmosphere of lighted candles, the smell of baking, 
the inevitable mess of strewn yarns and my crochet hooks -
 it reminds me of when my children were little and I was always so busy
 preparing decorations and gifts and making our home inviting and full of 
the delicious aromas of baking!

The heartbeat of my neighbourhood

With all these inside activities, it good to remember to get out at different moments
during the day.
Sometimes, when I notice a special lighting outside, I like to take my camera
and catch a sunset.
From my local park, I can see the tip of the faraway mountains
 and connect with the neighbourhood in which I am living.
When I look at my street already in darkness, I see how all the buildings have joined up
as one connected scene, how the lights have come on in certain homes
and how friendly it all feels.
Although I have no close friends in the area, in this evening lighting, 
I feel a oneness with all I see
and how the rays of the setting sun bring us all together.
I return home to my small, snug apartment and feel contentment.

The lights on the small, real Christmas tree bring joy and warmth to this hanging heart.
I also think of those who once shared my life and are no longer there.
Remembering them brings them close again.
The heart is in their memory.

As we come to the end of this year, it is good to remember how we can become
more conscious and aware human beings.
Each one of us can do our part to protect our planet for future generations.

The tiny fir tree decorated for Christmas is watered regularly
and I will plant it outside so that it can grow bigger.
Forests and all trees are the lungs of the Earth
We need them to survive and they slow down global warming.
They need protecting.

Why not plant a tree in memory of a loved one today?

Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances,
may this holiday period be gentle to you.
For those who celebrate Christmas, may it be meaningful and joyful.

I am taking a blog break, probably until some time in January.
In the meantime,
take care!


  1. My goodness you have been busy - all those delicious treats. Love your light and shadow pictures - your apartment looks so bright and yet cozy at the same time. Enjoy your time away and the Christmas festivities. Looking forward to seeing you again in the new year.

    1. Hello Elaine, yes I see how busy I have been in-between doing other things! I had to get organized early this year as I'm going away for five days and then coming back just before Christmas to go up into the mountains to join my children! Happy Christmas to you!

  2. Merry Christmas, Sandra, and thank you for sharing a slice of your life this December. I love the touches of red throughout and the baking looks heavenly. See you in 2016.

    1. Thank you, Kim. Happy Christmas to you also and see you in the new year!

  3. Another lovely post, thank you Sandra.

    Thanks for all the wonderful and calming and thought-provoking posts and brilliant photography throughout the year.

    Always a pleasure to come and visit.

    Enjoy your break, Merry Christmas

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

    1. Thank you, Sarn, for such lovely thoughts. I appreciate your friendly visits throughout the year! Merry Christmas!

  4. Your photos are like an early Christmas gift, Sandra. The treats are making my mouth water! That amaryllis is a lovely shade of rose. We're In Denver for a few days - I want to buy some bulbs at a little flower shop so I can see them blooming in January in the mountains. Enjoy your holiday!

    1. Thank you, Barb. Enjoy your time in Denver and I hope you find some gorgeous Amaryllis bulbs! I have another plant which will flower just after Christmas. January often needs a bit of cheerful colour, doesn't it? Happy Christmas to you and your family!

  5. I have not made a visit lately but now up in the night and I visit.
    So peaceful are your words and images...
    You reminded me of "rum balls" and need to once again make them.
    Enjoy your days away.

    1. Thank you for popping in. These are just little corners of my home as I enjoy these weeks prior to Christmas. Glad you're going to make rum balls again. It's always good to be generous with the rum!

  6. What lovely, tasteful decorations! Love those tree elves.

    1. Yes, those tree elves have been part of the month of December for over twenty years now. I even got someone to cut me some small branches in a similar fashion so that I can create some of my own!

  7. those elves looks like a bunch of santas - very cute.

    hope you enjoy the holidays.

    1. Yes, those elves do look like a bunch of santas! I love natural decorations like these! Happy holidays to you!

  8. Sandra,

    Everything is wonderful! What lovely! <3

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


    1. Thank you, Sissym! Wishing you also a wonderful Christmas and an exciting New Year!

  9. Wonderful photos! I love how you have tied it all together with memories and what you are doing now. It is so wonderful to have those memories. And some getgreat surprises! Have a wonderful Christmas holidays and a Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Mary! Somehow, Christmas is about memories, isn't it? All the preparations that we have been doing over the years and which we do every year and enjoy so much in the moment as we remember those in the past as our families were getting bigger and the children growing up! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family! We shall be in touch!

  10. Hi Sandra, awesome photos and a warm and wonderful blog. Whenever I drop in, I feel so welcome and peaceful. Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

    1. I am glad you feel welcome and peaceful when you come in to visit!
      Wishing you also a Joyful Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

  11. Looks so wonderfully festive and fabulous! Love those trees too 😀

    S x

    1. Thank you! I really enjoy preparing the Christmas mood, and I know you do too!

  12. I'm with you 100% on this post Sandra and not only do I appreciate all the beautiful things that you make (love those crocheted trees) bake (rum balls yum) and photograph (the light in your home) but I rally connect with what you say about thinking about how we can become more conscious human beings and ways to protect the environment for future generations. If we don't then life just becomes all about our comfort and that is not enough if we truly care about our planet and all humanity...

    1. Thank you, Sherry. Yes, it is important to recognize that we are responsible for the health of our planet and for those who come after us.
      Like you, I love a homemade Christmas and my fingers have been busy!

  13. What a lovely, warm Christmas you're having! I love your little elves. I have a few hand-carved Santas on my tree, they're among my favorite ornaments. I also love your crocheted trees, they'll be so pretty handing from the tree! Enjoy the rest of your holiday season, my friend!

    1. Thank you, Cathy. I've always enjoyed preparing for Christmas with homemade decorations and tasty and traditional things to eat. Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas!

  14. Thanks for the intimate visit into your world, Sandra! Everything looks so lovely and peaceful. I wish you a wonderful time with your family and friends this holiday season. Enjoy!!!

    1. So nice to invite you into my little world, Anna! Thank you for your seasonal wishes!

  15. Oh Sandra your posts are wonderful. Think I have said that before....Nice to be invited to your "home" like this anyway. Wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and looking forward to "see" you back in 2016!

    1. So glad you came in to visit me at home, Lasse! Being merry today - and eating just a little bit too much! Till next year!

  16. I just stumbled upon your blog via a long time bloggie friend, Christine. I ADORE your wood elves. Awwww. Your photography is so beautiful and weaves perfectly in and out of your writing. I felt so "at home" here tonight, reading from my sofa with the dim lights and Christmas tree glowing next to me. Wonderful blog. :)

    1. Alexandra, how nice of you to visit and I am happy that you came to visit me, both here at home and in this blog space! Thank you for your friendly words! Warmly, Sandra

  17. Lovely post and lovely photos Sandra! Loved the light! Hope you had a lovely holiday and enjoy your blog break! See you sometime in January!
    Kate :}

    1. Thanks, Kate. Yes, there has been plenty going on since mid-December! I feel my blog break will soon be over - the new year is already tingling inside me!