Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Musings

Hello, chickadees!  Our part of the world is about to get hit with a winter storm that will keep us all shoveling and snow blowing for the next couple of days.  Mr. Magpie and I had plans with friends for the whole weekend, plans involving festive things like horse and carriage rides, holiday fairs, brunch, and long walks.  Most of those plans have been cancelled, which makes us sad, but we are consoling ourselves with a roaring fire in the fireplace and copious cups of tea on the sofa avec les chats. 

All in all, this Christmas season is turning out to be a wonderful one.  I've made a few twig wreaths, including the one above, using invasive vines we had cleared from the property.  No wires needed to make these simple wreaths.  Just weave the vines around the bottom of an old bucket to get started, and then you can finish the wreaths as natural, free-form lovelies from there.  Even better than the wreaths are the driftwood trees that my sister is making.  I will share a picture of the one she made me soon.

I'll be making my Maine Needham candies soon, too.  You can click this post from last year for my recipe.  If you like Almond Joys, you will love these candies made with chocolate, almonds (in my version), coconut, and potatoes.  Sounds crazy, but they taste divine.   

I know I'm partial, but I can't imagine a better place than Maine at Christmastime.  The morning that we went to our favorite tree farm, a light snow began to fall, turning the whole place into a snow globe.  As we tramped through the brambles in search of a tree that "needed us," as Charlie Brown would say, we could hear kids laughing and running through the trees.  Pure magic.  

And then there was the visit to the Holiday Open House at the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, a wonderful farm where they rescue horses.

I can't imagine Christmas without animals and long walks in wild places.  This Christmas we plan on going for a walk through one of our favorite bird-watching spots, Gilsland Farm.  We've been hearing about a lot of owl sightings in the area, so we're hoping for some good luck.  In our own backyard, the feeders have been visited by all the usual suspects, along with red breasted woodpeckers and lots of Carolina Wrens, which are a lovely tawny color against winter's snow and bare branches.  We've cracked open the autumn pumpkins to share with the squirrels and chipmunks, who have been feasting on them all week.

We are off to a holiday open house tonight to see friends and raise a cup of cheer before the snow flies.  It is bitterly cold outside, on its way to below zero in the next few hours, so I am worried about all the folks who don't have coats and mittens or even a roof over their heads tonight.  Wherever you are, I hope you are safe and warm and dry.  I hope you have a full belly, and I hope people you love are nearby--or just a phone call or a text away.  This can be a joyous time of year, but it can be incredibly hard, too.  May we all be able to give help when it is needed . . . and ask for help when we need it ourselves. 

xo Gigi 


  1. We are all snuggled in here Gigi, the same storm as you but all the way here in Canada. We did our driving errands early in the day and happy to stay put watching holiday movies and wearing our PJ's. There is much to be said for a good winter storm! Your photos and holiday musings were lovely to read tonight..............Happy Holidays Gigi. xx

    1. Sounds to me like you two know how to do a storm the right way, Sande! Hope you're having a cozy snow day. We watched The Holiday for the umpteenth time last night. It was just about the perfect thing to do! xo

  2. You live in a pretty magical place, Gigi. The scenes you paint with your words have me feeling warm and cozy. I am settled in for the night having just decorated the tree and watching White Christmas. Sending you lots of love and holiday cheer, lovely lady! xxoo

    1. Oh, Cathi, decorating the tree and watching White Christmas--that's heaven! Lots of love to you, too, my friend! xo

  3. I love the vintage ornaments - they stir up some deep and nostalgic feeling of "holiday" inside me and make me smile. I've been homebound for the last couple of weeks as I recover from hip replacement surgery and we've actually had some bitter cold and icy weather. I am actually thankful to have this time inside, enjoying the glow of the Christmas tree lights and wonderful smelling candles. Feeling so blessed to have a warm and cozy place to heal and spend the holidays!

    1. I hope you are well on your way to a complete recovery, Jane. You have such an incredibly positive attitude that I'm sure it's helping your healing process!

      I feel just as you do about the vintage ornaments. I love taking them out each year.

      Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas season! xo

  4. Beautiful sentiments Gigi.I am in love with your 'snow-globe' world. It is so very beautiful.

  5. First of all your photographs are just wonderful.
    Oh to sit by the fire, chat, run through the snow to
    find the perfect tree, and visit rescued animals.
    Also love the vine wreath. I think next year I must
    go more natural, as I just love the natural feel of the

  6. Your words open my eyes in the same way as your photographs...magic. Look forward to skype on manuscript in the new year. Thank you!

  7. WoW!!! Such a poignant post and a beautiful photo to accompany it.

  8. Hello, friend. I wanted to stop by and thank you for being a part of my blog in 2013. You have been a blessing to me. For the coming year, I have a few wishes for you.

    May 2014 bring you much joy.
    May we all have peace in our homes,
    laughter by our firesides,
    time spent with family,
    and contentment in our hearts.
    Be well, my friend.

  9. Hello my friend... it looks as though you had a most magical Christmas! (I know that word magical is overused, but I couldn't help it.. your photos look magical!!) I have missed you so much and I feel so nostalgic for the old days when I was a better blogger and much more connected to the bloggers that I have come to know and love. I'm feeling a new wave of inspiration though.. I hope to see a whole lot more of you this coming year. It's going to be a good one.. I can feel it. I send you love and hugs, sweet Gigi. Good things. xo

  10. Your holidays looks so wonderful - I hope they were. But, I am missing you here. Hello, my friend.


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