Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fire Light, Twinkle Lights, and Warm Woolen Blankets

The post Christmas week is one of my favorites.
There is no rush to do much of anything.
It's a time to relax after the crush of holiday parties.
A time of leisure to enjoy quiet moments by the fire, to
treasure these last days of the glow from the 
tree lights and shiny ornaments, and to bask in the
splendor and joy of this beautiful holiday.

Our tree is a collected tree.  
The ornaments are ones acquired through the years,
some from our childhood trees, some from my single days.
others added through the 42 years of our marriage.

This "golden" duck wish bone with sequin details
was crafted by my mother-in-law and given 
to us for our first Christmas tree the year we married.
A bone saved from one of the Thanksgiving ducks were used
to make this "good luck" ornament for our tree.

Many have asked to see more details of our tree, 
so I've focused in on a few themes within 
the ornaments that hang on our Christmas tree.

If you follow my blog, 
you know of my passion for MacKenzie-Childs,
especially the brand's Courtly Check pattern.

We started adding MacKenzie-Childs ornaments 
to our tree in 2000 with the two you see above.

As the number of ornaments have accumulated,
our tree has taken on a distinct Courtly Check theme.
These are but a few of the incredible 
MacKenzie-Childs ornaments on our tree.

This darling Courtly Check cake plate mimics the life size one
The Chef gave me on my 60th birthday.

Various cooking theme ornaments reflect
The Chef's passion for food and cooking.

Tea theme pieces are a nod to
my fondness for tea time.

 Our love of France is 
also reflected on our tree.

This charming Louis Nicole French couple
were added to our tree in 1983.
You can read a complete post about 
Monsieur Chien and Mademoiselle Chat here.

Of course there are other dog ornaments too.
This year there was a new tartan dish under the tree.
Our sweet Sadie girl inspects it frequently asking,
"So where are the goodies, folks?"

 A collection of beautiful glass heart ornaments
are scattered throughout the branches.
The one above top row center is a treasured gift from my mother,
while most of the others were gifts from a dear friend 
who brings me a new heart each Christmas.
This is just a sampling!

 I am a Chi Omega alumna, so it is no surprise
that owls have flown onto the branches of our tree.

This guy sporting real feathers is new this year, my treasure from
 the ornament exchange at my recent dinner party.

Other birds have flocked to our tree through the years as well.
The Courtly Check bird on the egg is a rare
MacKenzie-Childs ornament.

Generally our tree looks much the same year to year, 
a tweak here and there or a new ornament found or gifted.
This year, I added the plaid picks that Pier 1 offered.
I like the pop of red plaid with the Pier 1 
burlap picks I've used for years.

To top our 2017 tree, I unpacked this exquisite
  MacKenzie-Childs handpainted glass topper.
Since I hadn't used this piece in recent years,
 it added an elegant fresh touch.

A small tabletop tree on the 
dining room buffet glows with tiny lights.

Another small tree sparkles with lights
by the side entrance to welcome us home.

Here at Hyacinths for the Soul,
 the post Christmas week is one of fire light,
 twinkle lights, and warm woolen blankets.

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Your ornaments are amazingly beautiful! I love that you've collected them over time and they have meaning to you. :)

    1. Thanks, Stacey. I love a collected tree because the ornaments tell a story of years past. When I pull them out each year, it is as if old friends have come to visit.

  2. Happy Holidays.
    I hope this card finds you well, and that you have a fantastic 2018.

  3. So many wonderful memories on your tree! I love the Courtly Check cake plate that mimics the life size one.
    How sweet that the Chef gave it to you on your 60th birthday.

  4. Merry Christmas Week Sarah! I love this week too after the hustle and bustle of December. I so enjoyed seeing your beautiful collection of Courtly Checks on your tree, along with your hearts, birds, 'chefy' ornaments and your stunning tree topper. The plaid picks add such a festive touch, I missed seeing those from Pier 1. Chloe & Gracie have tartan dish bowl envy. ;) Enjoy this week by the twinkling lights and blazing fireplace. It's in the teens here this morning...brrr!

  5. I love that they all have meaning also..I must admit even the all CC vignette is darling..everything is beautiful..and your Chef is your greatest gift of all..I actually mentioned you and the letter on my blog hope you do not mind;) Happy New year Sarah and Monsieur le chef..that heart from your mom?♥♥♥

  6. Oh, I love your various themes of collected ornaments, Sarah! This week is all about savoring the season we work so hard to assemble. Thank you for sharing yours!

  7. Love your gorgeous ornaments! And i love twinkle lights. Happy New Year!

  8. I'm with you in loving this post Christmas week, Sarah. In fact, I love and appreciate January and February, too.
    I so enjoyed seeing all the special ornaments that have been collected over the years. I think my favorite one is the cake stand with the pretty cake. You and your chef must so love the coziness and twinkle of your wonderful home. Happy New Year to both of you!

  9. Sarah your tree is so pretty and full of memories. I too enjoy the week after Christmas and the tree lights glowing. I'll put it all away soon.I had a great visit with daughter #1 but she has flown back to Calif. I'll spend New Years with good friends this year. I'm looking forward to it.

  10. Sarah, your week sounds perfect to me! Your ornaments are beautiful and I love the fact you have collections that you love and treasured memories! I have out-of-town friends visiting with me this week, so it has been busy but fun. Wishing you and your Chef a Happy New Year!

  11. Your tree and ornaments are so beautiful Sarah, I would be so afraid I would break one of those delicate MKC creations! I have been tempted by their after Christmas sale this week, and almost bought something but it sold out before I did...of course I regret it now! We had a busy couple of undecorating days after Christmas so we could get back to our quiet lifestyle on the coast. I plan on enjoying a leisurely January...Happy New Year Sarah!

  12. Dearest Sarah,
    You have a lovely collection of very memorable and special ornaments.
    We did not put up a tree after we had to move back to the north, on Campbell Soup's demand. I did give it all away. Kept only some very special ornaments, created by my dear Mother-in-law and the lady that adopted me as her daughter. We do have several fond ornaments but no tree and I like to keep it that way. No fuss if you plan to travel during this time of the year.
    Wishing you a Happy New Year from our sunny spot here in south Florida. We will head home on the last day of the year, back to the frosty nights in Georgia!

  13. It's beautiful in every way, Sarah! I love how you used your MC tureen for the dining room tree and I really appreciate your ornaments -- Paris, things that have history, your passion for MC and dogs, all reflected. I believe the best trees are ones that reflect who we are, what we love and how we live and have lived. Yours certainly does that! Happy New Year!

  14. Love your collected ornaments, Sarah. I love that they have special meanings to you. I didn’t put up a big tree this year because I knew I would be spending time with my mom and I wouldn’t have time to take it down. I can’t stand the cold either, missing our good FL weather. I stay in my pj’s all day. I just went out to take pictures. I hope you and your hubby have a happy new year.....Christine

  15. You have the best collection of MC ornaments and dishes. Your tree is beautiful! Wishing you a wonderful and happy New Year!

  16. I so agree with you, I love the week after Christmas, too. And, your fabulous owl ornaments!

  17. I love it all, especially the little French couple! Everything is so sweet on your tree!

    Happy New Year!

  18. I felt your post was so relevant to how I feel right now...just relaxing and doing what brings me calmness and alone time. I love the holidays-as much as I plan to downsize decor next year, I'm going to do some polite passes on parties. I don't want to remember Christmas's in the past as being hectic, stressful, and something to 'get over'. :(

    I always love a good peek at ornaments. You have such a love of MC, I'm not surprised to see those treasures! I actually have one ornament from when I was single, a little Hallmark penguin on ski's! I hang it on my tree every year and no one knows it's significance. I was twenty-five when we married...I don't think I had a tree, even tiny, until I married.

    Sending love to you, Sarah. Have a Happy New Year if we don't blog before. I am, however, working on a Year In Review. Or trying!!!! lol!

    Jane xoxoxo

  19. I love your tree Sarah and all the beautiful special memory ornaments. Your home looks and feels warm and cozy, perfect now to enjoy. I am finally able to enjoy my home although it is always sad when everyone leaves. Time for those Christmas carols and a cup of hot chocolate and with the cold coming in for the New Years holiday a perfect excuse to stay home and enjoy. Wishing you a wonderful and Happy New Year..........

  20. What a beautiful collection of ornaments - I'm in lust with your MacKenzie-Childs array - wow! We have two of the same Eiffel Tower ornaments that you have - what a surprise! I agree that "collection" trees are the best - they have such a romantic nostalgic aura about them, as they recall Christmases of past years. I also have special interests, LOL, so we put up seven trees in all (yes, putting them up is delightful; taking them down is dreadful LOL). But the "collection" tree is our main tree that we celebrate around and which we place our gifts under.
    Thanks for sharing your marvelous collection. I enjoyed everything from the gilded turkey bone to the most posh of them all. You must get wistful every year decorating your tree - I know I do LOL.
    Happy Pink Saturday - and have a most splendid New Year!

  21. Your tree is stunning and I love all the M/C ornaments - they are beautiful on your tree. Everything looks so warm and comforting. I also like the days after Christmas that are relaxed.

    Happy New Year dear friend.


  22. Oh I love fire light, twinkle lights, and warm woolen blankets! The Mackenzie Childs ornaments are so perfect for you dear friend! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  23. Really a beautiful assortment of treasures on your tree. I love the checked ones of course, and the heart shaped ones melt my own heart.


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