Happy Holidays to everyone! My kids bought me a new computer (which I needed in the worst way!), but I am still trying to learn how to use it. So please bear with me.

There have been so many posts. People seem to like what they are finding on this blog and are able to use the information. Some of you have questions, but are afraid to ask. Please do ask your questions and I will try my best to answer them. Some of your post are not published on the site, the most likely reason is because I don’t understand the new way of writing many of you use. I am assuming it is a form of short hand used on twitter and other blogs as well as Facebook. I’m afraid I am old school (well versed in the English language!). I do a tremendous amount of reading. I have edited many manuscripts in the past. If you don’t see your post it’s because I couldn’t read it! I am so sorry!

The picture on the right was done several Christmases ago for a client. The vase is her cut glass bowl. Hypericum berries are the first ring. The next level is a combination of real apples (sprayed with vegetable oil to keep the fruit flies away) and boxwood. The pineapple is seated on top. It was placed in her entry  on an old, dark wood, carved, entry stand with a mirror. It was wonderfully inviting!

There are so many creative things you can do for the holidays. TV programs are loaded with information as well as various websites. Don’t forget to use real flowers and greens. They make all the difference in the world. Right now I have just the basics in my home, waiting to be filled out with flowers and greens. It all seems kind of cold. But as soon as the flowers and greens are inserted it will be overflowing with warmth and welcoming happiness.

Many of you have young children. Beware of poinsettias. The sap is poisonous. There are other plants that are harmful to your health as well. Look them up on the web if you have any questions. It is always amazing to me how the little ones react to all the Christmas arrangements, ornaments on the tree, various displays. They are so much fun to watch. The wonder on their tiny faces is so very precious. You would worry about little fingers reaching out to touch, to grab. Surprisingly enough, the first reaction is not touch, but to stare in amazement! They are very careful to proceed from there. It’s such a new experience they don’t know how to react. All you need to do is quietly say “no” or “ahahah” or something of the sort and they will stay back. Make sure electrical outlets are covered!

I am on a very tight budget this year so I am not buying a tree to decorate. But there are many Christmas things we’ve collected over the years which I am using to decorate with. One thing I found which is fun to do is to place the Christmas stockings in the form of a tree in the window where our tree would usually  go. It looks great! So don’t feel bad if you can’t afford much. Use what you have around your home. Pick up fallen branches along the roads (windfalls). Use them to help bring in the Christmas spirit. Use the stiff, dried ends of grasses in arrangements. Cut them to various lengths and put them together with a little fir and a few small ornaments. Christmas doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. It’s being thankful you have a warm home, food to eat, and friends and family to love. It’s remembering all the people in the world who really do have absolutely nothing. No food, no shelter, little clothing, very few friends or family. We are very fortunate to have what we have. So smile! Spread the warmth of love. Be happy with what you have. Above all, be thankful.