Festive Bonbon

In response to Jo‘s, Donna‘s posts – and the link party they created with Sue and Debbie I’m answering 10 Christmas-related questions – and look forward to reading everyone else’s.

  1. Christmas Tree – Do you have one? If so, when does it go up? Is there a theme, or is it mismatched?
  2. Christmas Carols – Yes or no? Faves? Traditional or modern?
  3. Christmas Books – Your faves?
  4. Christmas Movies – Again, your faves?
  5. Christmas Cake – Yes or no? (Seriously, is there any choice here?)
  6. Chocolate Nuts or Fruit?
  7. Christmas Traditions?
  8. What’s on your Table?
  9. Christmas Memories?
  10. All I want for Christmas Is?

Christmas Tree:

In our almost 26 years of marriage, we have collected nativity scenes that replaced our tree years ago. These scenes have taken many iterations through the years but about 5 years ago I mimicked an idea I found online (perhaps Pinterest) to use a ladder and boards to create the illusion of a tree. The photo is from 2020 as this year’s “tree” will need to wait until I’ve completed the strip/sand/stain trim and wall painting project – hopefully by this Sunday!

Christmas Carols:

For many years, I LOVED Christmas carols – I have memories of singing some of our old favorites in long drives with my sisters even in summer. My convent years stripped me of my year-round joy of carols for a more strict observance of no Christmas songs until the beginning of the “O Antiphons” – the liturgical ritual in the Catholic church – on the last seven days of Advent. This carried over to focusing on the Advent wreath and the singing of O Come, O Come Emmanuel until December 17, even with my children, in the early years. That said, I had collected at least a dozen, if not 20, Christmas CDs to be enjoyed between Dec 17 – Jan 6. Over time I’ve gotten lax – and less invested in Christmas tunes – and I still resist Christmas decorations and tunes too early. Just as I cringe when I see Halloween decorations beginning in September. Ugh!

Just this morning during my 20-mins of sun lamp exposure and mandala coloring (see post about that here and here), I was reflecting on when and how I lost my love of Advent and Christmas – and how I might attempt to rekindle it (post coming soon).

Christmas Books: I’ve read a few over the years but nothing that strikes me as a favorite.

Christmas Movies: Elf with the family and It’s a Wonderful Life as my private New Year’s Eve movie. (My husband and children refuse to watch it with me – boring, depressing, too white.)

Christmas Cake: Nope. We do sweet potato and apple pie. Growing up it was pumpkin and mincemeat.

Chocolate, nuts, or fruit: Not particularly but I’ll always enjoy some dark chocolate and eat nuts and fruit daily.

Christmas traditions: Not really anything that sticks for long beyond the nativity scenes.

What’s on your Table?

For the first half of our marriage, we were all pescatarians so salmon – Salmon Cordon Bleu, mac ‘n cheese, scalloped and mashed potatoes, and greens were our mainstays. Since my husband and boys now eat meat, we’ve added turkey and ham to the mix depending on their moods.

Christmas memories:

I maintain a love/not love tug-of-war with Christmas — I appreciate the joy of giving and the celebration of family coming together but resist the over-commercialization and the frantic frenzy that engulfs too many at this time of year. I have no particularly vivid memories of Christmases past but know that many were filled with angst and I now appreciate a low-key, simple gathering with my children and their significant others (all young adults, no lifetime commitments yet).

All I Want for Christmas Is… Not a big ask – justice and equity for all (at which time we’ll know peace).


  1. Hi Janet – I LOVE LOVE LOVE that nativity scene collection and how you’ve set it out. We replaced our nativity with a larger one a couple of years ago. This year I ‘deconstructed’ it and spread it over four cube shelves – it made it feel quite different and not in competition with anything – just simple and a nice change. I’m putting a pic of it and our new Christmas tree on my Cresting the Hill FB page if you’re interested in checking it out. Merry Christmas!


  2. Hi, Janet – Like Leanne, I was blown away by your Nativity display. The ladder setup is an inspired idea.
    I love Nativity scenes and regularly set up four different ones each Chrismtas (2 of them are tiny, 1 small and 1 is largish). I too try to avoid the over-commercialization, frantic frenzy and focus on family, friends and fond memories. This afternoon, I made tea (from my advent calendar), put out some cookies (made by a good friend) and sat down to enjoy these link-up posts. I have found them all to be inspirational and very uplifting. I am incredibly grateful to so many people (like you) sharing so personally. Thank you!


    • Happening upon this link-up was a pleasant twist to my afternoon! I took a 4-mile walk to meet up with a friend for coffee/tea – bussed back – and needed a relaxing, uplifting activity! I’d love to see photos of your nativity scenes when they are up!


  3. I love reading other people’s traditions & adore your tree – how super creative. I’ve never heard of sweet potato and apple or pumpkin and mincemeat as a combo – another thing I love about the world of blogging. Happy Christmas & thanks for linking up. I’m so glad you did.


  4. I found your ‘nativity setting’ tree/ladder amazing. I cannot think where we would put something like this but so admire your ingenuity and its beauty.

    Take care and have a wonderful Christmas season!




  5. Hello there, I’m new to your blog from the Festive bonbon link-up! Your tree-looking nativity scene collection looks absolutely amazing!!! You inspire me now to do light up my own nativity scene and do something with it. I haven’t even had it up since we moved to Ireland, because I don’t know where it’ll fit.


    • Susanne – thanks so much for reading. I’m happy that my nativity collection inspired you to put yours up. The festive lights definitely lift spirits! I hope you enjoy a very merry and peace-filled Christmas.


  6. This was a lovely read Janet, and I agree your nativity scenes are wonderful in that format! I’m still thinking about the sweet potato and apple pie though – not something we have here in Australia 🙂
    Thanks for joining in with us for the Festive Bonbons, it’s been so much fun reading about everyone’s traditions and thoughts. I agree the commercialisation of it all is a bit out of hand and World Peace is the ultimate hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbie – thanks for reading and commenting on my post. Funny thing — I meant sweet potato pie AND apple pie — not one that contains both. You aren’t the first to think I meant one pie. I also appreciated reading others’ posts. I need to return to the link-up party and read more. Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

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