Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Your Friendly Neighborhood Hodgepodge

Welcome to December and this week's edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge! So glad you've stopped by to read, write, or comment here today. Newcomers are always welcome, simply answer the questions on your own blog, then hop back here to add your link to the party.

Here we go-

1. Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10, where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done? 

While I enjoy seeing all the elaborately decorated trees on Instagragm, in magazines, and show places, I prefer something simpler in my own home. I'm kind of old fashioned when it comes to Christmas and love the warm fuzzy way I feel sitting beside our tree. There's no theme, no real color scheme, no elaborate bows tucked between the branches. 

Just lots and lots of home made ornaments and special fragile keepsakes collected through the years. Every ornament tells a story and stirs up a memory of a person or place we've known and loved. I still have the same delicate Angel topper we bought our very first married Christmas. I remember the nursery where we purchased her and the tree she topped (light on ornaments, big on love).  

Our tree is up and most of the other decorating is done. I guess I like the tree best because it's part decorating, part stroll down memory lane. On a scale of 1-10 I'll rate us a 6. We don't go overboard in any room of the house, but we do decorate, and this year we also put a tree on the screened in porch and lights on the dock bridge, so definitely not Scrooge. 

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or go both-it's Christmas! 

I have a table top nativity and a couple of smaller sets too that I put out at Christmas. Like our angel tree topper, the table top nativity has been with us since year 2 of married life. I bought it at one of those home parties people used to have back in the 80's, and it has traveled some miles since then. 

Joseph broke in our move from NJ to Maryland back in 1994 and I bought a substitute from a local shop. Hubs likes to say replacement Joseph has a pituitary problem because he's taller in proportion to the set, but he works. The angel standing watch over the manger lost a wing in our most recent move, and hubs didn't think he could fix her, but glued her anyway because he sensed I was on the verge of tears. She's back in the barn where she belongs, and you'd have to look closely to see the crack. 

I bought a small hand carved nativity at the German Christmas Market in Nuremberg one year and have that sitting in my kitchen window. 

My neighbor in Maryland gave me a really sweet version of the nativity and I love it still. It's the word JOY with Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus on the letters.  It's on the fireplace mantle in my keeping room in this new house.  

3. Do you live in a social neighborhood? Is so are you glad? If not do you wish you did? 

Well we're new to the neighborhood, but we hear it's social. We're going to a neighborhood Christmas party this week, and throughout the year there are monthly happy hour gatherings, a craft group, a wine club, a chili cook off, ladies spring luncheon, and more. I'll need to investigate what all is here, but the neighbors are friendly and people are out walking, so yes it's social, and yes we're glad. We're social too. 

4. As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now? 

Organizing this office/library space. I want to put it off til forever after the holidays, but it needs doing and there's no time like the present. The task feels a little overwhelming, but hubs helped me dig in over the weekend, so we're on our way.  

5.  Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not? 

Definitely not. I love Mondays...fresh start, new beginnings...what's to dread? 

6. Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now? 

The Christmas Cactus is my favorite, but I don't have one in this house. YET! I do have a poinsettia I'm trying to keep alive. Such is life when you're a plant and I'm your caretaker. I've had it about two weeks, and so far so good. 

7.  Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.

Linus Van Pelt quoting the second chapter of Luke in A Charlie Brown Christmas. The only time Linus ever put his blanket down was when he read the words, 'And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not:'

''For behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2: 10-14)

'That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.' 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I posted this on my Facebook page, so some of you may have seen it there, but if you missed it watch it now. These third graders are so stinkin' cute-

Watch here. 


  1. Our preacher used the scene from Charlie Brown in his sermon a couple of weeks ago. Those third graders were adorable.

  2. Social neighbors are great! Happy for you that you get to live in one.

  3. I loved your post, Joyce, and this fun Christmas Hodgepodge. Your movie quote is the best one out there and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it. Of course it is!! Love your tree and ours is the same. Nothing fancy but full of so much love!!

  4. Our tree is much like yours. No fancy to it just years and years of made and collected ornaments that each carry a special memory. I also have a little tree that holds ornaments everyone brings me when they travel or move to a new town/city. I know where and from whom each one came. Our neighborhood is not super social but I wonder if it's time to try and change that. It seems difficult to get these people motivated around here. But I know there are tons of people my age in here. I'm going to give this some thought!

  5. Our Christmas tree is full of ornaments the girls made when they were little. They may not be "picture perfect" in the usual sense, but they're sure perfect and memorable to me. I love all of your nativity sets! Your neighborhood sounds like a wonderful place to live. We live in a huge neighborhood, but we're on a busy stretch of road, so folks stay to themselves pretty much. It forces you to find other ways of being social, which is fine. Enjoy your Wednesday!

  6. I had not thought about the Peanuts Christmas Special as a movie... but, of course, that is a wonderful moment. The best trees are the ones with the ornaments that mean something..the preschool popsicle stick reindeers & stars, the ones from places visited, some with pictures of loved ones. ONe of my favorite things is to unwrap them each year to place on the tree. This year my older daughter was home and helped. It was a sweet time.

  7. I will be gone most of the day, but will be back later today to read everyone's Hodgepodge answers. Thank you, Joyce.

  8. That video is great!! Your tree is beautiful. It's in the perfect spot! Have a great week.

  9. Now that is a talented group of third graders! What a beautiful photo taken at the blue hour. Have a very Merry Christmas in your new home and new neighborhood. Ahhh, yes, that IS the very best quote.

  10. I so enjoyed reading about your Christmas decor and the tree looks gorgeous in that wonderful window. You also reminded me about the other Nativity set I have out, which is the first one bought for our first Christmas. $13.98 at Sears! You chose the favorite and best quote that my Hodgepodge ends with! So true. Merry Christmas and thank you for the trip down memory lane with your family.

  11. You have some particularly wonderful nativity sets! I like the palm trees in the one from Nuremberg.

  12. Your tree is lovely and is in the perfect spot! (after I typed this, I looked up and saw the same comment from the person ahead of me)
    Thanks for taking the time to host The Hodgepodge. I'm sure you have plenty of other stuff you could be doing.
    Enjoy the rest of your week.
    Kathy (Reflections)

  13. Your nativities are beautiful. I have several and I always enjoy going into the box and seeing them each year. It never gets old. I still have my parents paper mache nativity. Since the kids moved we have some boxes in the garage that need to go back into spaces they used. I told Mark it's not happening until after Christmas! I'm sure you will be very social in your new place and I knew you have been. My husband just isn't into socializing :( Your poinsettia doesn't need a lot of water. I own that Linus ornament from Hallmark where he is on the stage, he says lights please and a light comes on and he says that scripture. It is so precious.

  14. Love the quote from Charlie Brown. I like your nativities, too. The Joy one is unique. I'm one for old fashioned Christmas, too. No color coordination except for good ole red and green. It will be nice to see how your new neighborhood socializes. Hope you have lots of merry and bright moments on the days leading up to Christmas!

  15. I have this exact set. See my post today. And my Joseph was broken last year. Crazy coincident. Thanks for hosting this wonderful Wednesday!!

  16. Love the JOY nativity, that is so neat! Yes, sounds as though you do live in a very social neighborhood, that's going to be fun! I'm thinking I need to help ours become more so. After all, this is the South and Southerners are suppose to be social.

  17. Hi Joyce,
    We do not live in a social neighborhood. Many days I wish we did. It kind of makes me sad how it is. I have tried by taking cookies to our neighbors. I had my boys come with, the man answered the door he was talking on the phone, took the cookies and shut the door in our face. Never heard from him. Nope will not wave when you walk by, nothing. Strange.

    We have one neighbor that my boys would feel comfortable going to if they needed someone to help them. Golly, the more I think about it, how sad it is! My husband and I talk about it we wonder why this is, and have no answer.

    Oh Well! ;-)

    On to Linus, it always makes me smile, no matter how many times I see it.

    Have a Happy Week,

  18. Your tree sounds a lot like ours...sooo many memories come with each piece, lots of homemade ones to include ones my kids made in school. I can never bear not to put them on. I love your joy nativity set. Its just darling. I bet it was fun decorating your beautiful new home. I'd like a view of it at night with lights please, lol. Enjoy your week!

  19. I love your nativity scenes, especially the JOY one. I've never heard of a keeping room, but I bet it's great. I chose Linus too :)

  20. Linking up for the first time. This is fun -- I will have to try and get in on this more often.

  21. Sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun in your new neighbourhood. Lovely nativity sets and beautiful tree.

  22. I love that quote too. It's best in Linus's voice too. :)

  23. Oh my goodness...that beautiful tree in front of the window overlooking the lovely! I am especially fond of your "joy" nativity scene. I've not seen one like that! I really enjoyed reading your hodgepodge and getting to know a little more about you! Thanks for hosting and enjoy the rest of your week!

  24. Love the nativities, and replacement Joseph, LOL!!!
    It's sure looking pretty at your place!

  25. Merry Christmas to you, Hubs and Daughters #1 & #2. You have some remarkable Nativity Scenes. Your new house looks wonderful. Thank you for your kind words and continued prayers and good thoughts for my beloved SWMBO and me.

  26. There is something really special about decorating and spending firsts in a new home. It sounds like your place is full of light and memories, exactly as it should be. Have a great weekend.

  27. A Charlie Brown Christmas. One of the few times you see Christianity mixed into a cartoon. That is a classic.

  28. I love your JOY Nativity set. That is absolutely beautiful, Joyce. I've never seen one like that. :)

    I hope that you have the merriest Christmas that you've ever had there in your new home. How blessed you and your family are to live in such a beautiful area.

    Have a blessed weekend!