Friday, December 26, 2008

The Best Christmas Gifts

Christmas Eve, 2008
On Christmas Eve, the kids created our traditional Candy House.

Our dog relaxed near the tree watching over the packages.

A snowman on our front door beckoned everyone to 'Believe'.

The old Flexible Flyer sled my dad used as a young boy sat on our front porch.

The house was ready for Santa, all decked out in wreaths and lights.

On Christmas Day, we gave thanks for each other...

and for all of our blessings.

My best Christmas gifts were my husband and 2 children! I didn't need anything else.

I hope you have been blessed with meaningful gifts, as well!

--Today I am thankful husband and two children.


  1. I'm sure you had a wonderful Christmas day with your family as we did with ours. Your candy house looks wonderful.

  2. Jan, You have a beautiful family! Yes, I have incredibly meaningful gifts...thank you for asking! Hope your holiday was wonderful.


  3. Christmas card perfect Jan! So many blessings.

  4. Jan,

    Oh, what a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us.


  5. Those of us who know how much we have to be thankful for are always the happiest. Love for one another is what gives life purpose.

  6. Thank you, Linda, Gail, Tina, Cameron, and Marnie! It was a joyous Christmas with the family...different than when they were little and believed in Santa, but we're blessed that we are all healthy and can be together.

    Many people have been letting me know that they cannot leave comments on my blog lately! They've told me on my plot at Blotanical.
    If anyone is having a hard time leaving a comment, PLEASE TRY AGAIN, because I have 'reset' the comments setting on Blogger, and I'm hoping it will work properly now!

  7. Such lovely photos of your family and home! Everything looks so warm and cozy.

    I'm feeling much better now - thanks for asking :) I was able to stop taking the pain killers yesterday and can even walk a bit with just one crutch instead of two. I'm not in a brace, but was thoroughly wrapped in bandages for about four days. It was a relief when I could take them off! I see the Dr. again in January and will start many months of physio then too. So far everything is going incredibly well!

  8. How lovely, Jan! Thank you for inviting us into your beautiful home and life. Surrounded by the gifts of my children and grandboys, my Christmas was perfect. Happy New Year!

  9. Jan, a lovely family and home! What more can one ask for than a loving family? We had 3 Christmases this year all spent with children and grandchildren. Each one was a special event marked by Christmas traditions. Thanks for sharing your family, home, and traditions.

  10. Isn't that the true meaning of Christmas afterall, counting the blessings we have in our life. Our family, our health should always rank at the top of this list. Beautiful post today Jan.

  11. Hi Amy, I'm so glad you're doing well after your surgery. You'll be better than before after you heal!
    Hi Joey, I'm glad that you, too, were surrounded by your 'gifts'.
    Hi Beckie, I'm so happy you were able to be surrounded by family...and 3 separate times! That's very special indeed.

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful and uplifting messages & comments!!

    Merry, Merry Christmas to all!

  12. Hi Racquel, Yes, the things that matter are not 'things' at all! Being with people we love and care about is what makes Christmas special. Hope your day was special too:) Jan

  13. It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. I do like the candy house!

  14. What wonderful blessings to count. So many people seem to forget that in all of the glitz and glamor of gift giving. I told God in my prayers that I didn't need any gifts if he could just make Peanut feel better for Christmas. It didn't work though. Poor Peanut. She put on quite an admirable show though.

  15. Dear Jan,
    Merry Christmas.
    Your traditions are delightful.
    Looks as if you have much magic and many blessings.
    Always grateful and always enjoying the now.
    May your 2009 be filled with prosperity and joy.

  16. Jan ! That was a really nice post to peek into your life with your children and husband .. and cute pooch too ! .. You gave me a great idea with your dad's sled .. we bought an old Dutch one at a flea market in Holland . had a scene painted on it .. but with lights it would have been perfect like the one you have .. so thank you girl !! .. I better write that down for next year orI will forget with all the dust bunnies in my brain : )
    A very happy New Year for you and yours ! Joy(ous) ? LOL

  17. Hi Jan! Whatever you did in your settings worked perfectly -- no trouble leaving a comment now! Thanks so much. :)

  18. I'm glad you had a good Christmas. We did, too. Our grandson is such a social little guy, and he had great fun with lots of company, my side, here on Christmas Eve, and Larry's side at his sister's on Christmas day.

    You have a nice looking family!


  19. Dear Jan!
    You really do have reasons to be happy and thankful and I'm thankful too because you shared it with us: it's so beautiful :))
    And I'm so sorry but my english is not enough to translate the posts by my own. :(
    I always promise to start posting in bilingual, but it´s so diiiificult... and I don't want to post with lots of mistakes (just a few, hehe)
    Thank you for your visit and I wish you and to all your family a very happy New Year
    A Big Hug from portugal ^_^

  20. Jan, wow, that's some candy house! And your real house is pretty "tasty" too! ;-) Your son reminds me a little of my nephew, when he was that age (he's 20 now).
    ~ Monica

  21. What a beautiful decorated house and family! You can feel the Christmas spirit in your pictures! You got it right, what else besides family, does one need for Christmas.

  22. Hi Jan, Absolutely the best gift is that my family was all together on Christmas. Looks like your day was beautiful and meaningful. Here's wishing you a most wonderful New Year, too. Meems

  23. Your home looks lovely decked out in it's Christmas finery. You are a beautiful family!

  24. Hi Jan, I see you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas celebration. You have a beautiful family... a blessing indeed. Much for which to be thankful! :-)

    You are also very sweet in complimenting my poem. Yes, you may use it with the link to me as author. ;-) Vanity, I guess.

  25. Beautiful post, Jan! You are so right in saying these are the best gifts of all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  26. Oh my goodness, I'm so excited that my comment actually went through this time:) I meant to add that I really like your tradition of building a candy house; your children did a great job!

  27. I am always so thrilled to come back and see that people actually leave comments for me to read! Thanks to everyone for your nice words!
    Easygardener: I'm glad you like the candyhouse!
    Cinj: family is a treasure. I am sorry your little one hasn't felt good during the holiday:(
    Q: Yes, we have many blessings and much to be thankful for:)
    Joy: What a nice idea that is to try for next year. Just don't keep it out too long, since you went to extra trouble of having a scene painted on it. Mine is somewhat faded from putting it out every year--but I don't mind. Dustbunnies in the brain--I know exactly what you mean!!:)
    Nancy: Yay...I'm so glad the comments are working again:)
    Sue: I'm glad you were with family too! Christmas is so much more fun with little ones around! Thanks for your compliments re: my family;)
    Crix: Thank you for commenting. Your English is great--better than my Spanish! Thank goodness there are language translators on these websites so we can all communicate no matter what language we speak:)
    Thanks, Garden Fairie, for your comments. I can't believe my son just turned 12; he'll be 20 in the blink of an eye. It goes too fast, doesn't it?
    Hi Bek: Thank you for your nice words! It's true! I don't need a thing besides my family!
    Meems: Thank you, too, for your kind comments--the special moments of Christmas are those of being with the ones we love:)
    Thank you Robin, for your compliments on my home & family. I am very blessed, I know. I'm thankful, too:)
    Hi Shady, Thank you! Blessed we are! And I am going to put up a short post and include your poem. Thank you! Kylee did the same thing for me in one of her posts, and it was special to me:)
    Oh Rose, FINALLY! I'm so glad I was able to fix my problem with the comments. Thanks for your compliments:) I grew up making these candy houses and have made them every year with my kids. My daughter is 20 and still loves doing it.

  28. What a wonderful post, makes me all warm and fuzzy!!! We are indeed blessed with our 'later in life' kids and our loving husbands. No more could I ask for either. Glad you had a wonderful holiday! Kim

  29. Hi Kim, I know you are in a similar situation as I am so you know what it's like to have an age gap with your kids. YOURS is even bigger than mine, though;) I hope you have a happy new year and that your christmas was merry! Jan

  30. How nice to see your lovely family, and your home decked out so beautifully for Christmas. Our Christmas was indeed warm and wonderful with our children and 2 grandsons. Thanks for your Christmas wishes.
    We did have a warm up which melted most of our snow, but it'll be back soon, I'm sure!
    Wishing you joy and blessings for the New Year.

  31. Hi Jan, I didn't realize you lived near DC. if I make it there this year, I'll let you know when I'm in town and maybe you can join me at one of the gardens!
    ~ Monica

  32. It certainly looks like you have alot to be thankful for...a beautiful home and family. Enjoyed the visit to your Christmas Eve!

  33. Jan, Your Christmas scenes glow with happiness, lovely to see. And a Standard Poodle? Hello sister!


Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!


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