Ready for Christmas?

Hertfordshire Quilt, Life in General, Murrieta Stars – Flannel

santaclaus18We do not do a lot of shopping for the holidays any more so that makes it easy. Christmas has gotten too commercialized.  I remember when I was a kid – one of 12 – a very long time ago in a galaxy far away in a place called Wisconsin next to Lake Michigan – this was a time when we were very happy to get one present each and loved whatever we got and then went outside to play in the snow and made snow forts and had snowball fights. (of course this was back in the very early 60’s)  Now it seems everyone has to spend, spend and do more spending!!  We lived in a large rustic stone farm house in the country – money was very tight, the one present was often all we got and we were happy – how many children would be happy to get one five dollar present now I wonder?  People spend and spend and go into great debt at Christmas – maybe it is time for that to change?  It seems it was all much simpler then. (of course it wasn’t simple for mom and dad to come up with the money to pay for this inexpensive presents but they always seemed happy too)

I don’t want to sound like a scrooge but I think the whole meaning of Christmas has gone out the window.  Agree? Disagree?

I spent a little time yesterday printing out some templates for the Hertfordshire quilt and got a few more pieces glue basted.    I am linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching today and Quilting is More Fun than Housework. Some have asked the name of the book – Creating Heirlooms, One Stitch at a Time by Carolyn Konig and I found a site that sells the book for those that wanted to know here is a link.


I did a little more on the barely touched recently crochet shawl – it is folded in half it is wider than this.


Quilting from Friday night on Murrieta Stars


Picking up in this area last night


All the cookies baked – the coffee cake gets made today and I think some of this better get put in the freezer to eat next month or so because I already have some tins set aside for Melanie!  (the cookie jar is empty – it is used more as a decoration because the lid is cracked it is about 30 years old!

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I know some of you will be celebrating today and some on Christmas Day depending on when your family gathers if you are lucky to have them around – some are by themselves I’m sure as not everyone has family around with the way everyone is spread around the country now – whatever you do I hope you will be happy and take time for yourself and just breath and relax and eat a cookie or two!

(I am compensated for any purchases made through my links.)

46 comments… add one
  • Raewyn Dec 24, 2017

    I hear exactly what you are saying Karen about the commercialisation of Christmas. Lovely quilting on your stars and a great start to Hertfordshire. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy festive season!!
    Raewyn recently posted…A Cushion, Cows and ChristmasMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      Merry Christmas Rawyn, thanks for stopping by and always enjoying visiting your blog on the other side of the world
      Karen recently posted…Ready for Christmas?My Profile

  • Marianne Dec 24, 2017

    We have a stack of cookie tins in the kitchen, too, and must admit we’ve been snacking pretty well lately. Enjoy today and tomorrow!

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      I have been snacking too much too and after tomorrow I think all the snacks that are left will be bagged up and froze to eat another time!
      Karen recently posted…Ready for Christmas?My Profile

  • Teri Dingler Dec 24, 2017

    Agree totally! We have cut back on what we give. And when you do cut back with the kids/grandkids an explanation has to be given…sad they can’t be thankful for what you can/or able to give. Cookie tins look yummy. Can’t wait to watch the creation of the new quilt…am loving the fabric selection. Merry Christmas to all of your family!

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      I think the expense has bothered me more and more in recent years – and that it is something you are expected to do.
      I am looking forward to piece by piece making the new quilt. Merry Christmas
      Karen recently posted…Ready for Christmas?My Profile

  • Kim Webb Dec 24, 2017

    I totally agree Karen. I’m not a shopper, so tend to have a hard time coming up with gift ideas for others.
    Looking forward to seeing your new quilt progress as you finish up Murrieta Stars.
    Merry Christmas.

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      I’m not much of a shopper either but when I see the news articles on the pushing and shoving to get to the best sales and how all the stuff is on sale trying to get people to come in and buy it just turns me off to the whole thing!
      I am looking forward to making this new quilt – Merry Christmas

  • Kathi Dec 24, 2017

    I too agree Christmas is too commercialized and we spend too much on kids these days… I only bought a few small and meaningful things and have spent most my time with friends just visiting and enjoying them before we leave Florida… lol!
    No house showings to chat of and I love what all you are working on… I will be finishing in the next week or two with my long time quilting project and have started piecing the next project to be hand quilted… not sure how long that will take though! lol Keep up your excellent blogging and stitching and I can’t wait to see this quilt come into full light as you piece it! Kathi
    Kathi recently posted…3/4 Done with Amethyst Stars and MORE !My Profile

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      Merry Christmas Kathi and hope you have some house showings in the New year and can begin to make moving plans. I am looking forward to my new quilt too 🙂

  • Sandra Croley Dec 24, 2017

    We will be having the family over today. I worry because we are expecting snow…I wish it would wait a couple of days! I love the quilting design you are doing….the one that isn’t crosshatching….is it a stencil? I am starting a handquilting project in February and your quilting design has caught my eye!

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      hope the snow will not create a problem for your travlers and have a wonderful day visiting family. The quilting design you mention is a stencil and I found it at the Stencil company on line

  • Carole Dec 24, 2017

    I am usually the odd one out, I like giving gifts, seeing the joy on faces as they open something fun. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, it doesn’t even have to be store bought as I make a lot of my gifts. Christmas is only as commercial as we make it. One or two well chosen items for the kids is plenty. Have a wonderful joyous holiday.
    Carole recently posted…Christmas Breakfast – Tablescape and RecipesMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      I like giving gifts but I don’t like how the stores and tv push to spend, spend, spend for months it is all you see or hear. Merry Christmas

  • Deb Dec 24, 2017

    That shawl! Love the colors ! This year was easy….youngest son and I went in on an XBOX for the kids and one game. Last year four of us went in on one big thing they could use. We adults don’t exchange anymore…just get the kids something and the rest of the money goes to food ! 🙂
    Deb recently posted…Merle empties the beer kegMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      thanks Deb, sometimes that is how it should end up being – sharing the expenses of one gift and the rest on the food. I hope you have a really nice Christmas with your family.

  • Ruth Dec 24, 2017

    I enjoy gifts…both giving and receiving. As a quilter and cook I make many of my gifts. However, I also feel that our culture has lost the reason for this season and has turned it into a major retail spending event. Excess is the norm for our culture…whether it is eating too much, buying too much “stuff” (including quilting supplies), etc. Stay tuned for January when the focus will be on dieting, exercise and organizing the “stuff”.

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      I like giving and receiving too – I think it is the culture of the major retail experience that bothers me so much – like you say the excess being the norm
      Merry Christmas

  • Quilter Kathy Dec 24, 2017

    My family used to make Christmas gifts for each other and we loved it!
    Still my favourite gifts are homemade!
    Thanks for linking up and I hope you have time to enjoy some stitching on one of these lovely projects todya!

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      Merry Christmas to you Kathy and thanks for the link up each week. Family time is best isn’t it

  • karen Dec 24, 2017

    I totally agree with you about Christmas. This year we all agreed no gifts for each other — the kids are grown and gone from the house anyway– we are simply spending time together enjoying food, adult beverages, a roaring fire and some movies on TV. Frankly I prefer our family time together over any material possessions. BTW I love the Carolyn Konig pattern. I saw it years ago online and always wanted to try it myself.

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      it makes it all a lot easier too doesn’t it – just spending time together and having fun and not worrying about the perfect gift. – I’m glad I saw this Carolyn Konig pattern – I had seen this one first then the Mrs. Billings that everyone was making and thought they were the same at first then saw this one was closer to the original and in a book – not with the expensive set that the Mrs. B has – it was the sensible choice!

  • Diann Bottrell Dec 24, 2017

    In our family, we always feel that the time spent together at holiday time is the best gift of all! Our kids are grown and no grandkids yet, so we don’t do a lot of shopping either. Merry Christmas, Karen! Enjoy your stitching today!

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      it is of course always fun to buy some gifts for the grandchildren but I’m glad that after the first 5 years or so we came to our senses and cut way back – now it is easy for them as teenagers as they just want money but with Mike being retired now we let it be known that we were cutting back on expenses. Merry Christmas to you and your family Diann and it has been a pleasure getting to know you this year through our blogs

  • Dottie bishaw Dec 24, 2017

    Beautiful quilting as usual, Karen. Your triangles are looking good and your shawl is so pretty, you’ll be wrapped in it in no time. I don’t like shopping for Christmas either. Your story about growing up is a mirror image of mine, only there were five of us kids. We just send money to our grown up three kids, five grandchildren, and one great granddaughter and let them decide what they want to get. Easy peasy since they are all scattered far away from us. We just go out for grocery shopping and avoid all the crowds. Tonight and tomorrow we have church. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your stitching.

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      I used to enjoy Xmas shopping a long time ago – it just seemed to get more hectic and stressful over the years trying to find the perfect gift that you thought someone was going to love only to realize later that it probably wasn’t – giving the gift of money makes it easier and the person gets to buy what they want, not return it and you do not have to spend a fortune on shipping! Merry Christmas

  • Barbara Dec 24, 2017

    I agree completely Karen. Christmas has become a frenzy of buying and stress and we don’t buy into it anymore. Instead we have a nice dinner with good wine together with any of our children who are able to fly back home for the holiday. Happy holidays to you both and a healthy New Year!

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      Christmas has just become too commercialized! A good dinner and a nice bottle of wine sounds perfect! Sometimes the gift of seeing your family is the best isn’t it – Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by and leaving comments over the years.

  • Debbie B Dec 24, 2017

    I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Karen! Thanks for all you do and share. I, too, have always enjoyed a simpler Christmas with family and friends. Homemade gifts were a staple at our house growing up. Enjoy!

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      Merry Christmas Deb thanks for stopping by and leaving comments through the year. Have a great day with your family

  • Cynthia Brunz Dec 24, 2017

    Merry Christmas Karen! I try really hard to not get swept up in the holiday madness. I try to put the effort into spending time with those I love. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!
    Cynthia Brunz recently posted…Oh Scrap! : String CleaningMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      thanks for dropping by Cynthia – it is hard sometimes to not get caught up in the madness but I have been avoiding it pretty well the last couple years – I’m one of those that really hate Christmas shopping!

  • Gail Dec 24, 2017

    It gives me a lot of pleasure to make gifts for friends and family. I’m not a big shopper. Your quilting is beautiful.
    Gail recently posted…Winter Wonderland and the Tree Skirt is DONEMy Profile

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      I’m not much of a shopper either but I never think to make stuff too far in advance so hate to do it all in December – too much stress – one day I need to think of it early! Merry Christmas to you

  • Steph Dec 24, 2017

    Karen – I followed the link for the book and it mentions that two pages are missing which they will send as an” email pdf ” if you email them.

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      two pages in the book but not for the pattern I am making – there are 14 patterns in the book
      Karen recently posted…Ready for Christmas?My Profile

  • Belarmina Dec 24, 2017

    karen estoy de acuerdo .
    La Navidad es un auténtico despropósito!!
    No se como se traducirá esto.
    Buenas fiestas para ti y tu familia

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      yes it is crazy at times isn’t it! translator is crazy sometimes too – 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family Belarmina I love hearing from you and thanks for the photos the other day I loved seeing you with your nieces and nephew

  • Colleen Dec 24, 2017

    Well I was a divorced mother of one from the time he was 1-1/2 and I made sure he have lots of gifts and new toys to play with as we were it no family just the two of us (mid 1970’s)
    Now his is grown with children of his own 16,13,11,7,5 only the 16 year old is local so it’s one gift each and $. No gift for my child once he has children.

    When I was a child money was tight but my brothers and I always got a practical gift. A bike to ride to school or an electric blanket (our parents did not heat the bedrooms) and we baked yummy treats for our parents.

    My opinion is it’s the people who buy all that “stuff” who are over doing it .
    I did buy more than necessary for my son when he was young and I knew it at time but I budgeted for it no debit for Christmas ?
    If people made a budget and only spent what they could afford blah blah blah

    We have given our grandchildren presents and our neighbors children and a nativity scene to our neighbors.

    • Karen Dec 24, 2017

      we got common sense presents sometimes other times though it was a toy of some type or when we were older the girls beauty products I remember. I don’t think people should go into debt over Christmas – the amount a person spends though is totally what they wish! Don’t mean to sound like I think people shouldn’t spend 🙂 We used to spend too much on our girls I think because both Mike and I grew up with little so we spent too much and now thought I wish we had done it differently as I know we spoiled them. Merry Christmas Colleen always nice to hear from you!

  • Charlotte Dec 24, 2017

    Agree!! We no longer attempt to buy gifts for the members of our family. They aren’t pleased with a selection made by an old woman so we give gift cards and let them pick what they need or want. I do miss the enjoyment of giving a wrapped gift however. And I miss the days when the girls were small, all the excitement and fun on Christmas morning. We’ll have most of the family on Christmas Day and I’m pooped from preparing food all afternoon! lol Merry Christmas to you and yours!!
    Charlotte recently posted…Me-e-ow-ow ~~~ “What’s She Done Now?”My Profile

    • Karen Dec 25, 2017

      yes it was fun wrapping presents and seeing the delighted faces of the kids unwrap presents I agree with you on that. I know I could still please my daughter’s but the grandkids and the son’s in laws not so much and they would most likely be returning gifts. Have a great day today though with the family and have a great upcoming year.

  • sue Dec 25, 2017

    I totally agree with you Karen. The true meaning of Christmas has been lost, and a child was heard to say, when asked whose birthday it was…. that it was Santa’s birthday. I like you had one gift for a birthday, and one gift for Christmas. WE were so excited to get it.

    • Karen Dec 25, 2017

      thanks for dropping by Sue people just need to start thinking about it more – Santa’s birthday – really lost the meaning there didn’t they!
      Karen recently posted…Merry ChristmasMy Profile

  • Marsha Cooper Dec 27, 2017

    Everyone knows they will get something that I’ve made every year for Christmas. This year everyone got covered composition notebooks. Well, everyone except the 2 babies, and I was blessed to find Care Bear panels at a rummage sale so they got stuffed Care Bears.
    I found myself feeling bad that I had so little extra for everyone to go with the notebooks, but at the same time, it was a lot considering our financial situation.

    My 3 daughters and I got together for our yearly goodie making day so everyone also got homemade goodies as well.
    Marsha Cooper recently posted…WIP Wednesday — Actually Have Been Working!My Profile

    • Karen Dec 27, 2017

      but you go with your budget so that is great! I can’t stand to have people go into debt to get Xmas presents – it sounds like you had a great Xmas because you were with your family and that is what counts!

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