Summertime Christmas

 

Season’s Greetings Y’all!

Happy Christmas; Mid-Summer; Mid-Winter; Ramadan; Hanukkah; Kwanzaa ~ 

Whatever you celebrate may your days be blessed with your loved ones around you

**************

The Christmas Light Catchers were all finally sent off on Monday 7th December.  The nice lady at the post office assured me I was far too late in my posting habits to make the Christmas delivery deadline for those of you across the oceans, but I believe in miracles and it turns out there has been  a number of them – were you one of them?

I feel like my Celebration season got off to an excellent start this year with that communal giveaway and it has caused me to become quite ‘merry and bright’ about the whole thing – which is not something I have utterly given myself up to in the past few years.

I’ve been fortunate to experience Christmas in both hemispheres and have found pleasure and pain in both seasons.  As a child I had a feeling of deep disconnection between the presented pictures and the reality of our global situation – which simply added to my general discombobulation with the family dysfunction which was the reality of my young life.

In the blinding heat of mid summer we were all treated to displays of fake snow scattered about shop window settings and cards featuring pretty women in long gowns trimmed with fur, their hands buried in muffs and snow brushing their pink cheeks; or robins on bare branches white with more snow….  Carols and popular songs tinkled along merrily in the background and we all sang along with them – we were dreaming of a white Christmas, hearing sleigh bells jingling, and decking the halls with boughs of holly.  We lit the lights on the Christmas trees but never got to see their glow because it was always light while we were up.  There was no waiting for the return of the sun because it was always here and always bright.  [Years later my own children, excited out of their trees by the coming event, would wake us up at three o’clock in the morning to tell us Santa had been and the birds were singing.  Stockings were introduced to the end of their beds with enough goodies to keep them quiet for at least another half hour…….]

A heavy, roasted Christmas dinner was often cooked amid faces red and sweating and eaten in the same manner while we kids just wanted to escape the heat and dive back into the ocean or river.

We had few local traditions, everything had been imported from the Northern Hemisphere by the settlers who came to make new and better lives yet continued to adhere faithfully to the way things were done ‘Back Home’ despite all  seasonal disadvantages.

As a young mother I set about making sure my children did not experience the same sense of disconnection with the festival and over the years built up a new set of traditions and displays that met our seasonal and cultural mores and addressed my growing connection with a spiritual reality that had nothing to do with religion or culture and everything to do with the need for me to unleash the ability to understand what unconditional love is and to be able to live in it on a daily and practical basis.

Christmas became the festival where I practised best.

We had wonderful Christmases and in their own lives, my girls have carried on the traditions that were begun in their childhoods.

This year we get to have one of our special Christmases.  Just the three of us make up our small immediate family and we get to spend a week together this year.  We are tight.  We are devoted and adoring and just a little awed by each other.  Not being of a religious bent, but bearing strong spiritual connections with the message of the season we will celebrate our ability to love, to share, to give and to shine.  The summer sun is bright and warm and we let it be our inspiration.

Somewhere the decision was made to make this a Christmas to remember.

So for the first time in this tiny house, a tree arrived.  It got itself decorated with baubles, bells, flowers, birds and butterflies – in our favourite colours of course.

Xmas Tree 2015

And placed stage centre especially for Orlando’s enjoyment and contentment

O under tree Dec 15

I crocheted that tree skirt in one frantic 14 hour period, as big as I could get it in the time allowed and in between my doing of ordinary daily activities ……  After it is finished with this year I shall double it in size in a leisurely fashion.

The tiny courtyard is full of flowers and little bits of bling.  The chairs have comfy cushions and there are places for wine glasses and plates of food

Tiny Courtyard pizap

The front entrance welcomes with bells and bling, cats and a green nodding doggie and even more flowers

front2 dec15

Dec Front pizap

The hand made gifts are [finally] finished and being wrapped – this is the last of them

presents pizap

The Secret Recipe Cold Christmas Pudding is made and maturing

xmaspud1 2015

And Siddy is ready for GO! (His favourite aunty Jo arrives in two more sleeps and our Christmas begins!)

Xmas6

And I have my Christmas hair on

Pink Hair Dec 15

[I’m transitioning people, from coloured hair to cheveux au-naturale – the time has come – as the Walrus once so famously said.  And why not have a little fun along the way?]

This is my last post for the year, thanks for being with me through this fabulous and eventful twelve months.  Thanks for your encouragement and support and friendship.  And thank you for coming by again today, I love that you did!

 

 

 

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125 thoughts on “Summertime Christmas

  1. Omgosh Pauline! I’m the worst for missing soooo many beautiful posts. I can’t even stand it. Here I thought it was just quiet, but no no, I have something messed up in my emails for certain. I think I saw some of your photo’s in FB but now I see you celebrated the season with quite a lot of sis-boom-ba! That’s awesome, totally awesome. Not sure about the pudding bit, but kudos’ for carrying on a special tradition 😀 Your garden pots are sure going mad aren’t they? I’m a big fan of pinks and lavender too. I’m totally envious for your lobelia ! Stunning. Mine always starts out nice but fades in summer heat. They sell a sun worthy variety here, but it’s not really. I must find a shady spot because it’s fantastic, like fairy flowers.
    Siddy’s so adorable out there. You are living a lovely life my dear. The girls, your sweet and pretty home and garden, Siddy and Orlando, books, painting, crochet, gems, jewels, rainbows.…..it’s all totally smile inducing and feels very warm and cozy from here. It seems like a Hollywood movie to me. Maybe instead of Diane Lane being ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ they could rei-magine her, ‘Under the Kiwi Sun’. ??
    Your tree was really gorgeous. Of course I loved it 😀 all the aqua!! I see Orlando is like our kitties. The minute it goes up, they find a cozy spot to rest under it. I didn’t get a single ornament on my tree this year. Next year, I’m starting in November.
    Of course I’m mad for your new hair-do. Don’t know if you’ve kept up with the pink, I thought it was really cool and looks great on your natural hair colour. But I know you thought it might not be you. Either way, you’re one cool mama with the most zen vibe of anyone I know. xo K

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    • Oh gosh Kelly this comment has left me feeling all warm and fuzzy and sporting a big smile – you made me feel like I’ve got it all together [which of course I haven’t] and life is going very nicely ….. which of course it is! It’s so nice to have it presented back to me in this way though. Re the hair, the pink has faded and I’m concentrating on letting the silver out now – and getting it back to a length that I can feel happy with! Good things take time! Hope your Hawaiian sojourn is going well and you are getting a lovely summery respite to carry you through the remainder of your wintery weather. Much love xoxo

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  2. I must have missed this post before I signed off for Christmas Pauline, but I did just want to say how much I enjoyed your lovely pics, some of which I remember from FB, and your wonderfully happy Christmas celebrations. It all went in a flash didn’t it, but such lovely memories 🙂 Thank you for your amazing support of my blog and writing, and not least of all, for your friendship ❤ xoxo

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      • Oh Pauline, I’m glad you found me, thanks for rescuing me from spam prison! I had a recent episode of problems commenting on other blogs but it was intermittent so I had no idea where or when 😮 It’s happened before and no idea why. Should be sorted now 🙂 I hope you, Siddy & Orlando have enjoyed a lovely weekend, see you soon! ❤ xoxo

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  3. Pauline LOVE YOUR HAIR. I had a daughter that use to do purple, pink and black tips. I would help her do her hair and I had a blast! You have become a silver/white sister fox swith the rest of us!!!! I had mine go white-blond a few summers ago and decided what the heck. It was changing and so I embraced it and it is so liberating:-) I don’ t have wrinkles so what the heck, who cares. My friend I ride bikes with one day was laughing for when I was riding my bike a little girl said to her DAd-Heh-look she has white hair-LOL. I am different. Now my friend is letting hers go and is tired of going and coloring it all the time. I wish more women were as brave as you to go pink! I would love to try that and only you could pull that off-really neat on you….
    I am not on here much anymore but I do find time to visit my old cyber friends—love your look and all you create!!! love ya white fox sister:-)

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    • Hello Robbie! I have read your latest post which was just great as usual – do you know we cannot hit like or leave a comment on your blog now? Did you mean to do that? The natural hair is long over due for me and I am very glad to be getting there at last – it will be a long process though before I can have my wayward locks completely au-naturale and long and safely up on top of my head again. I don’t feel quite like me with shortish hair! The colours are fun – mostly washed out now – they just stick around for a bit and fade away. I’m up for doing all kinds of things [to my hair] if they just wash out again 🙂 Love you too xoxo

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  4. Your tree and gardens are so beautiful! I never have any ideas when it comes to trees. Yes indeed, you are so talented and such an inspiration. I admired your pansies, impatiens, and spider plant. My spouse says that I have too many containers, is there such a thing, ha ha. I would have flowers all over the place if I could (our climate is so harsh….100 plus in the summer…) Thanks for sharing those lovely photos.

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  5. Have your girls left the pajama party yet, Pauline? 🙂 ♡ I stopped by to make sure I didn’t miss a new post! Happy New year, you gorgeous woman! Give Siddy and Orlando a pet or scratch from me. Hope you had a wonderful time, drinks, cheers, gifts, eating, celebrating and beach walks. . . I spent Wed with my youngest daughter who has a generous boyfriend, giving us facial gift cards and lunch gift cards. I had never had one, my face feels still soft and “young!” We saw the moving and motivating movie, “Joy,” along with veggie pizzas so am feeling happy and hopeful for 2016. May you have special surprises, quiet meaningful times and good health in 2016. Hugs, Robin xo ♡

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    • I just opened up wordpress to visit your latest post and found this lovely message from you 🙂 Yes, our party is over – next one is booked for September though.:-) That is quite the lovely thing to hear, that your daughter’s boyfriend includes you in such a luxurious ‘girlie’ treat. Judging just by this, he sounds like a keeper! And I am to see the movie ‘Joy’ tomorrow evening.

      Sending you wishes for a year full of joy, promise and hope Robin. Much love to you!

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  6. I am so sorry that I missed wishing you a Merry Christmas. It had been a very difficult time here these past weeks and I am just now trying to catch up. Let me be one of the first to wish you a very Happy New Year! I have very much enjoyed reading your posts this past year and look forward to a continued friendship in 2016. Hugs.

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    • I read this comment and then popped over to your blog to see if I had missed anything – and I had! I left a message there so will just say here thank you for coming by, I had missed you 🙂 Happy New Year to you and Thommee and I look forward to spending time with you too as the new year progresses. Much love to you Jan xoxo

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  7. Wonderful post! I have always been curious about Christmas in summer, and somewhat relieved to see that the traditional celebrations really are as confusing as they would seem to be in the heat of summertime. Your response is just the best: to make it a personal and local celebration, rather than try to mimic the fantasy. Your tree is so beautiful. I DO hope you do a better job than I did at re-sizing the tree skirt. I, too, sewed a quick small tree skirt to suit our small tree at the last minute….about 15 years ago. And it’s STILL the tree skirt we use, and just as small… ha ha ha! The kitty loves it because she has figured out how to push the fabric aside and get at the tree water to drink it.

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    • We caught up 🙂 That was wonderful! And even though I know you have a load of wonderful people around you, I just want you to know if you ever need to talk more, I’m just a skype button away xoxo

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  8. Wishing you a joyful celebration… butterflies, flowers, green nodding dog and all. I too feel disconnected with the old-fashioned images of this time of year (no snow, just rain) and it’s lovely to hear about your new traditions. We now celebrate the solstice, not Christmas, so today is full of lovely smells from the kitchen and keeping indoors out of the rain. Later there will be a roast dinner, but if I lived in your hemisphere, there would certainly not be. In fact, we have a lunch planned for Friday that is much more appropriate to the southern hemisphere – we are going to have a picnic in the limery… this may be a new tradition!

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    • I hope your picnic went well – I’ve caught up with the latest post showing photos and I think it a splendid idea! I love the thought of humanity picnicing defiantly when the days are at their shortest and the weather gearing up to do it’s worst! You might be starting a new global tradition 🙂

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  9. Hi Pauline, thank you for sharing your Christmas experiences. It sounds like there is a wonderful time in store for you and your girls. Your Christmas tree looks magical. I especially love the colour scheme – my favourite colour is blue!
    Have a wonderful time together. I love your resolve to love, share, give and shine. You have already spread light around the world. Your handmade gifts look wonderful and will be gratefully appreciated by their recipients I am sure.
    Best wishes to you all. See you in 2016!

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      • I wondered whose choice was the blue when you said they were the favourite colours. They all go very nicely together. 🙂
        See you in the new year.

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  10. Hello Pauline of the Festive Hair and thank you very much for sharing your beautiful Christmas thoughts and pics! I’m so happy I checked in tonight to see that. Wishing you a most wonderful 2016!

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  11. Oh, Pauline, what a beautiful post! The words and the pictures, the colors and the truths. You so lovingly describe the fundamental seasonal disconnect you grew up with in New Zealand, are so conscious of it and it’s roots. I grew up in the southern USA state of Texas — snow? chimneys? — so I can relate a bit. And it’s hilarious to see it all here in Hawaii! Reindeer? Kudos to you for celebrating the literal warmth and light of your sacred place. Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful daughters. Love, Christi

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    • So lovely to see you pop by Christi, I don’t want to lose you! I imagine it is just as ludicrous in Hawaii as it is here. I like making a stand for seasonal celebratory settings for global festivals. It is good for the soul to search for new ways to represent what you want to make of the festival, rather than just immerse yourself in ‘the usual’ and of course all the consumerism – I know you agree 🙂 I wish you and Keith the most wonderful of Holidays and very much love and peace throughout 2016. [2016!] xoxo

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  12. You are setting yourself up for the most fabulous 2016 ever Ms Pauline. I love the tree, the planning and the new hair. You rock and “Way to go” in sending out 2015 to pasture and welcoming in a brand new year. This is the stuff that happy Christmas’s are actually made of 🙂

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    • Thank you Fran, the fun begins in about half an hour and I’m signing off for a week or so to thoroughly immerse myself in family fun times and the 30C we are promised – or to whimper like a baby and beg for someone, anyone, to turn the sun off! So, in case I don’t get a chance to pop by again, Happy, Happy Christmas to you, Steve and the delightful Beziel and Url 🙂 I so look forward to seeing what you guys get up to next year xoxo

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      • We have 27 and rain promised for Christmas. A most welcome reprieve from our 33C and 90% humidity for the last few days. I will no longer complain about the cold (if I ever have). Have a blast and see you when I next see you 🙂

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  13. Hello Pauline … sorry I’ve been distant, but I haven’t been visiting many blogs over the past 4 weeks … but I trying to change the trend. Thanks for sharing some of your traditions, and you artistic skills make the holiday even brighter. Nice Christmas hair! … and your patio is looking great!

    Meanwhile, my holiday party starts in about 8 1/2 hours after this comment, so I hope you can stop by … and as you know, your friends are welcome as well … and gift bags are available for those who dare.

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    • Hi Frank, thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment. I’m all involved in family birthdays and Christmas celebrations now and will be mostly off-line until after Christmas is over. I’m so sorry to miss your holiday party – the last one was a lot of fun – but I’ll turn up for the next one I promise. Happy Christmas to you and Right, Frank, I hope you have a really lovely holiday!

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  14. Thank you for such a beautiful post and such beautiful pictures. I’m always left with such a wonderful sense of warmth and love when I read your blog,

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  15. I love your Christmas hair! Very similar to mine right now. 😀 I also love the way you have decorated for your holidays, and the meaning you’ve gleaned from the season. Have fun, enjoy the warmth of the season, and very happy holidays to you, Pauline!

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    • Thank you Robin – pink hair is fun isn’t it! I’ve never had so many strangers smile at me in the street 🙂 Happy Holidays to you and M, Robin – I hope you have a wonderfully warm and inspirational one!

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  16. Seasons Greetings Pauline, the pink hair looks awesome!

    I very much enjoyed reading your post, you paint such a vivid picture with your words. It sounds like you have a perfect Christmas planned.

    Your tree is looking beautiful, I just love the blue roses. We don’t have a tree here, we tried a few years ago but the cats thought it the greatest plaything on earth, they would dive into it and knock it over and I was constantly chasing baubles across the floor. So now we have a twig with fairy lights – it’s not quite the same! They need to take a leaf out of Orlando’s book, he looks so content 🙂

    And as for Siddy – I think you have next year’s Christmas card right there!

    It’s been lovely reading your blog this year and I am looking forward to what you have in store for 2016! I wish you and your girls a wonderful Christmas together, with lots of love, hugs and laughter. Happy Christmas! xx

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    • Hi Jem! Orlando is a ‘mature’ cat now and his bauble playing days are over, apart from the odd idle ‘bat’ just to see what happens. I’ve actually been quite surprised that neither of them have shown the slightest interest in pulling anything down or off. O lives under the tree at the moment and Siddy slides under as far as he can to snuggle with him in the evenings when my hands are too busy for pats. Thank you for all your good wishes, I return them to you and really look forward to seeing more of your creations next year, Which is the year I intend to knit your shawl pattern up 🙂 Happy Christmas xoxo

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  17. Your tree is gorgeous and should stay up year round, fits into the decor with perfect match to your paintings.
    It would be hard to have a different kind of Christmas than the cards and ads depict. Sounds like you improved over some of your past memories abd made life soecial for your girls. Oh, of course your sweet “boys” love their Mommy, too. Give Siddy a cuddle ♡ from me and tell Orlando he found the most comfy, homemade place to be. 🙂
    You turned out to be an awesome Mom, friend and artist who knows how to create a marvelous atmosphere for daughters. You and they will wear pajamas and have fun, wine, sweets with movies, gifts, beach and giggling. ♡♡♡♡ Enjoy fully, Pauline.

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    • Thank you Robin 🙂 Unfortunately the tree takes up a lot of my table sitting space so year round would be quite challenge to cope with. Though I agree, it is quite the prettiest tree I have ever made and should stay up forever 🙂 I’ll be off line most of the time from now one – so Happy Christmas to you and all your children and grand-children and of course your wonderful mom. I’ll see you on the other side xoxo

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      • Just dropping by to wish you a very joyful new year, Pauline! 🙂 *¤☆¤* Celebrate new beginnings but I am grateful for my “old” friends, ♡ especially my rosy pink haired friend! ♡

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  18. Pauline, you have no idea how much I enjoyed reading this. There is so much here, first I love your tree, it is filled with my favorite colors too. your garden looks so different from the last time I saw pictures of it. It’s filled out beautifully.

    I love hearing how people celebrate the holidays around the world so this was so interesting. I can only imagine how weird it was for you to see Christmas displays with fake snow and songs that centered on a winter-y Christmas then to have your families who wanted to carry on traditions that had nothing to do with the climate you lived in. I’m so glad you created new traditions for your children and yourself that helped you find peace with the holiday.

    Btw, I love your pink highlights. 🙂

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  19. A great read Pauline. I am glad I made my decision to send yarn to you later now because it will be colder weather when it gets there. It was indeed a Christmas miracle how quickly my light catchers got here. Lovely for my friend as she prepares for the full traditional christmas dinner for umpteen people and we just found out it will be 41 degrees Celsius Christmas day. It will be a wonderful day filled with love and happiness and even the heat won’t spoil it. I ran up to my bedroom yesterday and actually stopped with amazement! My whole bedroom was covered in rainbows from tiny splintery ones to huge patches. Apparently it is going to be an afternoon sun thing and I am planning to sit there everyday for at least 5 mins and enjoy the rainbows Pauline sent me. The photos of Orlando and Siddy are lovely and I love your hair. Hugs and thinking of you from Sharon. XX

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    • Oooh you’re going to send me yarn? 😀 Happy Christmas to me!! 😀
      So lovely to hear you got a spectacular display from your small catcher. I had a wonderful time creating them and thinking of all the people they would go to – you were the surprise addition at the end as I didn’t know who would get the random commenter one. And it matched the one made for your friend – how’s that for the pure magic of randomness!!

      Happy, Happy Christmas Sharon! xoxo

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      • Oh yes, I am sending you some hand spun Sharon yarn. I love Christmas magic. I loved the green in our light catchers. My friend is of irish descent and has voluminous, wild, red,tresses. So the green is slightly better than perfect.XXXX

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        • Your card arrived the day before Christmas Sharon with the message about the yarn. Thank you so much! You had left a bit of the address off – the street name – and some lovely post office person had obviously worked out where to send it. Isn’t that amazing! I hope you all had a most wonderful Christmas! xoxo

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  20. PINK HAIR! You’ve got pink hair – I’m so envious, I’ve always wanted pink hair – yours looks fabulous!
    I’ve loved seeing your Christmas preparations and how strange it seems to have these festivities in the summer – but how lovely to be able to sit outside amongst your riot of horticultural colour and enjoy a Christmas tipple.
    Have a very happy time over the Christmas and New Year season. Looking forward to blogging with you in 2016. Hugs, Pauline xx

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    • Hugs back Jenny! The pink hair will fade and I’ll be ordinary again soon enough – sigh! Every one should have pink hair for a day or two sometime in their life – it makes people smile at you 🙂 The tiny courtyard will indeed be riotous in a day or two – I’m hoping we won’t disturb the neighbours too much 🙂 See you on the other side Jenny – Happy Christmas and New Year!!

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  21. Wow, that haircut is very nice on you and I have to say the color pops! Chic! Since Puwen got her dangler, and Jackie’s has arrived as well, I ‘m hoping everyone gets their goodies as expeditiously. Your tree is quite beautiful and it was fun to learn the traditions. I think I’d just have a cookout and hit the beach!

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    • That’s what we used to do when the kids were young. Now we just lie around in the garden and overindulge and maybe hit the beach for a walk in the evenings. Christmas in Summer is fun! I too am hopeful all the danglers will arrive in good time. Fingers crossed! xo

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  22. I loved everything about this post. The tree is absolutely wonderful. I love the colors. Orlando and Siddy seem to be enjoying the season. Such adorable pictures! The gardens are lovely and a delight to see since here we are into a warm winter with many browns and greys. Hope you and your daughters and Siddy and Orlando have a wonderful holiday season and a spectacular new year. Many good wishes and warm thoughts being sent your way. You are such a beautiful light in this world.

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  23. This post is as beautiful as the woman who wrote it. “His favourite aunty Jo arrives in two more sleeps and our Christmas begins!” I love that, Pauline. “Two more sleeps.” ❤
    Your tree is so beautiful, and your hair, well, it rocks! Hugs to my pals, Siddy and Orlando.
    Merry Christmas to all!

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  24. I LOVE your tree and the way you choose to celebrate. I spent a Christmas in Taiwan and had a hard time feeling Christmasy in the heat. But somehow, we prevailed and made a Christmas party for all the guys that had no families around. I was one of 6 wives allowed to follow a husband. Your colors on your tree look aqua and pink. Are those the colors you like or are my eyes deceiving me? It almost looks like a Boomdee tree. The butterflies on it are just so happy feeling. Like you, I get to have both my kids with me this Christmas and we are also “tight” as we mostly had to go it alone. I would do Christmas all year long because that’s how long it takes me to get things done. My dad always used to tell me I’m a day late and a dollar short. 🙂 Your garden is so welcoming. Were you able to find the paint for the chairs?? Orlando looks like you put that tree up just for him. I had never realized a tree skirt could be crocheted. How lovely. Have fun with the hair. Au natural will come as a great relief to you though adding little bits of fun colors works so well for you. I’ve talked many a client into going with the hair color nature has left behind. It softens the look as we age. And saves money for crafting. 🙂 Have a very Happy Christmas, etc to you and yours. Card will probably be late though it has been posted. Maybe next year I’ll be on time. 😦

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    • Hello Marlene! I am saving the chair painting for later in the summer – there was no time to tackle that job immediately. You are right, I am very happy to let the hair be what it is. I went white very young and have been colouring since my early twenties. It explains much of the brain damage that is obvious to you all 🙂

      The tree colours are a joint exercise, my favourite blue with DJ’s favourite pink and we just went to town, painting and making stuff to go with the bought baubles. It is very Boomdee isn’t it – that makes me feel quite happy as we all know she has impeccable taste!

      I hope you have a wonderful time with your two as well. We are most fortunate to have these close connections. I have to email you too as I rather fear I have lost a message you sent me about light catchers – I hope I’m right and it was you!

      Happy Christmas Marlene, your first in your lovely new home. Enjoy, enjoy!! xoxo

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      • It was me that e-mailed you and not to worry. We are taking things slowly around here. What gets done, is going to be enough. the rest will have to find a way to wait. I loved the butterflies on the tree too. It was all very classy. Still waiting for TS to get my photos to me that he took of my decorations. Nothing quite so designer looking. Just a very eclectic collection. I love the holiday with all the glitz and sparkle. Summer Christmas has it’s own challenges but then you have all the lovely blooms to add to the beauty. I used to color my hair too when I was in hairdressers school and worked as a hairdresser. Just never had the time or funds to keep it up so I let it go. I tend to be satisfied with having hair. So many aren’t so lucky. 🙂 We are planning to really enjoy our very wet Christmas, Solstice, etc. Will be thinking of you. Giant hugs to all.

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  25. This post is so 100% YOU! I smiled all the way through–you’ve figured out how to pull all of the best things in your life together and really glory in it! Have a wonderful time with your girls! And I, too, think you really rock your hair!

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  26. Now the hair, I’m jealous. I managed a pink beard this year but that’s the max hair I can do these days. The garden is fabulous as is all the bling. Have a wonderusly combobulating time of it and see you post the fun and games.

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      • I did. No one blinked except a neighbour who saw me as I was leaving the house for the bloggers bash we held last summer. I think I’m expected to go purple for the 2016 extravaganza! Have a lovely time in the not to baking heat ( I hope).

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  27. I love Christmas and I love your post! So full of pretty things, flowers, tree full of baubles and lovely animals, and of course yourself. Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to look forward to. x

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  28. Love the hair! I also loved reading about how you’ve made Christmas special to you in your own way – what a sensible thing to do to try to keep the sentiment in a hot climate in an appropriate way. I always wondered how a ‘traditional’ Christmas could be spent in the heat of Summer and this makes far more sense. I shall finish by thanking you for all your entertaining blog posts this year and wishing you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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  29. This is a beautiful post, Pauline. The incongruity of a winter celebration being held in midsummer is so well put; and its link with your child’s discombombulation patent. Have a wonderful time – all of you. As you know, Jackie’s light catcher has arrived in good time.

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  30. A beautiful post to read as always, and as always finish with a big smile on my face 😀 love your colour theme this year, love the gorgeous hair, and the homemade gifts look like a picture out of country style magazine! You’ve reminded me to make a crochet tree skirt too, kept putting it off and now it’s too late, but definitely for next year! Your cat looks so calm…our cats have already had the tree down once as usual and spewed up little piles of plastic leaves and optical fibre cable for twenty four hours after…sure you wanted to know that…I think the novelty has now worn off finally 🙂 they do the same thing every year. Hope you enjoy a wonderful break, am so glad I ‘found’ you this year and look forward to reading more posts in wonderful 2016! Xo

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    • Me too Bianca, it was a real treat to ‘find’ you 🙂 Orlando is getting older now, and as the elder statesman of petsville his only naughtiness is teasing the puppy – baubles are for kittens he says! 🙂 Have a great Christmas and I hope your kitties spare some of the tree for you to enjoy! xoxo

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  31. Pauline, I love the way you’ve created a season of your own and found a way to celebrate that is meaningful to you. You’ve really opened my eyes to a whole new way of celebrating this time of year, one that makes sense when you’re at the start of the summer season. It was a shock for us moving from Canada to California in November of 1966. We were used to snow at Christmas, so it was disorienting. I can’t imagine how strange it would be to try to follow the northern traditions in a country that would prefer cold drinks and a dip in the lake. I think it’s hugely challenging shaking of traditions you’re raised with . Hurrah for you and the girls that followed.

    Your garden looks lush and inviting. Did you make those lovely cushions? It all looks inviting. I’m glad the hail finally stopped and your garden looks none the worse for wear because of it.

    Orlando looks quite pleased with himself resting under the tree. It’s almost as good as the humming refrigerator. Does he leave the baubles alone? Our cat Fluffy loved sleeping under the tree each year. I captured several sweet photos of her among the packages looking serene. I miss that little sweetie.

    Siddy has personality to spare! It’s hard to imagine life without him I’ll bet.

    I love your hair, your tree, your girls, your home, your humour, and YOU! I’m happy to hear of your new found joy this season. xox

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    • It’s unbelievably hot here today after three quite wet and coolish days – so changeable! Orlando is quite convinced the tree has been erected entirely for his pleasure. He has no interest in the baubles and looks completely affronted when Siddy accidentally knocks something off. Siddy also looks completely alarmed when he does that – he likes Orlando’s tree! I can imagine you still miss your Fluffy – she was such a lovely girl! Orlando is showing signs of aging this year, he is slowing down and sleeps more. It’s hard to imagine life without either of them – but that is our lot with our pets isn’t it. They are our joy and our solace for a short time and then they are gone…… unless I go first then Danella Joy gets to care for them…. 🙂 Joanna arrives tomorrow and I am frantically trying to get everything done. Still wrapping and sorting and cooking, but once she is here we are stopping all outside activity for a week! Have a wonderful week Alys, I hope your healing is continuing well and I look forward to our Skype session whenever it is [I think I’ve forgotten temporarily]

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      • I love how quickly it’s become “Orlando’s tree” and that even Siddy is towing the line. I’m smiling at the image of Orlando’s scathing glare when puppy gets too close. So cute and fun those two.

        I hesitate to ask about your weather, as it continues to be quite fickle. We’re enjoying the loveliest of rains this afternoon, soft and warm. C. is out walking in it now. I would have joined him if I could.

        It is sad to see our animals slowing down. Slinky, too, is showing her age. She’s turned into such a dedicated lap cat I can scarcely believe she’s the same stray.

        I’m smiling at the thought of you sorting, baking and preparing for your wonderful week ahead, which is of course underway now. I’m so happy for all of you, and look forward to hearing details of your time together.

        Merry Christmas, Pauline.

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  32. It is the height of sanity to know Christmas as who you are, where you are. I very much enjoyed reading about your journey from borrowed spirit to your own true one. Your tree, your garden, your plans with family and your beloved fur persons are all things of beauty. I wish you the happiest of holidays, Pauline, and may 2016 prove to be a good one for us all.

    P.S. That is a kick-ass coiffure, and I love it!

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    • Thank you Cynthia – it’s been a wonderful journey this life huh? Just to get us here, being okay with being us 🙂 Thank you for all those lovely wishes, I take them gratefully and return them to you a hundredfold! I know how fortunate I am to have my small family gathered for a week just to enjoy each others company. I wish you a gentle winter and joy in your quiet days with many good books to read.

      Glad you like the coiffure – you should see it the day after the hair salon visit though 🙂

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  33. The Christmas tree is gorgeous! The garden is a wonder! And the purple-pinkish bauble in the final picture is a definite Christmas cracker. Happy Christmas and New Year, Pauline!

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  34. Congratulations on completing a year of creativity. I look forward to seeing what you do in 2016. Your plans for the festive season sound wonderful. Enjoy! PS I love your new hair.

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    • Hello Laura! Have you been posting? I haven’t seen anything from you in a while. [I always worry because WordPress is fond of dropping people off my feeder from time to time] My major plan for next year is to complete this years Life Book lessons 🙂

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      • Yes, I’ve been posting once or twice a week – though I will likely take a break for the festive season. I wonder why you aren’t seeing posts from me? Peculiar. Have you signed up for LB 2016 or are you going to focus on finishing the 2015 lessons?

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        • I checked and the ‘deliver instant emails’ box was unchecked. It happens from time to time, it seems there is a wee hiccup somewhere and one or two folk disappear. It took me a couple of years before I realised how it works and I sometimes do a troll through just to check. Two of you had fallen off this time.

          I’m just doing a catch-up next year – and will start as soon as I get my art room back. [There is nowhere else in this tiny house to work] I’m really looking forward to it as I haven’t painted since March! Are you doing LB2016?

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          • Yes, I am signed up to LB 2016. I am also doing the Let’s Face It course in painting faces and I won a spot on a Mythology course. Then, of course, I will continue with my own art challenges and with art journalling. I also want to push myself into getting back into selling my art again, figuring out how to do it in this country. So busy, busy, busy.

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  35. Wow I just loved reading this! What a fun and special time for you and your family! I hope it is so memorable and you have lots of time to chat and hug and just be together! It is so nice that you made your own Christmas memories and traditions! I love the beautiful tree skirt and the gifts, the outside, flowers, chairs and getting ready! Have fun! The tree is pure joy and loveliness, the colors are amazing!

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