2018 Holiday Blog Tour Stop #8 Christmas in New England

Welcome to Mountain Brook Ink’s 2018 Holiday Blog Tour! We’re so excited you’ve decided to join us on this journey of family, friends, traditions, and memories over the next month. You as our reader have done so much to pour into our lives, and this season we want to give back to you with insights into our lives AND some giveaways. The more days you follow, share, comment, and engage with us, the more entries you’ll have toward a Kindle Fire Grand Prize or one of three Amazon Gift Cards!

One of the great things about living in New England is the steady march of the seasons. The changing natural world hurries us along the calendar. At the end of our all-too-brief summer is officially Autumn. Here’s what my backyard looks like as I write this.

I think we could easily rename this season Harvest. As gardens small and large are giving up the last of their fruits and many animals scurry to store up enough food for winter, the trees harvest the sugars out of their green foliage, leaving behind the bold colors of fall. We’re all running around trying to collect all of the goodness. There are county fairs, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides, and cold nights.

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Alexander Hamilton, A Cat, & A Policeman aka my kids, Jes, Eden, & Ben. The Muppet is my bff Jodi.

Halloween is the peak, the moment when we know the season is about to turn and winter is ahead. 

When December finally comes it’s time to get cozy and await the joy of Christmas, storing up as much cheer as possible to get through the dark and cold of winter.

I love this time of year. Crafting, baking, gift planning, decorating… all of it enhances the joy of the season for me. Making things cheery and bright is a huge part of both Thanksgiving and Christmas for me. Even when the results are less than stellar. Not sure what I was thinking with the burlap and box Advent wreath here.

I would like to make gifts instead of buy, but I know how it goes. I will get some clever idea off Pinterest, buy all the supplies, and then fail to have enough time to get them done. I generally do well with DIY decoration. 

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I love these Pomanders, but those cloves do a number on my fingers – ouch.

One of the secrets of making this season joyful is to know your limits. We try not to overdo it by saying yes to too much and end up so busy we completely miss the point of the Christmas season.

We host Thanksgiving at our house, but drive to my parents’ for Christmas.  They’re only thirty minutes away (we New Englanders measure distance in drive time) so we have Christmas morning to ourselves. We all empty our stockings, but save the presents for Grandma’s. When we arrive the house is usually filled with the good smells of Christmas dinner and the adults sit down to watch the kids surround us with a pile of wrapping paper as they tear into their gifts.

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Sibling bonding via Nintendo.

If the dates fall right, our family often has a whole week together before we have to go back to work. This time is golden, free of pressure or obligation, we can enjoy each day as it comes. January is a downer, I can’t lie. It’s cold (really, seriously cold,) dark, and dreary. After the bright lights and celebration it’s a long winter until the hope and warmth of Spring.

Some might question all the effort we put into the celebration of what’s essentially a pagan holiday with a Christian translation. They might point out that Christmas has become so commercial it’s barely recognizable. But I think they’re missing the point. Christmas is the chance to reach out to those that might not normally want to hear about Christ. People know the basics, they’ve seen the imagery, what a great opportunity to share the actual Gospel. It’s also the chance to connect with friends and family in a meaningful way.  For me, Christmas is the time to serve others, love one another, and delight in God’s Providence.

I’d love to hear what Christmas is for you. Let me know in the comments how you feel about the season and what your traditions are. And, don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour! Tomorrow’s stop is here with Deborah and Linda. You can click on a day below or go to http://mountainbrookink.com/blog/ to see more.

November 5 – Linda Hanna & Deborah Dulworth

Stop #1: October 28 – Kimberly Rose Johnson
Stop #2: October 29 – Christina Coryell
Stop #3: October 30 – Mary Davis
Stop #4: October 31 – Angela Ruth Strong
Stop #5: November 1 – Susan Page Davis
Stop #6: November 2 – Amy K. Rognlie
Stop #7: November 3 – Gayla K. Hiss
Stop #8: November 4 – Christa MacDonald
Stop #9: November 5 – Linda Hanna & Deborah Dulworth
Stop #10: November 6 – Richard Spillman
Stop #11: November 7 – Annette M. Irby
Stop #12: November 8 – Miralee Ferrell
Stop #13: November 9 – Jeanette-Marie Mirich
Stop #14: November 10 – Anna Zogg
Stop #15: November 11 – Teresa H. Morgan
Stop #16: November 12 – Kelsey Norman
Stop #17: November 13 – Barbara J. Scott
Stop #18: November 14 – Patricia Lee
Stop #19: November 15 – Linda Thompson
Stop #20: November 16 – Janalyn Voigt
Stop #21: November 17 – Cynthia Herron
Stop #22: November 18 – Trish Perry
Stop #23: November 19 – Heather L.L. Fitzgerald
Stop #24: November 20 – Sara Davison
Stop #25: November 21 – Taylor Bennett

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18 thoughts on “2018 Holiday Blog Tour Stop #8 Christmas in New England

  1. carol L says:

    Great pictures. Whenever I see pics of New England I always say “God’s Country”.
    The Christmas season is a time to give to everyone in some fashion. Bringing friends & family together and celebrate Christ’s birth and our gift of life.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  2. Tina Myers says:

    Love Christmas.. With 5 grandchildren i love buying and wrapping gifts for them. We get together before Christmas and bake cookies they love going door to door to sing Christmas carols. On Christmas i love watching them open their gifts and the smiles on their faces..

  3. Miralee Ferrell says:

    Loved your post, Christa! We used to travel each year to parents, sister/brother, and have Christmas eve with one family and Christmas day with the other side. Mostly we stay home now, but we are going to my mom’s for Christmas….30 min drive away, as at 87 yrs old she’s nervous about driving at night (she does great otherwise) and on potentially slick roads. I LOVE the entire Christmas and Thanksgiving season!

  4. Edward Arrington says:

    I enjoyed your pictures. Here in Virginia, we thought the leaves were going to stay green and then just suddenly fall off one day. However, the leaves finally started turning about a week ago and are looking nice now. Your traditions sound great. Before I got married, Christmas was more like that for my family and me. Then I got married and suddenly there were her parents and grandparents to consider besides my parents and grandparents. Then our kids came along and once again the dynamic changed. Our son married and we were again trying to juggle our schedules to work around other families. That doesn’t count work, church, and school activities. I keep trying to reel things back in so we can relax and enjoy rather than hustle, hustle, hustle.

  5. ponyexpressministry says:

    Love the photos! Thank you for sharing the reasons that the leaves lose their green and turn into the beautiful colors, why there’s an abundance of food for people and animals just before winter, etc. When we see how Creation works, not to mention the beauty, it’s just further proof how kind and awesome God is! Christmas is also my favorite time of year: visiting family in California; hanging out with family in Texas; and just the general joy of the season (when we get our focus right—off the self-inflicted stress of the season and onto the true meaning we’re celebrating! 🙂 ). One of my favorite things to do during this season is drive around and look at all the Christmas lights. We live on the road, but if I had a house, I would definitely try talking my husband into leaving up lights all year long! 🙂

  6. sparksofember says:

    When we lived out west I struggled with the cold and dark making me depressed. Christmas was what got me through as the days grew colder, the nights got longer, and the evenings earlier. After Christmas I knew we had passed the midpoint and I could look forward to the sun gradually coming back. But without Christmas, I don’t know how I would have made it. I love everything about Christmas – the cinnamon and cranberry smells, the colors, the baking, the decorations, poinsettias – even the nip in the air.

  7. Monica says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. My family and I always go to church on Christmas morning, then it’s back home for presents and dinner. My favorite Christmas decoration is Mama’s Nativity scene. She’s had the figures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the angel for a long time. Every year more animals get added. 🙂

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