December on the Ponderosa

This month started out unusually warm for December. We kept hearing colder weather was coming, but it was hard to believe when you didn’t really need anything but a light jacket to go outside. But then, let me tell you, when the cold hit, it hit! The last few days haven’t gotten above 16-18 degrees, finally the sun is starting to poke out today. If you follow One Cute Cowboy’s instagram, I’ m sure you’ve seen how thrilled he’s been about the colder temperatures.

This month has been all about wheat pasture cattle. Every. Single. Day. OCC loads up a trusty horse, a fueled 4 wheeler, charged fence batteries, his medicine bag, and hot coffee, 7 Days a week to go check the cattle on wheat pasture and corn stalks. He makes his rounds through 6 pastures at one location, then 2 other separate fields, then checks the bull calves that are also on wheat. While he’s at these pastures he also has to break the inch thick ice in the tanks, and check the hot wire fences to make sure they’re keeping their charge. Cowboy roping a steer

This guy wasn’t sick, just in the wrong pasture and had to be moved.

He checks for anything that might be sick, or not looking healthy. Cowboys wear many hats, and one of those hats is unfortunately, Doctor. One has to know what medicine is good for what ailment, they have to keep track of which ones they’ve already doctored, and what medicine they gave them. Some medicines are so strong they can only be doctored once with that particular kind and it’s imperative for the Cowboy to remember what calf the medicine was distributed to.

During wheat pasture season, calves can get bloated on the wheat really easily and really fast. There are several things the cowboys do to help fight bloat. They put out a block called a “bloat” block and they also add soap to their water and keep hay out. The blocks and soap help the stomach continue to bubble and break down the foam which helps the gas escape. The hay offers dry matter which allows the rumen to operate correctly.

Besides checking wheat pasture cattle, the cowboys have also been feeding cake and hay to the ranch cattle. They definitely keep a full schedule in the winter months!

We also got to get away for an overnight trip to see some of OCC’s family for Christmas, and also had a nice Christmas with my whole family once we got back. Christmas was here and gone in the blink of an eye, which always makes me a little sad. But it’s exciting to think this time next year we’ll have a little pup around to unwrap gifts and start some new family traditions.

The cake my niece made all by herself, “Frosty.”

I hope you all have had a wonderful December, and are ready to jump into the New Year with lots of hope, love, and excitement!

Happy New Year! 🍾

*ASpottedHeart

Keeping Christmas

This was actually a post I had planned for the day after Christmas, but I had some technical difficulties and couldn’t get it posted. So as we look into the new year, here is a few thoughts I’ve had.

What exactly does it mean to “keep the Christmas spirit?”

I hate when Christmas is over. I get the Christmas blues every year. There’s all of this fun and exciting build-up—playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, getting and decorating the tree, pulling out all of your favorite decorations from storage, and making your house into a winter wonderland. Finding just the right gift for the ones you love, lighting the Advent wreath, preparing to celebrate the birth of our King! There’s all this build-up, and Christmas Eve comes and the magic is palpable, then Christmas morning is finally here and the festivities of the day begins! Then in the blink of an eye, it’s all over. The lights come down, the wrapping paper gets picked up, the family goes home, and once again, your heart waits for the next Christmas to come.

So my question to you is, how do we keep that Christmas spirit all year long? How do we keep excited and passionate about giving to others, our appreciation for the small things, our waiting for the King?

This year it seems like it went even faster than usual, and I’ve found myself stuck with this question. I want to keep the fulfillment that Christmas gives me in my heart all-year round.

My mind keeps going to Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” Surely part of the key of keeping Christmas, is keeping a merry heart. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. You get cut-off in traffic, your boss is on you about this or that, your day just doesn’t go “as planned”—it’s hard to keep that merry heart in difficult times.

So I’ve been thinking of how to keep a heart for Christmas all year-round, and this is what I’ve come up with:

  • Immerse yourself in scripture

I’m one of those people that always likes to know more. I want to know facts and details. I used to love Paul Harvey, “and now you know, the rest of the story.” One thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed is the “subtext” in my Bible. For most verses there’s a footer at the bottom telling details about what the scripture might be pertaining to in that time, going into further explanation of the verse. I think one way to keep a fulfilled heart is to read scripture everyday, and for me, dig even a little deeper to find what the scriptures are actually saying.

  • Prayer

I guess you could say this goes hand-in-hand with reading scripture, but I find when I start and end my day with prayer, I keep a more mindful heart (and mouth for that matter) and reflect more upon the happenings of my day-to-day.

  • Continue to Give

Now, don’t get me wrong , I’m not saying buy gifts for everyone you know or love all year long, but have a giving heart. Maybe that means giving your time to someone to listen, maybe it’s giving someone a helping hand at the grocery store, and maybe it means to simply give–whether it be to your church, someone in need, the homeless, or something else entirely, but don’t let the Christmas season be the only time you “give” during the year.

  • A Christmas Reminder

I challenge you to keep one small Christmas decoration/ornament out in a place where you’ll see it everyday to remind you of the joy and peace that comes with Christmas. The picture above is a candle One Cute Cowboy got me our 2nd Christmas together, and I plan on keeping it out even after I put my other decorations up, to remind me to keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart all year long.

I hope you had a beautiful, joyful Christmas and pray for many blessings to all of you through the new year!

Happy New Year!

*ASpottedHeart

A Christmas Playlist 🎄

“Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet…”🎶 One of my favorite lines in a Christmas song. I love Christmas music! I love the old-timey Christmas tunes mixed in with some of the newer versions and songs. I’ve put together some of my favorite renditions of Christmas songs and some of the artist original ones too. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Jingle Bells- Frank Sinatra
  2. Santa Baby-Michael Buble
  3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- She & Him
  4. Ribbons and Bows-Kacey Musgraves
  5. Very Merry Christmas-Dave Barnes
  6. Please Come Home for Christmas- Leslie Odom Jr.
  7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!-Bing Crosby
  8. White Christmas- Drifters
  9. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel-Dave Barnes
  10. Baby, It’s Cold Outside-Lee Ann Womack & Harry Connick, Jr.
  11. O Holy Night-Martina McBride
  12. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas-Michael Buble
  13. Silver Bells- She & Him
  14. The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
  15. Silent Night- Bing Crosby
  16. Winter a Wonderland- Ella Fitzgerald
  17. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing- Sufjan Stevens
  18. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- Kacey Musgraves
  19. Sleigh Ride-Ella Fitzgerald
  20. Joy to the World- Nat King Cole

If you have Spotify you can go and have a listen!

Hope this Christmas Playlist makes you as happy as it does me!

**Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter my surprise ornament giveaway! All you have to do to enter is email me a photo of your favorite ornament that hangs on your tree! I’ll announce the winner* at 10:00 tonight! aspottedheart@gmail.com< strong>*ASpottedHeart<<
o enter you must live in the U.S.

Christmas Tree Hunt:Year 4

I’ve shared before that one of Riley’s Christmas traditions has always been to go find and cut down your own Christmas tree. It’s always a pretty big adventure.

This year was a little different, since I’m packing around a little bear in my belly, we decided maybe we wouldn’t do quite as much hiking as usual, and take the 4-wheeler so it’s a little easier to haul the tree back to he pickup. We went up to our usual spot in New Mexico, and hopped on the 4-wheeler. We drove around and down through a few groves, then decided we’d walk a little bit and try to find the perfect tree.

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband has Clark Griswold Syndrome-he wants the biggest tree he can find. This is the one he originally wanted this year! Haha!

We look through loads of trees. You have to keep certain things in mind when looking for just the right tree. Is there a good sturdy base? Does it have a good top for our vintage Shiny Brite topper? Is it too robust for our home? Is it too tall for our house? How many branches will we have to remove from the bottom to make it stand up in the stand right? Will it still look full if we remove said branches? A lot of thinking goes into it. Seems like we always end up picking one that’s too big (round) but it’s so hard when they look so pretty out in the pasture.

This Christmas we chose this fat & jolly guy-just how we like ’em! He was a little hard to get on the 4-wheeler, trying not to run over everything in our path, but we eventually made it back to the pickup unscathed.

He is *ahem* a little big for our house, but we both agree this has been our best tree yet! He’s beautiful! Perfect base, perfect top, really full and lush.

IMG_9947

I love ornaments, and how we’ve collected so many in our short 4 years together. Every one of them is meaningful it seems. I’ll share a few with you.

IMG_9948

do  know this is the first one from our first Christmas together. It’s a Brighton silver, reindeer. Still one of my favorites and most elegant ornaments.

IMG_9949

This is one from when One Cute Cowboy was just a little guy. It’s so cute, and a Hallmark Classic.

IMG_9951

This one is special not only because it represents the true meaning of Christmas, but my dad’s side of the family did an ornament exchange for a few years, and this is one I got that my Grandma had put in the exchange. It is, for so many reasons, one of my favorites.

 

What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions? Do you have a favorite ornament that hangs on your tree each year? I’d love to see them!! Leave me a picture in the comments or e-mail me a picture of your ornament at aspottedheart@gmail.com. I’ll put your name in a hat and draw a winner next Tuesday, the 19th,  for a surprise ornament I’ll send right to your door*! Happy Tree Trimming!

*ASpottedHeart

 

 

Previous Christmas Posts:

 

*Must live in the U.S. for valid entry for the surprise ornament. 

 

Christmas Gift Guide

Buying gifts at Christmas can be both fulfilling, and unfortunately draining. Sometimes it’s incredibly stressful to try to pick out just the right gift for just the right person. So I’ve put together a little gift guide that will hopefully help!

For the woman in your life:

Maybe you’re looking for your sister,Mom, girlfriend, wife, in-law? Here’s a few things I think she’ll be sure to love!

  • Smaller Inexpensive Gift

It’s no secret how I feel about Dalmatian spots, and you can’t go wrong with Kate Spade. This cute ring dish would look good on any girl’s bedside table. What’s great about this gift, it’s good for any age!

Kate Spade Flamingo Dot Ring Dish $30

  • The Middle Price Range Gift

If you’ve ever used any Origins skincare products, then you know just how awesome this gift is. This is the 12 Joys of Origins gift set. This is a $70 set that’s contents is worth $170, a truly great deal! I’ve never used an Origins product I didn’t absolutely love! They smell great, and always leave your skin feeling amazing! This set includes some of their best products, and a couple that are only seasonal, so it’s a steal.

Origins 12 Joys of Origins Gift Set $70

  • The More Expensive Gift

This luxurious robe is from Anthropologie. This pretty robe would make any gal feel special! It’s not only mega soft and cozy, it’s machine washable which is always a plus in my books.

Anthropologie’s Reversible Sherpa Robe $138

For the Man in your life:

Whether it be your dad, brother, husband, or boyfriend, here are some ideas I think any man would like!

  • Smaller Inexpensive Gift

I don’t know a man in my life that doesn’t enjoy some good hot sauce. This make your own hot sauce from Uncommon Goods seems like the perfect gift for the adventurous man in your life (because what man isn’t?)

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Gift $34.95

  • The Middle Price Range Gift

My husband says every man needs a good clipper set, and this seems like a really great one. I found this Braun Men’s Set at Kohl’s, it has 7 different attachments (my husband also says the nose trimmer is a must!)

Braun Men’s 9-in-1 Multi Grooming Kit $69.99

  • The More Expensive Gift

This wool pullover from Stormy Kromer is a high quality, warm sweater. One Cute Cowboy swears by his, and has almost worn it ragged. It’s worth every penny, but does run on the smaller side when you’re looking for your man’s size!

Stormy Kromer’s The Wool Pullover for Him $139.99

For the Kid in your Life

It can be hard to buy for kids because it seems like their interests are constantly changing. I tried to find some good, common-ground gifts for any kid!

  • Smaller Inexpensive Gift

I’m a big advocate for board games and family time. Scattergories is hands-down my favorite board game! It makes you think quick on your feet and really use your brain. I think it’s good for kids to be challenged in a fun way, and these three games are perfect for that!

Scattergories $10.88Jenga $7.47Jumanji $19.99

  • The Middle Price Range Gift

When I was a kid, I loved getting mail! What better gift than something that gives all-year round, a kids magazine subscription! There’s something for just about any kid.

Highlight Magazine $39.96/1Year

Ranger Rick Magazine $19.99/1Year

Sport’s Illustrated Kids $19.99/1Year

  • The More Expensive Gift

This Teepee styled kids hammock/pod would have been a dream to me as a kid! What kid doesn’t love to have their own little space, plus being outside!?! Seems like an easy win/win to me.

Teardrop Tree Hammock $137.99

Here are also some specific ideas for…

The Naturalist

I can’t speak highly enough of Young Living Oils. I’ve been a customer of theirs for over 3 years and I can honestly say I use them daily. What greater gift then giving your loved one a membership to Young Living and starting them out right with one of our many starter kits. My favorite is the Dewdrop Diffuser Kit. It comes with their very own diffuse (right now this kit will actually come with the new, beautiful Dessert Diffuser pictured above) along with 10 of our most popular oils, along with samples. Once you get them their kit, they’d then be a Young Living Customer and get their oils at a lower retail price instead of buying at whole sale. I could go on and on, and would love to answer any questions any of you have about Young Living or oils in general! 🙂

Young Living Membership (Started Kit) $160

The Beauty Lover

It’s no secret Rodan + Fields is one of the most popular, advanced, and best skincare regimens you can buy and truly invest in your skin. I can’t imagine a beauty fanatic that doesn’t want this gift set of R+F’s Eyelash Boost & Eye Complex Gift Set, along with a dazzling eyelash curler! Impress your beauty product fanatic with the best!

Rodan + Fields Lash Boost Set $198*

The High-Techy

I can’t imagine what tech-lover wouldn’t love this iPhone printer. Your phone pops right into it and prints whatever picture you choose instantly! How fun would that be?! I think this is a great gift!

Prynt Pocket $149.99

The Outdoorsman

This is the perfect multi-tool for your favorite outdoorsman. It has 9 different uses and can fit in your pocket!

PEYOND Camping Axe Hammer Multitool $14.99

The Potter Fan

When Pendleton and Harry Potter collaborate, there’s no way you can go wrong! This scarf is high quality wool (aka:warm), and beautifully made. Surprise your Potter-head with this amazing gift!

Pendleton’s Harry Potter House Muffler $79.50

The Fashionista

Every Fashionista has a signature pair of sunglasses and these Warby Parker’s are some of my favorites! They’re the perfect tortoise color and have polarized, no-scratch lenses. Warby Parker’s are known as durable, classic sunglasses.

Warby Parker Haskell Sunglasses $98

There’s some of my best gift ideas for this Christmas, I hope this little gift guide has been helpful!

*ASpottedHeart

Gifts

Christmas time is here, my favorite time of year! I can’t help but think of my Grandma Smith this time of year. She was always so cheerful at Christmas (she was cheerful year round!!) but you could tell how much she enjoyed the Christmas season. She always sent out tons of Christmas cards and would receive more than you could imagine. She loved displaying all her received cards where everyone could see. When she’d get more than she could display, she’d start stacking them in a basket. I bet she got over 100 a year, it was amazing.

She not only stayed busy with sending and receiving cards and letters, she made so many baked goods during the holidays. As well as visiting the nursing home and talking with the residents there and usually taking a small gift of cookies or an Upper Room devotional. She was a very thoughtful lady, always giving of her time and love. She would also receive many fruit baskets, and flowers, and baked goods. She was very loved, but she also loved so much back I don’t know how she ever kept up.

In our church this Advent season the theme is Gifts. This past Sunday our preacher, Rusty, spoke about using our gifts for the better good of the world. Recognizing what our gifts are, and what our gifts aren’t. Knowing how to use our gifts, and willingly using those gifts to bless others and glorify Him.

“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” —1 Peter 4:10

When our preacher was speaking about this, I continuously thought of Grandma. She had so many gifts that she used diligently for the sake of good, and to glorify our King. She never questioned her gifts, she just did as she saw fit and worked with the hands God had given her. She was known for her baked goods, for her sincerity, for her many letter and cards, and she had a way of making you feel significant and special. Her gifts were abundant, and she never shied away from them. God had gifted her with the gift of comfort. You always left her house with your cup filled, whether that be a belly full of yummy cooking, a head full of scripture, or a heart full of love—she knew how to comfort you in whatever way needed.

I certainly don’t have the gifts she did, but that’s okay, not all of us are going to be gifted in the same way. What’s important is knowing what gifts you’ve been given, and using them the best way you can. Not shying away from them or hiding them away, but to use them to bless others and glorify our King.

I always knew there was a lot to be learned from my Grandma, and now I’m seeing even after she’s gone, I’m still learning. Use your gifts, whatever they may be, and maybe by doing so, we can use all our different gifts together to make this world a little better place.

5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working , but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” —1 Corinthians 12:5-6

There’s no doubt in my mind, when Grandma walked through those pearly gates, and stood in all of God’s glory, He smiled at her and simply said, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Grandma and I at Christmas circa ’14

May you use your gifts this Christmas season!

*ASpottedHeart

Christmas Gifts

We all remember that one Christmas where we got the best gift ever! Maybe you were like Ralphie and wanted a “Red Ryder Carbon Action 200-shot Range air rifle,” and actually got it. Or maybe you wanted a baby doll that was life-like in every way and got her wrapped pretty in a box on Christmas morning. Whatever it was, I’m sure it’s engraved in your mind as the best Christmas ever! Mine has to do with the very title of this blog. Let me give a little back story for you. 

Back in 1991, when I was 5 years-old my family went to Disney Land. Mind you that’s the year 101 Dalmatians was rereleased into theaters. I’ll never forget we had just gotten into the park and we were making our way to some specific place in the park, that part I don’t remember the details on, I just remember we weren’t stopping anywhere else on the way. That’s when I saw it, this huge 101 Dalmatians display in one of the shop windows. My heart fell head-over-heels in love with those spotted creatures. If I would’ve been a cartoon my eyes would’ve had spotted hearts popping out of them (see what I did  there? ;). I was completely in love and I was not going any further until I had my hands on one of those spotted plush creatures. I bugged my parents until finally my mom’s cousin Janet, whom was with us, took me to get a stuffed 101 Dalmatian pup. I took that puppy with me everywhere! 

From that point on I only saw black & white spots. Everything I had was black and white. This wasn’t just a short fad, for years I was obsessed with the 101 Dalmatians. You guys, I’m talking yearrrrsss. So as you can imagine, my one hearts desire was a real-life Dalmatian pup. I’d been asking my parents for one ever since we’d gotten back from Disney Land. That was the only thing I talked about, and asked Santa for that following Christmas. 

Christmas Eve had come and we were having Christmas at my Grandma’s house with my aunts and uncles. There was a knock on the door-It was Santa! He had a box wrapped and it was for me! I was so exited and I remember being a bit confused on why I was the only one getting a gift. I remember him telling me he heard I’d been a very good girl and the package was heavy, to be careful with it. We got it carefully set down on the floor and I started unwrapped it. The sweetest puppy I had ever seen popped it’s head out of the box and I was completely smitten! I couldn’t get that box open fast enough, my heart was so full! I was so excited, I immediately named him Freckles! 

This is a picture of pure joy. That moment is forever engraved in my mind and my heart and when I think of my favorite Christmas my heart goes to that night and it’s been spotted ever since.

Last Christmas, my 3rd Christmas with One Cute Cowboy, he had another one of those memorable, special gifts. I’m a collector of vintage books, and for years I’d searched for a 1st Edition The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. Christmas morning Riley eagerly handed me a gift. I opened it and looking up at me was a 1st edition The Hundred and One Dalmatians. My eyes teared up. I knew he understood my heart. It was such a thoughtful gift. I’m so lucky to have this thoughtful, caring man in my life. One that truly understands and hears my heart. 

Now I know Christmas isn’t about getting  gifts-Christmas is about the gift. When God sent the ultimate gift, Jesus Christ, into the world that cold night in a tiny stable. My heart is overwhelmed when the imagery of that night comes to mind. I’m filled with hope and gratitude. For I truly hope every one of you takes time to remember “the reason for the season.” For there is so much more to Christmas than pretty packages and fun Christmas carols. A king, the King was born that night to be the Prince of Peace, and to bring hope into the world, and to bring redemption to you and I. O holy night, indeed! Praise be to God! 


I hope all of you have had a beautiful Christmas! May peace and hope be with you! 

Winter Wonderland: A December Mood Board

December can be such a glittery, beautiful, enlightening month. I truly am a winter child, though I’m sure One Cute Cowboy would shake his head, since he’s out in it all day, every day. Needless to say he’s not as much of a fan of good ‘ol Winter. Christmas in the 50’s (or maybe just the 50’s in general) always inspires me so my Christmases always have a strong 50’s influence. These are the things that light my heart and make me swoon this December! Hope you’re all having a beautiful one!








Christmas Favorites


It’s Christmas time! I feel like most people probably enjoy Christmas and have their own routines and favorite things they like to do for the Christmas Season. Today I wanted to share a few of mine.

First off let’s talk Christmas movies.


The Christmas Story is probably a staple in everyone’s Christmas movie watching during December. It’s one of my all-time favorites and I’ll watch it as many times as I come across it. Also ever since the Home Alones came out in the early 90’s I’ve looked forward to seeing them again every December. I mean, seriously some of the best Christmas one liners!

“Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.”

“Buzz, your girlfriend…WOOF!”

I just love those movies. I even got the little handheld recorder that Kevin has in Home Alone 2 one Christmas…I loved that thing! As I’ve grown older, The Family Stone has become my Christmas movie, my thing. I watch it while putting up Christmas decorations, I watch it while I wrap presents, and I even listen to the soundtrack while driving sometimes. I just love that movie! It has an all-star cast. I love all the different personalities, while it’s a bit sad, it’s just such a great story! If you’ve never seen it, I hope that sometime this Christmas season you take the chance to watch it.

*Honorable Mention*

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation-I’d actually never really seen this movie until my brother-in-law came into the family. Isn’t that crazy?! It’s hilarious, and it’s one we always try to see at least once.

On to Christmas Music:

white-christmas-bing-crosby-1

I’m a sucker for that old-time Christmas sound. I’m talking Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin, all those Rat-Pack guys. Nothing sounds like Christmas more than those guys. Bing Crosby’s White Christmas is one of my favorites. I can remember my grandma always playing this around Christmas. Now I have it and play it on my record player all month long.

michael-buble

Speaking of rat-pack type guys, I’m going to go ahead and say if Michael Bublé would’ve been around in those times, he would have been welcomed into the pack with open arms. His Christmas album just makes me purely happy. He’s got such an incredible voice and a fun spin on some Christmas classics without making them too cheesy or just plain ruining the song. You’ll find this whole album on my phone played-out by the time Christmas is over.

she-and-hi

I also want to mention A Very She & Him Christmas. Zooey Deschanel has one of those classic voices that makes for great Christmas music. I slide this red vinyl on my record player in between Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics. 

 Now let’s move on to Christmas Reads:


One of my favorite authors came out with a Christmas book a few years back and it’s one that I’ve enjoyed reading the past few Christmases. You’ll fall in love with the characters and the 50’s styled Christmas decorating! My sister and I reference this book a lot at Christmas time.


Back in the Summer I mentioned in my Summer Reading List how my sister and I had been enjoying Several of Elin Hilderbrand books. This first book of her “Winter Series” as Kizzi and I call it, was what got us hooked on her books. Winter Street is such a great Christmas book, and you’ll absolutely fall in love with the characters as they continue on into Winter Stroll and her newest that Kizzi and I are both reading (and love) Winter Storm. You feel like each character could be in your circle of friends, I love love love these books!

So that’s my Christmas Favorites round-up. I’d absolutely love to hear what your Christmas favorites are! Leave me a comment down below to let me know what you enjoy around the Christmas season! 
For more Christmas posts, you can visit these posts from last year. Enjoy! 


Shiny Brite

  
Christmas is a time I cherish every year. I love the songs, the decorations, the traditions, the movies, the family-time, and even the wrapping! Most of all I love the warmness of Christmas. The soft lights, the steady hum of a heater, the twinkling of a lit Christmas tree, and the nostalgia of Christmases past. 

  
For me, those memories always have Shiny Brites in them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Shiny Brites, they were one of the most popular Christmas ornaments in the 40’s and 50’s. If you look closely, you’ll probably find a few hanging on your grandparents or parents Christmas trees. 

For me, that’s the first place I remember seeing them. Every year when I’d help my  grandma with her Christmas decorations, there’d be a box, worn with years of careful handeling, with the faded words Shiny Brite Christmas Ornaments on the front. I knew those were Grandma’s most valued ornaments. Each one was was delicately wrapped in tissues, tucked into their individual cut-outs inside the box. They were colors of blues and reds and silver. Some had different shapes and some had sparkles. They were beautiful.

 My favorite of Grandma’s Shiny Brites.

Then as the years went by, some got broken, some chipped, but that never mattered. Every year, just like the one before, she’d carefully wrap them up and put them away for them to be taken out to be enjoyed the next year. She once told me that small box of ornaments were some of she and grandpa’s first Christmas tree decorations. They meant something to her. You could tell in the way she cared for them, that they were nostalgic for her. I suppose that was passed down, because now that’s what they are for me-little memories.

  I would guess this is one of my grandma’s oldest.
This will be my first Christmas in 29 years without her; but every time I look at one of her Shiny Brites  hanging on my tree, I can’t help but smile and know my heart is full and my cup overflows.
  
 
                         Merry Christmas!                             I hope you have a very Shiny Brite Christmas.