Christmas Tablescape 2014

As I start to think about decorating for Christmas, my thoughts always turn to my dining room.  How will I “decorate” my table this year?   What dishes will I use?  What colour theme?  I suddenly realized I hadn’t shared my table from last year.  I called this table, “T’was the Night Before Christmas“.  I think it was almost then when I finally set the table and that’s why I didn’t get a chance to share it.  😉


T’was the night before Christmas,

2014 Christmas Table Take Six Blog-1


When all through the house,

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Not a Creature was Stirring,

Well…Maybe One Mouse;

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The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

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In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

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The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,

And mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winters nap-

When out on the lawn their arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,

gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

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When, what to my wandering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

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More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,

On! Comet, On! Cupid, On Donner and Blitzen,

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away!  Dash away!  Dash away all!”

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As dry leaves before the wind hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With a sleigh full of toys – and St. Nicholas too:

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

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As I drew in my head and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;

A bundled of toys was flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack;

His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

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The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly

that shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laugh’d when I saw him, in spite of myself;

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A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And fill’d all the stockings, and turn’d with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

But I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight –

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Clement C. Moore

You may want to pin this to your Christmas Inspiration board or your Tablescapes board.  Click on the tablescapes tab at the top of our main page for more inspiration.


November 17, 2015 - 9:20 pm

Barbara F. - Beautiful table, and fantastic photos.


A great day…tomorrow!


Have you ever felt like your brain was going to blow up? Like you had so much going on inside your head that even one more tiny morsel of information could lead to catastrophe of the “gremlin in the microwave”, proportion?

That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m getting ready to head out of town on vacation. And I’m CoNsTaNtLy pulling my head back into the next 24 hours of time, before I can legitimately say, “ahhhhhhhhhhhhh”!
I have priorities to fulfill within the next 24 hours. Responsibilities. Things to accomplish.
It’s so difficult for me to stay focused on priorities. To keep the main thing, the main thing.
Because I believe that something more attractive awaits me around the bend.
The next. The next. The next. It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be greater. It’s gonna be greatest. When I really have no idea. (I mean, what if vacation isn’t great?)
Sometimes I catch myself thinking that:
a new job would be great
a new house, greater
a new church, greatest
a new relationship, greatestest
a new wardrobe, greatestestest
a new _____________________ (you fill in the blank)
GREAT. (loud voice)
Keep the main thing the main thing, Lisa. (still, quiet voice)
So, my priority is – to stay tapped into my next 24 hour priorities.
Today I can anticipate my Tomorrow… my “filled to the brim before I can say ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” day.
That’s all.
That’s even more than enough, if I’m honest with myself.
Have a great day – tomorrow – everyone!


July 27, 2015 - 6:36 pm

alana - Sounds like a perfectly timed vacation…when you can solely focus on & savor each moment as it unfolds. Enjoy, Lisa!


Responses to Gender Identity Questions


Thank you all for making the time and effort to comment. I’ll respond briefly (briefly to each, but brief answers to each of five individuals x seven questions adds up to many words!).

  1. Sexual orientation readjustment and sex change surgery. (Amy Grace) Some jurisdictions will not allow any counseling aimed at helping a teen with unwanted same sex attraction to become heterosexually oriented, but teens who want to change their sex are permitted to have surgery to do so. (SmaragdineSon, Arferd Lovemore) Both conditions are real, and troubling for the person involved, so the question stands: Why is one legal, and the other not? Many of the most reputable hospitals, including Johns Hopkins University Hospital, which pioneered sex-change surgery in the 1970s, no longer do this surgery. Research has shown that adults who had received sex-change operations continued to have much the same problems with relationships, work, and emotions as before their sex change. They also found that male infants born with a misconstruction of the genito-urinary tract who were re-engineered as girls were almost never comfortable as females once they became aware of themselves and the world. (T. Mason) I personally know men whose orientation has changed and I have heard the testimonies of others, and the best research confirms that change is possible for some. With God, nothing is impossible. But for many, therapy is not successful, as is the case in other forms of therapy. (James Garcia) I’m sure that in some cases conversion therapy is forced on young people, but in the situations of which I am personally aware this is not the case; the young people themselves are seeking it.
  1. Rights / sensitivities of transgender and heterosexual. (SmaragdineSon) Your first point is a good one; “courtesy” is probably more accurate than “right.” But the transgendered boy still has a boy’s body. (James Garcia, Arferd Lovemore) There are girls who are consistently late for their gym classes because they choose to use a changing room on the other side of their school in order to avoid this. As for not considering what these transgendered young people go through, have you not read my previous post?
  1. Risk factor for sexually transmitted infections. (Amy Grace) Yes, anyone (regardless of orientation) having sex is at risk of contracting an STI if their partner has already had sex with someone else, but the risk is exponentially higher in men having sex with men, especially because of their practice of anal sex and the tendency to have sex with multiple partners. (SmaragdineSon) A very good point, this last one, but because of anal sex and other practices specific to men who have sex with men (MSM) the risk is astronomically higher. We do gay teens a huge disservice if we obscure this fact. (T. Mason) The lowest risk factor of all for STIs is monogamous sex between a man and a woman who have had no previous sexual partners. . (James Garcia) Curricula typically refer to “anyone who engages in high risk behaviors” and state that “gender and sexual orientation are irrelevant as they relate to HIV infection” (quotes from one curriculum). A 9- or 10-year-old does get from this the impression that everyone is equally at risk. Yes, the statistics I quoted are from U.S. studies. In Canada, as of 2012, the MSM category is still the leading reported exposure. Only 20.7% of males contract HIV from heterosexual contact, compared to 73.2% of females. In South Africa, men and women are not significantly different. Where the proportion of women is higher, and increasing, the women are infected by their only sex partner, their husbands, because of their husbands’ promiscuity. 17/38 million with HIV are women, and 13.5 million of them live in Africa.
  1. Lasting relationships and fidelity. (Amy Grace, SmaragdineSon, T. Mason, James Garcia, Arferd Lovemore) One large study: 82% of gay men had sex with someone other than their main partner, compared with 26% of men in relationships with women. A study in Norway and Sweden: gay male relationships are 50% more likely to break up than heterosexual marriages. Lesbian relationships in the United States are 167% more likely to break up than heterosexual marriages.
  1. Celebration of coming out. (Amy Grace) As a celebration of being honest, yes. (SmaragdineSon) In this sense, yes. We should celebrate being honest, and we should have the kind of society in which everyone feels free to be honest about themselves. (T. Mason) What should be celebrated? (James Garcia) True.
  1. Media coverage of homosexuality and heterosexuality. (Amy Grace, T. Mason, James Garcia) I was thinking of headline news stories. (SmaragdineSon) True!
  1. Gay and Christian? (Amy Grace) If we take God’s Word seriously, we should be concerned about others’ relationship to God: “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), “Go and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19). (SmaragdineSon, T. Mason) The answer depends on how you define the terms “gay” and “Christian. (James Garcia) Yes, all sins are forgivable, and the Apostle Paul makes very clear in Romans 1 that homosexual behavior is only one of many sins. The issue is, in what direction are you going? Have you turned away from your sinful behaviour toward obedience to God’s commands? Or are you living your way, in defiance of his commands?

The bottom line is that we should answer these questions according to what has been proven by research in all areas — sociology, psychology, medicine, philosophy, and human experience – to be best for the health of the individual and of society. And, ultimately, what the Bible teaches. With the Joshua of the Old Testament, we say, “Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)



July 28, 2015 - 12:14 am

T. Mason - I was going to respond to everything you addressed specifically to me, but then I saw this: “Lesbian relationships in the United States are 167% more likely to break up than heterosexual marriages.” I have no idea where you’re finding this statistic, or if you just made it up perhaps as you didn’t cite them as you did your other statistics (which, by the way, though statistics can help support your point, in an argument it’s not appropriate to use them without any further persuasive language or facts, and statistics don’t necessarily contextualize issues, and can be open to interpretive speculation just by themselves, friendly protip) but reguardless, I want you to actually think about that for a second. What that number means. That means that, for whoever conducted this research to produce these results, that not only did 100% of whatever sample size they had of lesbian couples had to have broken up, but also 67% created a time paradox/ripped a hole in the space-time continuum/had a break so bad they created two alternate timelines where both alternate universe version of the couple had to have broken up with each other/ something impossible like that. Sounds insane? Well, that’s because anyone with an understanding of middle-school math would tell you that’s impossible.

From that alone, if you’re someone actually worth debating/ discussing these issues with, you’ll reevaluate where you’re getting your information that your basing your opinions on. Now, I’m not saying after you do your opinions will change, because they may not, but you have to acknowledge now that, at least to some degree, you’re significantly misinformed.

July 28, 2015 - 10:59 am

Barbara Kohl - Sorry! I should indeed have given a reference for that figure. I also made a mistake: the figure refers to a study in Norway and Sweden, not the USA. Here’s the quote, in context:

“Peplau and Fingerhut cite one study that found that over a five-year period, 7 percent of married heterosexual couples broke up, compared with 14 percent of cohabiting male couples and 16 percent of cohabiting lesbian couples. They also summarize, without mentioning specific numbers, a more representative study from Norway and Sweden, which have sanctioned same-sex partnerships since the 1990s, reporting ‘that the rate of dissolution within five years of entering a legal union is higher among same-sex partnerships than among heterosexual marriages, with lesbian couples having the highest rates of dissolution.’ Their rendering underplays the magnitude of the actual findings, which was that gay male relationships are 50 percent more likely to break up than heterosexual marriages, while lesbian relationships are 167 percent more likely to break up than heterosexual marriages. Odd that they would not mention these actual numbers.”

The author of this article, Dr. Stanley L. Jones, is widely recognized and respected as an authority on homosexuality. He is the chief academic officer and second ranking administrator at Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, reporting directly to the President. He is the author of over 50 articles and book chapters, many of them on homosexuality, and is co-author or editor of a number of books including “Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate.”

I always take great care to cite only credible sources.