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Coffee Talk

Welcome to the second installment of Coffee Talk! (The first one is here.) Come join me for a virtual coffee and let’s get to know each other a little better!

What’s top on your wishlist this year?

It’s always so difficult to pick the “top” item on my wishlist, but this year, I think it’s new stationery. I had beautiful engraved stationery, but 1) I’m out of correspondence cards and 2) my name has changed! It’s time to invest in new stationery. I’m leaning towards “Dempsey Blue” correspondence cards. It feels a little more unique than the plain ecru or white. (And with my full name in regent blue with the copperplate font, if someone is reading this! I also like the bisque ink for the edge…!)

What are your Christmas Eve traditions (if you celebrate)?

We started reading The Night Before Christmas with our son. I also FINALLY got my act together to get matching pajamas for us this year–this was a tradition my parents had with us! We always leave a slice of tollhouse pie from Youngs Farm out for Santa, which I love.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

I always love “White Christmas” and “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” So many memories attached to these!

What is your favorite ornament on the tree?

I have a beautiful silver bell from my grandparents for my first Christmas. That has to be my sentimental favorite! Another is the Central Park ornament my husband and I bought together when we lived in the city. Every Sunday we’d do a walk through the entire Park and it’s one of my favorite traditions we had.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

I always struggle with New Year’s resolutions because I want them to be things that I remember and stick with. Last year, I committed to writing more things down in a planner, to keep myself organized, and I did a pretty good job with that–though there was still room for improvement! I’d like to continue that this year, and I’d also like to add keeping my personal belongings more organized–for example, keeping all my needlepoint projects in separate containers but together, or all my notebooks on the bookshelf instead of scattered throughout the house. Let’s see how that goes!

14 thoughts on “Coffee Talk

  1. 1. My vintage pearls are no longer holding up very well, so I’m hoping for a new double strand as the big gift from my husband
    2. We always celebrate Christmas with my in-laws on Christmas Eve. After we get home, our daughter opens her Christmas pajamas, which have mysteriously appeared by the fireplace, and leaves cookies and eggnog for Santa.
    3. I love listening to traditional carols – God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, the Sussex Carol and the Coventry Carol are favorites
    4. A sweet coworker years ago was a ceramicist and made beautiful bird ornaments for everyone in the office. I always hang mine in the middle of the tree at eye level!
    5. You’ve reminded me to make some New Year’s resolutions! I think I’ll go with finishing what I start in a timely manner when we undertake a new DIY house project.
    I’m curious how you learned to needlepoint. It’s something I would love to do and have no idea how to get started.

    1. Are the pearls themselves showing their age, or just the string? You can always have them restrung if the latter–it’s a good way to preserve a beloved piece of jewelry!

      I love that! What a nice tradition ๐Ÿ™‚

      The traditional carols are lovely! Judy Collins has recorded them all and I love her versions.

      Oh, that’s such a nice idea–would love to see a picture of that ornament! Handmade ornaments are such treasures.

      That’s a great resolution! I need to add that to mine… I have a pair of slipper chairs that desperately need reupholstering. I’d love to actually be able to use them instead of just having them sit in our basement! I need to pick a fabric and get them to the upholsterer!

      My mother was an avid needlepointer, so I grew up watching her when she was able to needlepoint! (She had MS, so for a good portion of my life she didn’t have the dexterity to needlepoint any longer.) My friend Nan Philip actually created a great beginner’s resource to needlepointing–from good beginner’s kits and links to various tutorials. You can find that here: https://simplyelegantblog.com/blog/learnhowtoneedlepointguide I found it so helpful, and that’s what got me to actually pick out a canvas and begin! My son’s stocking was my second project and it was definitely an undertaking, but so much fun and so relaxing. I hope you do learn–would love to see what you choose to do!

  2. This is such a wonderful idea! Weโ€™re moving next summer so I too am hoping for stationary. This should be a very long tenured home so engraved stationary is perfect.

    We started going out for dinner on Christmas Eve when our daughters were very young, and still do (save last year!). Then home for a few gifts, curiously always pajamas, and the 24th ornament from on the advent tree.

    My favorite carols are traditional, the Nat King Cole and Mel Torme versions of The Christmas Song but I love Bare Naked Ladies singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Itโ€™s jazzy and fun and so good!

    My favorite ornaments are all the sentimental ones: those made by my grandmother, our daughters, and one I made as a gift to my grandparents when I was 10. Every ornament on our tree has a story.

    As to NE resolutions Iโ€™m terrible, absolutely terrible and I donโ€™t even pretend to try. The worst. But! I just learned to needlepoint a few months ago after years of procrastinating. My gram taught me but Iโ€™d forgotten. I went into a local shop with a friend and the owner gave us a great lesson, and weโ€™re off! I love it!

    Thanks for the chat, such fun!

    1. Thanks so much, Allyson, I’m glad that you like the idea! It’s so nice to get to know each other ๐Ÿ™‚

      Congratulations on your impending move! I think engraved stationery is perfect, and it will be so nice to have your new address too.

      That sounds like a great treat. When my son is a bit older that’s definitely something I’d like to start doing, although I do enjoy cooking! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I will have to check out the Bare Naked Ladies version of God Rest Ye… I love jazzy Christmas songs ๐Ÿ™‚ I am working on a never-ending Christmas playlist, and I have a few different “moods” for them, so this would be perfect for the more upbeat playlist!

      Sentimental ornaments are the best. It’s so nice to have such fond memories attached.

      That’s fantastic that you’ve picked up needlepointing again! What are you working on right now?

      Thank you so much for stopping by! It’s so nice to get to know you better ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thanks for sharing your traditions! I hope you’ll share what system you come up with for your needlepoint. My needlepoint projects live inside a tote bag along with my crochet hooks and knitting needles. It’s handy for grabbing on the way out the door, but not the best for long term (although that has totally been my system for a solid decade now…head held in shame).

    Is it horrible that I don’t have anything I really am wishing for this year?? I sound exactly like my grandmother, but I really just want my family to be healthy and happy (and maybe for time to slow down a bit).

    Christmas Eve Eve we eat Tex-Mex! It started when I was a little girl and I’ve just never stopped as an adult. Every year on Christmas Eve we let our advent candles burn down and out. It’s such a simple thing, but my kids find so much joy in lighting the Christ candle along with the other advent candles to announce Christmas and then not blowing any of them out (I, of course, do after they’ve gone to bed).

    Hearing my dad sing O Holy Night is one of my earliest memories. And I really love Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland).

    My favorite ornaments are some of mine from when I was a little girl, or are the ones I chose for each of my children for their first Christmases. They aren’t ornaments, but I crocheted stockings for my sons when they were born, and my daughter has a special stocking my grandmother’s friend crocheted for me when I was a baby. They make me smile every time we hang them.

    I no longer make New Year’s resolutions! It feels a little self-indulgent to say that, but I am completely in favor of making resolutions, learning, and growing all the year round. I just know that my resolutions stick best when I make them any time of year that isn’t January 1. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I will definitely update if I find a good needlepoint system! I think a tote bag with individual bags inside sounds like a good option. My mother had a basket, but it’s surprisingly difficult to find nice baskets nowadays! (Or at least when shopping online. I suppose shipping a basket is somewhat difficult!) Maybe a hatbox?

      No, that sounds lovely! I think that being content with what you have and wishing for non-tangible things is so wonderful.

      Oh, I miss good Tex-Mex! We lived in Texas for a time and the food was definitely a highlight. I think letting the candles burn down is such a lovely tradition too. We don’t light real candles at home right now with my little one, but that’s something that I would like to incorporate when he’s a bit older.

      That is a lovely memory, and such a beautiful song! And I feel as though “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is the perfect holiday song for the pandemic–especially “Someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow. Until then weโ€™ll have to muddle through somehow.”

      Your children’s stockings sound so lovely. I have a needlepoint stocking my mother made for me, and I finally finished my son’s this year! Next up is one for my husband and one for my mother-in-law ๐Ÿ™‚

      I think that’s wonderful in regards to New Year’s resolutions! I like making a resolution at the beginning of the year because I’m able to “track” it better, even if I start earlier.

      Thank you so much for coming to our virtual coffee, Judith!!! Always love to see you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      (PS! I made your delicious apple cider cocktail earlier this week and we loved it!! Thank you for sharing the recipe!)

  4. I just love these! So fun to learn about everyone else and also reflect myself.

    Whatโ€™s top on your wishlist this year?
    As a combined birthday and Christmas gift, my parents and husband gifted me a pair of Tiffany pearl studs with diamonds. Wearing something so beautiful gifted by three of the people I love most makes me tear up sometimes.

    What are your Christmas Eve traditions (if you celebrate)?
    We spend Christmas Eve with my husband’s family and pile into the living room to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. The girls in my family do matching Christmas pajamas, which we started as a way to feel connected despite not spending the holiday together.

    Whatโ€™s your favorite Christmas song?
    “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” for sure. I’m not into much Christmas music, but I’m always into Bing.

    What is your favorite ornament on the tree?
    I *love* the annual Snowbabies ornaments my mom picked out for me growing up, but I think I love the annual Lenox ornaments I do for my daughter more. To be able to carry on the tradition for her, knowing how proud I am to hang my own on the tree, feels so good.

    What are your New Yearโ€™s resolutions?
    I don’t typically do New Year’s resolutions, but 2022 will be my first year as a full-time freelance writer and there’s so much I’m looking forward toโ€”more time to serve my family, naps in the middle of the day (embarrassing but true), free weekends, and seeing how far I can take my work on my own! I’m pretty sure I’ve been burnt out since college and I really hope I’ll be able to create some much-needed balance this year.

    1. Aww, yay! These are some of my favorite posts because I love thinking up the questions and hearing from everyone!

      You mentioned those earrings earlier and they sound beautiful–so happy you have such joy from wearing them!

      Ah, I love the Muppet Christmas Carol! What a fun movie to watch on Christmas Eve ๐Ÿ™‚

      White Christmas is a classic, and so is I’ll Be Home for Christmas! Bing is great.

      I’m so glad that you are carrying on the tradition for your daughter! My mother-in-law picks a new ornament for my toddler each year and I love that.

      Naps during the day really should be standard! I’m so happy for you that you are striking out on your own full-time–I wish you the most amazing success and balance!!

      I always love to see you, Quincy ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope we can get an IRL coffee sometime!

  5. I love reading through all the traditions, and I’m happy that I am not the only one who thinks “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is a classic!

    So far, I don’t have anything on my wishlist. My husband bought me my early Christmas gift – a Madewell crossbody bag which I really love and use every day.

    Our Christmas Eve celebrations vary, depending on whether we travel to visit family or are on our own. We always have matching pajamas (L.L. Bean Flannel), as it’s just the two of us. When we are celebrating at home, we take the dogs for a long walk, prepare a Panettone French toast casserole for Christmas morning, listen to a lot of Christmas music – particularly Kate Rusby, and watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Dinner is seafood if possible, despite being landlocked.

    It’s so difficult to pick out just one favorite song. There are many, but “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” performed by either Sarah Mclachlan or Judy Garland, “O Holy Night” performed by Josh Groban, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by BandAid, and the lovely New Year’s song “Let The Bells Ring” by Kate Rusby. Admittedly I have about 8 hours of Christmas music on my Amazon music playlist.

    We have some beautiful ornaments, many of them gifts from family and friends. My favorites however are the Starbucks ornaments. We buy a new one every year because my husband accidently blurted out his proposal while we were having coffee on the 26th of December, 2016.

    I don’t do New Year’s resolutions any more. I’m delighted to have made peace with that tradition, as I always overpromised and under-achieved. I do love to set intentions however, many of them inspired by the wonderful Kimberly Wilson from Washington D.C. I’m a member of her annual passholder collective, and participate in the annual Planning Pop-Up.

    I found this lovely blog through your SWNE comment and am so happy to have found such a great community.

    1. Hi Melanie! I’m so glad you are here ๐Ÿ™‚ I love Muffy’s blog and I’m so glad you found me from the comments section there.

      The Muppets Christmas Carol is wonderful! I need to find our ancient VHS copy for the full traditional feeling ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m so glad that you are enjoying your bag! I love receiving (and giving!) gifts that are used and loved every day.

      Those sound like wonderful Christmas traditions! I love my LL Bean flannel pajamas too, they are so comfortable. And Panettone French toast is genius–I need to try that this year! I love the idea of a seafood dinner. (That was what my mother liked to do for Thanksgiving; she was not a big fan of turkey!)

      I hadn’t heard of Kate Rusby; I’ll check her out! I have a very small Christmas playlist, but I usually listen to one a friend made that I love!

      That’s so sweet that he was so eager to propose ๐Ÿ™‚ What a nice way to honor that special day!

      I completely understand about over-promising and under-achieving! I do try to set my resolutions to be much more realistic; smaller things but good building blocks for longterm habits I’d like to begin. I think setting intentions is a wonderful practice ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely something I think I should try as well.

      It’s so nice to meet you, Melanie, and I’m so glad you’re here!

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