Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dancing Lights

I have had so much fun reading about everyone's Christmas celebrations, traditions, and memories. I have loved to see how you all decorate your homes and prepare for the holidays. It is a busy time of year for us, and we are about to gather the rewards of our decorating, baking, planning, shopping, and energy that we have spent to ensure a grand celebration, whether it be a simple blessing of our Lord's birth or a grand celebration of whole Christmas tradition.

What is your favorite part of Christmas? For me, I love Christmas lights. Enough is never enough. I got hooked on watching ABC's The Great Light Fight. The Head Gardener wandered through the room, pausing for a moment to see what I was watching. I challenged him: Next year, dear. Lighting is not his favorite chore around here, for sure. I usually have to drag him kicking and grumbling to the storage containers holding the lights. I threw away those horrible dripping ice cycle lights, too, making his chore a bit easier. I want to get lights up Thanksgiving while the weather is still warmish, but he wants to wait. None the less, we did get some lights up beyond the trees, so I went out in the dark to photograph them. Here, then, is my version of Dancing Lights:

To do night photography correctly, a tripod would be useful. Where is mine?

The last cookie for 2014 has been rolled, cut, baked, and frosted. Today Santa Claus comes to visit the little ones, and the cookies will go fast. We will have 10 children armed with their wish lists and Santa with his notes on their various behaviors over the year. (How does he know such stuff?)

I loved watching Martha Stewart and Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa on HGTV) make cookies. I used Martha's recipe for the royal icing.

Nicely shaped cookies and few scraps for the HG

I started baking Christmas cooking when I was very young because mom worked and didn't have time. The little tree is one of the original cutters that I used. Later I added these jumbo cutters to my collection that I seldom use. The rolling pin was a shower gift when we got married.

These were mom's cookie cutters that I used as kid. 

I am not sure how I came across this cookbook, but it is one my standards.

I didn't make any ginger people, but Betty's recipe is a great one, making huge amount of cookies. I love the gingerbread, but no one else does and I would eat too much, so no gingerbread people this year.

Not the best photo, but nearly perfect cookies. 

I make such a mess when I bake.

Nor am I Martha or Ina or Betty, but everyone loves these sugar cookies. My favorite is the Moose cookie.

Now to hide them so that HG doesn't find them. I did put the toffee away in a secret a spot to keep it out of not only my sight, but the HG's too. Then when I wanted to make up a cookie plate for the young man who came to work on the pergola (story for anther post), I could not find the English Toffee that I had put in a secret spot. DAh. Freezer in garage. Who would think to look there? Or remember that the candy was there?

The boys would like to thank everyone for visiting The Garden Spot each week and for leaving sweet, generous comments. We have had fun this year with the blog. I joined Judith @ Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday this fall and what fun it has been to create mosaics, share them, and most especially to visit others who create wonderful mosaics.  A big thank you to Judith for hosting the meme and for encouraging me along the way.  As a result, I have grown the blog a bit, adding 4 or 5 new followers,  and I have enjoyed making a few new friends as I joined their blogs, too. So the Garden Spot Blog has been such fun this year and I thank each and everyone of you for visiting. 

I have lots to do to get ready for the big fellow's visit this afternoon. I will be back before year's end. I wish you all a Merry Merry Christmas filled with Peace, Joy, and lots of family and love. 


  1. I love this post, Ann!! Your vintage cookie cutters are really special, and your cookies are beautiful! I have a Southern Living Christmas cookie book that looks a lot like your Betty Crocker book. :) My mom LOVES to watch Ina Garten (I do too). She asked for an Ina Garten cookbook for Christmas this year.

    My hubby is like you about the outside lights. I prefer just our Moravian star on the porch and white candles in the windows. We may string some white lights on our holly tree. :) The horse mosaics are my favorite!! They're such handsome fellows, and your photos would make perfect Christmas cards.

    I've enjoyed reading about your traditions, too, Ann. I wish you and your loved ones (Boone too) a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in the coming New Year!



  2. Christmas lights, cookies, and horses... a perfect post!
    It has been a great pleasure to read your posts during this autumn, Ann!
    See you soon and... have a lovely Christmas! ♥

  3. I can see you have been very busy I hope your family appreciates all the trouble you have gone to. Here's wishing you a very merry Christmas Ann and to thank you for regularly dropping by to leave comments on my blog - they are very much appreciated.

  4. You have been busy and the cookies are making my mouth water. Fun lights! Merry Christmas to you and the boys!

  5. Your cookies are gorgeous! I like the horse photos and the lights.
    I have that orange BC cookbook, too! Mine is very messy.

  6. The lights at Christmas is my favorite too, they are so pretty. Your cookies look delicious! I love your horses and the mosaics. Merry Christmas to you and your family..

  7. I've not watched that show but appreciate your dancing lights! The cookies look yummy and the photos of the boys are worthy of a Christmas card.
    I'm glad you like to play with mosaics and have joined the party every week with your contributions.
    Thanks for linking again this week and Merry Christmas.

  8. The cookies look almost too pretty to eat! And the horses are beautiful! We live in very different parts of the country...but we've become such good friends this year. I'm so glad! Merry Christmas sweet friend! Hugs, Diane Oh....and I love Christmas lights too and the neat effects you get from nighttime photos!

  9. Wow - as you say I love seeing how everyone does Christmas all around the world - as you love lights, you would love our Melbourne Town Hall at the moment! My kids would love to invite you to stay with your cookie tin!!
    Happy Christmas
    Wren x

  10. Your cookies look fab Anne! Wishing you and you family a Merry Christmas and all the best for a Happy, Healthy and Magical New Year! Looking forward to follow your beautiful garden spot the next year too!


    Madelief x

  11. Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing your Christmas!

  12. Hello Ann
    I loved reading about your preparations and thoughts the week of Christmas!
    Beautifully iced cookies, what treats for your visitors.
    A magical time of year for both young and old - I love all the old traditions that make Christmas so special all through the world!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  13. It's so fun to see your wonderful collection of vintage Christmas cookie cutters - and the same edition of Betty Crocker cookbook that I own! I learned the hard way not to use the huge cookie cutters. lol I enjoyed your dancing lights. I love little lights too. So fun to see all the decorations! Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

  14. You have an abundance of Christmas cookies and a treasure trove of special baking implements. Merry Christmas to you!


  15. Merry Christmas Ann! I loved the look of your sugar cookies and I have my Mom's cookie cutters just like yours!! I didn't make sugar cookies this year...had to cut back as I have had Plantar Fasilitis for about a month and could hardly walk. I have gotten way behind in everything, but am better and looking forward to the new year. Love your blog! All the best in the new year to you and your family.


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