Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Afternoon Tea - An Audience of One

There was a very early morning this week that found me sitting on the sofa, gazing at the lights on the Christmas tree, the decorations, and just pondering how pretty this time of the year can be when one allows.

I had been reading a few emails but decided instead to tap on the Amazon Music App and bring up the music of On a Cold Winter's Day since it is perfect for quiet Christmas pondering.  The tablet was set aside so I could enjoy the peace of the morning.

Besides the light of the tree, I was also in full view of the scene above.  I suppose the amusing thing about that corner of the Living Room is that only two items were put out for Christmas.  They were the quilt and the Boyd's Bear "angel".  The small tree was only moved over from another part of the room where it resides year round.

My sister was over one Christmas and commented on my pretty Christmas artwork.  Since I love winter scenes (and winter except the whole walking and driving on ice part), they are actually there year round, too.

The good thing about my style of decorating is that it makes Christmas very easy and is another reason for not going overboard with lots of extra stuff... that is easier said than done because I do love Christmas stuff.

Since I didn't bring out the decorations I usually put on the Hutch, I had to do a bit of changing around this year.  However, I like it so much it just may have to return next Christmas.  The various bottle trees usually stand beside little buildings but this year they became a forest.

The tree sits in its' usual corner next to the sideboard, which again sparkles with my thrift store silver service.  This time of year is when it likes to show off a bit and has a very Olde English Manor feel about it.  ;)

My ponderings that morning, if titled, would be called "An Audience of One"... which is where this blog post was birthed.  I was thinking how often we do not do that little extra that brings Beauty into our life because we think no one else would see it... or not enough people would view all of it to make the work practical.

However, I learned long ago that when it comes to Beauty, there is always one person around that not only appreciates it but deeply needs it in their life.  That person is... me.

I admit that it was a struggle to decorate as I once did after Stephanie left home because she was my decorating partner.  Even in her busy University years, she made time to decorate the tree each year (and she was and still is the only other person I trust decorating "my" tree).

Then when Christopher was married and left home for good and it was just my husband and me, there was even more a sense that my decorating days were over.  We no longer had kids at home.  We no longer hosted Holiday parties for them.  Everything had... changed.

It was then that I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me that not everything had changed.  I still loved the Beauty that Christmas brings, the music, the scents, the food, the way it makes me feel.  He reminded me that there was still an audience to appreciate what I did and that was me.  (Sometimes my husband, too.)

He also reminded me there was Another who noticed.  The One that created Beauty in the first place.  He who will always appreciate our efforts to bring Beauty into a fallen world and Light into the darkness.

He who was there with me that morning as the music played, in the midst of the Christmas decorations.  He was there as I sipped my first mug of coffee (the absolute best cup all day).  He was there when Florentine jumped on my lap and cuddled on the flannel housecoat. 

It was the One whom we celebrate this time of year that brought the peace in the room.  All I had to do was take it all in... our attitude is our choice.  Always.  How we will react each day.

We were created to sparkle, my friends. 

Mentioned in this Blog Post
On a Cold Winter's Day: Early Christmas Music and Carols from the British Isles... here

The small plates on the Hutch are from the Better Homes and Garden Christmas selection at Walmart.  I bought them last year but I think they have them again this season.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.


Homemaker' said...

So true, Brenda. We are empty nesters too and we don't have a lot of visitors in our home (not because I don't want visitors but everyone is so busy) so the decorating is done mainly for my husband and myself now and for our Heavenly Father who is the Creator of beauty. I've been up and down about this for years - some years very sparse, some years quite elaborate (for us anyway), and then some years in between (which happens to be this year). And, your home looks lovely - you have the homemaking touch. : ) Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Vee said...

This blessed my socks off! I mean it. I’ve been busy directing people here to read for themselves. 🙂

Your Christmas looks just perfect...warm and beautiful.

God has blessed you with a wonderful ability to put your finger right on the specific point as you did today. So many are discouraged at this time of the year. Life has changed so much and the thought “why bother” comes to mind. It certainly came to mine. Thank you for the gentle reminder that we always have an audience of One.

mdoe37 said...

Lovely music, a nice refreshing change from the ho ho on the radio. I'm not really into that right now. It reminds me of families, kids, big parties....those aren't part of my life.

But this music is just right. I'll decorate my tree quietly this year.

Debby Ray said...

Hello Brenda...I am new to your blog and our friend, Vee shared your post with me. Like you, we have been empty nesters for several years and do not have a lot of company normally. There is truly something that I look forward to every year and that is just sitting alone, either very early in the morning when it's still dark or in the evening, taking in the beauty of the Christmas lights and reflecting on the season and why we are celebrating. I need the decorations whether no one else sees them or not...yours are so lovely and your home looks so cozy and inviting. I really like the thought of being an audience of one in front of my Lord and in particular, that we were created to SPARKLE! I went over to Amazon and check out the beautiful music too...I loved it! I have enjoyed my visit to your blog and I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I have dear friends who do not decorate at all unless their kids and grands are coming for Christmas. I always say that even if I was all alone, I would still decorate! For the very reasons you mentioned in this post!

Love what you've done with your little forest of trees and your beautiful thrifted silver!

Maureen said...

Your post today resonated with me. Thank you for reminding me that I can create beauty for my own benefit and enjoyment this season.

Carol said...

I truly needed to read this today. I have done minimal decorating this year because I felt that it truly wasn't necessary, but I love this time of the year. The kids will be here often and the grand doll is here daily so why should I not take the time and effort to make my home beautiful for the season.

bj said...

Hello....I am bj from Sweet Nothings...and Vee sent me. :)
I lost my husband last July and this Christmas time without him is so so hard. I have made myself decorate our small home for the holidays because all our grands and their families and my children will be here for Christmas Eve. I love Christmas like everyone's just that I enjoyed it so much more when Mr. Sweet was here with us. I'm pretty sure, tho, that I would have at least put up our small tree even if I didn't have family delight my Heavenly Father and myself. Thanks for such a sweet post.

Mama Squirrel said...

I like your forest! said...

Yes, thank you. We need the beauty, and the companionship of decorating together (if there is another person in the house with you). "Traditions" after all!

Anonymous said...

This was Beautiful! Thank-you! As my husband and I were putting the tree in the tree stand today, we were commenting on how much work decorating for Christmas is! He said if it weren't for me, he wouldn't decorate at all! Like you, I absolutely Love Christmas and most everything associated with it: the lights and decorations, the music, the food, the festivities, etc, along with all the memories! I scaled down a little bit this year, and put up mostly just the most meaningful decorations. After setting up the first Nativity scene we bought the first Christmas we were married, (over 40 years ago! So, I guess it's vintage now!!) I realized how much I love it, simple as it is! I bought a nicer one several years back, but still cherish this old one. It makes me smile every time I view it! I know I would have to at least put it up every year, if I did nothing else! Even if no one else appreciates it! And, BTW, my husband still puts up Christmas lights because he wants to, not because I ask him to! LOL!
Laura C.

Cheri said...

Thank you for this reminder, Brenda. I was feeling a little bah-humbuggy about decorating (but never about Christmas!) because none of the kids or grands will be here. Thankfully the whole crowd was here at Thanksgiving.

But your sweet words have motivated me to get my sparkle on. Thank you!

Annabel said...

Dear Brenda, I appreciated this. I see it all the time... people say they don't cook because they live alone, don't decorate as there are no children, don't get dressed as they aren't going out, don't budget as they wont stick to it, it is all the same thing... we need to do things to help us feel and experience them! A little effort creates a lot of cheer! We are worth nurturing and looking after, the joy of flowers in the home is similar... we don't have to do this for guests we can just enjoy the flowers!
Our own mood certainly affects others. My husband and I have our little tree and presents underneath. We feel a sense of anticipation over Christmas, the lights twinkle outside... it is beautiful.
Also we visit a lady in a nursing home who has no family at all. Each year we decorate her room for Christmas. You should see how much this brightens her up. So to anyone with spare decorations please decorate for someone unable to! With love