Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quest Notes : Images of Christmas (Updated as a Link-up!)


Today I'm linking up to "What I'm Into" which is hosted by Leigh Kramer at Hopefuleigh.  Now and then I put up a "Quest Notes" post, which is essentially the same thing as "What I'm Into", so this morning I thought, why not join in the fun? 

My husband and I have cut down our own tree every year since we were married in 2001. 
A very special job.
Our hero.
When you wait until Dec. 23, most tree farms will give you free stuff. We walked out with the giant wreath on the right and a wreath making kit -- as well as complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, of course.
The Christmas tree at the top belongs to my 3 yr. old. And he's reaching for more cinnamon candy!

Here's what we ended up reading for our Advent Literary Countdown. The larger books contain classic Christmas chapters.  The only one we never got around to opening was Little Women! Alas! One of the best! Oh well, maybe next year. The titles highlighted in green are the titles which kept our attention from beginning to end, warmed our hearts and enriched our minds -- they are the books we will reread next Advent.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson

The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams

Christmas Around the World, Lesley Sims -- This just skimmed the surface. We all wanted to know more. 

Samantha's Surprise: A Christmas Story, by Maxine Rose Schur -- My boys were bored with this one.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (abridged and illustrated) I adore Dickens, but my kids couldn't hang with this. We read one chapter.

The First Christmas, by Lynne Bradbury -- Too cartoonish.

A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck (Chapter 4, "Away in a Manger")

Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Chapter 4, "Christmas")

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery (Chapter 25, "Puffed Sleeves")

The Nativity Story (a companion book to the film from New Line Cinema)

"The Night Before Christmas", by Clement Moore, illustrated by Tomie De Paola (We also shared copies of the same poem illustrated by Tom Browning and Mary Englebreit which I picked up from the library. Next year I think we'll try the Tasha Tudor version.)

"The Little Match Girl", by Hans Christian Andersen (The copy I have is from 1967. Next year I will try to obtain the version I linked to -- illustrated by Rachel Isadora.)

A New Coat for Anna, by Harriet Zeifert

Once Upon a Company, by Wendy Anderson Halperin

"The Gift of the Magi", by O. Henry, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger

Stranger in the Woods, by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick

A Cowboy Christmas, by Audrey Wood -- Think sappy TV drama. 

Jesus' Christmas Party, by Nicholas Allan
A few years ago when we lived in a tiny 2 bedroom farmhouse, I hauled our scroll saw into the dining room to make these cutouts. Now I use them for our Advent reflections.

I won this at a "white elephant" party!  I could not have been more thrilled/surprised/grateful! It was hand woven in Kenya! It  now serves as storage for our wooden Advent cutouts.
My mother-in-law has always kept us well stocked with snuggly Christmas PJs. Right after Thanksgiving I put them in a central location. My toddlers especially love to put on their PJs mid-day and cuddle down with a sippy cup of milk.

My treasures: This is the first year that my oldest two kids (ages 9 &10) completely surprised me with gifts they picked out and purchased with their own money. How delightful!
I finished The Return of the Native today. The Classical Quest Synchro-Read on Facebook has really helped me to stay on track with my reading goals during this busy season. A big thank you to everyone who chimed in with encouraging words and insights!

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season! I'd love to hear about your festivities.
Blessings to all!


  1. Hi Adriana - I thought I would stop by after dropping by Tim's olace (;-). I love your Christmas photos, esp your little guy with the saw, and your stack of books! And your gifts from the kids are sweet. My daughter (14) didn't buy gifts but spent a good part of Christmas Eve making a card -- we loved it!!!

    My Advent countdown was musical: feel free to check it out if you like! I'll stop by again soon,

    1. Welcome Jeannie! I feel like we are already old friends.

      I love the idea of an Advent Musical Countdown -- I'm intrigued!

  2. Thanks for the peek into your family's Christmas, Adriana. I agree with your toddlers: Get into PJs as early as possible and cuddle a cup of cocoa!


    1. You could probably get away with wearing Christmas PJs under your black muu muu, Tim! No one would ever know!:D

  3. OOPS that was supposed to say "place"...

  4. Lovely photos -- looks like your family had a special Christmas. : )
    I just finished the book. Really glad we did the synchro-read -- it was helpful and fun!

    1. You're finished?!!! Hooray!!!
      Don't you wish we could meet up with the CCOM ladies for their wrap-up in person. They always seem to have such a great time.

      Ah well ... someday! :)

      Maybe we should conspire to crash their party one of these days.

  5. We had a very nice Christmas. :) I finished Return of the Native right before--I was doing your synchro-read but then I couldn't put it down so I finished it all at once! I haven't written a post about it yet. There are four books in front of me here, waiting....

    1. Jean, you really are a bibliovore! I love your T-shirt!
      Thanks for the encouragement with the synchro-read. It was the first time I've attempted to host anything like this and, as is typical for me, I choose the busiest time of the year to do it! (What was I thinking?) But it was fun!

      My kids are pretty tired this evening, I hope I can get everyone in bed early and finish tonight. :)

  6. Adriana! I LOVE the advent idea. I've got to start collecting those titles for next year. :) What a fabulous idea. And you know, I think Steve will really get into it, too!

    I can't wait to tell Stephanie how you are using her "white elephant" gift; she'll get all warm and fuzzy about it, I'm sure. :)

    Love to you, friend. <3 K.

    1. Oh please do tell Stephanie! Invite her to stop by the blog. That would be fun.

      As for the readings for Advent -- most of the books in my collection came from library book sales or were given to me as gifts. A few of are on loan from the library -- As a matter of fact, I think they are a couple days overdue!

      We need to have another blog-jam soon!

  7. What a wonderful selection of advent books. Looks like you had a beautiful Christmas. Thank you for sharing it. :)

  8. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a long time favorite. It's been ages since I've read it though! I'll have to track down a copy before next Christmas.

    Thanks for linking up with What I'm Into!

    1. Thank you for hosting Leigh! I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. Blessings for a Happy New Year!


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