Christmas Wishes from Our Home to Yours

Life has been full here in the Furlong household. With all that we have going on, we thought about not putting up a tree this year. But I so look forward to that every year, given that I was deprived of the beauty of Christmas trees in our Amish home. I like every part of this yearly ritual: going out to the Christmas tree farm and choosing the right tree for our spot in front of our living room window; pulling down the Christmas bins from the attic and unwrapping the ornaments by which I remember Christmases from the past; unraveling the strings of lights and winding them around the tree; finding just the right branch to hang each of the ornaments — all 100 of them; setting up the creche David made; and watching David do magic with the lights to create the “desert scene.” He had made creche figures out of wood some years ago, and we weren’t putting them up, until one day David had the idea of creating this scene on the top of our bookshelf. At night, the lights shine from behind the figures, putting them in silhouette in what looks like moonlight in an oases of the desert.

 

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Then there is the New England village scene on the mantel, also a David creation, right next to the nativity scene.

 

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I love just sitting in my living room at night and contemplating the world in the quiet and festive lights of the season. It gives me a chance to ponder all that has come about since last Christmas, and I feel grateful for all that I have and all that my life is. I’m so glad that we didn’t skip the decorations this year. To me, it is a celebration of light in the darkest time of the year.

In another part of the house, there is more chaos. We are having renovations done on the one part of the house we hadn’t done yet — our back entryway. Right now we are waiting for the rough plumbing to be done. Here is a photo of what it looks like gutted.

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We will be installing a half bath in this space, right outside the kitchen where a pantry used to be. Needless, to say, it’s a lot of work, and we’ll be glad when it’s done.

I wish you all a Christmas filled with love, light, laughter, warmth, and good cheer followed by a Happy New Year!

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I’ll be posting an update to my last post. I hope you’ll check in out.

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29 thoughts on “Christmas Wishes from Our Home to Yours”

  1. Everything looks lovely there Saloma. I would find it difficult putting that house on the market after so much work to make it so lovely.

    1. Melody, it will be hard to sell this house. Yet we realize that it isn’t practical to enter our elder years living in a home with three sets of stairs (45 steps) from basement to attic. We have to face that we will not always be able to care for a home this big. We see too many people burdened by the homes they once loved. We don’t want to be that way.

      Thanks for your comments, Melody.

  2. I have been eagerly waiting for another post from you and here it is. Thank you! May you have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  3. Like you since I was not privileged with the joy of a Christmas tree growing up I love to put up the Christmas tree each year. I also enjoy around 10 different nativity sets and also decorating the mantel and window sill with greens and candles. A blessed Christmas to you and your family.

    1. Sadie, perhaps you and I appreciate Christmas trees a little more because we didn’t have them as children.

      I can just imagine your decorations in your beautiful home. I’m wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas.

  4. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year! You have a beautiful, cozy home. Good luck to you in your search for a new home and the begininning of a new chapter in your life. Merry Christmas!! Christine

  5. Saloma,

    Merry Christmas from one of your favorite librarians…

    Your house looks so beautiful, wish mine this time of
    Year. I haven’t put a full xmas tree 9 years since my mom
    Passed. We have 50+ years of ornaments in our attic, some day
    I will bring them down and decorate again..

    1. John, it’s great to hear from you. I hope when you pull those decorations down from your attic, they will hold sweet memories for you. I cherish the memories in each of ours. We had given many of these ornaments to David’s mother before she left this world. I love remembering her when I unwrap them each year.

  6. What a beautiful Christmas tree. David’s crèche and New England village are absolutely gorgeous. I live close to Vermont and the village reminds me of the covered bridges and the town squares. Wishing you a a very merry Christmas.

  7. Hi Saloma, I’m here in Ethridge now, watching the horse and buggies/horse and wagons passing along our road frequently. I am wondering if the Amish consider Christmas a holy day and if so, how it is spent.

    I so much appreciate my contact with you…I’ve learned much about the Amish before I got here!

    The photos of the house look like they could have been in Yankee magazine–you have such artistic talent. It must have been hard living Amish!

    1. Denise, it’s nice to hear from you. Glad to know your interest in Amish life.

      Yes, the Amish do think of Christmas as a holy day, but not as much as what they call “Old Christmas” on January 6. They believe this is the “actual” Christmas and that got changed with the advent of the Gregorian calendar.

      Normally the Amish have extended family gatherings on both December 25 and January 6. In our family, we would often get together with Mem’s family in December and Datt’s family in January.

      Gifts are exchanged in families, but not with a tree. Our tradition was to bring out the gifts from their hiding places after breakfast on Christmas morning.

      Thank you for the compliments. David is the one with the artistic talent, I must say. Yes, it was hard to be Amish when beauty was often seen as prideful. As David put it once, “I wasn’t steeped in that competitive humility like you were.” Good thing — I get to enjoy his talents for making things beautiful.

      Peace and Joy to you this Christmas.

      1. Thank you, Saloma. Sounds like David is some comic relief relief for you…”competitive humility”. :-) Another question. The Amish here are from the Swartzentruber Amish. Was your community in Ohio also Swartzentruber? I so much enjoy seeing the horses that pull buggies, wagons, plows, etc. on our road. Magnificent animals that they depend upon.

  8. I just completed my own holiday blog and I thought of You and David!

    The tin eves-troughs on the ole homestead may be getting rusty but the 2 foot long icesickles (genuine ice) are just awesome. Right now I am looking out of a 12 paned window onto the orchard where all the barren apple and cherry and pear trees are standing guard separating me from the road and as I look out the other window over the pasture where no horses or cows are to be seen due to the 2 foot snow drifts, there is nothing but peace and quiet. The only thing the moonlight reveals over the creek and the back hill is a shiny glistening blanket of “diamonds” covering the resting land.

    The stores are all closed now and I do not think there are any cars on the road tonight for once and all is very still and quiet. All this proves two things 1. The less of the world-the more peaceful and beautiful it is and 2. You know you are home when all is perfect even when there is nobody else there…ah notwithstanding our best halfs (lol)

    Best Regards and may you and David have Christmas EVERY DAY

    delmer and Julie

  9. Merry belated Christmas Saloma! With the busyness of the season I haven’t been on my computer for some time and so missed this post. I love when you share your Christmas season with us. The calming simplicity of your rooms and decorations have such a positive effect on me. I should have checked it out before Christmas! Though we have had some merriment with family and friends Paul and I wont celebrate Christmas with all six of our children and their families until January 7th and 8th. So when everyone is thinking of taking down their holiday decorations I am still putting mine up!!! May you and David and the boys be greatly blessed in the coming year. Perhaps a new adventure is waiting just around the corner.

    1. Pamela, so nice to see you here, and thank you for the compliments.

      You are following the Amish tradition of having two Christmases… they celebrate their second one on January 6.

      Thank you for your good wishes for the upcoming year. I wish the same for you and your family. Perhaps this is the year we can meet in person…

      Warm regards to you and your family.

  10. Hello Again Saloma:
    I was so busy thinkin about the beautiful peaceful quietness that exists out in the county when all the worldly are downtown and in the cities and towns wooping it up…I failed to mention in my last response how much it made me chuckle when I read David’s term “competitive humility” again. I actually searched the term in your blog and it only came up 2 other times and the one was Christmas 2011.Oh what a hoot actually having “IT” defined like that! Oh SO very intuitive of him to pick up on one of the “best kept secrets” and how extremely true it is even out in my neck of the woods with the dear old Mennonites. These dear neighbors do not even realize that there are those of us who know the truth and we can see clear through the façade that has even the best of those dear ones so very confused…You should do a whole blog on this!
    Best Regards to you and David for every day this upcoming year of progress;
    delmer

    1. Delmar, thank you for your comments. I shared this with David and he had a good laugh as well.

      It’s always good to hear your perspective, Delmar. All good New Year’s wishes to you and your family.

    1. Hi Shirley. Great to see you here, and thank you for the warm wishes.

      I talked with a Mennonite cousin in Missouri yesterday, and she mentioned that she found “Blush” at her local library. She enjoyed reading it, and found her life very different from yours (they are Conservative Mennonites.)

      May your New Year be filled with many Blessings.

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