Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Monday, 21 December 2020

Merry Christmas!

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
For the holidays you can't beat home sweet home! Perry Como

Welcome dear friends to my last week of No Place Like Home this year! I hope you all enjoyed the party and you made some new friends.

Are you ready for Christmas? I have a couple of friends who always wait till Christmas Eve to shop. That has always flabbergasted me because I like to stay away from the stores the last month or two before the Holidays. Much too crowded, and there is usually nothing left in the stores. But I guess if we were all the same, it would be a boring world, wouldn't it?

 Let our hearts be filled with gladness,
And our spirits lifted high;
Let us breathe a prayer of joy and peace
As Christmas Day draws nigh. ~ Lucile Taylor

My post today is an assortment of photos. 

Every Christmas my mother made mincemeat pie when I was growing up and I continued that tradition after I got married. I usually make mincemeat tarts now instead of the pie because there is usually pumpkin pie among the desserts for Christmas dinner. 
I simply love this sweet and spicy fruit mixture which goes so wonderfully in pies, squares, tarts and the like. Unfortunately, it cannot be found in the grocery stores this year, so I had to make due with a photo of my tarts from a few years ago. 

This is the first year ever I haven't made them and I really miss them!

You will have as many happy months in the coming year, as the number of houses you eat mince pies in during Christmastime. - unknown

I think I'm in trouble next year, according to that bit of trivia I found on line about mincemeat pies! *smiles*

Christmas is such a special time of year when families and friends get together to celebrate. 
I was in getting my hair cut the other day and my stylist was telling me all about the games she and her family are going to play on Christmas Day. It sounded like  a great time! She is blessed because all of her children live here. That is not the case with so many families this year, including our own. I am thankful we have one of our sons and grandsons here so we can spend the day with them. But this year, it may very well be the loneliest time of the year for some.

Prayer Request-
I mentioned a couple of months ago that my oldest son, Jeff, is having ear surgery soon.

Well, tomorrow, Tuesday, is the day! This will be a fairly serious surgery because it will either give him back 50% of his hearing in his bad ear or it will render him deaf. The surgeon will be replacing the bones in his middle ear with synthetic bones. The bones had been damaged by the tumour he had removed in his last surgery a few years ago. This is his third surgery and I am praying it will restore the hearing in his ear. Would you please pray for him? Thank you so much and God bless you!

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: The presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~ Burton Hills

For those who are given permission to gather together, may they cherish their Christmas and give thanks for the miracle of family and the Reason for the Season.
This is a photo of my family when my children were very young. How I miss those days!

I am sharing one more Christmas ornament gifted to me by a family member many years ago. I have a story to go with it... 

Many years ago, a home we were renting, got a flooded basement. In the basement I had stored all of the Christmas ornaments, in boxes. There were no totes. Sadly, many of the ornaments had to be disposed of which made me incredibly sad because they all had wonderful memories attached to them. Some of them were from our first Christmas together as husband and wife.

One of those ornaments which I was able to salvage was this water logged, wee rustic stable with the Holy Family in it. I enlarged the photo so you could get a better look at it. It is quite tiny and consists of numerous pieces of wood; between twenty and thirty pieces of wood! 

I carefully gathered up all the wet pieces of that stable and Holy Family and set them on a window sill so the sun could dry them out. 
When the pieces were dry, I painstakingly started to glue it back together again. It was tedious work and it took some time and patience to get it right because the pieces were so small. 

However, I did finally get it back together again and after thirty some years, it still hangs on the Christmas tree every year. 

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. ~ Camille Pissarro

That little nativity kind of reminds me of us humans. When we come into this world, we are brand new, but as the years go by, we get our feelings hurt and we begin to acquire bad habits, and dare I say it, sin in our lives! The day comes when we realize what a mess we are and we need help to be put back together again. 

That is God's job, and that is one of the reasons why God sent His only Son down here. If we allow Him to, He will work on us, a little at a time, helping to mend our many hurts and our inferior qualities. He is in the business of making us more like Himself, if we believe, if we allow Him to.  

Just like my little nativity, once He fixes us, He makes us strong so we can be of use for many years to bring joy to Him and the world around us.

I like the quote by Max Lucado~

"Live in such a way that the world will be glad you did."

God Rest you Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan's pow'r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

~ English Carol, 18th century

Merry Christmas everyone! May we all be a light in this world and do what we can to make the world a better place. The Lord be with you all and make you a blessing this Christmas!

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. - Luke 2:11

I am delighted to have you join me today. If you have something to share, simply let me know in a comment and I will add your blog to the list of participants. I will be happy to come and visit you. Please share any of the following: Cooking and baking, recipes, antiquing, artwork, ceramics, crafts, crocheting/knitting, quilting/sewing, collections, floral arranging, home decor, homemaking tips, hospitality, refinishing furniture, tea time, tablescapes, thrift shopping etc....Maybe there's a new baby in the family or you have a new fur baby you would like to introduce us to. They are welcome too! Anything and everything which makes your HOME more enjoyable to come HOME to, for your family, your friends, and yourself.

Lord, this humble house we'd keep 
Sweet with play and calm with sleep. 
Help us so that we may give 
Beauty to the lives we live. 
Let Thy love and let Thy grace 
Shine upon our dwelling place. -
Edgar A. Guest

My party participants~

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi 


  1. Merry Christmas, Sandi! I'm praying for your son even as we speak. May you see God's work in his life this week.

    I'm sharing Christmastime Snapshots with your friends, followers, and fans

    Christmas blessings of comfort, joy, and peace ...

  2. What a sweet Christmas post, dear Sandi! The little wooden nativity set that you painstakingly repaired is such a loving memento. Your analogy to us as humans, is so perfect. I pray everyday for Jeff and will be praying extra for his surgery.
    Thank you for asking us to pray and for hosting your lovely party. Merry Christmas blessings to you and your family.

  3. Looks like your post went up just before we are leaving for Spokane today. What a beautiful post filled with lots of encouragement. I will pray for your son Jeff that God will guide the surgeons hands and that his hearing will be restored and not taken from him. Christmas definitely looks different this year but the very beginning of Christmas things went differently for all those involved, too. :) No cozy family gathering. Those tarts look so yummy. Sorry you couldn't find what you needed to make them this year! Love that photo from Christmas past. We all have some good memories and I'm thankful for that. Hope these last days leading up to Christmas as filled with light and joy for you and yours! Here's my link.
    I'll visit participants tonight. Merry Christmas!!

  4. I wish the best for your son's ear surgery. What a cute nativity set that you repaired.
    I have no family gathering this year. My sister and I will be alone. That's ok, as long as we stay safe.
    I have to replace the battery on my laptop. I don't feel like going shopping soon, so my online time is limited.
    You may add this post...
    Have a Blessed Christmas. Good health for you and your family xo

  5. Adorable Christmas post...Sweet photo of you and yours,made me smile!I will pray for your son,God bless him. I would love to join you: Merry Christmas!

  6. Here's the link to my post.
    Thank you for hosting, Sandi. I missed last week, but have so enjoyed reading everyone's posts and I've met some new bloggers. I hope Jeff's surgery is successful, and I will pray.
    Our children all live in town, but we won't be gathering with any of them for Christmas. It's hard, but it's important to follow the guidelines. We are planning a festive time with just the two of us.
    I'm like you - get the shopping done early!
    I've never enjoyed mince tarts, but I make them some years for my husband who enjoys them. I didn't this year.
    Your little hanging nativity scene has a wonderful story behind it.
    Have a most merry and joyous Christmas, celebrating the birth of our Lord.

  7. Hello Sandi, I hope your son's surgery is successful and that you have a wonderful Christmas. Today, I'd like to share the recipe to a retro/vintage square known simply as "Dream Square". It's decadently rich but it is simply divine with a lovely cup of tea served in a pretty china cup.

  8. What a beautiful Christmas post! Your family photo is so sweet. Isn’t that just the way, the tea lady has all sons, but you’re sure to have wonderful daughters , too Those tarts are gorgeous and look so festive.. a bite of Christmas for sure! My week 5 post is up! Merry Christmas

  9. Love the throwback family photo. I'll pray that your son's surgery will successfully restore his hearing.

    I'm glad that you were able to repair the Nativity ornament. It's beautiful!

    I tend to pick up Christmas gifts throughout the year so that I'm done my shopping by late Oct/early Nov.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  10. P.S. Thank you for hosting the party. The weeks just flew by!

  11. I'm here to share.
    Will pray for your son. I have severe hearing loss, and wear hearing aids. Which only help a little. Praying your son's hearing will be restored.
    And I too miss those days with little ones :-)


  12. Sandi, thank you for hosting No Place Like Home! I brought you my homemade mincemeat recipe since you weren't able to find your usual mincemeat in the grocery stores this year. And I will be thinking of Jeff tomorrow as he undergoes surgery. I thought of you earlier today when we learned of a new homestead on PEI ( We'll be watching the couple as they build their homestead in your beautiful corner of the world.

  13. Hi Sandi
    When I saw your photo of mince tarts for a moment I thought they were the ones I baked two days ago! The only difference is that mine have a slightly different star. Too bad you aren't closer as I have 2 extra jars of really good mincemeat given to me when my Sister in law moved to an assisted living home. I hope your son's surgery goes well. Have a Merry Christmas!

  14. Oh how wonderful this post is! Yes, I want to join in the party today. Here is my link: Regarding your little nativity, I have almost the exact same one, and I love it also! You have helped me realize it's age and value and to take a closer look at it through your loving eyes. Now it is even more precious to me. I currently have it as the nativity scene for my "Pamela's Victorian Cottage" dollhouse family. I will have to share that in another post later. I will be praying for your son Jeff as he has his ear surgery. Praying it will be successful in every way. I have only made mince pies once or twice when my brother was coming for Christmas. My mother always made them or the little cookies filled with mince, but not everyone cared for it so I never adopted that tradition for our family. But I do love the tart flavor and now wish I had some, but I don't know if our stores are carrying the mince meat this year or not. Do you use the little boxes of "Nonesuch Mincemeat" or a jar of it? My mother used the boxes and added apples or something to it. I'd have to look at the recipe. Thank you again for hosting these parties all month. It has been such fun and I've made some new friends here. Thank you!! May your Christmas be filled with joy and many blessings for the New Year.

  15. Dear Sandi, Saying a prayer for your son - hope things go well for him. I was surprised to hear you couldn't find mincemeat for your traditional tarts. The ones in your photo looked quite toothsome. Our Christmas will be small -- just the two of us -- but we are happy and well and keeping safe. We're grateful. I would love to be added to your list if it's not too late; my blog post is about Christmas with photos from around the home.

    Wishing you a blessed and Happy Christmas. Emmanuel - God with us!

    Love to you,
    Brenda xo

  16. Merry Christmas! I hope your son is on the mend. Blessings!

  17. I hope you had a bright and blessed Christmas. My prayers for a complete recovery and hearing restoration for your son.

  18. By curiosity I have open your blog. And I read your entire post. The words make me feel warm on this quit lonely Christmas time, my family and my in laws all are far and with no possibility to travel at the moment, so I realy enjoy to read you, and I will check more of your posts...and I pray for your son.merry Christmas

  19. What a special post Sandi! I'm certainly praying for your son, I pray that good news will come out of this surgery! Such special pictures you shared of Christmas' past, and that gorgeous wood ornament that you painstakingly rescued! How amazing to still have this beautiful treasure! I pray that you had a blessed and very special Christmas. I can imagine you miss your mincemeat pies very much, they look so very delicious! Many blessings to you dear friend!


I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

Also, due to the amount of spam I've been getting, I have had to set Comment Moderation. ~ Sandi