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Christmas Company

December 11, 2023


Will you join me for a fun, imaginative blog post? I’ve never written a post like this before, and as one of my former fifth grade students used to say, it may end up being an “epic fail.” But hopefully at the very least the post will make you smile.

For some of us, our imaginations are a bit rusty and have been packed away for many years (I’m raising my hand here). But let’s pretend that you are a guest in my home for an afternoon of Christmas hospitality. Although, I do not know exactly how you would answer a question or start a dialogue, I will share my side of the conversation.

Any questions that I ask in this post, I would love to hear your answers and would warmly welcome your thoughts in the comments section! My heart desires to create an encouraging and uplifting community in this corner of the internet, and I want anyone who comes to my site to feel safe, included, and blessed.

I’m still learning this whole website business and all the confusing technicalities of running a blog, but I will try to change the settings so that anyone can post a comment (If only you knew how often hubby had to rescue me from my computer woes!).

Let’s pretend that I live somewhere cold with snow blustering about (this South Carolina girl longs for some cold weather!) and you have just arrived at my home…


“Welcome! Come on in, friend! I’m so glad that you could make it. I know my invitation was a bit last minute, but impromptu get togethers are so much fun. Here, let me take your coat and purse. I’ll go lay them on my bed.”

As I walked the short distance to my bedroom, I called out over my shoulder, “Oh, do you like coffee or tea? I have regular hazelnut coffee or chamomile or peppermint tea.”


After making our hot beverage selections, we each found a cozy spot in the living room. A warm fire crackled in the woodstove, and we sipped from our holly-decorated tea cups. My children dozed and played contentedly in their quiet time locations, so we had time for leisurely chit chat.


After sipping piping hot coffee, I asked, “So, what’s new with you? How are your Christmas preparations going?”


“Thank you for sharing and for asking how my Christmas prep went this year,” I said.

“Well, this year I learned to let go of some expectations. I had grand plans of creating a cottage, farmhouse style tree, inspired by Andrea from Pine and Prospect. I just love her gracious style. Visions of homemade ribbon made from painter’s cloth and delicate, child-sized stockings made from old white sweaters filled my head, but I’m afraid those dreams were about as real as the sugar plum fairy this year,” I said with a chuckle.

“Once the Christmas décor tubs made their way down from the attic, my children immediately started to explore the contents of the tubs. Soon treasures from Christmas’s past filled the floor in a strange sea of sparkly ornaments and prickly wire ornament hangers. The kids were so delighted, and my oldest with rapt excitement started planning her decoration schemes.”


“I wish I could say that patience was my keyword, but frustration with the mess kept me from fully enjoying the beauty of the moment. A quiet voice in my heart said, ‘Let it go. Let them have fun. Your perfect Christmas tree isn’t that important. Spending time with them is priceless. Letting them decorate is a precious childhood memory.’”

“The kids had so much fun helping me put up the lights and then tucking the decorations in the tree. Someday I hope to have a beautiful tree like Andrea, but this year will just be a ‘kid’ tree.”


“Do you have any themes for your Christmas decorating this year? Any special projects you worked on for Christmas?”


“You are just like one of my dear friends who is always eager to share the value of a good book. You had asked what we are reading for Christmas this year,” I said.

“Last week, I found several Christmas books at the thrift store! I was so excited. My guess is that someone was cleaning out her Christmas items and donated these books. My kids were enthralled with The Story of Holly and Ivy. Even my youngest patiently sat through the longer narrative of this Christmas treasure. We’ve also been enjoying the classic stories and sweet artwork from Diane Goode’s American Christmas.”



“For the last few years, my family and I have really enjoyed using Jolene Kauffman’s advent study. Her encouraging study has comforting words for mama in a morning devotional and then an evening devotional for the whole family.”

“So what are you reading this Christmas season? Any special holiday books? Or just good books in general? Any suggestions for reading with the children?”


“Can I get you a refill on your tea? Let me throw another log on the fire before the coals burn down too low. How I do love a good snow with a crackling fire!”

“Any songs that have meant a lot to you this Christmas season?” I asked after closing the creaky wood stove door.


“Thank you for asking about my music. I always feel strange bringing it up with others, but I appreciate the opportunity to share what I’ve been working on. I am so thankful for the opportunity to record a new song with friends from church. The title is, ‘God Chose a Lowly Maid.’ The inspiration came several years ago around Christmas time as I was studying the life of Mary. Her humble response to God’s calling on her life really intrigued me, and a song was born from that study of Mary. So often Mary is overlooked, but there’s so much that we can learn from her life! I’ll send you a link to the song. I hope that you enjoy it!”


“I’m sorry to see you go, but you’re right…you better start the drive home before the weather worsens. Thank you so much for coming. It warms my heart to have friends over, and I hope our visit was a blessing to you. May your Christmas be warm and bright just like our time together!”


Thank you for playing make-believe with me for a few moments! When I open my home and heart to you, my dear readers, on this blog, I hope that you feel welcomed and valued. I would truly love to hear from you and learn more about you!

May your weeks before Christmas be blessed and not too rushed.





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Mary Palmer
Mary Palmer
Dec 12, 2023

Good morning Ashley

Thank you for inviting me to your warm and welcoming home! I would love a cup of peppermint tea and some of the cookies you made!

I'm sure your Littles ask about some of your decorations. Where did this one come from or is there a story for this ornament? I can feel your family traditions when I visit your home! Let me take you to my house, I always have several projects started at my house to prepare for Christmas! It takes me about a week to get my Christmas decorations set up. My tree (artificial) goes up branches have to be arranged so lights can be placed and branches arranged again. I do not add…

Ashley Qurollo
Ashley Qurollo
Dec 12, 2023
Replying to

Mary, what a lovely response you wrote! And I love how you bantered back in my crazy style. You are so creative, too.😊

Truly, your grandma's house and the traditions you shared there sound nostalgic and iconic of America in days gone by. I love all the natural elements that you mentioned: popcorn, cranberries, oranges, cloves, and a Christmas cactus. I would have loved to smell the clove-studded oranges! You and I talked a few weeks ago about how expensive cloves are...maybe we can figure out how to grow

Wow, your grandma kept a Christmas cactus in the basement all year! How interesting! I actually didn't know what a Christmas cactus was until a few years ago when a…

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