Christmas Morning 2014

Good morning and Happy day after Christmas!
I trust you all enjoyed a relaxing day yesterday after all of the hustle and bustle preparing for this most beautiful season. Our morning started as it has every Christmas morning for the past 9 years...with the kids waiting patiently at the top of the stairs for the mad dash to the presents to begin!
(That is after the adults all get their first cup of coffee.)

They tear through the boxes and bags opening them up and then moving onto the next gift with their name on it! And every once in a while the gift will be so astonishing that one of them must pause and pose for a picture. Here Grace is in shock over their new Nook Tablet 4...

...and Michael with his over the door punching bag. (Mmmm...maybe now he will stop using his sister as a puching bag)

And the room begins to look like Santa's workshop after an explosion! Gifts and wrapping paper everywhere!!!

Buster is eyeing up those yummy sausage stars sitting on the coffee table that Aunt Kim made!

And the gift giving goes on!

Once the packages are all open it is time to go back and revisit each one so to get the full experience of the present.

No snow this year but that is OK. I know the cold weather is a coming!!!

Wishing you all the beauty and peace of the season.
From everyone here at 21 Rosemary Lane...

Merry Christmas!



Our Colonial Christmas Dining Room

Good morning my friends and happy 3 days before Christmas! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful weekend. I did get some last minute shopping done, a little Christmas present wrapping, and still managed to squeeze in a couple holiday movie classics. I also started working on my table for Christmas eve which I host for my family every year.  Last week I shared with you my sister Kim's Romantic Christmas Dining Room. This week I am sharing with you our Colonial Christmas Dining Room

To achieve the colonial vibe I went back to some of my books I picked up while in Williamsburg last year. A common thread in colonial Christmas decor is the use of  lots of fresh greens and the display of fruit throughout the house.

I started by mixing things up a bit in my dining room. I decided to bring down a mirror from the upstairs hallway to place above the buffet. The blue and white plates I had hanging over the buffet were rearranged to flank the mirror, and then everything was adorned with tons of greens.

The centerpiece is just a large glass candle holder placed in a large white serving bowl which was then filled with faux apples and pears, a few pine cones and more clippings from our yard.

For the place settings I used a simple wicker mat topped with a sparkling silver charger, and then I used an assortment of white dinner plates.

The napkins were cinched with a silver ring and than a spring of arborvitae was slipped in to add some Christmas color.

The salad plates are these darling Christmas plates I picked up at Walmart for only three dollars each. I love the barn scene, it is so indicative of the area where we live. Red barns are everywhere!!

I alternated the red barn plates with the other pattern Walmart had which is this cute little woodland scene.

As you can see a traditional plaid tablecloth was used and then it was topped off with a pretty red and white table runner I purchased at Pottery Barn a few years back.

The plaid table cover was a bit short for our table and the material itself has the tendency to easily move about on the tabletop. So to remedy both issues I purchased a 9' X 6' painter's drop cloth for roughly $10, washed and ironed it, and placed it on the table first, under the paid table cloth.

Fresh greens were added to the top of our breakfront and then I made my own arborvitae garland to drape above the window. Pretty red bows accent the evergreen wreath and on each of my brushed nickle wall sconces.

And that is our dining room ready to go for Christmas 2014!

I hope these last few days before the 25th are going well for you preparation-wise, and that you have time to relax, enjoy family and friends, and reflect upon the reason for this most glorious of seasons!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home


Easy to Make Boxwood Wreath

I have always loved the look of boxwood wreaths and since we have a rather Large BOXWOOD in our backyard I decided it was time to take the plunge and create one. So I Googled "boxwood wreaths" and came across Martha Stewart's tutorial on just how to make a pretty wreath for myself.

The materials you need are fairly simple.

a wire wreath frame
floral wire
wire cutters 
and a bunch of boxwood snipped into 3-5 inch pieces

Next take about 6-9 sprigs and wire them together with some floral wire to create a bundle. Repeat and make as many bundles as possible. I want to say that my 12 inch wire frame needed roughly 40 bundles.

Once you have made all of your bundles, take one end of the wire and anchor it to the wire wreath by simply tying a knot. Then take two bundles at a time and begin to wire them onto your wreath frame by wrapping the wire on in a continuous motion. Make sure you wrap the bundles on at their bases, where you wired the bundles together.

When you are done check your wreath to make sure it is evenly full. If you missed any spots just fill in with another bundle or two. Then trim the wreath as needed.

I didn't want my wreath to look too contrived so I used a lovely tubular scarf my cousin Carol of Carol's Creative Creations had made for me last year for Christmas as the bow. I think the yarn gives it a nice textural contrast.

Are you close to being ready for Christmas? I still a boat load of package wrapping to do so that is what will be on my agenda for tomorrow.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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My Sister's Romantic Christmas Dining Room

Last week I was down in Pennsylvania to help my sister Kim decorate for the holidays. The main room she wanted to concentrate on was the dining room. You see Kim recently begun dating someone who she thinks is pretty special and she wanted to dazzle him with her culinary skills, but the setting had to be just right. So we thought it would be romantic to fill the dining room with beautiful Christmas candlelight, plenty of greens and the sparkle of little twinkle lights on the banister.

As you can see the gold tones of the room lends itself perfectly to the color red, which has been generously dispersed throughout the entire space.

A rich red runner was placed under the greens of Kim's candle centerpiece.

On the buffet we placed pretty red candle holders so the light will be enhanced as it is reflected by the mirror.

 On each china place setting is a small festive wreath which has been topped off with two napkins cinched together with a wicker ring for a nice blend of both casual and elegance.

Kim did purchase new gold chargers and pretty red wine glasses from Home Goods.

The twinkle lights on the banister provide a magical glow, while potted red poinsettias on the steps add a festive touch.

And now my sister has the perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two. All that's needed is a little Johnny Mathis on the stereo and a small piece of mistletoe to ensure a goodnight kiss!


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The 12 Days of Christmas...what do they really Mean?

A couple years ago I published this post just because I have always found it to be quite interesting. So since today we mark the 3rd Sunday of Advent which is called Gaudete Sunday, or Joyous Sunday, I thought it would be cool to share again with you the meaning behind the Christmas song The 12 days of Christmas.  


I am sure you all know the Christmas song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", but have you ever wondered why it was written or what the 12 days represent?
Well for me the question was answered when I began teaching Religious Education to my first group of fourth graders two years ago. According to the text provided me by our church for teaching purposes, in 16th century England Catholics were imprisoned and even put to death if they tried to practice their faith. It is said that two Jesuit priest came up with the carol  in which they devised a code for the basic truths of the Catholic faith.

They go as follows...

"On the first day of Christmas", as the song began, "my true love sent to me", which meant God was speaking to them.

The first gift was "A Partridge in a Pear Tree"...this image represents Jesus Christ the King reigning from the cross.

"Two Turtle Doves" is the code for the Old and New Testaments of the holy Bible.

The "Three French Hens" corresponds to the three gifts of the magi...gold, frankincense and myrrh.


"Four Calling Birds" symbolizes the four gospels of the bible...Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The "Five Golden Rings" represent the "Pentateuch", or
first five books of the Bible...Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

"Six Geese a-Laying" equals the six precepts of the Catholic church.

1. To hear mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
2. To confess sins at least once a year.
3. To receive holy communion once a year, during the Easter season.
4. To keep holy the Holy Days of Obligation
5. To observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence from meat
6. To provide for the material needs of the church to the best of an individual's abilities 

The "Seven Swans a Swimming" represent the Seven Sacraments. Baptism, Confession of Sins, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick

"Eight Maids a Milking" signify the 8 Beatitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 "Nine Ladies Dancing" are the nine choirs of angels.

Seraphim ~ Love angels of the purest love

Cherubim ~ Protectors of the inner chamber of divinity

Throne ~ the Angels of pure humility

Dominions ~ Angels of Leadership

Powers ~ Warrior Angels

Virtues ~ Governs all nature

Principalities ~ Administrative Angels

Archangels ~ Emissaries of the Principalities

Angels ~ The Angels closest to the material world and human beings. They act as messengers by delivering our prayers to God and bringing God's answer and other messages to us.

"Ten Lords a Leaping"  are the Ten Commandments given to Moses.

1. Thou shall have no other god before me
2. Thou shall not take the lord's name in vain
3. Thou shall keep the Sabbath day holy
4. Thou shall honor thy father and mother
5. Thou shall not kill
6. Thou shall not commit adultery
7 Thou shall not steal
8. Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor
9.Thy shall not covet thy neighbor's wife
10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's goods

The "Eleven Pipers Piping"  stood for the eleven Apostles after Judas' death. The eleven names of the apostles are...Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James son of Alephaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot.

And finally the "Twelve Drummers Drumming" represent the 12 basic beliefs named in the Apostle's Creed.

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell

5. The third day he rose again from the dead

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty

7. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost

9. I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints

10. The forgiveness of sins

1l. The resurrection of the body

12. And the life everlasting. Amen

Merry Christmas!!



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