please leave your calling card...

I didn't want to let this holiday season pass by without wishing you a very Happy Holiday!
I also want to tell you how grateful I am that you are here visiting, and that you are interested in the stories of our farmhouse, and my interior and exterior design projects.
Your presence here is a gift, and 

I thank you.

I am often asked to show Christmas decorations around the farmhouse.  In all honesty, I find the month of December to be a bit emotionally and visually overwhelming!    So, because of that I like to decorate very simply- using fresh greens and lots of white lights!  Simple touches here and there to honor the
spirit of the season.

Mavis with a boxwood garland

The barn room on a cold, snowy Sunday afternoon.  Ella is snuggled into the leather chair with her "bear" throw!

The iron gates leading to the barn mud room.

A boxwood garland draped over the antique iron pediment in the barn room.

This has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas decor ;), but when I was taking photographs for this post I thought it was such a pretty shot with the sunlight on the Japanese fishing floats!

Wreath on the folly garden gate.
View from the kitchen sink window at dusk.

The front porch at sunset.

(Since I took this photograph, I've wrapped the upstairs porch railing in white lights too.)  

The winter moon on the farmhouse.

The living room mantel with tiny pearl lights and fresh greenery.
Antique brass "Christmas" tray on the coffee table.

As you might recall from Christmas' past, this tray is a favorite of mine that I like to bring out this time of year.  It was originally silver-plated, but now only hints of silver remain.  It is marked...  .

Mary and Nannie

Over the years I have spent hours wondering who was MA?, who were Mary and Nannie?, what was their Christmas like the year this beautiful tray was given as a gift?, where did they live?, and on and on...
Just as I wonder about these three people whose names are engraved on an antique tray that has a presence in my home, I also wonder about you, who also have a presence here. 
Some of you I know, as you leave me dear comments or send emails....but others of you remain a mystery. On my site meter I get repeat visits from places that are near and dear to us, and places that are far away and magical. Dan and I often talk about and wonder who all of you are!

One year I mentioned that I would notice a regular visitor from a tiny town in Oregon and that we would love to know who that person was, as Dan's father is buried in a cemetery in this small town.
 Several days after Christmas that year I received an email from the woman.  I cried as I read it to Dan.  She wrote that she lived within walking distance of the cemetery where Dan's father is buried, that her son learned to ride his bike there, and that she and her husband often take walks in the cemetery.  To know that someone across the country just happened to find my blog, and now visits our home, and to know that that person lives so close to Dan's father's resting place, and that this all happened because we share a love of houses is a sweet and dear connection that makes the world seem that much smaller. 
You just never know the connections that we all have to one another... . 

It was the custom in the period of this Victorian tray, that guests would leave their printed "calling cards" in trays at the homes they visited. (to see images of antique calling cards click here)
Dan and I are hoping that in the spirit of the holidays that you, too, will drop your "calling card" in the tray and tell us who you are, where you live, and/or anything else about yourself that you wish to share.
 We would love to hear from each and every one of you- those who regularly visit and leave comments, and those of you who usually come and go quietly!!

Please leave your card in the tray!

From our home to yours.... 
Merry Christmas!!

joan, dan and ella

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