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Christmas Eve



At last we have arrived at Christmas Eve, and I’ve managed to achieve all I set out to achieve … iced the cake, wrapped the presents, hung the Christmas cards from the archway in our sitting room, put greenery in vases in the hall and kitchen and along the mirror above the fireplace, lit candles, entwined fairly lights up the banisters, and even roasted a chicken.

The finished cake is above – finished this morning!

I am now going to make some open sandwiches for our supper, with granary bread, some cold roast chicken, coleslaw, and whatever bits and pieces of salad I find in the fridge.  Then we will watch television, the special University Challenge, the Christmas at St Paul’s, and a Christmas edition of Would I Lie to You, our favourite comedy show.

I would like to thank you all for reading my blog and for the very kind comments that many of you leave; my blog wouldn’t be a fraction as interesting without readers leaving comments, and these in themselves often trigger more comments, like the ripples made by a stone cast into a pond.  Thank you, one and all, and may I wish you, whether you are alone, with just one other person, or with your family, a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year.

With my love,

Until next time,


About Margaret

Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. Dear Margaret, Merry and Happy Christmas to you and Yours! Thank you for taking the time to send a Christmas wish. Your home looks cozy and inviting. We have just a dusting of snow here in St Cloud, MN, day is gloomy but makes it nice to have the tree lights on and the fireplace burning. Even though I live in a subdivision we had a Christmas visit from a six point deer this morning taking his time walking thru the yard AND a little red squirrel was sitting on our deck eating a piece of raisin bread I had thrown out earlier. I think that is a good sign for the day!

    • Margaret

      Hello, Linda, and what a lovely description of the deer and the squirrel. I’m not au fait with where MN is, so please could you spell that out in full for me? Also, I’m not sure what you mean by a subdivision? Would that be a semi-detached house here in the UK, where your home is attached to your next-door neighbour’s home? I love all our different words for what are essentially the same things.
      We have not lighted our fire (it’s gas, but it’s what is known as a living flame fire, so looks real) as it’s very mild here at the moment.
      Happy Chirstmas to you and your family, Linda.

  2. Dear Margaret, Merry Christmas. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and its one of the few that I follow. Your home is looking so Christmassy, in a classy sort of way. Have a lovely festive season. XXX

    • Margaret

      Hello, Ratnamurti, and Happy Christmas to you, too. Thank you once more for your kind comments re our home. I don’t do much in the way of decoration at Christmas, with the gilt-framed pictures, and all the bits and pieces of china and the lamps, I feel that less is more – just the tree, cards, flowers and some greenery, and it’s job done. Yes, you have a lovely festive season, too.

  3. Merry Christmas to you and your dear husband Margaret from a reader (not a commentator)
    Wishing you both a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  4. I apologize Margaret….I live in St . Cloud, (named after St. Cloud France which I understand to be a suburb of Paris) Minnesota, United States. We are in the northern part of the USA an hour north of Minneapolis, about 2 hours south of one of the great Lakes in the US, which is lake Superior. A subdivision here in the states indicates a group of homes, usually built by one builder, but not always. Ours is a single family home, it is not attached to another home, we have just under one acre.Subdivisions are named, ours is called Deer Creek (named appropriately HA, as I mentioned the deer I saw this morning). Right now we are enjoying being together as family. I have potatoes baking in the oven to go with crab legs and salad for our dinner. This has become our tradition. When I was a child my grandmother who was Polish had a dinner called Weiglia (sp?) and all of our relatives would be at her home for a 13 course meal that she had taken a month to prepare! As you you can tell I have downsized, but I do have wonderful Christmas memories. I enjoy the books and time period you direct your loyal readers to, thank you and again Merry Christmas.

    • Margaret

      Hello, Linda. It’s just 7.34am here on Christmas morning, so Happy Christmas to you. I thought it might be Minnesota, as I couldn’t think of another State with the initials MN, but I like to be sure. Ah, your ‘subdivision’ would be our ‘development’ I think, when one builder is responsible for a whole group – large or small – of homes. We live in a Close (which some readers hadn’t heard of before, but basically it’s a cul-de-sac or dead-end road, so you have to turn around in a vehicle to drive out again. There are just 20 homes, some detached – like ours – and some attached, adjoining their neighbours). Oh, crab legs and salad, that is so different from our traditional roast turkey Christmas Lunch, but sounds delicious to me! My goodness, that was some meal – 13 courses which took a whole month for your grandmother to prepare. But as you say, those times have provided you with such wonderful memories. Thank you, again, for your lovely comments, I feel this blog is turning into a meeting place where so many of us, all over the world, can exchange thoughts and ideas. Merry Christmas, Linda, to you and your family.

  5. Dear Mrs Powling, I hope you and Mr Powling have a very happy Christmas and a joyous, peaceful New Year. Your home looks lovely and inviting and I wish I could have a slice of your cake, it looks delicious!
    I hope you continue to write in your trademark easy style which is such a pleasure to read 😀

    • Margaret

      Dear Kavitha, thank you so much for your good withes to husband and myself, and I wish you and yours a very happy Christmas, too. Oh, it would be lovely it all the readers here could enjoy a slice of the cake, it really is a lovely recipe (which I provided either last year or the year before in December.) Thank you for saying I have a trademake easy style – that is so reassuring! I write as I speak, believe me. I hope you are having a lovely day and that you will have a healthy and peaceful New Year.

  6. Merry Christmas and good wishes to you and all your family. Your home looks lovely – as it always does x

    • Margaret

      And a Merry Christmas to you and your husband, Alison, and any family who might be with you. I hope you will have a lovely day and that will continue so that you have a happy and peaceful New Year. Thank you for reading my blog and commenting, and your kind compliments on our home. Happy Christmas!

  7. Have a wonderful Christmas, Margaret~! Everything about your holiday planning sounded lovely, and the place looks spiffy and holiday-perfect! Enjoy!

    • Margaret

      Thank you, Beth, I hope you are having a lovely Christmas Day, we are home after a family gathering at elder son’s home, and a good time was had by all, lovely meal and lovely company, just as it should.

  8. It’s a true pleasure to read your blog, Miss Margaret. Merry Christmas from Texas!

    • Margaret

      Oh, thank you kindly Diana, I love being called Miss Margaret, too! Happy Christmas to you in Texas from me here in Devon, England. I’m delighted you read and enjoy my blog. I’ve received so many lovely comments, those in themselves are like Christmas presents to me. Thank you.

  9. It is Boxing Day here in Oz and this is the first chance I have had to read your post. Wishing you a very happy Christmas and to let you know that I am thankful for your blog, reading of everyday things in your lovely part of the world.

    • Margaret

      Hello, Pieta, it is now Boxing Day here in the UK as I write this, 6.22am to be precise. Husband is still asleep and I’ve just had my first cup of coffee of the day. I do hope you and yours had a lovely Christmas Day, and will have a great New Year. I’m so glad you enjoy my blog, I’ve had such lovely comments and good wishes from readers, who have been so generous with their compliments regarding my blog and for all of them I’m truly grateful. Happy Boxing Day!

  10. Thank you for your kind words and wishes, Margaret. Your photos show off your home and your Christmas decorations beautifully. Your Christmas cake looks beautiful. Thank you for all of the thought, time and effort you put into your posts. I enjoy reading them all and I also enjoy reading the comments. Often the comments are as thought-provoking as the related post ! It is Friday evening as I write this comment and I’m quite content with my iPad and cat sprawled across my torso as I type. My husband is watching a spy thriller series on on-demand tv in the lounge room (French with English subtitles). The fridge contains many leftovers. Our tv news programs are full of test cricket and the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race (at least for the high tech maxi yachts, the smaller boats take many more days). It’s definitely post-Christmas mid-summer in my part of the world 🙂

    • Margaret

      Yes, I love all the comments, too, Lara. It is the interaction with the readers which is such fun, and we can all learn from others’ points of view.
      I have tried watching non-English speaking dramas with subtitles and I find them very difficult. If I’m reading the subtitles I don’t watch the action closely, and if I don’t read the subs, then I’ve no idea what people are saying. I find it very hard work, so your husband is cleaver than I am at this!
      There was a large photo of the start of the Sydney – Hobart race in our paper yesterday, how exciting that looked. It’s hard to imagine for us here in the UK a Christmas that is hot, in the middle of summer, but perhaps difficult for you to imagine our cold Christmas, too!

      • My husband doesn’t normally watch anything with subtitles, either, so it’s definitely the plot which has him hooked. In fact, he rarely watches series (or much tv at all), so it was most unusual to see him ‘glued to the tele’. I’m usually the one who gets drawn into the various series on tv or DVD ha ha. Some I can watch over and over – Downton Abbey, for one 🙂

        • Margaret

          While I enjoyed Downton Abbey, I’ve had no desire to re-watch it, Lara. But I did enjoy it very much when it was being shown. I wonder what the film/movie will be like? We watched the final part of the 3-part drama last night, The ABC Murders, a new version of the Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot story, but it was very dark and gloomy and quite violent, so I can’t say we enjoyed it. But there has been little that we have wished to watch over the Christmas period, unfortunately. I often put the sub-titles on, though, as husband’s hearing isn’t great and while I have good hearing, many actors now mumble their lines, or whisper their lines, or run words together that I find them necessary. Even recently the announcer mentioned that the Weather was coming up next “with philavery” . I wondered what ‘philavery’ was but then realized she was giving the weather presenter’s name: Phil Avery! I find this very annoying.

  11. Unfortunately I’m playing catch up so must respond to your Christmas Wishes with I hope you HAD a lovely Christmas. You got all that needed doing done, so that’s a success in my book. I did too, but it was hard work. Too hard. I need to think more carefully about how I manage everything next year. I am my own worst enemy because I don’t really want to go out over Christmas and I do want to see all my family.
    Your flowers look so pretty. I was lucky in having two lots of flowers delivered – a red mixed bouquet with Lilies , roses and astromeria, and another of white Lilies.

    • Margaret

      Yes, it was hard work on Christmas Eve when most people are winding down. I say each year I will be better organized, but now I have really little of import to do, the less I do! If I had the family coming here for Christmas Lunch and/or Boxing Day buffet, I’d be much more organized (as I used to be) … or I like to think I would be!
      The flowers are almost over now, and I bought the first daffodils of the new season this morning in Waitrose and a small bunch of freesias. How lovely to have received two lots of flowers in the post!

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