Sunshine’s Macro Monday: A Cruciferous Christmas

Inspired by Sunshine’s Macro Monday #22
One of the many memorable parts of spending Christmas 2019 at my daughter’s home was her amazing cooking and baking.

The menu: extensive (even included a cheese course!).

The vegetables: fresh…and, in this case…the nutritional powerhouse cruciferous variety.

I decided to document.

brussels sprout

The roasted Brussels sprouts (along with cousin cauliflower) were seasoned to perfection and enjoyed by all.


Holiday Highlights

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Holidays

The challenge for this week is to bring out the magic that you find in the season and share it with one another!


A good friend of mine has a saying: Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a season.

I would further elaborate.

It can bring out the goodness in people. The willingness to share with those less fortunate. The willingness to share an extra smile. Doing what they can to brighten someone’s day. Bringing real meaning to the greeting Happy Holidays.

I spent the week of Christmas in Washington, DC at my daughter and son-in-law’s home. Surrounded by love-infused holiday festivities…marked by delicious meals, cookie decorating, present opening, cooking and baking side by side. Playing pretend with my grandson. Reading stories. Building Lego cities. Singing Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

One night we all went for an early evening walk…parents, grandparents, 3 year old and two dogs.

A holiday season highlight…a once a year magical moment.

house lights
Let’s go look at the lights!

house lights 3



light night




Pictures with Santa

Santa Claus appeared at many different venues when I was a child in the ’50’s and ’60’s. Sitting on some type of chair or throne-like chair – and dressed in his signature red suit and hat, he would wait for children. To sit on his lap. Briefly. For a quick question and answer, smile for the camera..and done! Then a parent would wait in line for the polaroid result of this annual pilgrimage.

I couldn’t wait to meet up with him…(or one of his elves subbing in – the explanation for why there was also a Santa on the street…and in the local Bamberger’s or Sterns department store at a “Breakfast with Santa” event on Saturday mornings)…in order to pass on my requests for presents.

I visited the pre-mall Santas – often appearing at local church fairs…or church “bazaars” as we used to call them. These were simple affairs…handmade mittens, cookies, potholders and such made by the church ladies. In the corner sat Santa – waiting for the local kids to sit on his lap and whisper their wishes for Christmas morning. Santa looked eerily similar to men I would see at church on Sunday talking to my parents, but I never questioned why.

I do not remember what I asked for the year this black & white photo was taken…but Santa looks like he had heard most everything by the time it was our turn.

santa 1957?017
Me, Santa and my sister circa 1957


Almost thirty years later, my daughter sat on Santa’s lap at our local mall. And whispered her hopes for gifts on the 25th.  Again there was the wait in line for the polaroid result.

santa 1984016
My daughter and Santa 1984


Pictures with Santa in 2018?
Still at a mall.  There is a long wait circling around extending past the stores. Babies, toddlers and elementary school age kids. Some dressed up. Some kids panic at the sight of this large man in the red suit. Other don’t…sitting quietly, not quite understanding all the activity. But still, whispering…something…to Santa. Look towards the camera. Hopefully, smile.

There is no longer a wait for the polaroid print. Now it is air-dropped to your smart phone. For a fee of course.

“Pictures with Santa” has changed in many ways in the past 50 plus years. As one might expect. All things do.

Santa sits on a fancier throne. I don’t see him at the church fairs.
Photos are digital and float through the air.

But the excitement in a toddler’s eyes…
I saw Santa, Mama! I sat on his lap!
The smiles. The jumping up and down…
THAT has not changed at all.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Anticipation

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo

The theme this week is: Anticipation

It’s that time of year…
The December page appears on the calendar.
And with it, the sprint to Christmas.

For those of us (in the USA) who celebrate the holiday, the “anticipation” is triggered around Halloween. Much to my dismay. I really have not adjusted to the sight of artificial Christmas trees amongst the Halloween costumes.

But I digress…

Children are not cynical about this. They anticipate like crazy. Without judgement. Without reservation. And with great joy and excitement.
When is Santa coming? is repeated enthusiastically and often.

My own children were no exception.

Especially my son. As a 2 year old, he did not yet understand the concept of…Do Not Touch…Wait…Those Lights are Hot…We Will Open The Presents Later.

We barricaded the Christmas tree with various tables and chairs.

His enthusiasm was limitless.
As he anticipated what came next…

xmas 1989013

Photo a Week – Lit from Within

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week:

A Photo a Week Challenge – Lit from Within


One of my favorite Christmas decorations/ornaments is a “lit from within” glass globe featuring an angel inside. A special gift from a special friend a few years ago.

It can either be hung from a tree branch or placed on a flat surface. In our case, this year the flat surface is perfect…since we are not putting up a tree for the first time in over 40 years. Empty nesters that we are, we are flying from the nest to celebrate with our hosting-for-the-holiday adult children.

In the meantime…this Angel will rest on our mantel and continuously spread Christmas cheer with a flick of a switch.


from gold…


to blue…


to green…