Wednesday Vignette – funner with friends

This is going to sound terrible, but it’s true. We have no family here, so usually we’re on our own during the Holidays. As we loathe Holiday traveling, we almost always stay put. This year, we invited some friends over for Christmas dinner, and as a result, not only is the house cleaner, the food was also amazing (okay, that part is not so different), and the human interaction was joyous and fun, as spirits soared high and merry. More really is merrier! We all had a blast – after a near bout with food coma, we played Cards Against Humanity, which never fails to elicit giggles and guffaws. The year that passed has been a bit rough on both our families, and we’ve both lost loved ones. Getting together and binging on food, drink and game-induced vulgarities was the perfect way to deal with Christmas. Our friends just left, and I’m sitting here feeling pretty good about our day. Some other friends are still here, one new, and the others older:

IMG_0786 2

Here is the new one! This smiling rock moon face was a Christmas gift from the older of my sons this year. Just seeing his jolly face makes me smile. I have a special spot in my garden for him!


This sweet gnome has a look of perpetual confusion on his face. As if he’s not sure what to make of the situation. He was a gift from my mother.


This gray gnome belongs to my younger son and thus is a temporary resident in our house. I imagine he will eventually move out, but for now, I really enjoy his company.


This is the Boss gnome. Despite the fact that he spends most of his time in a box, there is no mistaking that confidence and bravado. He is my favorite, and also a gift from my dear mom!


This one too, is a badass, as he surveys the dining room from the top of the napkin shelf. He will also move on one day, as he belongs to my older son.


One of six that I bought at a Christmas fair in Stockholm years ago. Pure genius use of felt and sheepskin, in my humble opinion.


The cake that was demolished by our merry gang earlier today. I think there might be a tiny little sliver left… If I wake up first tomorrow, it will be mine… at which point, the rest of the family will not consider me a very good friend – haha!

Last but not least, the two little birds at the top of this post were part of the packaging of a wedding gift received 20 years ago from another very dear friend (who sadly lives far away from us). We saved them, and now they preside over the festivities every year, this year from the comfort of a tree branch of the Christmas Tree. I hope you too, had a Christmas (or whatever your holiday of choice is) full of friends, laughter, and happy memories!




About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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23 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – funner with friends

  1. I loved this post. You amaze me. Happy Holidays friend.

  2. Tina says:

    What a fun post! Love your little gnome buddies and that cake–swoon! Happy Holidays to you and a wonderful 2019!

  3. Peter Herpst says:

    So glad you had a jolly day! Your new and old gnome friends are adorable! Hope you got that last piece of cake – it looks divine!

  4. bergstromskan says:

    Lovely to be a part of your feast- even on a distance. I think I will make that cake-soon
    Thank you for all you give, my dear……❤️

  5. Sounds like you had a most wonderful day! My WV was spotted downtown while finishing up some Christmas shopping…

  6. Alison says:

    I’m trying to figure out what about your usual holiday sounds so terrible. Nigel and I also have no family here, and spend every Christmas alone together. As introverts, we love it! Love your gnomes, especially that simple one made from sheepskin and felt. And the cake looks delicious and beautiful.

    • annamadeit says:

      The word “terrible” was a reference to our usual lack of housekeeping… meaning dust bunnies and partially muddy floors. Nothing terrible about us just being “us” – sorry for the confusion. That said, I always enjoy having friends over. I enjoy it both because of the temporary thrill of their company, and also because the potential of embarrassment usually makes us clean house first. This is a benefit that lasts a bit longer – LOL! Right now, I’m loving looking at my clean house, and cherishing the luxury of that – for as long as it lasts. 🙂

  7. Kris P says:

    The family we had here is mostly gone or dispersed but we too assembled some family surrogates and had a good time for an early smorgasbord over the weekend, followed by a very quiet but welcome Christmas Day. I enjoyed all your gnomes (I have one sitting outside the front door myself) and I’m sure I would have enjoyed that cake! A belated Merry Christmas, Anna!

  8. mmwm says:

    Nothing sounds terrible to me about not being near family or usually being alone at Christmas (which is also my birthday). Spouse and I are the same — closest family is 500+ miles away — and we appreciate non-family holidays. Often we travel and enjoy the week or two around Christmas at the beach or somewhere else that’s exotic to us, exploring new places, but this year after a 17-day trip south in November, we remained home. Opened gifts in the morning, very leisurely, with the cat, after I made scones, then took two walks in the afternoon, a short woodsy one with a summit view and a 3-mile walk around a nearby lake, both in crisp 20F temps with blue skies. Just a lovely Christmas for us, and yours with friends, dinner, and Cards this year sounds great, too. No gnomes here but my mom got on fairy kick before she died so I have a bunch of them, which I forgot to take out this year to display. Maybe next year, if we’re here.

    • annamadeit says:

      Well, happy belated birthday to you as well as a belated Merry Christmas! Yours sounded positively wonderful, and it sounds like your weather cooperated. I find it hard to get in the spirit when there are still things in full flower around me, and I can walk around outside without a jacket. It just feels wrong! I like it to be crisp and cold, and preferably snowy, so some years I escape up on Mt Hood where I can usually get some of that. This year, we opted for company instead. 😀

  9. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette: Are You My New Home? – A Moveable Garden

  10. So glad to hear you had a joyous holiday. Yes, friends can sometimes be easier company than family. Some of your gnomes remind me a bit of Gandalf.

  11. tonytomeo says:

    Why would that sound terrible? Many of us lack family nearby. Some travel. Some stay with those we are already with. I have it easier because I dislike Christmas so much. However, I made a point of celebrating in a tactful and respectful manner with the families of colleagues. It was excellent.

    • annamadeit says:

      Christmas is not my favorite either – it always feels so forced! But, you misunderstood (as did several others, so I must not have been very clear in my expression…). The part that was terrible is that we only generally get around to deep-cleaning our house when we have guests coming over. It’s always a joy to be in it afterwards, but somehow it’s always such a chore if it’s for just us. I would rather play outside, or work on something fun than vacuuming and dusting! LOL!

      • tonytomeo says:

        Again, it does not sound terrible.
        In my former home, the guest suite was outfitted quite lavishly, while the rest of my home where I lived was quite simple and conservative. It is how I like it. I live the way I do, but did not expect my colleague from Southern California to adapt to my very primitive lifestyle while he was here.

  12. annamadeit says:

    I guess that makes sense. 🙂

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