just a smidgen

A Prelude of Christmas Decorations

Christmas Village Mantel 3

Have you noticed “rules” about Christmas decorations popping up all over the internet, admonishing those who begin too early:

“2. All Christmas decor must be brought out and set up after December 1st.”

Yes, #2 because in all likelihood there’s also a #1 rule that I haven’t even heard of yet
{ and I choose to be blissfully unaware }

Christmas Village Mantel 1

I ask you, who are these people?
Why do they care what I do in my own home?
Moreover, why do people feel the need to judge other people’s choices?

My mantel this year is designed as a little winter village. You may recognize these feather trees, candlesticks, angel and bird from the blog posts of Christmas Past. The little mercury glass trees came from HomeSense and Home Outfitters, as did the little cardboard houses. They remind me of the cardboard houses my gran used to hang from her tree in Lethbridge. I still have a few of her vintage ornaments. 

Christmas Village Mantel 2

Perhaps those cranky internet Grinches need to do some volunteering;)

So.. I won’t start this post with any sort of apology for Christmas decorations in Mid-November.
{ I did wait until after Remembrance Day out of respect for those who fought for this very freedom we have in Canada. }

I think all it’s missing is a star, I’ll have to find a simple DIY and make one to go behind the feather tree.

Christmas Mantel 1

Yup, my Christmas decorations are starting to go up.

I may even turn on some Christmas music { gasp..}, I love Charlie Brown!

Pink and Silver Christmas Tree

I found a fluffy white fur Christmas skirt at HomeSense and now our puppy loves curling up under the tree { and, yes, still trying to nibble on it}. Our starry ornaments were hung from the chandelier again this year. Then I just filled a bowl with the extra ornaments. The large candle hurricanes are from years ago (10?) .. Chintz and Company I think?

Christmas Tablescape 1

For all of you “like-minded” individuals, I’d love to see your Christmas decorations!

I may still change things up a bit, the tablescape isn’t quite finished with place settings and glasses. This is the earliest I’ve ever started decorating and I have to say, I’m much more relaxed now that most of it’s done. I can enjoy my coffee by the light of the tree with our pup in the mornings.

Bouclair has different sizes of Nutcrackers.. pretty for our Sugar Plum Christmas.

Silver, Gold and Pink Nutcracker

I made Gingerbread muffins for the family this morning. This one is gently adapted from a gingerbread loaf recipe that I found in the Best of Bridge. This is a very dark and rich gingerbread, unlike the lighter loaves you see. It’s less sweet as well and has such a fluffy crumb it’s almost more like a little tea cake.

Cgristmas Gingerbread Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Gingerbread Muffins with Lemon Glaze
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These lovely little gingerbread muffins have the lightest, fluffiest crumb and the deepest of rich molasses flavor. The lemon glaze adds a bright note of citrus in each bite.
Recipe type: Breakfast|Brunch
Serves: 12
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening or butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's (icing) sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Line 12 muffin cups with silpat or paper liners.
  3. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
  5. In a small measuring cup, pour in the molasses and beat in 1/2 tsp baking soda with a spoon. Then add this molasses mixture to the creamed butter, mixing on low until blended. Occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  6. In another measuring cup, pour in the boiling water and stir in 1/4 tsp baking soda.
  7. Keeping the mixer on low, add the sifted flour and spices mixture to the creamed butter and molasses mixture, alternating with the boiling water.
  8. Take the bowl off the stand and fold in the beaten egg.
  9. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, the batter will seem runny.
  10. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  1. While the muffins are cooling, whisk together the lemon juice and confectioner's sugar. You may want to add a little more sugar to get the consistency you prefer. Drizzle over cooled muffins


Have you started decorating yet?

I’ll be back with a warm Gingerbread Latté Recipe, awesome for these cold winter days!

Love, Smidge Bluebird

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