Big Drawing, Sparkles and Musica!

Is everyone READY for the big drawing?  Me too!  Vanna too. ‘Course she’s not downstairs yet, I think she’s trying on clothes, so we’ll just have to start the celebration without her, with some sparkles, and wait until she shows up . . . MUSICA

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We are no where near this sparkly point in our decorating. But I thought I’d put up a few photos of other years because I know we’re all getting into it soon if not already. Joe and I seem to do the holidays slightly differently every year. I usually love to get our tree over Thanksgiving weekend, but this time

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. . . we made Thanksgiving last all weekend culminating with last night when we had a Birthday Dinner Party for our friend Bob. As requested by the Birthday Boy, it was a pizza🍕 party with 10 good friends. Along with the pizza we had a  crisp salad with every delicious healthy thing on it including roasted beets, pomegranate seeds (crunchy and very much like croutons), chunks of crisp apple 🍎, creamy goat cheese, thin carrot coins, sliced red pepper and red Dinner for Bobonion ~ like confetti ~ on top of refreshingly cold crunchy iceberg lettuce, romaine, spinach (the curly real kind not that limp little “baby” spinach, what is that, is my question), and a soupçon of arugula which I think is better when treated like a salad herb ~ all drizzled with my yummy dressing from The Summer Book (p.31): 1/4c. fig balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic is fine), one clove of balloonsminced garlic, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, salt and freshly ground pepper, and two well-minced anchovies (for surprising depth of flavor), whisked together with ½ c. good fruity olive oil poured in a thin stream. I pulled out some of the “Bob” place cards I’d saved from other dinners and that’s how I decorated his place setting. And I listened to Christmas Carols the whole time I was getting it ready. I love playing house.birthdayparty

Bob's Birthday

In real life we often call him Bob-Bob. His wife Peg is Peg-Bob, I’m Sue-Bob, and Joe is . . . I think you can guess. We’re very old friends.

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I used my best birthday napkins (found them at Pottery Barn a few years ago) 🎈 ~ we had Flourless Chocolate Cake and ice cream for dessert. But it was really like a continuation of Thanksgiving. All the candles were lit , fall leaves🍂 were still draped over the sideboard and hung over doors, there were still pumpkins 🎃 on the table in front of the fire, and we were still very grateful and happy to be together.in front of the fire

And when I woke up this morning, it was dark outside and there were still embers going in the fireplace. So I stoked and blew and added wood and got it going again. I put the tablecloths from last night into the washing machine and then I wandered through the quiet house thinking of all the fun we’ve had here and how lucky we are, hearing the laughter, remembering the faces. With just the crackle of the fire and the hum of the furnace, and the sun barely coming through the leafless trees in the back yard.

wonderful-thingOops, I hear Vanna . . .

Giveaway

DOOR NUMBER ONE

Guess who just sashayed in here?  Right, the Princess Queen herself! Decked to the nines in a full deep-sea diving outfit in waterproof gold lame! I have no idea what she is thinking.😳 There is no water involved here. The flippers scared Jack half to death, and Girl Kitty took off for the attic. But into the barrel she goes, of somewhere just south of 3,000 Girlfriend’s names (!)!  Down, down, down, to the bottom, swirling and twirling and dervishing, Oh the uproar! It sounds like Niagara Falls. I wouldn’t want to be her. I could never choose only two names.

GiveawayDOOR NUMBER TWO

But that IS her job, her raison d’être, she’s lucky she has one. Hero jobs like 🏆 this are NOT a dime a dozen. Here she comes!!!!! Her mission: bring me two names! And once again, Vanna comes through like a true champion.

Alright, here we go, for the gifts 🎁 behind DOOR NUMBER ONE: which include a lovely little tea tin with a package of my delicious Gingerbread tea PLUS my first book ever published in another language, A FINE ROMANCE, beautifully rendered in Chinese and certain to be #1. different and #2. scarce, the winner is…

Bridget Czapiewski 

Yay, Bridge! 😘 Congratulations !!!!

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 And, behind DOOR NUMBER TWO, the prize that consists of the rare-ish, but definitely out-of-print, Christmas from the Heart of the Home, the IN-print Fairy Tale Girl, and the English language version of A FINE ROMANCE, Plus a limited edition, Emma Bridgewater holiday mug!!! Good stuff, right? Okay, here we go, I hope it’s YOU.  AND, the winner is . . .

Brittany!!!! (The Brittany who has “two little ones,” and wears mukluks)!

Yay Brit! 👍  We are so happy for you! 

I will email you both so you can tell me what name(s) you would like me to inscribe in your books (think “gifts” if you already have these books), and also give me the address for where I can send them. Okay? Very happy for you both.♥  And now . . .My favorite fairyPrincess Charlotte

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Hello little girl. 🍼 I think I have the perfect thing to cheer everyone else up. THIS is Princess Charlotte, she’s six months old and I thought you might like to see her. She is the child of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his lovely wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.  Princess CharlotteThe family released this photo (taken by her mother), as a thank you to the public for allowing the children to grow up as normally as possible. Which, you know, is NOT possible (normal, I mean), but I thought it was very nice of them to share this photo, and if anyone can raise a normal child in a royal family, I vote for William and Catherine to be the ones. Isn’t the outfit pink perfection? Cashmere at six months.♥ 

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november 2010 863

We have some decisions to make. Half the reason we bought this house (besides for the pantry and the dining room) was for the space at the end of the living room that seemed so perfect for a Christmas tree.🎄 Then we put the table there, which we love . . . and tried a smaller tree.  Now it seems that every year we have to decide whether to leave the table there and get a smaller tree, or take the table out . . .

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And get a really big tree, which we now tie to the wall…

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Because of this fiasco . . . that year the tree was NOT tied to the wall and became front-heavy with ornaments . . . I was just going to get Lowely to bring her over to see our just finished tree, and THIS happened. Joe is thinking it all over very carefully!!! 

XOXOX

This is my favorite “decorating for Christmas” video I’ve done so far.✨ I just hunted through the house for all the white and sparkly things, and this is how it turned out. I just love angel chimes ~ they are very magical. We got some just in case you like them too . . . they’re in the webstore ~ and I’m not sure but I think we have the paper snowflakes too.  Here are some other thoughts:Deckingthehalls

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paper tree

Here you can see the sugared fruit I love to make, you can see how pretty it is, and Paper tree art called scherenschnitte. I love these trees, they go amongst the greens on my mantle too, I like them so much, I found someone to make them for us and I got a few extra for you.Full Moons for 2016Here’s a gift for everyone that’s become a yearly tradition for us. Yes, our blog has traditions! I’m so proud! I think it might be our fourth year for the Full Moon Bookmark ~ click there, print it out (fold it in half and glue it together) ~ it gives dates for the full moons for 2016, along with their Native American moon names. It a good little stocking stuffer, you can even have it laminated at Office Depot or Staples!

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I tossed the laundry on the couch a few minutes ago thinking how lucky it is that when I put the laundry in this particular spot, Jack is completely uninterested in it. He never gets in it.  How good of him, I thought.

Jack

The next time I walked by the pile of laundry, this little head was sticking out of it, barely able to keep his eyes open, one minute later he was asleep. My boy. How proud of him I am. The thing I like about him most, he won’t go off to college and leave me.

Unlikely Story BookstoreRemember this wonderful bookstore I told you about a month or so ago that Joe and I came across in our travels called An Unlikely Story  (owned, btw, by the author of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney)?  Well, I’m thrilled to report that we will be starting off our book tour right here, at this fun bookstore, on Saturday, April 30th at 1 pm, in the land of the flying books…An Unlikely Story

in the little town of Plainville, MA. So appropriate: Smallville meets Plainville. 

We are calling our tour the Heart of the Home 30th Martha's Vineyard Isle of DreamsAnniversary Bookstore Tour 🎉, even though we’re celebrating the three-book series culminating with Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, we’re calling it that because 2016 will actually be the 30th Anniversary of the publication of my first book! (Shocking! I didn’t even realize it, Joe told me.) We’ll launch the tour in Plainville at a buffet luncheon where I will speak and answer questions and sign all three books. AND, for frosting on the cake,🍰 the event will also be a fund raiser for the Plainville Town Library, which means there will be tickets. I’ll let you know how to get them as soon as I find out myself! I’m thrilled in case you can’t tell. I love this brave new independent bookstore, courageously starting out life in the age of Amazon. I love that they support their local library, and I think you will love them too! It should be quite a celebration. And the next afternoon, on Sunday, May 1st, we will be in Connecticut at the famous independent Bookstore called heart of thehomeR.J. Julia. Very excited and honored to be there too. That’s what we know about the tour so far! A good start! We’ll be adding to this list and I’ll keep you updated. If you’re in the area, mark your calendars. It’s a while from now, but you know it’s sneaking up quickly! We’ll have all the details in “Events” at the top of the Blog page.

And one more surprise. It just seems right, in honor of 30 years after all, to republish HEART of the HOME, and give it an updated cover along with 16 brand new pages. So, yes, that’s what I’m going to do! And I can’t wait. Heart was like my first child. I would love to make it a new outfit. A busy year of celebration! I just want it to be good.

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Well that’s probably enough for today! So grateful to be

Home for Christmasthis year. Have a most wonderful week darling friends. I can’t thank you enough for entering the Giveaway and for all the sweet comments. I read and loved them all. Bye for now! ❌⭕️, Me.

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377 Responses to Big Drawing, Sparkles and Musica!

  1. Sue says:

    At last! Several weeks ago my old DSL modum gave up the ghost and it seems as though I’ve spent a large part of my life just getting everything back up and running. As of tonight, I now have a new wi-fi connection, new TV service, new cell phone (much smarter than I…) and an iPad (they had a deal). Whew!

    The thing I missed most was my weekly “visit” with you, and going to your webpage is the first thing I did when I got back on line. How I’ve missed you, Susan. Now, I can read and catch up on all I’ve missed, but I guess there’s no hope for the drawing. (Insert big sigh here…). Oh well — maybe next time.

    Sue

  2. Chris Miller says:

    Hi Susan,
    Reading your blog and having you share your magic and whimsy with us is like taking a cool drink of water on a hot day…it’s like wrapping up in a soft snuggly blanket when it is chilly…or like receiving a hug from a friend when times are tough. Yup! That’s what it is like to open your blog and dive in to your world.
    I feel brighter, lighter and ready to embrace life!
    Cheers and blessings to you as this very magical season unfolds and lots of luck with your tree!
    Chris

    • sbranch says:

      That is so nice to hear! I honestly don’t “plan” it that way, I wouldn’t know how, but I always feel like I’m writing to good friends, so that’s what I do! xoxo Thank you Chris!

  3. Bebe says:

    I’m so glad you’re republishing the Heart of the Home. I was wishing for a copy, every time I see your stack of books or booklist on the inside of the paper covers of your other books.
    I’ll be ordering it!

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t wait to do it, making new pages for my first born!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        16 new pages … WOW! Can’t wait to see what they will be 🙂 Curious if it will be the same size or smaller like your newer books. And will there be a ribbon this time? Of course there will be … but what color??? And will Heart of the Home follow in big sister’s footsteps??? Love the anticipation once again 🙂 Happy painting. Happy world. A prayer for you at dawn with the moon still in the sky ♥ xoxo

        • Mary in Phoenix says:

          Oops … meant will Vineyard Seasons follow in her footsteps … but you knew that 🙂 xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          All these little questions 🙂 yes, yes, yes. Hows’ that? 😘 Thank you darling!

          • Mary in Phoenix says:

            That’s great! YES is ALWAYS a good answer 🙂 Now on with the dance … and the cookies … and the snowflakes. Great new post and AWESOME bookmarks to put in all the Fairy Tale books being gifted to the sisterhood for Christmas 🙂 Thank YOU darling ♥ xo

  4. MarySue Knight says:

    Delightful video. So appreciate your creative charm. I too am a lover of angel chimes. Your posts add such joy to this reader. Merry Christmas dear Susan

  5. Bonnie in NO LA says:

    Thank you again for sharing your life. You know, for some reason I keep up the Christmas spirit until just about now. When December hits it knocks the ho-ho-ho right out of me. But thanks to your sharing and caring, I realize I don’t have to make this Christmas the sparklie-est, best-est, most expensive-est ever. I just have to make it warm,comfortable and inviting and remember to enjoy MYSELF. Keep playing my carols (love Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Andy Williams), and have fun decorating. So thanks again, my friend. Next book: How Susan Saved Christmas.

    • sbranch says:

      Exactly right, because if there isn’t time for walks, reading books, breathing, then what is it all for?

  6. carmel says:

    Baby Charlotte is a living doll! I love the photo of her with her stuffed puppy as well. Just a love. Thanks for the festive tour. Large or smaller tree, it’ll look warm and sparkly no matter what. Excuse me for being such an alarmist, but when you said you woke up the next morning and there were still embers in your fireplace I freaked out thinking you could have had a house fire. I’m sure you and Joe know what you’re doing, but it worries me. Anyway, the party for you friend Bob must have been full of the joy of celebrating a birthday with a dear, long time friend. Thanks for sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      We have a good screen on the fireplace. I think we’re okay. It’s very rare when that happens. Thank you Carmel!

  7. Jean Shaffer says:

    Love, love, love you, Susan Branch! So glad you are my “girl friend”,😊❤️

  8. Like some of the other girlfriends, I also put Christmas From the Heart of the Home out on my kitchen counter along with Christmas Joy at Christmastime. This morning I was finishing up decking my halls and couldn’t find the books! They were not on the kitchen bookshelf, not on the big bookshelf in the living room and not with my collection of children’s Christmas books I have out for the Grands! What to do? FINALLY I remembered I had designated a collection of books that in an emergency I would grab to save or take because I really need them ALWAYS and there they were on this special shelf. Safe and sound and NOW on the kitchen counter to give me inspiration for the next few weeks. Whew… I was about to have some painful withdrawal symptoms if my books disappeared. Enjoy decking your halls now that Thanksgiving and Bob’s party are over! Isn’t it just so much fun making everything festive!!

  9. Donna Klein says:

    Susan, I bought Heart of the Home and could it really be 30 years ago and yes it was! We haven’t changed a bit…..so, after 7 years in Vegas, not cooking for a group, I was excited but nervous to be cooking the turkey dinner now that I’m back in MN. I used your turkey and gravy recipes from The Christmas book which my very favorite (the turkey lasagna is a family favorite) and they turned out so good, the gravy was the best ever, I will never cook it a different way! By the way, I did use the turkey paper plates…..but used them with vintage glassware, silver, and napkins ha ha, does that count? Hope your week is fabulous 🙂
    Cheers!

  10. Janet Hellmann says:

    SO glad you are republishing the Heart of the Home, I have most of your books but could never get that one. In fact, I just read 99% of the Fairy Tale Girl on my way home on the train from Roanoke, Virginia over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Excellent read. Really looking forward to it and to the next installment of the Trilogy. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful life with us “girls”.
    Janet

  11. Vita Avanesian says:

    Hi Susan,
    I do hope you come out to California again on your book tour! Last time you came, I saw you at Vroman’s in Pasadena! There is a really cute mom and pop book store in Montrose, CA, called Once Upon A Time. It was owned by the same woman for 25-30 years and was about to close, if she could not find a buyer. A young girl in the community heard that her favorite store was closing and begged her parents to buy it! Guess what? they did!!! hooray! That was about 10 years ago, it is still going strong on Honolulu Blvd. in Montrose. It’s small but such a great addition to our community! We love independent book stores for their service and charm!

  12. Jane Franks says:

    Hi Susan: Loved your blog, as always. I’m just beginning to decorate, too. In fact, I haven’t really begun yet. I’m working on a Snail Mail Christmas letter. I haven’t done one in 5 years. I thought it would be easy peasey! Writing it wasn’t hard, but everything that could possibly go wrong, did, in the printing. The paper was too thin (some “vintage” Christmas paper), and when I printed side one, it curled slightly; then got caught in the printer on side 2! Then it was printing away merrily as can be, and I came back to check and found out the toner in my printer ran out 20 pages back! Aghhh! Then I printed 10 page 1’s on the back of other page 1’s!! Duh!! Just too many irons in the fire! But I got it done, and the envelopes addressed and stamped. So I’ll make it! THEN. . .I’ll be decorating, and look forward to that! Oh, and we are having a new dishwasher delivered on Dec. 11th! And. . .our TV keeps turning itself off since the Cox guy hooked up our digital box! So I have to call them about that tomorrow. Never a dull moment around here!! One last thing, I wanted to tell you a few weeks ago, I bought your very first book “Heart of the Home” from someone who had two, and have been enjoying your recipes immensely. I keep making the Kale Soup, and Gene can’t get enough of that! And I’ve made your Chicken Enchiladas with the quesadillas and guacamole. And the cheese stuffed chicken breasts are to die for! Just wanted to share that! Have fun decorating. Eager to see what you come up with. I’ve decided to add some gold bling to my usual Swedish-ish red and white. Haven’t decided how that will all work out; it will be fun playing around with it. Gold is everywhere! Have you noticed? I just want little sparkles here and there. Well, I must go. It’s fun chatting with you. Bye for now! Jane xo

  13. Jan says:

    Congrats to Bridget and Brittany for winning the special prizes. After all, there must be winners, and the rest of us still hold anticipation for future drawings.
    Love your enthusiasm and positive energy. Holidays can become very overwhelming if we don’t stop to pause and admire the annual transformation.
    Seeing the lovely decorations which you lovingly put up for every special occasion does in some way help to motivate me to make an attempt.
    Thanks for sharing a bit of your special world with us. You make it seem like magic.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Jan! I drove through town this afternoon and it was getting very twinkly out there! xoxo

  14. Eileen F says:

    I will definitely be printing the Full Moon bookmark for my 8-year-old granddaughter. She heard of a custom in which one puts their shoes outside on a full moon, and someone comes and puts goodies into it overnight. She put them out the night before Thanksgiving and found a little frog toy and a dollar coin in her shoe.
    Since I was with her in Santa Barbara so I stopped in at the Chaucer Bookstore. I asked that they request a visit from you. The woman I spoke with said they have no control, and YOU or your people must initiate it.
    On the other hand, in August, I asked that you might be a speaker for the Monterey Public Library at a fundraiser luncheon. I hope you can work that into your schedule.

    • sbranch says:

      Love the shoe story! And thank you for the book store inquiries . . . it’s just that when we DO initiate it, your interest will be remembered and they are more likely to agree that we can come there. So it’s a huge help. Thank you Eileen!

  15. Judy in Oregon says:

    I would vote for the large Christmas tree in front of the window. Our tree fell over one year also and we tied it up until we bought a better stand to put it in. I have to say it is quite a shock to have your decorated Christmas tree fall down. You have such a great house for Christmas decorations.

  16. Congratulations to the two lucky winners.

    There is something about Princess Charlotte’s face, a wisdom of years behind those eyes that goes beyond her tender six months. She’ll be an interesting one to watch, I think.

    Can’t be of any help over the tree. Wouldn’t dare to offer help with my track record of having to hack the tree to bits to get it to fit. They always look sooooooo much smaller in the forest. I’m sure it will be just fine, whatever you decide.
    The poor tree on our Cross Square in the village has taken a pasting and is already badly damaged before they even think of the lighting ceremony on Saturday evening in the forecast of 60mph winds and torrential rain, I’m thinking it won’t happen at all. So sad for all the kiddos.

    Wish I had a way of sharing with you the video clip I found on Youtube of a tanker leaving the Milford Haven waterway last weekend. Hair raising stuff. They couldn’t disembark the Pilot. Wonder what happens to him now? Do they put him off in the next exotic port of call, probably Buenos Aires? Or, get a helicopter to lift him off? What an unexpected adventure he is having!

    Time for lunch, so ~~~Waving~~~from wildy wuthering windy wet wonderful west Wales~~~Deb xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I agree about Princess Charlotte’s eyes. We hack our tree up at the end and put it out the windows behind it because to drag a dry tree through our house to the door is courting disaster. Needles for life! Went on youtube to see what I could see, Joe and I just spent some minutes watching hideous waves and tiny and big boats. Not sure it was what you were talking about, but amazing footage anyway. Thank you!

  17. I vote to move the table for a spell and put up a big tree. I delight myself with Christmas trees. I guess I’ll call it Elf syndrome. As you may recall in the movie Elf, he loved Christmas trees also. Every year my family asks me for a Christmas list and I just thought I’d let you know that your 2 new books are at the top of my list. I think it will be a real treat to have something so wonderful to read after the bustle of Christmas. My Thanksgiving note to you is THANK YOU for all the joy, delight, sweetness and beauty that you bring to all of us. Your artwork is precious and I thank you for sharing your home and life with us. After all your hard work, I hope you can relax a little and enjoy every moment of this Christmas season. God Bless you!

  18. Lisa says:

    I laughed so hard when I saw the picture of the toppled Christmas tree…that happened to us, of course! We are known for unusual happenings…brought back great memories!
    May all your dreams continue to come true!

  19. Barbara Weaver says:

    Congratulations Bob, Brittany, and Bridget! Lucky folks and very alliterative! And I think the big tree in the window is the way to go. Everyone passing by will see its lights and enjoy them! Very Christmasie!

  20. Martha says:

    I love your white and sparkly decor! I also have angel chimes – they are one of my favorite Christmas memories from childhood. You inspire me to start decorating right now!! Enjoy December!
    Martha from CT

  21. Robyn Genau says:

    Dear Susan,
    Was looking at Christmas From the Heart of the Home last night and was totally surprised. On page 104 on ideas for collections I spied a children’s
    dish. And guess what? I purchased one just like it last summer in a little tiny antique shop in Brown Co. Indiana. I thought of you when I saw it. It wasn’t Beatrix Potter but was so sweet I had to have it. I also have the matching mug. So thrilled.

  22. Jane S says:

    Sending you a thousand thank yous for all you do that encourages me to make my house a home! The door is always open, the food always plenty and the love never ends!

  23. Gail says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the darling picture of Princess Charlotte! I have been wondering what she looks like after all this time. You and Joe have a wonderful Christmas. Love your books and blog. Can’t wait to see some more Christmas pics☃💌🍰

  24. Kelley S. says:

    Congratulations to the lovely winners. What a kick start for the holidays! So excited that you are reprinting for first book. I’ll never forget the day my mother-in-law handed me her copy and said, “Check this out. I think you’ll really like this author.” Like? no. Love? Absolutely! It felt like running into a dear old friend after a long absence. Since then my home has had lots of Heart of the Home touches. Thank YOU, Susan, for bringing such delights for all these years.

  25. JoAnne Daniels says:

    Susan — Congrats to the winners! I made my own luck and ordered The Fairy Tale Girl and just got an email that it’s been shipped!! I plan a hot cup of tea and a comfy place on the sofa when it arrives. Thank you for the Full Moon Bookmarks —
    it’s a tradition I love because I print it out every year and place it on my desk at work. This way I can mark my desk blotter and always know when a full moon is coming up…my husband and I love to go out for rides, finding the best places to view the full moon as it rises. I also love the “flying books” in the An Unlikely Story bookstore. I work in a library and I wonder how they keep the pages from
    flopping open? Do you know? I can’t imagine they glue them all together — maybe there are a couple turnbuckles to keep the cover and pages together? Oh well, the effect is enchanting. It’s wonderful that they support their local library.
    Photos of Jack always appreciated! I wish you luck with your Christmas tree decision — at least you have a great place to put one — we always have to shoehorn it in somewhere. I’m hoping I might be able to attend a book signing this coming year — would love to meet you and some girlfriends!
    Best wishes to you and Joe (and kitties) for a very Merry Christmas!
    JoAnne from rural NW New Jersey

    • sbranch says:

      The books almost looked like they’d been hairsprayed in place, if that makes sense, glued or some sort of shellac or something like that. You should ask them how they do it on Facebook. They are so nice, I’m sure they would share as they are big supporters of libraries. You used the perfect word “enchanting” — because flying is often how we feel when we read.

  26. debra sewell says:

    Loved this new post. I was watching some of your past holiday video post. Love the. Makes me feel Christmasy. Have a great day and evening. Maybe a Chowder and biscuits nite?

  27. Chick Voice says:

    Wanted to let you know that I was in a meeting with one of the Event people at the Tattered Cover in Denver and mentioned your name to him. I was meeting about another matter but told him you needed to do a signing at one of their locations. Hope it works out!

    • sbranch says:

      Can’t thank you enough! We REALLY want to go there, but they are a hard nut to crack. Thank you!

  28. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Congratulations to Bridget and Brittany!!!!! They are very lucky ladies who will no doubt treasure their winnings!!!! Oh Susan, I just love the Christmas magic you create within your dining room with the candles, the chimes, and white and all that glistens!!!! I dream of a formal room like that one day!!! We have a cozy bungalow, minus a dining room, however, one day when we are Empty Nesters, I will transform the front room with my antique dining room set, china cabinet and all! Thank you for the book mark, yes, such sweet stocking stuffers they will make!!! That cutey Jack, he looks soooooooooooooo cuddly in your warm fresh laundry! He truly defines spoiled!!!! Can’t wait to see which tree you decide on, big or small, it will be perfect for you and Joe! I’m so excited about your 30th Anniversary Christmas book you will be offering in the future, as I do not have the original, I just check it out from the library from time to time. I’m wishing you a wonderful Wednesday, and rest of the week! Oh how you seem to add such a cheerful touch to our everyday lives…….you have a special gift of turning the ordinary into extraordinary with your creative ways!!!! (Even those tiny pine cones sitting among the sparkle is adorable!) Thank you for sharing so graciously, and for being you!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Jennifer says:

    Hi Susan. I just received the Chinese version of A Fine Romance in the mail. In fact, I’m reading bits and pieces of it at my work desk. I wanted to see if the translation has the same whimsy and effortless feel as the English original. And it does! It is as if you translated it yourself and the dialogues are just as hilarious. By the way, Joe is referred to as your husband in the Chinese copy. I love this book! Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE hearing that Jennifer. Thank you so much for telling me. Makes me very happy to know they did a good job!

  30. So much wonderful news! Susan, I just love the way you gathered all of Bob’s birthday place cards around his place of honor. 🙂 I can only imagine his huge smile! Once, long ago, our Christmas tree toppled over, too. Now we know to let the frozen branches thaw, before placing it near the window. Ever since that year, we always secure the tree to the window frame… just in case. Now it’s a fun story to retell every year! It’s so exciting to hear about the launch of your Book Signing Tour! We will all be eagerly watching for details!
    Happy December, everyone!
    Snowy hugs,
    Dawn (in Illinois)
    ♡♡

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll be back to the same place where we met last time Dawn, I hope I get to see you again!

      • Oh, Susan! That’s the BEST news ever!! It’s just so exciting to think about! I would love to bring my husband to meet Joe this time around! 🙂

        Thirty years ago, I gave Heart of the Home to my mom as a birthday gift. She enjoyed it all these years. Two years ago, when we were visiting Arizona, my mom gifted the book back to me for my birthday. What a complete circle of Susan Branch love! You signed the book for me on your last visit! It has become a true family treasure! <3
        Happy St. Nicholas Day!
        Warm hugs,
        Dawn (in Illinois)
        ♡♡

  31. Julia says:

    Congratulations Brittney and Bridget! Susan I so enjoy your blog, it’s a nice break in my day! Although I’m not a ‘cat’ person, your kitties are so cute, hiding in the laundry like that 🙂

  32. Therese says:

    Thank you Susan, for this lovely post.
    From the fruit garlands to the adorable photo of baby Charlotte to magical Jack in the fresh, warm laundry, I’m lovin’ it all.
    I am so happy for you that you’ll be home for the holidays and once the book tour begins…Happy Trails!

  33. Merci says:

    Hi Susan! Wow, you certainly make my day! Missed the drawing but that’s OK, a couple of very lucky ladies have the pleasure of being winners. Maybe my turn next time. I took a picture of my three books just as you have above, was going to copy and paste but doesn’t work here. Thanks for the wonderful holiday ideas, I’m sure I will be using some of them. Your home is ever so festive as always! Wishing you and Joe a blessed and the happiest of holidays.
    P.S. Little Women with June Allison is one of my favorites!

  34. Princess Charlotte is just the cutest! It will be so much fun watching her grow up. Thank you for sharing the pictures!

  35. karen says:

    Congratulations to the winners. There are so many great things in this post to enjoy. I am really excited about that wonderful bookstore in Plainville. It’s only 25 minutes away from me. I just love bookstores and always a pleasure to come see you for a book signing. I love your Christmas decorations, and so enjoyed your story about your tree. I always say I am going to get a small tree and end up getting a tree so tall that I can’t fit a tree topper. No matter what the tree looks like, it’s the most magical time of the year.
    Karen

  36. Marilyn Young says:

    Wonderful as always. Thanks so much for connecting!

  37. AngieTink says:

    ☃☆❄♡♬♫ Rise & Shine Sweet Sue! Pouring My Cuppa~Peppermint~Tea This Morning… Today it’s Gonna Be Rainy…Yay! I Love a True~Rainy~Day…(Splash!) 🙂 Then a “Cold~Front” is Coming~In….More Yay! Florida Has Been Warm Too Long…. 🙂 Congratz To Bridget & Brittany…Very~Lucky~Girlies!!! 🙂 Well Our Home is Truly An Enchanted~Christmas~Cottage I Have The Christmas~Carols Playing & I Keep Twirling… Looking at All Our Decorations…I Love How Everything is so Twinkly!!! Ho~Ho~Ho! 🙂 ☃☆❄♡♬♫♩❆ On Tuesday I Went To My Mom’s House (Irene) & Decked Her Halls… At The End We Were Singing Christmas~Carols & Sipping Egg~Nog….. I L♡ve Christmas!!! 🙂 The Photos of Jack in The Laundry~Pile are Pure~Magic…& I am IN~Love With Baby~Princess~Charlotte…I want To Be Her Nanny!!!! OMG! Princess~Charlotte & Prince~George…..Two Gorgeous Bundles of Joy!!! I Always Think of Princess~Dianna as Granny~Dianna…..(Sad… But I Know She is Their Guardian~Angel) & My Wings are All~A~Flutter….Anyway…Wishing You Sweetest Sue & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack The Most Merriest~Christmas…HOME!…& To All Us~Girlfriends Too….A Toast….Everyone Be Safe & Filled With The “Christmas~Spirit” Be Merry & Bright & Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas…NOW! 🙂 With Much Love & Warm~Hugzzz & Lots of Joy! Merry~Christmas….God Bless Us EVERYONE!!! xoxo Poof! ☃☆❄♡♬♫♩❆P.S. I Just Hung Some Real~Mistletoe & Herbster Keeps Kissing Me Under It…..lol OMG! 😉 ☃☆❄♡♬♫♩❆

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I know, It breaks my heart that Diana doesn’t get to see her darling grandchildren or know how happily married her oldest boy is. Go for those kisses Angie! 🙂

      • AngieTink says:

        ☃☆❄♡♬♫♩❆Oh Happy Friday Sweetest Sue 🙂 Rainy & Chilly Here (64 Degrees Florida~Chilly) 😉 Our Little Down~Town Has Their Annual Christmas~Festival This Weekend… Photos With Santa… an Elf~Cafe Old~Fashioned~Carolers Lots of Holiday~Vendors It’s Called Carols~In~The~Park Saturday & Sunday…& Herbster Said…”Angie Put On Your Elf~Outfit We are Going” 🙂 Hooray!!! I am doing The Elf~Jiggity~Jig Sweet Sue & Get This… At Sunset There is a “Boat~Parade” The Folks actually Deck The Halls of Their Boats!!! It is Spectacular! Wishing You & Joe & The Kitties a Merry Weekend! xoxo Poof! ☃☆❄♡♬♫♩❆ P.S. Ho~Ho~Ho! P.P.S. It is Sad About Princess Diana Not Being Here…for Her Kiddos & Grand~Kiddos But I Do BELIEVE She is in Heaven Watching Over Them….Angels We Have Heard on High Sweetly Singing O’er The Plains…☃☆❄♡♬♫♩❆:-) I L♡ve You Sweet Sue! 🙂

    • Charissa says:

      I’m sure everyone has already said this, but… I love how you write:);) <3 xoxo o:) :o) =:)

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you Charissa, I’m just writing letters to my Girlfriends!

        • charissa says:

          Oops I just realized my mistake. I meant to type that for Angie . I’m sorry. But I love how you write too xoxo

          • sbranch says:

            WELL, Charissa! You have been a busy elf over on my Facebook page! That was SO sweet, SO thoughtful, when Kellee told me to take a look, I couldn’t believe it. You guys give me back so much, I feel honored and really, humbled. Thank you dearheart, that was the PERFECT gift for me! XOXOXOXOXOXO Can’t say thank you enough! Merry merry to you and yours.❌⭕️

  38. carmel says:

    I was so concerned about embers in your fireplace, I forgot to thank you for the “moon” bookmark. Last year I gave each of my 3rd graders one since we teach moon phases as part of the science curriculum. I have 2nd graders this year but will give them the moon bookmark as a preview. I particularly have very eager learners this year and they will love it! I will also use mine to track the special moons. The full moon has been particularly beautiful at night lately. The white glow against bare tree branches and the mist has taken my breath away more than once. On behalf of my students and me, thank you so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Kids definitely respond to magic . . . which you are providing Carmel! They’ll never even know they’re learning something!

  39. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    Christmas is coming! Such a wonderful way to end each year! Loved all your fun and beautiful decorating ideas… candy for the eyes. The birthday dinner for Bob looked like so much fun and dinner sounded delicious. Thank you for the Full Moons 2016 calendar, I’ve already printed lots of them for my girlfriends. We all look love having one every year so we can look forward to each months’ full moon. And, JACK, is he just he cutest or what! Blessings. ♥

  40. Ro'se from her 'cottage' in NJ says:

    Congratulations to Brittany and Bridget, Happy Birthday to Bob. But we all are winners with the ‘Full Moons’ Book Mark. Thank you Susan for the gift!
    I held out with may Fall/Thanksgiving decorations until Dec 1st. They are still on the dining room table in a pile, still looking pretty!
    Made some Christmas quilt decorations, stuffed with pine sent, so my house at least is starting to smell like “Christmas”! Pulling the boxes down and going through the decorations takes time, lots of ‘remember when’ in the decorations my kids made, and ones I collected over the years.
    Susan, you are always a joy to read, and brighten my day, Thank you!

  41. Elaine Anne says:

    Dear Susan, No snow yet here in Upstate NY, but everywhere is beginning to twinkle. I really like all types of Christmas trees so have planned a romantic hand-holding-exciting-chatty-giggly walk with my sweetie into our woods to find a Charlie Brown tree this year. ABC aired “YOUR 50TH CHRISTMAS CHARLIE BROWN” on November 30th, to be repeated Christmas Eve. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS debuted on 9th December 1965, so a cute little irregular-shaped tree will be ideal, especially as it’s a favourite of my hubby’s. Looking forward to seeing your final choice of tree in all it’s glory. Tingling with anticipation for all that lies ahead this season, flakes and all. Merry Christmas.

  42. Pat Mofjeld says:

    I’d be happy to purchase a new copy of “Heart of the Home”. My BFF, Sandy of Boston, who used to write comments here and survived breast cancer only to die this past Spring of a glioblastoma, gave me “Heart of the Home” years and years ago. It was Sandy who introduced me to Susan Branch… 🙂

    • I’m so very sorry, Pat, to read the sad news. I do remember Sandy and her brave battle with breast cancer. Your long friendship with Sandy was one of life’s treasures. Reading Heart of the Home will always be a special celebration of your friendship! Sending huge hugs! ♡Dawn

    • Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

      Dear Pat,
      I am so sorry to hear about Sandy. I know you have been friends a long time. Wasn’t it you and Sandy that decided to address all your Christmas cards one July while drinking lemonade and playing Christmas carols sitting on the patio? Sending you a hug and saying a prayer for Sandy’s family.
      Take care Pat.
      Chris

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Thanks, Dawn and Chris. I thought some of the girlfriends might remember her and wonder…Yes, it was the two of us that did our Christmas cards that way. We discussed decorating, knitting, crafts, cooking, etc. Menus were a favorite discussion. We did so many fun things over the years. We were BFFs for 53 years! It is hard to think she is gone. I really miss our phone calls, letters, etc. Keep thinking I should go call her or that she will be calling me. She really enjoyed Susan’s books and reading the girlfriend’s comments. I know several girlfriends contacted her directly and others wrote her here and she was so appreciative of the comments. We’re building a new house in the country and planning a move and I wish so many times I could talk with her about it. So cherish your BFFs…

    • Charissa says:

      Pat, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your BFF Sandy. BFFs are family that you choose. Sending you hugs xoxo

  43. Jules says:

    Hi Susan!
    Can you reprint “Christmas from the Heart of the Home” now that you have your own publishing company? If not, maybe you could just write a new Christmas book. Also, for what it’s worth, I like a big tree in front of the window.

  44. Sharrie says:

    I vote for the tree in the window! It will look lovely there and you will have something to look forward to after Christmas…getting your cozy, dining spot back!

    And it would look so lovely from the outside when it is all lit up.

    Merry Christmas!

  45. Tara Baker says:

    Oh I just love that you’re taking your time getting into Christmas decorating. It seems with two little girls they want it out right after Halloween. We waited until the Macy’s parade was on and started the merriment then! I’m not sure if you were asking but I love the table in the window. So inviting, so welcoming, so cozy. I’d keep it! Have a lovely day… tara

  46. pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

    good morning Susan and good morning girlfriends!!! Thanksgiving is done and now its time to tear down the Fall/Thanksgiving decorations and get up the Christmas decorations and address and send out the cards. slowly but surely the Fall things are coming down, takes time to get them all down and in their proper place until next year. plus its raining outside and very windy, also very chilly so its a good enough excuse to get a gingerbread into the oven and have the entire house smelling like the holidays already… love fresh ginger bread hot from the oven. congrats to the winners, never heard of ginger bread tea where did you find it??? I have peppermint tea for the holidays, also good for when one has a cold or the flu. Jack looks so adorable in the laundry, Susan’s little helper. mine just climb on in the basket and wrestle me for the laundry when I have to fold it… some helpers. LOL!!! well I had better get busy, have to finish taking down the decorations and haul up some wood for the woodstove. you all have a great day today, stay warm and cozy. enjoy…. hugs…. 🙂

  47. sandy says:

    boy, does this ever get me in the Holiday mood! I was blessed to find both the Heart of the Home and Vineyard Seasons at a Friends of the Library sale a year ago. Love having first editions 🙂

  48. Susan Morgon ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    Congratulations to both Bridget & Brittany! Susan, I loved all the sparkly you shared in this post. Life should be as sparkly as we can make it! Sir Jack is a cute boy ( does he prefer handsome?) looking straight into the camera like he does. Hope you enjoy the Christmas season , starting with decorating your tree. Thanks for letting us enjoy the holidays with you!

  49. Thanks for getting me in the mood for Christmas—and decorating. It’s pouring rain where I live. The “Pineapple Express” weather system is keeping it warm but very wet, so I now have to put away my autumn leaves and get our the Christmas sparkly things. I haven’t thought about angel chimes for a long time but love their tinkling background sound.

  50. Judy F. - Orange County, CA says:

    Hi Susan,

    Just thought I’d pass along some info to you. I was in Cost Plus/World Market today and saw that they have some really nice “Downton Abbey” things!! I was so happy to see them and picked up a small gift for my neighbor downstairs – who happens to love DA, as the rest of us!

    If there’s a store somewhere near you, be sure to check out the items they have. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We don’t have that store here, but I know lots of our Girlfriends will be interested to read that Judy, thank you!

  51. Kathy Thompson (in Rialto CA) says:

    I had to laugh as I read your blog today about the time your Christmas tree crashed. My husband was telling me just this morning about something he saw on Facebook. A man arrives home and finds his Christmas tree has crashed to the floor. His dogs says: “I’m sooooo glad you got home, dad. The Christmas tree fainted.” Your tree would look lovely no matter where you put it, but psssst…I vote for the lovely front window. Have a beautiful day, Susan (it will be tomorrow by the time you read this…so Have a beautiful tomorrow.

  52. Essuzy says:

    Good morning Sue and girlfriends, Haven’t commented in a while, but read and love the blog and all the comments regularly. I want to notify all the girlfriends in the Atlanta and surrounding area that we want you to have a book signing with A Capella Books. I’m not on Facebook, so I sent them an email, but maybe the girlfriends on Facebook will like their page and send in a request.
    I live in South Carolina, but Susan, if you come to Atlanta, I HAVE to come stay with my sweet daughter, Stephanie and delightful granddaughter, Alice in GA. So I’m looking forward to that field trip!
    Also I want to remind you and Joe to visit Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, NC, while you’re in this part of the country. I think you’d love it.
    I have my Christmas From the Heart of the Home out now, but one recipe from your Autumn book I always use at Christmas is the spiced pecans. They make a great gift. Susan, I thought you might like to know that one of your recipes were feeding US troops in Kuwait, where my BIL and other SC troops have been serving this year. I can’t wait to make some more for him when he gets home safely.
    Thanks for sharing your happy gene and encouraging us to be an elf!
    XO Susan L

    • sbranch says:

      Love hearing from you Susan, so full of news. Would LOVE to come to A Capella, hope I get to! Thank you for sending that request. And thank you for sending a recipe to the troops. Makes me so happy to think about that. A taste of home sweet home. xoxo

  53. Denise S says:

    Susan I too have been busy and am late seeing this post. I got such a laugh seeing the result of having a big tree unsecured to the wall!! We did the same thing quite a few years ago. One day I was home alone sitting near the tree and it fell. What a mess with water and broken glass!! NOW I can laugh about it. But every year we still have the debate about big or little tree. Little has been winning…

    • sbranch says:

      Well we finally did it, and there’s a nice big tree in the living room windows. Lights are on, friends coming tonight for decorating ~ they don’t know it yet! 🙂

  54. Mary Lou Cummings says:

    So glad to hear you’re coming to R.J Julia-my neck of the woods and such an amazing independent book store!

  55. Carol from CT says:

    Susan your website connection to the Plainville, MA Town Library is actually a connection to the Plainville, CT Town Library … the town I now live in! You need to make a correction. You would love the Plainville, CT library!
    I lived in suburban Boston for 46 years and drove through Plainville, MA many times!
    Love, Carol from CT … tra la

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I’m a little late, but I changed it. I should have KNOWN there would be more than one Plainville!!! Thank you Carol!

  56. judy says:

    Dear Susan, Thank you so much for the 2016 Full Moon Bookmark! I am looking at the moon more and more on our early morning Prayer Walks in the neighborhood. This morning we noted that several houses are festive with holiday lights. Not ours yet, we are kind of slow decorating this year. Hope you have a wonderful December with just the right amount of snow there. 😉 jep

  57. After reading your wonderful blog, I am officially ‘in the “Christmas spirit’! Thank you so much..here goes!…Jingle Bells..Jingle Bells..Jingle all the way”! Wishing you and yours, the very best!

  58. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Congratulations to the winners, although I’m a winner everyday when I get to treat myself to this blog, dear sweet Sue! This is another great blog…thank you…no wonder I love your books so much!!! xoxo

  59. Sheryl from Magalia CA says:

    I do appreciate your last three posts and Willard. I am a slow reader, maybe slower than you write???, and it was a marathon for me reading until the end. Thank you. I’ve been busy setting my table after Thanksgiving just to be pretty. It does give me energy to see everything ready, set and go. Hugs. Sheryl

  60. mary spring says:

    ..good morning !.. what a post that surely sparkles !..”when we first saw our house, we knew this corner of the living room was the spot for the tree,” !!.. ” in front of those windows !”.. well, with those words having been said, once upon a time,there should be no question !.. ( lol )..in front of those windows for the world to see !!…. well, after spending two months wandering and wondering in the upper pacific northwest area, I am headed down to spend the holidays with my dear Dad and Mom.. Happy Holidays, everyone..( and time to bake..my Dad can’t wait..lol… with love, as always… ho ho ho….

  61. Trisha says:

    Hello Susan, Just wanted to tell you that I was thinking of you on Friday. I spent the morning at An Unlikely Story in Plainville with my daughter-in-law and three year old grand-daughter at a wonderful holiday presentation of stories, songs and craft projects! Jeff Kinney has created such a wonderful and enjoyable bookstore and I am so happy that you will be starting off your book tour in the spring at this very special place! I have managed to attend several events and have loved each one! A funny story to tell you….(as a fan of dish towels that we both are). .. My grand-daughter managed to let me know in no uncertain terms the day after Thanksgiving that “Nana you don’t have your Christmas towels out yet”!! The wisdom of a 3 year old! The weather has been so wonderful today that it was so much easier to get all my planters and urns filled with greens and decorated for the holidays. My very best to you and Joe for a Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year! And a special thank you for YOU!!

    • sbranch says:

      She already knows! Love it! It’s in our hearts I think, this love of beauty and tradition, so nice she has you to share it with. Lucky you to live near An Unlikely Story! It’s very special!

  62. Anne says:

    I was watching “Mrs. Miniver” this morn and thought of you 🙂 such a cozy time of year! The pizza salad sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing. Definitely making that soon. I too have “Christmas Book” out and just whipped up a batch of Annie Hall’s this afternoon. Thanks again for that one – it’s a keeper! Princess Charlotte is a doll! So pretty – just like her Mom. Wouldn’t Princess Di be just thrilled with her beautiful little grand daughter! Makes me a wee bit sad thinking abut that.

    I vote for the tree in your window – for sure! Blessings and Happy Christmas Susan xoxo

  63. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Loved your Christmas dilemma about the tree, makes me think of ‘Christmas past” …. We are off to Hawaii on Tuesday for two weeks, and I will miss you and the other girlfriends on the blog, but I will enjoy being away from snow and cold and in the sunshine. This year I am only doing cards, some now and some when I get back, but I still feel the excitement! I ordered ‘A Fine Romance’ for a very dear friend of mine, and ‘Fairy Tale Girl’ for my daughter, just days ago! Yesterday they came! I wrapped them with Christmas paper, and my friend just called me to tell me her daughter brought her the gift and told her she HAD to open it, because I said so… so she did, and is VERY excited! A perfect farewell for me, thinking of dear Karen reading the wonderful book. I just finished re-reading my copy two nights ago! Have great fun with Christmas, Susan and Jo and Jack and all the girlfriends . I agree about Princess Charlotte, what a darling pensive look on that sweet face! Suzette in central Oregon

  64. Good morning, Susan!

    Regarding your Christmas tree “problem”… I LOVE your big tree! It’s fabulous! And Christmas DOES come only once each year…

    On the other hand… That table looks awfully cozy, and like a great place to have a little Christmas tea party, but the tree… Hmmm… I see your problem!

    As for us, we are getting our tree today and having all of our kids over to decorate it this evening (alas, only 5 of the 8 still live at home!). And, what will be snacking on? Why, Mary’s Mother’s Snowballs, of course! (I should note that in our house we go crazy and call them something like, “Mary’s Mother’s First Cousin’s Aunt’s Best Friend’s Snowballs”, we may have a strange sense of humor, though…)

    Have a wonderful week!

    Jake

    • sbranch says:

      Perfectly normal to me Jake! 🙂 love it! And, we got the big tree! Happy Christmas to you and the family!

      • Good choice!

        When I was a kid, I loved to hide behind the tree and read, lit only by the bright, colored lights of those old-fashioned bulbs. When I was very small, my mom had a bookstore. Every Christmas she’d cover the display tables with red and green felt that went all the way to the floor. I loved spending my time under those tables, the red or green light filtering in, and reading the Ant and Bee books she sold. Have you seen them? They are utterly charming, English children’s book from the early 1960’s. The fact that there was also a candy store next door and a toy store upstairs made this place a heaven for a kid!

        Also, I love your stacks of Christmas books. Have you read Bess Streeter Aldrich’s “Journey Into Christmas” stories? Knowing that you love Gladys Taber, Miss Read and “Home for Christmas”, it’s right up your alley! I read it every year along with “Home for Christmas”, “Christmas at Thrush Green” and “The Christmas Mouse”.

        • sbranch says:

          Wonderful books, you are so lucky to have been brought up surrounded with such creativity, Jake! Not to mention the candy and toys! 🙂

  65. Mamey says:

    I’m all decorated!! We did everything Friday, the day after Thanksgiving..It was sooo warm here in upstate NY we had to take advantage of the weather and get all the outside lights up too…we don’t do too much, but there is plenty of little white lights…I also decorated the tops of my kitchen cabinets and bow window..I just LOVE the coziness in the evening with only these lights on in the house. It’s still unseasonably warm here, I’m hoping we get some snow before Christmas. It just adds to the beauty….thanks again for a wonderful post!!!

  66. Karen E says:

    Thank you for the early release of the full moon bookmark. My third graders will get a bonus gift in their personal made-in-3rd-grade Santa stocking this year. Shhh, maybe it’ll be gifted by Room P-28’s very own Elf on the Shelf, “Trickster.”

  67. Carrie says:

    Hello SB,

    I took the liberty of calling B&N in Sacramento at Arden Fair Mall. I spoke w/a chap called Eric.

    Here is his contact info:
    Eric’s title is: Community Relations Manager for B&N at Arden Fair Mall Sacramento CA
    Email: crm1996@bn.com

    He said your peeps needed to be in touch.

    I know Sac is not SF but it is centrally located for many girlfriends. And they are not looking for “edgy.” 🙌 BTW, none of the girlfriends are either 😉

  68. Susan Webb says:

    Thank you so much for the new Full Moon 2016 bookmark. I love to hand them out each year. This year I may tuck them in with some Christmas cards although I do enjoy seeing a person’s face when I give them one. Some people think I’m giving them a Christmas gift! Some look forward to getting a new bookmark around New Year’s. We all love them!
    Your post was wonderful – a Christmas gift in itself!

  69. NORA says:

    GOOD MORNING FROM COLORADO SPRINGS! I GOT MY BOX YESTERDAY OF A BUNCH OF STUFF I ORDERED FROM YOU AND LET ME JUST SAY “I LOVE IT ALL SO MUCH”. LOTS OF CHRISTMAS STUFF THAT LOOKS SO GREAT WITH MY CHRISTMAS STUFF ALREADY UP. I CAN NOT WAIT TO ORDER MORE! WOULD LOVE TO HAVE IT ALL SOME DAY, LOL. GOT THE CHRISTMAS TREE CAKE PAN AND LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKE ONE, HOPE I CAN GET IT TO COME OUT WHEN I DO MAKE IT! I ALSO WANTED TO TELL YOU I READ YOUR NEW BOOK LAST MONTH IN ABOUT 2 DAYS, AND I LOVED IT. HATED TO PUT IT DOWN BUT LIFE MAKES YOU DO THAT AT TIMES. CAN NOT WAIT TO READ THE REST OF YOUR STORY, IM ON EDGE KNOWING IT! YU’VE DONE A GREAT JOB AS ALWAYS… HOPE YOU COME TO COLORADO ON YOUR BOOK TOUR NEXT YEAR. IM PRAYING HARD FOR THAT. YOU WOULD LOVE THE TATTERED COVER BOOK STORE YOU TALKED ABOUT COMING TO IN DENVER. IT IS SO AMAZING. IN A OLD BUILDING THAT IS JUST BEAUTIFUL. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY. GOING TO GO ORDER SOME MORE STUFF, LOL

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Nora!!! That was so nice. You’ll be able to get that cake out easy if you brush the inside from head to toe with melted Crisco! That’s the trick! Then it just slides out like buttah!

  70. Carrie in Medina says:

    Loved this post with the beautiful images of your Christmas interiors! Thank you for sharing! Also just catching up with Willard – loved to read about the possible Hollywood opportunity! That would be such fun!! I would like to propose Nancy Meyers as a possible writer and/or director! Fingers crossed nothing falls through!!

  71. Paula says:

    Just wanted to let you know how much I LOVE ….The Fairy Tale Girl book!
    I have had troubles leaving review but five stars for you! Looking so forward to next book!
    My first Susan Branch book ….Christmas from the Heart of the Home was given to me years ago. I absolutely love it ! It has had a special place each year at Christmas in my home
    I was so excited when I found you on internet. Oh Happy Day!😊
    I have discovered the love of tea and have enjoyed your post and stories
    You always brighten my day. 🙂
    I want to Thank You and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas !
    ❤️

  72. charissa says:

    Susan, Here is your Christmas Present from me to you… I know I have already written you a love letter or two, but for Christmas I just want to take the time to say again how very much you mean to me. I have loved you since I received your first book Heart of the Home for a birthday present. Your book was so unique and had a cozy quality that I have always looked for in things and people. I tried all your recipes and loved all your quotes and tips. So, I sought out your other books and products and really enjoyed having parties and being able to give your books to anyone who commented on my cooking;) Your books really helped me socially during my 20s and 30s and made my life fun with decorating, having parties, and doing nice things for people. During this time I began having a number of health problems. I was finally diagnosed w fibromyalgia after years of misdiagnosis. I also had back problems and was just diagnosed with a type of all over neuropathy. They are still trying to figure out how to help me, but a few years back, I was overworked over stressed hurting and depressed and just plain miserable. Lower than I can ever remember being. I can’t remember how I found your blog or why I didn’t know about it, but I did and read the whole thing from the beginning. I am so thankful to you because you pulled me from the depths of despair and made me remember who I was and changed my attitude and my life. You inspired me to be myself. That is truly an amazing gift. You wrote me back on my first comment and I was so thrilled. I was slowly but surely coming out of the dark. I know it might be hard to understand, but just your spirit and the sweet Girlfriends you attract really did save me. I cannot thank you enough for that and for just having the courage to be you. You will never know the love and joy you have brought into my life and how you continue to do so. I am so glad to have this opportunity to give back a little something to you. You mean so much to me and I am so thankful you are you:) I also wanted to give you the gift of a review for your book, but I have already done that so I will find something else to review and I will repin your books on pinterest. Merry Christmas hugs to you, Joe, Jack and Girl Kitty

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness, that is so beautiful Charissa, I have tears in my eyes, thank you so much. I’m just glad you’re here. xoxo

  73. Amy Price says:

    Merry Christmas Susan!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the super cute, wonderful girlfriend of my dreams. Your inspiration and love of family and home helps bring more joy into my little world. Thank you for making a difference in the world.

  74. Janet Hundley - Grafton, WI says:

    I still have (of course I do) my “Heart of the Home” cookbook. It’s in great shape even though I love it and have used it repeatedly. I’m glad to see there’s a new edition, though. All generations should discover your amazing art and the yummo recipes.
    Funny about the tree placement. We’ve been in our home 25 years and finally last year I put the tree in the “correct” spot so I wouldn’t have to rearrange furniture. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own/old ways. LOL. We’re waiting to see what our year old kitty, Aerin does with the tree this year. Last year she was a newby to our home and was sequestered without access to the tree.
    It’s going to be 60 degrees in WI on 12/10/15…I’m not sure whether to be happy or worried. For now, I’m just glad not to be shoveling since we’re still cleaning leaves and dead plants from the flower beds.

  75. Natalie says:

    Celebration of Lovely,
    I’ve enjoyed my relationship with you for years! I’ve purchased books, saved handwritten letters you sent before Internet days, and happily decorated with your books according to the season. But two of my favorites include these standbys: an old calendar which I change out for the season, and my Book of Days, which I’ve written in for 14 years! (If I can figure out how to attach a photo, I will. Haha!) Merry Christmas and Happy Anniversary!

  76. Valerie says:

    Hi Susan,
    Today I sorely needed some homey TLC and so I spent it with you via your books and blogs. I thoroughly recharged by doing so. Thank you! So very excited, too, to learn that RJ Julia contacted you and that you’re coming to CT! When I told them I adored you and asked them to invite you, the woman there said you were one of her favorites too! (I am not even the tiniest surprised by that of course). I am over-the-moon happy to know you will be here in the spring. That thought alone will help me power through our New England winter. YAY!!!

  77. Barbara L Seman says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just finished reading “The Fairy Tale Girl”. Loved it. Loved it so much that I
    pre-ordered the next one coming out in May 2016. Can’t wait to receive it in the mail.
    I read you were going to Scotland. I hope you can visit Rosslyn Chapel in Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PU, United Kingdon. It was mentioned in Dan Brown’s “DaVinci Code”
    Hope you get snow & have a Merry Christmas!

    Barbara

  78. Carol from CT says:

    URGENT! Correct the Event Information!!
    Susan I went to your ‘Events’ schedule on your website again and
    the Plainville MA Library web address is STILL INCORRECT!!!
    I think you should let girlfriends know about this address change in your next blog entry. I will let the Plainville Connecticut Town Library know just in case they start to get calls. Gee…what a tea party I could have with lost girlfriends at my house just a mile away. We could all jump into the historic Farmington Canal !!
    Carol from CT … tra la

    LOOKEE LOOKEE …
    Plainville Massachusetts Town Library
    http://www.plainvillepubliclibrary.org/
    ​198 South Street
    Plainville, Massachusetts​

  79. Ladyheartwell in Berkeley Springs WV says:

    This is one of your best blogs, Sweet Susan!! There are so many gifts of bookmarks, whic I love to copy on card stock and then laminating them for safe keeping and will always look nice. I love giving them away. COULD YOU CREAT A LINK SOLELY DEDICATED TO ALL THE BOOKMARKS YOU HAVE PAINTED? I’ve tried to collect them all, but know there must be quite a few I don’t have and given away. Each one is so unique and precious. My grandsons like the “Moon” bookmarks.

    Your other pictures of the snow are SOOOO pretty. But then, your house looks wonderful any time of the year!!! It always looks like a storybook house.

    I hope you and Joe have a VERY special holiday season!!! My sweet husband of nearly a year and I will celebrate our first Christmas. He promised me a voyage on the Queen Mary 2 like the one you persuaded my late husband and I to go on in 2013. My late husband was so ill that I worried endlessly, so am hoping that the next voyage will not have any illness to be concerned over.

    God be with you and yours!
    Karen Ruth

  80. Sharon C. says:

    Hello and happy December, Susan! I just made my first batch of Christmas cut-out cookies for my husband on Wednesday (his favorite with a cup of coffee). I love your pictures–beautiful and inspiring, as always!

  81. Martha Rodik says:

    Loved the cookie jar with all the recipes! Can’t thank you enough for all Christmas Cookie recipes in one fabulous location!

  82. Debbie says:

    Come to our little rural library on your book tour! We are halfway between Austin and San Antonio, Texas and I have been a fan/follower of yours since your first books appeared in print. Your artwork is magical, your paintings gorgeous but your down-to-earth love of life is what is most inspiring! WE would love for you to share some of that with the little Bulverde/Spring Branch Library. How about taking a detour stop to make it happen?

  83. Michele M. says:

    Hi Susan! Your home is always so beautiful at Christmas and in general! And congratulations on 30 years for HOTH!! I can’t wait for 16 more pages and the book tour. Ok I have a serious question and request: now that I have my own home and we’ve lived in it for 8 months now, I am still trying to figure out a schedule for cleaning it and all the little things. The furniture, the rugs, the dust! I often think ” I wonder what Susan does?!?” You occasionally talk about oiling your wooden spoons or polishing the silver but what about the big stuff? Wondering if I can request a blog posting someday about this?! Or a reference to a spot in your blog about it? I know I may be asking a lot here but even just a small clue would be amazing! Until next time. The blog catch up continues!! 🙂 M.

    • sbranch says:

      I will try to do that one day Michele . . . you can always remind me in the future too, in case I forget.

  84. Aurora Lyons says:

    I don’t always make it to reading your blog posts on time, but I always enjoy reading them and it makes me so glad to be alive and live in this world! You’re so positive and inspiring in how you write! Thank you for making my day! <3

  85. Carole says:

    Thanks for the new 2016 Full Moon Bookmark! I print out two each year and give one to my best friend. We are both readers and LOVE your books. I just started reading The Fairy Tale Girl, and also enjoyed reading about your trip through England. You have no idea how much your fans all love you and appreciate your work and beautiful drawings.

  86. Livia D'Andrea says:

    I have your first baby…..I mean, cookbook and a letter from you from30 years ago!

  87. Evelyn Brendle says:

    I am reading my daughters copy of “A Fine Romance” for the second time! Today I decided to look you up on the computer and was delighted at the fine site you have put together. I hope to meet you at either of the book signings in Asheville N.C. or Woodstock GA. this June. I am right in the middle of both cities in the N.E. GA. mountains.

  88. Lauren Watts says:

    I have many of your fabrics and am waiting to find just the right quilt pattern to do them up right! I learned sbout Spoonflower a while back but am glad you mentioned it in your blog!

  89. Lauren Watts says:

    I noticed you’ll be signing your books in Morro Bay and Montecito, California and thought you might have time to do a signing in Solvang in between those cities at the Book Loft, a wonderful small town book shop owned by Kathy Mullins for over 45 years! The shop’s number is 688-6010 and is on 1680 Mission Drive.

    • sbranch says:

      I’d love to, but you’d be surprised had how baked in the schedule is . . . it’s just sign, go, sign go. Maybe next time! Come see me in Morro Bay . . . I’ll be speaking there, Montecito will be strictly a signing (space issues).xoxo

  90. Lois Altenburg says:

    Love your books and love your style! What more can be said.

  91. Hope Bryant says:

    Hope Bryant says ; I loved the Isle of Dreams so much, I am a fairly fast reader but for your book I only read 2 or 3 pages at a time so it would last longer. No, I didn’t wanted it to end just like the first two books… you did a fantastic job and since I have been following you, and buying whatever I could of yours when I found something in the stores, I have quite a collection of SB items. Now,one question, Is the house next door to you for sale? Just a thought.:) keep up all the great work, I love all of it!!!!!!! PS. The info on the fabric is great news. thx again just for being you. Hope

  92. Thank you! I am so excited for you and Joe. Thank you for making my life brighter. We are all anxious to hear of your next adventures, and maybe a movie too! I love your work!

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