I want an Island Christmas

Hello, Welcome to Marcia’s Cottage by the Sea. I’m so happy to see you today my friend. Shall we have a little tea.


I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy December. For many years I hosted a Christmas Tea on the first Saturday in December. One year I had 35 ladies attend!

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One of the reasons I have enjoyed hosting tea parties especially in December, is that it’s the perfect month to decorate and get festive.  For me, hosting a Christmas Tea was one of my favoite traditions while I lived in California.


Which reminds me…I’m now heading into our second Holiday here on the coast.


The big one. Christmas. And, I must confess the idea of transitioning from hosting the usual Christmas Tea is feeling a little bittersweet and strange not to “do” what  I’ve always “done” for so many years. Because let’s face it, isn’t that what we love most about this time of year. All the wonderful traditions, right? The giving and the gathering in, the rituals that connect us to one another and the past…


And, it’s only natural isn’t it, that I’ve been wondering how all these past rituals


are  going to transition with my new life here on the coast.


When I lived in California, I decorated A.L.O.T.  for the holidays.


Often Sometimes over the top. Often Sometimes way too much.


Our lifestyle, and where we lived sort of lent itself to all the decor.






Every year, on December 26, we held our annual Holiday Open House





And,  of course there were my Christmas Tea Parties


and, other Holiday gatherings.


Here, in our little cottage on the coast it seems that I could get away with very little.


Alot less. Perhaps almost nothing…(grin) No doubt this will be my challenge. How to decorate with less, and still have a warm cozy feeling of celebration. Simple. Easy. A less is more kind of mentality.


It appears that I might  be gravitating towards blues.


Coastal blues


Vintage blues. Island blues. Okay, I really don’t know what island blues are. I just thought it sounded nice. (wink)


Perhaps, I’ll  even add splashes of reds.  I’m not sure what will transpire. We’ll just have to wait and see. What I’m learning so far in my new life on the coast is that “Simplifying our life” is hard work. And, “simplifying life” during the Holidays means making a conscious effort to be, rather than do.


Who knows that just might allow for  refreshed, and reinvented holiday rituals to find their new family ties here.… at home.



Here’s a super easy recipe for Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

Makes 12 pieces

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon capers

3 thick slices pumpernickel bread

6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon

chopped fresh dill

Using a fork, mash together the butter and the capers until they are blended and the  butter is soft. Divide this mixture between the 3 slices of bread and spread evenly. Lay 2 ounces of smoked salmon on each slice of bread. Sprinkle fresh dill over the top of each sandwich. Cut each sandwich into 4 pieces.

These are perfect to serve for a last minute get together. Enjoy!



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4 Responses to I want an Island Christmas

  1. Joe Kuehner says:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful, reflective sharing! I simply want to wish you a happy and memorable Holiday Season!

  2. Nancy Coughlin says:

    Hi Marcia,
    Being a former Air Force wife/mother, discovered that we needed to make our traditions where we were, to fit into the way we were living then. Christmas in Germany, our new German friends was a real treat! Today, my kids still look for the red-polka dotted mushroom ornament, hidden some where on the tree. Seemed like one was enough, rather than a whole tree covered with them (as one of my neighbors tried to do!). We had so much fun visiting Criskindlemarts and seeing how others celebrated. When we lived in Idaho, the local Basque population and their little sheep ornaments were darling. Again, a bit of restraint and we had another unique ornament with a story. Guess I am just saying, we each need to develop and adjust our traditions so that they are “right” for us. An early Merry Christmas!!

  3. Marcia Ren says:

    Hi Nancy!

    Your little red-polka dotted mushroom ornaments are adorable. What fun traditions. And, yes our new traditions are very special, and take time. Thank you for your sweet comments. Merry Christmas!

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