This Little Light

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Christmas is coming. Funny how it makes you think of things. I was thinking about how my dad always saved all of his Christmas shopping for Christmas Eve day. I'd go with him to the Oak Park mall. We called it the mall then — it was a pedestrian mall where Lake Street used to be and now is again. In those days the street was closed and it was all pedestrian. When we were done we'd go to one of the two old-fashioned-type restaurants on the mall. I wish I could remember what they were called. One was on the corner, across from the bank. And the other one was a few doors down from the theater. They were both the types of places that served club sandwiches and Crab Louie and milkshakes in those tall glasses with the rest of it given to you in the big metal tumbler. At home my dad would burn frankincense and myrrh and cedar cones, and our relatives would come for Christmas Eve evening, or we'd go to my aunt and uncle's, or my grandparents', or my cousins' in Chicago. It was fun. It would snow, or there would be snow. It would surely be freezing. We'd be tired on the way home, and fall asleep uncomfortably in the car, then not want to get out. I miss those days. Christmas makes you remember things.

Here at home, Mimi and I are lazy and warm. Andy's just finishing up his stretch of work then he is gloriously off for a few days. My family is coming here for Christmas Eve and I'm going to make lasagna with my mom's sauce and another yule log. My sister Susie is going to sleep over and make sticky buns for Christmas breakfast. Mimi and I have been eating rice pudding (just make some jasmine rice, then keep adding milk to it along with a cinnamon stick and some cardamom and cook it on low for . . . quite a while, actually — it will keep absorbing the milk and get thick and yummy; serve with cinnamon sugar and a bit of butter and more milk). We're going to bake chocolate sandwich cookies with peppermint frosting today. It's kind of ridiculous, how decadent all this is. We should eat raw vegetables for dinner. Likely, once again, we'll have ham sandwiches on waffles with mustard. Christmas.

I probably will be too busy then idle to come back here before Christmas, and, likely, you will be busy with your holidays, too. Thank you for all of your kindness here throughout this past year, and many past years. I wish you ever so much peace and love and light this season of celebrations and slowing. Slow days, laughter (and mania) of children, friendship, fellowship, family, lots of movies, good food, snuggly animals, and lots of love. I wish you all of that from all of us here. XOXO

With love,
Alicia, Andy, Amelia, Clover Meadow, and Bridget Paulson

77 comments

Françoise Deschamps says: December 23, 2017 at 12:37 AM

Joyeux Noël ! de France pour votre famille, et j'espère que le Père Noël va gâter votre ravissante petite fille.
Une grand-mère de France

Merry christmas to you too!

Sandra x

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I love seeing photos and reading about how you celebrate this special time of year.

Thank you so much for your beautiful posts! I live in the Netherlands and I love to read and enjoy your blog posts.

Happy Christmas and a happy New Year!

gloria g Walls says: December 23, 2017 at 02:57 AM

Merry Christmas to you and yours.....always sounds like you have it all.......thank you for always sharing.............

Our family has always lived very far from each other, and usually spend it alone, with just us. After 30 plus years, it's like every other day, then eating as always, sleep and clean up......Enjoy these days together. They do go by so fast, and you really don't realize it until.......they are no more.........kids don't always remember everything, and frankly neither do I.....just that I miss them............always miss them......this day, and everyday.......Bless you all....looking forward to 2018..........gg in Wellborn,FL

Julua Thelen says: December 23, 2017 at 04:05 AM

When my life is storming around me, I know I have your blog to escape to. Thank you, and Merry Christmas

Peace and love and light to you!

Such lovely photos, they warm my heart. Happy Christmas.

A Happy and Blessed Christmas to your family!! And your photos are lovely, as always....

Do you suppose you could post a quick update with your Yule Log recipe, please? It looks especially good, and pretty. I don't care for many of the recipes and decorating methods I see, but your looks yummy!

Your blog is my grown up picture book, and I treasure the few moments I am able to steal here and there to visit and feel the peace and beauty that you share with your photos. And then there are the stories that you share...I was right there shopping with you and your Dad on Christmas Eve. We had a restaurant like that, and my mother used to burn incense, too. Thank you for this place to retreat. I enjoy every single visit! Merry Christmas to you, Alicia, and your lovely family!

I thought Mimi was a Pippi Longstocking doll! Merry Christmas to all the Paulsons.You are a super family.

Debbie from Illinois says: December 23, 2017 at 06:44 AM

Merry Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to you and your family - your posts are wonderful and the photos are so beautiful. My husband grew up at Hephzibah Home in Oak Park, IL - that was in the 1950's and I am from Chicago, so we get back to the Chicagoland area to visit often. I have enjoyed your blog for years and seeing Mimi grow warms my heart.
Have a wonderful visit for Christmas with family and friends.

Michele Holmes says: December 23, 2017 at 07:39 AM

Oh, the memories!! So precious, and the older we get, the dearer they get as well as those (and the places) involved in them.

Wishing you all the merriest of Christmases filled with family, happiness and smiles.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. I can only imagine how much fun Christmas is with a little one to help you see the things we all take for granted. Wishing you joy.

Merry Christmas to you all!!

Sending tidings of comfort and joy from the Green Mountains of Vermont. Thank you for this lovely little sanctuary here on the internet. I appreciate your steadfast postings.
xo
KarenLR

I am so glad you took the time to share this with us. I love the photos with the lights out - magical. Also the yule log is so delicious looking. I can't believe it. I can't make one without it falling apart, then I have to use icing to cover up the crevasses. So many cool things. Have a very Merry Christmas. Thank goodness Andy is off. I work in a pediatric ED and I have to work but only 8 hours on Christmas day. So much better than 12 hour shifts. Ya'll take care.
Love, Lucy

Arrowhead Gramma says: December 23, 2017 at 10:13 AM

Thank you for sharing so freely with all of us. I so look forward to your posts and have truly enjoyed seeing Amelia over the years since she was such a tiny baby. May you and your family enjoy a Merry Christmas and a most wonderful New Year.

Bonnie Schulte says: December 23, 2017 at 10:31 AM

Just a short note to let you know I never tire of your photos. They are so sweet, and I wish I could be in those pictures with you..Thank you for sharing these with us. Memories of long ago Christmas's are always beautiful. Wishing you and your family, a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS..

Merry christmas to all in your circle! Thank you for the wonderful glimpses into your family life all year long.

Mary Berry would praise your swiss roll ala buche de noel. Looks like no soggy bottoms in sight. High praise, in case you are not a fan of the Great British Bake Off.

Wishing a marvelous Christmas to you and your family!! Good health, happiness, love and peace!

I saw a comment by Denise where she calls your blog her grown up picture book. I feel the same way. I enjoy relaxing with all your pretty, cozy images. Thank you.

I have followed you for years and years now, and only commented once before.. but I wanted to say thank you for keeping this blog up. You have been my only light through dark times in my life, and you always make me feel better with every post. Even when you are busy or don’t have much to share my heart lightens. Twice I have nearly sent you a book about Norwegian bunads (I think about you everything I see it in a bookstore), but I haven’t because, well, I guess I don’t want to come off as a stalker or weird person.

I love that you have made grøt (rice pudding)! It´s a very norwegian thing to eat, especially during the holidays. We eat it today (23rd), as a preparation for the heavier meals to come in Christmas. Our Christmas Eve is tomorrow, and this is when we open presents (in the evening). We eat sheeps rib, first damped then oven baked with syrup and cream and spices.

I wish you and your family a very happy, safe, and warm Christmas <3

Greetings from Norway

I know you must know this, but if you don't: please read Tasha Tudor's Doll's Christmas. I think you would love it!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.