Love and Joy Come to You

comments: 45
















Oh, my, the sun is shining brightly through all the windows here today. The light is so beautiful. It makes the high-ceilinged stairwell glow. I've finished wrapping, shipping, and delivering all the presents — except for my poor sister-in-law's, whose gift is lost in the mail to me somewhere. I hope it turns up. We have the same birthday in a couple of weeks so it might have to be a birthday present. Amelia has the biggest pile of presents I've ever seen. (I saw a funny meme this morning: Kid: "Mom, I know it's not Santa who gets all of our presents, wraps them, and puts them under the tree on Christmas . . . it's Dad!" Mom: "I can, with 100% certainty, tell you that you are wrong.") I bought her a new American Girl doll and Andy got her a checkerboard that she's been asking for and another Lego set. Her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have given her the rest of the moon, and I think she is going to be thrilled when she sees what's under the tree. I know that Christmas is about more than the presents, but this is the first year Amelia has actually asked for anything (thanks to hours of TV watching, probably) and I think we are all happy to make those sweet, simple wishes come true for our girl right now.

The weeks have gone by in a bit of a blur. I knew Christmas would come quickly without all of the usual events. I haven't really tried to make up for that. It's been nice. We've baked stuff and learned about Christmas carols and played with the kitters and watched movies. There will be Zoom calls with families tomorrow, and present-opening for us, and Andy and I are going to make Swedish meatballs from scratch, with rice pudding and buttered noodles. My friend Amy gave me a caramel-apple crisp that she got from her realtor but couldn't eat because of allergies, so we will bake that up for our dessert. Andy works on Christmas Day, and I'm planning to watch The Sound of Music that afternoon with Amelia. I'm not sure she'll make it through the whole thing, but I will. I often watch Heidi or maybe an old version of A Christmas Carol on Christmas night. My dad loved that movie. For a few years when I was a kid I sang in the children's chorus of Oak Park's Village Players in their yearly production of Ebenezer (a musical version of A Christmas Carol). That always feels like "my" story, and I still love it.

Mostly I sit around knitting my Porty Cardigan and it has been a great project for these months. I have made many mistakes on it but none of them were deal-breaking, so I just keep going. I finished the first sleeve (see my Instagram for how I felt about it) and I'm starting on the second sleeve. This is a fingering-weight sweater in size XL so it feels like there are millions of stitches in it and it is literally taking forever. BUT I absolutely love the weight of this sweater — so much better for my climate and lifestyle than a worsted-weight sweater. So, I am already planning my next fingering-weight sweater, and I will probably use the Jamieson & Smith 2-ply yarn I bought for this one and didn't wind up using. First I have to finish this one, though, I know. I will try to make a video when I cut the steek because you know everyone likes that drama.

Andy and I are hopeful that he will be getting the vaccine sometime this or next week, maybe even on Christmas. What a great present! He said he saw a few of his colleagues posting pictures of themselves getting vaccinated on Instagram, and this morning the hospital sent a questionnaire in preparation for its employees' vaccinations. It can't come soon enough. I can't thank the people who worked on this enough. I still just feel like I am in a daze about it all.

I wish you all the happiest of holidays and I have the highest of hopes for the new year. Please take care of yourselves and your families, and enjoy the small joys of this season. Thank you for being here with me this year — I'm so grateful for your friendship toward me and my family, and I send you our warmest wishes for these sacred days.

Love always,

Alicia, Andy, Amelia, Clover Meadow, and Agatha Pirlipat Paulson


My husband works in healthcare too and just got his vaccination today! It seems so monumental. Anyway, just wanted to say that you bring a lot of joy to a lot of people with your photos and words. We all need beauty and brightness and calmness and your blog allows your readers to rest in all of that for a few moments. Thank you!

Merry Christmas, healthy and bright! And thank you, for once again bringing joy and inspiration into my days. With humor and so much grace, you foster hope, creativity, and gratitude, and this has been more welcome than ever.

Absolutely adorable photo of you with Santa!! smooches

Happy Holidays! I want you to know that your photos and words in 2020 were a calming, lovely gift to me in a challenging year. I would like to emulate the way you find beauty in the every day, and how you make room to acknowledge difficulties in life with a lot of grace, humor, and kindness. The internet is such a strange place because I have come here to peek into your world from the very start of your site, but you don't know how much that has meant to me-- this year especially. Sappy, but our family just watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and it makes me think of George Baily, not really knowing how profound his impact is on his whole community. Thank you so very much. Merry Christmas and love from Olympia, just up the corridor...

Dear Alicia, Andy, Amelia, Clover Meadow and Agatha Pirlipat Paulson, I am sending you greetings from the Columbia River Gorge and wishes for the best celebration tomorrow and on the big day. A very special year for your darling girl, it will be magic for you all. Your sweater will be a masterpiece that will warm you for decades. I posted several photos of our living room all decorated today, I invite you to pop over and see.. maybe show Amelia? Our grandson is spending the week with us. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
*M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉

Dolores Tanner says: December 23, 2020 at 09:05 PM

Just adore your blog and pictures. Amelia is becoming quite the little lady. Peace be to you and your family.

So relieved that a vaccine is beginning to roll out and very glad for you all that soon Andy Paulson will be safer at work xxx thanks to you Alicia for continuing your blog- in this strangest of years it has been lovely to have your words and pictures here for comfort and connections xx I wish you a very merry peaceful Christmas and hope for an easier year ahead for us all x

Marsha Gibbons says: December 24, 2020 at 05:02 AM

Your posts are a source of joy! The photos are always swoon worthy, then your writing makes me happy. Unless there is something troubling you, then I worry for you and hope for the best. This year has been so strange and 2021 seems a little foggy to me. I just can't figure it out. So we'll keep plugging along. I am thrilled Andy will get the vaccine. Take care and Merry Christmas!

Ginette Wheeler says: December 24, 2020 at 05:32 AM

Merry Christmas! I'm not a big "commenter" but I just want to express how much I enjoy your blog and your pictures! You have a gentle and loving soul and a very talented spirit and I am very grateful share so much. Thank you for my heart and may you and your darling family enjoy a brighter and happier New Year.

Merry Christmas! I had forgotten Andy worked in healthcare. So you have been living with that worry on top of everything else. I’m glad he will get a vaccine soon. I’m waiting to hear if my daughters significant other has gotten his he works in a hospital too. I love your photos. And words. Stay healthy and happy!!

Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. The window into your lives brings SO much joy and hope to me. I really enjoy seeing your photos and reading your blog. Sending love from Colorado and continue to stay safe. ❤️

Andrea Scoggins says: December 24, 2020 at 09:24 AM

Happy Holidays to your family. Thank you for your blog posts. I hope Andy gets the vaccine very soon. Hoping for a healthy happy new year for your family.

I wish you and your beautiful family a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. Thank you for all the joy you bring through your blog. Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Your thoughts and photos have provided much respite this past year. About Sound of Music - When my daughter was around 7 or 8, we decided to watch SoM, my favorite movie as a child. For some reason, length or content, I don't remember which, I decided to end the movie at the wedding scene. My daughter loved the movie! But, as life has it, we never got around to watching it again. Come middle school, she goes to a friend's birthday sleepover and, yes, they watch SoM. Being the strong, independent woman she is now even then, she tried to convince everyone the movie was wrong! At 22, it's one of her favorite stories of how I set her up - we laugh about it now. I tried to tell her I wasn't ready to teach her about Kurt, fascism and the dark side of the story. I don't know why. I saw it at 5 years old! Enjoy your holiday and a special thanks to Andy for his commitment on the frontlines.

Sending Christmas Joy to you and your family! So happy you still blog!

Happy Holidays dear Alicia!! Love and & light to you and your family for 2021!!! xoxoxo!!!!

I hope you and your beautiful family have a most joyous holiday celebration. Thank you, Andy, for all your hard work on the front lines!


Lovely paper lanterns, sweet kitten, delicious looking cookies and promising donuts. Your daughter working hard on the gingerbread house is an adorable Christmas photo! Hurray for medical science to come up with vaccine so fast!! I join the others in saying thank you for the soothing posts and great photos. It feels calm and enjoyable reading your blog. Thanks for the kits, it provided hours of entertainment. Merry Christmas to you and your family

Courtney Marlowe says: December 25, 2020 at 03:25 AM

Merry Christmas to all of the Paulsons!

Merry Christmas! Thank you for posting these photos so that, today, I wake up to see the quiet, humble joys of this holy day. Blessings on you and your family and our world.

Jane Corbett says: December 25, 2020 at 06:05 AM

Merry Christmas morning to you and your family! Here in Ontario, Canada, we are having Oregon weather, with so much rain. Big puddles everywhere this morning, on top of the frozen ground. No snow here by the lake, so I am counting this one as a green Christmas. Very unusual for us, but not unexpected in this year full of unpredictable happenings. May you be safe and warm, and surrounded by the love of your family and pets. xo

Jane Corbett says: December 25, 2020 at 06:05 AM

Merry Christmas morning to you and your family! Here in Ontario, Canada, we are having Oregon weather, with so much rain. Big puddles everywhere this morning, on top of the frozen ground. No snow here by the lake, so I am counting this one as a green Christmas. Very unusual for us, but not unexpected in this year full of unpredictable happenings. May you be safe and warm, and surrounded by the love of your family and pets. xo

Are you one of those people who lay their cat's head on a pillow and cover them with a blanket? :D Those photos are always so cute. A very happy Christmas to you. xo

Merry Christmas! Here's to a better 2021!

Merry Christmas to one of the sweetest families in blogland. I absolutely love to read your blog and hear about your family. You love the same things I love, making things and enjoying your home and family. Hope the coming year will find you all healthy and happy and may all that's good come your way!

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About Alicia Paulson


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