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


Merry (late) Christmas! I hope you and yours had a good day even though this year is so different. Your Christmas quiet plans sound lovely. Looking forward to reading your posts in 2021. Happy (early) New Year!

Here's hoping Andy has gotten his vaccine or will very shortly. My brother is scheduled for his on the 29th and I may pop the cork on a bottle of fizz to celebrate his impending safety as we sit in this house recovering from covid.
I couldn't help but feel so much the same this year in terms of gifts for my kids. In a year where we fared well/normally financially I was able to provide a Christmas full of things to weather us through the rest of the pandemic to safety. Art supppies both traditional and digital for my daughter and snow mobile and truck gear for my son who is on the cusp of his license. They have been so gracious in their acceptance of the rules that I have in place (even if we did ultimately get it, I work in an elementary school. I can try every trick in the book and it still wasn't enough).
Happy Christmas to all of you and I hope your package arrives shortly.

I grew up watching The Sound of Music on Christmas Eve. It aired on tv starting at 7pm. I would get ready for bed and curl up with my mom in her bed to watch it. I always fell asleep partway through and it took years before I finally saw the whole thing. I considered putting it on this Christmas Eve, but the day got away from me. I hope Amelia loved it!

I've been reading your blog for over 10 years! I love it so much. Thanks for sharing your life, and great sentences like this one: I will try to make a video when I cut the steek because you know everyone likes that drama.😂💖😊

I wondered whether the 'Porty' sweater had any connection with Portobello, a seaside town near me that my aunt used to live in and where I visit frequently for a fabulous cafe called 'Skylark Porty', so I had a look at Gudrun's pattern and sure enough, the sweater is named for the town. What a small world. Happy Festive Season to you and yours, lovely lady.xx

I wondered whether the 'Porty' sweater had any connection with Portobello, a seaside town near me that my aunt used to live in and where I visit frequently for a fabulous cafe called 'Skylark Porty', so I had a look at Gudrun's pattern and sure enough, the sweater is named for the town. What a small world. Happy Festive Season to you and yours, lovely lady.xx

ps please ignore the previous comment which is not linking to my blog but someone else's!!I shall investigate.

So happy to hear Andy will be getting a vaccination soon! Happy New Year to all the Paulsons, two- and four-legged! Thank you for the love and contentment and coziness you share here. I always feel better after I read your blog or IG posts. All best wishes!

Mary Ann in Vermont says: December 28, 2020 at 06:33 AM

Oh, the thoughts of Love I have for all of this! So full of love for You and your Blog and your-- photographs, writings, sharings, your family, your pet loves, your Andy and Amelia, your recipes, your openness, your creativity, your dreams, your memories, and All the Love you have that continue to open up our hearts and souls.

Please keep on sharing this with us as it is such a wonderful gift. xoxoxox

You may have seen this book already, but there are several projects in there that “look” like you and your sweet girl. :). The book is Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs. Happy New Year!

Belated Merry Christmas wishes to you and your family, Alicia, and here's to a happy and healthy New Year for us all. I so enjoy your blog, the little glimpses you share of your life and family. So inspiring, so calming. Thank you for sharing the goodness of life. And the gifts of your needlework and sewing patterns... love them (and collect them!) all!
Sending warmest wishes. xxoo

Those Christmas tree cookies look good! Wishing you a blessed New Year.

I have been away from your blog for a few years and was reminded of it today. How delightful to see your beautiful daughter and how much she has grown. Last time I visited she was a tiny baby. So pleased to be following you again. x

It always takes me days to read new posts so this is belated, but I hope Andy has gotten the vaccine by now! It makes me so happy to know that he has gotten it or will be getting it soon. So happy that our healthcare workers will be protected, and their families, and so hopeful for more and more people to get vaccinated. Maybe the end to this craziness might be in sight. I love spending more time with my 8 year old son, and homeschooling while working full time has been at times rewarding, but as an only child he is lonely and I’m worried about the long term effects if this goes much longer. Here’s to hope!

Thank you, Andy.
I hope you get your vaccination soon.
Happy new year -- sweet, peaceful abundant to all.

Michaelanne Neal says: January 02, 2021 at 04:56 AM

Happy New Year to you all!!! Thank you for sharing your days...your thoughts...your projects! Its all VERY uplifting and inspiring! I hope by this point..Andy has had his first vaccine! I was thrilled to get my first dose on the 22nd. Thirty one years as a nurse..I have never seen so many relieved and happy faces as we waited for our turn! Sending you love and hugs..and hope for a better New Year! oh...and also, I cant wait for the STEEK!!! Hahaha! Just the excitement I crave in these Wintry days!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, dearest one. Sending you guys wishes for happy and healthy days and hoping beyond hope that your Mr. has been vaccinated now.

Happy New Year Paulson family! Hope this year brings you many many blessings! Sending Love and Sunshine from Florida :)


Alicia, wishing you and yours a happy new year. I know that this month is off to a painful start and that it is surely weighing on you. Please take care of yourself!

May the new year be blessed !

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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




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.