This year, because of our very active rescue kitten, Buffy, we tossed ideas around for days on where to put the tree. We could just envision Buffy running up and down it and knocking it flat. Hey, that happened to Mom once and her two cats were not kittens ā€” they ran up the decorated tree and down it went, ornaments, cats, and all!

As our old Lab, Spencer, is getting old, he can’t get up on the new couch; it’s too high. So, we left our old one in the living room, putting it in front of the entertainment center and the new one is in front of the new double patio door unit. At first, we thought we could squeeze the tree between the couches, blocking the way into the seed racks temporarily. but that’s where Buffy loves to run back and forth and that worried us. Put a decorated tree in a kitty whirlwind path? Not a good idea.

Here’s our Christmas tree. And Buffy does inspect it regularly!

Finally, I came up with the idea of moving the chair next to the old couch and the pile of squash and spinning wheel and putting the tree there. So we did. And, whew, even though Buffy does play with the slightly less decorated lower branches and their tinsel, she doesn’t really bother the intact, decorated tree. I’m sure she’d like to though! And Christmas isn’t here yet.

I was really excited two days ago. We got a big flock of beautiful Pine Grosbeaks coming to our platform feeder. We used to get plenty of them every winter but last winter we didn’t get a single one! Unfortunately, they must have been passing through as we haven’t seen them since. But birders are an optimistic lot so who knows what tomorrow will bring?

These are the very first Christmas cookies to hit the table this year. Many more to come tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the start of my Christmas baking and cut-out Christmas cookies will be first on the order of business as the whole family has fun eating the wide array of colorful shapes. Me included! Flour up your hands and join in. — Jackie


  1. Wow, Buffy’s growing fast! It looks like she’s getting ready to investigate the tree. The cats here seem to “ho-hum” the tree like it’s nothing new but we still hang a few bells on the bottom branches as alarms. So far there’s been no jingling.

    Although retired, I still play Cookie Santa every year for several departments where I used to work. It’s good to see old friends and catch up on news. That adds up to 6 kinds of cookies totaling ten dozen. I got them delivered yesterday so now there are a lot fewer temptations in the freezer and there’s now space in there too!

    Y’all have a most merry and fun Christmas! Ho, Ho Ho!

    • Wow! You’re ahead of me. It seems there was a glitch in getting our mailing list emailed to the printer and we’ve been spending the last two days trying to attach it to an email!! The computer froze, it wouldn’t attach it, then it screwed up everything and Will had to re-do the whole works. Etc. Etc. So no more cookies. Yet. There’s tomorrow, God willing!!! Merry Christmas!!

  2. Hey Jackie, I got myself a chinchilla one year for my Christmas gift. I potty trained him in one day and he basically was a squirrel with a cat personality. However, the first time our doorbell rang, he ran straight up the tree. He did not break a single ornament and sat quivering at the top with the angel! It took some coaxing to get him down; but from then on, if the doorbell rang, he ran up my clothes to my shoulder. Such fun. Then, when I had my Christmas dinner, he hid under my China hutch. But when some teens were sitting on the floor, he dashed, quick as a wink, and snatched a dinner roll off a plate. (They didn’t know I had a pet chinchilla) It scared them to death as they thought it was a rat!! When you have any pet, you will have lots of pet stories. That is what makes them such fun, plus the love they give.
    Have a Merry Christmas!

    • And when you have pets, you don’t need a TV for entertainment, for sure! I love the story of your chinchilla snatching the roll. When I was a kid, we were sitting down to dinner one evening when I looked across the table to see our cat’s paw come slowly up over the table edge, feel around a tiny bit, hook a pork chop and slowly pull it down off the table. You never saw the cat; just that black and white paw! I still have to laugh; nobody else saw it happen.

      • My large family was gathered around the loaded Christmas buffet table, with all heads bowed in prayer before the feast began. I opened my eyes enough to see just a pink tounge appear over the end of the table and silently hook a nice deviled egg from its platter. No one except me knew why i was hooting with laughter during our solemn prayer, except our Lord. That wonderful golden retriever pup was my best friend for many years. I miss him still.

  3. We had our tree fall over one year and we didn’t have a cat. From that year until I went with a fake one, we used fish line to hold it so that wouldn’t happen again. I haven’t made one cookie yet but will have to get a least a batch of sugar cookies made, I hope. I am still wrapping gifts and hope to have them all done by Christmas Eve. There have been years I am still wrapping gifts on Christmas day.
    Have a wonderful time with your family, Merry Christmas.

    • I’ll admit I still have to wrap a single gift. Getting the stomach flu or whatever it was sure slowed down things for me. Merry Christmas and enjoy the day!

  4. Merry Christmas! Just finishing my holiday baking today. We had grosbeaks come through Sunday. Some years they stay but not every year. They used to hang around more when we farmed and there was a silage pile. Good luck with the kitty. The wiring to the wall is a good idea, have had to do it also.

    • We’ve done that too but we got a new, broad-based tree stand that holds the tree very securely upright. I was impressed after years of teetering trees. Our grosbeaks were back today, in force!! I was so thrilled. Merry Christmas!!

  5. Your tablecloth with the birds is beautiful. And the Christmas goodies look so wonderful I wish I could come over and try a couple. But Iā€™m too far away.

  6. Jackie, those cookies look good enough to eat! Send a few this way. Yes, we birders are an optimistic bunch. I put my feeder out today. Wishing all of you many blessings in the coming year.

    • And I personally taste-tested every batch too. We had grosbeaks again today and a magpie (kind of rare here in the woods) two days ago. Merry Christmas and the best for the new year!!

  7. Yes to the fishing line idea from Nancie. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing for years…because you never know when or which cat will get it in their head to take a flying leap! haha
    I’m guessing your beautiful tree is from your property?
    Love your tablecloth!! We love living here, but being from Pennsylvania and Michigan, there are those few things we miss…like beautiful red cardinals against the white snow!

    • I did the wire or fishing line to nails in the wall for years but our newer tree stand anchors the tree so only a hurricane would knock it over, along with the house. I can not tell a lie; the tree is from The Watering Can, where we sell truckloads of pumpkins in the fall. It supports a local tree farm and we try to “spread it around”, even though we do have plenty of trees on our land.
      I wish we could get cardinals here, but we’re about 100 miles too far north. But with climate change, maybe one day I will see one here…..

      • That tree stand sounds like a winner!
        That’s wonderful that you support your local tree farm! They buy from you, you buy from them. Love it! :)
        I didn’t know you couldn’t get cardinals! :( I always assumed it was an east/west thing. Bummer.

        • Not exactly. We’re at their very tippy toe northernmost new range. Some folks in Hibbing, about 35 miles southwest of us have them occasionally, but we’re still hoping……

  8. Of the 14 cats I’ve had over the years, only one would climb into the tree, she would perch in there about half way up and when you walked into the dark room and the light hit her at the right angle you would see these eyes glowing back at you-never knocked it over. They would play with the ornaments along the bottom branches, so that is where the unbreakable’s went and the bells-they helped many an angel get there wings ;-). Several did like to try and drink the water (must have been into pine needle tea).The cookies look yummy-starting on my also-makes the house smell so good. Glad you are better-may you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year-that is for all who comment as well

    • We haven’t had a cat in the tree either, but we were worried when Mittens was a kitten as she was very playful. Then, there’s Buffy who runs, all puffed up, from one end of the house to the other, skidding around corners. Yep, she plays with the tinsel on the bottom and I didn’t put any glass ornaments on the bottom due to an abundance of caution. So far; so good. Merry Christmas!!

  9. We have had 15 rescue dogs over the years and as they age they cannot get up on the couch so I went to the second hand store and bought baby matteresses. I then put an old comforter over it. and they would lay there instead of on the cold floor. Michigan nights get very cold.

  10. My husband would use fishing line to fasten the tree to the wall and window frame. Didn’t distract from the beauty and gave us peace of mind. The cats never climbed it but did like the lower decorations. Merry Christmas and Blessings to all.

  11. One year I put a screw in the wall where the top of the tree was and used a piece of wire to secure the tree to it just in case our kitty tried to get too frisky! Merry Christmas!!

    • Yep, done the wire and string thing but now we don’t as we finally found a tree stand that securely holds the tree upright. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

  12. I wish I could ask my Mom how she trained our cats to leave the Xmas tree alone. They’d sit under it on the skirt. I think she had a feline stink-eye as the cats knew what outside critters not to hunt (like bunnies!).

    • Ha ha! Mom used to call it the “Jones Eye” as her grandmother could sour cream with that look and it would stop a charging bull in its tracks. Cats are nothing to that eye!!

  13. Did you see the news story from South Africa? A family had a poisonous snake crawl out of their tree after it was in the house & decorated. My worst nightmare! We had a bird in the tree which was bad enough.

    • We did see that video! Holy cow! And a poisonous snake too. We regularly get birds down our stovepipe when the stove isn’t hot. They get up under the cap, hunting flies, then flutter/fall down. We have to open the front door and the stove door and they fly out, sooty but none the worse from the wear.

  14. We are having a scaled back Christmas this year. I had a knee replacement 6 weeks ago toward the end of garden season. No baking, tree is our only decoration (thanks to my husband & younger daughter), & our 3 kids and their families are taking care of Christmas Eve dinner here. Did my shopping over the summer/fall & wrapped. Your cookies look delicious – maybe my 16 yr old granddaughter will make us a batch. Merry Christmas!!

    • Yep, I’ll probably be heading for a knee replacement next winter; just went to rehab today to learn exercises that should build muscle and help support my failing knee but it’s probably just a matter of time. Take care of yourself first and yes, maybe your granddaughter will make some cookies. (Feel free to gently nag a little bit….) Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  15. Cookies look great and delicious. Merry Christmas to all, we had a cat when I was young who climbed our tree and knocked it over, my mother was not happy!!

    • Did you see the news story from South Africa? A family had a poisonous snake crawl out of their tree after it was in the house & decorated. My worst nightmare! We had a bird in the tree which was bad enough.

  16. Hi Jackie, I would love to spend the day making cookies with you! That would be so fun, eat a cookie for me. merry Christmas.

  17. Merry Christmas Jackie and Will,
    I have started my baking. So far I have made 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies, 1 of peanut butter cookies, 2 batches chocolate peanut clusters, 3 butterscotch nut cluster, 1 vanilla nut cluster, 2 impossible custard pies and 3 cakes. The hubs and I have eaten all but 2 cakes and a batch each of butterscotch and vanilla nut clusters. I have gained 3 pounds, he won’t get on the scale. Don’t say we don’t know how to have fun. LOL hugs, Jan

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