A small town “Hallmark” Christmas

December 11, 2006 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Christmas, country living, dating, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, humor, knitting, love, recipes, relationships, romance | 27 Comments

Fireflys Critters Can KnitI found out this weekend the critters I have been making are able to knit. I was not aware of their having that particular talent, but I came downstairs early this morning and found three of them sitting around in a little circle knitting away and having a wee chat by candle light. Somehow or other they had managed to get ahold of some little finishing nails to use as knitting needles, and they had bits of my yarn. It was all very sweet, and this one was kind enough to sit for a photo. (I could be wrong, but I believe their intention is to contribute squres to my Gracious Parcels project.)

Recently my husband and I have watched two or three made for TV Christmas movies. You know, the type that is set in a sterotypical small town where someone from a city somewhere for some reason ends up in a charming small town. Inevitably they meet someone and fall in love over the Christmas holiday, and there is snow, and there are kind faced folks, and Christmas music magically dances on the air. My husband pointed out there stories often include a barn with horses and a fire, and the horses have to be saved.

We have mused over the fantasy people seem to have, or that movie makers seem to have, about that kind of scenario. What is it about small towns, anyway? Why is that picked as the setting for the perfect Christmas? Who are these Hollywood people trying to fool anyway?

Fireflys Critters Can Sing and Play the BanjoAnother steryotypical element I have noticed in television shows and movies alike is that so many main characters work for ad agencies, or marketing firms, or they are writers of some kind or another. I’ve been commenting to my husband about that, and wondering why it is that Hollywood writers seem to think everybody has that kind of a job? What is up with that, anyway? Can’t they imagine a different kind of job?

One day last week I drove to one of the nearby villages to pick up more Gracious Parcels packages. While I was there I had to stop in at the one little general store in town to pick up a loaf of bread. As I was walking back to the pickup truck, on this charming little small town street, with the charming little small town storefronts, crunching through the snow and enjoying the Christmas music that was playing on the street in the town I looked around quizzically and a bit in wonder. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “I am in one of those movies.”

A couple of nights later, my husband and I went to another small town about twenty five miles from here for a Christmas tour of a restored Victorian era home, complete with costumed carolers and mulled cider. The house is situated on a handsome street among other beautiful homes from an earlier time. Fresh snow carpeted the neighborhood, and we walked along hand-in-hand on the snowy sidewalk toward the house. There was a very distinct feeling of Christmas in the air, and there I was hand-in-hand with a great guy who I just recently married. And I had that strange feeling again. I said outloud to him in a whisper, “Honey, I am in one of those movies. It feels like I am a character in one of those movies.” We both chuckled.

Friday of last week I spent most of the day working for one particular client … my favorite client in fact. I have been working on a copy re-write for his website and had come up with what I thought was a quoteable slogan for his homepage. I was working on a graphic mockup to make a presentation to him. It was a very productive day, and I felt very good with what I came up with. So, I emailed it to him and pitched the idea. He phoned me later to say he loved the concept and the mock-up. It is a wonderful feeling when you pull something off and make a client that happy.

A Detail Shot of One of Fireflys CrittersLater, as my husband and I drove along on a little country road to go into town to buy ingredients for the Christmas cookies we would be baking over the weekend at his sister’s house, I was telling him what a great day I had and how things went with my client. I told him how strange it is that I don’t have specific educational credentials or training that led me into the field I am in and yet here I am writing marketing copy all the time, writing website content, writing my blog, and even at times designing ads and ad campaigns.

As I was saying that to him I said, “Oh my gosh … I am a character in one of those movies! Here I am, newly arrived in a rural area, met a great guy, married him, I work freelance on a farm as a writer and do some marketing and advertising work, and we have a barn, and there’s snow, and its Christmas!” No horses though, so I think our barn is safe.

And, add to it the whole thing of going to that fair back at the end of September and entering pies and biscuits in their competition and winning blue ribbons. I mean, what is this anway? What is going on?

Okay, now I might be arriving very late to the ball, but honestly, it is all just now dawning on me. Is that what some of you have meant when you have made comments that I’m living a fairy tale life?

This is so strange, so weird. My life has become a Hallmark movie … or something. I am living one of those movies. I am dazed.

Perhaps you all got this before I did. Perhaps I have been too caught up in the living of my new life to take a viewpoint exterior to it and see how much it resembles certain movies I have seen in the past.

It is very, very weird to suddenly feel as if you are a character in a story. Is someone writing me and all of this? Am I real, or am I a figment of your imagination, or my imagination … or worse, am I a figment of the imagination of some Hollywood playwright?

I think I need to go have a strong cup of coffee. If I go down there and find that several of you have magically appeared around my fireplace with cups of coffee and knitting projects in hand, I think I might not be too awfully surprised the way things are going just about now.

Fireflys Christmas Story Book CoverOn another subject, I am now offering paid downloads of the eBook of my story, “A Christmas Story”. At least fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to our local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate. The story is one I wrote, with illustrations by my sister, and self published back in the eighties when my children were little.

A that time, as a young mother I wanted to write a Christmas story that would inspire my children to look at Christmas not so much as a time when they were receiving gifts from others, but instead as a time to be giving of themselves to others, whether it be by gifts or by actions.

My sister works at a private school in Soutern California, and many years ago she began reading my story aloud to various classes in the school. The children of the school loved the story so much, it became an annual tradition she continues to this day.

I hope you will consider downloading a copy of this book … and more importantly, if you do download it I hope you will read it aloud to a child in your life and pass the message of love and goodwill along.

Meanwhile, I wish you a beautiful day.



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  1. I love this new installment in your personal story. I, too, have wondered if I’m a character in someone else’s movie…back when I was falling in love…

  2. Aren’t you glad that you’re living the “real life”! I’m happy for you! But you have to admit wouldn’t it be fun for all of us that read your blog to appear! Happy knitting today!


  3. Love the criters. But your story is not a movie, it is the real thing, and how many of us are blessed with that.

  4. What a great post. I often wonder if I’m living in a book / dream / film and I love the way you express that feeling in your post. I say embrace your fairytale existence!

  5. Yes, embrace your fairtale existence… At least until you wake up!

    My favorite Christmas movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. He was living a fairytale life and didn’t know it for awhile. But then, you are a newlywed and every day is a fairtale, whether on a farm or no. I also feel like my marriage is a fairytale but not because it seems like a dream, but because I never in a million years thought that I would meet a man like my husband. Every day life is not special or magical at all, but we have very special moments. Both of us are grounded too deep into the cement, here in the city. Cement can only suffocate you with it’s fine dust.

    How I wish that I was rooted into natural soil, breathing that rich smell of country dirt! Even from your writings, I can see that even though you feel as if you are living a fairtale, that you are loving it!

  6. Yep, that’s exactely what I’ve been meaning with it 🙂 Indeed it all seems like a movie 🙂 The funny thing was that when I started reading and you complained about those writers making writers/marketing people out of everyone, my reaction was “hey, you’re one” LOL.

    Enjoy the movie, euh fairy tale, euh movie, no, REAL LIVE romance 🙂

    Cheers Eva – looking forward to your download on Wednesday…

  7. Oh my gosh I love your blog and I just adore the knitting critter!! Do you makes those to sell? If so where would I sign up to buy one!! Just precious.

  8. I have been reading your posts for a few months now and have found a bit of much needed comfort from many of your words. I am truly glad that your life is going so well. I am, however, saddened to see that you will be charging for the download of your story. Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful organization and I laud your giving spirit, but this Christmas is going to be so lean that we can’t even afford a tree (I made ornaments in the vain hope that there would be a miracle of the arboreal variety, but I fear it was in vain) or gifts for my boyfriend’s little boys. I am sure that your story is lovely and inspirational, as all of your writing seems to be and I wish I could share it with the boys, but since Christmas dinner may consist of little more than Ramen noodles, well, any extraneous expenses are too much. I try to remind them to be thankful they have a house in which to eat, but at 5 and 8 years old they don’t quite understand. All of that is neither here nor there; I merely wanted to wish the best to you and yours during this magical time of year and to thank you for brightening so many of my days which were otherwise quite bleak.
    God Bless.

  9. oh firefly, the creatures and photography of them is just wonderful. Do I spy a jaunty acorn hat atop a wee head?

    What are their arms made of?

    Love the knitter! Imagine nails for needles !

    Glad you are having fun starring in your very own movie. Just remember, you have to write the script in order to act in it. So keep writing chapters in your life!

  10. I think it would feel really weird to be the stereo-typical story-book character. Awesome, but weird.

    Love your little Christmas characters. So cute and they reminded me of my mother telling us that she and her sisters learned to knit with nails because they couldn’t afford knitting needles.

    I hope you have a fabulous Hallmark Christmas and that you will keep your download link up for a while. It takes a while for my paypal account to upload money. Is it a printable download? If so I can print it off and Girly and I can have fun turning the pages into a little cardboard book.

  11. That is beautiful! I need to get my animals knitting around here. VERY cute idea!

  12. firefly,

    You truly make my day. Everyday I sit at my less-than-thrilling job and you manage to remind me that it doesn’t always have to be like ‘this.’ I think that if I continue to visit ‘your world’ more, I’ll find the courage to dream again…. To find some peace and purpose doing what I love.

    You lead an inspiring life, firefly. Thank you for your loving words and deeds!…. (and your little knitting creatures 🙂 Blessed be!

  13. ohhhhhhh so sweet! I am melting away….


  14. Indeed, you are probably the last to realize you are a character in a book someone is writing…
    In fact, you are kind of like the annoying woman everyone else secretly loves to hate because you are so perfect!
    I wonder if you are a distant relative of Martha Stewart…

  15. You are so awesome…so impressive..with your words and actions. You really enrich my life. I think you need to do a section on your critters. Like the nature items you use and how you put them together. We have ponderosa pine cones here so my critters would be big. 🙂 Love the acorn hat. In Calif. by Elk River they have those super huge cones. And they have sugar cones. I love this blog…you have what it takes.

  16. I found your blog through another. You know how that goes. Love to read your blog every day.
    Do you sell those cute critters?
    Would love one knitting

  17. There sure is one good thing about living a Christmas tale storybook life… They ALWAYS have happy endings! I have a request…. would you possible be willing to share the “blueprint” for making those absolutely adorable critters?

  18. Love the little knitters! They are adorable. I think small towns seem more personable and friendlier (they aren’t always) than big cities and everyone wishes for a slower pace of life that they imagine is possible in a small town, hence the setting of the movies. I love that you feel that you are a character in one of those movies. It’s great when life makes you so sublimely happy that it doesn’t quite seem true.

    have a great day.

  19. There’s on;y one thing that would keep me away. I’m very sick right now, but on the mend. You’ve cheered me right up! Uh, YES….we saw it a long time ago! Couldn’t happen to a nicer person I must say.

  20. Firefly.
    As I read this entry, all I could feel was a mixture of envy and of joy. I’m sincerely happy for you in your new life. Enjoy and embrace the opportunities you get. Living in a small town myself, I wish I could be a character in one of those movies. Unfortunately the town is primarily industrial, there is little appreciation for the arts, or for beautification of anything. I can’t get work in graphic arts because no one cares about good copy, branding, etc., and if they do they have enough $$ to go to the big city companies for their services. I’m a part-time teacher, full-time stay-at-home-dad, and I love my life too. I have a busy wife who works full-time as a principal and has no energy for much else just before christmas. I would like to be in a movie where I could be a knitter and own a knitting store, and host knitting parties that were well attended, and at least 40% by men. But that movie will never be. 🙂 The little critters are excellent! Well-done!

  21. Ahhhh, it’s a wonderful life! Love your critters and photography!

  22. It is just so sweet that you are only now realizing that some of us meant that you really are living the “wonderful” life. You have everything in the world that most people pine for and spend their lives trying vainly to acheive.

    Honestly, I think the reason some “get” it, while others don’t is because of the kind of people that they are. Those who are afforded a truly wonderful life of some kind are usually very grounded, kind, gracious, and thankful for what they have. Perhaps this is why the characters in those movies are usually some kind of executive. They are the kind of people who are so busy chasing the “dream” that they don’t realize that it is right in front of them.

    We all know money is not the answer…your life is. The ability to have a true love and enjoy life together is. The ability to wake up in “God’s” world and appreciate the beauty of that world is.

    Sorry this is so long, I kind got carried away…I loved your post so much as it touches on a subject dear to my heart. There is so much negativity in this world that it is so wonderful to be in touch with people like you. People who stop and appreciate life in general. You are such a lucky woman, and so gracious to share with us and bring us into your world, even if for just a glimpse.

    🙂 Okay…I’m done!!

  23. Oops…I forgot about the characters around the candle.

    How very clever!!!

  24. I LOVE your knitting critter! Very clever.

  25. So interesting…. It seems more and more of us are finding ourselves characters in similar ways… I’m going to chalk it up to a shift in the universe – how cool!

  26. Too cute!

  27. I just have to tell you how much I love your blog. I just started reading it awhile ago and wanted to let you know that I also live in western NY on a small sheep farm.

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