Tag Archives: Christmas

….New News…?

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For a lack of a better title to this post….

Sorry for the obviousness of it. But I do have new news.

Actually it is a few links to new news.

For the most recent newsletter, read it by clicking here

Even better….Bygone Basics just posted the NEW Calendar of Special Events!!  I’m very excited and plan to hold these sessions with approximately 6 – 7 people.  By keeping it small and personal, it will be a blast …and a half!  🙂  Click here to access the website page that holds the calendar.  You’ll see how to view the calendar at that point.  It is as easy as….pie.  😉

We have been asked to be part of the Holiday Home Tour here in the White Lake Area.  I asked three times if they were sure.  (they’ve now been dutifully warned)  You see….  I believe in Christmas as a time of faith, food, family, and fun.  It is not about how much gold and lights I can get on a pine tree.

Photo of Amanda’s Bequest taken on 11/4/11. We recently found an old photo of her taken a very long time ago. She had “gingerbread” and a beautiful front porch. We will strive to replace these in time.

Christmas at Amanda’s Bequest and of course, Bygone Basics, is filled with stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands.  Making pine cone and fruit ornaments.  creating evergreen decorations.   All while music and goofy fun is had.  And the food…oh boy, the food is made in abundance and flavor to get you through until next Christmas in your memories!   (A side note….I refuse to decorate anything until Thanksgiving has had its deserved attention and the home tour is on December 4 so WOW, we’ll be busy!)  More on this tour in the near future…

Lastly, we are still waiting to learn the outcome of our Special Use Permit request to make Amanda’s Bequest into a Bed & Breakfast.  The public  hearing/planning commission meeting is next monday night at 7:30 pm in the Montague City Hall.  I’m all aglow with nerves and “what-ifs”  But, I guess I put my faith hat on and keep moving forward.

Until next time….Have a wonderful November.

Be sure to rate this note with stars (at the top) … and of course, share it with friends.  We really do appreciate it!  I look forward to seeing you in a calendar event or two!  Better yet, schedule your own private heritage culinary experience with Bygone Basics and get the holiday spirit in a wonderful way.  They make great gifts too.  (click the logo at the top right to go to our website and learn more.)

Yours Truly In the spirit of Thanksgiving,

Valerie Hanson


Out of the mouths of babes.

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Out of the mouths of babes.


I had the grand pleasure of spending the afternoon yesterday with a five-year old.  Since my own chldren are older now (my “baby” is 17) I had forgotten about seeing Christmas through the eyes of a small child.  Michelle is the granddaughter of a friend.  She was shy at

first and didn’t talk.  To engage her, I asked if she wanted to see our Christmas tree. 

Tree in the Parlor....with its finishing touches by Michelle.

Of course she did!  She took my hand and we walked to the parlor where our tree is.  I had just finished decorating it and the boxes and assorted left-over decorations were still on the floor, lending the look of the same tornadic clutter that used to be under the tree after our children finished opening presents.

Her eyes opened wide at what I thought was awe of my beautiful 9 foot Frasier fir standing proudly with blue and white lights and similar themed ornaments.  Then she looked at me and asked…”can we finish decorating it?”  She had decided it just simply wasn’t done.  I asked her what else it needed and she went right for the red and black Moroccan bows I had from a tree of Christmas past.  “THESE!”  So after we finished tying those on, we had to put on a few mis-matched ornaments I wasn’t intending to use because they didn’t match my picture of what the tree should look like.  She asked me about each ornament and my answer reminded me why I was keeping them in the first place.  “This is one my husband made.”  “This one my daughter gave me as a gift.”  ….and so on.  Why hadn’t I put them up to begin with??? 

A few extra ornaments to remind us to look to our hearts at Christmastime.

When Michelle was satisfied with her work on the tree, she asked about the rest of the ornaments and I explained that many came from a pretend


Christmas tree that I have but wasn’t going to use because we had this real one.    She said if I had it then it was real and I should put it up.  When asked where should we put it, she marched about the house and made her decision.  Right in the hallway. She explained: that way people can see it from either door they come in, from the kitchen, or if going down the hall to another room or to bed upstairs.  She figured the hall was the one spot where everyone could see it.  She thought my tree in the parlor was too hard to find.  So…taken with her spirit, I went and got that tree.  Michelle and I put it up in the hallway.  It’s decoration job is truly beautiful.  All of the ornaments are in a blob about 2.5 feet off the ground.  I asked her if we should spread them out a bit….”no, this way I can see them too.”  I was taken by the thought that young children live in a sea of legs.  Pictures are hung high in the room, windows are out of their line of vision too.  She wanted to see all the ornaments on the tree. 

Young Children like to see the beautiful things in the world too!

SOOOOO….if you visit Bygone Basics this year.  We have a tree in the hallway, and yes I plan to leave it there, and yes, it is fully decorated.

My Christmas wish is that each of us is blessed with seeing the wisdom of young children.

The best place in the house for a Christmas Tree