Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Countdown Begins...."By Invitation Only" Christmas Post

Once again it's time for our monthly "By Invitation Only" international blog party !
International Blog Party
Of course, it's about Christmas.

it was truly a challenge to come up with something which might top last year's Christmas post...
so we thought & thought and decided it would be two-fold:

we could tell everyone about OUR MOST WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS,
who, what, where, what we wore and all the people surrounding us...

or we could describe our idea of A FANTASY CHRISTMAS, with fantasy guests, fantasy
destinations and so on.

Pinned Image

& finally, if you only had ONE TANGIBLE GIFT TO GIVE,
what would it be?

Now, having thought about this one for a long time...
I fully realize how difficult this topic can be.

the Lodge at Vail in Vail Village

before I begin my Christmas story I would like to thank each one of the valued and valuable
members of the lovely "By Invitation Only."
knowing how very busy all these creative women are, because I am busy too, 
only makes me love them
more for persevering along with me on this little journey.
I believe we are onto something very special which can grow and blossom...
I owe all of that to their continued contributions.
Blowing each of you a big kiss, my lovely friends.

we have a special guest posting with us today,
Pamela Terry of the brilliant blog From the House of Edward,
you will find her link below.
I am delighted to have her participation, knowing how wonderful her post will be even
before I've read it.
Thank you, Pamela !!

The one tangible gift I would give would be the establishment of a trust fund
to pay for the education of my grandchildren, and for a student who was
deserving but didn't have the way to pay for all the ancillary expenses even if one
received a scholarship.

I will encourage my grandchildren to stay in school as long as possible, even
earning a PhD in whatever field they have chosen, because this is the key
to success in our world.
This is also the key to understanding our world, the difficult place that it is.

& this, my friends, is what I would love to wear this holiday season...

we started having Christmas Eve parties early in our marriage,  they were always pretty much the 
same, even the same guests...and they were always gay and ending with us going to
midnight mass.

somewhere along the way, I think one of my best girlfriends had a condo in Vail, we began going to
Vail, Colorado.
none of us could ski in the beginning, and in the beginning we didn't know one didn't have to
take ski lessons on top of the mountains when it was -30 degrees...somehow we
survived, learned to ski, and began looking forward to the times we could return to this magical place.

Vail is a very cosmopolitan and international ski area.
Aspen is very laid back in comparison.
& we loved Vail because this is the place where it had all started, and eventually
we were familiar with the trails, the ski buses, the lift lines, the lift tickets, the liquor store
way down the highway, and the grocery market in the village where everything was priced
5X more than if we drove 5 miles down the road.

we had friends from Houston who came there too, in addition
to the girlfriend who started it all.

we also holidayed in NYC, but Vail was the Christmas destination for many years.
we would rent a big house or condo really close to the ski areas, invite my children's friends,
and our friends...and they all accepted.  for the kids it was just so much more fun to have
their own groups to do things with, and for us it was just as easy to have 10 as to have only 2.

we always put up a big tree and decorated it with big wide red ribbon & lights,
nothing more...it was festive and easy.
piles of simply wrapped gifts for everyone to open...
but the real gift was the trip itself.

those were the days of perfect ski wear, Bogner ski pants are still the only ones I will ever wear,
& yes, I prefer the stretch ones with the stirrups under the foot.  I am not happy with the way I
look in the bulkier pant which goes over the boot...you can guess why, I know.

apres ski wear....now, this was truly important...furs (oh, yes) because it was so cold,
little boots worn while walking to dinner, but your high heels in a drawstring bag so you could quickly change into them upon arrival at the restaurant.

isn't this magical?

the little gifts
Splenderosa's Cutest Ever Necklace
Fashionable on one side
Fabulous on the other
on the website

oh yes, there was plenty of this...horses, as well as dogs, in the snow...
& a sleigh ride during Christmas was an absolute must.
it simply didn't matter to any of us that it was COLD, we worried about the animals, but
not ourselves.  my husband bought the entire evening from the sleigh owner so he & the horses could take the rest of the night off.

typical Rocky Mountain construction, always with natural stone work somewhere.

I think you understood the beauty of a family holiday in the snow of the 
Rocky Mountains...coming from Texas we rarely have snow & then it never lasts long...
so being away in this beautiful destination was a delight for all of us.

We cooked, we watched movies, we laughed out loud at everything,
we made complete fools of ourselves (the parents) while the kids learned
to ski backwards with no problem.  
We made lifetime memories which I cherish.

& have yourself a merry little Christmas now.....


  1. Beautiful festive post, Marsha....I LOVE it...gorgeous images the puppy is just adorable...and your chosen outfit, oh, yes...stunning I'd love to wear it too ;-) We could be twins!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you again for all your wonderful ideas and themes this year for our blogging party...it's been fun!
    With love,
    Catherine xx

  2. Just magical, these marvellous memories. Beautiful when being made, and beautiful to reflect upon. xx

  3. Iconic and fabulously Christmassy images, Marsha! Your ski holidays in Vail sound a dream. Thanks once again for organising this blog fest - I'm so looking forward to reading them all!
    Karen xo

  4. Hi Marsha!!
    To me it all looks so romantic and magical to have a snowy Christmas!!! I would love to do this once in my life, experience a Winter Wonder Christmas! For us it is all about soaring temps, sand, sea and sun! And if you read my post, with my best ever Christmas, you will see it's a million sleighbells away from yours...lol! Our wonderful diverse world! Love that dress you are going to wear!!! The images in your post are just enchanting as is your Christmas story! Thanks for a wonderful and splendid BIO year! Look forward to the next one!

    Sending all the Christmas cheer from our Magical City to You!

    Lots of Love and Kisses


  5. Marsha... this is a beautiful post.. And as for Vail... I have been once and we had an amazing time... I can imagine your wonderful memories... such a magical place... Thank you for including me in your BIO posts and for all that you do getting us together... It has been a really fun year... xv

  6. Dear Marsha..thank you for the most enchanting Christmas story of family, love and traditions...I, also, as a child and adult spent most of my Christmases with our sons and friends in the mountains. The beauty, romance of a white christmas is very dear to me. Dear selfish me I forgot about the gift! Please forgive me as i was with a team of electrician re-installing a huge chandelier whose lights were flickering and dying. A full day of total chaos with a huge scaffolding blocking our entrance to the showroom, when finally at 11pm, they were done, scaffold dismantle, door locked to realise when I turned around....the light were out!!! Off I go now to restart the whole process and get the showroom ready for the party with a guest list of 250...

  7. BRAVO!!!!!!! This is awesome what wonderful memories you created for you and your family....I enjoyed your tales, how magical and all the stunning pictures that went along with this wonderful story! Such a magical time, and when spent with family and friends (and to me the more the merrier) it just doesn't' get any better!!
    Thanks Marsha for another wonderful idea and brainstorming to create our wonderful little group which I feel so lucky to be a part of!

  8. Wow! What a great post. Just found your blog and love it!

  9. Truly magical my dear friend! Christmas is a time for family and friends ~ thank you for sharing your wonderful traditions! xo C. (HHL)

  10. I think one of your best posts ever...Love it. Merry Christmas.

  11. I just found your blog! This is a wonderful story + yes, Vail is magical. I will now subscribe. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  12. Oh my did I love your beautiful post! It moved me too. I could hear the laughter and to me that is so wonderful no matter where you are--in Vail or at a campground. :) I am late in posting--I knew it might be the case in my jet-lagged state--but Marsha, I have been so happy to participate with these wonderful bloggers, thank you for asking me!! Here is to a wonderful year ahead...and now I am off to dive into the holidays by reading the other posts, I know they will be beautiful...
    Gros bisous,

    1. Ps. You must KNOW that I am crazily jet-lagged when I don't respond to the utter sheer crazily uproarious delight that the photos of the Goldens provoked in me. Oops! ;)

    2. The dogs were for you, Heather. We are both besotted by the love of our animals, so I couldn't leave them out.

    3. Thank you my beautiful friend!! I have a feeling I will need to come "visit" those photos often for the immediate smiles they produce in me. And I know I am not alone!
      You are so thoughtful, one other thing to love about you!!
      And you must be so thrilled with all of the beautiful and heart-felt posts this month...
      Bear Hug,

  13. Marsha,
    Every time I dip into your site I find something to absolutely love. This post is so precious...it's so wonderful to read happy people talking about happy things! Beautiful photos, a lovely sentiment. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas to you too!

    1. Ahhh, sweet Julie, thank you for this lovely comment. I'm smiling right now...

  14. Oh Marsha! What a delightful post. There is nothing more festive than being in the snow for the holidays! We have to travel to Tahoe for snow! That sounds like such fun!

  15. Hi Marsha,
    So sorry to be late for your 'By Invitation' party.....have just got back from our charity lunch.
    Thank you for sharing such magical Christmas memories ...... I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I just love the way that we all post something different for the same subject !!
    ..... and, many thanks for your lovely comment ..... I cannot believe that the 'BIO posts have been going for so long now. Here's to a brilliant 'By Invitation' 2013 !! XXXX

  16. Hi gorgeous Marsha,
    This all sounds so glamorous and wonderful, I can just picture you.
    I wish I was on your invitation list to one of your Christmas parties, I am yet to have
    a white Christmas, it all looks soooo beautiful.
    Sending love and warm wishes through this festive time.
    xxxx Coty

  17. What a wonderful post Marsha!! Loved every picture! Have a wonderful Christmas!!

  18. I love this post. I adore every pic. I am your newest follower. Check out Uptown Acorn when you have a moment:)

  19. Wow, so beautiful and enchanting!! I love the puppy and the horse drawn carriage! Of course winter in NYC is a must!! Love it,
    Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Well Marsha…now I'm crying! That was simply and utterly beautiful! I was just trying to find out who all of the By Invitation Only posts were by and yours made me stop dead in my tracks! It just doesn't get much better than those kinds of memories! I think we would've been great friends while raising our children! I can party in Vail with the best of them! LOL! But I CAN"T ski! I grew up in Denver for awhile after we left Memphis and never liked cold weather after that! However..I love the dream of these vacations and my children are begging for a trip like the ones you've described here! Your post was the best of all!!! LOVED IT!!

  21. Dear Martha, You did it again, out did the last Christmas post. This was so beautiful. You put me in the Christmas mode. We have the tree up and still trucking along. Be well and wish you the best for Christmas. Wish you were on that train coming to Maine.

    yvonne and Renee

    1. So happy the two of you are together this year, Renee & Yvonne. And, who knows, one of these days I just might hop a plane and jet to Maine. I love you both, and am wishing you all kinds of merry...

  22. One of the best Christmas collections I have seen this year....but then, I am partial to NYC and Goldens.
    Thank you for uping my holiday spirits.

  23. You always pull one out of the box Marsha...what an amazing post! Thank you so much for your kind words, it means a lot to me.
    love D

  24. What an absolutely fantastic post, Marsha! The memories of times spent with friends and family, in snowy Vail, are just wonderful. The stunning images that you chose only elevate the charm of the story to another level. Beautiful!

  25. I'm a little late, as I see that this was tuesday's post. Never the less, I just had to comment. What a lovely description of holiday's in Vail. Several of my age group are just now begining to purchase second homes, and Vail has become the IT spot. Shhh! If you keep describing it like this there will be a run on the place! I'm teasing....sort of!
    Merry Christmas.
    The Little Red Diary


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