the holiday season – are you winding up or winding down?

by Sharon Santoni

Yesterday I was chatting to a girlfriend, we were trying to tie down a date for Holiday drinks at home, “oh that’s going to be tricky, she said, as we wind up to Christmas we’re almost fully booked”. Only an hour later, talking to someone else and she said “I’m really winding down for Christmas, and looking forward to some quiet time to enjoy friends and family”. Confusing!

So I wondered about what is going on elsewhere, and how does this play out for you and your clan? Here at MFCH we have been rushing towards the end of the year, and shipping our boutique orders as quickly as we can so that our clients receive everything in time for the holidays.

At home it’s a slightly different story. I try to prep the holidays gradually which mostly means at the weekend. Buying the trees, decorating, getting gifts, wrapping, I almost have everything ticked off, which is just as well as family are about to arrive.

I’ve tried a couple of new dessert recipes for the Holiday meals. My kids are not big fans of the traditional Christmas Pudding that I grew up with, so I try to get more innovative and have found a wonderful Tiramisu recipe that I’ll put to the test on Christmas Eve. Otherwise the poached pears is one of our seasonal favorites, along with a chocolate log. My husband is very partial to a rum baba, and I’m thinking that could be a great Christmas dessert.

And finally I have to tell you that my very best gift ever arrived this weekend, and arrived early. I am so happy to tell you that our first grandchild was born this weekend. A simply beautiful little girl, and the newest member of our family. We are ecstatic.

Whether you are winding up or down, or somewhere in between, I wish you all a very happy Holiday season, and that you enjoy some precious time with those you love most.


Ruth December 22, 2021 - 12:48 am


Congratulations to you and your family on the birth of your first precious grandchild!!!!
How exciting for everyone and the best gift ever!
You will definitely be winding up

Wishing you Love, Peace, Joy and Happiness!
All the best in 2022!

Joanna Callander December 22, 2021 - 9:27 am

Congratulations on the safe arrival of your new granddaughter, that really is the best Christmas gift. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family. Joanna

Mary Maul December 22, 2021 - 1:37 pm

Granddaughters are the best! Pretty soon they’ll be in the kitchen with you. May you have a lovely and healthy Christmas. M

Maria Chiara Crivellari December 26, 2021 - 1:04 am

Ti seguo da anni e son felice per te , per questo lieto evento!
Buon Natale e un benvenuto al tuo nipotino.

Milena Protich December 22, 2021 - 1:13 am

Being a grandparent is the absolute best. Congratulations.

Rosemarie December 22, 2021 - 1:13 am

Hi Sharon, Congratulations on your first grandchild it is the best and so exciting. Enjoy, stay safe and well.
Happy Holidays, lots of happy and healthy times ahead 2022.

Kameela December 22, 2021 - 1:27 am

My children never liked Xmas pudding either but they loved stir up Sunday. Tiramisu sounds delicious I love it. Lots of Amaretto! Congratulations Sharon. What a perfect Christmas gift. Can imagine the joy in your household. Have a wonderful Xmas xx

Amy Ryberg December 22, 2021 - 1:30 am

What a joyous Christmas gift. Congratulations! Name?

Lisa D. December 22, 2021 - 1:49 am

Congratulations on your new grand child. How wonderful, for everyone! Your Christmas decor looks gorgeous, which is exactly what I would have expected. As an American, I’m not sure what Christmas pudding is, so I’m not sure I’ve ever had it. I do, however, ADORE afternoon tea -perhaps the most fabulous thing the English have ever invented! Merry Christmas and a very happy 2022 to you and your family, Sharon.

Sherrie davidson December 22, 2021 - 1:54 am

After seeing your picture, I can’t wait to make my poached pears in velvet sauce! Haven’t made this delicious dessert in 20 years! Very elegant as is yours!

Esther George December 22, 2021 - 1:56 am

Congratulations what a wonderful gift. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Till 2022 Esther from Sydney

Steven December 22, 2021 - 2:12 am

Congratulations on the new granddaughter! We have three. James (yes, a girl!) turned two last weekend. The eldest, Zelda, will be six on Christmas Eve. The youngest, Thea, will be two in February. They are delights. Yours will be also. Time passes quickly. Hold her close and enjoy. All best wishes to your family and you.

robert December 22, 2021 - 2:31 am

Congrats on your newly born granddaughter!! The pears and the pine cones are lovely!!

david terry December 22, 2021 - 2:42 am

Well, what lovely news, Sharon. I almost feel guilty typing this, since your reading it will take time away from first-grandbaby worship.

Here;s wishing all the best to you and your family this season,

fondly as ever,
David Terry

Sherry December 22, 2021 - 2:54 am

Congratulations on your grand baby!
You are in for some fun times!

Sandy Fisher December 22, 2021 - 3:21 am

Congratulations on being a Grandmother! That has to be the best Christmas present you’ve ever received. As for the winding up or winding down, I think that the busiest time is behind me, which to me was the prep and organizing. My hope is that, even though there’s lots happening in the week and weekend ahead, that earlier planning time will now make things more relaxed and I can savor what Christmas is all about. Wishing you, your family and everyone who words at My French Country Home a Merry Christmas!

Carol Granger December 22, 2021 - 3:54 am

Grandchildren are the absolutely most precious beings in the world! God knew what he was doing when he graced us with that glorious gift. Congratulations to your family on the perfect Christmas gift. Merry Christmas and the very best of New Years to you and your loved ones!

Deborah December 22, 2021 - 3:56 am

What a wonderful Christmas gift, a grand daughter, to be adored and cherished.
Your Christmas images are warm and cosy whereas the forecast for Christmas Day in Perth is 42C.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY and your many followers!

Christine Webb-Curtis December 22, 2021 - 4:15 am

What a lovely happening. Your Christmases will never be the same. And that’s a good thing. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

Rhonda Reeves December 22, 2021 - 4:47 am

Congratulations to all on the new arrival!

Dianne December 22, 2021 - 5:06 am

Sharon, what wonderful news!! My first grandchild was also a Christmas gift. I recall some years back on one of your birthday blogs some comments you made regarding the empty nest syndrome and that I told you to enjoy the reprieve as it wouldn’t last long, that your family would soon grow and fill the house again and here you are!! Enjoy!! The new year will have all new meaning now. Merry Christmas and congratulations to all

Judi Miller December 22, 2021 - 5:06 am

What a wonderful Christmas present! Congratulations!

Colleen Taylor December 22, 2021 - 5:16 am

Congratulations Sharon on the birth of your granddaughter! A Christmas gift indeed. Your home looks so warm. cozy & oh so festive. Have a lovely time with that new little girl & the rest of your family. X JOYEUX NOEL!

Emm December 22, 2021 - 5:47 am

Congratulations to all on the arrival of grandchild No. 1. What a wonderful gift.
I am hoping that you will share at least some of those recipes you mentioned, as well as name of the grandbaby. I hope we’ll hear of her adventures, and yours, in days to come.

Lorrie Orr December 22, 2021 - 6:10 am

Congratulations, Sharon, on the birth of your first granddaughter. Such a special time to treasure. I am winding down, with just a few things left to do before Christmas. Our five grandchildren will be here, 4 girls and one boy, ranging from 11 to 1 years of age. It will be joyful bedlam.

Lorrie Orr December 22, 2021 - 6:10 am

And I wish you a most Merry Christmas, et Joyeux Noel.

Margaret Corse December 22, 2021 - 7:45 am

I wish you and your family, all the joy your heart can hold. Take care and stay safe so that you can enjoy watching the little one grow.

Janiece Hudgins December 22, 2021 - 9:13 am

Oh! The gift of a newborn child at Christmastime! Blessings to your grandchild and your whole family! Thank you, Sharon, for always bringing beauty and peace on earth to all of us through your lovely posts! You are a gift to all of us! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17). Joyeux Noel!

Vicky from Athens December 22, 2021 - 1:24 pm

Congratulations on the arrival of your granddaughter! Christmas will be extra special this year! As a grandmother of four I can promise that your life is forever changed in all the right ways. Enjoy your new role in life. She will be special to you and you will be that someone special to her.

Mrs. Laura Susan Bamberg Gideon December 22, 2021 - 2:48 pm

We’re definitely winding up! Lots of traveling in a short period of time. But once I get home on the 28th I can REST. That makes me smile, but not as big as the smile I had when you announced your grandchild. How wonderful that God gave you such a perfect gift!

Kathleen McMahon December 22, 2021 - 6:11 pm

I think you have been given the best Christmas present ever!! Congratulations to all on the arrival of your first precious grandchild! Merry Christmas! And best wishes for a wonderful 2022!

Elizabeth December 22, 2021 - 3:02 pm

I too, have my first granddaughter, she is one year old and this will be the first Christmas she will be opening her own gifts and she already loves taking the “balls” off the tree. It is definitely a wind up to the holiday for us. Scrambling to get last minute gifts wrapped and bedrooms ready for out of town family and guests. COVID has struck and we are unsure if some will be able to participate, however we will keep hopeful and know we will all be together soon. Enjoy your family and remember, with a new grandchild, adventure awaits!

Nina Singh December 22, 2021 - 5:08 pm

Congratulations on the birth of your grand baby! What an awesome Holiday news.

Janet December 22, 2021 - 5:32 pm

Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter! That is wonderful news! My daughter had a baby boy in August so I also have a most precious gift this Holiday season too. Enjoy your holidays!

Victoria C. Sharma December 22, 2021 - 5:51 pm

Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter. This is the best gift you and your husband will ever receive. My only child, a daughter gifted us with 3 grandsons over the years. They are now all teenagers, and to this day they are the blessings and sunshine in our lives. Happy Holidays

Susan December 22, 2021 - 7:21 pm

Congratulations on the birth of your first grandchild! Enjoy!
I call grandchildren our rewards for raising children.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Elizabeth Pinder-Ashenden December 22, 2021 - 9:38 pm

Congratulations on the wonderful new addition to the family, which brings such joy to such troubled and difficult times! Thank you for all your posts of beauty and inspiration. God bless you and bring you much joy, good health and peace over this special season

Carol J Preston December 23, 2021 - 1:41 am

Sharon, congratulations on the birth of your first grandchild! I can tell you, from experience, that they are a wonderful blessing! Wishing you and yours the best Christmas ever!

Janis December 23, 2021 - 2:09 am

Such a lovely gift..wishing you a sweet holiday..xo

Hattee Christian December 23, 2021 - 10:47 am

What wonderful news! Our first grandchild is now 22 and she has never stopped giving joy to us. You have happiness galore ahead! I think that, for a grandparent, grandchildren are a group unto themselves. The joy of their presence is unlike any other that you’ve ever known. Merry Christmas to all of you!

tracy brown December 25, 2021 - 5:15 pm

A granddaughter!!! Congratulations to mama, papa, and the very proud grandparents.
What fun you are in for. We just welcomed our first great granddaughter in October. ‘Girls-R-Us’ with 4 daughters, 9 granddaughters and now baby Annaliese. They’re just so dear.

Nicolette December 28, 2021 - 5:50 am

Congratulations! What a Christmas blessing. My daughter arrived early also 8 years ago on Dec 15th (nearly 3 months early). A true Christmas miracle. We are reminded and blessed each year. Enjoy your beautiful granddaughter!


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