Christmas Porch Decorating.

The porch is decorated for Christmas!  Let the festivities and theft begin!



People assume a certain level of story book charm comes with living in a small town.  Shopkeepers who know your name, people referring to store owners as shopkeepers – that sort of thing.  A lot of what you assume about small towns is true.  News does travel fast, stores do shut down at 5 o’clock and there are way more churches than grocery stores.

But other things you might assume are probably not true. I for one have literally never seen a tumbleweed rolling down the street. A goat? Yes.  A tumbleweed, no.


There’s also the assumption we are living in a crime free Narnia where anyone born with the slightest predisposition to delinquency is shipped off to the big city before they can do any real damage. Also not true. We small town folk have thieving assholes too.

Especially around Christmastime where Christmas lights are broken, garland ripped down and nativity scenes tipped over.

This is what I call assholyness.


Last year I was subjected to it myself when my antique wood sleigh was stolen from my front porch. I loved that sleigh.  Chances are it was teenagers that took it as opposed to a band of marauding antique dealers. So this year there’s one less thing on my porch and one additional.  There’s no sleigh, but I’ve filled its spot with some buckets.

And two security cameras. 

One in a very conspicuous spot and one in a very inconspicuous spot.  Then there are 3 more around the perimeter, just to be safe.


I know. Not very small town is it?  If it helps ease your small town fantasy, as I was putting the cameras up earlier this year my neighbours and I all stood around staring at them with our hands on our hips discussing what this world has come to. We did this the day before we held our annual BYOC (bring your own chair)  block party.  We block the road off with trucks and hockey nets.  So there’s that.


There is however a lot more neighbourliness in this small town than there is assholyness.  When my dining room smelled disastrously like cat pee 2 days before hosting Thanksgiving dinner (the result of a renal failure cat and ripping up a wood floor) one of those shopkeepers showed up unannounced at my house with both a Lampe Berger to help get rid of the smell and a flat of hollyhocks she grew.


Whenever it snows my neighbour digs out my driveway for me.  Whenever my neighbours are out of a cup of sugar (or a Tablespoon of vinegar, yard bags, milk for morning tea or even extra dishes for Thanksgiving dinner) they come to me.


When someone’s child went missing in town a few of summers ago hundreds of people came out to look for him.  When he was found entire streets were filled for his vigil. His name was Finn and he was as cute as a button.  His mother is Vanessa. We went to high school together.

Yes, there’s theft, yes there’s vandalism, yes there’s tragedy in a small town. But when it happens we know who our neighbours are to warn them, help them and even hold them.  We let them know if our shed has been broken into, if the lady on the corner is sick and when butter is on sale at the grocery store.

So yes, something might get taken off of my porch and I might or might not catch them with my cameras. If something is stolen I’ll be angry and hurt and for a few minutes I’ll lose all hope in this world and its humans.

But then I’ll remember there’s more good than bad, more helpful than harmful and more hope than hate.  Not just in a small town.  Everywhere.


I leave you this year with those thoughts as I pack up shop until January.  It’s been a pleasure to bring you bits of my life and work all year long.

p.s. I had a whack of shots of me grinning like a fool at the camera, but this is the one I chose. In it I’m keeping an eye on a group of hooligans.  The one on the Big Wheel looked particularly suspicious.


  1. Tracy says:

    Your witty comments have won me over! I never subscribe to these pages because the overwhelm my email account. BUT this one I’ll look forward to :) I will be however stealing from you too just like the porch pirates…but I’m stealing the phrase assholyness. Lets just say I know a few people LOL
    Happy Holidays

  2. Darcy says:

    One of my favorite posts! ❤️ (Just getting caught up) 😳

  3. Aline says:

    Hey, Karen! I’m fairly new to your blog but am completely captivated and I’m sure we must have been sisters or besties in a former life because you apparently really “get”me! Love your wicked sense of humor and wish I lived in the same small town for a number of reasons, not the least of which is our political sitch here in lower North America. But the real reason I was prompted to write is my side gig is shoe whore and those boots! I must know all about those boots! Do tell who made them, pretty please?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Aline. Thanks! I looked and looked but I can’t find an identifying mark ANYWHERE on those boots. It’s bizarre. I bought them in a small shop 2 years ago because I loved them and the only thing I remember about who made them is they came from a country you wouldn’t expect to be churning out great boots. Like Slovenia or something. :/ Which I realize is entirely unhelpful. ~ karen!

  4. Jacquie Gariano says:

    Wishing you the best in the New Year. So looking forward to reading and visiting with you in 2019

  5. Jacquie Gariano says:

    Love your post. It’s sad when some people are a**holes, Christmas is a time of giving and caring for others. We’ve never had anything stolen from our yard but do worry about it. Our neighborhood (Roseville, CA) is a small area and almost everyone knows every one else and watches what goes on. So we are lucky in that way. And Bradford, VT where I spend my summers (and this year the winter) is very small too. We do watch out for each other. I really like that feeling.
    Your porch is so lovely and festive. I hope you have a good rest and great New Year. Can’t wait to see what you have to entertain us in 2019. Wishing you the best.

  6. Lynn says:

    Thank you for your beautiful message. You always seem to know exactly what we need when we need it the most. Wishing you an your beautiful family a very happy and blessed new year.
    All the best in 2019

  7. Deborah Burns says:

    Merry Christmas Karen!

    Thank you for making 2018 (and the years prior) an inspirational, funny and creative one via your blog! Enjoy your Christmas Holiday and ringing in the New Year!!

    PS, I am NOT a funny writer (see above), but I sure the enjoy the art of humorous writers like yourself! :)

  8. Alena says:

    Hi Karen,
    I saw your front porch many times but I think today was the first time I saw a ‘full frontal’ pic of your house and I was really surprised by how the roof above the porch spans the entire width of the wall, plus the two windows upstairs. In a way, it looks a bit weird to me (but NOT in a bad way), sort of like your house turned by 90% and the front porch was attached to the wrong wall. I don’t know if you can understand what I mean because I probably don’t explain it properly. Do other houses in your neighbourhood look the same? I don’t think I have ever seen a house like that here.
    I love your front porch and I wish I had something similar. My previous house did have a front porch (non-sheltered) and I always loved it.

    And a completely unrelated question, inspired by the photo of you in your winter coat.
    Many long years ago, you posted a picture of a coat that you ordered from the One of a Kind Show (I think). If memory serves me right, the vendor was from Quebec (at that time, you posted a link I think) – the coat had jagged edges and it was from a hide (don’t remember what kind) – the fur on the inside and the hide on the outside. Did you ever get the coat?
    You never mentioned it again and I remember returning to the link after a long while and it no longer worked.
    Just curious.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  9. Addie says:

    Love the outside (and inside) of your cozy home. Everything is perfect!!! I am a bit surprised
    “they” got you with your picket fence and all. Seems like a bit more of a “getaway” struggle.
    I too have a beauty of a vintage sled. I would be sad to see it go. I have been keeping it inside as of late. NO matter where you live…it happens all over and all the time. Sad….very sad.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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