Joy is… the company of strangers

This is a great time of year to show a little appreciation.  I have in my head that children’s Christmas carol that goes… ‘There isn’t any room, there isn’t any room, there isn’t any room for strangers’.  I like to think that there’s a little space for ‘strangers’ on this blog. Some of them have turned into the most wonderful friends!




















I started out with such a great idea!  I wanted to create a Christmas tree out of ‘baubles’.  Each of those baubles would represent a special blogging friend.  Sadly the reality hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations.  My ‘baubles’ have kind of fallen off the tree!  Ah, me and technology!  A fatal combination.  Never mind!  I’m glad it’s the thought that counts.

If you click on a photo it will take you to a person who brings me joy.  I don’t have space on my ‘tree’ for everybody. What a tree that would be!  Please be sure there are many more of you who brighten my life, and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone.  This is a very special world we bloggers have, isn’t it, where strangers can become friends?  Sending you all Christmas hugs!


I’m linking this to Kan’s Joy is…  This week Yvette has posted a very thoughtful Christmas message. (she’s the little white rocking horse!)  It’s just how Christmas should be.

Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas!  I hope the New Year smiles on you.  A very Merry Christmas, one and all!



  1. What a kind and generous spirit you have, Jo! I thought the idea of using ornaments as virtual Christmas cards was brilliant…and loved that you chose the red slipper for Madhu. Perfect! 🙂

  2. Jo, what a fantastic idea … with the ornaments!! Amazing job and you’re truly creative. Not only beautiful to soul and heart … and looks. Don’t know what to say … what a honor to be the top angle. Now my heart is going all fuzzy. I would be delighted just laying under your tree. You’re a star in more than one way.

      1. Jo, I think this with your tree … is such a lovely gesture – really thoughtful and giving. Thank you so much!!! This means so much to me.

  3. The ornaments sent off to different posts is a fantastic idea! Anyone should appreciate the effort and not all can ever be included in awards or special recognition posts. After all we have 100’s of friends… smiles!

  4. What a beautiful idea Jo! The baubles look very pretty! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, thanks for your support over the past few months and sending very best wishes to you for a happy and peaceful New Year 🙂

    1. It was an excellent idea, Rosemay, but the execution taught me again how little I know 😦 No worries 🙂 Hope you enjoyed Christmas, and what colour bauble would you select for your place on the tree? Best wishes!

      1. Well it still looks very pretty Jo even if some of the baubles have fallen off!! Yes we had a lovely Christmas thanks and hope you did too! I would choose a beautiful deep plum/red shade for my place on the tree I just love that colour 🙂 Very best wishes for 2015 and look forward to reading more of your wonderful posts! 🙂

  5. I love your blogging tree. 🙂 And you’ve reminded me I forgot to turn on the snow yesterday. But then, it was a coolish day so perhaps I didn’t feel the need for virtual reality cooling. Hope your Christmas was grand, Jo!

    1. Cool? In Australia!!! I have a blanket if you need it? No, I forget- you run! 🙂
      Belated Christmas hugs and feel free to pick a bauble colour for your place on my tree.
      Please pass on my regards to Mrs. M. I haven’t chased her around the blogospere lately.

      1. Well, I do live down South, you know, so it happens. 🙂 We got to a top of 25 deg C. But it’s going to be 31 by Sunday so maybe the snow will make an appearance yet…

        Do you have a TARDIS-blue coloured bauble? It has to match my tree. 🙂

        Go and say hello to M-R. She’ll love it. (Truly – she’s probably wondering where you’ve got to!) She’s here:

      2. Not really- Christmas for me is very small. Just me, Michael, Dad and James 🙂 It’s just that my Inbox is beyond belief 🙂 But I’m working on it.

  6. I hope your Christmas day is bright, warm and joyful. This year for the first time in about 20 years there were no firecrackers, and the night was really peaceful and so was the day 🙂 All is well, but we ate way too much. 😀

    1. Hiya Paula 🙂 Just having a peaceful half hour with the laptop. Yes, thanks- fed and wined, and now winding down. Glad all is good with you and thanks for checking in with me. 🙂

    1. It’s not the tree of my imagination, Jill, but it still sends the message. Dinner is done and I’m just having a little peaceful time before someone wants more food 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful 2015 and thanks for your friendship.

  7. What a lovely idea Jo I enjoyed visiting your blogging friends via your baubles. Our community does become very real as the months and years roll by and it is true “the only strangers are friends we have not met yet”. Have a very peaceful and happy holiday and all the best you may wish for yourself in 2015

    1. Thank you Pauline 🙂 Christmas day will be over now for you and Jack. I hope it was a good one and that 2015 brings you peace and joy in abundance. You two are definitely baubles on my tree.

  8. Merry Christmas Jo! What a lovely tree…. and a great idea! Thanks for sharing this post. You are so right… the company of strangers in the blogging world is a true joy. It’s such a great community and so enriching to be a part of it… it’s what keeps me coming back over and over again 🙂

    1. You should have a large lemon coloured bauble, Lucy, but as you can see my ‘tree’ was a bit of a disaster. I needed your creative input 🙂 Many thanks for your friendship and all the best for 2015.

  9. What a lovely surprise at the end of a dull day at work, thanks so much for including me Jo, you are a dear friend and I’m so glad we met! Have a fabulous time over the next few days and into 2015 x:-)x

    1. Bless you, Gilly- you’ve been a lovely ‘stranger’! 🙂 I think I can hear sleigh bells… maybe just a small glass of wine with Santa 🙂 Have a great time with your family!

  10. What a clever idea the bloggers’ bauble is. Many happy returns on all your greetings – I love the way you say may the New Year simile on you – it’s the first time I have heard the expression. 😉

    1. I had such a nice little tree in my head, but when it came to putting it together… disaster! But the idea was good. The wishes are warm, and that’s the main thing. Just about to start peeling sprouts with a glass of wine at hand. You can be a yellow bauble if you like? Many thanks for your friendship 🙂

  11. What a creative idea Jo. I am delighted to be the snowman! Wishing you much joy and peace now and in the year ahead. I am so grateful to have met you here and do so hope our paths will cross in person one day!

    1. No question about it- you had to be a snowman, Sue! I knit that one many years ago and it still comes out every year. The plum pudding is a bit heavy and not so popular 🙂 🙂
      The pleasure is all mine. A peaceful and happy 2015 to you (after you’ve had that dip 😦 )

    1. The ‘tree’ was a bit wonky, Ad, but as usual, I’m blaming the port. 🙂 Not a drop has touched my lips yet but a sip or two of wine may be needed while I peel those veg. Thanks for your friendship and have a wonderful time!

    1. You should most definitely be a lilac bauble on my tree, Viv 🙂 It was harder to do than conceive. Many thanks for your friendship and my very best wishes for a healthy 2015.

  12. Haha! I see you have me in bed, how well you know me Jo 😀

    What a lovely tree you have, I stopped having trees 10 years ago when we moved into a smallish flat, and I gave most of my treasured baubles to my daughter, so I get to see them on her tree each year now. But I will never forget that divine pine smell and the hanging of the decorations with carols playing (I had a record of children’s songs) and the ubiquitous glass of sherry (I don’t even like sherry, but someone had to finish off the bottle after using some for the sherry trifle) with my children on Christmas Eve. Thanks for the memories xx

    1. I spent ages deciding who should have which bauble, Jude, then got in a proper muddle when I realised I didn’t have enough and couldn’t fathom how to put them in tree form but still include the links. I’m sure it can be done, but not by this idiot 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

      Sprouts etc to do a bit later and yes, I may just have a little slurp. It was a glorious day here and I wanted to do the Victorian Street at Preston Park, but when we got there a sign said ‘closed due to unforeseen circumstances’. The ‘office’ Christmas party? We had a brisk riverside walk anyway 🙂 Have a lovely restful time, Jude. Thanks for the friendship 🙂

    1. Sorry I don’t have any male ‘baubles’ on there, Gerry! Just not a big enough ‘tree’ 🙂 Please know that I value your friendship and support. Merry Christmas to you and the family!

  13. Mnóstwa prezentów pod zieloną choinką,
    pyszności na wigilijnym stole,
    wspaniałej rodzinnej atmosfery,
    wypełnionej melodią staropolskich kolęd,
    a także wystrzałowego, Sylwestra
    i spełnienia marzeń w Nowym Roku

  14. What a very creative idea, Jo. Have a wonderful Christmas, and all the very best for 2015 (I’ve probably said this already, but I’m losing track!!)

    1. Phew! Made it safely to Christmas Eve and just a few veg to prepare, Sue 🙂 My ‘tree’ was intended to look entirely different but I ran out of both time and patience. I’d better start earlier next year 🙂 Consider yourself a very lovely purple bauble on there- or would you prefer blue? Merry Christmas, whichever, and thanks for your friendship.

      1. Well done, Jo…have a good rest soon! As for baubles on trees – I would most definitely prefer blue – sapphire blue, shall we say? And, of course, it remains for me to say thanks for your friendship! And here’s to many more years….

  15. Brilliant concept – im on a train to visit my kids so unable to click everything – i do find blogging very uplifting and this kind of post highlights these feelings perectly – Merry Christmas

    1. Thanks, Scott 🙂 I feel a little guilty that I have no male ‘baubles’, though there are plenty of candidates. Just not enough tree, I’m afraid. Have a lovely Christmas with your kids. That’s always the place to be 🙂

  16. What a fantastic idea, well done Jo! I agree with you, it is amazing how we develop such good friendships with our fellow bloggers. I love having friends around the world. Have a great Christmas Jo – enjoy!

    1. Hiya Debbie 🙂 I didn’t have enough bauble photos and the execution wasn’t great but I think everyone got the general idea. Consider yourself a bauble! 🙂 Any particular colour you’d like? And Merry Christmas 🙂

  17. now this is some quote to end the year with “This is a very special world we bloggers have, isn’t it, where strangers can become friends? ”

    ah indeed – ❤ and I am very grateful – and honored to be the horse.
    thanks so much
    and have a great Christmas
    a virtual piwo (cheers)
    Wesołych Świąt!!

  18. What a lovely idea, Jo. And I’m honored to be one of the baubles on your tree, especially a feathery bird, since my maiden name is Birdsong. I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve was only eventful for me today in that I went to the Myanmar Consulate to apply for my visa. It was quite a trek. After that I’m afraid I went on a bit of shopping spree, but you know me, Jo. I’m always getting in trouble that way. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day!!! Love and hugs to you. xxx

    1. How could you not be there, Cathy? Hugs!!! 🙂 🙂 You have no idea how long this mess took me. I wanted to use gallery circles in descending rows but couldn’t link them back so I’d have had to put the link underneath. I’m just not clever enough. Maybe I should have done it in Photo Express or something first… ah, well- next year maybe 🙂
      I wanted to go to the Victorian Street in Preston Park museum today but when we got there a sign in the window said ‘closed due to unforeseen circumstances’. 😦 Had a sunny, cold walk by the river instead and am now back with last pressies to wrap. Many, many Christmas hugs across the miles, Cathy (Viveka is in Istanbul on her own too- a little different!) Hope you have a good time with the students and sorry again about the card. 🙂

      1. I would have no idea how to do that, Jo, and I’m sure it did take you a good long time to do it. It always takes me a long time to figure out something new like that on the blogs, thus you hardly ever see me try something new!! Sorry about the Victorian Street being closed, but at least you got a nice sunny walk in the brisk air. Today is my party with the students and they were texting me off and on yesterday saying how excited they were about today’s activity. It will at least be more festive for sure than Christmas day was. 🙂

        Hugs to you too, Jo. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 🙂

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