Silent Nights

Christmas Fireplace And Tree Phineas Basenji Dog Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Fireplace” today, I made a quick little imagined sketch of my dog Phineas in front of one. While we do have a fireplace, it’s too modern for my tastes and so I figured this was a chance to dream up a very different one. Also, we don’t actually have any presents under the tree yet as those are still waiting to be wrapped. I was thinking I’d start doing so this week, but much like the dog, I’ve instead simply been enjoying relaxing by the fire instead of actually doing anything that would qualify as remotely productive. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about this season. It’s a chance to slow everything down to a crawl and recharge my battery a bit before running wild with deadlines heading into the new year. It’s such a cozy time and though it all seems to go by much too quickly, I enjoy every last moment. And, since I’m a big kid, I’ve been excitedly counting down the days until Christmas Eve this week when Philippe and I will exchange presents. It’s my favorite of all of our traditions and I’m thrilled for the days ahead!

Philippe and I received a present from my sister-in-law’s sister in Paris that we’ve been enjoying these last few days. It’s a jigsaw puzzle, which is our favorite thing to do this time of year, but this one is even cooler than the ones we’d had ready to assemble. The company is called Wasgij in the UK (it’s “jigsaw” spelled backwards), and the puzzle is actually two puzzles in one! First you put together a 1,000 piece puzzle of the box image as usual, and then you are prompted with a question and have to imagine what the second 1,000 piece puzzle looks like! The one we received was called The Christmas Show and it was so much fun! Also, it was wildly addictive as we started on Sunday and already had both puzzles put together by lunchtime today. We’re both off work until the beginning of the year so we’ve been having a blast this week so far. The puzzles are now both sitting on the table now like little trophies and we can’t bear to tear them apart yet and start another one. But, it’s been fun to pass by them all afternoon and feel that rush of victory each time.

One of my best friends came over this weekend and brought us cookies and toffee. Chocolate chip cookies for Philippe and my favorite cookies of all time, which are snickerdoodles! I’ve been rationing them and having just a couple each day, so they’ll last until Christmas. The willpower required for this level of restraint is practically unbearable. But, as young as my heart feels, my body still insists on being stupidly adult so I have to watch the extra calories much more closely now. And each night, as the sun sets way too early, we turn on our Christmas lights, sit by the fireplace, and watch holidays movies. Though I’m excited for the end of the week, I’m thrilled for each beautiful evening along the way. There’s so much chaos going on in the world right now, but in our little home, we’re safe and sound. It’s really the best gift I could ever want to receive. And, after all of the movies are finished and we leave the puzzles behind for the day, I sit for just a few moments longer as my heart fills with hope for the coming year. For now, though, I’m just happy enjoying the endless wonder that only comes from these silent nights.

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Christmas Fireplace And Tree Phineas Basenji Dog Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
28 Comments
  1. Linda M. Gigliotti 5 months ago

    Charlie worry more about fats and cholesterol than calories!! You opened one of your prezzies already? Cool!! Have fun and have a Merry Christmas and a fruitful 2022! Make sure to have extra dessert, after telling you to avoid fats hahaha. Blessings.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😀💕 Philippe makes everything a bit less fattening than the recipes. lol And… the presents that come in the mail from family we get to open whenever they arrive! hehe… but Philippe won’t let me open any of his early. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  2. Laura Hale 5 months ago

    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Laura!! 😀💕 Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  3. Jacob 5 months ago

    Merry Christmas to the Doodlewash Crew <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😀💕 Hope you have a fabulous Christmas!!

  4. Marisela Delgado 5 months ago

    Beautifully said, my friend. My mom and I are settled in for a quiet holiday season also. Eventhough, like you, we are boostered up, we choose the safer route by staying home. I wish you and Philippe and Phineas a beautiful Christmas. My mom made tamales today and it’s so hard to pull in the reins. 😂😂😂 Your puzzle sounds like fun and your painting is so sweet.
    Charlie, let us hope and pray for a better new year especially covid-wise. Feliz Navidad, mi amigo, Charlie! Te quiero mucho. 🎄🎅❄⛄🎄

    • Linda M. Gigliotti 5 months ago

      As we Italians say, Buon Natale (Good Christmas) and a fruitful 2022!

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

        Thanks so much, Linda! 😀💕 Buon Natale! And I hope you have a wonderful year ahead!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😀💕 And yum!!! Tamales sounds SOOOO good!! Yep, we’re going to hide inside for the remainder of the year. It will be lovely. Feliz Navidad mi amiga!! Te quiero mucho!

  5. Sandra Strait 5 months ago

    Merry Christmas! Hubby isn’t off until Friday and then he doesn’t go back to work until after New Year’s is observed, so I’m looking forward to having him home for a while.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😀💕 Aww yay… so happy you’ll have a full week to spend together. Merry Christmas to you both!

  6. Zoie McIntyre 5 months ago

    ooo so nice and cozy! I love fireplaces. Thank you Charlie for the beauty you share with us.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Zoie! 😀💕 I’m so happy you enjoyed this. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

  7. Robert Coleman 5 months ago

    Love the fireplace ambiance and of course Phineas! Joyeux Noel! Have a blessed Christmas!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😀💕 Joyeux Noël to you and yours! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  8. Gary Middleton 5 months ago

    Wonderful fireplace Charlie. We’re past the solstice now so I look forward to the evenings drawing out.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😀💕 Here’s to long and lovely nights ahead!!

  9. Varsha Koli 5 months ago

    Love it!! Phineas seems to enjoy all the festivities..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Varsha! 😀💕 Hehe… I think he thinks we’re nuts when it comes to festivities, but he does love the warm fireplace!!

  10. Mary Roff 5 months ago

    Phineas looks perfectly content! Have a beautiful Christmas!!!

  11. shawnthompsonart 5 months ago

    Of course the silence of the night has to be broken at some time from a sled landing on the roof, and a husky guy going down the chimney who is impervious to fire. Wow, that dog looks really relaxed. I like how your painting has a warm undertone.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Shawn! 😀💕 Indeed! A visit from Santa is worth the momentary noise! hehe

  12. Mugdha 5 months ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Wishing you the very best of the Season! I loved the Doodlewash and the post was full of all my favorite things… cookies, jigsaw puzzles, silent nights, hope, wonder, presents… but best of all I loved ‘stupidly adult’. 🙂 It made me laugh out loud because it sounded perfect! I am still in the jungle and two days ago I saw a tigress as close as 10 feet from me. And I thought of how wonderful a watercolor of that moment would look… making me think of you. So your post today was really special for me. 🙂 I wish you a peaceful hopeful year ahead Charlie.

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😀💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this post… and were able to read it in the jungle. Yay! And that encounter with the tigress is definitely a beautiful watercolor moment. Hope you’re getting lots of photos while you’re there. Much love to you my friend and I hope you have a fabulous New Year!

  13. Nellie Nellie 5 months ago

    Charlie you described what I hold dear about hearth and home. I’m sending every blessing to your little family for a great Christmas and a safe and healthy new year 🤗🤗🤗
    PS If you talk to Santa before I do, I’m still waiting on a puppy, please put in a good word 😏🐩

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Aww I’m sending you much love my friend… and I hope you get that puppy for the holidays! That sounds like the perfect way to enjoy them and ring in the New Year!! 😀💕

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