Friday, December 25, 2015

Twas the night before??

This story is from Anne- Director of Christmas House

When my parents did not live in town, we would go visit them over the holidays.I remember trying to recite Twas the night before Christmas in the morning on Christmas Day. My kids and I would be in bed, kind of waiting on my mom and dad to get up. When they would start reciting the story from memory, we knew they were up. Each year that my kids heard that story we would get a little further. It was fun, and we would start coffee and the kids would be looking like they were going to die from excitement. All the while, we would be trying to get the story right. We would finally resign ourselves to forgetting the rest and would go get the old worn out book and finish it.

My kids are older now, teenagers. You would think this ritual would be a thing of the past. It touches my heart when I now hear them doing it. Small things mean the most. No xbox one or laptop will be what they will recall years later. It will be the story....

Make your story today! Merry Christmas!IMGP0912

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas, Christmas time is here!

It is Christmas Eve!  Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas ! Please share a picture with us of your festivities. merry_christmas_card1

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The table is set

It is a grand dining room we have here at the Christmas House. The room welcomes you in like a giant hug. When we have guests in house, it is so much fun making the table special just for them. I get to pull out nice china plates, linen napkins and set them on a tablecloth. Each piece of silverware adds to the decoration, like a brush stroke on a painting, until the picture is complete.  A well set table can make soup and sandwich feel like a steak dinner.

Guests approach the room and I catch their eyes widen in wonder at the beauty set before them. "All for us?" they always ask. My response is," Of Course!" I mean why not? I like making people happy. The holidays just add more silverware, candles and family and friends at the table.

How about you? Do you set a special table for a meal during the holidays? I think we should do it more. Everyone is in so much of a rush, we have forgotten to digest our food well before we rush onto the next thing.

So here is a challenge for you all. Set at least one meal per quarter next year with all the trimmings. Put something in the middle for decoration. It does not have to be super fancy. Just extra special. Then post it on Facebook or respond to me here with it so I can check it out. Are you up to it? Check in, let's see if we can get mealtime back to a relaxing ejoyable affair.

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's a short one!

Today is December 21st, Winter Solstice . The day with the shortest amount of sun. Today it is pouring rain and we will be lucky to see even a ray of sun. Solstice means "sun" and "stand still" in Latin. In December, in the Midwest, we are usually surprised to see a day with sun. Typically, I think of December (weather wise) as the gray month. Often, with the rush of the holidays making everything a blur, the absence of the sun goes unnoticed by me. When we have snow I seem to notice it more. I am not sure why that is. The rain and no sun kind of go together in my association of what weather is supposed to be like. Snow, on the other hand, should have sun. Just my opinion.

I was reading up on this day and found that it is very scientific how this day is scheduled in the calendar. It has to deal with the earth's axis first day of winter 2015 and it is not always on the same day.

In my world, December 21st marks the time I need to do my shopping for the holidays. I am one of those last minute kind of people. One year I tried to shop early. Some of my family members shop early and are all done just after Thanksgiving.  I thought that I would try and remove some of the stress of the holiday season by trying their way. It did not work. I overbought because I forgot what I purchased way before the season came. Everyone had what felt like a million gifts to open. So I went back to what works for me.

Only a few more days until Christmas. Have you done your shopping? Are you an early bird like my aunt? Or do you wait until the last minute like I do? I am making my list, and checking it twice. ( I forget a lot these days!)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Do you Pickle?

You do if your in my house. It's not what you think. There is no dill and garlic involved with this particular custom.  Every year when we would put ornaments on the tree, two were left for my parents to hide. There was one for the smaller kids and one for the bigger ones. It was shaped like a pickle. One was a lot bigger than the other to fit the "capability" of the kids looking for it to get that extra present. It was also supposed to bring them good luck all year. The note that came with the ornament said it was a german tradition.

Funny thing! Just like a lot of other"traditions" things get a little skewed and someone gets credit for something that never was. I kind of chuckeled when I was researching this subject since we still like to have a little fun with this every year. Oh, boy wait til Nana and Papa find out about this!

This will be interesting converasation material this Christmas Day!

The Christmas Pickle myth

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

CAROL? Anyone?

I remember as a kid going around to the neighbor's houses and signing Christmas Carols with my friends. We hoped someone would give us treats or some money. Most of the time, we did get candy canes. But we didn't care. Then when I was a teenager, we did it for choir. It was always fun and kind of got me in the mood for the holiday. You know, back when Christmas music wasn't played in October?! We would go to someone's house afterwards, divide up any money we received and had hot coco and some cookies.

Where that got started? Apparently the word itself meant a long time ago to dance to something. HUH? And it was a pagan custom to sing a song and dance for every season. These songs during Winter Solstic were very popular but when the Christians came along, they decided no more pagan stuff and had them sing Christian songs instead.

Noone really does that anymore. In today's times, is it really safe? I would like to think so. Somehow that can dampen the holiday spirit. So let's not think about that. Let the kids carol in the mall.Then maybe people can slow down a bit on their shopping trips and actually get some holiday spirit back.

This website has their take on the history of it. Check it out. The Christmas Caroling

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Twelve Days of YUMMY!

One of the things I love most about this time of year is all the special goodies that come out at parties and when you go visit relatives. Diet? No Way! Not with all this great stuff to eat. My favorite is cookies. I can eat myself silly if someone does not do an intervention. Cut out cookies are my favorite. I just go back to my childhood when I eat those snowmen and christmas trees with frosting and decorations.

So that got me to thinking of all the things I look forward to eating. Yep, I said it. Like Santa Clause I started making a list and checking it again to see if I missed something. Then the song, the Twelve Days of Christmas started running through my head. So that started a new list. Is yours the same as mine?

One Rice Krispy Christmas Wreath

Two pieces of peppermint bark

Three cheese balls( I am from Wisconsin)

Four peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses

FIVE PECAN DREAMS

Six Spritz cookies

Seven shrimp with cocktail sauce

Eight Ham Sandwiches

Nine parsley buttered pototates

Ten pieces of homeade fudge

Eleven of Mom's yummy meatballs

Twelve Christmas Cut out Cookies with frosting and too much sprinkles

Send me your list! I might find some new things to eat!