Merry Christmas Eve

I have not done much holiday baking for years, but what I have come to make, if anything, are these extremely simple and addictive cookies/candy…or should I call them Christmas Crack? I know that will power is not my strong suit, so I will be sharing these this year with friends and neighbors.

Here is the SIMPLE recipe, as it was given to me by a co-worker years ago:

Lay out a single layer of graham crackers on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Boil 2 sticks margarine and 1/2 cup sugar, stirring constantly until it is the consistency of honey.

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Pour over the crackers, sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cool completely and break into pieces.

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So, I use butter. I sometimes use less butter…say 1 3/4 sticks. I find I bake them 3 to 5 minutes longer. And today, I added chocolate chips to one pan!

There you have an easy treat when you need it. Use your creativity…almost any variation would work!

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

A Wonderful Christmas Story

This man has been touched by history and a great Christmas story. (The picture contains a link to the story)

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A very old picture emerges of what life must have been like in his apartment in the early 1900s.

May your days be Merry and Bright…and may we all know the joy of wanting things for others!

(pictures from Internet; story from Todayonline)

http://www.todayonline.com/world/americas/chimneys-poignant-surprise-letters-santa-missed-long-ago

Yoga Class Gift

This morning, the yoga instructor offered each of us a holiday gift. She opened a box of Angel Cards, spread them out and we could pick one.

If you are not new to this blog, you may not have to guess what I drew. With eyes closed and heart open I mixed them and drew. Here is my tiny gift with a big message…

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As I think about the messages I have posted, it also occurs to me that I have not shared that not only has this been my word for the season…it has been my word for the year!

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(picture from my journal – Jan, 2015)

Merry Peace on Earth Christmas!

Let there be Peace on Earth

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Have you noticed how people seem to be friendlier and more loving and kind this Christmas season? Have you noticed all the posts on social media regarding peace or the fact that there is good news out there? I suppose some might think this always happens during the holidays and it should. However, I feel that people are acting differently.

I am not one to rattle on about religion, politics or world news, but we can’t live in this world without seeing and hearing about all these things. So, I am just going to share some things here you have already seen, perhaps, but some good things that can still be found. Click the pictures below to be taken to some heartwarming stories…

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So, as I have mentioned in other posts, peace is what I would love to have for Christmas this year and it has to start with me…and you…and you. We can really only be affective in our little parts of the world, so I say “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” Will you join me?

sp_WorldPeaceWord  (The lovely song is linked to this little image…enjoy!)

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday

Today I am not posting about Christmas. It is my husband’s birthday…a pretty big one…so I do my best to make it a special day for him.

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I feel so fortunate to be sharing life with him. I am grateful and look forward to sharing many more of his birthdays.

Happy Birthday, dear Randy, happy birthday to you! I do love you!

Holiday Countdown

As a way to add to my holiday cheer…and maybe yours too…I am going to try to post something holiday related daily until Christmas. (Maybe it will do double-duty to get me back on the blogging track.) My last post  started this all out with my feelings about the holiday this year. Let’s see where this goes. 1953 SantaThis jolly old St. Nick was “born” the same year as I was. My mom bought him that year…1953. He has weathered many moves by her and me and now stands in the entryway of our new home…our first Christmas here. He has yellowed a bit, but I have grayed, so no problem! Right?

Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas to you! And remember, Santa is watching!

It is Christmas Time!

Silver Bells

Not everyone thinks of the verses, just the chorus, but the song Silver Bells starts with the words…

“Christmas makes you feel emotional. It may bring parties or thoughts devotional…”

Many people have trouble with the season. I know because I have been one of these and in talking to people, I feel I am not alone. It has become so overly commercialized. It is all about the gifts. We over-everything… over-eat, over-spend, over-indulge, over-stress. There are many who miss the memories of what the holiday used to be like, miss their loved ones who are far away or have passed away or those who are alone.

Then there is the time in which we are living…trouble in the news, crime, terrorism, hate, political jabbing and more. Yes, I am one of those who would rather see good news! But, I digress…sorry! This post is not about that.

I grew up with Christmas that was full. It was full of family, gifts, trees, decorations, food and frankly, a lot of the things I don’t like so much about the holiday now. My mom was a Christmas fanatic. We could find some of her decorations still tucked into some corner of any room in mid-summer. It was impossible to find them all when it came time to put them away!

She was determined to carry on the tradition of family Christmas after her mom passed away, even when most of her siblings had fallen off that wagon. Anyone who wanted to participate was welcome. She worked full time, so this meant one big shopping day on a Saturday during the holidays, because EVERYONE was getting a gift, plus a few gifts for those we might not know were going to show up. Honestly, I don’t recall thinking this was much more than drudgery to go out all day and fight the crowds, but it is what we did. As a child the group of people gathered was large, happy (I think), noisy and again, EVERYONE got a gift. Oh, and did I mention that they were opened one person at a time, starting with the smallest person there. Poor Grandma and Grandpa…by the time it was their turn, all the kids were running around like banshees and not paying a bit of attention to what presents were being opened.

Another thing we always had was music. My mom’s family was all musical. We had a piano in almost every house and others played mandolins, guitars and whatever else they could bring along. So, Christmas carols were shared as part of the festivities too. (I wish I could find some of these pictures to post but unfortunately, most all of them were slides and movies that were somehow lost.)

Families have since clustered around their own growing nucleus, divorced or moved on in other ways. But I think it is important to have those memories and I share here in hopes that you might think of your own memories…old or newer ones. And also that you are remembering to share the joy and love that the season includes, whatever your beliefs may be. If, by some chance, you don’t have fond Christmas memories, what better time to make some? At the same time, you could be creating some good memories for someone else.

I hope you are happy if someone wishes you the best during the holiday season, whatever words they might use, because that is what they are doing…sharing the good wishes of the season with you.

I hope that you are not focusing on all the negatives in the news, but that you are finding and bringing peace to your part of the world. I believe this is the best way to have peace in our world…creating it in the part we can influence or touch, as we can’t really do much outside our own environs.

All of this is the foundation for my feelings this holiday season. Some years I don’t put up a tree or do much to celebrate the season. A mixture of things has made me withdraw from it all. Well, I put up a tree this year…it is unusual and I like it.

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I decided not to do my old standard gorgeous tree with all matching ornaments and perfection. I have used this outdoor spiral tree and decorated it with as many mismatched ornaments as I could find in my stash. Maybe you can see an ornament that you made or gave me…

An ornament made by our grand-daughter about 13 years ago, a whole set of crocheted ornaments from someone who used to work for me and became a friend, a snowman that I hate to admit I don’t know where it came from…maybe someone reading this will claim it, but I had to put it up!

I have many angels on the tree because I definitely believe in angels!

Angels from my sister, more crocheted gifts, an angel from the same grand-daughter, given in 2000.

At the foot of the there are two stockings, one from my sister who asked my hubby to promise to fill it every year and one for my hubby. (If we are blessed with guests on Christmas morning, they will get stockings too!)

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Oh, and there are mice…a custom my sister started for the country and city mice in us!

With all the talk of my mom here, I must mention that there are also ornaments made by her hands…a set of rocking horses…

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I like this tree a lot. It makes me smile and remember; it makes me think of those far away and/or passed away who have been part of my life and holidays and still light my heart like this tree lights the room.

I have a bit more holiday cheer than I have had for several years. I am grateful and I hope you are finding ways to feel good about the season too.

Oh, and one more thing…if you are thinking of getting me a gift, how about a gift for our world. Create a little peace in your neck of the woods (or you could always get an ornament for my tree so I can think of you when I look at it next year!)

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Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Seasons’ Greetings or whatever you like. It is all a way of sharing good wishes.

If you look upon the season from a religious perspective, you know that it is about a great gift of love. If faith is not part of your holiday, you still know that it is about a sense of love, caring and sharing. May God bless each and every one this holiday season and may love be in our hearts.