Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sigh of Relief

Whew.  I'm done.  With all the goodies for family, friends, and neighbors.  I've been making chocolates this year - quite an undertaking - and I'm SO RELIEVED to be done.  Dave was a good sport last night in helping me out quite a bit, and I finally finished around midnight.  Now I'm hoping that I can really just enjoy the rest of the week as Christmas quickly approaches.

While I dipped chocolates, I watched one of my favorite Christmas movies -

Such a feel-good film.  It just makes you happy to be alive!

It's so hard to pick favorites.  But this next one is definitely one of them:

The "Sisters" song (sung by Bing and Danny Kaye) has to be my favorite.  Sigh.  I just love the two of them.
I also love this one

Such a wonderful story.  And the sequel, Timepiece, is also a favorite.

I must admit, although I hear it quoted every year, I've never seen

Maybe I'll have to actually watch it this year.

This is a must:

Not to mention all the classic kid movies.

What are your holiday movie favorites?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa's Getting Stingy

A few days ago, Kate and I went with Jenny and Henry, to see Santa at the mall.  Let's just say that we didn't exactly get what we expected.

Jenny called ahead and asked if we could take our own pictures with Santa instead of paying for the ones they provide.  The answer was yes.

So we showed up, all full of the Christmas spirit, and excited for another "first" with our little ones - a picture on Santa's lap.  Except for some reason the lady at the entry is saying that we can't take our own pictures.  "But we called ahead and asked," we protest, "and we were told that we could."

"Oh," the lady says smugly, "well you can take your own pictures.  Just so long as you're outside the perimeter of the Santa setup."  Oh, perfect.  You mean we can take pictures between the fence, the 6-foot-tall presents, and then 30 foot Christmas tree?  Excellent.  Let me leave my less-than-a-year-old baby girl on a strange man's lap while I run around to the outside and jump to get my 5 foot 2 inch frame above those presents!  I'll be right back.  Yeah, right.

We were pretty angry, and understandably so.  The lady tried to sell us on one of their package deals - the cheapest one was $10 for one photograph with Santa, and we wouldn't even get the copyright.  No thank you.

As we walked away, we made ourselves feel better by admitting that he was an "ugly" Santa anyway - honestly, he was - his beard was yellowish and not very long, and he had a very big shiny forehead - and no hat!

So I'm just wondering . . . has property tax gone up in the North Pole?  Has reindeer feed gotten more expensive?  Are elves charging more per hour?  Or is Santa's sleigh just a gas guzzler?  Because the Santa I know would let us put our children up on his knee, give them a candy cane, and let us snap one measly picture without charging us ten dollars.  But that's just the Santa I knew growing up.

Jenny and I stopped by Krispy Kreme on the way home and ate delicious Peppermint Bark Doughnuts to console ourselves over the Santa failure.  It was so good that it somewhat restored my belief in holiday magic.

Maybe next year Kate and I will completely skip the whole visiting Santa thing and just go straight for a Krispy Kreme . . .

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Newest Edition(s)

No, we're not pregnant.  

I'm actually talking about this:

Santa came a little early and brought our family gift - a new entertainment center and huge television.  Dave was ready - our old TV was about as boxy as they come, and had lines on the top third of the screen.  I'm happy to report that it has now gone the way of all the earth.
The T.V. was mostly for Dave - he's in love with it.  The entertainment center is what makes me happy.  And Kate?  Well, she's very pleased with the new cupboards that are full of surprises and haven't yet been baby-proofed.  Yet being the key word - sorry Kate!

We also did a gift exchange with Dave's parents, who are going to be out of the country over Christmas.  Here is what they got me - a beautiful new nativity!  I love the colors - especially since so many of mine are so neutral.  

I love the wise men -their robes each depict part of the story - one shows them on camels as they journey to see the Savior, there are angels singing on another, and (my favorite) the Star given as the sign of the Savior's birth on the third.

I also love the outline of Bethlehem in the background.

And my very very favorite is the perfect baby Jesus.

Insert sigh of contentment here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season

Not to blog.  Seriously, life is so crazy!  For all of you who are still consistently blogging, my hat goes off to you.  Or it would if I had one on!

But, 'tis the season


Image from here

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to accompany a group of young women from my church to a care facility where we sang Christmas songs to elderly and handicapped people.  It was so amazing!  I hadn't realized how much I'd been missing service. . . 

I realized that since having Kate, I had somehow used being a mother as a rationalization for being too busy to serve.  I failed to realize two things - one, that I need to serve.  It makes me feel good, even if it is inconvenient or takes some planning.  It's just good for the soul (like Chicken Noodle Soup)!  And two, I am setting an example for Kate . . . if I don't serve, she won't learn how important it is!

Over the past few weeks, I've been amazed at how many opportunities to serve have presented themselves.  Most of those service opportunities haven't been big, and they haven't taken hours upon hours to complete, but they have left me feeling full of the Spirit of Christmas.  And instead of feeling stressed out about getting the shopping done, the presents wrapped, gifts out to neighbors . . . I instead feel calm and peaceful, and a whole lot closer to what (or should I say who?) Christmas is all about.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nativities on Parade

So, I wanted to show off my nativity collection - I love nativities.  My ultimate goal is to have them from all over the world, but it'll probably be awhile.  In the meantime, let me show you what I've got so far.  If you love nativities as well, enjoy the ride.  If not, at least scroll down to the bottom to see one you won't want to miss!

 This one is from Italy . . . Dave and I got it while we were on our honeymoon.  We bought it in Venice - it's all glass, which is what Venetians are famous for.  I love the simplicity.

Here's another one I love.  It was given to me by one of my best friends ever . . . she knows my love of nativities and gave it to me as a gift.

I can't remember where I got this one.  It's so small, and yet so perfect.  As you can see with the hinge, it can be opened or closed.

This next one is a gift I received from my in-laws last year.  It is unique and wonderful.  If you notice, it has 4 spaces around the outside for candles, and when you light them, it makes the paddles turn the nativity around.

 Here's a closer look:

 Here is one given to me by my brother- and sister-in-law, they sent it to me from Hawaii while they were stationed there.  It is carved from a coconut!  It's probably not going to surprise you when I say I love this one as well. :)

 And, another favorite.  I hope to eventually get all the pieces.

 A few closeups:

 And here it is, all together:

Yes, we finally got our stockings up!

Sigh.  I just love Christmas.

Okay, okay, and now for the GRAND FINALE - 

I received permission to share this with you and hope you'll love it as much as I do - 
How to make a kid-friendly creche:

Keep the spirit of the season in your home by re-purposing contents in the toy box to produce a viable nativity scene. Get the kiddies to help.

First, suspend your belief that only sheep and donkeys were present on that Holy Night. Giraffes, aliens, dinosaurs...why not? And in that vein, Joseph could be an astronaut, and Mary, Mulan. See where this is going?

Second, it helps to have a little toy baby to put in the center of a teething donut (from Darlybird!) but if you don't have either you could probably use a Lego guy and a real donut. (I like glazed.)

Third, use action hero guys to play the shepherds, (I beg you to defy that appropriateness). As it happens, these shepherds in particular are also excellent hygienists, but that's another biblical story for another holiday...

Fourth, it would also be appropriate to use your Made in Japan toys to represent the wisemen because everyone knows they came from the Orient! Thanks Dumo Kun and your twin and puppy. Their gifts, twin briefcases and myrrh are found in front of manger. They never forget the presents those wisemen, it makes them happy. See? See?

Fifth, if you believe in them, put a "floating angel" (Trompe d'oeil! It's really just a leg to a Connect Four game piece) blessing the blessed congregation.

Welp, there you have it. Five easy steps to a complicated creche. Easy to be destroyed, easy to be repaired--which is symbolic in away right?

Anyway, I think it's sorta sweet.

Thanks so much for letting me share this Jane!

Go visit Jane @ C Jane Enjoy It!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All Aboard!

Here's a fun Christmas craft from Family Fun . . . a cut-out train!  Fun and easy, and kids would love it.  And Kate would eat it, so I'll probably hold off for a few years.  To make it last longer, you might glue the paper to something a little stronger, like poster board or card stock.  Either way, enjoy!

Image from

Click here to go to the Family Fun website to find out how easy it really is :)

One other fun Christmas activity to try with your kids . . . popcorn snowmen!  Look how adorable they are!

Image from

These are also very simple, and don't require a ton of ingredients - mostly just stuff you have on hand.  And, if your kids would like them better, you could make them out of Rice Krispy treats instead!

Click here to go to the Family Fun website and learn how to make these snowmen. 

And be sure to look around their website - they have a ton of other fun Christmas ideas, like:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas traditions and I think they are such a great way to get into the holiday spirit!  I can't help but think of the Fiddler on the Roof "Tradition" song :) So today I thought I would share a few of our family's Christmas traditions, as well as a few that I've been reading about, and I hope to hear about some of yours as well.

Growing up, there are several traditions that stand out to me.

  First, a tradition with my siblings.

We loved this.  We kept secret who had who so it was always a surprise.  Drawing names was something we chose to do because there were six kids, and so it was more fun to be able to focus on one special thing you could get for a brother or sister.

Another tradition I remember doing every year with my siblings -

We loved it so much - we would stay up and listen to Christmas music, talk, and fight over who got to sleep where until we heard sleigh bells (courtesy of mom and dad) outside, then we would all lay down and try to go to sleep as quickly as possible!

Dave and I have started one of our own traditions:

Dave and I are excited to have Kate along for the adventure this year!  The more the merrier!

Dave's family has a fun tradition that we participated in last year:

Each person makes their own gingerbread house, and they do it on a huge foil-covered piece of cardboard.  Dave's dad always made the church, and last year we had a little friendly competition to see who could build the tallest structure :)  They leave it out as a Christmas decoration until Christmas Eve, and then they let the kids smash it and eat the candy.  Lots of fun.

Here are a few fun traditions I've been reading about and am thinking to adding to our own!

On Christmas Eve you unwrap the scriptures and read the account of Christ's birth.  This tradition was shared by Melissa - to read more, click here!

Jean shared some fun ideas about Elf on a Shelf - to learn more, click here!

The first Friday in December you have "Elf Night" - the kids write their letters to Santa, and in the night, the elves come and get them and take them to Santa.  To read more about this tradition shared by Diane Roscoe, click here!

And finally, another of my own (and I'm sure many of you do the same) -

Because we must not forget what the season is really all about.  I have some wonderful memories of this from growing up.  I'm not sure why everyone always seemed to fight over who got to be the donkey . . .

Hooray for Christmas traditions that bring our families closer together - do you have any favorites that you'd like to share?  Please do!

For more fun ideas, check it out:

Leelou Blogs

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Deck the Halls

I finally have (almost) all of our Christmas decorations up.  This year we are seriously running out of space to put them all!  First of all, we finally finished our tree.  All of our ornaments come from one's my husband made and received growing up . . . he has a great collection.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Miniature Carousel

Pinocchio - I didn't even notice his nose was missing until I took the picture!

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet
(don't you love the list??)

I also put up our little advent village . . . I think it's adorable.  I love it for two reasons: 1) you put in your own candy - so it's refillable, and 2) it was only $15!  What do you think?

If you look carefully you can see the little knobs where you open up the doors to get the candy.

I also put up my collection of nativities, but I haven't got all the pictures of them, so I'll have to show you later.  But here is one thing I put together this year - a little "Let it Snow" display.  The reason I'm showing you is because I think it looks really nice, but it's so easy and cheap, anyone can do it!

Here it is:

Okay, here's the breakdown - most of it comes from the dollar store or the thrift store.  The tiered candleholders and candles come from the dollar store.  The hanging snowflakes also came from the dollar store.  The vase is a dime a dozen - you can buy them for about $1 at the thrift store (I just used an old one that some flowers came in).  I filled it with ornaments that I bought at the dollar store, and the ribbon and big ornament also came from the dollar store.  The star I just had around my house.  And finally, the sign - I bought the frame at a thrift store for $1, and I put in a free printable I found online.  It looks like this:

Click here if you want to go to the website and download it.

Anyway, super simple and I love how it looks!  Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year.  I'll show you my nativity collection soon! :)

P.S. For more fun and simple project ideas, click on the buttons below!

Holiday Home Tour

The DIY Show Off