Tag Archive | Santa Claus

Christmas Gift Giving…

I’ve started stashing a few presents for Christmas… I have to buy a few things at a time… with our money coming in on certain days… u13311684

YOU know what I mean!…

and the every day bills are still there… and food needs to be bought sfo0814… and gas for the car…

We do draw names with the adults in our immediate little family… consisting of 7 of us…

I suggested it last year and everyone jumped at the ideak15480118 … and we are continuing this tradition… Thank Goodness!…

I have three Grandkids… and have a budget ( certain amount I spend ) for their gifts too…k4399683

They like gifts… ( wrapped presents ) x18728389and maybe a gift card… to a favorite storek4809558

and it makes me so happy buying something I feel they will really use or enjoy…

I give this great thought…

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My husband , my son who lives with us and myself… fill each other’s Christmas Stocking including our cat, Jill’s…

We are not allowed to peek until Christmas Eve night when everyone has left for the night…

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My niece gave my son “A Christmas Story” stocking last year for fun… since she knows that’s one of his favorite Christmas Movies…A-Christmas-Story-30

Mine is a quilted one…

My husband’s is the Santa and Jill has a kitty on hers… which is only appropriate for a cat!

Our own private little celebration…

Our own little tradition!…

And we are so surprised at our own ingenuity in finding items that fit into the area of a sock u17965586and are items that each will enjoy! 

We do good!

Other than these few gifts… I draw names with my BUNCO group… and we exchange when we go out to eat to a favorite restaurant…k13712070

When we go to my niece’s house for a pre-Christmas get-together… Women bring a $10.00 lady gift… and the men bring a $10.00 man gift… ( if you want to participate… which is optional ) and then a game is played where everyone ends up with something…sma0111

Fun and not expensive

The men seem to have more fun than the ladies… passing a certain present from one to another… like it’s worth more than the $10.00 paid!…

The children here… also draw names… with each other… and they are all satisfied… u23842863

I feel we have become smarter in our thinking on this gift giving idea…

Less stress…

Less a financial burden…

and we have learned that just being togethermardep0013s

enjoying good food prepared by all  x10497109

is the best Christmas Present we could ever have!

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“Are You Ready?”

k7942552Am I ready?… I think so…

People ask , “Are you ready for Christmas?” … My immediate thought is …

Yes, I’ve bought presents sma0109for who was on my list… and they are wrapped… and under the tree…

Yes, I have most of the food k11492778I’m going to prepare…

Yes, the house is cleanpix0587… and extra dusting and sweeping has been done…

Yes, my personal hand-made gifts k5000305 have been mailed or given…

Yes, the decorations k11501125got up early…

Yes, phone calls k2392326and connecting to those out-of-town have been made…

and YES, I do remember WHY we are celebrating…

It’s my Jesus’ Birthday!..k2856122

Isn’t it wonderful that our Lord has shared his Birthday bwo0065with us!…

His birthday has brought Santa Claus u14039971for the young children… like the JOY in our hearts when He enters…

The gift givingk9904381 like Him… that is our gift from GodOur Heavenly Father!…

The beautiful Lights! x13376197… like Him… that has brought Light to a sinful world for whoever wants to Believe!…

The LOVE k11475327 that is bestowed on family members and friends… like His Love that was given through His sacrifice…

Special Hand-made foods and presents k6849846… that we cook and make with thoughts of the people who will receive them… like Him… who listens to our Prayers that we lift up to Him… with a yearning heart…

Our Homes k7896151that are so festive… Waiting for friends and family to enter… like Heaven‘s Gates standing wide open for all who want Everlasting Life

Our calls we make… our cards k7254442we send… our hugs and kisses we love to give and receive… like the open line of communication that is there with our Lord… if we just take the time to bend our heads and knees in prayer

The wonderful dinnersk2945120 that are prepared for the festivities we partake in… like the Dinner and Place that has been prepared for us in Heaven

Yes… I think “I’m Ready!”… Are you?

Bells of Christmas…

When I go to sign my Christmas Cards IS431-094 … I sometimes wonder what to write…

Of course “LOVE”  is always good k11475327 … but, maybe not for just an acquaintance… or a co-worker…

Merry Christmas??? k7942552

and a Happy New Year!???k10911768

These are a few but, I also found these “closings”…that were just a little “more”… and I liked that!…

May your days be  filled with magic and cheer!

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Decorate your Christmas with joy!

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May all your days be happy and bright!

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Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a joyful holiday season.

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Jolly holly-days to your and yours!

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Merry up and have your best Christmas ever!

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HO! HO! HOpe your holidays are filled with fun!

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Christmas…hope yours is all about the merry!

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Merry Christmas to someone who’s always on Santa’s “nice” list!

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Merry Kiss-mas!

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God bless us, everyone!     

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Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season
and all the best in the coming year!

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Merry Christmas with all the trimmings!

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Hope this season finds  you all wrapped up in happy!

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I made my own “Cards “… to hand out to the members of a group I belong to… It was our Christmas Get-together…

I found pretty Silver Bells“… and attached them to my letter (card)… I had chosen the Christmas Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as follows:

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This poem was written on December 25th 1864 during the American Civil War by one of America’s greatest writers, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The references to this war were removed when the poem was rearranged and set to music by John Baptiste Calkin in 1872.

‘Christmas Bells’

I heard the bells k10791590on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on Earth , good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing k10791590, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells k10791590more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,

With peace on Earth, good-will to men!

My “closing” was…

Wishing you a joyous Christmas!

May the “Bells of Christmas” ring out for you!

Holiday Cheer!

Gift…

I had the nicest day today…

After going to swimming aerobics I went to a new friend’s house… I had met her at the YMCA… and was invited for lunch

What’s funny… as it goes sometimes… She lives not far from where we bought our first home…

She bought the house she lives in from her Dad… It’s a country home k1420223… Has been built on many times… over 100 years old

It is so comfortable with a quaint charm

She has decorated with all of her favorite Christmas decorations…

As you pull up the driveway that circles back out to the main road… You notice the pretty white lights  k8088704 in the shrubs… Red Bowed Wreaths on the windows and doors… Even way up on the second story windows k8640724 … Holiday decorations adorn the glassed in front porch… An antique white and red enamel table il_570xN_296511460 catches my eye… Decorated with one of her own homemade quilted spreads

Her pretty quilts k5639770 adorn almost every room… her collection of Snowmen… sitting there with funny little grins k10705009k10169465… some big… some small… over 100 easily… scattered throughout her kitchen… Sitting on what she calls a pie safe roadshow200505A01_00 … an older piece called a Hoosier Cabinet 99-4405_1G is covered with Snowman figures also…

Some are sitting under the cabinet with aprons on… flour containers and baker’s hats… Ready to give my friend a hand when she bakes her Christmas Cookies k5000305… Some are see-sawing up and down as I wind the little knob on the side…

A shelf is covered with little Snowmen that look like smores 7633208916_a0c3071302_s … Pretend graham crackerschocolate and cute faced marshmallow snowmen

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You would think it was Santa’s workshop k3651885 as you walked from room to room…

The living room area… has a pretty Christmas Tree... with snowflake lights muvKha6BKxGnhcz0YlNmOBw … The fireplace mantle x17100356 is decorated with a beautiful Nativity… camels…sheep…wise men…Mary and Joseph… and of course Baby Jesus in a manger..

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There’s mistletoe k0152434hung and greenery with red bows 356DE_EX0003N002_H… Pretty quilted table coverings made by her… are found here also… Pure Christmas Charm every where you looked…

She had the table set with a lovely poinsettia print tableclothk10960481 Cloth Christmas napkins and even Christmas themed dinnerware… The centerpiece was a pretty ornamented wreath atop one of her collectible cake stands 81AEJO-00000242-001

She had prepared creamy potato soup k3868559 … with grated cheese…bacon and chopped green onions for garnish if you wanted… an assortment of crackersk8967618 … and a  salad of fresh greens…red sliced onions…apple and pear slices…glazed pecans…with poppy-seed Dressing 00913394

It was so Yummy!…

To top it off… Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies … and Butterscotch Brownies… for dessert… Hot coffee to complete a wonderful delicious lunch…

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It was just right!…

We wandered back into the living area after noticing the other tree in their bedroom… Not a tiny one… a tall one with pretty ornaments also k2719848

As we kept looking around more would catch your eye… The centerpiece on the coffee table… and little keepsakes k0175339 hanging here and there…

This is what I call a wonderful Pre-Christmas Day!… Enjoying a good meal… talking and learning more about each other… and going home with a smile on my face…

full of Holiday Cheer

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Keepsakes…

OK! … I admit it!… I  love Christmas!… along with MANY  other people… and I like to decorate for the Season… Some of my things are old and some I just like!…

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These tree plates I found at the thrift store… Hand painted and quite old… Had to have them… Candy will go in them later…

Some people say they just cover their tree up and sit it out the following year… Not Me!… My pleasure is in putting every ornament on… A little different every year…

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The bigger tree is decorated with Santas…Just fun!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Some of the Santa Ornaments…

I’m having Christmas Eve this year due to my son and his wife having sold their home and are having one built… His wife’s Mom and Dad are having them stay with them until their house is finished… so the least I could do was have our traditional Christmas Get-Together… and with my cousin and her husband coming up from Tennessee… It will be so nice!

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My husband’s favorite Santa Toy… who beats his drums exactly to the beat of many Christmas Carols…

My menu is planned… and I’ve shopped for most everything that is not perishable… Others will bring a dish to add to the menu…We are yummy coooks!…

My husband gets my “Favorite Elf Award” for helping me throughout… He decorates outside… Not overboard… but, you know we like Christmas!..  A few lighted wreaths in the windows and on the front door… some lights around the light pole with bells… a few lights around the front door… Silk Poinsettias are placed in the pots on the front porch… and a Santa flag blowing in the air…

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Inside… the bigger tree is decked out in Santa Clauses… and a small tree was placed in the living room… to make more room for guests… It’s quite cozy… Jill, our cat… even thinks so…

She usually adopts the tree for her napping place and this year she has two spots…

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I’ve hung the bells from my Momma’s house from years past that my Dad bought… Memories are there every time the string is pulled and the christmas songs play…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Every time someone passes… the string is pulled… about 50 years old…

My brother made the wood Santas hanging on the door facings… The blue one being mine since I love the color blue… and then I inherited the green one that was made for Mom… All of the brothers and sisters received one many year’s ago…

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Santas adorn the room where the Santa Tree is placed…

Snowmen in the bathroom…

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and whatever I like everywhere else…

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  When Grandkids were much younger…but, some f my favorites…

I will probably continue to decorate for a long time… Having three Grandchildren… and the my boys who are grown would definitely miss it…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  My Grandson probably wound this music box up to watch the train going around and around about twenty times the other night…

My husband says I go overboard a little… but, just keeps hanging something or repositioning an item… with that Twinkle in his eye… just like Santa

At times I think I hear… Ho…Ho…Ho!  k4982313

http://youtu.be/z3rJX3U9yM8     (It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas) sung by Bing Crosby

“Coca Cola” Night

Memory…

My son has (had) a neat Coca-Cola collection of various items …Needing room and as we get sometimes, a little tired of this hobby…I’ve taken it on myself to EBAY it…It just took two days to take pictures of everything!…After you go through these items individually…you see how really neat this hobby could be…The great clock …the truck full of little coke bottles …the unusual signs …the nostalgic “Coke Ladies” …and of course the “Coca-Cola Santa … I was very young when I had my first “Coke”…They came in a six-pack of short greenish bottles that could be returned for a few cents…You actually had to use a bottle opener to open them…Of course I was “hooked”!…I don’t guess there’s a better sensation than opening up a really cold bottle of Coca-Cola and taking that first sip Coke just goes with everything!…On Friday nights my Dad would usually bring home this little six pack…with some kind of salty thing to eat…or popcorn was popped…He watched “The Fights” (Boxing ) on Friday nights…and of course that’s what we had to watch too…It was just understood…Only one TV and in black and white for quite awhile…yes, I remember my first TV experience too!…You didn’t just get to open up as many Cokes as you want as kids do today…You got one for the week and you savored it!…It made things “special” …Sitting by my Dad acting like I loved watching “boxing”…and enjoying my “Coca-Cola”…a wonderful memory!

“Mail Order Sweetness!”

I received a brochure (catalog) in the mail at least 30 years ago… No, I’m not going to say I still have it… That one is long gone…but, I continue to get them in the mail every year… It comes around the middle of November … and it actually hasn’t changed a lot since that first one so long ago… It probably has a few newer items… the prices are a little higher… but, the Quality is still the same!… Very Good!… I order pretty little cakes called Petits Fours  from it… that come in delicious flavors of lemon , strawberry , chocolate,vanilla, red velvet, carrot … and numerous others… They are covered in a sumptuous coating of crunchy light frosting with a pretty decoration on each… Bon Bons are another item I order… As you can tell we eat some…but, I buy them for special gifts also… Then there are the cheeses and sausages … candies… fruits… crackers… condiments like spicy mustard… varieties of crunchy nuts … Some are wrapped in pretty gold boxes… others are presented in boxes resembling Santa or a snowman … Towers, as they call them with a variety of all of their treats… tied with pretty ribbons … The postman delivered the order I had placed today and remarked , “Someone must really like you!”… I just said, ” Thanks”, because my family had spotted those pretty red boxes and were already asking, “Did you buy any for us?…”Can we open any now?”… “Of course!”, I say…It would be torture if you couldn’t bite into one of those soft little cakes  with so much flavor… All I hear is,”YUM!”… I guess by now you are wondering or maybe you already know the name of this neat company with the enticing booklet of unforgettable goodies … It is “Swiss Colony“… and they know I’ll always be one of their best customers… at least at Christmas time! 

Right Around “Horseshoe Bend”

I loved our “Christmas Breakfast”  together!… My brother, Eddie actually began this tradition… He would call all of us … that being three sisters/husbands, another brother/wife and Mom… Dad had passed years before this tradition started…or he would have loved it!… Eddie would have a place picked out for all of us to meet… date and time set… His favorite and first place we met was “The Overlook Restaurant” in Leavenworth, Indiana  … This was not a fancy place… but, good home cooking… sitting on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River… it was quaint and unique… Found by one of his many drives to view pretty scenery in small rural towns… This breakfast trip was always better when a few snowflakes were skittering around as we drove over the Ohio River to reach our destination from Louisville… The reservation had been made and our table would be ready… able to sit together at one long table… the smell of hot coffee wafting in the air… mingled with smells of pancakes, eggs, bacon , ham and homemade biscuits… The waitress was very attentive… keeping the pots of coffee full that sat on the table for refills … and there were many!… We would peek out the window at the beautiful Ohio River meandering around Horseshoe Bend  right below us… We would laugh, talk, tell tales, take pictures and of course eat like it was the best breakfast we had ever encountered!… My brother would then disappear for a few minutes to arrive back at our table playing as “Santa Claus… Eddie would have all of us a small hand-picked gift of special cookies, candy or picture he had made copies of… This was his time to shine!… He loved giving… and we loved this time of togetherness… We left waving… hugging… having that special love in our hearts of being family… How wonderful is that!

“Santa, Can I Wrap Your Presents?”

I actually learned to wrap presents  from my brother, Eddie… I was quite young… Nine, I guess…I watched him take such care in wrapping a record player for my now Sister-in-law, Jeanette …Yes, a record player with speakers…no CD‘s , no tapes … just the vinyl black disks that had the hole in the middle… Remember 78’s, 45’s and 33’s? … I watched everything he did… because he always took such care in whatever he was doing… I watched him pick just the right wrapping paper and ribbon … cut it to just fit… fold the corners just so… all even… and then the finishing touch of a pretty bow… A present anyone would be so happy to receive! … Ever since then, I wanted to wrap all of the presents… no one ever complained…”I wonder why?”… So here I am starting to wrap my Christmas presents…I choose the paper and ribbons the year before… all from the clearance shelves after the Holidays … so I am ready to go… This year I chose the cutest wrapping paper with a light blue background… retro drawn ladies in festive Christmas green and red dresses… holding onto their purchases of Holiday shopping bags and of course their purse… white snowflakes falling around them …They seem so happy …like most women at this time of year… on a mission… to cover everyone on their list … I usually add a little ornament, special tag or flower to the bow … I have to confess using a few “bags” but, I love a wrapped present … and please!… no stick on bows… I use to wrap everything all at one time… and then suffering from a backache afterwards… Now, I wrap a little every other night… I can’t sit and wrap or do most anything that way… I have more control over the situation if I stand… so I do!… I have been complimented on my present wrapping… which is so nice… hearing, “I hate to open it, it’s so pretty!” … I think the wrapping part is like part of the gift… even a small present seems so much more if dressed up in a pretty package… As I wrap a gift for someone I think of that person… I believe it can be good therapy… I’ve always said, “I want a job at Christmas in the Mall wrapping gifts” … Maybe I’ll try that next year… I have enough of my own to do this year… Santa and his Elves  would probably be envious of my handiwork!

“Squeals of Delight!”

I’ve figured out something about Holidays …Without children ...they just aren’t as much fun!… The twinkle we see in the eyes of children … How their smiles just emerge and light their faces … The excitement in their voices… That magical giggle that radiates from their throats … That unreserved motion in their bodies… as if they just can’t be still … The joy as they express without any reservations as to what they expect …be it a certain costume at Halloween… “I’m going to be a …!” , as they demonstrate the sounds or look of the creature they want to be…  be it a dessert of Thanksgiving… “I just love pumpkin pie with cool whip”!  … as they almost lick their lips telling you about it… be it a special toy they’ve been looking at in the Christmas Catalog … because if you’re a good little girl or boy… Santa   will bring you what you have wished for… Children jump and hop almost as much as the Easter Bunny in anticipation of finding an Easter Basket full of candies or maybe a stuffed fuzzy bunny to snuggle up to … There will be hearts drawn on everything… pink and red …with “I LOVE YOU!”   printed on most of them… Valentine’s made from cut out red or pink construction paper with white doilies glued behind them… The prettiest things they have ever seen as their hands clap and touch their faces… Leprechauns have nothing on kids as they dance a jig and make green shamrocks for good luck… St.Patrick’s Day is indeed magical to them!… Summer vacation brings squeals of happiness as they jump into the swimming pool for the first time  … shivering, but, never admitting they are cold… Even that first day of school… shopping for those new pencils, red, green and blue folders and colorful crayons just waiting to be opened and used for the first time… It seems if we would look at children…we would realize their joy can always remain within us … Just smile, giggle, dance , shiver, clap, hop, make something pretty and even squeal with delight 

It may be contagious!

“My Kids!”…
It started in August… first day of school… Happy faces for the most part … getting off the school buses… in our case, the little buses … for Special Ed kids … As soon as you saw them, you had to smileso sweet… so friendly… so chatty…and so enthused to be at school…Here they would busy, go places and get lots of attention!… so they were excited!… It spilled over onto us… Of course within about two months… Halloween arrived… we would dress in costumes… make Jack-o-lantern cakes in our Bake Shop and have games and activities … They loved it! … Showing it by wanting us to paint their faces, talk of costumes and pumpkin patch field trips… enjoyed by all!… Thanksgiving was a busy time in our Bake Shop…with Pumpkin and Pecan pies being baked…and the smells wafting through the halls …Talk of turkeys and eating dinner at their Grandparents…What a joy watching them describe what they did… Christmas of course was time for a break…but, not before decorating a tree , talking of all the ways different people celebrated this special time, musical concerts… and our Holiday Bazaar… The anticipation of being off from school and a visit from Santa … A winter time delight … Valentine’s Day brought out the pink, red and white construction paper with heart-shaped patterns and decorations… Small Conversation Heart shaped candies  were found everywhere…reading what each one said… The fun as they expressed their like for a certain student…very typical!… March brought out the Leprechaun’s and green shamrockspots of gold were talked bout and rainbow’s  drawn on every piece of paper they could find… We discussed how the colors of the rainbow were called, ROY G BIVred, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and we taught it like it was new for all of us…. April brought Spring, the Easter Bunny and candy being brought to school and found in their desks… just hoping no melted Bunnies would be found… School ended with the anticipation of summer and fun-filled, sunny days… Smiles becoming more contagious as we all were ready for a break… A few squeals of delight could be heard as students and teachers left at that time I told you it could be contagious!