September 29th—91 days until Christmas—Stocking Stuffers

Here are a few ideas for small stocking stuffer gifts for kids.

Everyone loves super bouncy balls.

small balls

These Plan Toy dollhouse people are fun to play with even if there is no dollhouse.


What young boy won’t love racing these Mattel Hot Wheels around the tree?hot wheels

Here are some darling animal erasers by Iwako.


And cute insects by Z Wind-ups.  wind ups

Even necessities like toothbrushes can be fun if they’re these Dora the Explorer brushes made by Colgate.


Anyone else want to share stocking stuffer ideas for kids?

Next post I’ll have suggestions of those adults on your list.  We can’t forget them, can we?

September 25th—91 Days until Christmas—A Crocheted Christmas Stocking

I’m a knitter, but recently I came across a crochet pattern for a charming granny square stocking.  It was easy enough for this clutzy crocheter to make and in fact years ago I did make one.  I would show you the picture, but unfortunately that red and green stocking is packed away until December in who knows what box.  Trust me it looks very much like this one.


Find the pattern here.

I started to make another stocking to post, but after I’d made the prescribed twelve squares inspiration hit—These squares will make perfect coasters!

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The gold and white colors make them suitable not only for Christmas, but New Year’s Eve, too

If you’re going to make a stocking, get busy now.  Next post we’ll give you suggestions for what presents to put into the stockings for kids.  The sooner you buy them, the more relaxed your holiday will be.

September 22—94 Days until Christmas—Stockings to Make

Using that pattern I created for the stockings for Santa, the elves and myself, I’ve made two other stockings.

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This pretty lacy one required two fabrics—a solid green and a lacy one cut at the same time.  Using two of those combinations, I stitched them together with both lacy fabrics on the inside, trimmed the seams and turned them inside out.  I stitched a trim of extra lace on the top. 

 Here’s another one, made with strips of patchwork squares.  

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Using the same pattern as before, I cut my patchwork strips, stitched them right side to right side, trimmed the seams and turned the stocking inside out.  Being a great fan of rick-rack and having time on my hands I added some to the tops. 

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll show another stocking to make.  This one calls for basic crocheting skills.

Do you have any stocking ideas you’d like to share?


September 18—98 Days until Christmas—A Stocking Poem

We’ve moved from three down to two digits! Can you feel how we’re getting closer and closer to the holiday?

The weather up here in the North Pole is dipping low so I’m spending more and more time inside.  That means I’m writing more poems.  Here’s my latest about stockings.


Stocking is a word,

too big for your foot,

bright red,

trimmed in gold,

hanging on the mantel,

waiting to be filled

by a fat jolly old man

you’ve never met

Yet each year,

once a year,

he delivers surprises

perfect for you.                                            


This is a picture of the stocking pattern Mr. Saint Nick and I have been using for years.  It’s not difficult to make.  Just draw a foot pattern to your size and liking.  I did it on an old paper grocery bag.  Then I pinned gold rick-rack in the shape of the initial of the person’s name.  Stitched it and some rick-rack at the top and then sewed the two pieces together with red thread–easy but sophisticated looking, don’t you agree.

May your stocking be filled by my dear husband with gifts you adore.

Next post I’ll share some other stocking ideas in case you’re inspired to make them.

And don’t forget–Your chances to win a free copy of

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ends tomorrow.  Go here to enter.

September 15—101 days until Christmas– Thinking Gifts in September

Most people look forward to spring for their cleaning and organizing.  Not me!  In preparation for the holidays, I do a lot of early planning (as I’m sure you already know from my blog.)  Gracious me!  I realized I didn’t have nearly enough cookie sheets.  My husband isn’t known to have a small appetite!  And with all the elves to feed too,  I climbed into my trusty sleigh and headed to the store.  cropped-mrs400.jpg

The cookie sheets were easy to find, but I also saw these darling potholders.  DSCN0375My best friend has a yellow kitchen so I bought them and that’s one less person I have to think about for Christmas.

Every time you go shopping, keep your eye open for that perfect gift for the special people on your list.  The more shopping you do now, the less crazy your December will be.

Do you like contests?   Enter here to win a free copy of that book about me.

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September 11—105 days until Christmas–Yummy Sesame Crackers

As promised, here’s a recipe for the kind of crackers you can eat. 


They’re yummy, easy to make and freeze well.  Download the recipe here.

Nothing will impress your guests more—especially those who assume all crackers come in a box.  Make these crackers now and enjoy them with a glass of wine, like my dear husband does.  Closer to the holidays make another batch and tuck them in your freezer, ready to pull out and serve to any unannounced visitors.

Just one more way to enjoy a stress-free, love-filled Christmas.

September 8th—108 days left to Christmas—Avoiding Family Fisticuffs

Family, like fire-works in July can often explode, especially at the dinner table.  Start planning now for activities to keep everyone happy.  Start saving toilet paper rolls!


What, you ask, do toilet paper rolls have to do with Christmas?

They are the basis for making Crackers.  Not the crackers you eat—the old English Crackers.

All they are is a wrapped tube that makes a pop when you pull off the paper.

english crackers

Each one is filled with little gifts, sweets and jokes.  Whatever you want to put in is fine.  You can order them here–  but they’re more personal if you make them.  Instructions will come in a later post.  All you have to do now is start saving toilet-paper rolls, paper-towel rolls and wrapping paper rolls.  Also collect jokes from the funny paper that strike your fancy.  Riddles, too, and keep your eye out for small cute gifts everyone can use—erasers, fun shaped paper clips, marbles, etc.  I ordered my snaps from

Stash the snaps, rolls and gifts away in a closet and then you’ll have everything you need to make them.  I’ll post the directions closer to the holiday.

Be sure to read my next post where I’ll give you a yummy cracker (the eating kind) recipe.

Do you have any other suggestions for easing family tensions on the big day?  I’d love to hear them so we can all enjoy a stress free-love filled holiday.