November 20th—35 days until Christmas—Mr. Saint Nick’s Favorite Holiday Stories

My husband loves a good story. Here are his go-to ones each December. The first two are in the public domain so you can find them for free on the internet—isn’t that an amazing invention? The others, I’m sorry you’ll either have to borrow from the library or spend money for.

  1.  A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens  http://www.stormfax.com/1dickens.htm
  2. THE GIFT OF THE MAGI by O Henry  http://www.online-literature.com/o_henry/1014/
  3. THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGENT EVER by Barbara Robinson for elementary age  kids.bestchristmaspageant
  4. COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Rob Sanders, Illustrated by John Manders—fun for cowgirls, too.

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5.  MANGER, Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins—for ages 3 to 103

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6.  And last, but not least, the book about me, ‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas_cover - Copy  Mr. Claus loves that I’m finally getting the recognition I deserve.

Since you will have completed your shopping, hopefully, and written your cards, hopefully, you should have plenty of time during December to read these stories with your family.  Last year I shared some of my favorite Christmas books.  You’ll find them here.

If anyone else has favorite Christmas books to share, please do.

In my next post, get ready for another poem AND a recipe, that I promise is easy and delicious.

November 10th—45 days until Christmas—Star Poem and Decorations

Up here in the north pole our skies are filled with stars, but on Christmas we celebrate one star.  Hence this poem:

Years ago a bright brilliant star

shone down from the blackened sky,

showing wise men and shepherds the way

to the manger where Jesus lay.

And so I hang a multitude

of stars, around my tree,

reminding me of the reason why

we celebrate Christmas day.

© Ann Whitford Paul

It’s still only November but I had fun making these simple star decorations.

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You and your family can, too. Get busy. Directions are here. While you’re busy painting and gluing, listen to  this you-tube song. 

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It celebrates the book about me and is  less than a minute and a half long.  I hope you’ll play it over and over again.

My next post will have another simple craft for decorations and another holiday throw.  The more you do now, the more relaxed your December will be.

October 27th—59 days until Christmas—My Favorite Advent Calendar

Our countdown is into the fifties! Time is moving on. That’s why it’s not too early to be thinking about Advent Calendars.

My Advent Calendar today doesn’t hold gifts. This one is full of activities the family can do together. The easiest part is making the container—I use an old vase, wide enough at the top so that small elf hands can fit inside and tie a bright read bow to make it seasonal.

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Then fill your vase with twenty-five sheets of paper.

What’s written on each paper?

A different activity that you can do together. By the time December comes around, if you’ve been following this blog, you will have completed your shopping so you can relax and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Need some activity suggestions? How about these as possibilities?

1.  Make a card for someone special

2.  Go through your toys and belongings to find those still in good condition to donate to others less fortunate. This has the added advantage of brightening someone else’s holiday and gives you space to put the gifts received this Christmas.

3.  Bake cookies—What about these yummy white chocolate oatmeal cookies?

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4.  Shut down your computer, no video games. Everyone in the family gather around the table and play an old-fashioned board game. SCRABBLE anyone? MONOPOLY?

5.  Do an outside activity together, walk, jog, ice skate, build a snow man.

6, Start a jigsaw Christmas puzzle. Serious Puzzles on the internet has jigsaw puzzles from 13 pieces up to 6,000! Check them out here.

7.  Read a Christmas book aloud.  Perhaps this lovely collection of poems (My alter-ego Ann Whitford Paul has a poem there.)

manger  Or, better yet, this book about ME!

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My next few blogs will be devoted to further suggestions for your Activity Advent Calendar. What fun you and your family will have together!

October 2nd—84 days until Christmas—Stocking Stuffers for Adults.

All the elves hang stockings and it’s up to me to fill them, because Santa Claus is too busy delivering gifts around the world.

Here are some of the things I think they and other adults too, will love.

WalterDrake makes very useful Toothpaste tube squeezers, especially helpful for those who can’t stop squeezing from the middle of the tube.

tubesqueezer

I love this credit card size, wallet bottle opener by GiftGuys

bottle opener

and Supreme Housewares makes these charming cheese spreaders.

cheese knives

If you’re looking for soap, try these pure olive oil soaps from Kiss my Face.

kiss soap

Last year I suggested how to make book marks.

006They fit easily into a stocking.  Download the instructions here.  And don’t forget a book under the tree for each member of your family.  Mr. Saint Nick and I always look forward to reading our gift books the day after Christmas–when were both too exhausted to do anything else.

Any suggestions you want to share about stocking stuffers for the mature ones in your family?

Next post, I’ll suggest some stocking stuffers for teens.

August 29–118 days until Christmas–Last Card

Here’s the final card created from ‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS.

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And the message inside reads

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It, too, can be ordered here.

Hope you’ve liked at least one of my cards. Anything I can do to help ease your stress for this holiday gives me pleasure.

If, however, none of these cards suits your fancy, don’t wait to buy your cards. Shop now. Anything you can do before December will give you a more relaxed holiday.

Check out my next post when we’ll talk about school bells and Christmas bells, too.

August 28–119 days until Christmas–Check out this Tree Card

By the end of the holiday needles are dry and dropping, decorations have fallen and the tree will be tired of standing straight, just like this card.
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with this message inside
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You can order the card here.

The last card created from ‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS is about the best gift for your loved ones. It’s the cheapest, too, so don’t miss my next post.

August 26–121 Days until Christmas–At Last, the Card Surprise

If you’re like me, you’ve probably tired of the usual sappy, holiday
greetings. Then I have a treat for you—cards that are honest about the holidays like this one.

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Haven’t we all felt like this at Christmas?
Here’s the message inside.
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This card was created with an illustration by the talented Nancy Hayashi from that charming book about me.
‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS.
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Don’t like this card?
Tomorrow I’ll share another. We have four designs in all. Each folded card is 5 by 7. Set of ten is $16.99 which includes handling and postage.

Order here now and get them in plenty of time for the holidays.