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 

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.                                            

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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

Christmas_cover - Copy

ends tomorrow.  Go here to enter.

September 11—105 days until Christmas–Yummy Sesame Crackers

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

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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.

August 25—122 days until Christmas—Unique Christmas Cards

I know I promised you a surprise about cards today, but alas, even my best laid plans have to be delayed. I’d like to blame it on the elves, or better yet, Mr. Claus, but alas it’s my fault and the surprise will have to wait for my next post.

In the meantime we can still talk about cards.

What about this year making your own?
Use a family picture
card pictures 001 (3)
or a favorite drawing by your children
card pictures 001 (4) or maybe an acrostic poem you’ve written yourself In case you’ve forgotten how, click here.
or a poem with repetition To refresh your memory, click here.

Then go online for companies that help you create your card. In the past my husband and I have used Shutterfly and Costco and been pleased with the results.

Does creating your own cards overwhelm you?

Then be sure to read my next post for the card surprise.

Anyone want to share a story about creating your own card?

133 days until Christmas–Santa Decoration

Since we just finished a poem about Mr. Saint Nick, let’s make a decoration in his honor. I discovered this charming one on Etsy.

Unfortunately when I went to the creator’s web-site, the language was not one I could read. So . . . I winged it.

You can too. Download directions here.

How long did it take?

Less than the length of a TV movie.

Think of how many you can make between now and December. Your tree could be filled with this sweet decoration or you could give them as hostess gifts or to your special friends.

Speaking of friends, stay tune for my next post for a darling, inexpensive and meaningful gift for all the special girls and women in your life.

154 days left until Christmas—A Gift of Poetry, Part Two

You have your list of the favorite things about a special person, (maybe more than one), but have no idea what to do with it. The easiest kind of poem where you don’t have to rhyme or worry about rhythm is a poem with repetition. All you have to do is think of a repetitive phrase such as:
You make me happy, because . . .
I love the way . . .
You are my center . . .

Then arrange it into a poem. Using my list from last week, I wrote this about you-know-who.Santa Claus

How can it be that
you are always thinking of others,
you never get tired of your job, and
you are always kind to your elves?

How can it be that
the twinkle in your eye never disappears,
your cheeks stay so rosy and
your laugh is deep and true?

How can it be that
on the busiest night of the year you remember me with a gift,
you can’t wait to return home, and
share stories of your journey?

How can it be that
you chose me
to share this merry adventure
with you?

Think of your phrase and start writing. You may not get it right the first time. All poets revise. Work on your poem until you feel it expresses your feelings honestly. Then print it up with a pretty font and tuck it in an envelope.

Anyone want to share their poems? I’d love to meet your special people through poetry.

Come back next week for some homemade gift suggestions that are equally kind to your bank account. If you start them right away, you’ll be finished in plenty of time to have a love-filled, stress-free holiday.

July 16—162 days until Christmas—A Gift of Poetry, Part One

When it’s frigid up here at the North Pole, and I’m stuck inside, I try my hand at poetry. This one I wrote about my dear, beloved husband.Santa Claus

SANTA CLAUS

Two pink-cheeked words
that twinkle merry,
laugh Ho, Ho, Ho,
smiling on each girl and boy.

Christmas Night
those two words fly
through the sky
carrying a pack filled
with laughter and joy.

Why don’t you write a poem about someone special in your life? It will be the most cherished gift under the tree and remembered long after neckties and nighties are forgotten. Better yet, it doesn’t cost a penny. All it takes is time and because there are so many days until Christmas, you have plenty.

You’ve never written a poem?
It’s not hard.
Make a list of all the good things a person does for you and all their loveable qualities.

Here’s mine of some of Mr. Saint Nick’s finest qualities to get you started:
The way you are always thinking of others,
The twinkle in your eye
Your ho, ho, ho laugh that comes from deep down,
You never get tired of your job.
Your rosy cheeks.
How kind you are to your elves, making sure they have plenty of breaks.
How on your busiest night of the year you always remember me with a gift.
You say I love you, every time you leave
And every time you return home.
You appreciate a good meal.

That wasn’t so hard was it?
Now it’s your turn.
Make similar lists of all the important people in your life.
Next week, I’ll share how to turn your list into a poem—a loving gift if there ever was one!

176 days to Christmas–Giving Fewer Gifts

It’s not too early to think about cutting back on the number of Christmas gifts you give. I’ve tried with my dear husband, but he’s a big man with a heart to match and won’t hear of it. That’s why I’m appealing to you.

We are blessed in this country with an abundance few people in the world enjoy. Yet, come Christmas we add more to that abundance. We’ve allowed commercialization to creep into Christmas. Compare our Christmas to those celebrated in earlier times in our history. Read Laura Ingalls Wilders book LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE little house on the prairiewhere Laura and Mary each received a new tin cup, a stick of peppermint candy, a heart-shaped cake and a penny. The children were thrilled with their gifts. Today’s children wouldn’t be satisfied with those presents, but we must do something to simplify the holiday.

While issuing an order of no gifts may be too drastic, what about giving just one less gift per person?

Maybe instead of everyone in the family giving everyone a present, you might draw names from my husband’s hat. santa-hat

Instead of sending gifts to far flung family members, maybe say this is the year to stop. Many of us don’t want to be the first to suggest cutting back. I beg you to take the lead. You may find your family members grateful not to have to stand in line at the post office again.

Cutting back on giving, won’t take the joy out of the holiday—it will just relieve the stress. Please share any ideas you have to go easier on this year’s gifts.

Next week we’ll discuss another way to cut back on the expense of Christmas so we can all have a stress-free, love-filled holiday.