December 8th—17 days until Christmas—Holiday Pet Peeves

It’s crazy, crazy December, so I need to tell you my Christmas pet peeves.

  1. Christmas has evolved into a commercial bonanza, so people too easily forget the true meaning of the day—Peace on earth and good will to men, and women, and children, and all living creatures.
  2. Stores start decorating in October!  While I’m all for you preparing early, there’s something about Christmas making its appearance before Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  3. Malls play the worst bland canned music.
  4. Too many people feel the need to overspend.  Remember it isn’t the cost of the gift, but the thought that counts.
  5. When you take the children to see Santa, there’s always someone snapping a picture that you feel compelled to buy.  
  6. Too many holiday parties!  Why can’t at least some people wait until January or February for an open house?
  7. Sugar highs become the normal.
  8. Too much drinking—Please don’t drink and drive.
  9. Egg nog?  Is there anything richer and heavier?
  10. Everyone is frazzled and tempers are short.
  11. Not one single mall Santa is as handsome as the original, my dear husband.

Maybe you have some pet peeves you’d like to share.

Hope that all your early preparation has paid off and that you’re enjoying a stress-free, love-filled holiday.

September 1—115 days until Christmas—School Bells and Christmas Bells

School bells, like this one, DSCN0352
are waiting to be rung. From the Atlantic to the Pacific they will call boys and girls to class.
They remind me of other bells, the Christmas kind and I was inspired to write this poem.

BELL

The word bell rings
sprinkling silver tunes—
ting a ling, a ling.
Its graceful dome
won’t complain
when struck, just sings
ting-a-ling,-a-ling-a ling.

Remember these knitted bells from last year?
009 (2)
Follow these simple directions
Next post I’ll share an even simpler bell to make.

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.

keep calm 001 (2)
Haven’t we all felt like this at Christmas?
Here’s the message inside.
keep calm 001 (3)

This card was created with an illustration by the talented Nancy Hayashi from that charming book about me.
‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS.
Christmas_cover - Copy

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.

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.

143 days until Christmas—Yarn Frames

In the last posting we decorated old frames with buttons.

Now let’s decorate a frame with yarn.

Nothing could be easier. Just wind your yarn around and around, gluing it in the back every so often to keep it in place. It’s mindless work, perfect for watching a baseball game or TV movie. Using a perfectly boring, perfectly plain frame, I worked two different strands of yarn—one bright red and the other with variegated various colors. One and a half hour later, I had this bright, cheerful frame.

Now all I have to do is find a picture to put inside and attach wire for hanging.

Here are some easy-to-follow online directions

What are you waiting for?
Get busy.
Use up your extra yarn and give those old frames a new life and a great gift for someone special.

Focus on Kids

We’re getting close to the big day.  Let’s spend it with our kids, grandchildren, neighbors, nieces and nephews.  Make a kid-friendly dinner like this Lasagna, filled with the colors of Christmas—green spinach, red tomato sauce and the star-white of cheese.  It’s so good, kids won’t even know they’re eating a leafy vegetable.  Serve it with crusty garlic bread and a salad.  Then while sitting around the table, play this game.  WHAT MIGHT ANIMALS WANT FOR CHRISTMAS?  The inspiration for this game came from a poem and while spiders aren’t often seen up here in the frigid North Pole, it’s still fun to imagine.

  Wolf-Spider1

  WHAT DOES SPIDER WANT FOR CHRISTMAS?

A shoe for every foot?  That’s eight.

A shiny silver dinner plate

for eating bugs?  Bright red lights

to decorate its web at night?

Using this poem as a starting point, ask the youngest at your table, to pick an animal—a rabbit perhaps?  An elephant?  A whale?  Then she poses the question, “What will ________ want for Christmas?” 

Others will suggest possible Christmas gifts for that animal.  When no one can think of anymore, it’s time for the next older person to suggest an animal and ask the question all over again.

I guarantee laughter at your table.

For desert, bring out a selection of those cookies you have in the freezer.  What could be easier?  What could be better?

Then after everyone, each like a helpful elf, has pitched in to clean up, bundle warmly and walk, or drive, around town to enjoy the bright holiday lights.

  christmas-lights-house

With everyone home for the weekend, it’s a perfect time to start making a Christmas-themed puzzle like this one.  santa puzzleYou can order it here.  Also you can draft your young helpers into making these holiday pinwheels, a favorite kid-friendly, kid-delicious appetizer.

Can you suggest other fun family activities? 

          Next post on December 23rd we’re going to pause from last-minute preparations and count our blessings

Until then, let’s all strive for a stress-free, love-filled Christmas . . .