Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish my friends out there in cyberspace a very merry Christmas and the happiest New Year. Thanks to everyone who takes time out of their busy lives to connect in this unique new way. If you have never taken a moment to post a comment, please do, I'd love to 'meet' you!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Last minute post...

This is one of the 7, yes, seven, Christmas CDs I bought this year after my December 8th post, How Much is Too Much? Obviously, I still don't know the answer to that question! Here are the names of the other 6:

  • Under the Mistletoe (from the Ultra-Lounge Series)
  • Swingin' Christmas (Rhino)
  • Midnight Clear (Andreas Vollenweider with Carly Simon)
  • Christmas Concertos (Cello)
  • Christmas Around the Hearth (Harp & Dulcimer)
  • Jingle, Jingle, Wiggle (Hoops & Yoyo featuring Makuza)

What a crazy mix! My faves are the retroish ones from the 50's. They remind me of my parents.

And, just in case you were wondering....

I did manage to only open one gift per day of the ten gifts Jill sent me for Christmas (see my December 12th, Oh muh gosh! post). It was all stuff I can use when I scrap and especially when I go to an all day scrap. Thanks again Jill!

Peace and joy to you this Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 18, 2006

No kidding!

Just the other day I heard that some 'study' found that women experience much more stress than men during the holiday season. DUH! Then today I read a funny, funny post about Mothers and Christmas and stress on Stacy Julian's blog called Funny, Funny Mother! I tried to copy and paste it for you to read here. No luck. So, click here, go read it, and have a good laugh! I'm sure you deserve it...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh muh gosh!

This package full of presents from my friend Jill arrived today. She's the one I sent the presents in the last post to. All three of them. If you count the taffy. Granted, it is delicious EGGNOG taffy. And the other two look really pretty. (At least I think so.) Still, Jill's presents look really pretty too AND there are TEN of them! Yes, I counted. I couldn't help it. Not because I care for my sake; I just feel like Jill got cheated. When I opened the box my first reaction was, "Now I have guilt!" (I use that line from the dinosaur in Toy Story more than I like to admit.) I put quite a lot of thought into the gifts I sent. I even made one of them. I think Jill will like them. I don't think she'll think, "Boy did I get cheated." But still, I have guilt...

One the other hand, you need to know this about us; Jill and I have been exchanging gifts for 13 or 14 years now and I have yet to wait until the appropriate day to open them. Jill, on the other hand, is a good girl. She always waits. So here is what I think; she deliberately sent me so many presents just to taunt me! Well, Jill, if you are reading this I have a plan. No, I'm not going to wait until Christmas to open them, but, I am going to ration them out and only open one a day.
This feat will take an incredible amount of self control on my part. I'll let you know how I did in ten days. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

brown paper packages tied up with string...

I just had to post a picture of these goodies I'll be mailing to my good friend, Jill, down in So.CA. I just love the way they turned out. I finally feel my creative juices beginning to flow again! The gift in the back is a lowly brown lunch sack embellished with sheet music from a vintage flute music book, glitter, and a tag I saved (and embellished) from a purchase I made last Christmas. The gift on the right is wrapped in a bag I sewed from two pages of said book. The other two tags are the plain office supply store variety that I embellished a bit. The Egg Nog Taffy is made by Sweets Quality Candies and it is delicious! I 'discovered' SQC in the fall when they make a great Candy Corn Taffy.

And now for a few more of my favorite things. My friend Amanda sent me this 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends. I thought it would be fun to share my answers here with you. If you've seen these before, you know that the idea is to highlight, copy and paste it into your email, then put in your own answers and send it back to the person who sent it to you. That would be me! Here goes:

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate with marshmallows

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Wrap. I didn't know he left them any other way!

3. Colored or white lights on house/tree?
White icicle type on the house. Red around the front window. Colored on the tree (this year!)

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yep, XOXO

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I start asap after Thanksgiving and just keep adding until it feels right.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I don't really have one since Christmas dinner changes from year to year. I try and keep it simple!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Getting up before everyone else to make hot chocolate for them.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
We were told about the real Saint Nicholas, but liked to pretend about the modern version.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No, but my husband gives me gifts throughout the month because he can't wait!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Most often with lights, handmade popcorn & cranberry garland, and ornaments I've collected for over 33 years.

11. Snow, love it or dread it!

Love it! wish we had more

12. Can you ice skate?

I haven't for so long, I'd probably end up spending more time on my rear end.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Not really. Now my favorite gift to receive is memories my girls and husband write down for me to add to an album I have made to hold them.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Reflecting on God's grace and love.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I can't name just one, it wouldn't be fair to all the others! I did miss having my mom's Lime Jello at Thanksgiving this year. I didn't make it since I am the only one who likes it! But, I think I'll make it next year anyway. Just for me.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I really like decorations, Christmas lights, and candles all through the house even though it takes a lot of time and effort. They help brighten even the grayest of winter days.

17. What tops your tree?
A needlepoint angel I made decades ago.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
Giving =)

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
O Holy Night

20. Candy canes, yuck or yummy?
Yummy. But this year I'm preferring, you guessed it, Sweets Quality Candies Peppermint Taffy!

Friday, December 08, 2006

*How much is too much?

I just got this Christmas CD from I already have over 30 Christmas CDs, but, I just had to get this one. It's the one I remember most from my childhood. My dad had the vinyl version, of course. I liked it because it was like a party just listening to it. So I got it. For the memories. 'Cause like I said, I already have 30 something. Here's how I justified it:

  • All the CDs by Christian artists count as one
  • All the instrumental CDs count as one
  • All the Movie sound tracks count as one
  • All the contemporary CDs count as one
  • All the traditional CDs count as one
  • All the 'new ones' from last year count as one

You get the idea. So that's kind of like having only 6 CDs! (This also works well when going through the 10 items or less lane at the grocery store, but, I only use it if I'm just a few items over the limit. Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this way!)

So now I not only have another Christmas CD, I also have another category to add more CDs to! What's your favorite Christmas CD in your collection? I just might need to add it to mine...

{*According to Mae West, "too much of a good thing is a good thing"}

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

HaPpY 31sT birThDaY rAcHeL!!!

It's true. Pictures kept in magnetic photo albums turn yellow over time. And get age spots, like the people in them. This is especially sad when the quality and quantity of your old photos is poor to begin with. But, this isn't a lesson on acid free scrapbooking or making sure you take lots of pictures. Pictures are nice whether they are well preserved or not. But, they aren't really necessary at all. Like Longfellow said,

"The heart hath its own memory, like the mind, and in it are enshrined the precious keepsakes"

Today my heart is full of precious memories... I love you baby girl!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Traditions?

I must have some......right? Everyone does...... right? For example,
  • We always cut our own tree......Except that two years ago I bought the purple (yes, purple!) fake tree in the picture because that was the year I turned 50 and started a Red Hat chapter to help ease me through the pain. This year it's back to fresh!
  • I always put the outdoor lights up early......Except last year. They didn't go up until Christmas Eve!
  • I have a huge collection of eclectic ornaments, each one with it's own special memory. I love reminiscing as I put them each up every year.....Except for the two years we had only red and purple ornaments on our purple fake tree!
  • When the girls were little we'd always go to my parent's house Christmas day.......Except the year we spent Christmas with their other grandparent's in Arizona.
  • We always eat Christmas dinner at home......Except for the year we ate at a casino!

You get the idea. I am tempted to say that our Christmas tradition is to not have a tradition, that every year is different and we just go with the flow. With two nurses in the family, and now a police officer, we've certainly had to do a lot of that over the years. But, somehow, each year Christmas remains remarkably unremarkable. The same old decorations, with maybe a new one or two. The same old Christmas music, with maybe a new CD or two. The same old family, with maybe a new member from time to time. The same old chaos with so many bodies in one small space, with some friction and peace thrown in for good measure from time to time. The same old stories told year after year. Is it full of traditions? Yes and no. Is it easy? No. Is it perfect? No. But you know what? I like it that way. And that never changes!