Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The joyous celebration of the New Year is probably the world's oldest. Many cultures have their own annual beginning, but the journey of time, as expressed through the Gregorian calendar, is how each passing day is marked in the United States.
History of New Year's:
2000 years ago and then some, it is believed that Ancient Babylonians began their New Year with the first New Moon after the Spring Equinox. A logical time to celebrate, spring brings with it new growth and has always been symbolic of hope and the promise of things to come. The Babylonians feasted for eleven days, each day with its own festive theme.
Fast forward to Julius Caesar who, during a visit to Egypt around 150 BC, found the calendar of his dreams. The Romans tried to follow the same cycle as set by the Egyptians with the New Year beginning in spring. But scholars and emperors continued to finagle with the calendar until it fell out of synchronization with the sun. The Roman senate, in an attempt to get everything back on track, named January 1 as the first day of the year, and eventually it was entitled the Julian Calendar.
Still the calendar was constantly being revised and manipulated by various people, until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar set the dates in stone and offered a clear distinction of the four seasons. The Gregorian Calendar is what most of the Western world uses.
Champagne Toast:
Liveliness in a glass, a Champagne toast at midnight is a much-loved tradition. Probably French in origin, something bubbly be it Champagne or sparkling water is always a festive way to commemorate a special occasion.
Kissing Your Loved One at Midnight:
It is customary to kiss the one you love or hope to love at midnight as if to say, "Congratulations, to us for making it through another year!"
Church bells ring and people make a lot of noise all around the world when the clock strikes 12:00. This tradition is believed to be from the ancient belief that if one was loud and made enough of a raucous they could drive evil spirits away. New Year's Resolutions:
Whether it is be a silent promise to one's self to stop telling white lies or a big declaration of intent to lose weight, a New Year's resolution is a must. Many find it easier to make a fresh beginning as symbolized by January 1.
The interesting thing about New Year's Resolutions is that the flaws they address are usually most in evidence during the holidays; eating too much, drinking too much, spending too much money, yelling at your family, making out with a coworker behind the ficus at an office party, that sort of thing. It's a handy arrangement--when looking for ways to shore up your personality, you only have to consider the past three or four weeks. This also explains why so few New Year's Resolutions involve sculling, tanning, or sand castles.
Baby New Year & Father Time:
The tradition of a "Baby New Year" is said to have started in Greece around 600 BC. In celebration of Dionysus, god of wine, a baby in a basket represented the annual rebirth of the god as the spirit of fertility. An obvious correlation, today Baby New Year symbolizes the young year, and old Father Time reminds us how the year has aged. However, it was the 14th century Germans who are credited with having a New Year's banner with the image of a baby as a symbol of the New Year.
The Tournament of Roses Parade:
In 1886, members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers and paraded through Pasadena, CA, celebrating the ripe orange crop. Today, large elaborate floats covered with flowers, nuts, and organic materials, join in the pageantry of The Tournament of Roses Parade. The Rose Bowl, a football game, has traditionally followed the parade since 1902, with a brief "time-out" when the sport was replaced with Roman chariot races in 1903. Thirteen years later, much to its fans delight, football made a comeback!
Food For Luck In The New Year:
Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.
Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.
Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.
Auld Lang Syne:
It's always funny to hear people sing Scots poetry while wearing shiny hats.The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."


Monday, December 29, 2008

The After Christmas Woes!

Are you one of the millions of people suffering from the “After Christmas Woes”? What is the “After Christmas Woes”; well I’m glad you asked. The “After Christmas Woes” is an overwhelming, burdensome feeling that come upon a person after he or she has lost their mind due to the extreme pressure that the world has placed on them during the Christmas season.
Yea I know, you are probably trying to justify your “After Christmas Woes” by saying, I get this feeling sometimes from the stress at my job or from the stress of life in general. It is a big difference when you get this overwhelming, burdensome feeling from the pressure of life because the issues of life are out of our control. Wouldn’t you agree that life has enough stress on it’s own to begin adding more unnecessary stress to it?
Well you may be saying I celebrate Christmas because it is about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then if Christmas is about Jesus, then why do we let “The World” who has rejected Jesus tell us how we should celebrate Him? You do know the world has dictated how Christmas should be celebrated don’t you? If we were to ask Jesus how would He have us to celebrate His birthday He would probably say, if you want to honor me on my day you should keep the day holy. You should tell others about Me. You should do good to your neighbor.
Okay you say, this means I could buy my neighbors presents and gifts for Christmas. Yes, there is never anything wrong with buying your neighbors gifts. But we should not let “The World” dictate to us when we should buy these gifts. When we are under pressure to buy our neighbors, friends, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, co-workers, bosses, mail carriers, garbage collectors, and let’s not forget our children who we give everything our little money and credit cards can buy, then this is not what Jesus meant when He said we should do good to our neighbors.
If we feel obligated to buy everyone a gift for Christmas, we are under bondage and we have allowed “The World” to dictate to us how we should honor the very person that they have rejected.
How does a person know whether he or she has the “After Christmas Woes”? Here are a few symptoms:
1)You are relieved that the holiday is finally over.
2)You spent more money than your budget allowed.
3)You feel burden when you think about putting away all of your Christmas decorations.
4)You are still stressed three days after Christmas has already passed.
I think celebrating Christmas is great. But since Christmas is a Christian holiday, I think that Christians should dictate to “The World” how this holiday should be celebrated. Jesus said, “If you love Me, then keep my commandments”. He never said if you love Me then buy everyone gifts.
Let’s not let “The World” dictate to us any longer how we should celebrate the person who died for us. After all, Jesus did say we (The Christian) should be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Let’s stop following “The World” and let’s start leading.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Tonight, let us celebrate Christmas in the Spirit of Jesus
Christ, who came to us from the heart of God's own being taking
the form of a servant, being born in human likeness.
Let us celebrate God's entering into our lives in human form,
to bring light to all the world.
May love be reborn in our hearts this night.
Let us worship God.


Did you see him? He sure is beautiful. This is a night of
magic, a night of God's blessing. It sure didn't start out that way. I
remember when Mary came and told me she was pregnant. Dear
sweet Mary. She talked about an angel telling her she was going to
give birth to God's Messiah. I wanted to believe her. I knew no
one else would. We wept together. What would we do? I love
Mary so much. I knelt so responsible for her.
That night when I couldn't sleep. My mind raced. I didn't
believe that Mary could have been with someone else behind my
back. I pounded my pillow with anger as I pictured one of those
Roman soldiers raping my beloved Mary. Maybe she was afraid to
tell me. Surely there was no angel. What would I do? Tradition
said, "Just walk away from her. She is a disgrace!" I couldn't do
that. Finally, I decided that I could just break the engagement
privately. At least then Mary's disgrace would not be public. I
didn't want to do that. We had such wonderful plans. I wept. I
cried out to God, "Why did this happen to us? We have done
nothing to deserve it?"
Eventually I fell into a troubled sleep. That's when I had the
dream. An angel spoke to me, plain ordinary me, saying, "Don't be
afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that
she has conceived. She will have a son, and you will name him
Jesus - because he will save his people from their sins." I knew it
wouldn't be easy. People would talk. But Mary and I would know.
So we went ahead with our plans. But of course there was
more trouble ahead. What is the saying you use, "It never rains but
it pours trouble." Caesar had to choose just that time for a census.
Return to your home town was the order. It meant I had to go all
the way to Bethlehem. I've brought Mary with me. She didn't have
to come but everyone was being so mean back home. I couldn't
leave her behind to face all that ridicule alone. The trip was long,
so very long. Poor Mary, she was so tired. She complained. I got
cranky. It sure felt as if God was punishing us. I didn't feel blessed
that's for sure. By the time we got here, Mary was in labor. The
town is teeming with people. I have lots of relatives. You would
think there would be a place for us. I think our reputation had
preceded us. No one had room for us. We ended up at this
miserable little Inn. We couldn't even pay for a room. I'll never
forget how it felt to stand there and be told yet again there was no
place. I was beaten. I had tried. I had tried to do the right thing. I
had followed the angel's commands. I had refused to be give in to
the ridicule of our friends and family. I had done my best. My best
just wasn't good enough. My life was out of control. I couldn't
carry out my responsibilities. I couldn't even take care of Mary and
our unborn child. What was ahead for us?
The innkeeper must have seen my misery for she offered us
the shed out back. Maybe being a woman, she knew Mary's need.
Maybe this was God's will. I really don't know. I do know the
shed was warm with the animal's bodies. The innkeeper was
wonderful in helping with the birth. Best of all, there is baby Jesus.
When he was born and she placed him in my arms, nothing else
mattered. The wonder and joy of new life, the miracle. Jesus is a
miracle. He is my son, my beautiful son. I will protect him and
Mary. God is surely with us. Nothing else matters tonight.


Did you see Jesus, our wonderful baby? He is worth all the
pain, all the struggle. There certainly was struggle. People can be
so righteous, so mean. They see the outside, and they judge. They
didn't know the whole story. I had to come with Joseph. I couldn't
stay behind. My friends have abandoned me. There is only
Elizabeth. Oh what would I have done without Elizabeth. She
understood. This was such a long journey, and then no place to
stay when we got here. Joseph, it wasn't easy for him either. At
least we have been together in our suffering.
And now, I can hardly believe it. We are parents? What an
awesome responsibility! I want to protect Jesus. I don't want
people to ever ridicule him. I want him to have a smooth path
through life. I will watch over him. Even here, he has made this
stable God's place. God's blessing has shone around us and filled
this place. How do I describe to you my joy. I have wonderful
plans for Jesus. The angel told me that he was going to be a great
man, a great leader. The angel said he would be the Messiah. The
prophet Isaiah talks about the Messiah as the suffering servant. I'm
not going to let my Jesus suffer. Yet, if he is to live and grow he
probably will suffer some. My mother couldn't protect me from
everything. We all have to walk our own journey. All I will be able
to do is love him. Oh, and I love him so much already. Oh God, I
praise you. You have remembered me. You have blessed me with
this wonderful child. Thankyou.


Did you see him? Isn't he a sweet wee babe? I love helping
with a birth. All exhaustion, all problems, every worry seems to
disappear when I am with a mother in labour. And when the baby
is born - there are just no words to describe the wonder of it. Mind
you I can feel the ache in my back now. And my feet, they have
walked a million miles in the last few days. What a time I have had.
Oh don't get me wrong. I am happy to have the business. Caesar's
census has certainly brought lots of money to me. There have been
so many people. Not all people are easy to have around. The more
crowded it gets the harder people are to please. "More wood for
the fire! The soup is cold! Hot water for a bath! The bed is hard!
Supper is late!" Somehow it seems as if all people can do is
complain. They've forgotten how to say please. Demands,
Demands Demands. At the beginning of this evening I was
beginning to wonder if it was worth it. My life had disappeared.
The days had become just a treadmill of people wanting, wanting,
WANTING. When Joseph came to the door, I just said, "Go away.
We're full." I wasn't being mean. I had had it. I was exhausted. I
had done all I could. I had nothing left to give. The look on his
face. I have never seen a man look so defeated. As he turned to
go, I caught sight of his wife, so tired, so pregnant, obviously in
pain. Then I felt awful. I couldn't just turn them away. "Just a
minute," I said. I went back inside. The loft was full - people wall
to wall. All the rooms were overfull. The noise was horrendous.
Where would I put them. Then I thought of the stable, the leanto
out back. At least there would be some privacy there. I had lots of
clean straw. We could make a place. I said to Joseph, "All I have
to offer is the stable. It's not much but at least there will be privacy
and quiet. Your wife, is she in labour?" Yes said Joseph. "I'm a
midwife," I told him. "I'll help." It was as if I was offering a cup of
cold water to a man dying of thirst i
desert. His relief, his joy, his thankfulness brought tears to my eyes.
I put the stable hands to work, clearing a place. We laid down
fresh straw. I did what I could.
Out here in the stable there is an oasis of peace tonight. The
Hurry, hurry! Too many tasks, too little time. The greed, the push
for success, the needs, the misery. It's all gone for the moment.
There is only God, and the child and his parents. It's as if the stars
are shining right inside the stable. God's peace is there. The
wonder of it all. I feel as if I can cope with anything tonight. I
think my life is back on track. All this and he's only a baby.


Did you see him? Did you see Jesus? Oh he is wonderful. A
new baby. He laid there and cooed, his eyes so wide open. I am
sure he looked right at me. I feel, I feel better, older, more
valuable. What a night! Let me tell you about it.
We were out on the hillside with the sheep. I have been
tending sheep with my father for about a year now. I can think of
things I'd rather do, but my dad needs me, and tradition says I must
follow in his footsteps. I like the sheep. I truly like being outside.
It's lonely though, out there on the hillside all day with no one but
father to talk to and the sheep. Night time is better. The shepherds
gather in little groups. Then there are more of us to keep watch
over the sheep. I like sitting around the fire and listening to the
conversation. Last night was clear and cold. There were so many
stars. My uncle pointed out one that was especially bright. We
were all looking at it when the angels came. Wow! You should
have been there. First there was one - a real angel in the sky and
speaking to us. I was sure I was dreaming but everyone else saw
and heard it too. That angel said, "Don't be afraid. I bring you
Good News. This very night in Bethlehem your Saviour was born.
You will find the baby wrapped and lying in a manger." Then the
whole heaven was filled with angels, singing "Glory to God in the
highest heaven, and peace on earth." The whole sky was alight as if
it were day, even more than day. Then they were gone as suddenly
as they came. There was silence - not a sound. Finally, my father
said, let's go and see. Then everyone began talking at once. What
a hubbub. I just stood there. I didn't want to talk. A few didn't
want to go. They didn't know what had happened but they were
sure it was just an illusion. A few had slept through the whole thing
- missed it all together. Most of them weren't interested either. So
a few of us set out for Bethlehem. It really was not very far away,
about an hours walk. Here we are. I am so glad I came. I wasn't
sure about any of it. I knew that if I stayed behind I would never
understand. Sometimes its a good idea to follow your father's
suggestions. This time it sure was. This baby, this Jesus, seeing
him, coming to Bethlehem ha
difference in me. I don't know what that difference is yet. My dad
says I will understand in time. I feel as if God I have somehow
experienced God, felt God's blessing. Dad says, "just be thankful".


Did you see him? He's just a baby - a baby - and born to those
two peasants in this stable. Yet, I can feel the wonder, the joy. It's
like that with babies you know. Yet this is something more. It's
sure not the way I planned it.
I've been looking forward to this night most of my life. As a
child the stars always held a magic, a mystery for me. So I was
enthusiastic when my father apprenticed me to the old magi
Estaban. We studied the stars together. It was Estaban who told
me about the new star that would come to signify the birth of a
king, a very special king. There were so many legends around that
star. I learned them all. The night it appeared for the first time, I
was so excited. Estaban's eyes had grown dim with age and with
searching the skies. I told him about it. The joy on his face, the
wonder. It was as if he too could see the star. He couldn't come
with me, but he financed this journey. On the way I met up with
these other two. Each of us has come from a different place, but
we are all following the same star. We were all searching for
something, for this king, this Saviour who would bring peace to the
world, give reason for living. Each of us brought a gift. Mine is
myrrh. That is the bitter perfume that is used in preparing a body
for burial. It doesn't seem very appropriate for a baby, yet the
legends say that this king will suffer great pain, and death. It was
the gift I needed to bring. I don't know how to explain it. I would
rather have brought the gold, or the frankincense, but it was my
place to bring the myrrh. We have had a long, and uncomfortable
trip. It's hard to travel into the unknown, with your faith in the
stories of old. Even though I could see the star, and feel God's
leading, it was hard to keep coming. We had some wonderful
experiences along the way.
The worst one was being in Herod's court. We had all gotten
anxious. We wanted some assurance that we were on the right
path. King Herod seemed to be the right one to consult. You
know how easy it is to give up believing, following your faith, the
story, and look to worldly things to show you the way. That's
really what happened to us. Well, I sure was frightened in Herod's
court. I could feel the evil all around me. He said he was
interested in worshipping this king, but I could see the envy and
jealousy in his eyes. We're going to have to be very careful going
home. We're certainly not going back to Herod. We have all
agreed on that. Tomorrow we'll head out a different way.
For tonight, we're here, here in this place of wonder and
peace. If I had known that we would end up in a stable with a
baby, I might not have come. I thought we would be in a king's
palace. Yet, I know this is the right place. We all start out as
babies. We all have to be born. I know that God is in this place, I
can feel God here, just as surely as I could feel evil in Herod's
palace. That baby has the most beautiful eyes. They seem to be
filled with love. Being here has brought a change in
me. There has been a change in my values somehow. I am not sure
yet, I just know that as I return home, I will follow a new path. I
know that God walks with me. I have followed the star.
By Janet White

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Let us pray that strength and courage abundant to be given to all who work for a world of reason and understanding, that the good that lies in each of our hearts may, day by day, be magnified, that we will come to see more clearly not that which divides us, but that which unites us, that each hour may bring us closer to a final victory, not of nations over nations, but of ourselves over our own evils and weakness, that the true spirit of this Christmas Season-its joy, its beauty, its hope. and above all its abiding faith- may live among us, that the blessing of peace be ours-the peace to build and grow, to live in harmony and sympathy with others, and to plan for the future with confidence.


Sunday, December 21, 2008



While the most widely known American version of Santa Clause is often credited to the 1823 Clement Clark Moore poem "The Night Before Christmas," Santa as we currently know him can be traced back even further, with origins dating as far back as the 4th century. An early Dutch depiction is based on legend of Sinter Klaas, which was brought by Dutch natives when they settled in New York in the 17th century. In "History of New York" famed author Washington Irving, writing under the pseudonym Diedrick Knickerbocker, provided detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. This Saint Nicholas would arrive on horseback every year on the eve of St, Nicholas. The Christian-era Santa Claus owes much of it's origins to Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (now Turkey). Rich and generous, Bishop Nicholas was said to bring joy to poor children by throwing gifts in their windows. The legendary Santa Claus has evolved over the years, and it should come as no surprise that he continues to enchant children no matter the era.


Can you believe people use to worship evergreen holly as a sign of eternal life because it did not brown or die in the winter?...Some religious groups say that the crown of thorns placed on Jesus' head was made of holly. We now place wreaths on doors or hallways to create a festive atmosphere during the holiday season.


Did you realize that mistletoe is rarely used in churches because it comes from the ancient Druid ceremony celebrating winter solstice?...A girl would stand beneath the hanging mistletoe and a boy would walk up, pick a berry and then kiss her...When the berries were more kisses..


Do you know why we hang stockings on the fireplace?...Long ago it was said that Saint Nicholas threw three coins down a chimney of the home of three poor sisters. Each of the coins landed inside separate stockings left on the hearth to dry. It is now a modern tradition to hang stockings there.


There is no exact date recorded but the idea of leaving cookies for Santa started sometimes in the 1930's. Naughty kids use them to bribe Santa at the last minute and nice kids use them as a way of thanking him for all his hard work on Christmas Eve.


The first known Christmas card is printed on the front cover with a date of 1843. The original was in muted colours, hand painted, printed and sold for 1/- each (5p) - a lot of money in those days. Despite the date on this card, encyclopedias say that Christmas cards were first sold in 1846!
By the 1860s the idea of sending cards had caught on as they were able to be produced much more cheaply with the invention of less expensive colour printing. The first Christmas cards had lace and flowery borders, but then they changed to more familiar designs.
The robin became very popular as were Victorian snow scenes, religious pictures, holly, Christmas trees etc. Many similar scenes are reproduced in our cards today.


The custom of singing Christmas carols is said to have come from 13th century Italy where a man named St Francis of Assisi led songs of praise. It is very bad luck to send carolers away empty handed. It is customary to offer food, drink or even a little money.


The very first trees were oak, the very same tree used for the Yule Log. Trees have been a symbol of good luck since the Middle Ages. In Germany whenever someone would build a house, a small evergreen tree would be nailed to the highest beam. Soon people began bringing the tree inside during Christmastime and decorating it. When the German immigrants came to the United States, they brought this tradition with them.


The very first person to have Christmas lights on their tree was Edward Johnson who worked for Thomas Edison. It would be awhile however before the general public could purchase similar lights. The first strands to be mass-produced came from Ever Ready in the early 1900's.


In the year 1670 the local choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral gave his young singers sugar sticks to keep them quit during the long ceremony. he had the candy bent in the shape of shepherd's crooks to celebrate the festive occasion. In the 1920's Bob McCormack made candy canes by hand for his friends and family but it took too long to bend them and only a few people could enjoy them. In the 1950's, Gregory Keller, invented a machine that made lots of candy canes at the same time, Bob's Candies, Inc. became the largest maker of candy canes in the world. It was only in the early 1900's that red stripes were added and peppermint became the standered flavor.


Did you know eggnog use to be made with beer?...In the 17th century a strong ale called 'nog' was very popular in Britain around the holidays. It was made from beer, sugar, egg yolks, lemon rinds and cinnamon. Later in the 19th century North Americans took the French version of the drink called 'Lait de Poule', made from milk, sugar and egg yolks and added spirits. With the addition of brandy, rum or sherry, we have our modern day eggnog.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of our holiday traditions.


A Baby's Hug!

My dear Daughter In Law sent this to me and I also saw it on Bits of Wool's blog...How true this is!

A Baby's Hug

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'

Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing . As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man..

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.
Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

This one is a keeper..

'It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are......

Saturday, December 20, 2008



7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
3/4 pound chocolate kisses (recommended: Hershey's)
2 1/2 cups sugar
6-ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 stick butter
2 cups pecan halves
Place marshmallow cream and kisses into a large bowl. Set aside. Combine sugar, milk, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes. Pour over marshmallow and chocolate, stirring until well blended. Stir in pecans. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.


1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
2 cups pecan halves
3 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cover bottom of pie crust with pecans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, sugar, bourbon and the chopped chocolate. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into the pie shell over the pecans and place on a heavy-duty cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes or until pie is set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack



1/2 pound light brown sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
Pinch salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix sugar, salt, evaporated milk, and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves. Stir in pecans and cook over medium heat until mixture reaches the soft ball stage. (234 to 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer; if you spoon a drop of boiling syrup into a cup of ice water, it will form a soft ball that flattens easily between your fingers.)

Remove pan from heat and stir rapidly until mixture thickens. Drop pralines by teaspoonfuls, 1-inch apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets; let cool completely until firmed up. Store in an airtight container


4 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar (1 box or 2 lb.)
1 c. evaporated milk, undiluted
1/2 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. chopped pecans
In a large saucepan, mix sugar, milk, butter and salt. Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking until 238 degrees registers on candy thermometer or until a small amount of mixture dropped into cold water forms a soft ball. Remove from heat and let stand until lukewarm, 110 degrees. Add vanilla and walnuts. Beat until mixture is thick and loses its gloss. Pour into buttered 9 inch square pan. When firm, cut into squares. Makes about 3 pounds. My Aunt Sue made the Penuche and Mexican Candy every Christmas....My Mother made Fudge and Divinty! You know they seemed to taste better back then!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Handy Holiday Hints...Make It Mini!

The key to a fabulous cocktail party?...Serve bite size portions of your favorite Holiday foods....No one will be able to resist these tiny treats!!
Here are a few of my ideas!
Present shooters of pumpkin or butternut squash soup in shot glasses.
Using a cookie cutter, cut small circles from corn tortillas to make mini turkey tacos..Top with cranberry sauce.
Serve dollops of mashed potatoes, sprinkled with chopped scallions, in Chinese soup spoons.

Skewer cubes of gingerbread on toothpicks and serve with a bowl of whipped cream for dipping.

Use these ideas or try some of your own...Please comment on some ideas you have to share .......

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hark The Hearld! Ethan Has Drawn The Winners.....

of the Great Giveaway:....Boy did I learn a lesson!...When doing a drawing you had better put the names in the pot as they come in....It took me till after 11pm last night just to print out and then cut out the names for the drawing and then another 2 hours to fold every last one this morning....I know you have been waiting to see if you won.....My great grandson Ethan just did the drawing and Drum Roll Please....

Love The Prim Look!
Is the winner of the Apple Pie & Nativity...

Prim 2 Pink!
Is the winner of the Vintage White Bowl, Red & White Mitten, Red Christmas Balls & the Rustic Nubby Candle & Holder..

Peddlin Treasures!
Is the winner of the Swedish Angel Chimes & Candles..

Is the winner of the Red Bag of Coal....

Please email me at with your address, so I can send you your prize....
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who took part in this giveaway....I appreciated and enjoyed your stories about your fondest memory of a Christmas...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

~~Christmas Fudges~~

Velveeta Fudge:

My Mother gave me this recipe many years ago and it never fails, not even me and I am the worlds worst candy maker!
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
8 ounces pasteurized process cheese, Velveeta, cubed
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, about 5 cups unsifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
In a large saucepan over medium heat butter and cheese cubes together, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Sift together confectioners' sugar and cocoa; add to cheese, mixing well. Stir in non-fat dry milk, vanilla and nuts. Turn into a 9x9x2-inch pan; chill until firm and cut into squares. Makes about 3 pounds of Velveeta Fudge.

Peanut Butter Fudge:

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
Combine sugar and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue to boil gently until a little dab added to cold water forms a soft ball*, or about 238° on a candy thermometer. Add peanut butter, butter, and vanilla; beat until the mixture begins to thicken and is not as glossy. Add nuts, if using. Spread in a buttered loaf pan; chill until fully set and cut into squares.

New Orleans Fudge:

This easy chocolate fudge is a snap to make with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and a little butter. If you use the microwave to heat the mixture, be sure to stir it frequently until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is well blended.
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)
1 cup milk chocolate chips (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan; line with a piece of plastic wrap about 18 to 24 inches in length, leaving the ends out to cover the finished fudge. The ends will also serve as "handles" which will help you lift the fudge out of the pan.
Heat the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts, if using; pour into the prepared pan. Spread gently then cover lightly with the ends of the plastic wrap. Chill until firm. Lift out of the pan and cut into small squares.

Counting Down To The Finale Hour:

for the giveaway....Just 9 more hours to have a chance to sign up...Just click on the Nativity Scene to do it.....So Hurry, Hurry....You sure don't want to miss out on this one!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Angie at Love the Prim look is in desperate need of help to save this poor animal's life..
Hope is in desperate need of sponsors. She was found emaciated and will die without help. She came in from the Auglaize County Pound and is heartworm positive. A temporary foster has come forward, but the money for her treatment must be raised. If you can help this girl, please donate by paypal or send a check to APLMC, P.O. Box 663, Celina OH 45822. Please mark that is it for HOPE!!Ok Ladies, I need help. I keep thinking about this poor dog. So here is what I want to do: I will give you a pattern of your choice for $3, which 100% will go to the funds for this poor dog if you post this on your blog. Then let me know that you did and what pattern you want...Just go to my places I sell from (Pattern Mart, Etsy,Ebay or my website) to pick out your pattern, don't buy, just email me at with your choice... Thank you so much in advance and God Bless you for helping !!!
Angie at theLove The Prim Look is donating any light orders 20 count brown cord ($6.50 plus shipping) and any 35 count brown cord ($9.99 plus shipping ) will be 100 % donated to this dog. Please contact her at We can send money through paypal to Angie at! Please! spread the word so we can save Hope..
Pea at Peapickers primitives is giving away a free pattern for the help in saving this just need to post this on your blog about Hope and then let her know you did......We need to spread the word as fast as we can...
Thank you again...

~*~Yummy! Yummy! Easy To Make Sweets! Just In Time For Christmas~*~

I had to surf for a fast & easy recipe, because as usual at the last minute it was "Grandma I need"!.... Sooooooo I thought maybe someone else had a "I need" situation and here are 3 easy fantastic recipes from't forget to sign up for my giveaway which ends 12-14-08 at 10pm....The pictures and info are just below this post!!!!
Caramel Chocolate Treasures!

"Delectable thumbprints with a little candy surprise."
ingredients and directions:
24 pieces MILKY WAY® Chocolate Covered Caramels
½ cup flour
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans, optional
1 tube (18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
½ cup DOVE® Brand Dark Chocolate, optional
Plastic sandwich bag, optional
Scissors, optional
Yield: Makes 24 thumbprints.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Bake Time: 12-15 min.
Decoration Time: 3-5 min.
Difficulty: Easy
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Knead the cookie dough with the flour until smooth.
3. Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1 x 1½-inch oval. Roll in the chopped pecans to coat, if desired. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden, about 12-15 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, and immediately press one MILKY WAY® Chocolate Covered Caramel into the center of each cookie.
5. Microwave DOVE® Brand Dark Chocolate in a plastic bag for 10-seconds, or until melted. Snip the corner tip of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies, if desired.

Nuggets Of Joy

18 pieces MILKY WAY® Bars Milk Chocolate Covered Caramels
1 roll (18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
¼ cup flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup ground pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 non-stick cookie sheets
Yield: Makes 36 nuggets.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Bake Time: 15-17 min.
Difficulty: Easy
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut caramels in half; set aside.
2. Knead cookie dough, flour, cocoa powder, pecans and cinnamon until smooth.
3. Divide the dough into 36 pieces, each about the diameter of a quarter. Tuck a piece of candy into the center of each piece of cookie dough. Roll the dough into balls, completely covering the candy. Place the balls on a non-stick cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Crispy Fudge Truffles

3 cups chopped 3 MUSKETEERS® Bars
2 tablespoons milk
2 ½ cups puffed cocoa cereal
3 tablespoons finely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans), optional
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, optional

1. In a heavy bottom pan, melt 3 MUSKETEERS® Bars with milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Once melted, remove from heat immediately.
2. Stir in the puffed cocoa cereal, mixing thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, making 40 mounds.
3. Cool 5-10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
4. With buttered fingers, roll mound into 1-inch balls.
5. If desired, roll balls in chopped nuts and/or confectioner’s sugar, or simply leave them plain.

Friday, December 5, 2008

GiveAway! GiveAway! GiveAway! Is Now Closed! Winner Announced Tomorrow! 12-15-08

Who loves a giveaway!!! I do, I do! Anyway in honor of my 100th post, I am giving away a few goodies!

First Prize is one of my original Apple Pies and a Vintage Nativity Set....

Second prize is this Vintage White Bowl, Red & White Stripe Mitten, 3 Red Ball Ornaments and the Grubby Rusty Candle Holder with a Black Nubby Candle....

Third prize is this Swedish Christmas Angel Chimes and the Candles...

and last but not least Fourth prize is the Red Bag of Coal...

The giveaway deadline is Sunday evening, December 14th at 10pm. Just comment on what was your favorite Christmas!.... and if you share the giveaway on your blog, you will be entered two more times!... Then if you want your name in there 5 more times, then just post you are following my blog...Please let me know, when you comment, how many times I should put your name in the Santa Cap...That means you could have 8 chances to win one of these prizes...
Now how fun and easy is that! Good luck to all!
**International friends can also have a chance to win...You will just need to pay the postage...If you don't have a blog then just put your email addy in the comment so I can contact you if you win**