- Holidays and Celebrations
Wishing You A Merry Christmas
Christmas is the best time of year!
Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year. It is important to remember the true meaning of Christmas, but it's also cool getting presents and seeing the excitement on my kids' faces on Christmas morning.
Here is an easy way to do some online Christmas shopping in the US, UK or Canada! Purchase Amazon gift certificates if you can't decide what to get.
On the 1st day of Christmas....
Let's spread some Christmas Cheer!!!
I love the Irish version of the 12 days of Christmas song, by Frank Kelly, this is the one where this poor fella (Gobnait O' Lunasa) is receiving live birds every day - he is quite thrilled and forgiving when he gets the 5 gold rings on Day 5 but is then appalled when the "Lords and Ladies" arrive and his Christmas turns into a real nightmare ... makes you wonder: what on earth did he do to that poor girl, Nuala??? LOLOL
I think music is inspirational! I've always liked many different types of music. I'm not a great singer, my kids will tell you that...
Christian Christmas music is available, and if you don't quite know the words to your favorite songs, check out the lyrics to some fun and traditional Christmas songs and get in the mood for Christmas; after all, according to Elf, "THE BEST WAY TO SPREAD CHRISTMAS CHEER IS BY SINGING LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR!
Here are some Free Chistmas Music Downloads to help celebrate the season!
Frank Kelly's 12 Days of Christmas - Hilarious!
Christmas Gift Baskets
Making your own gift baskets is an excellent idea. Discount or dollar stores usually have all the requirements such as baskets for stuffing as well as the materials required for wrapping. You can fill and compliment them with chocolates, mugs, coffee, tea and hot chocolate mixes, candy & cookies, candles & teddies... it's a really easy way to give something to everyone in a group, family or office.
Shopping for Christmas party supplies? Whether you're planning an office get together or a family gathering, you're sure to find the items you'll need to add a special touch to this holiday season.
Christmas Cookies Are Perfect For The Holidays
Oh Christmas Tree...
The smell of pine always makes me feel more Christmassy :) I prefer real trees and there are several companies which import them every year here in Barbados so I go take my pick, squoosh it into the car somehow and haul it home where, I usually have to give it a bath :) so it will last as long as possible in this tropical climate. Then it's time to start turning it into the beautiful "center" piece of the home for the season....here are a few interesting points about the environmental benefits of buying a real Christmas tree.
If you're in the US check out this link to the Christmas Tree Farm Network to find a real tree that's perfet for you.
And now it's time to decorate....
If you're like me, you like to decorate, but usually save most of your money for gifts... and of course, the FOOD!!! ;)
However, I do think it's nice to be able to take the time to choose Chrismas decorations to help make your memories extra special. It's fun to work out your colors and themes, and even make some of your own decorations and create your very own Christmas Wonderland.
The Christmas Place has great ideas for decorating this holiday season, browse through their themes, take advantage of the free shipping on purchases over $75 and enjoy all their useful decorating tips.
A White Christmas: - How pretty is this!
Christmas Chocolates ...yummmmmm
Chocolate just makes you feel good :)
Hot chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate-dipped strawberries.... I usually decorate my kids' cakes with chocolate chips - write a big number with the chips or I'll spell "Happy Birthday _____" - I made a chocolate and vanilla swirl cake, with chocolate icing and decorated it with choc chips for my Hannah to take to school on her 10th birthday - the kids loved it!!!
Here's an EASY Chocolate Cake Recipe (makes approx 9" cake - double or multiply the recipe to get the desired size you want)
2 heaping tbsps butter/margarine
2 tsps baking powder
3 heaping tbsps cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar (use a little less if you use brown sugar - it is sweeter)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate snack pudding
400g icing sugar
Decorate with your fave choc chips & enjoy!!!
Have you got yourself a Santa Hat?
Put it on and everyone will know you're in the mood to spread some Christmas cheer!
The Festive Look
Want to look a little extra special at Christmas? Keeping a certain theme in mind: dress santa's helpers in red or green for a traditional look or you can find something Christmassy whatever their favorite color is...
My girls are big enough now that they'll usually choose for themselves but they look awesome in anything fuchsia, they're not likely to want to wear dresses at 12 and 13 ....but if I can incorporate a popular character into my theme somehow they will (hopefully) let me have my way ;) - anything with Selena Gomez is always cool - Monte Carlo Baby!!! I can try for a Grace & Cordelia theme :)
Some of you might need to make/buy a costume for a party or Christmas pageant. You can find all the patterns and materials you need here on this Santa Suits site which has some great ideas for dressing up for this holiday season!
Have you got a Christmas Friend?
This is someone you're supposed to be epecially nice to for the month of December. At my kids' school, each child takes a gift for a classmate and he or she is meant to be especially kind to this friend (at school, names are "drawn from a hat") during the season.
It's a lovely idea, so choose a colleague, distant relative, your mailman, or (elderly) neighbour - it does not require a lot of effort. It obviously makes sense to keep it simple, so giving cookies or chocolates, picture frames, a mug, stationery or an ornament .... It really is the thought that counts - label the gift "From: Your Christmas Friend" to spread the love and send a message which we can all appreciate - it's an unconditional, unexpected gift given in the true spirit of Christmas.
How do you celebrate Christmas? There are always the special family gatherings and parties, going to church, or visiting friends.
I've never been to the beach on Christmas day - probably the one holiday I never spent at the beach growing up on an island :)
We usually buy and decorate our tree the first weekend in December... I love the smell - they are so worth it!
& Last but not least we always watch Christmas Movies
I have a pretty standard list: I still love the first 2 "Home Alone" Movies with Macaulay Culkin, they're are at the top my list - although I must admit that Kevin is a real handful and I don't envy his mom one bit ... you really do feel for him at times, he is such a brave lil kid and he's definitely the perfect match for those bad guys :) I have already mentioned why I love "Elf" - SPREAD THAT CHRISTMAS CHEER! ... but I must say one of my all time favorite Christmas movies is "Christmas with The Kranks" which is a highly entertaining, modern-day version of Scrooge. I love most of Jamie Lee Curtis' movies and although I was a huge fan of "Home improvement", I found that many of Tim Allen's characters since then have not appealed to me. In any case, by the end of this movie, the Scrooge character, Lester, which he portrayed was fully redeemed and the movie has become a huge holiday favorite of mine.