Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I cannot beleive that it is almost Christmas! I finished my shopping yesterday. Yay! If you are out fighting the crowds, it is nice to be out in 75 degree weather. Since it is not cold, sometimes I have to remind myself that it is almost Christmas. We'll get a dose of some cold and maybe some snow in Ohio.

This is going to be the last Christmas for our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. It has lasted us 4 Christmas seasons. Too many of the bulbs burnt out and I cannot find the right replacement bulbs after looking multiple places.

I may not be able to blog for a while, so I wanted to send out my wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2008!


A friend bought some new living room furniture, so I have a reading chair now! The chair was well loved in its previous home, and I will be slip covering it for now. I may eventually look into what it will cost to reupholster it. The frugal websites I have visited claim that you can reupholster it yourself if you are really careful. I have not sewn since I was in junior high, so that is not an option for me right now. I am posting a picture to show my Mom what I was talking about. I was able to get her decorating advice over the phone.


I took Pretzel Hugs to work today and they were a hit. They are really easy to make and so good. I check this blog for scrapbooking ideas, but Becky also shares neat recipes with pictures. The pictures make me want to try them out. Here is my version:

Monday, December 17, 2007


I liked this article I read today about financial security:
Dollar Stretcher Article

Chia Pet Update

So far, my Chia Pet is not growing in my office. Fluorescent lights may not be the ideal growing conditions. (We do not have any windows in my office!) I'll keep trying, but I may have to start over in the new year. The commercial makes it look so easy...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chia Pet

I received a Chia Pet (Elephant) is our office secret santa gift exchange! It was a gag gift, but I am going to try to grow it in my office. I wonder how many students will comment on it? It was actually a re-gift and not my real gift, but we all got a good laugh out of it. I am amused by those commercials that are only on a Christmas: Chia Pet, The Clapper, etc. It is soaking tonight, so I should be able to plant it tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Traditions

I have been thinking about traditions as Christmas approaches. I realized that my family has so traditions and memories surrounding Christmas. My goal is to make a mini-album of Christmas Traditions, but for now I will start by writing them out.

The ceramic Christmas tree goes up on Thanksgiving. It signifies the beginning of the Christmas season.

The ceramic NOEL letters have been a staple at my parents’ house for years during Christmas. They are usually set up on one of the bookcases. For years they mixed in with the other Christmas decorations until we saw an episode of Home Improvement. (Do you remember that show with Tim Allen?) The youngest son, Mark, was in a Christmas pageant with three other children. Each one had a letter on their shirts to spell out NOEL. When they lined up backwards, they spelled LEON. After getting a laugh out of the show, our letters became LEON. Someone would rearrange our letters to spell LEON and then someone else would arrange them back to NOEL. This goes on for weeks before Christmas.

Whether real or artificial, the Christmas tree is the centerpiece of our holiday decorations. I remember years of choosing the best live tree we could find and then bringing it home. Even with the added stress of checking the Christmas lights, and crooked trunks, the tree was always worth it. The debate of white or colored lights between Mom and Brendan went on for a few years. One resolution was to have two trees. The real tree stood in the living room with white lights and the artificial tree had a home in the family room with colored lights and the “kid” ornaments. Now there is less stress with the pre-lit tree, but it is still just as beautiful.

Each year Brendan and I were given a new Christmas ornament. The ornaments where marked so that when we moved out we could have our own ornaments to take along. In 2004, I took my collection and now Brendan is moving out in 2007.

Growing up, we put cookies out for Santa (and maybe carrots for the reindeer). One of my favorite times was those years when I stopped believing in Santa, but Brendan still believed. I would pretend to go to bed at the same time he did and then get up to help Mom and Dad set out some presents. I also got to help eat Santa’s cookies.

We would go to Christmas Eve service as a family at Northwest Christian Church. The service usually included the song We Three Kings. The problem was that my dad had taught us an alternative version of the song. Dad, Brendan and I would giggle a little during the song while Mom gave us dirty looks. The final song of the service was Silent Night and each person was given a candle. When Brendan was younger, we all watched him nervously with the lit candle, but the church never caught on fire.

A big part of Christmas for children is the magic. It is amazing how little things keep the magic going. When we decorated the Christmas tree, we did not put tinsel on it. When I woke up Christmas morning, there was tinsel on the tree. Santa put the tinsel on our tree. Even once we no longer believed in Santa Claus, we still waited until the night of Christmas Eve to put the tinsel on the tree. It keeps the magic of Christmas alive.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's December

Yay! I have started decorating the house, and we will put up the tree soon. I have also started Christmas shopping but am awaiting some Christmas lists. (That would be from John & Mom, ahem.) We will make it to Ohio over the holidays to catch up with family and friends. We are also looking forward to seeing Karee's daughter on the trip. We received the first Christmas card of the year from Nancy. Now it is time to work on our Christmas cards. Happy Holidays!