365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
all year to enliven your world.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Holiday Paper Projects

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Instead of store-bought, think handmade. Here are easy-to-do paper projects for crafting ornaments, tags, wrap, and a mantelscape that will make rooms merry and bright.

Little festive touches can make all the difference in holiday gift-giving.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Christmas Thought of the Day - 4/25/08

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Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
~~ Mary Ellen Chase ~~

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Friend of the Month

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Each month, I will be featuring a person who loves Christmas as much as I do. In addition, to sharing about the individual person, a favorite craft or decoration of the individual will also be shared.
This month's friend, I met via Christmas to the Max (Yahoo group).

Friend's Name: Paula

Personal History: I live in Idaho. My husband and I have 5 children (4 girls and one boy) and almost 3 grandchildren (all boys). In July, our third daughter will be married. We own a tire and car care store. We have been married 34 years. I love being a mom and now a grandma. I enjoy gardening, taking care of our home, and supporting our family.

What do you love about Christmas? My dad loved Christmas and so it came naturally. One day I was reading through an old family history of my grandfather who died before I was born and there was an entire section about how much he loved Christmas. My brothers, all my aunts, uncles and cousins on that side love Christmas, so I suppose it is genetic.

What do you love about this craft/tree? Our kids loved "Where's Waldo?" When I saw an 'I Spy' bag, it piqued my interest. Then I heard that someone had made an 'I Spy' tree. I did a search and found a small one which gave me some ideas. I started looking all over my house for items and small things to include in the tree. I was so excited as I continued to fill up the bag with items because I knew that my little boys (grandsons) would love this. I went through junk drawers, bottoms of boxes, toy boxes, tool boxes, sewing supplies, etc. One of my favorite things on it is a plastic spoon with cheerios in it. After I gathered everything together, I realized I had enough stuff to make a 3-foot tree. I started covering it with all of the treasures I found. It was very therapeutic. After gluing everything on the tree, I sprayed it red. Then I made an eight page book that listed all the items on the tree so when people look at the book they can find what is on the tree. There are several hundred things on the tree. This past Christmas it was visible from the front door and every person that came in would walk to the tree and look for the hidden treasures.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Eco-Friendly Tree

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Eco-Friendly Tree in Honor of Earth Day

Add a touch of eco-friendly to your home this holiday season. These magnificent trees can also be stacked using any leftover aluminum foil, felt, or crepe paper.

Tools and Materials
4 ounces Sculpey clay
10-inch, 6mm thick knitting needle
Craft glue
Clear glass glitter
2 pieces 6-by-6-inch card stock
Utility knife
Bone folder
Adhesive spray
Hot-glue gun and glue
2 paper Dresden stars


1. Roll and flatten 4 ounces sculpting clay to form dome shape. Poke knitting needle horizontally through flat area of clay dome. Remove knitting needle.

2. Bake clay in oven at 275 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Reinsert needle into baked clay. Glue felt on bottom of base for surface protection.

3. Apply glue, then glitter, to the base.

A receipt spike can be used to create a smaller tree instead of building a base using the above instructions.

4. To form tree, place 2 pieces of 6-by-6-inch card stock onto spike for stability.

5. Cut newspaper into 50 sheets of each size:
6 by 6 inches
5 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches
5 by 5 inches
4 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches
4 by 4 inches
3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches
3 by 3 inches
2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches
2 by 2 inches
1 1/2 by 1/2 inch

6. Cut 25 1-inch sheets of newspaper.

7. Begin poking pieces of newspaper onto spike in descending order, folding and unfolding each piece of paper using a bone folder.

8. Spray tree with adhesive and immediately sprinkle with diamond dust. Set aside and let dry for 10 minutes.

9. Using a hot-glue gun, adhere 2 paper Dresden stars back-to-back to top of tree.

Friday, April 18, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 9 - Reindeer

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We all know that the reindeer are a very big help to Santa come Christmas time, so no Christmas crafting would be complete without a reindeer project or two.

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy cane
Pipe cleaner (Chenille Stem)
5mm pair of wiggle eyes
5mm Pom-pom

1. Take a pipe cleaner and cut in half.
2. Twist pipe cleaner around candy cane neck. Form pipe cleaner to look like antlers.
3. Glue pom-pom onto the end of candy cane hook. Pom-pom will form the nose of the reindeer.
4. Glue eyes just above pom-pom to give the reindeer life.

Light Bulb Reindeer

Light Bulb
Thin Ribbon
Brown Fun Foam or Felt
3/4-Inch Red Pom-pom

1. I put 3 layers of paper mache on my light bulb first. Although this is optional, I highly recommend it because this helps make the light bulb less fragile.
2. Paint the light bulb with light brown paint. Let the paint dry completely. I set the neck of the light bulb into an empty film container. This worked great while the paint dried!
3. With the neck of the light bulb pointing up, paint eyes and a mouth on the reindeer. Glue on the red, pom-pom nose.
4. Cut two antlers out of fun foam. Glue one to each side of the light bulb neck.
5. Form a loop with a piece of thin ribbon, about 10 - 12 inches long and glue it on the top, back edge of your reindeer head. This will be the hanger for your ornament.

Handprint and Footprint Reindeer

This version of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer has a footprint head and two handprint antlers. Use a heavy paper, craft foam, or poster board for a longer lasting version.

To make the head, do one of the following:

  • Trace one of the child's feet on brown paper, craft foam, or poster board.
  • Trace one of the child's feet on white paper and allow child to paint or color it.
  • Dip child's foot in brown (washable) paint and stamp onto a piece of white paper.

To make the antlers, do one of the following:

  • Trace each of the child's hands on brown or beige paper, craft foam, or poster board.
  • Trace each of the child's hands on white paper and allow child to paint or color it.
  • Dip each of the child's hands in light brown/beige (washable) paint and stamp onto a piece of white paper.

Magic Reindeer Food

In a small Ziploc bag, mix:
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup sugar
sprinkle of red or green sugar crystals (for cake decorating)

Include this poem:
Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
As Santa's reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home.

Puzzle Pin Reindeer

3 old puzzle pieces, 2 sm. 1 med. size
brown paint
2 small wiggly eyes.
1 sm. pom-pom
craft pin

1. First paint the puzzle pieces brown and let dry.
2. When dry take the small puzzle pieces and glue them to the larger one in the corners only.
3. Attach the wiggly eyes and the pom-pom for the nose.
4. On the reverse of medium size puzzle piece, attach the craft pin.

Reindeer Crafts

Clothespin Reindeer

Have a Ball

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Turn delicate store-bought glass ornaments into one-of-a-kinds using these quick and easy ideas and tips for embellishing.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Christmas Tree-Toppers

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Go country, elegant, or glamorous with these ideas for Christmas -tree toppers.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 8 - Christmas Gift Tags

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Printable Gift Tags

Holiday Gift Tags
There are numerous designs to choose from in three different styles.

Christmas Gift/Scrapbook Tag Templates
Print out and make personalized Gift/Scrapbook Tags for your next Christmas party or scrapbooking project. They are easy to print and make.

Make your own Suessville Gift Tags
Features Dr. Seuss-themed holiday gift tags to print out and color.

Christmas Gift Tags
Print and cut in three different styles.

Printable Christmas Gift Tags and Gift Wrap
There are many websites listed that offer free printable tags and wrapping paper.

Monday, April 14, 2008

10 Christmas Commandments

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The following article appeared in a church newsletter. It contains some good advice that will help all of us to keep selfishness in check this Christmas.

1. You shall not leave 'Christ' out of Christmas.
2. You shall prepare your soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that your soul is forgotten.
3. You shall not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality.
4. You shall not burden the shop girl, the mailman, and the merchant with complaints and demands.
5. You shall give yourself with your gift. This will increase its value a hundred fold, and the one who receives it shall treasure it forever.
6. You shall not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold.
7. You shall not neglect the needy. Share your blessings with many who will go hungry and cold if you are not generous.
8. You shall not neglect your church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season.
9. You shall be as a little child. Not until you become in spirit as a little one are you ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
10. You shall give your heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of your Christmas list.

Anyone keeping these commandments is sure to have a blessed Christmas.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Scrappin' - 4/13/08

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This week's question:
What's your least favorite project that you've done lately, and why?

My answer:Cleaning the house, as a whole, is my least favorite project. By the time I finish the house, its time to start over again. Ugh.

Ta Da's:

  • I did get the house undecorated for Easter and some party decorations up for Cameron's party today.
  • All the decor and extras for the porch were taken out of the garage and put out on the porch.
  • The children finished cleaning out all of their toys and even more toys were generously donated.
  • The party for Cameron, although small, was a success... despite not having enough money to provide snacks, etc., for the guests.

To Do's:
Re-organize the Christmas decor since the weatherization company that was here rearranged everything without my permission since I didn't get it done this past week.

I do this meme here at 365 Days of Christmas blog because each week I try to accomplish, at least, one Christmas chore, craft, etc.

What Do We Love about Christmas?

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What do we love about Christmas;
Does our delight reside in things?
Or are the feelings in our hearts
The real gift that Christmas brings.
It's seeing those we love,
And sending Christmas cards, too.
Appreciating people who bring us joy
Special people just like you.

~~ Joanna Fuchs ~~

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Four Stages of Man

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One: He believes in Santa Claus.
Two: He doesn't believe in Santa Claus.
Three: He is Santa Claus.
Four: He looks like Santa Claus.

Swan Lake

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Their Real Name is Christmas

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Don't bother making jokes. This family has heard them all. No, they don't communicate directly with Santa Claus. They don't celebrate the holidays year-round, and they certainly have some not-so-cheerful days. The smirks and the wisecracks are just part of life when your last name is Christmas, and especially so when two of your family members are named — no joke — Mary.

"People ask me all the time, `What were your parents thinking?'" said the younger Mary Christmas, 30. "I never minded. It's a conversation piece."

It all started on Christmas Day 1935, when the elder Mary wedded Henry Christmas, becoming Mary Christmas. They had Bob Christmas, who married Peggy and had six children.

Mary was born first and named for her grandmother. The spirit of the season took hold again when Christy Noel, now 23, was born in December.

And it doesn't end there. Bob's brother married Cathy Holiday, and they had a daughter named Carol. And Bob's sister married into the White family, becoming Jeane Christmas White.

The Christmas family lives up to its cheerful name. They are a lively bunch, finishing each other's sentences and laughing at a constant stream of jokes.

"You can tell we're a happy family," said the elder Mary Christmas, who is 90.

So what is Christmas like at the Christmases'?

Christmas Eve involves a family dinner, a church service, the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible and then one gift per family member. The children — ranging in age from 12 to 30 — build forts in the living room out of blankets and furniture and fall asleep watching Christmas movies. Christmas Day includes a big family brunch with biscuits and gravy, and a Christmas dinner.

The Christmas children agree that the only time their last name gets old is roll call at school. Many of them roll their eyes and groan at the thought.

"The first day of the semester in college, I was like, `Here we go,'" said the younger Mary, who graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where one of her professors made her stand up in front of a large lecture hall full of students when he saw her name on the class list.

Peggy said the name keeps her on her toes.

"When you're out shopping and things, you make sure you're not grumpy or rude to someone who's helping you because in the end when you go to pay, they see your name is Christmas," she said.

They also embrace their holiday heritage. The younger Mary's e-mail address begins with "jinglebells."

(In truth, the younger Mary goes by the name T.C., from her middle name, Theresa. And when she was a little girl, her mother sent her off to kindergarten as Theresa, for fear the other kids would tease her. But it doesn't take long for others to find out her jolly first name.)

Despite the lighthearted way the Christmases talk about their name, they take it very seriously, too.

"It would be my goal that our lives as a family exemplify not just the birth of Christ, but the life of Christ," said Robby, 28.

With that, he was met with a chorus of amens from the rest of the Christmases.

By DORIE TURNER, Associated Press Writer

My Christmas Wish

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My Christmas wish for you, my friends
Is such a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings, one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year, too.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

The Best Hot Chocolate

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8 quarts Carnation dry milk
1 pound Nestles chocolate mix (the chocolate you use to make choc. milk)
1 pound powdered sugar
8 oz powdered creamer
1 box instant chocolate pudding

Mix all the ingredients together. Mix well. Divide and add to quart canning jars to give as gifts. Add a tag with instructions (see below) on how to serve.

Add 3 heaping teaspoons to mug of boiling water. Delicious!

Scent of Christmas

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3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of ground cloves
1 tablespoon of anise seed
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 quart of water

Mix together. Add water. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally, then simmer on low. Dry mix can be used as gift.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Website of the Week -- Share Christmas

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Christmas traditions, Christmas carols, Christmas poems, and more can be found at Share Christmas.

In their own words... "Enhance your Christmas, with Christmas poems and stories highlighted with your favorite Christmas carols. Christmas traditions are fast becoming a family way of life. Poems are a simple way of inspiring others to join in on the Christmas traditions."


Monday, April 7, 2008

Whisk You A Merry Kissmas

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This craft is a sweet surprise for the chocolate lover in your life. Makes a great teacher gift, stocking stuffer, or office Secret Santa present. Place a handful of foil-wrapped chocolate kiss candies between the tines of a new kitchen whisk. Wrap whisk bottom with plastic food storage wrap and tape wrap to handle. Add a pretty bow or ribbon and attach a tag.

Gift Givers of the World

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Christmas is a very special time for many children -- it is the day presents are left by a magical person.

In the United States, his name is Santa Claus. He flies through the sky in a sleigh pulled by eight or nine reindeer.

In England, his name is Father Christmas. He looks much like Santa Claus, but he has a longer coat and a longer beard.

In Wales (a principality in the United Kingdom), Santa is called Sion Corn - this translates as "Chimney John." Sion Corn comes down the chimney of each house to bring his gifts to the children within.

In France and Canada, he's known as Pere Noel.

In Brazil and Peru, he's called Papai Noel.

In Germany, children get presents from Christkind, the Christ Child on the 24th of December. Also, in Germany Knecht Ruprecht and his helpers come on the 6th of December. Krampus brings coal or a wooden stick to the children that have not been good. Knecht Ruprecht brings mostly cookies, nuts, and a small toy to the good children. In Germany, Father Christmas can also be called der Weihnachtsmann.

In Poland, Santa is "Gwiazdor" ("star man") -- for the North Star. He visits children on Christmas Eve, bringing presents. The Christmas Eve meal begins once the first star is seen. "Swiety Mikolaj" (Saint Nicholas) was a cardinal in the Catholic Church, he visits children on
December 6th and he brings presents, mostly sweets, which he leaves in children's clean (this is very important) shoes.

In Costa Rica, Colombia, and parts of Mexico, the gift bringer is El Nino Jesus, "the infant Jesus."

In Puerto Rico, children receive gifts from the Three Kings on January 6th. Each child puts grass under their bed for the camels and in the morning the grass is replaced with gifts.

In Sweden, Jultomten or Tomten visits in the evening before Christmas day, pulling a big bag of julklappar (Christmas presents) in the deep snow.

På norsk (in Norwegian) "Julenissen" arrives on the evening of the 24th.

In the Netherlands, he is called Kerstman. He flies through the sky with his reindeers and puts gifts under the Christmas tree on the 25th of December. De Kerstman lives in Finland. His counterpart "Sinterklaas" is another saint, who is celebrated on the 5th of December. Sinterklaas comes back every year from his home in Spain by steamboat, together with
him are a whole group of "zwarte pieten" who help him while he's riding on the roofs and distributing gifts through the chimney.

In Finland, he is called Joulupukki and his home is in Lapland in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturl. Also in Finland, the Swedish-speaking Finns (finlandssvenskar) call him Julgubben.

In Spain, the children the night of January 5th put their shoes under the Christmas tree and have presents from the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar). Santa Claus is called Papa Noel and there are children who have presents both days on December 25th (from Papa Noel) and on January 6th (from the Three Kings).

In Russia, he is called Grandfather Frost or Ded Moroz. Also, there is Babooska the person who was searching for Christ the night he was born. She spoke to the Three Wise Men or Three Kings on their way to find him, they offered their company to her. But she replied I am too old, so the Three Men went on without her and she set search the following day but the "King" had gone from his birth place and when Babooska heard the news she decided to give her presents for Christ to the children in her country Russia every year on the 13th of Dec to make them happy.

In Italy, he is called Babbo Natale. Also, they recieve their presents on January 6th from the gift bringer an old lady called Befana.

He is also called St. Nick in Turkey.

Karácsony Apó, is Santa, in Hungarian.

In China, he is called Shengdan Laoren.

In Denmark, they call him, Julemand.

In Hong Kong, they call him Sing dan lo ian in Cantonese.

In Slovenia, they call him Bozicek.

In Latvia, Santa Claus is called Ziemmassve'tku veci'tis.

In the country Uruguay he is called Papá Noel.

In Lithuania, Santa Claus is called Kaledu Senis.

In Portugal, Santa Claus is known as Pai Natal. He brings presents on Christmas Eve. However, the portuguese tradition says the presents in that night are brought by the Newborn Jesus "Menino Jesus."

In Estonia, he is called Jouluvana.

In Ireland, he is called Santa Claus and children abbreviate this to just Santy.

Many children in the Hindu religion receive gifts from their god, Ganesha, during the Holiday Season.

In Austria, children get presents from Christkindl, the Christ Child on the 24th of December.

In Greece, Santa Claus is called "Aghios Vassilis" and he comes on the night of 31st December leaving the presents under the tree for the children to find them on New Year's Day.

In Hawaii, Santa Claus is known as Kanakaloka.

In Portugal, Santa Claus is known as Pai Natal. He brings presents on Christmas Eve. However, the portuguese tradition says the presents in that night are brought by the Newborn Jesus Menino Jesus.

In Armenian, Santa Claus is Gaghant Baba and he brings presents to all the good girls and boys.
The name for Santa in Yugoslavia is Deda Mraz.

In Croatia, he is called Bozicnjak.

In Bulgaria, they call him Diado Coleda.

In El Salvador, for some families Santa Claus brings gifts on Christmas Eve to those children who are well behaved. People get together with the family, children go to bed and find a gift on December 25th.

In Urdu, he is called Baba Christmass.

In Romania, Santa Claus is Mos Craciun and he comes on the night of the 24th of December bringing presents. Also, the night of the 5th of December is Mos Nicolae (St. Nicholas) puts candies in the good children boots or a stick in the bad ones.

In Greece, Santa Claus is called "Aghios Vassilis" and he comes on the night of 31st December leaving the presents under the tree for the children to find them on New Year's Day.

In Nevis/St. Kitts in the Caribbean, Santa Claus comes up from under the sea, not from the North Pole.

Black Peter, St Nick's helper, originates from Morocco or Liberia.

Why Jesus is Better Than Santa

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Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh.
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year.
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies.
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited.
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa.
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap.
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name.
JESUS knew our name before we were born.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly.
JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO..
JESUS offers health, help, and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry."
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys.
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes, and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle, but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree.
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree ... the cross.

We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

25 Things for Children to Do for Christmas

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This is a great way to countdown to Christmas and form cherished memories with the children.

December 1 -- Make a red and green sign that says, "Happy Holidays," and leave it in your car. Whenever you're stopped at a stoplight, hold up the sign so people in the cars around you will see your greeting.

December 2 -- Pick a person from your list. Make a cheerful card and leave it in his or her mailbox or on his or her desk. Don't tell whom it is from.

December 3 -- All day long, pick up trash and debris wherever you see it. Put it in the trash can, making your world a more beautiful place.

December 4 -- Play a game with your brother, sister, cousin, or friend. Let him/her pick the game and win.

December 5 -- Help your parents address Christmas cards. For cards going to people you know, add your own note of cheer.

December 6 -- Help a neighbor with an outdoor task (putting up decorations, shoveling snow, raking the leaves, or trimming the bushes).

December 7 -- What is your best subject in school? Pick a student who has difficulty with that subject, then help the person with homework.

December 8 -- Clean up your room without being asked.

December 9 -- Pick another person from your list. Give him or her a special treat today (cookie, candy cane, or handmade ornament).

December 10 -- Write a note to your mail carrier thanking him or her for the good job done all year. Clip the note to the mailbox.

December 11 -- Feed the outdoor wildlife; birds, squirrels, or other animals that lives during the winter in your area.

December 12 -- Show up at a friends or relatives house and offer to help with chores for an hour.

December 13 -- With help from an adult, make treats to take to school. Give the treats to your teacher and let him/her decide when its appropriate to share them.

December 14 -- Call someone when you know he or she isn't home and sing a holiday song to the answering machine.

December 15 -- Pick someone else from your list. Make an ornament, small wreath, or other Christmas decoration and leave it on a desk, porch, or wherever he/she will find it.

December 16 -- Write a special card for your teacher, telling her or him, at least, one very specific thing you really appreciate.

December 17 -- Write a thank-you note to someone in your school or church whose
work often goes unnoticed, such as the custodian, secretary, Sunday school teacher, or volunteer.

December 18 -- Pick someone from your list. Make a Christmas card or picture for that person, telling something you really like about him or her.

December 19 -- Have you hurt someone s feelings this past year? Call, visit, or write to say you are sorry, then wish him/her a Merry Christmas.

December 20 -- Choose a person from your list for whom you make or buy a small, inexpensive, and unexpected gift.

December 21 -- Look for someone who is having a bad day, then tell that person something good about himself/herself. Make the individual feel good.

December 22 -- Surprise Mom with cleaning kitchen after helping her make cookies.

December 23 -- Select a Christmas movie or story and share with the family.

December 24 -- Make a list of five things you like about each of your parents, brothers, and sisters. Share the list with them.

December 25 -- Take a tray of cookies or other homemade goodies to your local fire station &/or police station to say thank you to those that protect your community.

Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas

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Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas on the Rise

The Associated Press
Monday, November 27, 2006

The cost of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is on the rise — again.
The total price of all the gifts listed in the Christmas carol went up
3.5 percent this year, according to PNC Financial Services Group in

The good news is that it's much less of a jump than last year, when
prices increased 9.5 percent from 2004.

"After years of stagnation, wages for skilled workers, including the
song's dancers and musicians, have increased as the labor market has
tightened," said Jeff Kleintop, chief investment strategist for PNC
Wealth Management. Buying each item in the song just once will cost you $18,920 — 3.1 percent more than last year.

Trying to find cheaper deals online won't help, either. The 364 items
online would cost $125,767, including shipping costs, compared to
$123,846 last year. You would spend $30,330 online for each item just
once this year.

The nine ladies dancing are the costliest items on the list again,
followed by the seven swans, which cost $4,200.

The cheapest? As always, the partridge, still $15.

"Also, a decline in the housing market has dampened demand for luxury
goods, such as gold rings," he said.

While prices for the partridge, two turtle doves, three French hens,
six geese and seven swans remained the same as last year, higher wages
made the lords a-leaping, ladies dancing and pipers piping costlier.

The nine ladies dancing earned $4,759, 4 percent more, according to
Philadanco, the Philadelphia Dance Co. The lords a-leaping got a 3-
percent pay raise, while the drummers drumming and pipers piping
earned 3.4 percent more.

The maids a-milking, however, weren't as lucky. They make the federal
minimum wage, which has been $5.15 per hour since 1997.

This year, buying all 364 items — from a partridge in a pear tree to a
dozen drummers drumming — repeatedly on each day as the song suggests
would set you back $75,122, up from $72,608 in 2005.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Scrappin' - My First at 365 Days of Christmas

3 merry thoughts
This week's question:
What kind of projects do you do the most often?
My answer:
Scrapbooking is my main creativity and craft. I do lots of kids crafts since I young one's at home. I also do lots of Christmas ornaments each year for gifts and for the annual ornament swap.

Ta Da's:

I don't feel like I got much accomplished this past week. My fibromyalgia really kicked my butt this week.

  1. The tables, chairs, toys, etc., for outside were taken out of storage, otherwise known as the garage, cleaned and put out on the porch. Whoo hoo... Spring is here!
  2. The children cleaned out their toys and many toys were generously donated.

To Do's:

Since I am not crafting for Christmas this week my goal is to re-organize the Christmas decor since the weatherization company that was here last week rearranged everything without my permission. Trees were taken apart and things were moved so I don't know where anything is.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Christmas Tags

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I add these tags to the gifts and gift baskets I give to friends each Christmas. You can also use these as ornaments on the Christmas tree.

Shabby Pink Altered Star

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This would be lovely as an ornament for a Christmas tree. It would fit many themes: pink, baby girl, memory tree, mother's day tree, shabby chic, bows & lace, crafting, angels, vintage.

If you changed the color it would fit many more themes. You could use photos or clip art for the center.

Vintage Hand-Beaded Christmas Tree

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This is a hand-beaded Christmas Tree in shabby shades of pinks and greens. This tree was created as a one-of-a-kind. This was made with vintage and new jewelry findings such as faux pearls, crystal's, rhinestone's, and more. This took about ten hours to complete. This tree measures approx. 8 inches tall.

Freebie of the Month - A Homemade Christmas

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A Homemade Christmas

You will find all those wonderful Christmas recipes everyone loves from the main meal to the cake in this sensational Christmas ebook.


12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 7 - Pinecones

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Use pinecones in baskets, glued on wreaths, solo as an ornament, in potpourri, and more.

How to Dry Pinecones
Spread pinecones on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and place in 200 degree, or lower oven until all the cones have opened. Usually an hour or two, depending on the size of your pinecones. The slower you dry the cones, the less brittle they will be.

Add Sparkle With Metallic Spray
Preserved leaves, pinecones, and seed pods can be embellished with metallic spray paint or a sprinkling of glitter. Add just a touch for a subtle look or cover completely for a more formal effect.

Festive Swag
You can bring the charm of holiday nature to your curtains by creating a swag to go across the top of the window along the curtain rod. Use pinecones, berries, holly, ivy, and evergreen for the best holiday affect.

Homemade Potpourri
In a metal colander, place flower petals, small pinecones, and bark and leaves from pine, oak or eucalyptus trees. Place on top of water heater to dry. Add drops of perfumed oil. Remove the lid of a shallow box, decorate it with gift paper and fill with potpourri.

Bleach Pinecones

Chlorine bleach
Plastic bucket
Rubber gloves

Step 1: Create a mixture of half water and half bleach by adding the bleach to the bucket and slowly pouring in the water.
Step 2: Inspect each pinecone carefully and brush loose any dirt, mud, grass, or other debris.
Step 3: Add the pinecones to the mixture and allow to soak for about 10 hours.
Step 4: Wearing rubber gloves, remove the pinecones and rinse them under cold water in the sink.
Step 5: Lay the pinecones outdoors to dry, preferably in the sun.

Spiced Pinecones

Ground ginger
Ground cinnamon (or any crushed dry spice you wish)
craft glue
foam brush

Step 1: Mix 1 part glue to 1 part water. Use foam brush to paint the pinecone.
Step 2: Mix equal parts of the spices in a bowl. Sprinkle spice over the pinecone and roll in spice.
Step 3: When coated, allow to dry.

Pinecone Wreath

8 Pine Cones (approximate)
Wire Coat Hanger
Duct Tape
Items to decorate your wreath

Step 1: Cut the wire coat hanger in half and form it into a circle. Wind the two ends together. I them secured the ends and covered the entire circle with duct tape. This held it together better and gave the pine cones a better surface to stick to!
Step 2: Once you have your circle formed, glue on the pinecones. Decorate as desired. I added a ribbon and red beads for the holly berries.
Note: If you want a larger wreath, just do not cut the wire hanger in half.

Use Pinecones in Your Holiday Decorations

The Amazing Pinecone

Pinecone Carolers

Pinecone Angel

Pinecone and Holly Berry Wreath

Pinecone Christmas Tree

Friday, April 4, 2008

Christmas Trivia

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Do you know your Christmas facts? Go to http://www.funtrivia.com/private/main.cfm?tid=22186 to play today. Compete against other Christmas fans and see how well you score.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Hidden Meaning

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The Hidden Meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas

People often think of the twelve days of Christmas as the days preceeding the festival. Actually, Christmas is a season of the Christian year that begins December 25 and lasts until January 6th -the day of Epiphany - when the church celebrates the revelation of
Christ as the light of the world and recalls the journey of the magi.

From 1558 until 1829 people in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. It was during this era that someone wrote 'The Twelve Days Of Christmas' as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution. The song has two
levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.

2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.

3. Three french hens stand for faith, hope, and love.

4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.

5. The five gold rings recall the Torah (Law) -- the first five books of the Old Testament.

6. The six geese of laying stand for the six days of creation.

7. Seven swans a swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.

8. The eight maids a milking are the eight Beatitudes.

9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Spirit (Gal.5).

10. The ten lords a leaping are the Ten Commandments.

11. Eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 6 - Displaying Christmas Cards

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Christmas is the season for holiday greetings. Do you receive tons of greeting cards from friends and family? How do you display the cards you receive from others? Here are some ideas.

Clothesline Display

Fishing Line Display

Juice Can Display

Shutter Display

Christmas Tree Card Holder

Card Carousel

Card Display

Pringle Can Card Display

Card Displays
Variety of different ways and materials to craft Christmas card displays.

Garland Card Display

Ribbon Card Display

Shopping for Christmas card displays:

Magic Card Tree


Pottery Barn

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Crafts - Day 5 - Christmas Trees

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Hand Christmas Tree Craft

Pine Cone Tree Ornament
Make a tiny Christmas tree using a pine cone. A great ornament for your own Christmas tree.

Reader's Digest Tree

Beaded Christmas Tree Pin

Tomato Cage Tree

Christmas Tree Coloring Pages

Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

Paper Christmas Tree
Make a 3-d tree from paper.

Christmas Tree Crafts
A variety of tree crafts to chose from.

Multicolored Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Craft

Paper Christmas Tree

Ice Cream Cone Christmas Tree Craft
Children of all ages will love decorating these trees. They are great activities to keep kids busy at Christmas parties.
Supplies: Sugar cones, green frosting, small candy like red hots, tiny M&M's, sprinkles, colored sugar, and paper plates.
What to do: Turn the cone upside down on a paper plate and cover the entire cone with green frosting. Decorate the tree with candy and toppings.

Website of the Week -- Find Christmas

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The simple mission of Find Christmas is to help you find the merriest of Christmas to be found on the Internet! Their collection of links, downloads, clip art, and articles about Christmas is growing constantly. If you're looking for Christmas, start at Find Christmas.


Poinsettia Care

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If you have a green thumb, you may want to try your hand at re-flowering your poinsettia this year. If you follow these directions very carefully, it is possible to have your poinsettia in bloom for Christmas.

Full bloom. Water as needed.

Color has faded. Cut stems back to about 8". Keep near sunny window and fertilize when new growth appears.

Repot if necessary. Be sure pot has drainage holes and is no more than 4" larger in diameter than original pot. Fertilize according to directions. Continue to water when dry to the touch. You may move plant outside under light shade if nighttime temperatures do not fall below 55 degrees.

Cut stems back, leaving 3 to 4 leaves per shoot. Water and fertilize as needed.

Poinsettias need at least 14 hours of darkness every day to trigger them to bloom. Ensure that the plant receives bright filtered sunlight from 8 am to 5 pm. Then place in dark (NO LIGHT) 5 pm to 8 am. Setting a box over the plant each evening or placing it in a dark room or closet every night can accomplish this. It is also important that nighttime temperatures are maintained between 60 and 70 degrees. Temperatures outside this range could delay flowering.

The key to success is to follow the strict light/dark instruction very carefully.

For more information on poinsettias...

25 Days of Christmas Songs - Day 25 - Auld Lang Syne

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We wrap up the 25 Days of Christmas not with a Christmas song, but with a song traditionally sung on New Year's Eve. The song's origins have been traced all the way back to a 1568 Scottish verse, which over generations has been shaped into it's current form.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne,
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld ang syne.

We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne.
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.