365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas

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At Christmas time there was a man, who looked so out of place. As people rushed about him, at a hurried sort of pace. He stared at all the Christmas lights, the tinsel everywhere. The shopping center Santa Claus, with children gathered near.

The mall was packed with shoppers, who were going to and fro, Some with smiles, some with frowns, and some too tired to go. They rested on benches, or they hurried on their way. To fight the crowds for purchases, to carry home that day.

The music from the stereo, was playing loud and clear. Of Santa Claus and snowmen, and funny nosed reindeer. He heard the people talk about, the good times on the way. Of parties, fun and food galore, and gift exchanges that day.

I'd like to know what's going on, the man was heard to say. There seems to be some sort, of celebration on the way. And would you tell me who this is, all dressed in red and white. And why are children asking "him" about a special night.

The answer came in disbelief, I can't believe my ears. I can't believe you do not know, that Christmas time is here. The time when Santa comes around, with gifts for girls and boys. When they are asleep on Christmas Eve, he leaves them books and toys.

The man you see in red and white, is Santa Claus so shy. The children love his joyful laugh, and twinkle in his eye. His gift packed sleigh is pulled along, by very small reindeer. As he flies quickly through the air, while darting here and there.

The children learn of Santa Claus, while they are still quite small. When Christmas comes "he" is the most, "important" one of all. The stranger hung His head in shame, He closed a nail pierced hand. His body shook in disbelief, He did not understand. A shadow crossed His stricken face, His voice was low but clear. "After all these years they still don't know." And JESUS shed a tear.

By Author Unknown

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Christmas Elf Name

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Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is

Get your Christmas Elf Name at JokesUnlimited.com

What Part of Christmas Are You?

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christmas quiz

Go to Jokes Unlimited to answer the six questions to see what part of Christmas you are.

Naughty or Nice List

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Christmas Naughty or Nice List

Naughty or Nice List

Christmas Naughty or Nice List

You are on the The Nice List

After checking the North Pole database we found you had :

1,537 nice entries

628 naughty entries

Check your name on the Christmas Naughty or Nice List at JokesUnlimited.com

Find Your Secret Santa Present

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Secret Santa

secret santa

This year your Secret Santa bought you :

A Life Time Supply Of Hemroid Cream

Find out your Secret Santa present at JokesUnlimited.com

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

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Which of Santa's Reindeer are you?

Santas Reindeer


Like Comet you are always happy. Nothing seems to get you down and you can always put a smile on people's faces

Find out which of Santa's Reindeer you are at Quizopolis.com

Fun Quizzes

Christmas Trivia - Ornaments

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Early Christmas trees had real fruit and flowers and candles as decorations, it looked good but was very heavy on the branches.

German glass blowers began producing glass balls to replace the heavy decorations. These became known as Blubs.

In the 1800's the women's publication, "Godey's Lady Book" popularize the making of homemade Christmas ornaments & decorations.

18 Baking Tips for Cakes and Cookies

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1. Add a pinch of baking powder to powdered sugar homemade icing. It will help it stay moist and not crack.

2. If you have time, freeze the layers of your cake before frosting. It makes your frosting job much easier and no crumbs.

3. Frosting will look more professional if you first frost with a thin layer and let it set. Then apply a second coat of frosting.

4. After adding batter to your cake pans, tip slightly from side to side to level the dough and put a little on the sides of the pan. When the cake rises, it will make a flatter layer.

5. Form drop cookies by dropping them on a cookie sheet and then press them with the bottom of a water glass dipped in sugar.

6. Preserve the creamy texture of frozen cheesecake by thawing it in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

7. Dip your cookie cutter in slightly warm salad oil for a cleaner cut.

8. Quick frosting can be made by adding a little chocolate syrup to prepared whipped topping (Cool whip type)/

9. Sprinkle powdered sugar on each layer of your cake before filling or frosting. This will keep the filling from soaking through the cake.

10. Uncooked spaghetti is great to use instead of toothpicks for holding a cake together while waiting for the icing to set.

11. Uncooked spaghetti works well to light birthday candles.

12. Substitute two egg whites stiffly beaten for each whole egg in a recipe for lower cholesterol.

13. Add a pinch of salt to the sugar and your icing won't become grainy.

14. Use cocoa instead of flour to "flour" your baking pans so your cakes and cookies won't have that floury look.

15. Trace the bottom of your baking pan onto waxed paper and cut it out. Use this in the bottom of the pan and grease the sides like normal. When the cake is done, it comes out easily and the paper can be removed while the cake is still warm.

16. Roll the dough directly onto a greased and floured cookie sheet. Cut the cookies out and then pick up the scrap for thinner crispier dough.

17. Cookies wills stay moist if a slice of bread is placed in the cookie jar.

18. A pinch of salt added to chocolate dishes enhances the flavor.

Christmas Thought of the Day - 5/30/09

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A Soldier's Christmas

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
and I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?," I asked without fear.
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire's light
then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am

.I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,

I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked,
"or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.

"Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,"
Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

~~ Michael Marks ~~

Friday, May 29, 2009

Six Main Type of Christmas Trees

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Fraser Fir

This tree has become a Christmas favorite in recent years, thanks to the pretty contrast between the silver on the underside of the needles and the dark green on top. No worries about being pricked — the three-quarters-inch-long needles are flat, have blunt ends, and are soft to the touch. The Fraser fir is said to have the best needle retention of all the trees, but farmers say needle retention is based more on how well you care for the tree.

Balsam Fir

This aromatic, dark green tree will keep a room smelling like a forest in Maine. The needles are three quarters of an inch long, flat, and blunt at the ends, and grow in two rows on either side of the branch. All firs have good needle retention. Fir branches are airier than those of pines or spruces, so you can go wild with popcorn strings and colored balls.

White Fir

At the Jones Family Farms, in Shelton, Connecticut, the white fir is called "the tangerine tree" because of its citrusy smell. The soft needles are flat and thin, two to three inches long, and silvery blue, growing all around the branch. The white fir tends to be fuller than other firs. Not widely grown, it is a niche tree, says Terry Jones: "You either love 'em or you hate 'em."

Eastern White Pine

This tree is popular in the South. The branches grow close together, and the soft, hairlike needles, 2 1/2 to 5 inches in length, grow in bundles of five, giving the tree a soft, full appearance. But because of the tightness of the branches, it doesn't showcase ornaments as well as firs do.

Douglas Fir

The inch-long needles are thin, pointed, and soft; they grow in two rows, as on the balsam, and stick out in different directions, giving the tree a beautiful, feathery appearance. Douglas firs are dark green or blue green, depending on their genetic makeup and the type of soil they were grown in. The branches are more flexible than those of the balsam, making this not the best choice for heavy ornaments.

Colorado Blue Spruce

A beautiful tree that ranges in color from silvery blue to dark green, the Colorado blue spruce has needles 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in length that grow "bottle brush" style on the branches. Because the needles are prickly, the Colorado blue spruce is often recommended to people who have cats. They won't try climbing it twice. The strong branches can support heavy ornaments without sagging.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Candy Cane Ideas

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Each year there are lots of extra candy canes floating around the house. Use them up with these creative ideas.

  • Use candy canes as stirring sticks for hot beverages.
  • Add crushed candy canes to vanilla frosting and make cookie sandwiches with purchased cookies or graham crackers.
  • Add crushed candy canes to Rice Krispy treats.
  • Melt some purchased white almond bark and add crushed candy cane pieces. Pour onto waxed paper and chill for instant Candy Cane Bark.
  • Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of iced cupcakes or on top of ice cream sundaes.
  • Layer ice cream and hot fudge sauce with crushed candy canes and top with whipped cream for a peppermint twist treat.
  • Dip the candy canes in chocolate coating.
  • Save the candy canes and use them for decorations next year, like hearts for Valentine's Day.
  • Then grab a candy cane to enjoy.
For the history and fun facts about candy canes, check out these sites.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Christmas Trivia - Rudolph

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The Montgomery Ward Company had been giving out coloring books for Christmas at their stores for years. In an attempt to cut their cost they had one of their employees, copywriter Robert May write a story. Robert May wrote the story to cheer up his 4-yr-old daughter Barbara whose mother was dieing of cancer. Rollo then Reginald were the first names he'd named the deer before he settled on Rudolph. His wife died shortly before the story was published. He had Denver Gillen from the Ward’s art dept. illustrate the story. Montgomery Ward’s distributed 2.4 million copies of the booklet.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This is a Christmas Tree

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This is a Christmas tree.

This is a Christmas tree.

This is a Christmas tree.

This is a Christmas tree.

This is a Christmas tree.

These are Christmas trees.
These are NOT Holiday trees.
They are not Hanukkah bushes.
They are not Allah plants.
They are Christmas trees.

Say it...

Yes, CHRISTmas -- not Holiday.
We are not celebrating the birth of a Holiday!
We are celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ!

Christmas Thought of the Day - 5/20/09

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The Jingle Bell

When you ring this jingle bell,
You sound the season!
For in its tiny song can be heard
The glistening of a snowfall,
The gleeful laughter of a child,
The jubilant voice of a choir,
And the magic of a season so filled with hope!
It is JOY distilled.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Christmas Thought of the Day - 5/17/09

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Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
Returns to you glad.
~~ John Greenleaf Whittier ~~

Christmas Connection #10

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If you plan to travel during the holidays, now is the time to finalize your plans and book your flights & accommodations. Make any other travel arrangements like informing your sister that you are coming, buying a special game for the kids to keep them entertained while traveling, gathering all your medical cards & medical information in case of emergency.

Shop now for any accessories you might need during your travel.

Write down your packing list so you don't forget anything. Take the list with you in your luggage so you remember everything to bring back home.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Christmas Trivia - Stocking

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Stockings for Christmas may originate from an old St. Nicholas legend of the 3 doweryless girls, in which each time St. Nicholas threw the bag of gold down the chimney, it landed in a stocking that happened to be hanging to dry.

In Holland the tradition arose of St. Nicholas “Sinter Klaas” coming around and putting gifts in children's wooden shoes, this may have developed in the filling of hanging stockings drying in front of the fireplace.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

12 Cookie Recipes

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12 Links for Cookie Recipes

Try new recipes now while you still have lots of time so you can add new recipes you like to your holiday baking schedule.

Recipes, cookie recipe forums, and baking tips... everything you need for the most memorable Christmas cookies ever:

  1. ChristmasCookies.com
  2. Joy of Cooking - Christmas Cookie Recipes
  3. All Recipes - Christmas Cookies
  4. Moms Who Think - Christmas Cookie Recipes
  5. Christmas Cookie Recipes
  6. What's Cooking America - Christmas Cookie Recipes
  7. Good Housekeeping - The Best Christmas Cookie Recipes
  8. Northpole.com - Christmas Cookies
  9. Better Recipes - Christmas Cookie Recipes
  10. Kraftfoods.com - Festive Favorites
  11. Food Network - Christmas Cookie Recipes
  12. About.com - Cooking for Kids Christmas Cookies

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Christmas Thought of the Day - 5/10/09

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Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Christmas fire, and make the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete.
~~ Charles Dickens ~~

Christmas Connection #9

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How are you doing so far this season in getting things planned and organized? Let us know the good and the bad. The good will encourage others; the bad will help us plan assignments geared toward your goals and needs.

By planning your season step by step, you'll be happy and singing Christmas carols in your head instead of worrying that you'll forget something, or that you'll do something too late. Christmas will again be a time of wonder and joy!

Will you be including Christmas photos of your family with your cards? Do you take annual photos so you can show how big the kids have gotten or how much weight you lost? Plan now! What will you wear? Who will take the photo? Fancy studios are nice, but photos you take yourself are just as pleasant. If going to a studio get it scheduled today. If doing the photo yourself, check the batteries and get the family together this week to get the photo done so you have time to get the photo printed, purchase frames, etc., for mailing and gifts.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Christmas Trivia - Postage Stamps

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On Christmas day, 1898, Canada started its Penny Postal System and issued a stamp to commemorate Christmas.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Christmas Thought of the Day - 5/6/09

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Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home.
~~ Carol Nelson ~~

Monday, May 4, 2009

Christmas Thought of the Day - 5/4/09

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John Paul II, in his message of December 19, 1999, explained that Christmas is not simply the remembrance of the Event that took place 2000 years ago when, according to the Gospel, the power of God took on the frailty of a baby. It is about a living reality that is repeated every year in the heart of believers. "The mystery of the Holy Night must be lived as a spiritual event in the ‘today’ of the Liturgy," the Pope clarified. "The Word who found a dwelling in Mary’s womb comes to knock on the heart of every person with singular intensity during Christmas."

What Color Christmas Tree Should You Have?

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You Should Have a Blue Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of calm, understanding, and peace.

You avoid family fights, and you don't get too stressed out - even when things are crazy!

You like to make Christmas about making everyone's life a little bit better.

You don't get caught up in greed or commercialism. You're too sincere for that.

Your blue tree would look great with: Lots of silver tinsel

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: It's a Wonderful Life

What you should bake for Santa: Chocolate chip cookies

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Christmas Connection #8

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Get out the calendar and look ahead to all the upcoming events and parties you will be attending.

Make a list of all of the places you are going, especially those places where you'll be expected to bring a dish. List each dish you will be making and gather all of the ingredients. Do you have everything you need? Do the shopping now (or schedule it now) for the missing ingredients so won't have to rush out at the last minute.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sing to Me Saturday #3

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Mary, Did You Know? by Mark Lowry

Mark wrote this song and it's my all-time favorite Christmas song. I know many artists have recorded it but Mark's version is by far the BEST rendition of this song. When I hear this song, I stop in my tracks and feel the presence of my precious Lord.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

Share your favorite &/or cherished songs at All Things Cherished with my Sing to Me Saturday meme.

Christmas Trivia - Wreath

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In ancient Rome, people hung decorative wreaths as sign of victory. The hanging of Christmas wreath seems to have derived from this. Denoting the victory of God over Satan with Jesus' birth into the world.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Christmas Thought of the Day - 5/1/09

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The message of the Christmas tree, therefore, is that life is "ever green" if one gives: not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening.
~~ Author Unknown ~~