Archive for December 2011

Ring-A-Ding-Ding! 2012

December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”  ~Author Unknown




The Aftermath

December 27, 2011

Following three days of merry-making, Aftermath, the ghost of Christmas after, arrived. I’m not talking about the presence of bows and wrapping paper scattered around rooms, or the dust bunnies hopping across the floors, or the pile of soiled table linens and towels, waiting to be cleaned. I’m talking about what lurks inside the sleek stainless steel cold box in the kitchen.    

Opening the door of the refrigerator proved to be a turn-your-stomach experience. Leftovers from a Christmas made merry crammed the corners and shelves of the refrigerator. Foil wrapped plates, odd sized containers and jars, covered pots, and plastic storage bags held mystery food inside of them. I discovered…

Twelve crumbling cookies

Eleven stale sausage balls

Ten smokies in hot sauce

Nine almond clusters

Eight baby shrimp

Seven stuffed olives  

Six shriveled potato fries

Five brussel sprouts

Four potato skins

Three green peppers

Two brown bananas

And oyster stew in a soup pot.  

I’m tired of cooking. I’m tired of cleaning. There’s only one solution to this colossal mess. Get ready for Dinner Surprise!

O Christmas Tree

December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”  ~Burton Hillis

The Card that Keeps on Giving

December 20, 2011

Talk about recycled cards. Take a look at this one! When I was a young whippersnapper in college, I sent this card to my dad. Who knew it would have such a long life?

Notice my dad took the advice on the inside of the card and sent it to me the next year. In fact, we managed to send it back and forth over a period of twenty-five years. As we moved to different places, the card moved along with us – Illinois, Alabama, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. It ended up in Florida where I found it in one of my dad’s drawers after he passed away. I guess you might say he sent it to me one last time.

Whenever I read what we wrote to one another, it never fails to put a smile on my face. This card keeps recycling itself through my life, and it keeps on giving and giving.

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”  ~Bob Hope

Send someone you love a special card today. (This is not a Hallmark commercial!)

Christmas Past with Rye and Bourbon

December 16, 2011

I’m on a mission. With so few days left before Christmas, I have things to do, places to go, and people to see. I have no time to waste, but when I found a relic from my past tucked away in an old Christmas box, I paused to reminisce.


In my hands, I held an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a 3-D Christmas Book given to me by Santa when I went to visit him eons ago. Imagine that!


The book is filled with a variety of Christmas stories and poems by some well-known authors.


It has carols, craft ideas,


 a pop-up Christmas scene,


 and a pair of 3-D glasses.

 Santa is so clever!

There is also a recipe for eggnog included on the last page of the book. It calls for the “best of Rye or Bourbon!” Who knew we were so liberal back then? Including this recipe in a children’s publication today would probably be considered politically and socially incorrect. Hmmm …  

Reminiscing time is up. I have lots to do, and the first thing on my list is to try out that eggnog recipe. A little pick-me-up might be just the ticket to keep me chugging down the right track. Cheers!

It’s in the Eye of the Wearer

December 13, 2011

Ugly! Who knew the Christmas sweaters I wear to school every year are considered ugly? I found that out when someone said one of my sweaters would be perfect for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.

Hey, you insensitive people who throw those parties; there are those of us who love our Christmas sweaters! Teachers have a great reputation for wearing jingle-jangled, decorated cover-ups, and I’m part of that teacher crowd. Have some holiday compassion for the likes of us!

I consider myself to have a sophisticated sense of style so I decided to take a look at my sweaters from a different perspective – off my body. I took pictures of them and pretended they were for sale in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog for an obscene amount of money. Would I find them so irresistible that I would choose to throw away my hard-earned money on these seasonal tops? Looking at my sweaters from this viewpoint, I had an epiphany. (That’s Christmas talk.)

MY SWEATERS ARE UGLY! There is no way I’d spend money for sweaters that look like this.

Sleigh Ride



What am I thinking when I put them on every year? Christmas insanity is my only defense. So have I changed my mind about wearing my sweaters?

No! Christmas comes but once a year. If I want to wear ugly seasonal tops, so be it. In fact, I think I’ll do the whole darn Christmas package and throw in some ugly accessories, too!





Ring-a-ding-ding those Christmas sweater bells!

An ugly sweater story:  The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater…That Grandma Knit by Debbie Macomber and Mary Lou Carney (HarperCollins, 2009)


Christmas Treasures

December 9, 2011

Behold one of the Christmas treasures I rescued from my parents’ house before it was sold. It’s the 1948 Christmas Annual Edition of the Louis Allis Messenger. I wasn’t around in 1948, but this particular book made an appearance every Christmas for as long as I can remember. I loved the contents of the book with its Christmas carols, poems, customs from other lands, and beautiful art. But it was the cover illustrations and the double page spread in the middle of the book that kept me fascinated for hours. I immersed myself into George Hinke’s illustrations and became part of the enchanting world he created. 

Front Cover

Back Cover

Inside Front Cover


Inside Back Cover

Double-Page Spread

I spent hours examining every tiny detail in the scenes. I named the elves and made myself a secret elf, feeding the cats, joining in the pillow fight, opening letters for Santa, and counting the good girls and boys. This book still has the power to evoke delightful memories and bring back the feeling of magic that was part of my childhood.

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

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