Friday, December 29, 2006

Non-Dripping TeaPot sets the Heart A Fire

A dear lady from our Church gave me and hubby a teapot for Christmas - with a postIt stuck to the side clearly said 'Guaranteed not to drip'. The poor old one that we use at the office leaks like a sieve! Good thing for the blessed lil' tea stopper. The downside to the tea stopper is how stained it gets. I try for reasons unknown to me, to give it a good cleaning every couple of weeks or so. For a day, perhaps it will look like it originally did - a little slice of lemon, all fresh and clean. This is a very short lived look for the poor old tea stopper, for after a couple of pots of tea with the good ol' leaky pot it's completely brown and I'm sure to most folks looks rather disgusting.

So when I get a pot that doesn't leak, not even a D R I P....well I am happier than a pig in, oh you know!

Now tonight I'll enjoy my TyPhoo tea by the potful without a leak in sight!

God Bless You Agnes!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our Tree

Our Tree, Oliver is inspecting it for the first time!

More natural shot w/o the flash - all lit up!

Oliver getting up close and personal with the tree.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Santa Within

Hard to believe that in only six more 'sleeps' as we used to say as kids - Christmas will be here
Stockings will soon be hung by the chimney with care. Children all snuggled as bugs in their beds. All waiting up in hopes they'll hear just a faint 'jingle' of the bells on Santa's sleigh.

I remember the Christmas I found out about Santa Claus. I must have had some lingering feelings that the kid who told me must be wrong. That night I was adamant that I would wait up and 'see for myself. I remember it being completely dark - even mom and dad were sound asleep. I could hear the distinct sound of bells.....slowly at first and then they got progressively louder. I carefully and very quietly snuck out of my bed. I opened my door so quietly even my sis who was sleeping in the bed next to mine didn't hear. As I peeked outside my room into the darkened hallway I saw the back of Santa. He was just as I'd pictured suit, black boots.....sack full of toys. I guess a part of me wasn't ready to let go of the mystery of Santa, nor will it ever be.

On Christmas Eve as my hubby and I eat the treats that have been so carefully selected for Santa and break off the end of the carrot to make it look like Dasher had a nibble we'll do so just filled with the spirit of St. Nicholas. When I stuff my hubby's stocking with all sorts of treats, I know I'll have a grin from ear to ear, as will he. We'll snuggle up in bed just like two little kids and we'll be so excited for Christmas morning that we'll be up all night giggling and talking.

Yes, I also do believe in Santa just like dear Hubby and I watch on Christmas Eve as the local news gets a radar image of Santa and his sleigh and I just smile inside knowing that all the little girls and boys will be filled with such excitement that they might just hear Santa's sleigh on the roof or hear the bells and if they're really lucky they may even catch a glimpse of the good ol' chap and they too will always keep the spirit of St. Nicholas alive and well in their hearts for the rest of their days.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Birthday Cake Success

I was pleased that the cake I made for my niece's birthday turned out so well. I think she was quite pleased with it and she of course had to have a piece taken from the top of the stocking where all the goodies!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas meme

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot Chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
colored lights on the tree, white ones - icicle ones on the house

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Yes, all the better to catch my sweetie with.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
First Sunday of Advent until the Epiphany.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Cabbage rolls with sour cabbage.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
Coloring Christmas pictures with my mom.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I found out in grade 2, another kid at school told me. It was the same year I got my snoopy watch.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No. We open them in the morning before breakfast.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
It's a hodge podge of different ornaments, no particular theme...with beaded garlands that look like cranberries and candies.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
As a kid I loved that I have to drive - shovel etc. I like it only for Christmas. There is something special about coming out of Midnight Mass and there is a beautfiul fluffy snowfall.

12. Can you ice skate?
I can skate, but I can't stop - unless you count running into a snow

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The boxful of barbie clothes my mom sewed for me and my sis.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Being with the family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Trifle.........mmmmmmmmmm Trifle!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Going to midnight mass with the family and our big family breakfast.

17. What tops your tree?
An angel.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
I love watching people open gifts - so giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Silver Bells

20. Candy canes:
They make good decorations, but they're too messy to eat.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
Miracle on 34th Street(original)

22. What do you leave for Santa?
Cookies and milk.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Favorites

I remember the Christmas I turned 15. I absolutely got nothing out of it at all, the Christmas spirit had taken a Mexican vacation and left me behind to deal with the festivities.

Every year since, I have been afraid that I would experience this lapse in spirit. Thankfully it hasn't happened since. It must have been a teenaged angst thing.

But growing up Christmas was never such a big deal in our house. We didn't attend Church so the festivities consisted of going for a Christmas light drive on Christmas Eve and then turning in early so that Santa would come - and then waking up to gift opening. With my mom this sometimes would happen at 3am. I remember one year that we were woken up at 3am and after we opened all of our presents we were promptly sent to bed....:(! My mom has always been way over excited to give the presents. I remember thinking how completley unfair it was that we had to go back to bed, I had just received the best barbie ever!!!!! Mom had even sewed both my sister and I an orange crate full of barbie clothes!

Now we may not have had a lot of traditions but what we did have made me appreciate them even more. One thing we always had was dinner at Granny's. There was never a better meal than that Christmas dinner, but doesn't everything taste better at Grandma's!!!!

When I met my dear hubby his family had huge traditions. I remember the first time I saw his parent's house at Christmas time. It looked like someone had bought out the entire Christmas aisle and set it all up in their living room. That was way way back when the tinsel style decor was all the rage. The ceiling sparkeled as ropes and stars swayed to and fro. I felt like I had walked into the North Pole!

We've carried on many of these traditions and added a few more. These days we still decorate quite a bit, but we do so with a bit less flash and shine and more traditional with green boughs and ribbons, but we still have plenty of twinkling lights to make the house merry.

His family always had a big breakfast on Christmas morning with all kinds of special treats, fresh croissants, bacon and fresh OJ. This has been a wonderful tradition to continue on with and each year the kids start asking what we'll have for breakfast. I'm a big fan of waffles with strawberries - I think that will be on the list this year when we have hubby's folks over for breakfast.

Now that we are in our first home - this Christmas feels just that much more special. I'm very happy to be celebrating our first Christmas dinner with my family. I have my Granny coming over(she is 92) and she is just so excited to see the house all decorated. She always loves how we decorate - she has always been impressed with the 'North Pole' look. Still at 92, she has that little girl in her that just loves to see the twinkling lights and decorated ceilings.

Now I'll share an unusual tradition that we've begun together as a family. I found a pattern years ago for a crocheted pickle. The tradition is that you leave the pickle out on Christmas Eve and Santa hides it in the tree. Come Christmas morning everyone takes a turn to find the pickle. Whoever finds it, gets a special gift. We've always ensured that this was a gift that the whole family would enjoy, a game or a movie for the whole family.

Even as our kids grow and begin turning into young adults - they still crave all of the tradition that we've created to make Christmas extra special. They'll never let us forget on Christmas eve to leave the pickle out for Santa!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Irish Hiking Scarf

I discovered a great 'kint-a-long last week and I just had to try it. I'm hoping to get added to their site soon, but here is a picture of my scarf I have just begun. To see the pattern or to join their group go to their site.

It is such a joy to work on - and I love the cabled look! This time the scarf will be for me.

On the needles One poncho - 2 dish cloths - and 1 Irish Hiking Scarf....for me. I can't wait until it is done, then of course I'll need to make a hat.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Annual Christmas Drive

One of my fond memories from being a kid was the annual 'Christmas Light Drive'. Mom would get that excited look in her eyes and a goofy grin and tell us kids to get dressed 'we're going for a drive' is all she'd say. That's pretty much all she did have to say, it was that time of the year. We had already noticed the odd house with lights on and it always got us excited for the 'annual event'.

Now it wasn't like it is today - where mostly every block has half of the houses lit....OH NO! We would pile in the back of the big Chevy Oldsmobile in our jammies with the feet and snuggle up under an old car blanket and head off for the 'drive'. This would consist of at least 1 1/2 hours. We'd pretty much cover the entire city and maybe we saw 40 or so houses, but no matter how many we saw or how many times we took that drive - we were always in awe when we saw the twinkling lights hanging from the eavestroughs. Dad would get that twinkle in his eyes as he'd point out the extra special ones and he'd drive so slowly I could almost swear we weren't moving at all.

After our big drive we'd head home and mom would tuck us into our snuggly warm beds and I felt so excited that I could barely sleep. For when we went on the 'Christmas Drive', Christmas was always really close. (It was back in the day where folks put their lights on in the few weeks just before Christmas.) We'd try to fall asleep on those nights, my sister and I, but more often than not - we'd stay up all night talking about those lights. We always picked a favorite and would drive past it at least 3 times(no we were not

Things are a lot different now. For one thing, if you told people you went for 1 1/2 drive to see Christmas lights...they'd figure you were off your nutter. The price of gas alone would scare the pants off of most folks. No, today you don't really see the parade of annual "Christmas Light Drive" trekkers. In most cases you reall don't need to plan a special night to see these wonders. Christmas lights have become almsot standard in most neighborhoods...putting in an appearance in most cases as soon as Halloween is over.

That being said, whenever I see the twinkle of the lights...I get that little kid feeling again and it takes me back to days long gone when that was the most special treat of all!
In honour of my old family tradition - I'd like to share this video I've found of an amazing Christmas light display.