Monday, December 24, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 24

Christmas is family, friends, carols, traditions, wrapping paper, laughter, lights, food, wonder, joy, and of course the birth of our Savior. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 23

Wishing you all a very "warm" holiday season. 

Want one next year? Send me your address so you're not stuck with the poor quality screen shot.

P.S. Did you know that the first Christmas card was sent in 1843?

Friday, December 21, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 21

These cookies just melt in your mouth. They're soft, chewy, and oh, so delicious.

Shaker Molasses Cookies

1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Combine butter, sugar, molasses, and eggs together. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix well.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tis the Season: Day 20

In 1941, 91 pieces of German soldier's mail was stolen from the Island of Jersey. After 71 years all the pieces were finally delivered--what a Christmas present to their loved ones not to mention a true WWII treasure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 19

 I'm normally a Christmas Eve type of present wrapper.  This year, I got ambitious and got everything done at the begging of December. Next year, however, they're going to be wrapped early AND beautifully. :) So, I'm going to file these beautiful free tags away (and you should too if you've already finished).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

'Tis the Season: day 17

One day I'll be in London during Christmas, until then I'll just watch youTube videos of the lights.

'Tis the Season: Day 18

Were you lucky enough to attend the 2012 Mormon Tabernacle Christmas concert? Wasn't it AMAZING--the best ever! Who else loved all the white parachutes with candy floating down? Have to admit it made me a little emotional. I can't wait until the video/PBS program next year, but until then this little video will have to do.

Monday, December 17, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 16

Way to go us!! Seventh year Utah is at the top for volunteering. Read all about our gift-giving here.  I have no doubt that we'll be at the top of the list if we follow the advice President Monson gave in August 2008:

“Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved.

As we remember that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,” (Mosiah 2:17) we will not find ourselves in the unenviable position of Jacob Marley’s ghost, who spoke to Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s immortal "Christmas Carol." Marley spoke sadly of opportunities lost. Said he: 'Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!'

Marley added: 'Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!'

Fortunately, as we know, Ebenezer Scrooge changed his life for the better. I love his line, 'I am not the man I was.'

Why is Dickens’ "Christmas Carol" so popular? Why is it ever new? I personally feel it is inspired of God. It brings out the best within human nature. It gives hope. It motivates change. We can turn from the paths which would lead us down and, with a song in our hearts, follow a star and walk toward the light. We can quicken our step, bolster our courage, and bask in the sunlight of truth. We can hear more clearly the laughter of little children. We can dry the tear of the weeping. We can comfort the dying by sharing the promise of eternal life. If we lift one weary hand which hangs down, if we bring peace to one struggling soul, if we give as did the Master, we can—by showing the way—become a guiding star for some lost mariner.”

'Tis the Season: Day 15

I heart the Muppet Christmas Carol--a lot. I think these song are a timely reminder to be thankful for all the moments we've been given and to offer comfort and forgiveness to other.

Friday, December 14, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 14

I don't thing there's such a thing as too much mistletoe.

PS. Did you know that tradition holds that for every kiss that happened under the mistletoe a berry needed to be removed and once all the berries were gone no more kissing?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 13

Remember the American Girl Kristen?

It was from her that I first learned about the tradition of Saint Lucia and wondered why my Swedish ancestors didn't continue the tradition after coming to America.  Ever since, I loved celebration of Saint Lucia coming in the early morning hours to bring light and sweets to the inhabitants of the house.  Besides the very cool fact of wearing a crown of candles, I loved the symbolism of her coming with light to overcome the darkness and to offer the "sweet" life of the gospel.

P.S. If I was to ever do a Christmas wedding, I'd do it Swedish just like this.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 12

Have you heard of The Piano Guys? They're pretty awesome. Love their rendition O Come, Emmanuel mixed with stunning images from the Church's New Testament videos.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 11

I'm a lover of all things trivia. Did you know that in Greenland the men serve the women on Christmas Eve? (Totally a fan). Or that Kiviak is a Christmas dish made by putting up to 500 whole auks in a seals skin, seal it and let it ferment for a few months? Or that the traditional straw goat put up in Sweden has only made it to Christmas 13 times since 1966 due to vandalism. Or that Catolonia region of Spain has a strange fascination with poop? Or that Christians in Iraq burn thorns in front of their house as they believe jumping over the ashes three times brings good luck.

Want more strange Christmas traditions from around the world? Check out this article on the San Francisco Gate

Monday, December 10, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 10

It takes talent to play Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy on glasses and this guy has it.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 9

I know the celebration of Advent is a way to mark the ways leading up to Christmas, but I didn't know much beyond that. So thanks to Wikipedia, I bring you the meaning of Advent.

  • The celebration of Advent is a western Christian religion tradition and is celebrated the four Sundays before Christmas. Eastern religions celebrate the "Nativity Feast" which begins in September.
  • Advent is the anglicized form of the Latin word adventus, which means "coming."
  • Adventus is the Latin translation of the Greek word  parousia which is commonly translated as "second coming.
  • The celebration of Advent symbolizes both the coming of the celebration of the birth of Christ and the second coming of Christ.
  • The common candle color is either purple or light blue. Which color you use is dependent on your religious affiliation. 
  • The celebration of Advent begun in the 6th century. 
  • In many Christian denominations, the Advent Prose is sung as part of the religious ceremony durning Advent. The words are drawn from 45:8.
  • Advents candle wreaths can either have four or five candles.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 8

Normally I'm the type of person to be wrapping my presents on Christmas Eve. So it must be some type of Christmas miracle that I had most of my presents purchased AND WRAPPED before December ever arrived. But, I kind of which I didn't have everything done as it'd be kind of fun to make these beautiful bows.

Complete step-by-step instructions can be found here.

Friday, December 07, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 7

Hey everybody, meet Meri Meri a fabulous design store with the cutest products that will just make you want to throw a party--or two.

See. Wasn't I right? Anyway if you head over to DesignMom, you can enter for a change to win a $150 gift certificate (and it must be Christmas if I'm sharing is because I really want to win this) :)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 6

The Lion in the Box by Marguerite diAngeli is probably my favorite Christmas story. I have fond memories of being tucked into bed and being read this book. The Lion in the Box is the true story of five children of a widowed mother who find themselves in procession of a large box Christmas Eve. The children are told that the box contains a lion and that they're not able to open the box until Christmas morning.  Told through the eyes of a child, this story's simple message of love, sacrifice, innocence of children, and gratitude for blessings big and small stays reminds us what is important during the holiday season. It's out of print, but if you can get your hands on a copy, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 5

Did you know that by visiting you can download a whole slew of Christmas songs from the Mormon Tabernacle choir? Even better, these songs are meant to be shared with coworkers, family and friends. What a perfect way to spread a little Christmas cheer!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

'Tis the Season: day 4

I've decided that only people who don't like cheesy/heartwarming/unbelievable Christmas movies must hate Christmas. I have to admit though, that when my family decided to watch 12 Dates of Christmas I was a bit skeptical. I wasn't sure if I wanted to suffer through the pain of an entire movie based around reliving the same date over and over--though there have been a handful of first dates that I wouldn't mind doing over again until I got them right. :) But I shouldn't have had to worry because it was ADORABLE. Keep your eyes open for the fun ways they incorporated the 12 days of Christmas song references.

You can find 12 Dates of Christmas on Hulu.

Monday, December 03, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 3

I've blogged about my love of Sara Jane Studios before, so I am happy that she has this charming free Nativity Puppet Theatre download  on her website. It's sure to put the littlest ones (and those young at heart) in the Christmas spirit.

Photo from SaraJaneStudio's website 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 2

This is awesome. Who doesn't appreciates a good rendition of Carol of the Bells--especially when done with basketballs?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

'Tis the Season: Day 1

I don't think you ever outgrow advent calendars. I've always loved that moment each day when you finally get to open what's hiding behind that door. Somehow, magically, that small piece of waxy candy can brighten even the worst of day.

To help make this season a little bit more festive (and to remind us why we even celebrate), I'll be sharing some of my favorite Christmas things--blogs, videos, stories, songs, and downloads.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Day 1
A Random Act of Service Calendar, yes please. The Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar sends you 24 small and simple ways to serve. What could be more magical than service?