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Carols December 22, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, Craft, holiday.
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twenty-two

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever -Bess Streeter Aldrich

I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.”
~ Norman Vincent Peale

Five Fabulous Things about Christmas Carols

1. Singing with friends is so much fun.

2. Christmas carols are great any time of year.

3. There is frequent mention of holly.

4. Singing of our Savior’s birth is always a picker-uper.

5. I love singing with my husband – especially when he sings harmony.

Make

Sheet music ornaments

Music wreath

Do

  • Sing from your heart
  • Appreciate holiday sounds

Bake

Yule Log

Photos by Marcel and Moe
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Christmas Lights – Soltice December 21, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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Your friendship is a glowing ember Through the year; and each December From its warm and living spark We kindle flame against the dark And with its shining radiance light Our tree of faith on Christmas night

– Thelma J. Lund

Five Fabulous Things about Christmas Lights

1. There are all different kinds of Christmas lights – electric strings of lights, fires, candles, and stars.

2. Christmas lights right after a big snow fall.

3. A fire in the fireplace.

4. Stars in a clear (non light polluted) night sky

5. Going with the family after Christmas Eve candlelight service to look at everyone’s lit up houses.

Make

Walnut candles

Bamboo Candles

Joyous outdoor lighting

A Star light

Tea light in string

Paper Mache string of lights

A snow globe out of a light bulb

A glittering lightscape in your house

Do

Wash your windows to let in the most winter sun.

Take a minute to enjoy the lights.

Reflect on the last year. What good has happened in your life?

Bake

Gingerbread candle holders

View

photos by jalalspages, wolfsavard, and Rosino

Angels December 18, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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eighteen

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:9-14

Make

A paper angel

Ragdoll angel

An angel clothsline

Handprint/footprint angel

Milk carton angel

Recycled Christmas card angels

Corn husk angels

Cork angel

Do

  • Contemplate the divine
  • Find joy in the season
  • Anticipate surprise

Bake

Angel Whispers

View

Photos by aussiegall, and dichohecho

Shepherds December 14, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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fourteen

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night….

Luke 2:8

Make

Shaun the Sheep from pom poms

Cracker sheep

Marshmallow lamb

Do

  • Take time to contemplate the reason for the season.
  • Be ready for some good news.
  • Remember the little ones.

Bake

Chocolate Hazlenut Crinkle Cookies

View

Photos by a4gpa and Moe

Stockings December 11, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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eleven

“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”

G.K. Chesterton

Five Fabulous Things about Stockings

1. Fortune Cookies and oranges.

2. That little gift that fits perfectly in the stocking.

3. Stockings are the best side to the early morning cinnamon rolls.

4. Anticipation

5. They are the perfect decoration for the mantle.

Make

Stockings from felted sweaters

North pole produce stickers for that perfect stocking stuffer

Quilted stockings

A Stocking with an embroidered name

Elf style stockings

Mini knit stockings

Expandable stockings

Stocking advent calendar

Do

Put something in the stockings, even if it just underwear or an orange.

Find hand made stocking or make them yourself – they have so much more character.

Bake

Cream Cheese Brownies

View

this is a fabulous adaptation of a book that I had as a child

Photos by adjustafresh, and Andrew Whittaker

The Stable December 9, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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nine

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6,7

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Make

A nativity picture with paint and paper

Clay pot nativity

A Gingerbread nativity

Do

Read the Christmas Story

Think about what Christmas is all about

Bake

Gingerbread

View

Peace December 8, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

~Author Unknown

A Little True Story

During World War I the men along the western front, both allied and German forces did not expect to get a Christmas holiday, but one could say that a small Christmas miracle happened on that day.  On Christmas Eve British and German soldiers began to sing Christmas carols to each other from their respective trenches.  Then on Christmas day the Germans came out of their trenches to no man land and called out Merry Christmas in English to the British soldiers.  Some feared it was a trick (they were at war after all), but when they realized that the German soldiers were not armed they also climbed out of their trenches to exchange Christmas greetings.  There were gifts given between enemies, cigarettes, plumb puddings and the like.  There was even one friendly game of soccer.  Some men put the truce to good use, retrieving the bodies of fallen comrades in arms.

Learn more about the Christmas Truce here

Five Places of Peace

1. Holding a sleeping baby

2. A clear night in the country

3. An empty church or school

4. Surrounded by loved ones

5. Christmas morning 5 am

Make

Peace blocks

A Peace Pole

An origami crane

Peace lantern

Dove of peace from yogurt containers

A wish for peace Christmas card

Do

Plant peace

Forgive your enemies

Find love at Christmas

Bake

Pecan lace cookies

View

Photos by LOLren and saebaryo

Wreaths December 7, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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seven

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”
~ Margaret Thatcher

Five Fabulous Things about Wreaths

1. A fresh wreath on the front door gives all the smell of Christmas with out all the mess of a live tree.

2. They are the easiest, and in my house, the first thing that goes up for Christmas to put us all in the spirit of decorating.

3. Making a wreath can involve the whole family.

4. Wreaths can reflect each person’s unique style with many different materials.

5. They are so welcoming, coming home after a long day.

Make

A wreath just like Pottery Barn

A beautiful Rosemary wreath

A recycled sweater wreath

A wreath made from buttons

A Pinecone wreath

A chili pepper wreath

A handprint wreath – great for the kids

Do

Have at least one wreath on your door.

Care for your fresh wreath.

Bake

Rice Krispie Treat Holiday Wreaths

View

Photos by Kevinlittlerottenrobin, and Joe Shablotnik

Saint Nicholas Day December 6, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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six

Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy; who gives himself by thought or word or deed in every gift that he bestows; who shares his joys with those who are sad; whose hand is never closed against the needy; whose arm is ever outstretched to aid the week; whose sympathy is quick and genuine in time of trouble; who recognizes a comrade and brother in every man he meets upon life’s common road; who lives his life throughout the entire year in the Christmas spirit.

EDWIN OSGOOD GROVER, Vicki Howard’s The Book of Santa Claus

Five Fabulous things about Saint Nicholas

1. He comes in so many styles and nationalities.

2. He brings toys to good girls and boys.

3. He puts candy in shoes.

4. There are so many awesome songs about him. (My personal favorite is Little Saint Nick done by the Muppets)

5. There are so many good stories about him.

Saint Nicholas Fun Facts

  • Prior to the 16th century people exchanged gifts during the feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6.
  • Saint Nicholas was a Turkish bishop who lived in the town of Myra in the fourth century.
  • The Dutch translation of Saint Nicholas is Sinter Klaas.
  • The first American descriptive drawing of Santa Claus was drawn by Washington Irving for the History of New York in 1809.
  • In some countries Saint Nicholas visits children on the night of December 5th to find wish lists and carrots and hay for his horse or donkey.
  • Saint Nicholas leaves candy, cookies and small gifts in the shoes of children around the world.  These treats are meant to be shared.

Make

Santa’s clothesline (felt ornaments in the shape of Santa’s clothes)

Handprint Santa

Santa from a coffee creamer container

Reindeer treat holder (that would be a people treat holder shaped like a reindeer

Light bulb Santa

Santa and Reindeer paper bag puppets

Do

Follow Santa as NORAD (yep, that would be the North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks him across the sky

Make a wish list – you can do this online or with good old pen and paper.

Be a saint yourself by doing a random act of kindness – here are some ideas

Bake

Saint Nicholas Cookies

View

Photos by Dogfael, and CarbonNYC

Christmas Cooking December 5, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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Wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.”
~ Harlan Miller

Five Fabulous Things about Christmas Cooking.

1. Fruitcake and Lebkucken

2. Making cookies with children.

3. The family gatherings.

4. The smells wafting from the kitchen

5. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Fun Facts about Christmas Cooking

  • Berrien Springs, Michigan, is the Christmas Pickle capital of the world.
  • Turkey showed up on the scene at about 1650.  Prior to this the main dish on the Christmas dinner was swan, goose, peacock or boar.
  • Twenty-two million turkeys are consumed each year at Christmas.
  • Figgy pudding (as in bring us some figgy pudding) is a dish similar to bread pudding.
  • In 18th century England it was believed that if unmarried wedding guests put a piece of fruitcake under his pillow that person will dream of who they are going to marry.
  • The first egg nog was consumed in North America by John Smith in Jamestown.

Make

Egg Nog

A Goose Dinner

Hot Chocolate

Plum Pudding

Traditional Mince Pies

Cheese Ball

Do

  • Try something new this year.
  • Enjoy all your favorite holiday foods.
  • Take a walk.  My favorite kind of walk is a quarter walk.  Walk until you come to corner, flip a coin, heads go left, tails go right.  Walk until you are tired then find your way home.

Bake

Meringue Cookies

View

Photos by deanj, geneome::cristal cosmico::