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Wreaths December 7, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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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.


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


Have at least one wreath on your door.

Care for your fresh wreath.


Rice Krispie Treat Holiday Wreaths


Photos by Kevinlittlerottenrobin, and Joe Shablotnik

Saint Nicholas Day December 6, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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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.


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


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


Saint Nicholas Cookies


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.


Egg Nog

A Goose Dinner

Hot Chocolate

Plum Pudding

Traditional Mince Pies

Cheese Ball


  • 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.


Meringue Cookies


Photos by deanj, geneome::cristal cosmico::

The Journey December 4, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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Luke 2:1-5

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.  SoMary and Joseph Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child

Some Background:

  • Augustus was emperor from 27BC to AD 14.  There was a great peace in the Roman world during his rein.
  • Censuses were taken for the purpose of taxation.
  • It is about 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  A few hour car ride today, it would have been a 8 to 10 day walk–hugely pregnant.


An advent journal


  • Read BBC correspondent Aleem Maqbool’s diary as he walked from Nazareth to Bethlehem
  • Reflect on the journey – their journey and your journey.


Coconut-Cranberry Macaroon


Photos provided by macinate and midiman

Christmas Trees December 3, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!”
~ Charles N. Barnard, American author, travel writer.

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.

~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

Five Fabulous Things about Christmas Trees

1. Decorating with well loved ornaments

2. Finding the perfect tree


3. The smell – if you have a real one.  The lack thereof if you don’t.

4. Christmas morning all lit up with gifts underneath.

5. The really big one commanding a front hall or great room.

Christmas Tree Fun Facts

  • Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since 1850ish.
  • The best selling trees are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, Balsam fir and White pine.
  • The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.
  • 30 – 35 real Christmas trees are sold in the United States every year.
  • Growing Christmas trees provide a habitat for wildlife.


Popsicle stick tree ornament

Mini Felt Christmas Tree

Recycled Magazine Tree – This one is really neat

Christmas Tree made from old sweaters

Christmas Tree Bunting

Christmas Card with a Christmas tree motif in paper beads

Handprint Trees – great for the little ones

Crochet Christmas Tree


  • Catproof your tree
  • Plant 2 for every tree you cut from the forest
  • Remember to water that live tree.
  • Enjoy the tree while it is here.


3-D Christmas Tree Cookies


Photos by boklm and yours truly

Christmas Cards December 2, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

~Washington Irving

Five Fabulous Things About Christmas Cards

1. They come in the mailbox, not the inbox.

2. Letters from friends (and family) unheard from the rest of the year.

3. Hanging them up on the doorway.

4. Those one or two handmade masterpieces that show up in the mailbox.

5. Recycling them into gift tags.

Christmas Card Fun Facts

  • On average the American household sends out 28 Christmas Cards.christmas cards
  • More than 3 billion cards are sent each year in America.
  • Christmas is the largest card sending holiday, followed by Valentines Day.
  • Hallmark makes more than 2,700 Christmas Card designs.


(ok there are a gazillion crafts out there that pertain to Christmas Cards here are just a few of my favorites)


Out of junk mail

Stitched fabric and paper card

Christmas Tree card

Button Snowman cards

Shining Star card

Crafts out of cards



Gift Boxes

Hole Punch Garland


  • Send Christmas greetings – if the idea of sending cards to a whole list of people makes you cringe, pick one person and mail off a nice chatty letter to make their holiday season.
  • Save your Christmas Cards – if you don’t want them give them to a crafter or teacher who might.


Peanut Butter Cup Cookies


Photos provided by badjonni and spinspin

Anticipation November 30, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in Advent Calendar 2009, holiday.
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Tomorrow is December 1.  We are going to take a break from the usual bloggy business for a special project.  Countdown to Christmas, a virtual Advent Calendar.  Come back tomorrow when we start the countdown.

Decorating for the holidays November 27, 2009

Posted by hollyspinner in holiday.
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Cleaning the house.

Putting up the tree.

I just thought I would spiff up the blog for the holidays.

Big things are a coming.

Super Secret Christmas Knitting December 23, 2008

Posted by hollyspinner in holiday, Knitting.
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Ok, it may be just a tad late in the game to be knitting something else for Christmas, but I don’t intend to actually finish it before the big day.  I need the husband’s hand to finish.

I was talking with the husband about knitting projects and he said to me “Didn’t you promise to knit me a pair of 1/2 glove mittens (the kind where the mitten top can flap off)?”  Well, I had.  So I started these lovelies.  I am knitting it out of handspun in a super tight gauge, then when all the knitting is done I am going to line them with fleece to make them extra warm.


Gifts given and recieved December 27, 2007

Posted by hollyspinner in holiday, Knitting.
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Gift Given

I finished the Promise Tree Socks in time to give them before school let out.  I even had time to knit a small sock ornament for decoration, it only took an hour.  I used the tiny sock ornament pattern from Everwhelming Liz. 



Gifts Recieved:It was a pretty fibery Christmas, which tends to happen when three members of the family are spinners and knitters.  Actually how it usually works is when we go to sales or guild meetings together one of us will say to another “hey I want this, that or the other for Christmas”  and said item is purchased and wrapped.  It works for me!  The Mother-in-Law got me a cool book on tartans and some beautiful hand carved/turned crochet hooks (which were a surprise). 


 The Bookwranger (aka my sister-in-law) got me the requested one of a kind spindle made by her and fiber. On top of that she got me soap and a really nifty key chain


Then on boxing day, which we do not really celebrate I got a super suprise gift from my super cool SIL: 101 glass balls to make more knitted ornaments, I am so excited.