Friday, December 11, 2009

15 Days!

I have a couple Christmas sayings for today.

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ~Mary Ellen Chase

16 Days!

Today I have a fun fact.

The Swedish, Norwegian and Danish word for Christmas is Jul, which happens to be the abbreviation for July in English. When you translate "Christmas in July" to Swedish you get "Jul i Juli".

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

17 Days!

Today, I have a Christmas craft!

Reindeer Ornament

What you'll need:

* ¼ sheet of light brown craft foam
* 2 glitter gold chenille sticks
* 2 medium wiggle eyes
* 1 red glitter pom pom
* 6-8 inches of ribbon
* White craft glue or hot glue gun
* Scissors

How to make it:

1. To make the head, cut 2 tear drop shapes from the craft foam.
2. To make the ears, cut a small oval, then cut it in half lengthwise.
3. Bend each chenille stick in half, then bend and twist them to form two antlers.
4. Glue the ears toward the top of the round end of one of the tear drop shapes. Tip: Hot glue works much faster.
5. Glue antlers to the top of the same oval shape.
6. For the hanger, fold ribbon in half and glue the open ends together in between the two antlers.
7. Glue the second oval shape to the back of the first oval to create the back of the reindeer’s head. This sandwiches the ears, antlers and hanger inside the two tear drop shapes and gives the ornament a more finished look.
8. Glue on wiggle eyes.
9. Glue on red pom pom for nose at the pointed end of the tear drop.
10. Allow to dry completely.


* Check the holiday section of the craft store for glitter chenille sticks and pom poms.
* To make it easier for younger children, either draw the shapes onto the craft foam for them, or cut out the shapes yourself ahead of time.
* Foam can be found in abundance at your local craft or discount department store in a variety of colors. You can even buy mini buckets full of various different shapes, colors and sizes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

18 Days!

Today I have a recipe for you! :)

Gingerbread Biscotti

1 cup almonds, blanched
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 lb butter
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
3 eggs
3 cups flours
1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground

Place almonds in a 8 to 9 inch square pan. Bake in a 350 F. oven until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool, coarsely chop, and set aside. In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, molasses, and ginger until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. In a bowl, stir flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and almonds. Add to egg mixture; stir to blend. On two greased 12x15 inch baking sheets, use well-floured hands to pat dough into 4 flat loaves, spacing them evenly on sheets; each loaf should be about 1/2 inch thick, 2 inches wide and the length of the baking sheet. Bake in a 350 F. oven until browned at edges and springy to touch, about 25 minutes; switch positions of pans halfway through
baking. Let loaves stand on baking sheets until cool to touch, then cut into long, 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices. On baking sheets, arrange
slices close together with a cut side down. Return to oven and bake at 350 F. until cookies are brown, 15 to 18 minutes longer; switch positions of pans halfway through baking. Transfer biscotti to racks and let cool completely. Serve, or store airtight up to 1 month; freeze for longer storage.

Monday, December 7, 2009

19 Days!

here is a coloring book page for you to celebrate the holiday spirit! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

20 Days!

I have a song for you today. :)

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

Grandma got run over by a reindeer.
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and grandpa we believe.
She'd been drinking too much eggnog,
And we begged her not to go.
But she forgot her medication, and she
Staggered out the door into the snow.
When we found her Christmas morning,
At the scene of the attack,
She had hoof-prints on her forehead,
And incriminating Claus marks on her back.

Now we're all so proud of grandpa,
He's been taking this so well.
See him in there watching football,
Drinking root beer and
Playing cards with Cousin Mel.
It's not Christmas without Grandma,
All the family's dressed in black
And we just can't help but wonder:
Should we open up her gifts,
Or send them back?
Send them back!!

Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig
And the blue and silver candles
That would just have matched
The hair on grandma's wig.
I've warned all my
Friends and neighbors
Better watch out for yourselves,
They should never give a license
To a man who drives a sleigh
And plays with elves.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

21 Days!

Another random fun fact:
According to historical accounts, the first Christmas in the Philippines was celebrated two hundred years before Ferdinand Magellan discovered the country for the western world, likely between the years 1280 and 1320 AD.

Friday, December 4, 2009

22 Days!

Today, I have a random fun fact about Christmas!

In the Ukraine, it is considered to be good luck to find a spider on Christmas morning. This is based on a folk tale about a woman who was so poor that she couldn't afford Christmas decorations. According to this tale, she awoke on Christmas morning to find that spiders had covered her children's tree with webs. When the sun shone on the tree, the webs turned to silver and gold. Ukrainian Christmas trees often feature an artificial spider and web decoration.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

23 Days!

The Fairy Christmas
by Etheldred B. Barry
It was Christmas Day, and Toddy and Tita were alone. Papa and mamma had gone out West to see their big boy who was ill. They had promised to be home for Christmas, but a big snow had blocked the railroad track, and nurse was afraid the train would be delayed until the day after Christmas. What a dull Christmas for two little girls, all alone in the great city house, with only the servants! They felt so lonely that nurse let them play in the big drawing-room instead of in the nursery, so they arranged all the chairs in a row, and pretended it was a snowed-up train. Tita was the conductor, and Toddy was the passengers. Just as they were in the midst of it, they heard music in the street, and, running to the window, they saw a little boy outside, singing and beating a tambourine.

"Why," said Tita, "his feet are all bare!"

"Dess he hanged up bofe stockin's an' his shoes, too," said Toddy.

"Let's open the window and ask him."

But the great window was too high to reach, so they took papa's cane and pushed it tip. The little boy smiled, but they could not hear what he said, so they told him to come in, and ran to open the big front door. He was a little frightened at first, but the carpet felt warm to his poor bare feet.

He told them that his name was Guido, and that he had come from Italy, which is a much warmer country than ours, and that he was very poor, so poor that he had no shoes, and had to go singing from house to house for a few pennies to get some dinner. And he was so hungry.

"Poor little boy!" said Tita. "Our mamma is away, and we're having a pretty sad Christmas, but we'll try to make it nice for you."

So they played games, and Guido sang to them. Then the folding doors rolled back, and there was the dining-room and the table all set, and Thomas, the black waiter, smiling, just as if it had been a big dinner party instead of two very little girls. Nurse said: "Well, I never!" when she saw Guido, but she felt so sorry for the lonely little girls that she let him come to the table. And such a dinner as he ate! He had never had one like it before. "It is a fairy tale," he said.

Just as dessert came on, the door opened and in rushed mamma and papa; the train had gotten in, after all. They were so glad to see their darlings happy instead of moping that they gave them each some extra kisses. You may be sure little Guido never went hungry and barefoot after that. Long afterward he would say: "That was a fairy Christmas!"

That night, after Tita had said her prayers, she said:

"Mamma, I know something. Whenever you feel sad and lonely, if you will just find somebody sadder and lonelier than yourself and cheer them up, it will make you all right."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

24 Days til Christmas!

Today, I have a Christmas joke.

What goes "OH, OH, OH"?

And before the answer, I have an Irish Christmas song!

Christmas in Killarney

The holly green, the ivy green
The prettiest picture you've ever seen
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home

It's nice, you know, to kiss your beau
While cuddling under the mistletoe
And Santa Claus you know, of course
Is one of the boys from home

The door is always open
The neighbors pay a call
And Father John before he's gone
Will bless the house and all

How grand it feels to click your heels
And join in the fun of the jigs and reels
I'm handing you no blarney
The likes you've never known
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home

To hear the carol, you can go to the following link:

Answer: Santa walking backwards!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

25 Days of Christmas!

Okay, so every day in December until Christmas I will be posting something related to Christmas. It could be a riddle or a song or a video or anything else I can find. :)
So here's the first installment!

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Okay, so this is my all-time favorite poem. So I decided to post it. I have known it by heart for years, but I still enjoy reading it. :) Robert Frost was amazing!

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Masque of the Black Tulip

So, I finished The Secret History of the Pink Carnation today. It was as good as always. :) I got sick in my first class this morning so I decided to utilize my time by reading. So, needless to say, I have already begun rereading The Masque of the Black Tulip. This was done in place of the math test I should have been preparing for. I think it was a more than fair trade and am quite happy with my decision.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

So, I am currently rereading Lauren Willig's fantastic Pink Carnation series in preparation for the newest release in January, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily. Every time I open one of Lauren Willig's books, I am drawn in. I've read this series countless times but I continually turn back to read it again. I can't wait until the next book is released. I preordered it online and it seems like January 10th can't come fast enough. So, I'm passing the time by going back to the beginning, back to Amy and Richard. I'm excited at that prospect, too. I'm even having Nick, my boyfriend, read the series. He's not too thrilled (he doesn't like "girly books" and apparently if it has a flower in the title, it's girly.), but I agreed to read a Star Wars book in return, which will doubtlessly be an interesting endeavor.