Category Archives: Christmas

Canceling Christmas is Sinister

Please take 11 minutes and 47 seconds to watch Neil Oliver eloquently make the case for celebrating Christmas.

Go here for the video.

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A Handmade, No-Spend Christmas

That’s my goal. We’ve been hit hard with car repairs and other expenses, as well as runaway inflation, so our plan is to either make all our presents by hand, trade, maybe use a few low-balance gift cards we have and just generally make this a different kind of Christmas. When I mentioned this to some of the family, I included that Dollar Tree gifts or gift baskets could be done, but I don’t expect to do them myself. It’s just an option if anyone wants to.

Josie, on her Cedar Creek Homestead youtube channel is talking this week about having a simpler Christmas. She tells a wonderful story about a Christmas during her childhood when all she wanted was a rocking chair, but knew there was no money for one and didn’t expect to get it. But out in the barn was an old rocker that had belonged to her grandpa. It was in rough shape.

But unbeknownst to Josie, her parents had plans for that chair. While she was at school during the day, her mother had been going out and sanding, repairing and staining the chair. On Christmas morning, there it was waiting for her. She was so surprised and pleased. Josie had a love for old things, so it was a double blessing.

This story reminds me of a couple of things. One was the story in Mark 14:3-9 about the woman who anointed Jesus with the ointment. She was criticized but He defended her saying “She hath done what she could.” What marvelous praise!

Another thing Josie’s story reminded me of was something my mother used to say: “It’s what you do with what you have that counts.” I’m not responsible for what’s impossible, but what I’m able to do.

My parents were a young married couple during World War II. This was before toys were mostly made from plastic, and metal was being used in the war effort, so new toys were scarce, and tricycles even scarcer. Daddy found a used one, and like Josie’s mother, cleaned it up and gave it a new coat of paint. And that was what my brother got for Christmas that year. Strangely enough, it was the start of his life long love of everything on wheels; everything from bicycles to motorcycles to race cars. I even saw him ride a unicycle once.

So, I plan on looking around at my assets and take stock of what I can do this December. I don’t have the talent of my sister to knit and crochet, or my friend Abby to bead or do paper engineering, but I can sew a little, bake and do a few other crafts.

Our home is full of books and magazines with projects and ideas.

One thing I tried this past year was making my own potpourri. We had a lot of oranges that needed to be used, but were past the eating stage. I sliced the nicest looking ones, put them on a cookie sheet and set it under our wood stove to dry them. I couldn’t believe how nicely that worked. For the others, I scooped out the pulp and dried the peels on the window sill on brown paper bags. Our back pasture is full of wildflowers, which my husband picked and brought to me later in the year, along with some berries (I have no idea what kind they are, and it didn’t matter since they weren’t for eating). After drying the flowers, I mixed it all together with the orange peel. No, it doesn’t smell as lovely as the store-bought kind, but essential oils or cinnamon oil can fix that.

I really like the chunky kind of potpourri, and was able to have some for free. True, it wasn’t nice enough to give for a gift, but it’s in the Making Do category.

I hope to do what I can, with what I have.

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Filed under Christmas, Christmas, Crafts - Cheap, Free, Holidays, Making Do, Thrift, Thrift, Vicissitudes of Life, Wildflowers

What it’s all about

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

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A Better Gift from a Better You

When your family and friends gather around this Thanksgiving and Christmas, give a gift that is priceless and cannot be bought in any store: time spent with the loneliest person in the room. That’s usually the elderly, but it could be anyone.

Because when the tree has been taken down and the decorations are put away, the shine is off of the presents and you’ve forgotten what you got and what you gave, the gift of your time and attention will still be a warm memory to the recipient.

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Filed under Christmas, Doing the Right Thing, Family, Kindness, Thanksgiving

Lone Star Antique Mall, Christmas 2015, II

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December 15, 2015 · 8:32 pm

Lone Star Antique Mall, Christmas 2015

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Some of my favorite booths all decked out for Christmas at Lone Star Antique Mall, Haltom City, Texas.

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Vintage Christmas Card, XIV

Vintage Christmas Card bells Hallmark

This small card from Hallmark was sold in a box (rather than individually) and my guess is that it’s from the late 1960s – early 70s.

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Made in the U.S.A. – ornament hooks

2012-12-20 08 (copy).18.50

We needed ornament hooks in December. It was so disappointing when I went to Wal-Mart and all of the ones there were made in… you guessed it: China.

So I thought I’d check out the paper clips and Bingo! Made in the U.S.A.

It just took a little bending and now I have good, strong, American made ornament hooks.

When I packed away the tree decorations this month, I put the hooks in the same can with them.

Next Christmas, I’ll know where they are.

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Filed under Christmas, Made in the U.S.A., Making Do, Thrift, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart

Made in the U.S.A. – Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards 2012-5

This is a good time to buy Christmas cards for next year. I bought several boxes at Wal-Mart yesterday.

They’ll probably be reduced even further, but I wanted to choose mine while there was still a good selection.

I chose primarily Religious ones, because Christmas without Jesus is rather hollow.
Christmas Cards 2012-9 scaled

Christmas Cards 2012-10

Fantus and Paper Magic Group cards were both made in the U.S.A.

Christmas Cards 2012-6
Christmas Cards 2012-8

Some of them are a bit plain, so I plan to use Stickles (another made in the U.S. product) or some glitter and glue to gussy them up.

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Filed under Christmas, Ephemera, Made in the U.S.A., Thrift, Wal-Mart

Corrie’s Memories of Christmases Past

Corrie's Christmas Memories

Corrie Ten Boom Christmas story

Corrie Ten Boom Christmas story-1

Corrie Ten Boom Christmas story-2

Corrie ten Boom
was the youngest daughter of a Dutch watchmaker. She learned the trade, never married and worked alongside her aging father, Casper, in Haarlem.

The Christian faith of the ten Boom family was a living faith. Corrie’s sister, Betsie, never married due to poor health. Corrie herself was jilted when she was a young woman, and stayed single the rest of her life.

She and Betsie used their spare time teaching Sunday School and ministering God’s love to the mentally challenged.

A basic element of their love for Jesus was a love for his chosen people.

During World War II, the Nazis invaded their tiny country. When Holland’s Jews were being rounded up, murdered or sent away, the ten Booms created a special place in their home to hide them, at great peril to themselves.

Eventually all the members of the family were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Corrie’s sister Betsie and her 90 year-old father perished.

In spite of all the persecution and evil treatment she suffered, she was one of the best known examples of the Christian faith in the 20th century.

Miss ten Boom shared her story in “The Hiding Place“.

The excerpt above is from Corrie’ Christmas Memories, c. 1976, Fleming H. Revell.

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Filed under Authors, Books, Children, Christmas, Corrie ten Boom, Faith, History, Holocaust, Non-Fiction, World War II