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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Charitable/Volunteer Work

Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered womenís shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?


1. My Baba and my aunts would help serve Christmas dinner at their church for those who would have none otherwise. We donate food to the local food bank throughout the year. People are not hungry just at Christmas and no other time.

2. We would often bake cookies and have other food and fruits to make up a basket we would give to the Catholic Charities each year. Another project was to be an angel for a foster child. We would get an angel with the child's gender, age, and wish list with sizes. We would always get several things for each child. We also have the family tradition of giving in honor of a diseased family member. The other day I told you about the books to Head Start. When my daddy passed away, that Christmas we gave a donation to my college for use for a criminal justice student. This was my major and my daddy had been a deputy sheriff and in protections services most of his adult life. At that time, I was working at the PD myself. After the donation the students in the Criminal Justice Association named the scholarship after him. I also received a plaque honoring the same and marked student of the year.


Does your family have any volunteer projects? Did your ancestors? If you participated, how did it make you feel?


Blessings to all of my Spark Buds.

Peace Love Joy


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLIAN 12/18/2012 4:40PM

    I help rehome homeless men into social housing. I also have a few who come and spend a few days here with us prior to help settle them back into"society" I also knit and make craft stuff to raise cash to help fund the homeless shelters in our area

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ANGRITTER 12/14/2012 4:55AM

    I used to, but being unemployed for the past 4 years and fighting for disability with tons of medical issues makes it VERY difficult to give. But we do have a family garage sale every year and what doesn't see goes to Goodwill or the Salvation Army so that it may help seomeone who needs it. I am going to go through my clothing in February and nothing I am wearing will go in the garage sale. I am so tired of holding onto it!

Thank you for the reminder of the giving we should be doing this holiday season!

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DEBSZOO74 12/14/2012 1:06AM

    I enjoy doing volunteer work. I was involved in different groups growing up, and did volunteer activities with my daughter's Girl Scout troop. I've also volunteered at our local Humane Society and try to support them when I can.

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KARIDIAN1 12/13/2012 9:41PM

    I did a lot of volunteering at a local nursing home in junior high. I was involved with the Activities room they had doing crafts and helping out there. Eventually I got a job there in the kitchen.

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BHSKITTYKATT 12/13/2012 9:22PM

    One thing I used to do in high school, that I REALLY should get back into, was gift-wrapping for Project Santa Claus, which gets gifts, clothes, and basic household needs to low-income families. I loved it! For one, I'm a total gift-wrap NERD. I love wrapping paper and bows and tissue paper. The more awkwardly-shaped the gift, the more fun I have trying to figure out how to wrap it and make it look good! So of course, it was a perfect position. I also loved going over the wishlists of the kids. It seems you can learn so much about someone by their wishlist! Seeing the names of the families on the lists and knowing that they were going to have an awesome Christmas...it felt great to be a part of that. (And some of those kids got AWESOME presents...way more awesome than I ever got as a kid, LOL.)

Comment edited on: 12/13/2012 9:24:06 PM

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NORASPAT 12/13/2012 9:03PM

    I did my volunteer work in my youth. When we came from England we stayed here in Maine.
The elementary schools had no libraries so I started one. I went door to door asking people for books or asked them to buy a book. I opened the library and ran it as an un-paid volunteer for 13 years.
In 1972 I was honored as an outstanding young woman in the 1972 edition of 'Who's Who in Outstanding Young Woman of America"
I loved to read to the children, they were so much more interested with my ENGLISH ACCENT, the kids were always attentive to the stories. I loved every minute of it.
Pat in Maine. emoticon

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DRUIDPRINCESS 12/13/2012 4:28PM

    What a wonderful, thoughtful family you have! And what an awesome feeling it is to know you are giving joy to others, not only at Christmas but throughout the year.

My current volunteering roles are working with disabled children at Pegasus (the riding school for the disabled), working with Food Rescue to provide free groceries for people in need (through my Nation's Heart Church) and Working with the Look Good Feel Better program (for ladies currently going through chemotherapy due to cancer).

Every week I am so thankful I have the opportunity to bring joy into people's lives, and, like you, the joy fuels our souls too!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/13/2012 2:28PM

    DD and I made cookies and packe dup books, both paperback and hard bound, to take to the local nursing home. They needed the books for the library (they have reading aloud there every day). the cookies . . . well . . . they'll be used for holiday entertaining. they have gatherings each afternoon, and the cookies will be served. Then we visit with some of the residents.

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LOSTLIME 12/13/2012 8:24AM

    I helped out at our Christmas bazarr. We also did the samaritan shoebox for boys
and girls. Also helped at our spaghetti dinner and the yard sale for the church. It
always feels good to help out especially at this time of year.

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MUSOLF6 12/13/2012 7:56AM


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MADAMES 12/13/2012 4:37AM

    I started a new tradition this year with my two granddaughters. We filled shoeboxes for Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse project. Each girl had fun picking out little gifts to fill shoeboxes for girls their age. We will definitely do it again next year.

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NEW-CAZ 12/13/2012 3:00AM

    My mum would usually do some food hampers for raffles to raise money for local charities and would happily give out food (we lived in a corner shop convience store at the time) to those down on their luck and short of funds.
We would also go around all the local houses collectiong for the R.N.L.I.

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EJOY-EVELYN 12/13/2012 1:37AM

    Striving to be generous in time, talent, and funds.

James 2:17
So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).

Ephesians 2:10
For we are Godís handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Titus 2:7
And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a model of good deeds and works, teaching what is unadulterated, showing gravity [having the strictest regard for truth and purity of motive], with dignity and seriousness.

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JINLYNN 12/13/2012 1:07AM

    I usually volunteer to clean up all the left overs!! emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 12/13/2012 12:25AM

    I volunteer during the summer in our medical building with 15 different clinics in it as well as a free standing ER/Urgent care. In the winter I do volunteer work in the park we stay in; various park activities and hope to begin to make some things for the children. Our group called the Angels do a lot of charitable work for children that have nothing. It does my heart good to help in both place. I also make prayer shawls for our hospice program to give to the client & family.

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FLEMIDG 12/13/2012 12:05AM

    I volunteer at my church and we have a Food Bank each week. We collect food to help out. When people come to pick up their food they are offered a bowl of soup and some bread and some desserts as well as tea and coffee. Volunteers are around to visit with the people and ask how they are doing. I also belong to a Heritage Club of retired postal employees, and we collect money and food to help out women's shelters and food kitchens. We also have members who knit and we give a lot to Koats for Kids and Shelters where young children are.

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ANHELIC 12/12/2012 11:40PM

    My parents used to invite two families to have a meal with us, not just at Christmas, but through the year. I have bought a meal for a homeless person several times this year. it made me feel really great that I was able to do it.

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More Traditions

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ACCM: December 11, 2012

Other Traditions

Did your family or friends also celebrate other traditions during the holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions from their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?


1. i have had some Jewish friends since grade school. They always celebrate with their own traditions. Their stories are always so interesting to me. Actually they aren't that different than some Christian stories, especially the Old Testament, which is basically the Torah.

2. I spoke about the traditions my Zeddo and Baba brought with them from Slovakia and retained. I have no idea what they abandoned. I wish my maternal grandmother would have been more sharing of her family''s traditions and those of my grandfather. On grandma's side the last family to come to the US was her father''s grandparents who came from ireland in 1820. My Grandpa'''s last family to come to the US did so from England in the 1600'''s. Perhaps my grandma didnt know, but I believe she did as she had a wonderful memory.


Does your family follow traditions from their native countries? Do you follow any of those, too? What about friends who have different celebrations during these holiday seasons?


Happiest of holidays to all my Spark Buds.

Peace Love Joy


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 12/17/2012 12:03AM

    I have a mishmash of European Christmas celebrations combined with some French Canadian ones ! Ours is a military family!

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JINLYNN 12/13/2012 1:06AM

    We always go to the Christmas Eve service at our church. And in the morning we can open one gift prior to breakfast and getting dressed. The others have to wait till after breakfast is over and done.

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GOLFLADY11 12/12/2012 8:39PM

    Our family traditions when I grew up were more to do with food. A humongous turkey dinner on Christmas and New Year's with 14 vegetables and wonderful pies. We lived in a small town away from relatives but there were 8 of us. We were quite poor but always got something under the tree. I remember one year I got a green elf ornament and a sewing basket! Also there was always the School concert to take part in and the Church always had a Children's Choir.We always used to run to practices after school. We used to travel around and get adjudicated. I remember I loved being part of that and dressing up in our Choir gowns!! I think I always got underwear from my grandmother in the mail. Funny what you remember! In my own family we always had a special bird ornament that had to be nestled on the Tree. And DH would take us all or maybe just the two gals out and find a nice tree in the forest. Also we would open one gift on Christmas Eve.

Today both my daughters make whipped shortbread for their families; that is something I carried on from my Mom. Merry merry Christmas Ev!!!

Comment edited on: 12/12/2012 8:41:03 PM

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1CRAZYDOG 12/12/2012 8:11PM

    Oh, my favorite Christmas memory is Grandma making breakfast. It was leftover breat dumplings (had pork & dumplings on Christmas Eve before going to Midnight Mass). She's take the dumplings and brown them with butter in a cast iron skillet (I have the skillet- - it is a treasure to me). Then she'd top it with peaches, plums, strawberries . . . whatever fruit we had. Delicious! Of course, we always wore our jammies @ Christmas breakfast cuz everyone was tired after returning from Midnight Mass!

We always left shortbread cookies for "Santa" with some milk. Of course, it was mere coincidence that my father's favorite cookie was (and still is) shortbread? I think not! emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 12/12/2012 5:18PM

    Our primary celebration is on Christmas Eve (will travel to my Dad's and spend the day with him) and while I often spend Christmas Day in my jammies, this year I plan on sharing the day with a friend bulk cooking a variety of curries that we can enjoy throughout the month (or share with friends). This will bring back some pleasant memories of time spent with family, fun photos, bulk cooking, and feasting that we haven't done now for a couple years. Praise God for great friendships immortalized in photo with the breaking of bread and thanksgiving!

Merry Christmas, Ev! Traditions are fun to remember, share, and perhaps even live again. Hug, hug -- Evelyn

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XNANNY 12/12/2012 2:55PM

    My family keeps adding new traditions to our old ones. Like one cookie that I found the recipe for and made when I was about 19 and has become a favorite for Christmas. My younger sister brought a new cookie recipe from her husbands family that is also a favorite. Plum pudding has been a tradition since before I was born, but it was a new tradition for my Mother when she first made it. She got the idea from "The Christmas Carole."

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COXBETH 12/12/2012 12:03PM

    We're Irish Catholics so I think the most traditional we get is to go to midnight mass together. My family has developed our own traditions that have nothing to do with the old country though and I love those. It was so fun showing my husband all the things we did when he joined the family for his first Christmas with us.

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BUSYGRANNY5 12/12/2012 6:55AM

    Great blog! I enjoy reading about traditions! My family and I have our own little traditions, based more on what we started doing when our children were small! (Hunting for the "perfect" tree at the tree farm, hiding a "pickle" ornament on the tree...

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NEW-CAZ 12/12/2012 2:55AM

    NOne i can think of!

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KARIDIAN1 12/12/2012 12:37AM

    No special traditions for us that I can think of.

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EVWINGS 12/12/2012 12:10AM

    Thank you so much for the reminder!! Our Church was a Byzantine Rite. The priest would also come and bless our homes. I, too looked forward to it. The only difference is our priests started on January 1st.

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ANHELIC 12/12/2012 12:02AM

    My family used to celebrate Ukrainian Christmas on January 7th and New Years on January 14th. After Ukrainian Christmas, choirs from the church would go and sing Christmas Carols in the homes of the parishoners and the people would give a donation to the Church at this time. After January 14th, the Priest would go around to the homes and bless them and the people that were home. It was something I used to look forward to.

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Which is favorite?

Monday, December 10, 2012


What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?

1. When I was young my favorite gift to receive was paper dolls of movie stars. To give
would be something I helped to make. In Girl Scouts we always made gifts for our mothers. I made a sewing box for mine from an ice cream container! It was one of the bigger round ones with a separate lid.

2. My own family has a tradition of giving something of meaning to local organizations in memory of one of our ancestors. The Christmas after my mother passed away, we all went shopping together the day after Christmas and bought all kinds of children books. i took them home with me, added some labels inside the covers, and gave them to our local Head Start. Since she had been a teacher and volunteered to help with students who had reading problems in the elementary school here, this was the perfect gift.


What were your favorite gifts to give and receive? Do you ave a family tradition about gifts during the holidays?

May everyone enjoy their day.

peace Love Joy


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JINLYNN 12/13/2012 1:03AM

    Great family tradition of giving a gift in honor of a loved one! I think I may start that as a tradition of my own.
Thanks for sharing Ev!

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SWDESERTLOVER 12/11/2012 10:51PM

    My aunt and uncle send us wonderful oranges from Florida at Christmas and we absolutely love them. As for giving, I printed a couple of calendars many years back for my sisters using my own photography. It has since grown to the point where I create, print and bind calendars with everyone's birthdays listed on them, and each calendar contains pictures that were taken that year. My list of those expecting to receive a calendar each year is fairly large now, but I actually enjoy doing it, even though it's pretty time consuming. I usually start working on then around September each year.

The books honoring your mom is an awesome idea!

Have a great Christmas!!!!!

emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/11/2012 9:40PM

    Oh, when I was young, we always got a bushel of fruit and nuts. Literally . . . a bushel of fruits and nuts! OMG . . . we'd eat it as fast as we could. Don't know why we weren't sick as dogs! But to this day, I am always having a bowl with fruit and nuts on the table!

My favorite gift to give is homemade cookies, even though I don't eat theml I make each erson's favorite cookie. The love it!

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BLUE42DOWN 12/11/2012 7:20PM

    I didn't grow up with Christmas, but one of my favorite giving memories for the season was working for an Employment Agency (in the office, not as a temp). That year they adopted a family and we had a huge tree in the lobby, under which everyone would put gifts for the family. We had details about the ages and sizes and genders of the kids and it was a lot of fun to think about what would really make them, and their parents, have a delightful time. (I remember getting a stuffed animal for each child, being something I loved myself growing up.)

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PMFISH 12/11/2012 3:17PM

    I told you mine yesterday. Tried to continue with oranges under the tree, but my children thought I was nuts. Living in Florida in those days there were orange groves on every corner, so they were not the treat that it was for us as kids. I no longer give Christmas or birthday gifts. During the year if I spot something I think they would enjoy, I purchase and gift it at that time. Tell all of them, the only thing I want for Christmas is their company and no arguments.

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VONBLACKBIRD 12/11/2012 12:18PM

    Stockings were the thing we always looked to receive..even if nothing but toilet paper inside..always a surprise.

To give was always something handmade..or we would think out what the person really was like and try to do something small like rake their yard or take them out to eat.

As a teacher, I did small stockings every year for my students and always picked out a needy family and did an entire Christmas for them from food to blankets to clothes to toys..always enlisted others to help in this as well..later on the PTA took over the stockings for all the kids in the school so more went into helping a family..

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SAMMIESMOM13 12/11/2012 10:42AM

    The gift I gave my mom one year when I was small she never forgot, and laughed about quite often. She opened up the small box and there was "nothing" there. She looked at me and I said, "Momma, it's a box full of love".

I love giving gifts, but my favorites are the ones that make us laugh. This year I'm going to wrap up a bunch of old towels and rags for my son-in-law. I guess he is always "stealing" the wash clothes so I bought them some new ones recently after they moved and DD couldn't find any washcloths. LOL. I KNOW it will get a laugh. I've wrapped up cans of tuna, mac and cheese, etc. It makes the day fun.

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MADAMES 12/11/2012 2:34AM

    I love the books being given in memory of your mother.

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HICKOK-HALEY 12/11/2012 2:27AM

    I was 6 yrs. when my first Niece was born. Between both of my oldest Sisters I had 5 Nieces and 2 Nephews. How I loved Christmas shopping for them, and watching them open their presents.
I love the idea of the books!

Comment edited on: 12/11/2012 2:29:48 AM

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ANHELIC 12/11/2012 12:45AM

    Growing up during the war, we did not have much money, so I only received one gift under the tree. I got a rubber doll when I was 6, she had a hole in the mouth and a little one in the bum. I would feed it water and it would wet a diaper my mother made for her.
Gifts that I gave when I was older, were crocheted items or cross-stitch pictures. I felt like I was giving part of myself by doing this at Christmas and it was fun doing.

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FLEMIDG 12/11/2012 12:37AM

    I don't remember too many of the gifts I received when I was young, except for the year I asked Santa for a guitar, and I got it, and the year my sister gave me a lovely doll, and she said it was to be my last doll, as I was growing up and wouldn't be playing with them to much anymore. I just remember my family coming and being together at Christmas.

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1STATEOFDENIAL 12/11/2012 12:30AM

    The only interesting thing to share is my sister and I driving our parents crazy when on two separate years we saw a big box by the tree and announced that it must be a new TV... and we were both right. My parents thought we cheated and saw it hidden somewhere, but I doubt my sister did (she doesn't do stuff like that) and I said it as a joke, not believing for a moment it really was a TV.

The one positive thing I remember about Xmas with my only grandparents (the other set we didn't have contact with) was as we grew up the tree got smaller as the pile of presents got bigger.

I think it was awesome of you and your family to provide books in honor of your mom. I'm sure the gift made a difference in a lot of lives!

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MNNICE 12/11/2012 12:09AM

    I remember in 2nd grade making a pomander as a Christmas gift for our mothers. My thumb got SO sore from pushing all those cloves into an apple! But when it was covered in cloves, I chose a gold metallic net to wrap it in, then tied it with a red ribbon. My mother hung it in her closet and I would sneak into her bedroom and open the closet door and still remember the scent, as I felt so proud to have made her such a beautiful, sweet-smelling gift!

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LOSINGLINNDY 12/11/2012 12:09AM

    What a wonderful gift in memory of your mother.

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Memories of Snow Storms

Sunday, December 09, 2012

ACCM: December 9, 2012

Grab Bag

Authorís choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!


This one is difficult because I don't know what the rest of the questions will be and I don't want to repeat. My best bet is to tell you a story of a Christmas before I was six.

Our parents came to wake us up. Dave heard them, but I didnt. He came to me to be sure i was awake. When he realized I wasn't, he tried to wake me. I must have been half asleep though,, because i tried to walk up the wall!! I was teased about that for a lot of years afterwards!

Something else I remember well was from my teens thru the end of my 20''s. My dad was the head of our township road department. In the winter months if snow was predicted, he would set his alarm to get up to see how the roads were and call the weather station to see what was predicted for the next few hours. If there was snow on the ground, he would drive around to see if he needed to call out a crew. It would seem every Christmas when a lot of his family was at our house, it would inevitably start to snow hard and he would leave to check the roads. We might see him again around 2AM when he would bring his crew to the house for a break. Mom would get all the leftovers out so they could have sandwiches and would make coffee for them to fill thermoses when they returned to their trucks. A lot of men would be gone for the holidays, so daddy usually worked in the trucks himself. He would set the phones for the police dispatchers to pick up and radio him if someone reported a problem. He would go in his township car to check it, then call a crew to fix it. If they were really busy, then we wouldn't see daddy until the next morning when he stopped in for breakfast. He would usually be home by 1PM to get some rest in case he had to go out again that night. He was very invested in the community and the safety of all the residents not only on the holidays but also throughout the winter. But rarely did he get to spend a Christmas Eve with all of us. The man who took his place when daddy retired would leave it to the police officers to call dispatch and for them to call out the crews. His wife wouldn't let us talk to him if it was "after hours". My daddy was probably rolling over in his grave. He was too concerned to worry if it was after hours or not.

I tried to work on Christmas Day each year. Sometimes I would double back on a different watch. I was single and a lot of the others had families and young children and I wanted them to be able to spend the time with their children or attend church - whatever. I didn't mind at all. I asked to be off Christmas Eve afternoon watch to be with my family. IT always worked out perfectly for everyone.


Do you have a Christmas Eve memory with your family? How was the weather for you around Christmas time. Don't you in the Southern Hemisphere have summer time?


Everyone have a wonderful week and enjoy yourselves.

Peace Love Hope for a cure


Bob as a youngster in MN

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JINLYNN 12/13/2012 1:01AM

    Great Christmas memories Ev - thanks for sharing.

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DIANESAV1 12/12/2012 6:09AM

    Great blog. What a great thing you did by offering to work on Christmas day so people with families could be together. I think you have a lot of your father's compassion in you plus you remember not having your father with you on the holidays.

Thanks for sharing.

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NORASPAT 12/11/2012 11:54PM

    emoticon I loved it, it resounded with memories for me too. HUGS Pat in Maine.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 12/10/2012 11:04PM

    The snow finally stopped late last night here in MN. We got 10-12 inches!. So many times our road is the last to be plowed since we live on a dead end street. Wish your dad was in charge of the road crews up here in MN. That kind of dedication is so rare these days now.

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PMFISH 12/10/2012 7:45PM

    I grew up in southeastern Arkansas and I can only remember one snow that was enough to build a snowman. All the other times it was just an annoyance, not pretty, and made a mess. The only Christmas that stands out to me, I was twelve years old and the big deal was for my little brother who still believed in Santa. We always got oranges under the tree. After the usual clothing and everything was opened, my Mom tossed me an orange from the under the tree. When she removed the orange it revealed another present. I thought I had received all of mine, so I asked who it belonged to. My Mom told me to check it out and it had my name from Santa. When I opened it I was shocked and so excited. It was my very first good watch and it was beautiful. I do not think I have ever had those emotions over any other gift that I have received.

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ILOVETOCRUISE 12/10/2012 8:09AM

    Since we did not have family in the area (Texas) , there were the four of us. We opened Christmas presents on Christmas Eve and then went to Mass. Christmas Day was our big dinner, a turkey dnner like Thanksgiving. In Minnesota, we have the Swedish dinner as a custom from my husband's side.
Nice blog.

I am now thinking of all the people having to go out at night in this last snow storm we are having.

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GATORJOY 12/10/2012 6:31AM

    I grew up here in Florida, didn't see snow until I was 18! Since, I have been many places, but still, I love Florida and it's weather. Hope your Christmas is filled with love!

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NEW-CAZ 12/10/2012 2:51AM

    Thank you for sharing Ev!

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HICKOK-HALEY 12/10/2012 1:34AM

    I grew up in Granada Hills, So. Calif. (San Fernando Valley) Our hills would get snow now and then, but only a dusting of snow in my yard. When I was about 6 yrs. I wrote Santa Claus and asked him for a puppy. He wrote me back and said by the time he got to my house he had ran out of puppies. However, he did have a parakeet left, so he gave me a green parakeet that I named Budsie. Funny, I had forgot all about that.

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FLEMIDG 12/10/2012 12:57AM

    Thanks so much for sharing.

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JAMER123 12/10/2012 12:45AM

    I have so many snow stories around Christmas throughout my life time. I think just telling that I grew up in NW Iowa where it is flat as a pancake and the winds blow in from the north closing roads for a week or 2 at a time before we could move around. My brother & I would walk 2 miles down to the highway where we would meet someone who brought supplies and mail out to our corner. We would fill the sled and trek 2 miles back home. We couldn't leave the farm because we had cattle and hogs to watch for fear they could walk over fences where the drifts were high. We don't see these kind of snow falls any more but it was a little sad that we couldn't get snow days from school when it happened during Christmas vacations.

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1STATEOFDENIAL 12/9/2012 10:34PM

    I know it is extremely hard on those who have to clean up nature's disruptions (snow, fires, storms, tornadoes, etc). When I was a senior in high school I dated a guy who was on the volunteer fire dept with his dad, and a few times they were called in the middle of the night for a fire and had to be up and out the door in moments. I sat there worrying about them the whole time, and about the people they were sent to help. I understand how it feels to be worried for someone out there putting others first.

Right now I have about a foot of snow outside, leaving me stranded in my house because of my disabilities. Living in my association, we have a crew that plows the driveways and shovels the sidewalks. The last group hired was TERRIBLE and couldn't do their jobs for anything. The new crew (this is their 2nd year) is doing much better, but their services can only be given so often (they might get out twice to clean up a day's long snowfall that piles up to 1-2 feet) so I try to make it easy on them if I can. I'll turn on an outside light, or as I did earlier today, the guy who was shoveling by himself I asked if he could make sure there was enough room on the sidewalk for me to get my walker out. We talked for a few minutes then I said to stop by if he needs anything while in the neighborhood. He was grateful and used my bathroom (I don't go downstairs much, so I didn't make him take off his boots either - it'll dry). I think if they're going to do a good job for me, then I can be nice to them.

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ANHELIC 12/9/2012 9:28PM

    Thanks for sharing. At 6, I only had one rubber doll because my parents didn't have the money to buy much for Christmas. I remember us all being together for a meal which was nice.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/9/2012 9:22PM

    Oh my. I was six or seven and all I wanted for Christmas was a Chatty Cathy. Now my parents weren't able to afford a lot . . . we weren't poor but we weren't monetarily wealthy either (we had an abundance of LOVE for sure!) That doll was advertised for a long time before Christmas and I asked about it several times, but then stopped. I just thought it was too expensive for my parents to afford. Christmas Eve came and us kids were early to bed to await Santa! We had a pajama party waiting to hear Santa's arrival (which, of course we never did). NowChristmas morning we were up extra early. I got the usual assortment of clothes and the dreaded . . . UNDERWEAR! It was with disappointment that I opened these packages (but hoped that it didn't show through, which I know it did!)

All the presents were opened then Mom said, "Oh. Look behind the couch. I think I heard Santa put something behind there. Check and see." There, wrapped as beautifully as any package I've EVER received was a box. That box had my hoped-for Chatty Cathy! That was my favorite doll for years and in fact, I still have it, although it doesn't work anymore (you pulled a string @ the side of her neck and she said things like "I love you.") My favorite Christmas!

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ELRIDDICK 12/9/2012 8:57PM

  Thanks for sharing

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Christmas Cookies plus 2 recipes

Saturday, December 08, 2012

ACCM: December 8, 2012

Christmas Cookies

Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

1. My mom and my Aunt Millie are the two that made cookies. I'm not sure about the older ancestors. My mom made the best cookies with cream cheese in the dough. They were so moist and flaky like pie dough. She filled them with jam for dessert cookies and with chicken, ham, or tuna salad for savory. Aunt Millie did the Kolache with ground nut or prune fillings. I sometimes added apricot filling with mine rather than the prune.

2. When I was younger, but old enough, I would sometimes help my mother roll the dough. She also made no back cookies with dates. I would also get all of her ingredients out and line them in a row. The only time I helped Aunt Millie was the time she taught me how to make my own. I wish I would have had her teach me how to make other cookies. My mom taught me a little, but mostly I got my own from recipe books.

3. I would have to say my favorite cookies were the cream cheese dough ones my mom made. They just melted in your mouth and it was difficult to eat just one. I also like two different ones I make - rum balls and lemon tea cookies. The other favorite I have is a sugar cookie that is iced that a young lady I worked with used to make and bring to the book store. They were the best sugar cookies to ever cross my lips. She would never give me the recipe!! I really wish I had it now as I have never found another like it! Again, these were hard to eat just one.


Another cookie I liked used the dough shooter. I would put down a layer using the ribbon attachment. Then I would put half a Hershey miniature on it, far enough apart to make a cookie. Then I'd cover with dough using the ribbon, and finish by cutting them so that every cookie had a chocolate inside. I think they were called surprise cookies or something like that. I would start baking at the very end of November and had dozens of cookies. We gave a lot of them as gifts. My sorority chapters always had cookie exchanges, too. Those were great fun.


Baba's Cheese Puff Cookies

2 c. flour
1 c. rolled oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. butter
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese

Mix as for pie crust. Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Roll thin and drop in about a tsp. of jelly or jam of your choice. Fold over. Pinch together around edge (they will resemble crescents.) Bake about 10 to 15 minutes in a 425 degree F. oven. Cookie sheet should be lined with foil in case some of the filling should come out. Cookies can be filled with chicken, ham, or other sandwich fillings for savory times. The amount made depends on the size of the balls you make for each one.

I named these Grandmother's cookies because my mother told me my dad's mother taught her how to make them. They are a Slovak favorite. I don't think they are very diet friendly, and I haven't tried them using low fat products.

Aunt Millie's Kolache


1 c. milk
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. sugar
2/3 c. salad oil
1 large cake household yeast made with 3/4 c. lukewarm water
2 eggs beaten
6 c. flour, sifted

Let rise at least two hours in warm place.
Makes 8 rolls


2 pounds ground nuts (I usually grind them myself to save money - if I have the time!)
4 tsp. cocoa mixed with scalded milk or Hershey's syrup - 1/2 c. (I use the syrup for convenience)
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. cracker crumbs (I use Premium with salt)
1/2 c. honey
Milk to spread

Fill dough with filling and wrap as you go with filling.
Spread rolls with beaten whole egg yolk before baking.
Bake in 375 degree F. oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

I named these Aunt Millie's as I have never seen a recipe like this anywhere! We had fun making these! I still have the recipe that my aunt wrote out for me.


I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Blessings to you and yours.

Peace Love Joy to all.

Aunt Millie and my brother in 2006

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 12/10/2012 1:38AM

    I love recipes thank you for sharing Ev!

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JINLYNN 12/9/2012 11:48PM

    We have been doing some Christmas baking in our house too - not only does it smell and taste good, it brings lots of Christmas memories to mind too!
Thanks for sharing your memories and your recipes....they sound delicious!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IAM_HIS2 12/9/2012 6:50PM

    Thank you, thank you. I am going to make these cookies for sure. emoticon

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MOM2ACAT 12/9/2012 4:30PM

    Your recipes sound good! Thank you for sharing.

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SWDESERTLOVER 12/9/2012 11:13AM

    Thanks for the recipes. As a child my Mom always made Christmas cut out sugar cookies decorated with icing, and I have continued that every year as an adult. Even though my sons are adults now, they still anxiously await the Christmas cookies each year. They say it isn't Christmas without the iced sugar cookies, so I'll be making some of those again soon (calories and all).

Cindy emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 12/9/2012 3:05AM

    emoticon thanks for the recipes Ev.
I can't remember making cookies (or biscuits as we call them here) with mum.

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KARIDIAN1 12/8/2012 11:30PM

    All those cookies sound so good. We were at a friends Christmas party tonight and she goes all out on the cookies. What a spread!

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1CRAZYDOG 12/8/2012 8:55PM

    Oh my . . . one of the treasures i have is my grandmother's recipe cards nd cookbooks! We used to bake (and cook) together most every weekend. She was phenomenal! I still make her shortbread cookies. kolacky, and lemon bars (as those are Dad's favorites).

My Mom's mother baked too, but I never really got to know her. BUT my Mother does have her chocolate chip and oatmeal cookie recipes, which she gave to me. I make those for Mom each Christmas too.

Brings back lots of good memories!

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DR1939 12/8/2012 7:02PM

    My mom made cookies, but never Christmas cookies. Neither of my grandmothers nor any of my aunts did either.

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LVMAMAW 12/8/2012 6:21PM

    emoticon Sounds good, thanks for sharing! emoticon

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ANHELIC 12/8/2012 5:40PM

    Sounds like great cookies. Baba in Ukrainian is Grandmother, and my Baba used to bake a kolache for Christmas and Easter, every year. I tried, but mine never turned out like hers. Thanks for sharing. I am Ukrainian background and still speak it fluently. emoticon emoticon

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