Friday, December 23, 2011
What a nifty evening. In my emailbox, there were notes asking us to confirm if we could come visit for a lunch and a dinner on the 24th. We will be travelling, so hooking up with sisters and brothers is a great opportunity to catch up!
We have an invitation to visit a neighbour immediately after work tomorrow also.
What a wonderful time of the year for visiting and sharing some happy times!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I'm a year ahead already. Call me crazy or just creative, I went out to find some purple, blue, white and gold satin. I plan on sewing 25 mini bags with ribbon drawstrings over the next 11 months.
I have little tinkets too that will go inside. On the special Sundays of 'waiting', I will embroider the words: HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE. The Christmas bag may say CHRIST on it too.
The dollar store is a simple way to find tiny treats. I am trying not to make this calendar a high calorie project. Yes, there will be one day of Almond Roca, one candy cane and maybe a Turtle chocolate. (I don't quite know yet.)
The months I will spend sewing and embroidering will pass quickly, but I want to make a special project that is pretty and instructive. A pocket on the outside of each bag will have a quotation, a blessing or a scripture for the season.
I'm so far ahead of myself this year, I'm practically bubbling over!
Do you remember any Advent calendars in your past?
Monday, December 19, 2011
I have very few gifts that get exchanged in my circle of relatives and friends. Items that needed to be mailed got posted last week. The bookmark I am cross stitching for my 'pull the name from the hat' sister in law, is needing a satin ribbon backing and a little flower detail stitched on. I've been working on the stitching since September and it ... is.... just about.... DONE!
I had done some baking to have if guests arrived or we needed to take a little something, BUT when I looked in the cupboard it was bare again. (That's what I get for working all weekends and not being able to guard the temptations. No more baking this month.
I have little items for his Christmas stocking. We have to have something to open when we stay at his sister's home overnight Christmas Eve. Usually we get home a day or so later and have our quiet delayed gift opening than.
My cards got in the mail with one exception. My buddy Margaret was sick on Sunday and couldn't attend breakfast, so we didn't exchange greeting cards. I hope she gets well soon.
The mini trees are out and decorated. I love having little to do and lots of room around them! My Nativity set is on the dining room table and the runner has been located that goes underneath. Ten minutes and that will hold center stage.
Last night I helped my guy sand some of the wooden boxes he has been creating. We then rubbed tung oil into the oak and walnut to bring out the sheen of the grain. Ooooo, he is getting very good at his woodworking! He needs all the hours after work to accomplish the mega project of 17 boxes to be delivered on the 24th back on the mainland!
I'm cooking a turkey tonight because I need the room in the refrigerator. The fact that I have Mondays and Tuesdays off work may have something to do with it also.
Today, I plan on visiting a fabric store to see if there are appropriate materials for an Advent project... for NEXT YEAR! Have I lost my mind?? Cast your vote now!
I want 12 months to sew 25 satin bags (I know, Advent isn't 25 days long-- I just need it to be useful for the month of December-- it is easier that way.) I plan on stitching the numbers on the front, adding some lace and decorative details. Shopping for the goodies that go inside will take me a year. I want seasonal scriptures to tuck into each bag, draw the cord tight and file them into a shoebox appropriately.
(I've been reading about Advent banners, Jessie Trees, Advent Clotheslines etc.) This one will be mailed to my daughter as her Christmas gift in 2012. Perhaps I can order a special wooden box with the dimensions I actually need, in the shape of a Treasure Chest for the contents.
Wouldn't a manger be a good design too? It is a item that holds things. Hmmm.
So, I guess I'm just about ready if I'm already planning for next year!
Greetings from out west!
Monday, December 12, 2011
After my shift at the mall, I noticed a picture perfect grouping of Christmas lights hung at a local area called Heritage Acres. From the highway, it looks like a big field and way at the back, there are some retired trains that are part of a collection.
Last weekend and three days next weekend, the Heritage volunteers turn on lots of lights, make up hot chili, hot dogs, hot cider and hot chocolate. All that warm food and drink is needed because.... they run mini trains that choo choo along 7 1/2 inch wide tracks!!!
I had never bothered riding the trains but last night it piqued my interest. Why not go and enjoy it?
We were close enough to walk to the the site. Then we lined up with 25 or so other people and very soon it was our turn to jump astride a mini train. The moon was full. The air was crisp and the speed was slow enough that not a wee one would be scared.
All along the train trail, colourful lights and wooden cut outs decorated the woods. We travelled over little bridges and through a little tunnel. Woo Hoo we saw lots of lights! The train folk had built a ten foot long trestle too and we rode the little train over all their wonderful handiwork.
Just about the time we were circling back... the train started to climb a grade. I think we can, I think we can! And we did it! The tiny train with all 25 people on board climbed 12 inches above the track that we started on!
One of the 'engineers' told us about the history of their train club and how they maintain the mini trains, how to park them and where they travel to show them off. Some of these guys go to Seatle, Calgary Alberta and Richmond Hill Ontario!
Did I mention that it was quite cold last night? I know that I was low on fuel, so I suggested we head for the pioneer school house for their advertized chili. It cost 3 tickets each and every mouthful was a yummy treat. The Heritage volunteers were very hospitable at this part of the "acres" too.
When we finished our dinner, we wandered through the school house and sang with the Peninsula Crooners. It was a very festive affair!
More buildings on the property display Victorian era home interiors, clothing of the time and farming equipment that goes way, way back in years.
We found another building that had railroaders showing off trains of another size: HO and even smaller! (I should have been listening better.) I think my ears were frozen.
They were running model trains all around their tiny towns and cities. Miniature trees had been fashioned and little homes and downtown buildings completed the scenes. Model railroad hobbists are always on the lookout for new members and they extended an invitation to meet with them Tuesdays and Saturdays if we wanted to.
Our investigation lead us to a small out building that housed some handmade crafts and.... Santa! Just say "cheese" and get your photo taken with the jolly olde elf!
I wanted to get warm in my own home, so we started the short trek down the road to talk about the fun escapade with the trains, the sparkly lights and all the volunteers who sang and served the tasty food.
I won't be surprised if this becomes an annual Christmas event at our house!
Monday, November 28, 2011
I find many Christmas cards a bit.... weak. If I bother to pick a handsome illustration for the card front, buy postage stamps, put the time aside and think of my 'peeps', I want them to realize I am write to each one of them.
I know which people genuinely believe in the birth of Christ and I know which ones still believe in Saint Nick. I realize some of friends are grieving the loss of family members, so encouraging them to have a 'happy' season, seems a bit heartless.
What I'm trying to say, is that I try to tailor my sentiments to the receiver. I found some ancient greetings and a few more up-to-date sayings to share with you today. If you like to use quotations.... here are a few timely ones.
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale
Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. ~Carol Nelson
He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith
I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens
Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year - and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority. ~W.J. Cameron
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. ~Andy Rooney
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836
There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries. ~W.J. Cameron
'Twas Christmas broach'd the mightiest ale;
'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man's heart through half the year.
Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! ~Author Unknown
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~Charles Dickens
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
(It's Karen back here again) If you are going to bother with sending Christmas cards this season, I hope you will tuck a meaningful message inside for the recipient.
Will you be sending cards this year?
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