One of the joys of the holidays is reading the season’s books for children. I have about fifteen I’ve saved that I read to my children when they were littler.
One of my very favorites and, I think, the most moving, is The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by
Here’s the description from Amazon:
Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle.
Every time I read this book, I am reminded of the power of love in the best way possible.
What holiday books do you love? Do you prefer fun ones–my favorite might be Auntie Claus–or do you cherish the ones that bring tears?
My mother collects Christmas tree ornaments. She puts about five ornaments on each single twig of the tree (I kid you not), and the overall effect is slightly overwhelming but very beautiful and festive. Over the years, I have been given a few ornaments for Christmas, so that my own tree looks quite nice, too. I don’t receive the very best ornaments, but sometimes she finds more than one of a sort at some flea market or Christmas fair, and then she passes it to me. Or I have liked one so very much that she found it in her heart to part with it. (She is a true collector, and doesn’t part with her treasures easily.) Here are some of my ornaments that I really like: Continue reading
My coconut cookies are no long family tradition, but they are a rather recent addition to my baking repertoire. They were an instant hit with who have tried them, however, and they are ever so easy to make. So here they are. Have fun baking! Continue reading
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMYOUeknzMw[/youtube]Once December comes round, I take my Christmas CDs down from the shelves and delve in. One More Drifter in the Snow by Aimee Mann is a firm favorite, and I can listen to it for hours (preferably while baking cookies, but doing some other works is just fine as well). Calling on Mary is the last song on the CD, but there are many others on it that I really like.
What do you listen to just before Christmas?
– Rike Horstmann
It is customary in Germany to leave the Christmas tree standing and everying decorated until Epiphany, which was yesterday. So this weekend is the time to put all the Christmas leftovers away. Continue reading
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHNNPM7pJA[/youtube]If, with all the preparations needing to be finished in time, you find some time, here is something that may make you smile.
Happy Christmas everyone!
– Rike Horstmann
From a Very British Christmas:
Why, America, do (you) not bother with Boxing Day? What’s the rationale there? Is it because you’ve already had a lot of days off, what with Thanksgiving and Christmas Day? Do you not wish to enjoy another day in which you can look over your pile of presents, and then eat leftover turkey and watch another blockbuster movie? Are you that motivated that you have to get straight back to work as soon as is humanly possible?
. . . Boxing Day is also traditionally the first day of the post-Christmas sales. So a sizeable chunk of the population will be standing in a queue, ready to barge older and frailer people out of the way in the quest for a knockdown sofa. And if you don’t fancy shopping, your football or rugby team will oblige with a nice match to watch. That’s what we’re doing. Meanwhile, over in the US you’re, what, taking down the Christmas decorations and hitting the gym? Sheesh! Live a little, willya!
Hey, I want another day off too. In many European countries Boxing Day is considered a second Christmas. However since I live in the States, I am out of luck. Boxing Day is a recognized holiday in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and other Commonwealth Nations. Continue reading
Like every year, next to a number of Christmas presents I liked hugely (thanks again ever so much, guys!), there were two items under the tree that I was not quite to pleased with. I speak of them in the past, because in the week since Christmas I have managed to be rid of both of them. The chocolates I didn’t like I just placed on the table one night next to the wine – and the box was empty after just twenty minutes. Continue reading
I love giving books for Christmas and birthdays, but for some people this is not feasible, as they don’t like reading or don’t like movies, or I just don’t know enough about their tastes to choose just the right gift for them. This leaves me with edibles (excellent gifts! as long as you’re sure about people’s tastes, and in this case, food allergies …), pretty pieces for decorations (excellent for those who like to decorate their houses – otherwise, not), vouchers and … cash. Continue reading