Wednesday, July 31, 2019

10 Days of Christmas in July (Day 10) Can't wait for Christmas!


Today is the last day of Christmas in July. I hope you enjoyed this year's posts. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for Christmas!

Looking ahead, stay tuned for Rudolph Day in October for Ken's (from Sounds of Christmas) annual guest post about new music for the holiday season. In November, the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge (hosted here on this site) starts Thanksgiving week, on Monday, November 25, and goes through Twelfth Night in January (6th). The Christmas Spirit Readathon, kicking off the reading challenge, runs from November 25 through December 8, and is hosted at Seasons of Reading. Also, Thanksgiving week (beginning November 25) I kick off my Sharing the Joy event here on the blog, which also runs through Twelfth Night. So, I'll have tons more Christmas content to share with you. I hope you will join us for these fun events.

Until next time, I leave you with this lovely Christmas poem, which really sums up what Christmas means to me.


( M.E. Miro )

Christmas is more than a day in December
It's all of those things that we love to remember
Its carolers singing familiar refrains
Bright colored stockings and shiny toy trains
Streamers of tinsel and glass satin balls
Laughter that rings through the house and its halls
Christmas is more than a day in December
Its the magic and the love
That we'll always remember

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Always in spirit...

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

10 Days of Christmas in July (Day 9) New movie...Last Christmas

I know everyone has heard the famous Christmas song, Last Christmas by George Michael. Turns out Emma Thompson and George Michael together came up with the idea of a Christmas movie based on the song. The late songster was even involved in the early stages of the Thompson written romantic comedy. I'm intrigued!

Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), releases (in the U.S.) November 8, 2019.
Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Her last date with disaster? That of having accepted to work as Santa's elf for a department store. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.
I'm looking forward to this one. Emma Thompson is a consummate screenwriter, having written screenplays for Sense and Sensibility, Nanny McPhee, and Bridget Jones' Baby.

Always in spirit...

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Monday, July 29, 2019

10 Days of Christmas in July (Day 8) Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

I almost didn't get to post today. My internet is out. Well, only in certain parts of the house. Go figure. Turns out out wifi modem is outdated. Technician is bringing a new one tomorrow. Hopefully, the problem will be solved. When you work from home like I do, and blogging is your second (vanity) occupation, internet is essential. I'm sure there are many who can sympathize. Anyway, on with today's post...

One of my favorites from real life Christmas stories.

By Francis P. Church, first pub­lished in 
The New York Sun on Sep­tem­ber 21, 1897.

We take plea­sure in an­swer­ing thus promi­nently the com­mu­ni­ca­tion below, ex­press­ing at the same time our great grat­i­fi­ca­tion that its faith­ful author is num­bered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Vir­ginia O’Hanlon
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been af­fected by the skep­ti­cism of a skep­ti­cal age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not com­pre­hen­si­ble by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great uni­verse of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his in­tel­lect as com­pared with the bound­less world about him, as mea­sured by the in­tel­li­gence capable of grasp­ing the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as cer­tainly as love and gen­eros­ity and de­vo­tion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child­like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tol­er­a­ble this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which child­hood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chim­neys on Christ­mas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither chil­dren nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can con­ceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and un­see­able in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil cov­er­ing the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the su­per­nal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thou­sand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will con­tinue to make glad the heart of childhood.


Has this been a favorite of yours as well?

Always in spirit...

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

10 Days of Christmas in July (Day 7) Christmas card notepad

Have tons of Christmas cards left over every year? Rather than throw them away, I like to find other uses for them. If you need a notepad to keep track of to-do lists during the holidays, this is an easy do it yourself idea. These would also make a great party favor.

Christmas Card Note Pads

What you need:
  • Old Christmas Cards (or how about those junk mail postcards?)
  • Homework pages that are blank on one side (if you don't have these, plain or lined paper would also work)
  • Stapler
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Ruler
  1. Cut out the portion of the card you'd like to showcase then fold the inside cover up about 1/2 inch. You will then need to trim some of the "cover" accordingly, so that it will tuck neatly into the fold.
  2. Cut your homework papers about 1/4 inches smaller than the cover in width and length. Here, the measurement is 3 1/2 x 4 inches. 20 papers per cover is about right.
  3. Insert the papers into the cover and staple near the bottom of the fold.
  4. Tuck the cover into the fold (trim as necessary to let it lay flat) and you're finished!
Image and craft from Hope Inc (visit the site for more instructional images).

Always in spirit...

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

10 Days of Christmas in July (Day 6) Weekend Baking #Cookies

I was looking for holiday baking recipes for today's post and I came across this intriguing idea. I love peanut butter cookies so why not peanut butter sugar cookies. I'm definitely going to make these during the upcoming holiday season. Yum!

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies
24 cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Image by silviarita from Pixabay
    1. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugar in a bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes or until the ingredients are blended. Scrape the bowl with a spatula.
    2. Add the eggs and vanilla. Continue to blend on high speed until the mixture is fully incorporated.
    3. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder.
    4. Add flour mixture to the mixer, and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix, or the dough will toughen.
    5. Transfer dough to parchment paper, and refrigerate dough for 20 minutes.
    6. Remove dough from fridge, and sprinkle flour on a flat surface as well as on top of dough. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick with a rolling pin, and cut out with the cookie cutters of your choice.
    7. Use a spatula to carefully transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat, spaced at least 1 inch apart. If the dough becomes too warm and sticky, refrigerate the cutouts (on the baking sheet) for 10-20 minutes.
    8. Bake in a 350°F oven for 9-11 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway, until edges are very lightly browned.
    9. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing.
    Recipe credit: Brit + Co

    Always in spirit...

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