Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rudolph Day...January 25, 2010

Okay, so I'm somewhat behind on my Rudolph Day post today.  January always seems like the hardest month to get back into Christmas mode on the 25th.  I guess because it is so close to the end of Christmas and I...and everyone else...might be a little burned out on it at the present time.  But I promised to have something every 25th of the month and I'm keeping my promise!

Here is a short story I found that is infused with Christmas spirit.  Enjoy it!

After the story, I will have a Christmas craft that you might want to do this winter or on the next Rudolph Day (February 25th).


Christmas! What worldly care could ever lessen the joy of that eventful
day? At your first waking in the morning, when you lie gazing in drowsy
listlessness at the brass ornament on your bed-tester, when the ring of
the milkman is like a dream, and the cries of the bread-man and
newspaper-boy sound far off in the distance, it peals at you in the
laughter and gay greetings of the servants in the yard. Your senses are
aroused by a promiscuous discharging of pistols, and you are filled with
a vague thought that the whole city has been formed into a line of
skirmishers. You are startled by a noise on the front pavement, which
sounds like an energetic drummer beating the long roll on a barrel-head;
and you have an indistinct idea that some improvident urchin (up since
the dawn) has just expended his last fire-cracker.

At length there is a stir in the room near you. You hear the patter of
little feet on the stairs, and the sound of childish voices in the
drawing-room. What transports of admiration, what peals of joyous
clamor, fall on your sleepy ears! The patter on the stairs sounds louder
and louder, the ringing voices come nearer and nearer; you hear the
little hands on your door-knob, and you hurry on your dressing-gown; for
it is Christmas morning.

What a wonderful time you have at breakfast! There are a half-dozen
silver forks for ma, a new napkin-ring for you, and what astonishing
hay-wagons and crying dolls for the children! Jane, the house-maid, is
beaming with happiness in a new collar and black silk apron; and Bridget
will persist in wearing her silver thimble and carrying her new
work-basket, though they threaten utter destruction to the

You sit an unusually long time over your coffee that morning, and say an
unusual number of facetious things to everybody. You cover Jane with
confusion, and throw Bridget into an explosion of mirth, by slyly
alluding to a blue-eyed young dray-man you one evening noticed seated on
the kitchen steps. Perhaps you venture a prediction on the miserable
existence he is some day destined to experience,--when a look from the
little lady in the merino morning-wrapper checks you, and you confess to
yourself that you are feeling uncommonly happy.

At last the breakfast ends, and the children go out for a romp. Perhaps
you are a little taken aback when you are informed your easy-chair has
been removed to the library; but you see Bridget, still in secure
possession of her thimble and work-basket, with a huge china bowl in one
hand and an egg-beater in the other, looking very warm and very much
confused, and you take your departure to your own domain, to con over
the morning papers.

You hear an indistinct sound of the drawing of corks and beating of
eggs; of a great many dishes being taken out of the china-closet, and a
good many orders being given in an undertone,--why is it women always
will speak in a whisper when there is a man about the house?--and you
lose yourself in the "leader," or the prices current.

The skirmishers have evidently suffered disaster; for the firing becomes
more and more distant, and at length dies from your hearing. You are
favored with a call from the improvident little boy, who requests you to
grant him the privilege of collecting such of his unexploded
fire-crackers as may be in your front yard, giving you, at the same
time, the interesting information that they are to be made into
"spit-devils." You are overwhelmed by a profound bow from the grocer's
lad as he passes your window, and you invite him in and beg that he will
honor you by accepting half a dollar and a handful of doughnuts:--the
lady in the merino morning-wrapper has provided a cake-basket full for
the occasion. You are also waited on by the milkman, who, you are glad
to see, is really flesh and blood, and not, as you have sometimes
supposed, an unearthly bell-ringer who visited this sublunary sphere
only at five A.M., and then for the sole purpose of disturbing
your morning nap. You are also complimented by the wood-man and
wood-sawyer, an English sailor with a wooden leg, who once nearly
swamped you in a tornado of nautical interjections, on your presenting
him a new pea-jacket. And then comes the German fruit-woman, whose first
customer you have the distinguished honor to be, and who, in
consequence, has taken breakfast in your kitchen for the last ten years.
You remember that on one occasion she spoke of her little boy, named
Heinderich, who was suffering with his teeth; and when you hope that
Heinderich is better, you are surprised to learn that he is quite a
large boy, going to the public school, and that the lady in the merino
morning-wrapper has just sent him a new cap.

The heaping pile of doughnuts gradually lessens, until finally there is
not one left. The last dish is evidently taken from the china-closet,
and the whole house is filled with that portentous stillness which
causes the mothers of mischievous offspring so much trepidation.

You expect to see the merino morning-wrapper reconnoitering the
movements of your own sweet pledges of affection; but she doesn't: you
can only hear the ticking of the little French clock on the
mantle-piece, and the spluttering of the coal as it bursts into a gassy
flame between the bars of the grate, and you almost imagine Christmas
has passed. You are deceived; for by-and-by you hear your children's
footsteps as they skip over the garden-walk, and the sound of their
ringing laughter as they rush in out of the cold, and their clamor rises
louder and gladder and more jubilant than ever. Grandpa! Who does not
know him, with his joyous face and hearty morning greeting? How
resplendent he looks in his broadcloth suit, his gold-headed cane and
great blue overcoat! What quantities of almonds and raisins, of oranges
and sweetmeats, those overcoat-pockets contain! What child ever lived
who did not believe grandpa's pocket a cornucopia for all juvenile
desires? The day passes on. The turkey never looked browner or juicier,
and the blaze on the pudding-sauce never burned bluer; the kissing under
the mistletoe was never more delightful, nor the blindman's-buff ever
played with a greater zest: but the merriest Christmas must end. Your
little girl, tired and sleepy, kneels at your feet, and you pass your
fingers through her soft curls, while she repeats her simple prayer:
"God bless pa, God bless ma, God bless grandpa, God bless little
brother, and God bless Santa Claus;" and you hope that God _will_ bless
Santa Claus. You thank your Creator you _are_ the master of that quiet
home and the father of those dear children, and go to your rest with a
heart full of gratitude. You hope that all the newspaper-boys, and all
the milkmen and bread-men's children, and all the little boys and girls
who have no fathers or mothers or grandpas, and all the poor, and all
the sick, and all the blind, and all the distressed, have had a merry

At a time like this, when the security of your own reward relaxes
scrutiny for the shortcomings of others, I would have you take up these

From Trifles for the Christmas Holidays by H. S. Armstrong

Drip Ball Ornaments

What you'll need:

  • Glass (clear) ball ornaments
  • Acrylic craft paint in holiday colors
  • Empty egg carton
  • Ribbon for hangers
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear glaze spray suitable for glass
How to make it:
  1. Remove the hanger top from each ornament and set aside.
  2. Place egg carton upside down and place ball ornaments in the middle of four egg cups to act as your holder.
  3. Place some paint in a palette and water the paint down until it begins to drip off the paintbrush.
  4. Keep the paint palette close to your egg carton holder. Dip paintbrush into the watered down paint, picking up a generous amount. Move the paintbrush to the top of the ornament immediately. Place a dollop of paint onto the ornament. If it doesn't begin to drip down, add some more paint until it does. Continue this technique around the ornament, alternating colors as well. When finished, allow the ornaments to dry completely.
  5. Once the ornaments are dry, replace the hanger tops and tie ribbon in place.
  6. Hang ornaments on a dowel or strong twig, and then in a well-ventilated area, spray with clear glaze spray. Let dry completely.

  • Using the egg carton as a holder will cause the paint to stop where the paint drips down and meets the egg carton. You can avoid this by hanging the ornaments on something sturdy while you paint, just be sure that you have newspaper below to catch the drips.
  • The thicker the paint, the darker your drips will be. If you would like lighter drips, simply thin out the paint more.
  • If you paint simply won't drip, you will need to add more water. Test by holding the paintbrush directly above the paint palette. The paint should begin to drip within 3 seconds.
From Kaboose

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's that time again

So...yesterday was Twelfth Night which marks the end of the "official" Christmas season for me.  It was the last day for me to listen to Christmas music and for my tree and outside lights to be lit.  The funny thing is that we're supposed to get some snow today...of course, now that Christmas is over! While I will no longer be turning my lights on, I will not take the tree down until Sunday (probably) and the outside lights are going to have to wait until we get at least above 20 degrees...it's too cold to be messing with that stuff right now.  Lucky I don't have really picky neighbors...LOL!

The good news is that The Christmas Spirit blog will still be spreading the cheer all year long.  Every 25th of the month is what some call Rudolph day or I sometimes refer to it as a mini-Christmas.  I break out the Christmas music (usually in the car) and watch a Christmas movie...or two.  Sometimes I work on Christmas projects or crafts, if I have time.  Two projects I need to work on are getting my Christmas organizer notebook together for the fall and painting and stenciling a cool wine crate I bought to store my Christmas CDs.  Also, July is a big month for Christmas fanatics...Christmas in July, you know! Again, during July I break out the music, the movies, the books, the crafts.  It may sound crazy, but when you're in love with Christmas like I am, it's just what you do! So how does all this translate here?  Well, I'll be blogging about Christmas topics and stories, keeping you updated on my craft/project progress (maybe even with pics!), and I may even share some recipes.  The sky's the limit in my book!

I really enjoyed starting this blog and I'm so thankful for those who are following.  Hopefully, as the new year moves on, I'll have more followers to share in the spirit.

Always in spirit!