Welcome to my Christmas blog ~ Christmas Pudding

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year." ~ Charles Dickens

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The A-Z of Christmas ~ B

Welcome back to the A-Z of Christmas.

is for....Baking, Boxing Day, Baubles, Bethlehem...

When my children were growing up, I did a lot of baking for the holidays. In fact, I used to make fifteen kinds of sweets every Christmas.

Included in all that baking were pies, tarts, cookies, including gingerbread boys, two fruit cakes, fudge, and peanut brittle. I also made pate which is a rich meat pie that I still make every year. I usually make it with a bannock crust.

We had a lot of company in those days and it always gave me such pleasure to serve my goodies to special family members and friends!

The day after Christmas Day is called Boxing Day and it is a holiday which is celebrated in many countries, including Australia, Canada, and England, etc.  
There are any number of explanations for the name, however, most relate to the giving of a box of food or money to the needy. Christmas is a time for charity and good will toward men.

Here in Canada, Boxing Day allows us some down time after the busy Christmas preparations. It is a rather relaxed affair and is usually spent with extended family and friends. Usually there are leftovers from Christmas dinner to be savoured.

For Boxing Day this year, we will be having our oldest son and his family in for coffee and dessert. Then we will all gather around the webcam and talk to our other two sons and family members out in Vancouver, BC.

This is one of the many Baubles on my Christmas tree. It is a Limoges ornament which was given to me by my mother years ago. It is a beautiful porcelain ornament of pink and white encircled with bows, butterflies, and flowers. It is topped by a little blue butterfly.

More baubles. Many of my ornaments are gifts from family and friends
and hold much sentimental value like this lovely lace one trimmed with a rose and berries. 

'O Little Town of Bethlehem' is a popular Christmas carol which was penned by Phillips Brooks in 1867 and the music was composed by Lewis H. Redner in 1868.

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you will join me again tomorrow as we talk about the C of Christmas.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The A-Z of Christmas ~ A

Hello everyone and welcome to the  A-Z of  Christmas!
Each day, beginning today through to Christmas, I will be sharing some  decorations, traditions, and Christmas memories. I hope you will join me every day and be inspired.

Today's letter is the first letter of the alphabet. A is for...
....Advent, angels, Away In A Manger...

Although Advent Sunday begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, in secular society the keeping of an Advent calendar is a popular tradition which usually begins on December 1.

When my hubby was in the Ministry, we always celebrated Advent in our church with the lighting of a candle each week. There were five candles in all; each candle represented a prophesy foretold of the coming of the Saviour. The fifth candle was the Christ candle which was lit on Christmas Day.
It brought a special touch to each service leading up to Christmas and it was a wonderful way to get the congregation involved in the service.

When my children were growing up, I used to make my own Advent calendar. Like most young families, money was tight so I had to make do with what I had. I used my art skills quite a bit in those days as well as my imagination.

I made my Advent calendar, which was a large Christmas tree, cut out of cardboard. I covered  the tree with green foil wrapping paper and then I drew 25 little ornaments each with the number corresponding to that day on the calendar tree. I drew Christmas balls, angels, trains, toy soldiers, candy canes, etc. You get the picture!

Each day, one of the boys would take their turn placing an ornament on the tree. The 25th of course, was always the Nativity. It was great fun and the boys always enjoyed it. We made lots of memories.

This is the angel which I used for over twenty years on top of our Christmas tree.

The song, Away In a Manger, is usually the first carol that children are taught. It was originally published in 1885 and the author of the first two stanzas is unknown. The third stanza was penned by John T. McFarland. The music to the song was composed by William J. Kirkpatrick in 1885. There are actually two melodies to the song.

Adoration of the Shepherds- Gerard van Honthorst {1590-1656}

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the letter B of Christmas. Wishing you all a delightful day. Till then, I'm keeping ...

Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Pinks For Pink Saturday

Hello everyone. I hope you are all enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend.

A month from today is Christmas Day! Imagine that, it will be here before we know it!

I have a couple of Christmas pinks to share with you.
The first is the little Christmas cottage I painted up and set inside a cloche.
White and pink paint as well as some glitter and snow made this little cottage sparkle for the holidays.

A wee bit of pink peeks through the snow on the roof and the door is painted pink.

I have my little Christmas tree decorated and sitting in the front room this year.

It is decorated with silver and pinks balls, pink and gold sheer ribbon, and glittery birdies.

A couple of bunnies sit in the snow beneath the branches. And my adorable little Christmas fairy adorns the
top of the tree.

For more pinks please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

Please come back next week as I will be sharing the A-Z of Christmas, beginning Tuesday, the 29th of November. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Blogging Ideas

"For Christmas is tradition time -
Traditions that recall
The precious memories down the years,
The sameness of them all." ~ Helen Lowrie Marshall

Hello Christmas buddies~  I have been perusing some wonderful magazines to glean a few ideas for the holidays this year.

One wonderful magazine, The English Home, is filled with Christmas delights and it has given me an idea which I would like to share on this blog.

The festive season is such a magical time, steeped in tradition from centuries old, to the wonderful family traditions of today. We all have our own traditions and memories of special Christmases and I want to celebrate every day leading up to it.

I thought it would be fun to do the A-Z of Christmas. So, beginning on Tuesday, November 29, I will do a post every day up until Christmas Eve.

Each day, I will share one letter of the alphabet and include something which begins with that letter. There will be a delightfully festive potpourri of Christmas inspired decorations, recipes, my own Christmas memories, and so much more. I hope you will pop by every day to see what I've shared and if you feel so inclined, I would love for you to share as well.

In the meantime I will be keeping ....

Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Decadent Little Coffee Break

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!" ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

Hello everyone ~ I hope you all had a great weekend! I have some ideas bouncing around in my head for the coming weeks. I have already started preparing my posts for it and I hope you will stop by to see what I'm up to.

It's a very busy time of the year, what with baking, decorating, shopping, etc., not to mention the concerts, parties, and everything else that goes along with the holiday season.

One needs to take a break and enjoy what you have accomplished so far. So, why not sit down and pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea in a pretty cup and indulge yourself in a simple but yummy treat.

Just taking a few moments can rejuvenate you from top to bottom. 

Raspberry Fool is one dessert which is very easy and pretty too. Why not make some for dinner this evening but try testing it first. :)

It is as simple as folding some pureed raspberries into whipped cream. Serve it in a festive dish and, Yum! A delectable little treat to enjoy before you get back into the swing of things once again. Your family will love it too!

Take some time for yourself and until next time, I'm keeping...

Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Story of the Cloche and the Christmas Balls

Hubby always brings coffee home after work and we sit and talk about his day before dinner.
Last evening we were sitting in front of the fireplace with only the wreath and candles lit while we sipped on our coffee. He was exhausted after a hard day's work and hadn't even noticed that I had the wreath up over the fireplace.
So I asked him, "Well, what do you think?" He looked up and saw the candles lit and the cloche on the mantel. He commented on how nice the cloche looked!

I laughed and told him I had the wreath up! He said it was nice but he really liked the cloche filled with  Christmas balls. Isn't that just like a man!

I had gotten the pink balls a couple of days ago and they had been sitting on the kitchen table so I dumped them into a cloche and set it on the mantel just to get them out of the way! They do look pretty so I may leave them in there but set them somewhere else in the room. I haven't even started decorating the mantel yet. Anyway, I guess you know what colour scheme I'm going with in the living room this year!

"I'm dreaming of a pink Christmas..."

What colour have you chosen to decorate with this year?

I'm linking this post with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday.
Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round~ Sandi

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rocking Horses

Hello everyone. Are you thinking about Christmas? Me too! Actually, I'm not only thinking about it, I'm picking up little things here and there in my travels around the shops. I'm still looking for a new angel for the tree top and I'm starting to bring out my wreaths to spruce them up for the holidays.

Some of you may know that I love rocking horses and I have a small collection of them. The other day, I acquired another one and this one is made of metal. I am loving the design on him. Isn't he cute?

These would make lovely gifts for three young ladies I know!

Yes, I have one little tree up already!

This is a rocking horse Hubby gifted me with for Christmas last year. I just love him! Some have suggested that I paint him but my hubby likes him the way he is. I'm not sure where my love of rocking horses comes from. Must simply be the little girl in me.

I am a collector of many things; rocking horses is just one of them. Do you collect anything special? I would love to see it!

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi