Welcome to my Christmas blog ~ Christmas Pudding

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello dear bloggers and welcome to my last post of 2011. I just finished up my A-Z of Christmas which I hope you all enjoyed. It was a lot of work but very enjoyable just the same.

Today I will share a couple of little things I received for Christmas this year. I hope you enjoy!

My newest SnowBaby, a gift from my hubby.
She is called the Goddess of Chocolate.

SnowBabies are little figurines I have been collecting for years. I have each one named after a member of my family.
This newest one is named for my little granddaughter, Jenna Lynn. She wears a real string of pearls, a tutu, a real knitted hat with a rosette on it, and holds a chocolate cupcake in her hand. In her other hand, she carries a tote with more chocolate in it. She's very cute, isn't she?
My granddaughter is only a year old but I know someday she will love hats like her grandmother. And if she's anything like other little girls, she will want to wear a tutu and she will love chocolate!

These are my SnowBabies playing beneath one of my Christmas trees.

This is the very first figurine I received. Two of my boys playing in a gift box.

Another gift from my family.

Now that the holidays have come to an end, I will be posting very little on Christmas Pudding. However, as I have done in previous years, I will post something whenever I find a new ornament or something festive to blog about.

So, from my home to yours ~ A Happy & Healthy New Year to you and those you love. 

Until next time, I'm ....

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The A-Z of Christmas ~ Z

Welcome to the last letter of the A-Z of Christmas.

is for....

As well as the sleep of anticipation on Christmas Eve, it is likely that in every household at least one member of the family will find themselves settling down to a well-deserved nap while others play charades, try to squeeze in one more mince pie, or cozy up to a treasured and much-watched film. {Excerpt from An English Christmas, a supplement of The English Home magazine}.

As we celebrate this most beautiful and generous time of year, I pray we will all make room in our hearts for the Reason for the Season who is Jesus. The Lord be with you and bless you and your loved ones not just during this holiday season but all year long!

I hope you have enjoyed the A-Z of Christmas and I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

"For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a Baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." - Luke 2:11-12

"The  light that shines from the humble manger is strong enough to lighten our way to the end of our days." ~ Unknown

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Friday, December 23, 2011

The A-Z of Christmas ~ Y

Welcome to another A-Z of Christmas. Today's letter is Y.

is for...
Yule log.

The Yule log is an ancient tradition that has its roots in celebrations of the winter solstice. Later it also began to have connotations with not only the light of the sun, but also the light of Christ, to give it religious symbolism.

In England, a log so large that it had to be dragged by horses would be brought into great country houses and burned for the twelve days of Christmas. A remnant of the log would be kept to light the next year's log. The lighting of the log on Christmas Eve would commence the celebrations of Christmas. 

Today this practice is not so common, although it is often honoured in the way the French do, with a Buche de Noel, a chocolate cake shaped and decorated to look like a log. {Excerpt from An English Christmas, a supplement of The English Home}

Please come back tomorrow for the final letter of the A-Z of Christmas, the letter Z.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A-Z of Christmas ~ X

Today's letter is X.

is for...

The term "Xmas" is a bone of contention for many since it seems an informal and crass abbreviation of what is a very traditional and celebrated event.

The X stems from the Greek word for Christ, so the abbreviation is accurate, however it is a term that is discouraged since it seems to gloss over the importance of Jesus. While the term was used on occasion by the likes of Lord Byron, Samuel Coleridge and Lewis Carroll, in secular society it is also considered rather abhorrent  by many, including myself.

I feel it is of the utmost importance to write Merry Christmas on your Christmas cards and not Xmas.

Please keep Christ in CHRISTmas.
Therefore, I wish you all a Very Merry CHRISTmas!

I'm keeping CHRISTmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

W - The A-Z of Christmas

Welcome to the letter...W.

is for...
Wreaths, White Christmas, Wish List.

Wreaths are used at Christmas time as a welcoming adornment on front doors and as part of the advent wreath which encircles five candles - that are lit in the four weeks before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.

As a never-ending circle, wreaths are symbolic of eternal life and strength.

I love a wreath and especially at this time of year. I have them in my home, greeting you at the door, hanging on mirrors and cabinet drawers, even around a hurricane lamp on a table.

I think they make a most welcome and delightful decoration in one's home, don't you?

The wreath above is one I fashioned for the front door which also  matches a little tree in my dining room. 

I made this little wreath for the front of the aqua chest which sits in the front room.

And this is lovely wreath shows off the hurricane lamp on the coffee table.

We have had little snow so far this season but it's beginning to look like a White Christmas now as we've had some of the white stuff come down a couple of days ago. I'm sure most folks are happy about this new blanket of snow; particularly the children.

Thomas Kincade painting

White Christmas is one of the most famous and popular of all the  Christmas songs. The music and lyrics were written by Irving Berlin in 1942. The lyrics of White Christmas struck a chord with the soldiers fighting in the Second World War and their families who were waiting for them back home.   

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May all your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May all your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

A Wish List is one which children of all ages love to write out for Santa.

My hubby insists on me making a list out for him every year for Christmas. How about you? Do you make out your Christmas list for anyone?

I hope you enjoyed my take on the letter W and tomorrow you will join me for the letter X.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The A-Z of Christmas - V

Welcome back to the A-Z of Christmas. The days and letters before Christmas are winding down. Are you ready for the big day? Today's letter is V.

is for...
Visions of Sugar Plums.

Christmas Eve is a time of anticipation, excitement and magic, as children drift into dreams, hoping that come morning their stockings will be full of everything on their wish list.

This sentiment is immortalized in Clement Moore's poem, "The Night Before Christmas" when he writes, "the children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads."

It also echoes the story of "The Nutcracker," a family favourite, which tells of the adventure of a young girl who finds herself in a magical world that culminates in the Kingdom of Sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The ballet is based upon a book, "The Nutcracker and The Mouse King," written in 1816 by E. T. A. Hoffmann.
A sparkling performance of The Nutcracker is performed by the Royal Ballet and other wonderful ballet companies around the world especially at this time of year.  

Closer to home, this is my little sugar plum fairy atop my little white Christmas tree.

Those of you who are grandparents or those who simply love little ones, will forgive me for sharing a picture of my real live little Sugar plum fairy.

Jenna Lynn just had her first birthday and this is her holding her birthday present, her first dollie.

Thank you for joining me today for another letter of Christmas A-Z. Please come back tomorrow for the letter W.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year long~ Sandi

Monday, December 19, 2011

A-Z of Christmas ~ "U"

Welcome back to another A-Z of Christmas. Today we're doing the letter....

is for...
Under the Christmas Tree.

The custom for a beautifully decorated fir tree encircled by piles of presents was introduced by Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, who had both experienced the tradition as children.

Source Internet

The origins are thought to date back to the legend of Thor, when St. Boniface cut down the sacred tree of the god, in the German town of Geismar, and replaced it with a fir tree. This practice was repeated each year and the custom evolved as part of the Christmas traditions, beginning with a tree in each town decorated with garlands and later candles, to the popular practice of today bringing a fir tree indoors and adorning it with baubles and twinkling lights. The tree is now a focus of Christmas morning as children excitedly discover what Father Christmas has delivered. {Excerpt from "An English Christmas, a 2011 supplement of English Home magazine}

Underneath my tree you will find my collection of dolls and teddy bears as well as a rocking horse or two which wait patiently before the gifts are placed underneath its branches.

Please join me tomorrow for the letter V.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year long ~ Sandi

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A-Z of Christmas ~ T

Hello bloggy friends and welcome to another A-Z of Christmas. Today's letter is T.

is for...
Tinsel, Toy trains, Toboggans, Christmas Tree, Tradition, Turkey.

Did you know that the Christmas tree originated in Germany?

Queen Victoria and her beloved German Prince Albert introduced Christmas trees with the intricate ornaments to England in 1840. Glass ornaments, decorative beads, paper baskets with sugared almonds and hot air balloons adorned the trees.

And did you know that the early Christmas trees were typically trimmed with real candles, wafers, gingerbread cookies, fruit such as apples and garlands of cranberries, candy, as well as paper flowers and tinsels fashioned from tin and silver?

This is my Christmas tree which I have up in the Family room. It is decorated with ornaments and decorations collected from nearly forty years. 

Toy Trains~ I have always been fascinated with toy trains. My father had a wonderful train set when I was growing up and I have always loved them. I always dreamed of having a train set of my own, running around beneath the tree.

I think they have a most charming quality about them. Someday I hope to have one.

Turkey~ What is Christmas dinner without a turkey? When I was growing up, my family always had a turkey and I still have a turkey to this day for Christmas dinner. It's called Tradition and I'm very big on tradition, especially at Christmastime. 

I make my dressing using bread crumbs, potatoes, onion, summer savory, salt and pepper, and I cook it outside the bird. I add the drippings from the turkey to it which makes it very tasty.

I think one of the nicest compliments I ever received from my mother was that she once told me that my dressing tasted just like her mother's; my grandmother's. I adored my grandmother so whenever I make my dressing now, I always think of my Granny. I like to think that she would be pleased with her granddaughter.

Please come back tomorrow for the letter U.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Letter S

Welcome to Christmas Pudding and the A-Z of Christmas! Today's letter is...

is for....
Star of Bethlehem, Silver Bells, Snowflakes, Stockings, Saviour.

"And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
And they came to the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh." ~ Matthew 2:10-11

"For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." ~ Luke 2: 11

"Silver Bells" is a classic Christmas song, composed by Jay Livinston and Ray Evans.

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you'll hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day

Snowflakes~ The magical thing about snowflakes, is that there are no two alike. Each one is unique and beautifully created. 

Each one of you is like a lovely snowflake. You are beautiful and unique, and there is no other like you in all the world.  God has made only one like you and you are precious to Him.
During this beautiful Christmas season, I invite you to get to know Him. He is the reason we are celebrating Christmas and the best you could give Him, is yourself.

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you will stop by again tomorrow as I do the letter T.

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi

Friday, December 16, 2011

R- The A-Z of Christmas

Hello friends. Today's A-Z of Christmas is the letter R.

is for...
Robins, Roasted chestnuts, Rocking horses, Rudolph, Reindeer.

The Legend of Robin Redbreast

On that first Christmas, it is said, the night was wrapped in a bitter chill. The small fire in the stable was nearly out, and the mother Mary worried that her Baby would be cold. She turned to the animals about her and asked them to help.

"Could you blow on the embers," she asked the ox, "so the fire might continue to keep my Son warm?"

But the ox lay sound asleep on the stable floor and did not hear her. Next Mary asked the donkey to breathe life back into the fire but the donkey did not hear Mary either. Nor did the horse or the sheep. She wondered what to do.

Suddenly, Mary heard a fluttering of little wings. Looking up, she saw a plain, brown-coloured little robin fly into the stall. This robin had heard Mary calling to the animals and had come to help her himself. He went over to the dying fire and flapped his wings hard.

His wings were like little bellows, huffing and puffing air onto the embers, until they glowed bright red again. He continued to fan the fire, singing all the while, until the ashes began to kindle.

With his beak, the robin picked up some fresh, dry sticks and tossed them into the fire. As he did, a flame suddenly burst forth and burned the little bird's breast a bright red. But the robin simply continued to fan the fire until it crackled brightly and warmed the entire stable. The Baby Jesus slept happily.

Mary thanked and praised the robin for all he had done. She looked tenderly at his red breast, burned by the flame, and said, "From now on, let your red breast be a blessed reminder of your noble deed."

And to this day, the robin's red breast covers his humble heart.

FROM~ "A Christmas Stocking" by Louise Betts Egan

Christmas Robin by Pat Carlton

Robins are one of the only UK birds to be heard singing in the garden on Christmas Day. This is because they hold their territories all year round, defending against intruders with song. Males often hold the same territory throughout their lives, and they will even attack a bundle of red feathers or their own reflection, mistaking it for another bird. Their melodious voices, along with their cocky little attitudes, have endeared robin red breasts to the British public, and in 1960 they were crowned the UK's national bird.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire."

I love rocking horses and I own a small collection of them. I'm not sure where my fascination of them comes from; most likely my childhood. The following photos are some from my collection.

I hope you enjoy seeing them.

This wooden horse sits by the fireplace and was a gift from my hubby last Christmas.

This is my newest rocking horse and he is made of metal.

This little ornament hangs on the Christmas tree every year;
a gift from my son when he was nine years old.

This adorable little porcelain deer, or reindeer was a gift from my mother many years ago. I bring him out every Christmas.

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." - Norman Vincent Peale

Thank you for joining me today. Please come back tomorrow as I do the letter S. 

Keeping Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi