Monthly Archives: December 2011

2012

This is my last post for 2011 and I think it may just be the most fun.  I know many people are on vacation and may not have time to be on their computers, might not be reading all the blogs they usually subscribe to, or won’t have the inclination to comment to ANOTHER blog about New Year’s resolutions.  However, I’d love to hear what others are deciding to do that’s new for the coming year.

Mine?  I thought about this one quite a bit.  I wanted to have a resolution that I could use every single day, without fail, and that was fairly simple, though not easy, and would be able to make a difference in my life for an entire year.

I resolve to try my best to be more positive and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

There.  I’ve written it down.  And anyone who’s reading this post has seen my 2012 New Year’s resolution.  Maybe that will enhance my resolve to put it into effect, not to forget it, to act on it each and every day.  I read once that the number of negative thoughts a person has each day can be in the hundreds.  If I try to counter every thought with a positive one, I should be a happier person and therefore a better wife, mother, and friend.

How about you?  What is the one resolution you wouldn’t mind sharing with the rest of us?

Fun With Santa

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A few years ago, my husband decided it was time to decorate the house, you know, like regular folks do at Christmas, with more than just a Christmas tree. Since I’m not much of a decorator, he went out himself and bought a whole whack of Santa ornaments. When our youngest son came home from work that night and saw the house littered with Santa figures, he said, “Our house puked Santa.”

Since then, it’s been a running household joke. This year, when the boy removed Santa from his bathroom counter and stuck the figure on a shelf where we would be sure to find it, we decided to have a little fun. Every day, the boy would come home and find Santa in a different location.

The first day we tucked Santa into the boy’s bed. When the boy arrived home and found him, not a word was said.

The next day, we went looking for Santa. The boy had hidden him so well, we had to search the whole house. Finally, we found him on the top shelf of a book cabinet. This time, Santa got a note hung from his beard and we put him on the counter next to the fridge, where the boy usually leaves his lunch kit. The note said, “My darling boy, I missed you so much today, I cried while you were away. Your parents won’t play with me. Please take me to work with you tomorrow.”

Again, Santa was not mentioned but it was obvious the boy’s after-work mood was getting a much needed lift.

The next morning, we located Santa in our bathtub. Because this Santa was of Scottish heritage, we left the boy a note that said, “I’m Scottish and I like to go commando. I dare you to look under my skirt.”

And so the countdown to Christmas continued, with the boy hiding Santa every night and us finding fun ways to entertain him… or perhaps we were simply entertaining ourselves. 🙂

Do you have a holiday Grinch in your family and if so, what kind of tricks do you use to beat humor the grinchiness out of him/her?

Give to Receive

I had planned to write today’s post on Saturday when I would have had a few hours between the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas, but a phone call Friday evening changed everything.

My dad, at the young age of 66, died of a heart attack on December 23. He hadn’t been feeling well and the Lord decided to take him in a way that I can now say was humane. So I’ve been a little busy. But before this happened, I was going to write a post about charity and giving and end of year donations. Thrilling, scintillating stuff, but important nonetheless.

I donate proceeds from my book sales to five different charities and will continue to do so. My dad donated lots of time volunteering for dog rescue groups around Metro Atlanta where we live. The support and condolence calls we’ve received from these organizations have brought us all to tears.

He gave a lot and now the people he gave to are giving so much to my family at a time when we need so much. We need him, of course, but in lieu of him, we need stories of how his life changed others and made them better. The search for the meaning of life happens at a time like this.  So I guess what I’m trying to say is, give what you can–be it time or money–to people and organizations that mean something to you and you will receive so much more in return.

Rest in peace daddy.

The Holiday Traditions; They Are A Changing

It’s Christmas Eve-Eve and the preparations are all done except for the cooking.  In our house, Christmas is celebrated over three days: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (or pajama day as we like to call it.)  The evening before Christmas Eve has been traditionally reserved for a family dinner, maybe dessert with whichever family friends are in town, followed by a favorite holiday movie.  Of course, that was before my kids got social lives of their own.  So tonight, the slumlord and I will venture out among the hordes of shoppers to grab dinner and possibly a movie. (I’m hoping for Sherlock Holmes 2.)

Although I’ll enjoy an evening out, I can’t help but be a little nostalgic about the traditions seeming to slip away as my children get older.  Let’s face it, I love those campy holiday movies.  Oh, and spending time with the kids, that’s good, too. 🙂 But without them around, I have no reason to watch The Santa Clause, or my favorite, The Santa Clause 2, the Mrs. Clause.  (The Santa Clause 3 movie doesn’t even deserve a mention as I am still waiting for the film’s maker to send me a refund for having to sit through the movie in the theater!)

On Christmas Eve, we’ll watch It’s a Wonderful Life together after church.  It’s just not Christmas without it.  Of course, if my son decides to go to a late night service with friends, that’ll really muck up my plans. And if we don’t watch it together, will it still be Christmas?  What’s a mom to do?

Maybe my husband and I will just skip the movie tonight and I’ll make him watch a bunch of the Christmas classics with me: Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street (not the original one with Natalie Wood, but the 1994 version with Dylan Mcdermott, yum!)  The last time I subjected him to a holiday film marathon, he fell asleep—and that was 20 years ago!  Well, I will have Dylan to look at as a consolation.

I could have my husband choose the holiday movies, but he’d pick Trading Places or Die Hard.  Not exactly the Christmas feeling I am going for.  For that matter, neither are Silent Night, Bloody Night or Jack Frost.  Horror films for Christmas—yuck!  Change the channel to TNT or USA Network to catch the round clock showings of A Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation.  Neither is a particular must-see holiday favorite of mine, but I’d rather watch those films over Fred Claus or Jingle All the Way-both are forgettable.  If my kids were gracing us with their presence they’d argue over their two holiday standbys:  Home Alone and Elf. 

Elf would win, which brings us to our next family tradition:  Christmas Eve breakfast, prepared each year by my daughter’s Elf on a Shelf.  Since everyone else shared holiday recipes this week, here’s our silly one:

A Very Elf Breakfast

Spaghetti

Lots of maple syrup

Candy Corn

Sprinkles (a ton)

Mini-marshmellows (1 handful)

Hershey’s chocolate syrup (a lot)

M&M’s (3 handfuls)

Frosted Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts (2 crumbled)

Cook spaghetti according to directions on the box and let stand.

Mix it together and enjoy!

Seriously, what’s your favorite holiday movie?  What movie are you most looking forward to seeing at the theater this holiday season?  Only two more days until War Horse!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Pecan Tarts

Following in Dianne’s awesome culinary footsteps…I thought I’d share what I will be making tomorrow night.  My mother’s pecan tarts.  I do not have a picture yet, but once I do, I’ll put this in the recipe tab.

Each year, my daughter and I go through my mother’s old recipe box that I confiscated (stole) after she passed away. 🙂   We decide what we will attempt that season, out of her handwritten recipes.

So here you go, exactly how my mother wrote it…and fair warning…they are addictive.

Pecan Tarts

1) 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 1/4c butter (stick)
2 1/2c flour

Blend softened cheese and butter.  Stir in flour.  Chill for 1 hour.  Shape into 1″ balls.  Place in ungreased muffin cups, and press dough to bottom and sides.

Make filling:
3 eggs
2c brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp soft butter (stick)
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1  2/3c chopped pecans
Dash of salt

Beat together till smooth, all except pecans.  Divide half the pecans among cups, lining the bottoms, add the filling.  Top with the rest of pecans.

Bake at 325 degrees, 28 mins. Cool then remove.

Enjoy!!!

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