Do you still send “snail mail” Christmas cards? 😀 We received our first card last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. And it was a wonderful one from a favorite nephew with so many wonderful pictures of their beautiful daughters.

I do! I know a lot of people have stopped or send virtual cards, but I’m a die hard on this one. I just love sending and getting Christmas cards in the mail. But, I fear they are becoming a thing of the past. Unfortunately I receive fewer and fewer each year it seems. Virtual cards just aren’t the same to me. AND I can’t reuse virtual cards to make the next year as gift tags.

I even painted a set of old shutters in Christmas colors to display them.

I DO try to make my own Christmas cards when I can, and I PLANNED to do homemade again this year, but years like this last year full of issues sometimes finds me sending out box cards.

A local store carries boxed cards that are really nice quality, pretty cute and super affordable.  I’m bound and determined that I WILL do homemade again soon 😀

I did try an annual letter a few times, but ended up in just doing a few paragraphs eventually hitting the highlights from throughout the year since.


I’ve really been enjoying the 4 hour reel Sandra shared on Monday, but so many of the songs are so old and odd that I finally had to move on to some more contemporary tunes.

  • What are your favorite Christmas songs?
  • Do you have a regular playlist? I do! I still use a CD player with my disc changer and leave it on shuffle if I’m working at home. 😀

I’m all over the place with Christmas music – it really depends on the day, the occasion, my mood, what food we’re eating, are we at home or listening on the radio? – there are just sooooooooo many factors!

BUT, I do like to wait until at least the day after Thanksgiving!

I LOVE so many of the old standards, but I also love a country Christmas and Mannheim Steamroller. I also LOVE Christmas carolers, not that you see many these days. I was even part of the hand bell choir at church for Christmas programs many years ago.

As for some of MY favorite songs I have a few that top the list, including a few newer artists:

  • It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas
  • Silent Night
  • White Christmas
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Last Christmas 
  • Born on Christmas Day
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Little Drummer Boy the version with Bing Crosby and David Bowie
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Deck the Halls
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside
  • Hard Candy Christmas
  • Come All Ye Faithful
  • It Came upon a Midnight Clear
  • We three Kings of Orient
  • Joy to the World
  • Rudolph the Reindeer
  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • The Most Wonderful Time of Year
  • It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
  • This Christmas by PJ Morton
  • Oh Santa by Mariah Carey
  • Christmas on the Square by Dolly Parton
  • Carol of the Bells by Lindsey Stirling
  • Believe by Josh Groban
  • Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson
  • Merry Christmas Baby by Hunter Hayes


Today’s category is always an easy one for me. It’s also one that really doesn’t change much from year to year. UNTIL this year! This year I decided to make it my mission to find and tape the best Christmas movies from the 1940’s.
My list for this year’s search is:
  • 3 Godfathers (1948) with John Wayne
  • The Bishop’s Wife (1947) with Cary Grant and Loretta Young
  • It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) with Jimmy Stewart
  • Christmas in Connecticut (1945) with Barbara Stanwyck (though she is NOT my favorite)
  • Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) with Judy Garland
  • Holiday Affair (1949) Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh
  • Cover Up (1949)
  • Shop Around the Corner (1940) with Jimmy Stewart
  • Remember the Night (1940) with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck
  • I’ll Be Seeing You (1944) with Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten
  • It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) with Don Defore, Gale Storm and Alan Hale Jr. (the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island)

BTW Die Hard IS a Christmas movie!

I start taping Christmas movies on Hallmark as soon as they air so I can watch them ALL year long. I’m a sucker for a happy ending and let’s face it, Christmas movies have happy endings.

It’s a toss up for me about whether White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen and Danny Kaye or It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and Donna Reed is my absolute favorite, but I think I’m leaning towards It’s a Wonderful life!
Which Miracle on 34th street version (the original with Natalie Wood or the remake with Richard Attenborough) is the best? BOTH versions of course!
The Santa Clause with Tim Allen quickly became a favorite – who could resist visiting the North Pole every year?
Now Home Alone is just silly, as is Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase but, they never fail to make me laugh! A new favorite is the Christmas Chronicles with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.


I only WISH this were my house

I want this year especially to be relaxing and stress free. I’m not going to do a linky. Just comment on my post and let me know you’re playing along and I’ll be sure to visit and comment on your post. As a reminder here are this year’s prompts:

I’m like a little kid when it comes to Christmas. It is my very favorite holiday. LOL I WILL NOT apologize for wanting to decorate by Halloween every year. 😀 or that I do actually start before Halloween.

I usually have restraint and hold out until the day after Thanksgiving…, but again NOT this year – indoors anyway! Hubby started decorating the outside the day after Thanksgiving, but had been planning, weather permitting, he’ll finish today, but it has been so, so cold that he only gets about 2 hours of decent temperatures outside.

Our local (mom and pop – family run) Christmas tree farm opened bright and early Friday morning and we were there when they opened to get wreaths, warm snuggly coffee from the coffee trailer and help a girlfriend with her tree. You can cut your own tree, but they also have fresh cut trees. The Christmas tree farm in all its glory is up for sale. My girlfriend Dana says we should pool our resources and buy it! I’m seriously considering it. Dana loves her tree AND her coffee!

In previous years they sold out quickly and we missed out on live trees, though we always get our traditional wreath.

We are using our tried and trued artificial tree one last year which I put up just before Halloween. I topped the day off with a visit to the Family and Friends holiday open house. It’s a small boutique store and I arrived a few minutes early for my appointment time and was rewarded with having the store to myself to visit with Susie and Lynne, the sisters who own it – really cute little old ladies! 😀

Obviously, I start as soon as I can to decorate, but it takes a few days and I take the time to enjoy it instead of turning it into a chore. I will be going to the annual Christmas Fair at the fairgrounds on Friday. I believe I have done my part for shop local with mom and pops again this year.

I was hoping to have the outside decoration pictures for you today, but will update this post after hubby finishes later today. The fog has been horrible for the past 2 days and the pictures would be too weird anyway.

So, when do you decorate?


This is one of those categories that should be easy, but it’s a bit complicated for us. We USUALLY had a REAL tree. Until we didn’t. 😀

Several years back hubby’s National Guard unit was put on alert one September and by Thanksgiving they were shipping out to IRAQ. They left sunny southern California and headed to Washington to be integrated into the Army, which for hubby was easy because he had already served in the Army and then joined the National Guard so it was like going home for him.

I was lucky because in the end he was named the Rear Detachment Commander and sent home to man the Armory and guys that remained behind for one reason or another.

But, I digress. While he was gone I needed to put up the tree and just couldn’t talk myself into doing a real tree by myself so I purchased a really nice artificial one. I put it up and decorated it that year and the next while he was still deployed. The following year we went back to a real tree. The year after that we moved to the north woods and REALLY enjoyed live trees again for a couple years.

During that time the artificial tree stayed boxed up. When we were in Texas after that live trees were exorbitantly priced so we used the artificial tree again for a couple years. When we came back to the Pacific North West we went back to live trees until the year of the COVID pandemic and the local tree farm closed early leaving us live treeLESS so we pulled out the artificial tree once again.

LOL this is my long winded way of asking you if you can tell the difference between a few of the trees from the past few years? Which ones are real and which ones are artificial?  😀

Live or artificial doesn’t matter to us anymore – being decorated with all the sentimental ornaments is what makes either tree special. A LIVE tree smells good, but honestly a nice artificial tree is easier and a whole lot less mess in the long run. We do buy a LIVE spray for inside and wreaths for outside! Sadly our local tree farm is up for sale. While whoever buys it will probably keep it the same, there’s no gaurantee it will remain the same. 🙁



We all know the song, but do we know the REAL meaning behind the words? I’d bet most don’t.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So that is your history lesson for today. Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone – and, remember, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the 12 days starting December 25th and the Christmas Season runs until Epiphany, January 6.

BLOGMAS 2023 ~ day 2 ~ MEANING of CHRISTMAS ~ BLOG 365.329B

Christmas is the most important holiday to me and not because Santa comes, though that is pretty important to the kiddos, but more importantly, it’s a caring spirit, a sharing feeling, an attitude that I try to practice all year long.  I truly feel good about giving – whether it’s the Angel trees I select gifts for or the smile from the Salvation Army bell ringer as you put your money in their red bucket and wish them Merry Christmas. 

For 10 years I chaired an Angel Tree Program for FISH and I loved doing it! I prepared for it earlier and earlier every year and I truly believe each year got better and better because of that preparation. The night before we distributed the gifts I would go shopping for the teenage girls and boys that always seemed to fall through the cracks in the donations.  We were ALWAYS lacking in gifts for the teen girls no matter what we tried to boost things up for them.  So, now when I choose the angels from the trees in the community I seek out the teenage girls specifically.

Christmas means lots and lots of memories of family, some no longer with us, but ALWAYS in my heart when I hang an ornament that reminds me of that person or a recipe that they always prepared like my dad’s, Oatnut Sourdough Herb Dressing, crazy Aunt Louise’s Holiday Wreaths or Gram’s Christmas box full of goodies picked out just for each one of us or…

One of the things I try to practice is to make at least one homemade gift each year – nothing extravagant, but just something that says “I MADE THIS with LOVE JUST FOR YOU“.

The years that we host the Christmas holidays we include a lot of family recipes. But, more importantly, Christmas is the spirit of Love and Giving and it must be felt and shared. Christmas is a gift from above and each year as I grow older I realize more and more that Christmas is about Love, Peace, Sharing, Caring and just being together.

I can only answer for myself, but I assume for those that are not religious, the meaning of Christmas is still a celebration, but one of celebrating friendships and family by gathering to eat together, share their time and share tokens of appreciation in the form of gifts with others.
May we ALL carry the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all throughout the year by remembering the REAL reason for the season.


Here we go. Another year has passed and the holidays are upon us again! DAY 1 of BLOGMAS 2023 has me asking you what your holiday decorating schedule is.

I have to admit I’m one of those people who can’t wait to decorate and leave it up for longer than most. We passed our neighbor last Tuesday and he was out putting up his Christmas lights and candy canes right next to his blow up Turkey for Thanksgiving. I had to laugh because while my house IS already decorated inside I made hubby promise to wait until today to begin decorating outside 😀 In our neighbor’s defense he was quite ill last year and never got to decorate at all so he gets a pass on the early decorating and he promised to wait until tonight to turn the lights on!

We’ll be at our favorite local Christmas tree farm when they open this morning at 9AM to pick out 2 wreaths for the front porch.

  • Are you a traditional or trendy decorator? I’m a traditional, sentimental decorator. I still have ornaments from when I was a kid and some of my grandparent’s things. We tend to have the same decorations year in and year out, but they may be in different places each year because I add a piece here or there and some even get donated or die by attrition.
  • Are you white lights or multi-colored? This category depends for me. Definitely multi-colored on the tree, but I have white on my sleigh and around the Santa Hot Air Balloon as a landing zone.
  • When do you decorate inside? PLEASE don’t laugh, but since COVID my tree has gone up at Halloween 😀 and stays up through AT LEAST King’s Day.
  • Outside? We wait until after Thanksgiving 😀
  • To Blow or NOT Blow? We’re yes on this category MOST of the time. Years with early snows or stormier than normal windy days we stray away from them.


I can’t believe we’re at the end of November and Thanksgiving is over! It’s time for the BLOGMAS 2023 list reveal. I’m going to begin on Friday the day after Thanksgiving and go through Christmas Day. Join in where and when you can, but most importantly have a GREAT, FUN time! I’m not going to add an official linky, but if you comment we’ll know you’re playing along and come visit so have the coffee and goodies ready 😀