the christmas pickle

as i was making our activity advent calendar today i began to think of some of the christmas traditions my family has. some manage to slip through the cracks some years, while others are very constant. the christmas pickle is one of those traditions that sometimes is forgotten, but i still love it. on christmas eve, the pickle is hung from the tree. the first child to find the ornament on christmas morning gets an extra present from santa.

you can buy them many places and in many forms, maybe even make one, but all you need is a pickle and little extra something special.


Activity Advent

things are pretty hectic around this time of year, and sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the magic of christmas. i want my children to believe in santa. i want them to have fond memories of christmas (and a christmas with traditions) when the grow older. i have been thinking lately of the many ways i plan to make christmas special for my kids in the years to come. they're too small this year (nash is excited about christmas, but he doesn't really get it. and haven is just oblivious all-together), but next year i plan to begin a new family tradition: the activity advent. each day, we'll do something "christmas-y" as a family, but the kids won't know what that is until they open the box for that day. a lot of these are things we would probably do anyway, but this is my plan to keep the momentum and make the days leading up to christmas fun & exciting. here's what's on my list so far (in no particular order):

Santa Photos (we did this yesterday)
Angel Tree (shop for, wrap, and deliver a gift for a needy child)
Make & Deliver Cookies to friends & neighbors
Make a snowman, watch The Snowman, and read Frosty (we did this on Monday!)
Watch Movies:
The Snowman
The Christmas Story
It's a Wonderful Life
The Christmas Classics
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Letters to Santa
Ice Skating
Zoo Lights
Temple Square Lights & Carriage Ride
Read books:
The Night Before Christmas
Make plum pudding
Yule Log
The Shelf Elf
Go to a Movie
Christmas Caroling
Decorate Tree while listening to Mannheim Steamroller and then read The Legend of the Christmas Tree
12 Days of Christmas for someone else
Make gifts/shop
Re-inact the Nativity Story

any ideas from your families that i should add?


Is There a Santa Clause?

You may have seen the Macy's commercial this year with all the celebrities talking to Virginia about the magic of Santa-here's the backstory (i love it):

Is There a Santa Claus?

From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun,
written by Francis P. Church, September 21, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

"Dear Editor--I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


Old World Christmas Market

For SLC locals...

"Modeled after the Christmas Markets of Europe, a yearly December event with origins in Germany as early as the 1300's, the Old World Christmas Market is reminiscent of days past."
This year along with lights on Temple Square and carriage rides try a new Christmas tradition at the Old World Christmas Market at the Gallivan Center from November 28th-December 6th.


Kissing Balls

I spend every holiday season searching for mistletoe kissing balls to decorate my house. I had already started Kissing Ball Search 2008 when I found this handy how-to. This year, I'm taking the problem into my own hands and making some of my own courtesy of this Better Homes & Gardens article, which I have included below.

  • 3 or 4-inch Styrofoam ball
  • Artificial greenery such as ivy, holly, or mistletoe
  • Artificial red berries
  • Red and green plaid ribbon, metallic gold ribbon, or wired sheer ribbon
  • Assortment of floral pins: T-pins and U-shaped pins

  1. Push a U-shaped pin into the "top" of the ball, leaving about 1/4 inch gap. Remove pin, dab holes with hot glue, then reinsert the pin (with the 1/4 inch gap). Let glue set 5-10 minutes. (Note: the gap will allow you to thread a ribbon or wire through in order to hang the kissing ball.)
  2. Separate artificial ivy leaves from stems -- either by pulling or cutting them off the main stems. Leave 1/4 to 1/2-inch of stem. With the tip of the glue gun, make a small indentation into the foam, then glue each ivy stem into place to cover entire Styrofoam ball. Be careful to avoid getting the hot glue on your fingers.
  3. If desired, hot glue or pin small wads of Spanish moss between the ivy leaves so that the Styrofoam is fully covered.
  4. Hot glue small bunches of red berries to fill in gaps, or use U-pins to tack the berries into place.
  5. String wire, fishline, or a ribbon through the U-pin at the top to hang from a light fixture or door frame.

Ribbon Topper Instructions:
  1. Attach one strand of ribbon at top of ball with a T-pin. Create a loop over the top of ivy and insert ribbon into ivy again about half way down ball, securing either with a T-pin or hot glue. 
  2. Create another loop and secure ribbon underneath center of ball with T-pin, leaving about 6-10 inches of extra ribbon to hang underneath ball. Repeat 2 more times to make 4 ribbon strands. 
  3. Add multi-looped ribbon bow at top of the ball and secure with 2 T-pins.

This project seems really easy to make your own. For example, I would probably spray paint my styrofoam ball before wrapping it to give it a bit more sparkle and with all the ribbons out there, you can make the perfect kissing ball you've been searching for. 


2008 Bloggers Ornament Exchange

Sign up for the 2008 Bloggers Ornament Exchange by October 25th. Click image or here to be directed to instructions/details.


What Makes Christmas (7)

White Christmas
Holiday Inn
Miracle on 34th Street
TV Classics (Rudolph, Frosty, etc.)
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Story
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Home Alone
Little Women


Bing Crosby
the Carpenters
Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”
Handel’s “Messiah”
“The Nutcracker”
singing Christmas hymns


Lifesavers Sweet Storybook
Orange Sticks
Mixed nuts
Egg Nog

Good Memories:
  • SNOW (not Christmas without it!), snowmobiling/sledding
  • seeing Christmas Lights, especially on Temple Square
  • church Nativity Displays
  • performing Christmas music
  • gingerbread houses
  • wrapping presents
  • making goodie plates for neighbors
  • putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving
  • caroling on a hayride (and freezing our tails off) with donuts and hot chocolate afterwards
  • white elephant gift exchange
  • playing games for hours


Fun Christmas E-cards/Videos

Rattlebox has some fun Christmas E-cards and videos for those people on your Christmas mailing list you might have missed. It's never too late! (also a great place for birthday, thank you, and random other cards).

*There may be some questionable content on this site. Proceed with caution!


12 Days of Christmas

Check out this fun version of The 12 Days of Christmas.

I bet you couldn't help smiling on that last song!


a little burst of sunshine

Being from San Diego, I prefer to have a green Christmas and these cookies totally remind me of being home. They are crazy delicious and the citrus makes for such a nice, sunny contrast to the rest of the season's snowy sweets. They are also a great throw back to old time Christmas presents- fruit! And the best part- you chose between orange or lemon- both equally yummy and cheap ingredients! ENJOY!

Sunshine Cookies
2.5 cups unsifted all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp grated orange or lemon zest
2 cups white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375
In a small bowl, combine flour, b. soda, salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients and combine. Stir in zest and chips.
Drop rounded tbsp on to UNGREASED cookie sheet, preferably covered with parchment for easiest clean up. Bake about 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. Allow cookies to cool on sheet for 3-5 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Cook completely. EAT or store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Andes Cookies

These delicious little cookies don't look like much from the outside, but inside there is a little treasure waiting.

1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
 3/4 c. butter, softened
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 TBS. water
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. Andes Mints

Preheat oven to 375^
Mix together sugar, butter, vanilla, and water. Add eggs. Beat well.
In a separate bowl mix together dry ing. and add to the dough.
Chill dough overnight.
Wrap dough around a mint until covered. (Shape will be more rectangular)
Place 2" apart on greased cookie sheet.

Bake 7-9 min. or until golden brown.
Sprinkle with crushed peppermint right after removing from the oven. Cool and enjoy. 


Children's Book

My friend made me aware of this cute children's book called The Elf on the Shelf. You put the little elf out each night and he watches your children during the day to let Santa know if they've been naughty or nice.  It was featured in "Oprah Magazine" and sounds like a tradition kids would love. Find it here.

Wall Flowers

These lovely Wallflowers are on sale now through Sunday for only $6.00... What an easy way to scent your home for the Holidays... or a great inexpensive gift to give. Either way someone is sure to enjoy it! Pick them up at Bath and Body Works.


christmas in the air

The thing that really makes the season for me is all of the holiday scents- and thats why I absolutely love the glade scented oil candle. I used to buy Salt City candles, but I always had trouble getting through the candle by winter's end and when you have limited space like we do, you don't have a lot of room to store a collection of those hefty bad boys.

For the money, I think these little beauties are a great buy and they actually work really well at permeating the room- unlike many other air freshening products. Also, you can use the oil pod easily in one sitting or spread the wealth, if you like. If you do choose to use the whole thing at once, the candle goes out on its own once the oil is gone which is such a plus when chasing around a wirey toddler. And my favorite thing- if you start to burn the goods and you aren't in love with the smell-you're not married to it and the pod can easily be changed with the next use.
The only downer is they only have two holiday scents, but luckily I love both. You should check 'em out...

sweet ideas

holiday treatscandy ornaments from marthastewart.com, whipped cream candy cane cake from Sunset Magazine, and holiday cookie gift tins from Eleni's NYC (for those of you who would rather not bake!).

i wonder if that cake tastes as good as it looks...


Making Christmas, Baking Christmas

Mmmm, Christmas Cookies. I'm invited to a Christmas Cookie Swap tonight so I made these classic Outrageous Chocolate Cookies from Martha Stewart and added my own little Holidazzle to make them extra special. The cookies themselves are soft and chewy and the double chocolate flavor is rich and naughty. Topping them with peppermint glaze and candy canes makes them oh so nice for Christmas.

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Holidazzle

Makes 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks (or chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a mixer beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy, this will take a few minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.

3. Drop heaping teaspoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula transfer to racks to cool completely. Do not bake the cookies to a crisp; they are meant to be soft and chewy. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days. Batter Consistency: don’t worry if the cookie batter seems thin. It should look more like brownie batter than cookie dough.

Add Some Holidazzle!

For the glaze:
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 drops peppermint extract
3 teaspoons water
About 3 or 4 crushed candy canes, reserve for topping

In a small bowl mix together the sugar, mint extract and water until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium zip-top plastic bag and snip off the tip of one corner. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let cookies stand until set, about 10 minutes.



While Christmas traditions, whether familial or worldwide, can be a blast- I also like spicing things up. And thank heavens this year it is so "in" to do so...

I found this little project on Better Homes and Gardens and I think it is such a cute spin on the old stocking standby- especially since you can create them to match your year round or seasonal decor, use them as gift bags, or simply add them (in a smaller version) to what you already have to make a fun stocking and mitten set.
You will find the pattern when you head to the website via the link above.
In the picture it is shown as a child's project so there isn't a ton of style, but I am going to be using the stockings below as inspiration as they fit our existing decor.
They also have plenty of other cute stockings on the website, as well as endless holiday projects- so get to crafting! ENjoy!
**Sorry it has taken me forever to post this... everytime I went to access the link, BHG.com was doing site mantenaince.


The Best Sugar Cookies

I have been on the hunt for the best sugar cookie recipe. My criteria was soft, sweet, buttery and super delicious. My bishops wife created this recipe and they are melt in your mouth soft yumminess. Hope you enjoy decorating cookies for the holidays!


2 C butter, softened
2 C sugar
6 eggs
7 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cream of tarter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 tsp almond extract (I am not a big fan of almond extract, I did half of this and it was perfect for me)

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the flavorings. Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tarter and mix well. Roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick (the cookie diva told us the biggest problem people have with sugar cookies is they roll it too thin and cook them too long) Cut out and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven. We only did ours for 8-9. Cool completely and decorate!


8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 16 oz package confectioners' sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese and butter in mixer until fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add a small amount of cream or milk if needed to make consistency better (but with food coloring you shouldn't need to add milk). This makes about 7 dozen cookies. Enjoy!


You mean sweaters like this?

Christmas Sweaters

When I think of some of my best Christmas parties, nothing can beat Christmas sweater parties. So dig out that old Christmas sweater, do your hair like you're 60, put on those pearls, grab a mug of egg nog and get ready for the best Christmas party you'll ever attend.


The Polar Express

I bought this book a few years ago before I had kids because I loved The Polar Express when I was younger. It's now a must read every night before my son goes to bed. You use a flash light to reflect the images up onto the ceiling as you read the story. It's a fun and different way to read bed time stories. I got it at Target and don't know if they still carry it, so look for it here.

Going Green Christmas Shopping

Since Going Green is so in vogue right now (and hopefully forever), here's a great gift idea for the newly budding environmentally conscious and hard to shop for person on your Christmas List. Check out We Add Up and get counted in the fight to stop global warming. T-shirts are just $25 (which, let me check...yep! is right in budget). Plus, YOU get to pick what action you (or your gift receiver) are committed to doing for the environment. Take your pick from Lights Off, Buy Local, Bike, and my personal favorite, Shower Together, and lots more. And as if your gift receiver wouldn't already feel special enough, each shirt is numbered to represent their position in the global count. Sweetness.


Hot drinks to warm your soul

The first snow in Salt Lake is falling...at this very moment! The glistening white flakes are beautiful and the new chill in the air has me craving a drink that will warm me from the inside. Here are two hot drinks that are a hit with my family. At least one of these drinks are guaranteed to be served at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Nothing tastes better after a long day on the slopes than a hot drink to help you defrost. Both recipes use traditional flavors, but each are just different enough to stand out and make an impression. I hope you'll all try at least one this season!

Hot Almond Drink

10 cups water
1 cup sugar
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Combine all ingredients in large pot, heat over stove top and serve warm.

Hot Cranberry Punch

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
4 cinnamon sticks

Boil sugar, water and cinnamon sticks for 5 minutes. Then add:

2 cups orange juice
1 quart cranberry juice
1 quart water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat through and serve.

*To Garnish: Serve both these drinks with floating round slices of fresh oranges for an added embellishment.
**Gift idea: make a big batch of your favorite winter drink, divide into tall mason jars, decorate with ribbon and attach the recipe with instructions to re-heat. I would LOVE to receive a jar full of warm goodness to drink.

...and may all your Christmas' be white. Enjoy the snow, and Cheers!


Become an Elf

This is such a fun way to spread some Christmas cheer and humor this upcoming season. If you go to http://www.elfyourself.com/ you will be able to upload photos of yourself, friends, and/or family and they become dancing elves! It is the funniest thing you will see and will bring a smile to anyone's face, including yours! Merry Christmas!

Here is an example of one I did of my husband and I!


What's happening in...

'Twas the Holiday Season
and all through the streets,
the people of Provo were taking in treats,
From gallery strolling, to seeing the lights
and dreaming of candy windows
all through the night...

Nov 26th, 6pm Lights on Ceremony
Nov 26th, 6pm Candy Window Unveiling
Dec 1st, 10am Christmas Parade

For more info look here.


Christmas Cards

Here are a couple cute Christmas card ideas...

I especially love the one that says "joy". I made it a couple years ago for our family card. I got the letters at Roberts and they were already painted white. Just print the pictures in wallet size and have fun with the paper you put them on.

mannheim is coming to town...

Since we're all Mannheim Steamroller fans, I thought I'd share this little tidbit:

If you live in Utah (or will be visiting next weekend), they will be playing in concert:

Friday, November 23rd at 7:30 pm at the E Center


Reindeer Poop

This a favorite neighbor gift to give:
Put the "reindeer poop" in cute cellophane bags and attach this saying:
"Since you've been naughty, here's the scoop,
all you get for Christmas is some Reindeer Poop!"

Not only is it fun to give, it's easy and actually really good!

3/4 c. mini marshmallows
4 c. Captain Crunch
4 c. Rice Crispies
3 c. dry roasted peanuts
2 lb. white dipping chocolate

Combine everything but chocolate in a large bowl. Melt chocolate & pour over other ingredients. Stir until mixed. Put wax paper over 2 cookie sheets and spread mixture out over it. Takes 2 hours to set. Break apart in big chunks.

Wassail, Wassail!

Wassail, wassail, all over the town
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown,
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree,
With the wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee.
Drink to thee, drink to thee,
With a wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee.
And here is to Dobbin and to his right eye,
Pray God send our master a good Christmas pie,
A good Christmas pie that may we all see,
With a wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee.
Drink to thee, drink to thee,
With a wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee.
And here is to Broad May and to her broad horn,
May God send our master a good crop of corn,
A good crop of corn that may we all see,
With a wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee.
Drink to thee, drink to thee,
With a wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee.
And here is to Fillpail and to her left ear,
Pray God send our master a happy New Year,
A happy New Year as e'er he did see,
With a wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee.
Drink to thee, drink to thee,
With a wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee.
And here is to Colly and to her long tail,
Pray God send our master a good cask of ale,
A good cask of ale that may we all see,
With a wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee.
Drink to thee, drink to thee,
With a wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee.
Come butler, come fill us a bowl of the best,
They I pray that your soul in heaven may rest,
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small,
May the devil take butler, bowl and all.
Bowl and all, bowl and all,
May the devil take butler, bowl and all.
Then here's to the maid in the lily-white smock,
Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock,
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin,
For to let these jolly wassailers in.
Wassailers in, wassailers in,
For to let these jolly wassailers in.
How to make it:

1 gallon apple cider
3 small cans orange juice concentrate
1/2 quart grapefruit juice

1 quart syrup made with 2 parts water to 1 part sugar, 6 sticks cinnamon, and 20 cloves. Simmer for at least 1.5 hours. (this makes your house smell SO yummy!)

Combine juices with simmered syrup and float orange slices to serve!


More from Manheim!

There is a NEW Christmas CD out from everyone's apparent favorite Christmas musicians! Manheim Steamroller released Christmas Song on October 9 of this year! So excited to check it out! (Sorry, I'm not super tech-savvy, otherwise I would have posted some audio clips too!)

What Makes Christmas? (6)

I couldn't access this before so now I'm telling you what makes Christmas to me:

1. Changing my ringtone to the Dance of the Sugar Plums Fairies and the Nutcracker.

2. The smell of pine cones with sugar cookies.

3. Watching "While You Were Sleeping" with my sisters.

4. The arrival of Christmas flavors and cups to Starbucks.

5. Receiving Christmas catalogues and pretending like i'm gonna wrap my own presents.

What Makes Christmas? (5)

Ok, so I am a little late, but I love Christmas and wanted to put in my 2 bits. Here are 5 of my Christmas favorites.

1. Steve Lawrence & Edie Gorme singing "That Holiday Feeling" It is a family favorite and I have even made my hubbie do the duet with me.
2. Little Smokies and other yummy appetizers on Christmas Eve.
3. Putting up Christmas Decorations right after Thanksgiving while listening to my old family Christmas Records. I just love it!
4. Drinking hot, citrisy, delicious Wassail. Hot Chocolate is good, but Wassail is my favorite to slowly sip on a chilly day!5. Best of all being with family - the whole Christmas Eve program from reenacting the Nativity to our little Talent Show to the white elephant exchange. I love it all!

Christmas Musicals

These movies are a family tradition - we watch them every year!

White Christmas...
Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen. Some classic Christmas songs are in this show, and it's SO fun to watch! Ahhh, the glamour of the 50's.


Another musical and although it's not a very well known movie, it's my favorite version of the Christmas Carol. The songs are incredible and I love watching this every year.


the original television christmas classics

alright-this little gem is about as "classic christmas" as you can get-thus the title! we always watched these cute (and slightly creepy at times?) cartoons growing up, as did my parents. we'd always check the tv guide to see when they'd be on and mom would record them if it was past our bedtime. last year i purchased the set for nash-costco had this dvd set for around $13. it was quite the hit, so my quess is that they'll be offering them again.

also available online HERE!

Christmas Cards

I love Christmas cards. They are too fun to throw away.

Decorate a box or lunch pail with fun papers, ribbons, paint, etc. and archive the cards by the year. This way you'll always have them organized and handy. It's also a fun decoration to set out during the holiday season.

what makes christmas? (4)

Some of my favorite things at Christmas:

Burning the yule log.
I especially love watching the sparklers as they burn in the fire place.

Reading Christmas stories.

It's tradition to watch Eight Crazy Nights at least once each Christmas season.

The cookie exchange party!

Amy Grant, Home For Christmas album. Favorite song on it: Breath of Heaven