Saturday, December 25, 2010


The above is a picture of my family a LONG time ago. 
I'm the one holding the doll. 
Don't worry, my sister is only upset because she couldn't get her doll for the picture! 

Growing up we always opened our gifts Christmas Eve. 
It was always a fun time in our household. 

Most of our "work" was done. 
My mom directed the Youth Choir in which my sister and I sang. 
My mom also sang in the Adult Choir and by Christmas Eve both musicals were over and the only thing for my father to worry about was Christmas Day service. 

My father would begin delivering the Christmas presents to the 
various people who worked in the church in the morning. 

A few times he would take me with him. 
I never really enjoyed going with him. 
I wanted to be home to smell the wonderful cooking. 

My mom would be working away in the kitchen getting ready 
for our big Christmas Eve dinner that night. 
It was always just the 5 of us, which made it special.

During the afternoon she would have cookies and eggnog set up 
for people who would drop by to wish us "Merry Christmas." 

And there was always someone dropping by!  

After dinner we would get to open our presents. 
But first we had to put the Yule Log on TV. 
Watching the fireplace from Gracie Mansion, the home of the 
New York City mayor, was a tradition in our house! 
The music was always so beautiful.  

It seemed it would take us hours to open our presents, 
no rushing, no ripping through the packages.  
Everything was done slowly and we all had to "watch" each other open their gifts. 

When we were first married and started our own family, 
the Colonel and I always opened presents on Christmas Morning. 

However, we found we were rushing through it too often. 
I was always trying to either get a dinner together for company 
or get us in the car to make the long drive to someone's house. 

We decided a few years ago enough was enough. 
We were opening presents on Christmas Eve. 

And it was so nice. 
We go to Christmas Eve service and then come home 
and spend as much time as we need to open our gifts. 

Then, the next morning, the kids sleep in and 
I don't worry about having to get a house cleaned up before our company comes! 

The only difference between now and when I was growing up is that 
the fireplace we watch is now in our house...not on TV!

This year will be the third Christmas without my dad with us.
I still can't get use to that! 
And of course my Colonel is still in Afghanistan.  
So the kids and I will go to the Christmas Eve service 
and then home to open gifts.

And then the three of us will watch a favorite movie, 
Christmas With The Kranks.

Whether you open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, 
I pray that you will take time to remember the greatest gift given to us...
the gift of Jesus, our Savior...I know I will! 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My 10 favorite Christmas songs. 

Mary Did You Know
Breath of Heaven
The Messiah 
Silent Night - I especially love it in German
Emanuel, God With Us - Point of Grace
Oh Come All Ye Faithful - Josh Groban
Ava Maria
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Andy Williams
Oh Holy Night
Mary's Little Boy Child - The one we did as teens in Youth Choir

You may be wondering why in the world I have Andy Williams as one of my favorites. 

Well, when we were first married, I asked the Colonel
(of course he wasn't a Colonel then!) 
to please pick up some Christmas music during the week 
so when we put our tree up we would have something to listen to. 

He came home with the entire 
collection of The Messiah. 

He noticed the look on my face and asked, 
"What's wrong with the Messiah?" 
Well, I told him that I thought he would purchase something 
a little more "Christmasy." 

That's the word I used. 
He looked at me and said, 
"You asked for Christmas music and this is the best there is." 

He then really noticed the look on my face and said, 
"Okay, let's go pick something out that's a bit more Christmasy." 
We then went and picked out the Andy Williams CD that we play 
every year when putting up the Christmas tree 
and we STILL have a laugh over our definitions of Christmas music. 

Although I have come to love The Messiah as much as he does! 

So how about you?
What are your favorite 10 Christmas songs?

Leave a comment so I can come and check out your favorite songs!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Eating Tips...

1.   Avoid carrot sticks. 
Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. 

In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. 
Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 

2.   Drink as much eggnog as you can. 
And quickly. It's rare...you cannot find it any other time of year but now. 
So drink up! 

Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? 
It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. 
It's a treat.  Enjoy it. 
Have one for me.  Have two. 


3.   If something comes with gravy, use it. 
That's the whole point of gravy. 
Gravy does not stand alone. 
Pour it on. 
Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. 
Fill it with gravy.  Eat the volcano.  Repeat. 

4.   As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're
 made with skim milk or whole milk. 

If it's skim, pass. 
Why bother? 
It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. 

5.   Do not have a snack before going to a party in 
an effort to control your eating. 
The whole point of going to a Christmas party is 
to eat other people's food for free.
 Lots of it.  Hello? 

6.   Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. 
You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. 

This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling 
the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. 

7.   If you come across something really good at a buffet table, 
like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, 
position yourself near them and don't budge. 

Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. 
They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. 
If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again. 

8.   Same for pies. 
Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. 
Have a slice of each. 
Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. 
Always have three. 

When else do you get to have more than one dessert? 
Labor Day? 

9.   Did someone mention fruitcake? 
Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, 
but avoid it at all cost. 
I mean, have some standards. 

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party 
or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. 
Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. 
Remember this motto to live by: 

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" 

Last but not least, don't forget the proper way to 
weigh yourself during this time of year...Enjoy!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mean Mom...

Yes, I am a Mean Mom.

I won't let you drive to work when it's snowing outside and the 
town we live in forgets to send out the salt trucks.

I will pick you up at 11:30 at night because
the snow that fell earlier is now turning to ice and 
the town we live in STILL didn't send out the salt trucks.

I won't let you drive to school when the roads are 
still icy and it's only 11 degrees outside.
I will make you ride the bus so I know you'll be safe.

I will make you go to school when you say you're too tired from working.

I will make you do your homework and clean your room and 
clean the bathrooms. 
Everyone needs to know how to clean a toilet. 
Everyone.

I will make you make your bed. 
Even if you're just going to get back in it at night.

I will make you eat a good dinner and not have a bowl of popcorn instead.

I will make you go to church when you want to stay home and play on the computer.

I will make you study your math even if you 
will never use it again.

One day you'll look back and see that I did all 
this because I love you more than my own life
and you'll think maybe I wasn't so mean after all.