Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Christmas Traditions


 I love the Christmas season! Have you ever wondered how some of our holiday traditions came about? 

 1. Santa Claus - This holiday hero had his beginning in the 3rd century with a man named St. Nicholas who lived in Patara (present day Turkey). He made his debut in America in the 18th century. The name Santa Claus came from the Dutch nickname for St. Nicholas, Sinter Klass. There is actually a whole lot to the story of Santa Claus if you'd like to read it at the St. Nicholas Center website. 

 2. Twas the Night Before Christmas - This poem was written in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore as a gift to his three daughters. It was called "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas." 

 3. Rudolph - The most famous reindeer of them all! Robert L. May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward (I remember that department store) wrote the story of Rudolph in 1939. The store sold over 2 1/2 million copies of the story. Years later, the story was written as a song recorded by Gene Autry and sold over 2 million copies. It has been translated into 25 languages. 

 4. Christmas Trees - The Germans get the credit for the modern-day tradition of a decorated Christmas tree. It first became a popular thing to do in the 16th century among Christians. 

 5. Wreaths - We have an evergreen wreath on our door right now. It provides a festive atmosphere at Christmas time. Long ago, people worshiped evergreen holly as a sign of eternal


 6. Stockings - In the days of the real St. Nicholas, it was said that he threw three coins down the chimney of three poor sisters. Each coin landed in a separate stocking that was hanging by the hearth to dry. Good fortune for everybody! 

 7. Candy Canes - The first candy canes were actually sugar sticks that were bent to resemble the shape of a shepherd's crook. In 1670. the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral gave his young charges these sticks to keep them quiet during long ceremonies. What was he thinking? The red stripes and peppermint flavor weren't added until the early 1900's. 

 8. Christmas Cards - The first Christmas greetings were written by boys who had to practice their writing skills, but Sir Henry Cole, director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, is credited with the first actual Christmas card in 1843. 

 9. The 12 Days of Christmas song - Apparently, Roman Catholics in England were forbidden from openly practicing their religion during the years 1558 to 1829, so the song was created with hidden meanings in order to teach their faith without being discovered. Go to the Catholic News Agency website for the hidden meanings. 

 10. Gift-Giving - This custom most likely originated in ancient Rome and Northern Europe when people gave gifts during year-end celebrations. The exchanging of elaborate gifts began in the late 1800's. 

 11. Red and Green Christmas Colors - Green symbolizes the hope for eternal life that Jesus brings. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for mankind. 

 12. Christmas Carols - Victorian England is credited with the revival of caroling which, for a long time, was repressed since Christmas was not a widely accepted holiday in England until Victoria came to the throne. 

 13. The Nativity Scene - The story of Jesus' birth is recounted in the Bible in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20. But when did people begin creating the visual Nativity Scenes you see during the Christmas holidays? St.Francis of Assisi is credited with creating this scene as a way to share the Christian faith with those who could not read. 

 Join the fun at Thursday Thirteen!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Not This Year!


Happy Tuesday, everyone!  It IS a happy day because I am officially finished shopping and wrapping presents!  Last year, I was still wrapping on Christmas Eve.  That sucked! Not this year!  This year, I can actually sit back and enjoy myself.  Well, almost.  I finished my daughter's wedding scrapbook - all 151 pages of it - and I just have to get the page protectors on.  That won't take as long as it sounds.

The whole family will be in town for Christmas this year including our granddaughters! What are your plans? 

Let's do some funnies!

Kinda creepy if you think about it.


This is the opposite of how you decorate when you have a cat.

This is ME!!!

Yes, this has happened to me!

Don't forget to visit Happy Tuesday and Random Tuesday Thoughts.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Fun Photos!


These are photos of some of the Christmas displays at the Dallas Arboretum in 2021.

 Can you tell what the theme was?
Visit Image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday for more fun photos!

Monday, December 04, 2023

Random Question

Hello!  Is everyone getting ready for Christmas?  We are getting the downstairs part of our house painted this week, so I haven't been able to put the tree up yet, and I just can't wait!  It's my favorite season of the year!  Not the weather, mind you, just the jolly Christmas season.

But today, I have a quick question for you.  How do you pronounce the word Aunt?  Some people pronounce it ont.  Some people say ant.  Still others say ont-ee or anti.  I grew up my whole life saying ant.  I never called anyone anti, but my mom had an anti.  My husband's parents were British, so they pronounce it ont and ont-ee.  Thus, my question.  How do your pronounce the word for your parent's sister?

Now on we go to more delightful things!

And last, but not least, 

Don't forget to visit Happy Tuesday and Random Tuesday Thoughts!  Have a great week!

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Sunday Synopsis - true crime

The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville MurdersThe Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders by Anthony Flacco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You may have seen a Clint Eastwood movie called The Changeling. I have never seen it, but as I understand things, it covers the events in about half of this true crime story. The book is always better, though.

Sanford Clark was only 13 when his mother sent him from Canada to a chicken ranch near Los Angeles to live with his uncle Gordon Stewart Northcott. She may have known what she was getting him into since her own mother, which was also Stewart's mother, actively participated in some of Stewart's crimes and turned a blind eye to others.

From 1926 to 1928, Sanford Clark was tortured, sexually abused, beaten, and forced to participate in the murder of several young boys that Stewart lured to his farm for his own sick pleasure. He bore witness to Stewart's crimes (kidnapping, molestation, murder) and came out on the other side, heavily guilt-ridden. In fact, he spent most of the rest of his life trying to make up for his past even though as a boy who was held captive he had no choice but to participate in this hell that was forced on him or be killed himself.

This story is terrifying because these gruesome acts actually happened. I don't know how Sanford survived, but he did, unlike the kidnapped boys who were as young as 9 years old. Sanford got an education, served his country during WWI, got married, had children, and by all accounts was a respected father, husband, and member of the community. Not that the hell ever actually left him. There were dark hours and dark days. But he came out on the other side.

In this book, his son Jerry is a co-author and adds details that no one else would know about Sanford's life after the Wineville chicken coop murders except Sanford's son. It's an excellent and well-written true tale.

Interesting side note - Wineville changed its name in 1930 due to the negative publicity surrounding this case. It became known as Mira Loma.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 27, 2023

To Pot Luck or Not to Pot Luck

I hope your Thanksgiving was good!  Did you cook the entire meal?  Or did each person bring something?  I cooked chicken and dumplings for lunch, then our cousin cooked dinner: turkey with all the fixings.  It was ah-mazing!  No pot luck this year.

 I used to enjoy pot luck lunches and dinners.  I loved eating new dishes and trying all the different ways people can make potatoes or macaroni, and don't get me started on the variety of desserts!

But... I thought too hard about it.  I thought, "What if people play with their dogs who just rolled in the grass then don't wash their hands before they prepare the food?"  It happens!

And, "What if they let their cat on the kitchen counter to lick the bowl, or feed their sweet kitty pet food out of the same dish they are using to prepare the food without running it through the dishwasher first?"  It could happen.

Or, "What if they have roaches, ants, or other critters around the food preparation area?"  I shudder to think!

So, I will still eat pot luck if I actually KNOW the people providing food, but thankfully, I don't have to eat any more pot lucks at work, not that anyone ever forced me!  That big buffet of pot luck dishes is mighty tempting.  I'd have a hard time saying no despite my excessive thinking!  How about you?

And last, but not least.

Have a great week!  And don't forget to visit Happy Tuesday and Random Tuesday Thoughts.

Cyber Deals

 There are some great cyber-Monday deals going on at Amazon!  I've got my eye on gifts for my husband, sister, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. Take a look!


 Affiliate links - If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive a small compensation at no cost to you. Maybe. Someday. It could happen.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Best Amazon Deals for Wednesday 11/22

 These are some of Amazon's BEST deals that start this Wednesday, 11/22.

(Affiliate links-If you make a purchase from one of my links, I may get a small commission at no cost to you.)

Thanksgiving Dinner and Shopping for the Fam


IMHO, Thanksgiving has the best food of any holiday all year! I love traditional food like turkey, dressing, rolls, and cranberry sauce. Do you call it dressing or stuffing?  Do you make it with bread crumbs, cornbread, neither, or both?  I'd love to know!

Our Roomba vacuum quit working.  Actually, it Isn't Roomba brand, so maybe that's why.  Thank goodness Amazon has already started their Black Friday deals!  We've got to replace it.

This one is on sale for 42% off! This might be our replacement! 

 I'm also looking for gifts for the fam.  Here are some I'm thinking of buying.

 What are you looking for this season? And now, on to more fun!

And just for fun...

Visit Comedy Plus and Stacy Uncorked for more fun!

Affiliate links - full disclosure policy.


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