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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dreaming of my next two contests

While all the rest of you are dreaming of a white Christmas, sugar plums or what presents your family and friends are going to give you, I am dreaming up my next two contests.  I want to have one contest where there are 5 winners and the prize will be your choice of a flavored lip gloss.  Everyone seemed to enjoy that contest so much.  I am not creative by nature so for me it takes a little work and trying to find the right mood.

I am also thinking that I would like to post a Valentine's day story in (can't decide) later January or early February.  The other month the prize would be a custom perfume either solid or roll on.  Hopefully when you all get done with all of the holiday stuff, you will be visiting my blog again and leave me a comment and help me decide which to do when.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE.  I am thinking about putting the blog on vacation for a week or so.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas 2012 Images Share

It is only one week now until Christmas day, is everyone ready?  Here are some Christmas images that might warm your heart and even give you a giggle or two.

Hopefully you have been getting some goodies in your mail box

I wonder how much time and creativity went into this gingerbread house.

These don't look like the usual sled dogs.

Did a squirrel steal some of your goodies or put some in there? LOL

What a beautiful scene of winter

I wonder how big this gingerbread house really is

Twas the night before Christmas and (you know the rest, right?)

too adorable to keep to myself

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas feasting ideas

Now I am getting to my favorite subject, feasting.  When I visited Williamsburg, VA in September 2000 I told them that they should have a feast that mimics the ones of that time period.  I have only heard stories, but they are incredible.  Putting on a feast was the equivalent of our dinner parties, but there was always a huge variety of foods, this was a way to show off how prosperous you were.

In the story by Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" the main part of the feast at Christmas time was a Goose, some people eat duck and some eat turkey or ham and some even eat a crown roast (usually pork).  I haven eaten all of those except the Goose, but turkey seems to remain my favorite.  Especially when it is served with cranberry sauce, corn bread stuffing and lots of melted butter oh and let's not forget yeast rolls.
For desert I love pie (peach, blueberry or apple crumb).

I believe this one is part of a crown roast

I remember when I was young the cookies we would make.  But alas that is a fairly traditional meal.  There are those that go above and beyond with their feasting.  You can add such delicacies (if you can afford them either time wise and/or money wise) as crusted beef tenderloin (with any type of nuts or even pepper), any type of tart you can think of, recipes that include prosciutto (an Italian ham delicacy), smoked salmon, a pomegranate wine sauce, and let's not forget about more ordinary party fair like crab and cheese puffs.  I have also tried English clotted cream with fresh fruit which is absolutely wonderful and very expensive, a real treat.  Oh and that reminds me that I forgot about Christmas bread pudding with hard sauce (includes some brandy) if it's made properly it is very yummy and fattening too I am sure.

I have no idea what this is, but it looks gorgeous

I know that there are some traditional English feasts dishes that sound horrible to me and probably many other Americans.  Dishes like blood pudding and I can't remember any other ones right now.  You can find instructions and recipes for all types of British puddings if you would like to make that a family tradition.  Here is one site about British foods.

Maybe you can create an adventure for your Christmas day meal of trying one exotic or unusual dish.  Believe it or not there are even some lettuces which have wonderful flavors, where as iceberg has virtually no flavor at all.  Living in a conservative city it doesn't seem to sell very well around here, but in bigger cities I am sure you can find all types of lettuces.  Actually I love to mix them because they can give you an incredible variety of tastes (with a home made dressing of course).

Reminds me of Queen of Sheba cake

So leave a comment and share with all of us what Christmas food traditions you have or would like to start.
Only 10 days now and Christmas will arrive.  Happy Holidays to all of my readers.  To those of you who Christmas is a difficult time for, my sympathies to you. I still miss my son who was killed in a car crash in 2004, but I try to focus on my grand son who shares the same first name.  We all need to look forward to something, don't we?

Images shared from the Food Network page entitled the best Christmas recipes.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Legend of Santa Claus

You might know him as St. Nick or Santa, but he has also been known as Father Christmas and of course the full name of Santa Claus. Here in the US he has been portrayed as a portly (nice word for fat) white bearded man who has a wife named Mrs. Santa Claus.  Of course we are all familiar with his traditional dress consisting of a red coat with a white collar and cuffs, plus the red trousers and big black belt.

There is also pretty much a consensus (in the US and Canada) that he lives in the North pole with a bunch of magical elves (who makes the gifts) and 9 flying reindeer. The myth that Santa Claus travels around the world in one night delivering toy and other presents to children who have been well behaved has had a long history.  Part of the myth which is spoken of very often is that if a child has been naughty then Santa will leave a lump of coal in that child's stocking.

But I will bet that many of you don't know that the modern day Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas.  Sinterklaas was based on a gift giver called Saint Nicolas.  A nearly identical story has been attributed toGreek Orthodox and Byzantine Christian folklore.

The tradition of Santa Claus can be traced back to the 1820.

So now you know a bit more about the origin of Santa Claus.  Next I will try to find some information about how Christmas stockings became a custom.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas time photo share

I hope she/he doesn't mind that I am sharing some of their FB photos (photos from Giggle Palooza)

Sort of funny and sort of not

this one had to be large so you could read it, can you say Santa ahhh

Have to admit I am not sure what you are remembering here, is this not on any more?

My blog followers, customers and fans melt my heart

This is what I wish for everyone

Monday, December 10, 2012

A count down to Christmas Collection

Wining Lip gloss flavors and guess who?

First off I am going to announce the winner of the $20 gift certificate to botanicalsforbeauty but first I am going to announce which flavors I will be carrying.

Here are the list of the flavors with the number of votes they received.

coconut milk and peach 10 votes (Aroma Haven)
mango peach 8 votes (Aroma Haven)
pineapple tangerine 8 votes (Aroma Haven)
lemon drops 7 votes (Aroma Haven)
cappuccino 7 votes (Aroma Haven)
french vanilla 7 votes (Aroma Haven)
blackberry pomengrante 7 votes (The Sage)
pink lemonade - 6 votes (Aroma Haven)
strawberry swirl 6 votes (The Sage)
I choose pina colada to be the tenth flavor. (The Sage)

I am hoping to add a few more surprises to the line up.  I will announce availability on this blog.

A special thank you to those who posted my contest on there FB pages as a big chunk of my views were from FB referrals and a special thanks to ETSYGIVEAWAYS as they accounted for a big chunk of the visits as well.

There were several that had 5 and 4 votes.  So I had to make a choice of the 10th flavor.

The WINNER IS Shari D. who will be contacted by email today.  PLEASE WHEN ENTERING USE YOUR ACTUAL NAME, I may be wrong because almost anything is possible but I seriously doubt that someone's real name is Awesome.

Tomorrow I will be publishing my usual Tuesday funnies.

Thanks to everyone who voted and entered my contest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rudoph the Reindeer

How the story of Rudolph the reindeer got started is really sad.  It started with a family called the Mays.  The mother was terminally ill and it was Christmas time.  The four year old daughter (Barbara) was on her father's lap (Robert) and asked him why her mommy was different from all of the other mommies.  This sparked a bit of creativity in the father and on the spot he made up a Christmas story, the one about Rudolph the red nosed reindeer because Rudolph was also different than all the others.  The father was also different as a child.  He was a very sickly child and therefore couldn't play the games the other children played.  That is the legend.  However, towards the end of his life, he admitted that it was only a legend and not really true.

Actually the story came about because Robert May was given an assignment from his employer (Montgomery Wards).  Montgomery Wards did Christmas promotions using stories and coloring book giveaways.  The story about Rudolph was printed for Christmas in 1939 and millions of copies were distributed.  May did manage to get ownership for the story from Montgomery Wards and produced a commercial edition plus a short 9 minute cartoon in 1947.  But it wasn't until May's brother in law wrote the song about Rudolph and had Gene Autry record it in 1949 that Rudolph the reindeer became a Christmas time super star.

The story we now hear about Rudolph the reindeer is not the original story by Robert May.  Of course the story got added to and embellished as that is what Hollywood and entertainers have always liked to do.  So now you know a bit about the origins of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Origins of a few Christmas Traditions

Did you know that Christmas tree decorating and using the clippings of evergreen shrubs as decorations for Christmas has been a controversial practice at times in Western history? For instance, when the Roman Church decided in the fourth century that Christmas should be celebrated on December 25, some of the pagan celebrations of the Roman Saturnalia (celebrated at the same time of year) were carried over, such as feasting and exchanging gifts. But others were too controversial to carry over....

Using the clippings of evergreen shrubs from the landscape to decorate houses, a common practice during the December celebrations of Saturnalia, was strictly forbidden by the Church. The associations between decorating with evergreen shrubs and paganism were just too strong. Already in the early third century Tertullian had warned his fellow Christians against falling into the Saturnalian rut by using laurel wreaths as Christmas decorations (Tertullian, "On Idolatry," XV).

But the controversy over Christmas tree decorating and using clippings of evergreen shrubs as Christmas decorations is not relegated to that remote piece of history. In the sixteenth century John Calvin objected to observing the Christian calendar -- which includes Christmas and Easter -- because he felt such celebrations promoted irreligious frivolity. It was in this same century that Germany, by contrast, was establishing Christmas tree decorating as we know it today, launching the modern history of the Christmas tree.

 But in England the Puritans, influenced by Calvin, forbade the observance of Christmas. And it wasn't until Queen Victoria's reign that Christmas tree decorating "arrived" to stay as a Christmas tradition in England, thanks to the influence of Prince Albert (see The Christian Calendar: A Complete Guide to the Seasons of the Christian Year, Cowie and Gummer, p.11). Not coincidentally, Prince Albert had been born in Germany.

Given its roots in English history, America was predictably late in adopting such signs of frivolity as Christmas tree decorating. The Massachusetts Puritans, in particular, frowned upon such pagan backsliding. But the influx of Catholic immigrants in the 19th century was bound to dilute these anti-Christmas tree decorating sentiments.

There you go, so know you know that frivolity versus being dead serious has been an issue through out time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Alternate contest winner and funnies too

Because I have not yet received a response form the winner that was picked for last month's contest, I had to pick an alternate winner.  The alternate winner is Katherine Davis of Texas.  She was very happy to get the email as she is going through somewhat of a rough time right now.  I am so glad that my group was able to lift someone's spirits.

Here are the funnies for today.

who knows what that is all about?

I have never seen a dog sit like that before

They really don't look happy, what we do to make our poor animals cute.

See every one truly does love sock monkey

Do you think that reindeer do that?

Wonder if that is photo shop?  Otherwise what we do to our poor children to make them look cute.

Opps only 21 days left to shop for Christmas presents.  Please consider visiting one of these shops for some great gifts. (bath and beauty) (custom stockings, jewelry, fine art) (hand crafted jewelry)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

All about mistletoe

this is what most of us think of as mistletoe

Mistletoe has been associated with peace and love for eons. Even two hundred years before the birth of Christ, mistletoe was used by Druids in the celebration of the winter season. They believed that  mistletoewas magical.   It was thought to have healing powers, which could cure everything, ranging from female infertility to poison ingestion. Even enemies would stop fighting and declare a temporary ceasefire whenever they came upon some mistletoe.

More facts about mistletoe:

Mistletoe History
The history and origin of the Christmas mistletoe can be traced back to the ancient Scandinavian custom and a Norse myth. The Scandinavian people also believed mistletoe to be a plant of peace, even if enemies happened to pass beneath any mistletoe, they had to lay down their arms and call truce until at least until the next day.

Kissing Under the Mistletoe
The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is said to be associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia.  Mistletoe was used in primitive marriage rites, and believed to have the power to confer fertility. Another belief was that mistletoe possessed 'life-giving' powers.

Mistletoe Plant
Mistletoe is a hemi parasite (partial parasite). It grows either on the branches or on the trunk of a tree. Being a parasite, it penetrates its roots into the host tree and consumes all its nutrients. However, mistletoe can also grow individually and produce its own food with the help of photosynthesis. But, it is usually found growing on trees as a parasitic plant. There are basically the following two types of mistletoe:

American Mistletoe
The American mistletoe, scientifically known as Phoradendron flavescens, is native to North America. It is found growing on trees from New Jersey to Florida and is the mistletoe species that is mainly associated with the kissing tradition of Christmas.

European Mistletoe
The European mistletoe, Viscum album, is a green shrub with small, yellow flowers and white, sticky berries. It is frequently seen growing on apple trees and rarely on oak.

The custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses at Christmas time dates back to the time of the Druids. The concept of kissing under the mistletoe is said to be a variation of the kissing ball tradition of the 18th century.

I hope no one feels offended by knowing that many Christmas traditions are for fun and have nothing to do with the birth of Christ.

I found this information at