Why Celebrate Christmas?

Why do you celebrate Christmas?
As a child, I celebrated because my family did. Really, though, it was all about the presents and Santa Claus! I knew there also was a baby named Jesus that was born in away in a manger. What a lousy place! But, it gave a little drummer boy a place to go. The real action was at the North Pole with Santa, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen. Most importantly Rudolph! Of course, we must not forget Frosty the Snowman. If only I could find a magic hat!

But…I grew up and met Jesus the Christ, not as a child, but as a man. Now I celebrate because I am so thankful for grace, salvation, forgiveness, love, kindness, and blessings from God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, by the Power and Counsel and Comfort of the Holy Spirit.

A Few of My Favorite Things…Christmas Movies

The Bishop’s Wife is my all time favorite Christmas Movie. Cary Grant…need I say more?
I also enjoy A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott as Scrooge, The Preacher’s Wife, It’s a Wonderful Life, and of course, Miracle on 34th Street, the old black and white version, Holiday Inn, and White Christmas. I’m sure there are more; but, these are some favorites. Other than that, I just see what the video store has available.

This year we’ve been so busy with activities, we’ve only watched a few. Why not rent one this weekend?

Blessings,
Laura

My Daybook…

FOR TODAY, DECEMBER 8TH…
Outside my window…darkness.  It’s far before dawn here in Missouri.

I am thinking… I need to get busy.  I have to go to a nearby city for my husband’s office Christmas party.  I found out last night that we are to bring “White Elephant” gifts.  The $ limit is $10.  I’ll be shopping at home from my stash!
I am thankful for… an e-mail from my grandma!  She’s recently moved and I lost her for a few weeks!
From the learning rooms…  a shortened day because of my trip.  Definitely math, language arts, and reading.

From the kitchen…  quick and simple.  Breakfast-toast.  Lunch-soup made from yesterday’s leftover brisket, potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic.
I am wearing… Must I say?  I’m wearing my flannel nightgown.  It’s only 5:30 in the morning here as I write.
I am creating… a list in my head of things I want to create.  I’ll be writing them down soon.  Today, as we drive, I’ll probably be crocheting a hanging handle on a dishtowel.  I have a friend who has ordered two from me.   She doesn’t need them until after Christmas; but, it’s a project that will travel well.
I am going… to my husband’s office Christmas party.
I am hoping… to keep myself organized during this week.  After this week, much of the busy-ness of the season will be finished.  Then, I can focus on finishing projects.
I am hearing… nothing but the hum of the computer, the click of the keys, and silence.  It’s early, mind you!
Around the house… a few things to put away from the weekend…lots of laundry to be done…some ironing to do…more decorating to do.
One of my favorite things…poinsettias!  I hope my Honey reads this and gets the hint!
A few plans for the rest of the week:

Monday- Office Christmas Party

Tuesday-Homeschool Support Group Christmas Party

Wednesday-Caroling and ringing the bells at Wal-Mart with our church to raise money for Salvation Army.

Thursday-Kids’ homeschool Christmas Party

Friday-Friend’s Christmas party

Saturday-Craft fair in the day, just attending, and a Christmas play that night.

Sunday-possibly going to Branson to take in a show, if I can find a babysitter.

BREATHE LAURA BREATHE!
Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Making Cookies

Making Cookies

Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook to see what other ladies are doing this week and to join in the fun.

It will be a very busy week, full of Christmas party preparations.

The only really important way that we must prepare for Christmas is in our hearts.  The rest of it is all for fun.  Let’s not forget that.  Jesus is the reason that we celebrate Christmas.  Jesus, the baby in the manger, God’s son, grew up to be the sinless sacrifice for our sins.  Let’s reclaim this holiday this year.

Laura

Keeping my Focus

Christmas on the Cheap…and Nice

Many of us are called upon to give gifts in gift exchanges, at the office, to a teacher, to friends, the list goes on and on. Many of these gifts are supposed to be of the $5 or less type.

Why not shop in the comfort of your home, from your home? Go on a treasure hunt.

Entire article available at http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com .

German Apple Stuffing

My momma always made sage dressing.  When I got married, I decided to do something different.  It’s become my family’s favorite stuffing.  I always think I’m going to go back and make the sage dressing sometime; but, I’m always voted down!  Happy Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas!

German Apple Stuffing

1 loaf white bread in 1/2″ cubes

1/3 cup butter

1medium chopped onion

1/2 c chopped celery

1/4 c chopped celery leaves

2 T chopped parsley

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper

2 cups milk

2 eggs, beaten slightly

2 medium Red Delicious or Gala Apples, pared and chopped

1/4-1/2 cup raisins

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 6 cup baking dish.  Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until dry and toasted, about 5 minutes.  I sometimes just have the kids toast the bread in the toaster and tear it up small for me instead. 

2.  Transfer bread into large bowl.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. 

3.  Melt butter in saucepan.  Stir in onion, celery, parsley, salt and pepper.  Cook 3 minutes. 

4.  Pour over bread and stir.  Add milk and eggs.  Stir to moisten.  Gently stir in the raisins and apples.  Spoon into prepared baking dish.  Cover with foil.

5.  Bake one hour.

How to Plan Your Holiday Meal Preparation Timeline

Happy Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage 

I Started my Christmas Shopping This Morning!

 

Yes, it’s true.  I started my Christmas shopping this morning.  I found a wonderful yard sale with my dear girlfriend, Miss Sherry.  I found some nice Christmas decorations, some of which I’ll use, and some of which will be gifts.  I also found a few things that I’ll use before Christmas.  Now I just need to squirrel everything away until the right time! 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Laura of Harvest Lane

Thankful to Be at Home!

 

 

It’s Time to Start Thinking About Christmas!

Yes Friends, you read that right.  It’s April, and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas.  Think back a few months to the weeks and days leading up to last Christmas…. Were you stressed, worried about getting it all done, finding that you don’t have time to relax and enjoy the month of Advent, of looking forward to Christ’s birth?  Thinking ahead and planning ahead can make a major difference. 

Why in April though?  Most early planning starts in October.  Well,  I’m starting to think ahead because, as a one income family, money is always tight during the holidays.  Right now, in April, the most wonderful sales are taking place.  Where?  Yard sales, garage sales, rummage sales, tag sales, estate sales, thrift shops and flea markets.  If you’re diligent to hunt and careful in your selection, you can find some treasures that make thoughtful gifts for friends and family.  Most folks don’t mind a thrifted gift if you’ve been thoughtful and selective, choosing something they would enjoy.  You know, it truly is the thought that counts!  Starting early allows you plenty of time to find something special for your dear ones.  It also saves dollars and precious time later in the year when you’d rather be baking cookies, visiting with loved ones, or simply enjoying a quiet cup of tea and a good book or The Good Book.  It’s easier to focus on our Lord and Savior and His great love and sacrifice for us when we’re not focusing on the have to do’s.  Starting early, earlier, and earliest will give you the luxury to enjoy your Christmas season to the fullest.

So, ladies, start your engines…

Let’s go yard saling!

Blessings to you,

Laura

Happy at Home 

Writing Cards & Letters

Hi Friends,

Christmas is nearly a month past. 

 Have you finished mailing your thank you notes?  I’ve still a few left to finish. 

Have you responded to those cards and letters you received at Christmas that you would like to answer?

This is a good time to get those notes sent.  It’s also a good time to think about who you’d like to bless with a Valentine message expressing your love or friendship.  They’re not just for sweethearts, you know.

I’ve finished making my Valentine’s cards.  I’m now writing the messages for my friends and loved ones.  They’ll be sent on February 1st. 

If you didn’t send a Christmas or New Year’s letter, why not think about sending a Valentine’s letter?  Any time is a good time to show someone you care.

God bless!

Laura

Happy at Home

Greeting Card Thrift

Hi Friends!

Here’s my little project for the day.  I’m cutting the fronts off my Christmas cards to make postcards for next year.  Here are the U.S.P.S. requirements for postcards.

To qualify for First-Class Mail card rates, a card must be:

• Rectangular
• At least 3-1/2 inches high X 5 inches long X 0.007 inch thick
• No more than 4-1/4 inches high X 6 inches long X 0.016 inch thick

Length is the longest dimension parallel to the address.
Oversized cards will be charged as a letter or large envelope depending on the size.

I’m enjoying this bit of thrift.  Some of the cards will not make good postcards because of glitter or size.  I’ll use these as part of other greeting cards I make or use them in the scrapbook.   This will work for those Valentine cards that are coming your way soon, too. 

Let’s look for ways to save and bless people every day!

Your friend,

Laura

Happy at Home