12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Day 12 – What’s Christmas Like Where You Live?

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl earlier this month. It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it on her blog. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

Today is the final day of the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge. Christmas has come and its already passed. I can’t believe it. I’ll admit that I’m both excited for the New Year, yet saddened because I don’t want it to be over. I love this time of year.

For day 12 the question is: What is Christmas Like Where You Live? 

I live close to Lake Michigan which means Christmas is generally frigid, in fact, it’s near zero degrees this morning and it’s very white outside! Growing up in this geographical location meant a white Christmas nearly every year.

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Where I live there are many Christmas activities to participate in. Roughly 30 minutes from our house is a designated area where everyone decorates their homes with stunning Christmas lights. You can simply drive through the neighborhoods or even get out and walk through all the decorations if it’s not too cold. It really is a site to see.

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A few years ago, we went to Chicago and visited Winter Wonderfest at Navy Peer. That was fun! You get to make a cookie, ice skate, visit all the different vendors and witness tons of Santa’s from around the world. There are even a few rides and a train for the kids to ride. Chicago in the winter is splendid. They don’t call it the windy city for nothing, even though that’s not why Chicago earned that name. 😁

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In our town there are many churches that offer Christmas Eve candlelit services where you can go and sing with others. There’s also a tree lighting where all the different community groups decorate their own tree. It’s so much fun to stand in the park and wait for lights to come on. Then Santa shows up with the parade and you can chat with him. After, everyone gathers at the fire dept. for hot chocolate and cookies. It’s a fun community event.

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At my house, Christmas starts on Thanksgiving day. We put up decorations and watch the parades. It brings in the Christmas spirit and the rest if the month we listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, read Christmas books, make Christmas cookies and do Christmas crafts–pretty much everything Christmas. On Christmas day we open gifts, eat lots of food, and enjoy family time together.

Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Day 12 – What’s Christmas Like Where You Live?”

12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge – Your Christmas Dinner Menu & Decorations – Silver and Gold or Red and Green?

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

Christmas is upon us and I still have 3 days to post on the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge. For days 10 & 11, I’m going to talk about #10 Decorations – silver and gold, or red and green, and also #11 Your Christmas Dinner Menu.


 

#10 – Decorations – silver & gold, or red & green?

I started thinking about this question a few days ago. I realized that our Christmas decorations are pretty much every color under the sun, and yesterday, I shared some of our decorations. I’ve included a link for you here.

I don’t feel like we’ve never gone with a color theme, but we do have more red and green decorations than silver and gold. I truly love decorating with traditional Christmas colors like blue, red, green, gold, and even purple. Gold hasn’t been a favorite, but when I see decorations like these in the following pictures, I want to switch it all up and go with silver and gold forever. These are stunning to me…

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I’d love to have a tree like this one below next year. What do you think? I love the way they incorporated the blue ornaments.

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Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge – Your Christmas Dinner Menu & Decorations – Silver and Gold or Red and Green?”

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Days 8 & 9 – House Decorations & Favorite Christmas Craft

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

I’m catching up, so today I’ll do days 8 & 9. I decided to go with #6 House Decorations & #9 Favorite Christmas Craft.

As far as house decorations, I LOVE to decorate. Growing up, my grandmother would deck out the entire house and I always looked forward to all the beautiful decorations. I believe she is the reason for my love of decorating and I hope that by decorating at Christmas, my kids will want to do the same for their families when they get older.

The Tree:

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Christmas Snow Globes: These are very special to me. I went to this sale in my home town and there was this elderly lady who was selling all of her stuff because she had to move somewhere else. She had the most beautiful Christmas decorations and I found these two snow globes. These are huge snow globes and from the pictures, you can’t really see the size, but I happen to know how expensive these can be because I used to work for The San Francisco Music Box Company in a mall near my old home town. She was asking $5 a piece for them and when I took them up to the counter, she proceeded to tell me how she obtained them. Her father had purchased them for her before he passed away. She turned on the music and began humming the songs. I promised her they were going to a good home and I think about her often. This first one lights up and plays music.

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This one lights up and has a button to automatically blow the snow. I think that’s such a cool feature!

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Poinsettia for the table

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Christmas records of course! Here’s one of my favorites of all time. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Perry Como.

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I found this person on YouTube that plays the entire album for you. Here’s a video of side two. I love this first song–just wait for him to start singing.

I truly appreciate that people take the time to make YouTube videos like this. You can watch and listen below if you’d like.

Vintage Ceramic Christmas Tree – This is a favorite.

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This is a bell spray that my grandmother would bring out every year. The bells twinkle on and off. 

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Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Days 8 & 9 – House Decorations & Favorite Christmas Craft”

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Day 6 & 7 – Favorite Christmas Cookie and Holiday Tradition

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

I totally missed day six yesterday and because I’m a little behind, I decided to combine day #6 & #7 together for this post. I’m going to start with #3 – Favorite Christmas Cookie and then #1 Favorite Holiday Tradition. Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my Christmas decorations!

*Favorite Christmas Cookie*

How can anyone choose their favorite Christmas cookie? There are so many delicious cookies at Christmas time. This year, we made cookies for friends and neighbors. We kept it simple by choosing to make easy sugar cookies, chocolate chip, and of course, baklava! I grew up having baklava for pretty much every holiday due to my Syrian ancestry. My uncle was always the one to make it for get-togethers. Luckily, I expressed interest in the recipe just before he passed away and this is now a tradition to make it every year and sometimes in between. 🙂 I’m so thankful that he shared the recipe with me and think about him every time I make it.

Baklava is made using filo dough sheets and sandwiched in between is a walnut mixture with cinnamon and sugar. You basically butter your pan well and start with a half package of filo on the bottom. You have to butter the sheets well as you layer. You then add a layer of the walnut mixture, then 3-4 more sheets of dough and continue the process until your mixture is gone. Finish with another half package of filo dough and butter well. I like to have some larger pieces and some smaller pieces. Usually I cut diagonals first, then verticals.

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After you cut the whole pan, you bake it around 325 degrees for about an hour. When you take it out, it’s nice and brown.

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Now you add the sauce which is made of honey, sugar, and water.

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It sizzles up after you add the sauce as the pan is super hot. This is my favorite part! Cool it completely before cutting and keep it in the fridge so you can eat it all week long. 🙂

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If you’d like my special family recipe for this baklava, contact me and I’ll send it to you!

Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Day 6 & 7 – Favorite Christmas Cookie and Holiday Tradition”

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge Day 5 – My Christmas Wish List

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

 

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

For day 5, I’m going to choose #4 – Your Christmas Wish List

As far as physical things, there isn’t really anything that I want for Christmas this year. I’m happy just to be here to celebrate with my family, but there are some things that are always on my wish list. I’ve listed them below…

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Here’s my Christmas wish list – 4 things that I wish for in no particular order.

1- Peace and happiness amongst mankind- I know there’s love in this world, but the hate is almost more than I can bear. Christmas time feels so full of joy and people begin to express more kindness to one another. Why can’t it be like this all the time? Sometimes I wish I could just snap my fingers and everyone would love and accept one another, or for once, I could turn on the news without being exposed to someone bashing someone else. Is it too much to ask that we try to love and accept each other no matter our likes and dislikes? Why not offer assistance to someone? Say something uplifting to someone just because. Rather than point out someone you think is negative, help them find a positive. There are many small steps we can take to try and make this world a better place. I’m far from perfect, but I am trying to heed this advice myself.

2- The complete eradication of cancer – We just received news that another one of my uncle’s has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The vast majority of the cancers in my family are rare and hard to treat and I can’t help but fear it myself. It’s taken so many members of my family and caused so much suffering amongst people everywhere. I pray that one day there will be a cure to end all cancers.

3- The end of animal abuse worldwide, including animal endangerment – It would be wonderful if we could live on this planet along with all the animals in harmony. Every week, my good friend Nel@Reactionarytales posts about an endangered animal and many, if not most times, these animals are endangered because we’ve done something to destroy their habitat, or they’re simply killed. In addition, there are countless animals that endure cruelty and neglect from humans worldwide.

4- For every child in this world to be safe and free to have a normal and healthy childhood – I read recently that childhood cancers are on the rise and also that millions of children have suffered from malnutrition in 2017 alone because they don’t have enough food to eat. This year there were so many child abuse cases in my general area alone, let alone all the cases worldwide. There is a massive child refugee crisis right now as I type this and children have been uprooted from their homes and exposed to danger, including war. Every child deserves to learn and grow in a healthy environment and to have their needs met. They deserve to be safe.

Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge Day 5 – My Christmas Wish List”

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Day 4 – Favorite Holiday Destination

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

For my 4th day I’m going with #5 – Your Favorite Holiday Destination.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” by Perry Como. In fact, I was just listening to it yesterday while playing my old Christmas records.

Lyrics:

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!

I met a man who lives in Tennessee, and he was headin’ for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie
From Pennsylvania folks are travellin’
Down to Dixie’s sunny shore
From Atlantic to Pacific
Gee the traffic is terrific!

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam
If you wanna to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly day
I met a man who lives in Tennessee and he was headin’ for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie
From Pennsylvania folks are travellin’
Down to Dixie’s sunny shore
From Atlantic to Pacific
Gee the traffic is terrific!

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!
For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!


I personally love being home for Christmas, but if I were to go somewhere else for Christmas I would choose a cabin in the snowy woods like the one below.

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I’m happiest in the winter when everything is white and love the snow.

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For me, snow makes Christmas extra special and I’m really hoping for a white Christmas this year.

Bowie is sure enjoying it!

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What’s your favorite holiday destination? Do you like the snow? Feel free to share your thoughts below. ❤

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge: Day 3 – Tree Topper – Angel or Star?

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

For my third day I’m going with #8. Angel or star tree topper?

Growing up, my grandmother always put a star on our Christmas trees. She used the same one here in this picture below.

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I love that the star on top of the tree symbolizes the star of Bethlehem from the Nativity and we’ve always stuck with it. I do adore angels on trees whenever I see them and we might try doing that for a change one Christmas.

Every year since 2006 I’ve had LED lights on my tree. We are huge energy conservationists, but last year, our LED star took a dump and lost half its color. So, this year, I ended up purchasing a basic incandescent lighted star. Here it is below.

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I have to admit that I’ll never lose my admiration for traditional Christmas lighting. It has the most beautiful glow. This year, I cheated and added in some clear traditional along with red LED lights and LED color changing globes.

Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge: Day 3 – Tree Topper – Angel or Star?”

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge: Day 2 – Favorite Christmas Movie

 

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

This is my second day and I’m going with #7.

7. Favorite Christmas Movie

This has to be one of the most difficult questions because there are so many awesome Christmas movies that we watch every year. I’m going to give a short list and then list my absolute favorite of all time.

  • Elf
  • It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (Mickey Rooney)
  • Home Alone
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • A Christmas Story
  • A Christmas Carol (Original and Disney)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Polar Express
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus is Coming to Town (you know, all those animated classics you used to have to wait for on local channels over the holidays).

There are so many wonderful Christmas movies and it’s hard to choose just one. This was a toss up between It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Prancer. Because I’ve talked about It Came Upon the Midnight Clear before, I’m going to choose Prancer. This was filmed near my hometown and it’s always been dear to my heart. Little Jessica reminds me so much of my childhood and the movie itself takes me back in time. It’s such a beautiful movie I think anyone can enjoy.

Prancer (1989)


 

So there are some of my favorite Christmas movies. What about yours? Feel free to comment below or jump on board to participate in this amazing 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge. Spread some Christmas cheer!

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Real or Fake Tree?

I came across this wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge over at Abbey’s blog threecatsandagirl.  It was originally introduced by abbeycoseattle when she presented it earlier this month. As soon as I saw this, I knew that it would be so much fun. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to share some Christmas cheer on my blog. I’d like to say thanks to both of these wonderful ladies!

christmas-blogging-challenge.jpg

~Rules~

  • Link back to Abbey’s original post here so that way she can see who all is joining and she can follow along.
  • Link back to any one of my posts in the challenge so that way I can follow along too
  • Save the image and join in for the fun!

12 Days of Christmas

I’m starting a little late so I may not follow these days above in the exact order. Today I’ll start with:

2. Christmas Tree – Real or Fake?

I love this question because it’s been a little bit of a dilemma in recent years for my family. Growing up, my grandmother always bought a real tree and an artificial tree wasn’t introduced until I was nearly in high school. So now that I’m an adult, I’d like to get a real tree so that my kids can experience the fresh Christmas scent and tradition. The issue is that we burn wood in our home for heat and my husband informed me that it just wouldn’t be possible because the tree would be in the same room as the wood burning stove and would dry up in no time.

Now, being my normal stubborn self, this year I really wanted to give it a go. I put up our artificial tree which you can see below, but I bought a real wreath from Costco to hang in the entryway to my home just to see how it would do.

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I’ve been spraying it daily to keep it moist and it’s already starting to turn brown in many spots just after two weeks. It doesn’t look bad in this top photo, but if you look closer…

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You can see how it’s turning brown and crispy and this isn’t even close to the stove! So, I guess he was right. He explained again that the issue would be a half brown-half green Christmas tree which would be no fun because I like to leave our decorations up from Thanksgiving day until January 14th, Orthodox New Year.

So, for now, we will stick with our artificial tree which I still love so much!

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Continue reading “12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge – Real or Fake Tree?”