/*from pinterest*/
The Christmas Chronicles

The Christmas Chronicles

This year, Netflix produced “The Christmas Chronicles” and it’s the best holiday movie I’ve seen in a long time.

There are nights when I can’t sleep and Netflix is my drug of choice. So, on one of my sleepless nights, I scrolled through the Netflix offerings and found this Christmas movie starring Kurt Russell as Santa. And what an excellent Santa he is! Cool and macho and I love that coat!

I’ve watched the movie twice more with Rolf and we are both hoping we’ll be able to buy this one on Blu-Ray and put it in our Christmas Collection.

The basic premise is this: two siblings are left alone on Christmas Eve because their mother has to work in the Emergency Department at the hospital and their firefighter dad died last year. Teddy, a teenager, is unimpressed with having to babysit his younger sister Katie, but she concocts a plan to catch Santa on video and Teddy helps out.

The two kids end up in the back of Santa’s sleigh and cause Santa to have a near crash with a Boeing. Santa loses his hat, his bag of toys and his reindeer. The rest of the film deals with finding those items and saving Christmas.

There’s a car theft, a car chase, a reindeer chase, and Santa ends up in jail where he performs a blues “Santa Claus is Back in Town” with a cell-full of accompaniment. The police get the Christmas spirit and release Santa. Eventually, all is put to rights, the good guys triumph and the bad guys get coal. And the ending has a surprising and charming cameo that I know you’ll love.

I’ve read some of the serious critic reviews and many of them like to diss the movie. But on sites like the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) the user reviews are mostly positive. When I looked this morning, the overall rating was for 7.3 out of 10.

For me, the movie was heartwarming and enjoyable, even without eggnog. Don’t pay a lot of attention to the naysayers. Watch “The Christmas Chronicles” yourself and make your own decision. Bah Humbug to the critics.

Have you seen “The Christmas Chronicles” yet? Do you like binge-watching Netflix movies? What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Image from imdb.com

Simple Gifts – Child’s Artwork

Simple Gifts – Child’s Artwork

A child’s artwork, particularly a very young child’s artwork, can make a great Christmas gift.

All you need is:

  • The masterpiece — or a section of it
  • A clip frame (see Michael’s or similar craft store)

The clip frame looks like this:

Put it together and you get this:

child’s artwork

This little artist is not yet two years old, and already So Talented!

(Yes, I know, I may be somewhat biased . . . )

When my kids were little, and all these colourful pieces of artwork came home, they ended up on the fridge and on various bulletin boards. After a month or so, new artwork showed up and replacements were made. Nowadays, many fridges no longer have a metal front. Hence, magnets on the fridge are no longer an option. That’s just sad.

Another use for these artwork pages would be as notepaper for a letter to be sent in the mail. The Mail, as opposed to E-mail or text. Mailing an actual physical letter is a cumbersome process. It involves finding an envelope and a stamp and finding a writing instrument such as a pen, pencil or crayon. It also necessitates a trip to the post office or a mailbox. And so, it’s not often done anymore.

I imagine at some point, they will invent transporter beams and these pieces of art could be sent using that technology. In fact, while they are developing the technology, artwork might be the thing to practice on.  If anything goes wrong with the transmission, there is always more artwork!

And in the meantime, I think it’s fun to preserve a few pieces with this simple framing method.

More ideas for Simple Gifts

  • A Bottle of Wine – find it here
  • Soup Mix in a Jar – find it here
  • Cookie Mix – find it here
  • Tea – find it here
  • Poppycock – find it here

I hope you are enjoying the lead up to Christmas. Happy crafting!

artwork by Bob

On Christmas Day in the morning

My sons and their families were at our house last night to celebrate Christmas Eve with our traditional “Deli Night” of Westphalian ham, tea sausage, zwiebel mettwurst, Appenzeller, Camembert, meat salad, herring salad, Caesar Salad, Tilsiter cheese, buns (especially “salt sticks”), various salamis and devilled eggs.

There was also a “Happy Birthday” cupcake and a blue candle for Bob’s first birthday. And Crave gingerbread cupcakes and lots of other desserts.
After the feast, we opened gifts. Bob needed help opening his tool set. He was more interested in practicing walking, exploring our house, and digging in the coffee tree. (Yay for dust busters!) I also gave him a book—Pride and Prejudice, a board book about counting—to introduce him to the classics.

This morning, we are all quietly celebrating our own Christmas Days.

Last night, Christmas Carol brought two kinds of homemade granola: Coconut Granola with  Fig,  Almonds & Rhubarb, and Crazy Town Granola made of oats, almonds, Heritage flakes, Chia and other stuff. There is also a jar of strawberry blueberry Cereal Topper.
So this morning’s quiet breakfast was the Crazy Town Granola and strawberry blueberry sauce in my Denman Island cereal bowl with a cup of Admiral Grey from Tea Traders.
Christmas morningAt the moment, there is light snow and it’s minus 15. The walks have been shovelled, at least for the first time today. All is calm.

I’m looking forward to some writing time before meeting Rolf for a lunch of leftover deli. Then maybe some jigsaw puzzle time and maybe a walk in the snow. Supper will just be the two of us and stuffed turkey breast, cranberries, baked spuds and veggies. And some of the Hornby Island Wild Blackberry Dessert Wine.

Tomorrow, on boxing day, the whole family will meet again for “Lasagna Night”.

I hope you are all enjoying a peaceful Christmas Day.

Canadian Winter

Merry ChristmasThe weather office brings good news, telling us the extreme cold will let up on Sunday. I miss doing “buggy walks” in the park with Baby Bob and Makita, the Labradoodle.

I’m avoiding stores at this time of year. Often, after I swim at the Y, I like to go to Starbucks for a latte and I like to wander around Chapters, looking at all the books. But at this time, pre-Christmas, both places seem overwhelmed with rushing shoppers. And that is definitely not relaxing!

For the most part, my Christmas prep is done. But then, I don’t go overboard. We went to the forest on December 3rd and got our trees. And we had decent weather for that, hovering around freezing. We even had a picnic in the sunshine beside a frozen lake. The next day, it was minus 28 Celsius.

(Translation for my American friends: – 28 C = -18.4 F)

Meanwhile, three of my sisters are in Cabo in +28 Celsius. But they will soon be returning to the Canadian winter. Brrrrrrr!

The presents are bought. (Just little token things, nothing extravagant.) I still need to wrap them. Maybe I’ll get Rolf to do that. The menu is the usual Deli Night for Christmas Eve. It only involves going to the store and collecting once-a-year delicacies. Plus, I’ll probably make some salads. The whole family loves Deli Night.

The next day, my sons and their loved ones will each spend Christmas Day with their own traditions. Rolf and I will go for a walk, do jigsaw puzzles, relax and have a quiet no-fuss supper. Then the next day, the whole family will meet again, this time for lasagna and Caesar salad, and we’ll get to play with Baby Bob’s toys.

On my “home” tab this year, I have collected some of my favourite “Christmas posts” from other years. (If the home tab has changed, you can just click on the Categories list and choose Christmas.) I find it fun to go back and reread, and I hope you do too. 🙂

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

ornaments from bigstockphoto.com #109271081

A tiny star

A tiny star

“A ray of hope flickers in the sky
A tiny star lights up way up high
All across the land dawns a brand new morn
This comes to pass when a child is born”

Yesterday, on December 24th at 12:30 pm, our first grandchild was born.

Rolf and I knew it would be a while before Mom, Dad and baby were moved from the Delivery Room to the Postpartum Ward, but we went to the hospital to wait in the lobby. All around us, people were rushing home, saying Merry Christmas to each other. We got coffee and waited. It seemed to take forever but it was only about two and a half hours. Finally, we got a text from our son saying they were moving to the ward.

We took the elevator to the fifth floor, found the Unit, found the Nursing Station and got signed in. And then we went into the room and saw the baby in his mother’s arms. Now—and this has nothing to do with being even slightly prejudiced—he is the most beautiful child I have ever seen. He was all bundled up and wearing a little cap. He was awake and looking around. And his little nose is so cute.

I held him for a few moments, this tiny little boy. I was about to hand him back to his mom when Rolf said, hold it, and he took the baby in his arms and got his snuggle. We didn’t want to stay long because the parents had been up all of the previous night and now it was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

I can hardly begin to describe how blessed we feel this Christmas.

I wish you could all be as happy as I am now. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Star from bigstockphoto.com #3743103

Simple Gifts – A Bottle of Wine

Here is a simple gift to make for Christmas.
You will need:
  •  bottles of wine
  • some address labels
I have always wanted to make wine—or at least, I thought I did. What I really wanted to do was design the label.
So just buy some of your favourite wine, and soak off the labels. Then design your very own label.
You can purchase large address labels at Staples or a similar business supply store. Sometimes you can even find labels that are shaped specifically for a wine bottle, but the large size address labels work as well.
Then you can either freeform your design with markers or crayons, or you could create something on your computer so you can print a bunch of wine labels. Add a pretty bow and voilá, you are finished.
Here is my label:
wine labelsOf course, you don’t need to design a special label. A bottle of wine is always a great gift. Especially once it’s opened and shared with a friend.
And I suppose, since it’s so close to Christmas, you could just get the wine and let everyone make their own label. That’s right. A label-making party! If you allow a couple of extra bottles of wine for drinking while labelling, this is bound to increase the creativity of the labels.
Last year, I posted some other Simple Gift ideas.
Soup Mix in a Jar – Find it here.
Cookie Mix – Find it here.
Tea – Find it here.
Poppycock – Find it here.

These Simple Gifts are suitable for any occasion, not just Christmas. So once you are in gift making mode, make lots.

Only five more sleeps until Christmas Day. Are you ready for the celebration? Have you ever wanted to design your own wine label? Have you ever wanted to host a wine-labelling party?