Christmas Calendar Giveaway

I am a BIG Jacquie Lawson fan. And I know some of you are, too. If not… you just might enjoy visiting her website and checking out her e-cards and other goodies.

Last year Jacquie offered a fun digital advent calendar -a Christmas Village- to download onto one’s desktop, with different activities to be enjoyed every day until Christmas. Her graphics are outstanding.

And this year she is offering a new calendar, based on London and the famous Big Ben.

This is how these calendars are advertised: “Our digital Advent Calendar will bring a little joy to every day in the run-up to Christmas. Each day a new animation appears, building up to a delightful Christmas scene featuring the trademark jacquielawson.com quirky humour, delicate artistic style, and delightful Christmassy music.”

In the spirit of the Christmas season, I would like to share one of each of these beautiful advent calendars. Now, regular followers know how I feel about giveaways. They are few and far between on my blog. And my intention is not to drive traffic, but to reciprocate and get to know you better. So these are the rules to this giveaway:

1. Leave a comment on this post sharing what you and your family do during the Advent season. What has meaning for you and/or what do you enjoy most? If you wish, you can point readers to posts on your own blog related to how you prepare for Christmas.

2. “Me, too” or “would love to win” comments will not be admitted. In fact, they will be deleted. This is about sharing and celebrating the season. So we really want to hear from YOU!

3. I do not use a random generator. I don’t think there is anything random about you and me. 🙂 This is about relationships, so I will be completely subjective and will only respond to whoever truly reaches out and touches my heart. 🙂

4. In your comment you are allowed to indicate which of the two calendars you would like.

5. Even if you are a member of the Jacquie Lawson website and already own these calendars, you are still welcome to participate and share!

Recipients of this giveaway will be announced (and awarded) early Dec. 1st. We want you to enjoy your calendar right away!

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To kick off, I will share what I love about this season. For me, it is a time to slow down and enjoy family. Especially when the kids are around. We make time to decorate the whole house together, and we start to bake early in the month. With lots of Christmas music playing in the background. Which obviously encourages loud sing-alongs. Cookies form the basis of our gift-giving outside the family. So we bake A LOT. Every year we bake 2-3 batches of twenty different varieties of cookies. We keep a platter for our own Christmas table, and the bulk is wrapped (on small trays) and given to those who form part of our lives, from close friends to those who provide us with different services.

Gingerbread houses are also a big part of our celebration. We focus on children… young and old. Meaning you have to either be a child (and decorate your own gingerbread house) or give to a child. I bake and assemble the houses and then the whole family (occasionally with other friends invited, too) decorate them. The children (Julian and Alexia) in the family usually give their houses to a favorite teacher or school mate.

The only house for which we purchase a natural tree is for my mother’s. This is where we spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and where a lot of entertaining takes place during the season. We purchase the tree a couple of weeks before Christmas, on a Saturday. My mom prepares a big pot of chili, and the whole family gets together to trim her tree.

I love this season because where for many it is a very hectic time, because we have learned to take time and enjoy each other I get to spend a lot of time with my favorite people! 🙂

Ok, so your turn now… what do you enjoy about the season?

This entry was posted in Christmas, Giveaways. |Comments closed

26 Comments

  1. Posted November 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    We love to decorate for the Christmas season. We play Christmas carols and enjoy all the beautiful Christmas music of the season. I do love to send Christmas cards, as that is one way of keeping in touch with friends and relatives that we do not see often. We open our home and invite new friends and acquaintances over to get to know them better. When my children were little, one of our favorite things to do on Christmas eve was to sit around the Christmas tree, drink egg nog and eat M&M cookies while Dad read the Christmas story from the Bible. It’s a beautiful time of year to enjoy family and friends and to share the love that is truly the Reason for the Season. Thanks so much for offering the advent Calendar. I really love the Village.

  2. CArol Yonts
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Christmas. What memories and thoughts go through my head. It is a time of reflecting on the past year, how did I treat others, myself, family? Did I try my hardest to follow Christ in what I did. It is a time to share of myself, baking, baking, and more baking. I also do quilts, table toppers, hot pads, and wall hangings for the family. My children are grown and out of the home, but I have been blessed with raising my grandson as my son. He turns 5 this year and the wonder in his eyes as he sees the lights show up on house up and down the street make me smile. Each day, I try to add another piece of decoration to the house, either inside or out, and then wait for him to find it when he gets home. He bounces all around and laughs and giggles.

    Christmas in the past has been a painful time for me as my father passed 21 years ago, I have had two very bad breakdowns (bi-polar), and been through 2 nasty divorces. But, I refuse to be unhappy or disgruntled or negative. This is a birthday season. It is time to celebrate Christ’s birth by giving gifts to everyone I can. I may not have the money to get expensive gadgets but what I do give is from my heart and from my hands. The smile on their face is my thank you.

    I am hoping this Christmas season is a blessing for all of you in cyber-land. May you find peace, happiness and joy as you go through the next several weeks and stop and smell the poinsettias. Yes, they do have a fragrance!

  3. Inge
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Christmas is a special time for family and friends. Here in South Africa it is the middle of summer and also the long school holidays for our children. We are all going for a 2 week holiday in Mosselbay on the Garden Route and will spend Christmas day on the beach!

  4. Donna Lockwood
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Angie, when I was young my best friend was Italian-American. After midnight mass on Christmas Eve, we would go back to her home for a small Christmas celebration. Her mother always served minulatti’s (sausage rolls). I make them for my neighbors. Here’s the recipe:

    1 loaf of frozen white bread dough or homemade, thawed

    3-4 links of hot Italian sausage or 2/3 lb bulk sausage

    1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped fine.

    ¼ c. grated fresh Romano cheese

    Heat oven 425 degrees.

    Roll bread dough into rectangle on lightly floured board.

    Press sausage into dough evenly.

    Sprinkle with jalapeno peppers and cheese.

    Roll up into a jelly roll. Slice into ½” rounds.

    Move to UNGREASED cookie sheets.

    Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, or until browed. Watch carefully.

    Remove rolls from pan while still warm, because they will stick to pan if you don’t.

    I make special wreaths or stockings for my friends’ dogs and cats. I attach or include treats and toys.

    I use my embroidery machine to make free-standing lace ornaments to include in my Christmas cards: snowflakes, stars, bells, angels. They look like crochetted or tatted lace.

    Since we have lots of mistletoe in the trees where I live, we harvest some of it and send it to friends who live in colder climates. What would Christmas be without a few kisses under the mistletoe?

    My husband is turning small wooden ornaments on the lathe for the grandchildren to paint.

    I wish many blessings for you and your family. You are such a talented and kind person! Thank for all of the wonderful quilt patterns.

    I think both calendars are wonderful and would love to have one to share with my granddaughters.

    Donna, NC

  5. Pauline M Moll
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    My Mother died the day after Thanksgiving, my Father three months later. As I prepared to go home and clear out their many years together, I looked forward to having Mom’s Christmas hoard for celebrating the holiday. I entered the room where the holiday stash was kept and found….nothing. Bits and pieces of her treasure remained, broken reminders of her love of Christmas. Someone had gotten into their home and taken all her wonderful decorations, knickknacks, villages, people, lights, geegaws and folderol.

    Nowadays, I begin to prepare for Christmas the week of Thanksgiving. Making and sharing foods, making and sharing handmade items, listening to holiday music, sharing my Joy of it with all, right through the season. I may not have the items of Mom’s love but I have her love and share it as she would. Each year I wish whoever took Mom’s beloved items the love and joy she had of this holiday, believing they might have needed her reminders more than I. Not your usual way of addressing the season of Advent but certainly the intent of the time.

    Which calendar would I prefer should my words be accepted…..the first calendar. It is more reminiscent of Mom’s heritage.

  6. Nancy in IN
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I love Christmas, the lights and music. We put up a tree and decorate with ornaments that we have had for 40+ years. I love icicles but with the cats and dogs, I can’t use them; they are saved year to year. We bought a battery-operated train which goes around the tree; the grands, ages 20 months to 17 years, love to play with it. Three years ago I made Advent calendars for each family and every year I buy for 5 grands. I wrap all the gifts and number for each day. This year they went into a Nana-made pillowcase, one case for each. Each day they pick the gift.
    Thank you for sharing your talent with us. Merry Christmas.

  7. Vera Thomas
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    This year will be different than our past Christmas’s. We have always exchanged gifts, but the general concensus is not to do that this year. With our six children and nine grandchildren grown, we have decided to spend the time visiting, playing games, and snacking. This will take the stress of shopping off everyone. It got to the point that basically we were trading gift cards. Everyone should arrive relaxed and money ahead. I always decorate the house for the season which goes up the day after Thanksgiving and goes down the day after New Year’s.

  8. fiona osmond
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    This year will be the first year I don’t have to fit Christmas in between working days for 23 years. I retire tomorrow and am already getting excited about what I can do for Christmas Presents. Decorated towels, hot cocoa mix are just two of the things that I’ve started to think about.

    I used to love Christmas when the girls were little. I have to confess that I was awake way before them on Christmas morning and one of my memories of that time is putting a Barbie House together at 5am for them.

    I wish a merry christmas to all members of this list and hope it lives up you your expectations.

  9. Betty Edwards
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Christmas has always been such a joyous time of year for my family. I can remember those years with the girls in Brownie’s and we would be making dough ornaments.

    The first year we make all the decorations for our tree we just had to have a real tree because those ornaments were just so “homey” looking! Well that poor little tree! Goodness the branches were weighed down by those heavy ornaments but the girls were not going to let any of those ornaments be left out. So on the tree they went! You can imagine that tree was about 6 foot tall but a very full with limbs tree…those limbs cried all throughout the holiday! lol

    I was trying to think about the next year, now how could some of those disappear..well they couldn’t but we did add felt ornaments the next Christmas so it wasn’t too bad!

    You know you do something your family has always done and you just don’t think about what your kids are are gleaning from you! We always had a star on top of the tree…that’s because I was picky and couldn’t find the angel I wanted! So when my son married and their first Christmas my ddil wanted her lacy Victorian tree she always put up at home. My son did fight against it but she won in the end…BUT.. and that is a big BUT…lol…when she wanted to put just a pretty bow on top of that tree he put his foot down! No no there had to be a lighted star on top and it had to have colored lights! lol Well he won that one hands down! Then they get to my house for Christmas Eve gift opening with our entire family and the first thing my ddil, Marilyn said was “Look your Mom has an ANGEL on her tree top!” Boy was I in deep water…so every year I find a pretty angel and his kids and I try to put it on the tree but he always sees it not 3 minutes after we put it there! lol He still gets his star!

    I would like the first more traditional Christmas Village if I’m lucky enough! The Big Ben one is great also!

    Hugs,
    Betty Edwards
    aka CajunBear

  10. Jeanne Souder
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I am married to a US soldier and we are over in Okinawa, Japan. Our first Christmas here was so strange and sad. I’m from a big Italian family and used to cooking and having tons of people in the house over the holiday season. We are so far away from our family and friends. The second year we started opening up our home to single soldiers and young families. It felt like home again. This is our 4th Christmas here and we expect to have an overflowing house.

    I’ve been busy baking for several weeks now. We are sending cookie care packages over to the troops in Afghanastan to give them a little taste of home. So far I’ve gone through 40 pounds of flour. That’s a lot of cookies. lol

    We were brought up to treat Christmas as a season of giving and that is what we are trying to do. It makes your heart and spirit feel really good when someone leaves after dinner and gives me a big hug and says thanks for making them a part of our family.

    God Bless and Merry Christmas.

  11. Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Christmas has always been a special time of year for me and mine. A time of reflection, a time of family and a time of sharing. The past 3 years have been bittersweet in that it reminds us of the loss of our son in a tragic accident, but the memories of those 24 years bring much joy and peace. My dad is in the end stages of Alzheimers and the majority of the time does not even know me so what Christmases we still can share are near and dear to my heart. This year, for the first time, we will share Christmas with twin 4-year olds who have adopted us as their Grandparents and are looking forward to enjoying Christmas through the eyes of a child once more. Of course we haven’t grown up ourselves so this should be easy. I know that I can’t wait to teach them how to make potato donuts and share my family Christmas tradition with them.

    This year we have participated in the joy of giving back to the community by being involved in the local community college’s Honor’s Society’s Operation Christmas. In this program 23 local area families are being given baskets containing food, clothing, and household essentials. They are also being provided with artificial trees that can be used for many Christmases to come. My heart is full when I think of the smiles on the faces of those families who would have otherwise not had anything for Christmas due to being unemployed, single parents or illnesses.
    Thank you for allowing me to share my Christmas memories past, present and future. I love the Village scene, but whether I win or not, the opportunity to share means the most.

    A very Merry Christmas to you Angie. – Terri at the Drake’s Nest in Ossineke, Michigan

  12. Linda Broadbent
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Christmas is my very favorite holiday of the year and this says is all for me…”He came to pay a debt He didn’t owe, because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay”.

    We decorate the entire house so you can feel the spirit of the season. We put up 5 large trees and two of them are themed trees. My Irish heritage is one and the other is my love for grapes “wine”. I also have several other small trees in bedrooms, hallways, counters etc. I start baking cookies and goodies immediately after Thanksgiving. The family enjoys helping to add the decorations on the cookies. We give plates of goodies to our neighbors just for being there for us – whenever. We know they would do anything for us, so it is just a very small token of our appreciation in Thanksgiving for THEM. Then one of our biggest traditions is to have a “Stocking Advent Calendar”. The stockings are small sewn ones about 4″ in length. They are strung on a cord across our mantel. Inside each one is a sentiment, task, prayer, suggestion, to help another person that crosses your path that day. Inside the small sock is placed 4 to 5 (depends on how many family members you have) the suggested/recommended prayers, suggestions etc. so that each member of the family can get one. You are not to tell the person why or let them know that you are doing something for them. This is to be totally secretive. You can’t even reveal what you are to do to any family member. The point at the end of the season is that you have done good for someone else other than yourself! Which results in a “PASS IT ON ATTITUDE”. Looking for good and trying to enrich other peoples lives.

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas Angie! And thank you for your wonderful website. You are very generous in your giving!!

  13. Barb Engvall
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    My parents died almost 10 years ago and so it is just my 2 older sisters and their husbands and families and my hubby and me. We try to get together each year for Christmas even though one lives in CA, one in IN and one in WA. We value tradition so there are many things that we just ‘have’ to do each year!

    I make our grandmother’s cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning (after we have our stockings!), we decorate the tree together (even when we have Christmas after the 25th), my sisters and I wear matching vests that I made years ago (and are embellished with buttons from mom’s button jar) and we always use ‘the Santa Hat’. This is a hat that my older sister and I made one year – probably 50 years ago – out of some scrap red wool and a true cotton ball. It is shaped more like a dunce hat, but that doesn’t matter. We made it for Dad, as he always was Santa for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day present distribution. Each person waited patiently for a gift and we oooed and ahhhed over each item. As we grew up and started having Christmas at other places than our family home, The Hat came with Mom and Dad. Dad would start the distribution and then pass it on to the hostess, who in turn passed it on to the other sisters. Even with Mom and Dad no longer with us, I am the keeper of it and The Hat still makes it’s appearance. The hostess still starts and passes it on to the sisters, the brothers-in-law and now our grandchildren.

    We, too, love the Jacque Lawson site and having spent a bit of time in London, I’m looking forward to seeing come to life each morning!

    Thanks, Angie!

  14. Liz Tius
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    A Christmas tradition that we have enjoyed as a family for 28 years is riding the Christmas train in Stanley Park. We all meet for dinner at the same restaurant we have been going to for the same amount of time and then we are off to the train, rain,snow,sleet…we have seen it all.

  15. Linda Love
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Christmas has always been one of the happiest seasons of the year. When I was very young, my family always spent Christmas Eve with my maternal grandmother and all of her children and their children. My mother played the piano and her brother the guitar and we sang Christmas Carols much of the evening. It was wonderful! Santa came to visit and brought candy and laughter to all the children as they sat on Santa’s lap. Even some of the grown ups found it fun to give Santa a list of wishes. He would pass out some gifts and then make his get away. Good food and laughter filled the large gathering room. As we all grew older and had our own families most of us continued to return to my grandmother’s home for Christmas Eve celebration. After my grandmother died, we gathered in my aunt’s home and this continued until she was 90 years old. Times have changed in these past few years but we have wonderful memories of family times together, love and laughter filling every room of the home. I am the third generation, now 75 years old, and we continue to celebrate the birth of our Lord but getting families together, singing, and telling stories of days gone by. We all know whose birthday we are celebrating and make special time for praise and singing. I have never used the Advent Calendar but would love to start that as a family tradition.

  16. Bev Adcock
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Remembering the birth of Christ followed closely by time with family is the best part of Christmas. Much of our holiday rotate around the church’s annual Christmas dinner, Christmas cantata and Christmas Eve candlelight service. In between, there is a LOT of cooking, baking, shopping and wrapping. My mother always hated to wrap presents so always saved them for me to do. Now that we go to my sister’s house for Christmas, she does the same thing!

    My dad grew up very poor and they rarely got gifts for Christmas. But Christmas was his favorite holiday and he loved making it special for us when we were small. We weren’t wealthy either, but there was lots of laughter in our house and Christmas was always wonderful. One of his favorite gifts from my sister and I when we were in our 20’s was a “duplicate” picture of the 2 of us with Santa. It was based on one they had taken of us with Santa when we were 2 and 4. He laughed for almost 20 minutes.

    He has been gone for almost 14 years, but is never more alive for us than at Christmas. We remember how blessed we were and work to pass that on to his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

  17. Patti Ottem
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Our Christmas is now on the quieter side. Since our daughters live 4-5 hrs. away there isn’t a real tradition on Christmas Day. We may be at one of their houses or they may be at our house–not necessarily all together. I do decorate my house, in case we have visitors. But after Christmas is when the fun starts. Years ago, my husband’s family would all go to the family farm in Colorado. As each of the children married and began to have children of their own, we decided that we each needed to make our own traditions on Christmas day. We all get together usually a week after Christmas for a big dinner –my SIL and BIL make the ham and turkey and the rest of us bring the sides and desserts. Although my in-laws are gone, we still meet and there are grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the bunch of 40 to 50+ people. The neighbors even drop by for some pie. We also have a take away gift exchange, where we are allowed to take someone else’s present 2 x’s in a round. I know my FIL and MIL are smiling from above and are glad to see us all still getting together and having fun.

  18. Irene Pratdesaba.
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Esta vez prefiero poner mi comentario en español. No creo poder expresar en inglés claramente mis sentimientos.
    En mi familia comenzamos a esperar la navidad con entusiasmo desde el primer domingo de Adviento. Asistimos a Misa, y por la noche en casa, encendemos la primera vela de nuestra corona de Adviento, rezamos y damos gracias a Dios por las bendiciones recibidas.
    Cada semana asignamos a una persona diferente para las lecturas, entre mi esposo, mis dos hijas que viven aún con nosotros, y yo; y así vamos encendiendo las cuatro velas hasta llegar a la más importante en Nochebuena.
    Mientras tanto, mis hijas acostumbran hornear muchas galletas para sus obsequios, y procuran que yo no las “ayude” mucho pues caigo en la tentación de comerlas, y no debo hacerlo por mi salud.
    Con mi esposo aprendimos a elaborar “Stollen” con una receta especial, en un centro naturista al que acudimos. Difiere un poco de la receta original ya que lleva harina integral, y se utiliza linaza para sustituir los huevos, pero queda verdaderamente delicioso. Horneamos varias piezas, reservamos unas para consumir en casa y obsequiamos otras. A mi esposo le encanta amasarlo con las manos, le queda muy suave y delicioso.
    La decoración de la casa la realizan principalmente mis hijas, ya que yo dedico mucho tiempo a coser para terminar obsequios -que casi nunca termino a tiempo- Dentro de la decoración es importante, además del árbol que usamos artificial, elaborar un Nacimiento con imágenes de la Sagrada familia, pastores y los Reyes Magos. Para el nacimiento es muy tradicional usar ciertos adornos como pino, manzanilla y otras hojas que se compran en mercados especiales de la época, y aportan un aroma característico a los hogares. La imagen del “Niño Dios” se guarda escondida, para colocarla en Nochebuena como símbolo de que el Niño “ya nació”
    A partir del día 14 y hasta el 22, realizamos una “Posada”. Tenemos una pequeña anda que decoramos y en ella llevamos una imagen muy pequeña pero preciosa, de San José y María, que va sentada en un burrito, pidiendo posada. La llevamos cada noche a casa de diferentes familiares o amigos que desean recibirla, y allí oramos, cantamos y pedimos al Señor bendiciones para la familia que la recibe; el 22 regresa nuevamente a nuestra casa, donde hacemos una alegre reunión con todos los que han participado.
    El día 23 lo dedico a preparar los “Tamales” que serán nuestra típica cena de nochebuena y desayuno de Navidad. (Y casi siempre, de la semana siguiente… nunca calculo bien y me salen demasiados, hasta tengo que congelar algunos, pero mi familia encantada con eso!)
    Con ayuda de mis hijas los elaboramos de forma especial, con pavo y un recado muy bien sazonado, y toda mi familia dice que nos quedan deliciosos. De éstos llevo algunos a casa de mi madre, con quien viven nuestros dos hijos varones mayores y mi hermana, con su hija. Esto lo hacemos el 24 por la tarde, para visitarla y dejarle su cena de nochebuena. Los tamales acostumbramos acompañarlos con Ponche de frutas, una bebida caliente a base de piña, manzana, ciruelas, pasas y especias, y de la cual, por supuesto, cada ama de casa tiene su toque “secreto” que lo hace diferente del de la vecina. Es casi una competencia probar los tamales y el ponche de varias casas para opinar cuál es el más sabroso. La verdad, es que todos los son!
    Por la noche del 24 asistimos a la Misa, y luego en casa cenamos, esperamos las 12 escuchando música o viendo alguna película navideña en TV. A las doce quemamos cohetillos y fuegos artificiales, y después de la algarabía, colocamos la imagen del “Niño Dios” en el Nacimiento, rezamos, damos gracias a Dios por las bendiciones recibidas durante el año, y luego repartimos los regalos que hemos puesto bajo el árbol.
    En la mañana de Navidad, muy desvelados, calentamos los tamales y el ponche sobrante, y nuevamente el aroma se esparce por la casa despertando el apetito.
    A las doce del medio día, del 25, nuevamente se acostumbra quemar cohetillos, pero nosotros casi no lo hacemos. Para nosotros es tradición desde que tengo memoria, que mi familia paterna se reúne a almorzar en casa del mayor de la familia. Un almuerzo “pot luck” , o como nosotros lo llamamos, “de traje”. Yo traje ésto, tú trajiste ésto… etc. y en donde nunca faltan unas botellas de buen vino español, servido en copas, o en el tradicional “porrón” con el que mis primos y sobrinos hacen competencia y exhibición de quién puede tomar sin mancharse.
    Esta tradición se mantiene porque la familia de mi padre, de origen catalán, es muy pequeña. Quizá seamos unos 40, de los cuales nos reunimos unos 20, y ésta es nuestra reunión más importante del año.
    Ya cansados, a las 6 de la tarde nuevamente se queman fuegos artificiales, y así termina el día de fiesta, estrenos, buenos deseos, alegría de verse y compartir, y nos preparamos para descansar y esperar la llegada del Año Nuevo.
    Aprovecho este mensaje para hacerte llegar, como siempre, mis mejores deseos y que el 2012 te encuentre recargada de energía. Bendiciones para tí y tu familia! Con mucho cariño,
    Irene.

  19. marina genovesi
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    I miei genitori si sono separati quando io ero piccola, sono vissuta con i nonni paterni. Mio nonno faceva ogni anno un albero di Natale meraviglioso, ho dei ricordi stupendi di lui ( che è mancato a marzo di quest’anno) io e mia sorella a decorare l’albero. Passavamo un intero pomeriggio a mettere luci, palline, angeli e biscotti.
    Quando mi sono sposata ho continuato, per me e i miei figli ,a fare l’albero, e ci è piaciuto così tanto che gli alberi sono aumentati e ne abbiamo uno in ogni stanza della casa. Ogni stanza un colore diverso, e con decori tutti handmade! Il Natale mi commuove sempre, ed ora sono io la nonna a fare l’albero con le mie nipotine, a cucinare con loro i biscotti, a decorarli con la glassa e appenderli ( oltre che a mangiarne un pò!) a insegnare loro come fare cuori e stelle.
    La vita continua e questo è bello.

  20. Marianne
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    For me and my DH, December is a family month. We are visiting every Advent Sunday one of the siblings. Christmas eve we are at home only the two of us and Dec. 26 we do have a dinner for friends. (In the Netherlands we have an extra free day) Maybe this year will a little bit different because a dear friend of us has breast cancer so maybe we can help her through these days in another way as usual.

  21. Julie Kaller
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Our family has some traditions that we share each holiday season. First of all, we must have the baked ham, Norine’s scalloped potatoes, green Jello salad, and homemade rolls each year. Since my husband and I live in the house his father built, we feel that enjoying the same fare that has been prepared in this house for the past 65 years is important. His parents are both gone now and all I have left is my 88 year old mother, so these traditions are important. Besides, my children would never forgive me if I changed the menu on them now! We also have our family ‘game’. I spend a few months before Christmas buying all sorts of goodies. Items could include stockings, Ipods, boxes of candy, Legos, hair products, puzzles, gift cards to Starbucks, mens tools, make-up, jars of sweets, DVD’s, CD’s, slippers, etc. The list goes on and on. I usually have over 100 gifts for the game. Then we all take a seat on the floor, in a large circle. We pass 2 pie plates, with a pair of dice on each plate. When my husband says, “Go”, the family rolls the dice on the pie plate. If you get a double of any number you take a prize from the center of the ring. The plates are passed around and around, until all center prizes are gone. I then set the timer for 5 minutes. The game continues, only this time you can take a prize from soneone else. The rule is you cannot leave someone without a gift. After the five minutes is up, everyone tears into their presents. Sometimes my sons may receive a bottle of perfume, or my daughter may receive a flashlight set, so gifts are traded. Good deals and a bit of haggling goes on. Everyone loves it. Lastly, we ALWAYS take a family picture. This is important because we never know who will not be with us the following Christmas. Lastly, we have holiday music playing all day, which makes for a special day. This is how my Christmas is spent and will probably continue on until even after I am gone.
    Julie Kaller

  22. frederique
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    noel pour moi …………. des souvenirs d’enfance , entourée de mes grands parents, et mes parents, avec à mon réveil la recherche du morceau de gateau que j’avais laissé pour le père noel, et que bien des années plus tard j’ai su qu’il avait fait le régal de mon papa
    souvenir de noel seule avec ma maman à pleurer sur ces genoux
    souvenir de cette poupée dont j’avais révée, une poupée blonde avec des anglaises, et que je n’ai pas eu
    puis plus tard noel avec mes enfants, à essayer les jouets en cachette, entourée de mes parents et beaux parents, que je ne laissais jamais seuls ce soir de noel
    souvenir aujourd’hui d’un noel bien triste seule avec mon mari, sans nos enfants, qui passent noel en famille sans nous, retour de ce chagrin sur les genoux de ma maman, cette famille qui me manque tant, noel entouré de nostalgie, noel sans les yeux des enfants, mais avec un regret de ne pas av oir assez communiquer la joie d’etre ensemble

  23. angela
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    weihnachten ist für mich und meine familie etwas ganz besonderes, wir lieben es unser haus zu schmücken und sitzen jeden sonntag um den adventkranz und singen lieder. die adventsonntage genießen wir, indem wir spiele zusammen spielen. meine töchter sind 20 und 28 jahre alt, ihre freunde verbringen auch diese tage bei uns.
    ich liebe es, wenn der duft von selbstgebackenen keksen durchs haus zieht, bratäpfel und maroni im rohr vor sich hin schmoren.
    wir versuchen diese zeit gemeinsam etwas ruhiger und besinnlicher zu gestalten.

  24. lisa
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    The weeks before Christmas I use to decorate our apartment with branches and put “spicy oranges” (with cloves) on the tables.
    The weekends we spend visiting some of the Christmas markets nearby (we live in Germany).
    Last year advent time that was wonderful with plenty of snow!
    Holy evening we use to take a long walk along the riverside before preparing our Christmas Eve’s dinner (mostly roasted duck 🙂 ).
    After dinner, it is “gifts time”.
    The 25th is “family day” – we are enjoying being visited by our son and his family (unfortunately, my mother and father and the whole rest of my own family have already passed…).

    Last year I could not resist buying Jacquie L’s wonderful calendar (and so many friends admired her artwork since) – this year I would be very happy to possibly win the new one. But anyway:
    My best wishes to you and all for a warm and merry christmas!

  25. Kd
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Christmas is quiet now family-wise, but rich friend-wise, especially with our church family. This weekend we will decorate the church building for Christmas with this important “family”. The next weekend our plans are to attend a Christmas play at our friend’s church and get together afterward to break bread and visit in the holiday spirit. These get togethers are such an important part of this season when family is far away. I so appreciate my friends year round, but there is a satisfying closeness with them during the holidays that warms my heart and makes the true meaning of Christmas a reality, because Jesus IS the Reason for the Season!

  26. Pam Duxbury
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    One year my sisters and my daughter and I got together to create a quilted advent calendar. We all quilted them by hand. Considering we had never done any quilting before we started easy and bought cheater panels. We all finished them, not all in time for Christmas that year but they did get finished. Having moved away from my family and in with my daughters family, we get out the advent calender and hang it when we decorate the tree at the end of November. We serve hot cocoa and put candy cane and marshmallows in it turn up the Christmas music and remember not only the people who live far from us but also the ones who have departed from us as we unpack the decorations and ornaments. Thank you so much for having this give away and helping us to remember what we do and why we do it.

  • Angie Padilla

    I am a self-learner. I taught myself to sew and to quilt. And I taught myself how to draw. I am learning how to dye my own fabrics and am dabbling with mixed media. I am a quilt designer and teacher, and design and publish my own line of quilt patterns. With this blog I would like to share the bits and pieces of my life.

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