Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas Stocking Traditions


“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.”
– A Visit From Saint Nicholas


These lines were written by Clement Clark Moore in 1823 and since then, the Christmas stocking has been a favorite of children (and adults) all over the world.  St. Nicholas became famous for putting goodies in stockings when he was trying to help a family with money.

Christmas Stocking Traditions and hanging stockings by the fireplace.

In our house, stockings are hung as part of the decor the day after Thanksgiving. The empty stockings remind us of what is to come on Christmas day!  We fill our stockings with all kinds of goodies, from small inexpensive fun items to the receipts of the big-ticket items that cannot be wrapped. The stocking is there for all!
Welcome to Day 12 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas

We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over a four week period with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!

GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!

It's Day 12 and we are ready to Hang the Stockings by the Chimney with Care!

Today I want to share with you Christmas traditions about stockings and maybe influence you to start some of your own! The Christmas stocking is our favorite tradition of all that we do throughout the holiday!


You can find stockings of all kinds. Ours is in the shape of an over-sized sock and personalized with a gold initial for each family member. My mother-in-law made gorgeous stockings for each grandchild that were needlepointed and had their names written out entirely across the top.

Our stockings are hung on each side of the fireplace, but in the past they have hung on the banister of the staircase, hanging from a shelf on a bookcase, hanging from a fireplace mantel that decorated our home (but no fireplace!!) and from the posts of our four-poster bed.

Christmas Stocking Traditions, handing stockings by the fireplace.


One of our traditions is to put a box of movie candy in the stocking for the movie we will watch or attend later in the day.  Office supplies are a big part of our stockings, especially when we were both teachers.  Often a fancy candy cane will appear or a golden Cutie in the toe of the stocking.

The stockings are the first thing we open on Christmas morning. Our daughter passes them out to everyone and then we open one wrapped stocking stuffer at a time, taking turns. It makes the stockings last longer!  Once we have opened all the stocking stuffers, all the stockings are restuffed with the gifts, the paper thrown away and the stockings set aside.

What traditions do you have in your family?

Scroll down for even more Christmas Stocking Ideas you can use this holiday season!






Wednesday, December 12, 2018

3 Ingredient Fudge

Oh, today you are in for a special treat! I'm sharing a Three Ingredient Fudge for Sweet Treat Day for the 12 Days of Christmas series and there are some outstanding sweets ready for you to enjoy!

Welcome to Day 11 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas
We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over four weeks with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!

GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!

It's Day 11 and we have been in the kitchen making something sweet to share!

round pieces of fudge in a silver pineapple dish


I have been looking forward to sharing this no-fail fudge recipe with you for the last week! It's simple, delicious and versatile. I made it for Easter using white chocolate chips, pink food dye and some delightful sprinkles!

3 Ingredient Fudge

1 7 oz can sweetened condensed milk (I found mine at Dollar Tree)
1 c dark chocolate chips (my favorite!)
1/2 t vanilla

Melt the chips and milk together in a bowl in the microwave for one minute. Stir until all the chips are melted and the milk is well incorporated. Add vanilla and beat well.  Refrigerate until completely chilled, about one hour.

Use a small scoop, scoop the fudge into balls and roll in a bowl of sprinkles.  This recipe makes approximately     balls.

If you want to double your recipe, use 1 regular sized can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 c of chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  All the other directions stay the same.

round pieces of fudge with green and red sprinkles in a decorated box


Scroll down for even more Sweet Treats to make this holiday season!




Monday, December 10, 2018

Ceramic Christmas Tree

Were you lucky enough to have one of the iconic 1970s green (or white!) ceramic Christmas trees?  If you were even luckier, was it made by someone you love?

Welcome to Day 10 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas
We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over a four week period with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!
GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!

It's Day 10 and we are sharing our Christmas Tree!


I shared my Christmas tree on Friday so I thought I would share my favorite of all Christmas trees, my ceramic tree!

This is MY green ceramic Christmas tree, made by my mom, Shirley Holt Oliver, in the mid-70s.  My mom used to spend some time with her friend Geneda on Saturday mornings with Mrs. Fitzgerald's Ceramic Shop in Bucklin, Missouri.  They made so many things, Halloween items, things for the garden (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and after awhile, people made offers to buy things from her. She had a careful hand and a little bit of personality!


It was fun talking to my mom about this tree. I didn't know how much she loved painting ceramics and now that makes this tree all the more special!




Friday, December 7, 2018

The ABCs of Christmas Gift Wrapping

I love seeing pretty packages under the tree.  My grandmother Oliver always wrapped her presents with nice paper and pretty handmade bows. She would find a sharp pair of heavy scissors and a big bunch of curling ribbon and make the longest curling ribbons to put on packages.  To this day I love to see curling ribbons on packages!

I'm going to share with you my ABCs of Christmas Gift Wrapping!  This makes wrapping presents a lot of fun.  Here we go!

Christmas Gift Wrapping with wrapped present and tools for wrapping



Welcome to Day 9 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas

We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over four weeks with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!
GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!

It's Day 9 and we are sharing Pretty Gift Wrapping Ideas!



A.

Using pretty paper, wrap your package using invisible tape. 


Christmas Gift Wrapping using washi tape

B.

Tie ribbons, string, washi tape or even decorated duct tape to accent the top of the package.

Tying on string, fresh greenery and tag on a christmas wrapped gift

C.

Tie on a label that says "to" and "from" or make this darling initial to place on your package! Using wire cutters, bend a paper clip into the first initial of the person who the gift is for!

Creating a tag from a paper clip


It is all about creativity here!  Look for coordinating colors and textures but don't be afraid to venture out on your own!

Wrapped Christmas present in white paper with a green fir branch and the initial A



Scroll down for many more Pretty Gift Wrapping Ideas!





Christmas Trees on Parade 2018

Welcome to the third Christmas Trees on Parade!  I am so excited to share these beautiful and heartfelt Christmas trees with you today!  Each year these bloggers share their personal trees with you and a few tips about how they decorate their trees.  Check out 2016 and 2017 Christmas Trees on Parade for enduring tips on tree decorating. Our special guest this year is Blooming Secrets, who will share tips on caring for a live tree!


My tip for tree decorating is to use ribbon!  There are many adorable ribbon ideas on Pinterest. This year I used a loop method that divided the tree into four sections. There are around 300 ornaments on this tree and this helped me spread them out more thoroughly!

Each year my tree looks different, even though it is the same tree and ornaments. This is the same tree that I used last year. Besides the difference in photography, the ribbon gives it a completely different look.


I divided the tree into four sections, cut an 18 foot piece of ribbon.  Starting at the top, I stuck the ribbon in the branches, then made a loop of ribbon and stuck that end below the first about 6 inches. I continued to the bottom where I let the ribbon stay untucked. I trimmed that end with scissors.  I did this same technique on the other three quarters of the tree.



Next, I tucked in the three large ribbons I purchased.


I added all the ornaments in these four sections.  After the ornaments were place, I draped this string of red beads on the tree.  The photo below shows how densely the ornaments were hung on the tree.


At night, when the tree glows inside and the lights sparkle against the ornaments, I am in wonder of our season and the birth of Christ. I hope you enjoyed my tree tour!  Please visit ALL the wonderful trees in the links below!  Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

DIY Spa Kit in a Jar

There is nothing more appealing that a day of relaxation during the stressful days of the holidays.  I don't know about you, but my budget isn't built to include a spa day at Christmas.  However, this DIY Spa Kit in a Jar is economical and so fun to make and to give!

glass jar filled with all kinds of spa items, tied with a red ribbon and a santa ornament



Welcome to Day 8 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas

We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over a four week period with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!
GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!

It's Day 8 and we are sharing Christmas In A Jar Ideas!



This DIY Spa Kit in a Jar is so ridiculously easy that it is a bit embarrassing to call this a "kit."  Here's what I did:

Step 1.

I purchased these items from my local Dollar Tree, because they are tried and true and I love them!

empty glass jar and lid and lots of different spa items

bath bombs (lavender)
nail polish
facial mask
lotion
eye mask
hair ties
cucumber pads
spa gloves
nail sponge
Jar with a lid (I like to get apothecary jars from the Goodwill Store!)
washi tape
ribbon
ornament

Step 2.

Fit in all of the items above in the jar.

Step 3.

Place the lid on the jar.  Secure with washi tape. Add a bow and ornament for decoration!  That's it!

The hardest part is making sure you give it as a gift and not keep it for yourself!  :)

Glass jar filled with spa items under a decorated Christmas tree


Scroll down for many more Christmas In A Jar Ideas you are sure to love!





Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday Decor: Mantles!

The mantle is the first thing I decorate each season at our house.  I think about ideas from October 1 on. I have changed it up and done a different design every year we have been married (41!) and I will probably never repeat a design!  There are too many beautiful ideas out there for mantles!

Fireplace mantle decorated with nutcrackers and greenery and a TV showing two christmas trees.


This year I decided I wanted to "shop my basement" when I decorated the mantle. I have so much Christmas decor that I decided to be frugal and decorate with things I already own.  I chose to use nutcrackers because my daughter loves them so very much!

Welcome to Day 7 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas

We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over a four week period with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!
GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!
It's Day 7 and we are sharing Holiday Decor Ideas!

To successfully decorate your mantle, I have five main steps.

Step 1.

Lay down your greens on your mantle. You can use fresh, a pre-lit one, or anything that you want, even fabric, across the mantle.


Step 2.

Determine where you need your height.  In the middle?  On the ends?  For me,  it is on the ends.  Our TV is only a foot from the mantle.  Distribute your decor across your mantle, tweaking as you go.



Step 3.

Add lights.  This year I chose to have twinkling candles instead of lights. I just love the softness of the lights this year!

Step 4.

Add a banner for instant interest and fun!  You can make one or purchase it, but try to keep the colors within your theme.


Step 5.

Add your stockings.  We hang ours on the side of the fireplace because we use the fireplace daily. 




And there you go!  So easy and you didn't even have to spend a dime!

Scroll down for many more Holiday Decor Ideas to create a festive atmosphere in your home!






Saturday, December 1, 2018

Deck Your Bod with Holiday Wear

When I ran across this adorable company called Shinesty, I knew I wanted to share their fun holiday styles with you, my Christmas readers!  This is not your tradition Holiday wear, these are fun, quirky and a little-bit-naughty Christmas clothing with a serious attitude!

Christmas tree, man and woman kissing in matching buffalo plaid pajamas

Shinesty reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously. There are so many memorable moments with the good people in our lives and these outfits help you capitalize on those moments.  You might love the Snowflake Suit or the Red Ryder Suit for men, with a matching wrap dress for women.  There are jumpsuits, wrap dresses and cute turtleneck dresses, too! 

Christmas tree, man and woman wearing matching buffalo plaid pajamas.

My favorite is this Lincoln Log Love Daddy Suit in a Christmas green and red plaid. There's a dress for mom, a little man suit and a little lady dress for the family.

Decorated Christmas tree with a man and woman standing side by side in matching buffalo plaid pajamas

Besides, there are some hilarious stocking stuffers to be had, too.  Take a look at the online catalog and find these goodies yourself!  You will also find cute holiday wear for your pet, too!

Decorated Christmas tree, with a woman looking adoringly at a man and wearing matching pajamas.

A review:  I got the clothing you see in our photos for free in exchange for my honest review.  First, I wear a 2X but the robe I am wearing is a Unisex size L. It fit me nicely with a little extra coverage and I loved it. The fabric is 100% polyester satin and it feels dense and luxurious. The style is Red and Black Lumberjack Buffalo Check. I highly recommend this garment.  My husband has a matching robe, in the same Unisex size L and the matching PJ bottoms. He loves that they are comfortable and warm.  We will definitely be back next year to see what new designs are on the market.
Living room decorated for Christmas with a Christmas tree, a couple wearing matching pajamas



Friday, November 30, 2018

DIY White Tree Ornament

Making ornaments for the tree is a holiday tradition for many families. You will want this gorgeous DIY White Tree Ornament on your tree this year. The bright white shows up so pretty on a green Christmas tree!

White tree ornament decorated with red and green sequins and pompoms hanging from a decorated tree

Welcome to Day 6 of the Fourth Annual 12 Days of Christmas Series!

DIY Christmas Ideas and Recipes you can use this year! DIY Christmas Decor and Games Ideas #12daysofChristmas

We have teamed up with 50 plus bloggers to bring you a oodles of DIY Ideas and Recipes to make your holiday season merrier. There are 12 different posts in the series and we have spread them out over a four week period with three posts per week. Now is the time to subscribe!

GO HERE for the complete list of Dates and Topics plus a collection of most popular holiday ideas including ornaments, games, recipes and more from all 50 plus talented bloggers!

It's Day 6 and we are sharing DIY Ornament Ideas!

For this DIY White Tree Ornament you will need the following supplies:

White Tree Ornaments (I found mine at Dollar Tree)
White tacky glue
red and green sticky sequins
red and green pom pom balls

Ornament supplies of white trees, green sequins, red sequins, red and green pompoms

Step 1.

Remove the packaging from the ornaments.

A hand holding a white tree ornament with decorations all around it

Step 2.

Open the decorations for the tree ornament.

A hand holding a white tree ornament and adding red sequins to the tree branches.

Step 3.

Attach the sequins on the tree branches.

A hand holding the tree ornament with red sequins on the branches

Step 4.

Attach the pom poms on the tree branches with the white glue

A hand holding a tree ornament decorated with red and green sequins and red and green pompoms

Step 5.

Let dry and hang on your tree!

A white tree ornament hanging from a decorated Christmas tree


Scroll down for many more DIY Ornament Ideas for your holiday season!