Come Bethlehem Morning…

Our Tree Topper Angel’s head is falling off.

 She’s been struggling in this state for over a week now. Olivia yelped every time she looked at the tree for the first few days, but after 13 trips to Target, and her mother never once remembering to buy a hot glue gun, she’s accepted that our Angel will face the morning just as she is.

Won’t we all?

Two years ago, I posted this and it remains my Christmas hope for you and for me.

And, finally, from the  prophet Isaiah, Gladys Herdman…and me

HEY! Unto you a child is born!

Merry, Merry Christmas.

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All Consuming

True Confession: I drove to The Other Target at 11pm last night, and yes, Princess Celestia was there waiting for me. But so was her less-freakish cousin Sparkly.

It was very serene being out in the late hours. A silent understanding passes between shoppers  – a mutual respect for each others commitment, insanity, and procrastination. People are kind and helpful, partially because they are half-comatose. I might actually convert to midnight shopping. (Hello first official Christmas as my mother.)

If you do have to shop today and are unsure what to get,  before you settle,  consider this:

Last year I read an article  about gift giving that mentioned a superstar talk show host who, on principle,  gave only consumable gifts. According to my vague memory,  it was either Oprah, Ellen, or Martha. It struck me that someone with massive resources and incredible access gave items that, if enjoyed, would disappear.

And then this past summer, some of my favorite birthday gifts were a bottle of wine, a  large chocolate bar  and a People magazine – each enjoyed immensely, each from different friends. I had previously attached a highert value to items  that you kept forever , but I’m changing my thinking…

Attention last minute shoppers: This town boasts The Peanut Shop, The Cheese Shop, The Wythe Candy Shop, and The Williamsburg Winery – all specialty stores filled with delightful, consumable gifts. What local food or wine shops are in your town?  Because they are specialty stores everything is packaged uniquely and the staff are usually helpful and knowledgable. Plus, giving a gift from your local place personalizes it almost as much as making it yourself. And when it tastes better, everyone wins.

And when your gift disappears by next month, you can be assured that the recipient enjoyed it completely, without worrying about where to store, wear, or display it…

What consumable gifts do you love to give?

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images: Pinterest

All She Wants for Christmas is…

My Little Pony.

 

All  that was left at Target  was

Princess Celestia.

And she frightens me.

It’s the eyes, I think. Or perhaps the wings… Regardless, I cannot have that in my house. The hunt continues…

What Great Toy Hunt hunt has taken you to multiple stores/sites this year?

Meet two of my best December friends…

 

The Crock Pot    

                                                                                                                 

   The 8oz. box of Cream Cheese

In December, I buy more butter, flour, and sugar than the rest of the year combined. I tend to use paper products. And oh how I love some Crock Pot Comfort Food.

My friend Jordan gave me two recipes a few years ago, both of which involved 8 oz of cream cheese, always a sign of something wonderful.

I made this the other day for Sophia’s birthday dinner (not for her, she opted for KFC drumsticks for her special meal.) I had forgotten how easy and delicious it was…This is a great one to throw in the pot before a day of Christmas craziness. Serve on rice and with a great salad. Oh happiness…

Yummy Crock Pot Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 – pkg dry Italian Salad Dressing mix

1- 8oz package cream cheese

1/2 cup orange juice

4 – tablespoons butter, melted

1- can cream of chicken soup

1/2 – tablespoon onion, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Wash chicken and pat dry, then place it in the crock pot. Pour melted butter over the chicken and salt and pepper it. Sprinkle dry Italian Dressing mix over the chicken and turn it over to coat it with butter and seasoning.  Let it cook on low for 5-6 hours. Mix soup, cream cheese, onion and orange juice together and pour over the chicken 1 hour before it is done. Stir the chicken and sauce all together until it is blended. Let cook remaining hour and serve over cooked rice or noodles.

I have no pictures, one: because I am a very poor food photographer as demonstrated here and here, and two: no one eats entrees with cream of chicken soup and cream cheese because of their appearance.

But I will give you something else to look at:

Behold. The Create-a-Crock. In case your CP wasn’t giving you enough, now you can provide your own design, in a color of your choice, with your own pictures.

 My life is now complete. (And Erin, yours will be too when you receive this late wedding gift with my face on it.)

Happy Slow Cooking and Comfort Eating Friends!

We have waited in LONG lines this month

to see the Holiday Lights at the Beach, conference with Santa at Yankee Candle, and drive through the Live Nativity at Sophia’s preschool. So, last weekend, just stumbling into a Christmas ritual unfolding in Merchants Square, felt like a Festivus Miracle.

Three actors present Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol from a tiny, portable set in the middle of Duke of Gloucester Street. This happens to be a CW Christmas tradition, but that night being surprised by it, by anything seasonal, made me giddy.

And Sophia and I agreed, that if we ever do acquire a mini-van…

it better be because it has a hitch to haul our traveling stage.

Hope your weekend is merry and bright. May you know when the lines are providing quality together time to discuss the meaning of Christmas, and when you just need to bail.

2006

This girl…

is five.

We celebrated at school.

We celebrated at home.

And we lit up candle- filled Colonial Williamsburg with Multi-colored Icicle lights, which, I imagine, could result in the Fife and Drum Corps hand delivering us a citation. But birthday wishes are birthday wishes…

 And, if you know my girl, and our lives, you know these lights feel like the most appropriate celebration of all.

Some Links and a Guest Post…

I’m going to disappear from here for a bit in order to put on a pageant, go on a Christmas Tree farm field trip, throw a birthday party, and [most likely] be in Target, again. The Target cashiers and I share the same glazed look, very similar to those W&M students taking their last finals…

And speaking of the students, in case you missed it…here’s the College Library Stampede Video, filmed here at the Alma Mater last week. I’m really posting this for my brother. It’s everything he would mock me about regarding William and Mary. And it’s all completely true.

I love Christmas Gift Lists. Mariah posted another great one here and Elizabeth highlights her favorites here.

And I recently discovered Erin Mcdermott Jewelry. Love her stuff. Love her site. (And apparently she has some Williamsburg roots…She may not be claiming them. Who would after the stampede video?)

 Five years ago this week I was 41 weeks pregnant and fully convinced that Mary did not ride a donkey anywhere in those final days.  I’m grateful for the chance to guest post about Mary in the Christmas series over at Long to Love

 Elizabeth has created a beautiful space over there. I’m honored to share Blogdom with her. (And be her friend.)

As I write, White Christmas is on loop on AMC. As it should be.

 Have a great week.