Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!

As 2009 comes to an end tonight I would like to wish all my blogger friends a very Happy New Year's Eve!

My day will be spent fixing some goodies to eat for our at home celebration tonight. My hubby and I plan to relax and watch some movies on DVD while we welcome the new year. We have been blessed with love, luck and laughter throughout our lives. Thank you for following my blog and leaving such lovely comments. I've had fun blogging so far (just started Nov. 15 this year!) and look forward to blogging in 2010.

I love this atomic clock we purchased through LL Bean this year. As you can see we originally bought it for our screened in porch but we moved it into the house for winter. It is an out door clock and I think I will get a second one for the porch so we can leave this one in our family room. What we love is that it is an atomic clock so it is one less clock we (uh hubby) have to change for Day Light Saving Time.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Isn't SHE Cute?

Another favorite Christmas decoration of mine...and another craft fair purchase.   Hubby and I went grocery shopping today for the food items we need for New Year's Eve and Day.  Our meals are planned and we are looking forward to eating well over the next couple of days.   Now I must remember to set the DVR to record the New Year's Day parade out in California.  The last couple of years I have been watching the parade on HGTV - because it airs without commercials!  This afternoon I hope to do some crocheting.  Just before Christmas I bought some new yarn and I want to try to make a pair of wrist warmers.  Just a note - the doll above is sitting on my Mother's table that she had made in the 1970s - the marble top came from another table that passed down from my paternal grandparents.  The lamp (you can just see the base of it) was made by my paternal grandfather from the wood of bald cypress trees from the swamps of Florida.  What do you plan to do for New Year's Eve/Day?      

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Teddy

Hubby and I were so glad to be home and sleep in our own bed again.  Not that the bed at the hotel was uncomfortable but it's just good to be home.   The sun is shining today and it's 33 degrees F. out.  The weather channel is forecasting snow/rain mix towards the end of the week.  Our Christmas with family was so lovely and we had such a great time.  I wish we all could live closer together.  

Now I have to plan our meals for New Year's Eve and Day.  I usually decorate our kitchen island and put out the food while we watch new DVDs as we wait for the New Year.  We got a Blu-Ray DVD player this year so we got a few new Blu-Ray DVDs to watch - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Night at the Museum - Battle of the Smithsonian, Star Trek - Season One, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the two Transformers movies.   Now to choose which ones to watch New Year's Eve. 

By the way,  I decided to drop the "Two Thousand  ten" year designation and start saying "Twenty ten"  going forward for next year.  What about you?   Do you have a preference?  

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Plates

I found these three melamine Christmas themed dinner plates at Target a few years ago.  Don't they go nicely in my plate wall hanger?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beanie Baby Christmas

Every Christmas I set out my Christmas Beanie Babies around the house.  This year they decorated our staircase.

We're wrapping up our visits with family today and tomorrow we are heading home to celebrate our Christmas.  Hope all of you had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Angel Blessings!

Our Christmas Angel sends blessings to all of you and your loved ones on Christmas Eve!  

We're spending Christmas Eve with my brother and his family and Christmas Day with my Hubby's brothers and their families.   May your hearts be happy and your wishes be granted this most precious of holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas JOY!

Our snowman sends J.O.Y. to all my blogging buddies!


And these vintage Santas and Reindeer hope you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!  

I can't believe it been a little over a month since I started blogging!  I have met so many new blogging friends and been overwhelmed by the wonderful and gracious comments left by all of you!  
God Bless Each And Everyone of You!  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Silver Spoon Snow Angel Ornament

In an earlier post showing my Christmas Bunny Tree Topper I mentioned this beautiful silver spoon painted with a Snow Angel by Laurie's Charming Designs.  One of my readers asked if I could show a better photo so here it is.  I just love this ornament.  I ordered this one for myself and three others to give to my SILs for Christmas last year.  Isn't Laurie talented!  And she packaged the ornaments in her beautiful hand painted wrapping.  I felt so special to get such a lovely wrapped package.   Thank you Laurie!   

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas by Night

This is our living room decorated with the slim (cheap $25) Christmas tree I bought from Target.  I think this year I will try leaving the lights on it when I put it in storage - so it becomes a "pre-lit" tree.  I apologize that this photo isn't as sharp as it should be - I took it not using the flash but was too lazy to get the tripod out.  It's amazing how a little movement can take a photo out of focus at low light.  But I think the mood is nice and hopefully I will get better at taking photos.  The book case behind the tree is our "pride and joy" - a solid teak danish book unit with ladder - that we purchased as a house warming gift to ourselves when we moved into our 2nd home (the one before this one).  I don't think we could afford one of these now they are very pricey.  The wicker chair is one of a pair handed down from my paternal grandparents.  

Here's another view of our family room fireplace mantel all aglow by tree lights and a fire.  

And finally our kitchen at night with just the under counter lights on (hubby purchased and installed the lights for me!).  I purchased the "Merry Christmas" sign at a local craft fair for only $12 because it was a little worn (normally went for $25).  I hope to reverse it and use the other side during non-holiday times - just have to figure out what saying I want.  

Hope you enjoyed touring our home in the glow of the night!  

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it Snow and Snow and Snow...

There's no Global Warming here Al "the Bore" Gore!  It started to snow yesterday and the weather guys were predicting a huge snowstorm.   We watched the snow come down while we frosted the sugar cookies.  Later that evening we went to a neighbor's Christmas Open House and it was still snowing.  Luckily they had a good turnout mainly because most of us live in the same subdivision so we didn't have far to go to have a good time.  It continued to snow into the night.

Isn't this a pretty view through the kitchen window yesterday?

And it continued to snow all day yesterday...

Oh, yes, I BELIEVE!!  And the snow piles up on the window ledge.

More coming down as night falls...

Snowing, snowing and snowing still...

This is what we woke up to this morning!  We had about 17 inches (we live SW of Philadelphia and just north of Wilmington, DE)!  Philadelphia had 23.5 inches!  In one day we had more SNOW than for all of winter last year.  I love it - it is so beautiful.  It reminded us of snowfalls in the mid-West (Cleveland and Chicago).  This is one of the biggest snowfalls for this area in years!  

Buried in...

Look at the snow drifts on our deck and porch roof!

Here's a closer view of our porch roof - isn't it neat!!!

Another back yard view - and even the garage got lots of snow on the roof.

Isn't it pretty with the sun shining on the snow?

Me...on a shoveled path...

Snow plows have been by...

Looking out the foyer at the snowfall...

Hope your day is as beautiful as ours is and that you enjoyed your romp through our snow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Coca-Cola Santa

The Coca-Cola® Santa by Haddon Sundblom

In contrast with the "saintly" Claus portrayed by Rockwell, the beginning of the "definitive" American Santa Claus was in the 1920’s, when Coca Cola® began their major promotion using Santa to promote their drink. Success was minimal until 1931 when artist, Haddon Sundblom (seen right) created his Santa.
His first model was his friend Lou Prentice, a retired salesman. After Prentice’s death in the late 1940s, Sundblom used himself as a model.
His annual painting from 1931 through 1964 created the Santa that many now think of as the "traditional" Santa. He completed the transformation from Moore's friendly old elf to a full-sized human, complete with plump belly, sympathetic face, jovial air, and debonair bearing. In modern versions of the Santa Claus legend, only his toyshop workers are elves, not the "big guy" himself.
As noticed previously, Sundblom wasn't the first artist to give Santa a face.  Thomas Nast did so beginning in the mid 1800s, but without a standardization of his features -- or even his size; Coca-Cola's® first Santa's, from the 1920s, were in the same vein as the Nast Santas of the 1800s, according to Coke's web site on Santa.

When Louis Prang created a Santa Claus Christmas card in 1885, he was wearing a red suit.  So were both of Prang's 1886 Santa cards. Likewise, Norman Rockwell painted his saintly Santas before 1931 -- but only sporadically and without the annual "consistency" of Sundblom.  Sundblom didn't create the red-coated Santa, but he did give us a consistent "look" of Santa every year for over 30 years.
Finally, there is a popular fiction that needs to be refuted.  Santa doesn't wear red and white because these colors match those of Coca Cola®.  Bearing in mind that Santa Claus is descended from Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (and Bari), and taking note that a bishop's robes are red — and we have the answer.  It is the red color of a bishop's robes that gave Santa Claus his familiar colors.  For Coca Cola®, it was just a happy coincidence.

These two postcards — from 1906 and 1909, respectively — confirm that Santa was clad in red well before Sundblom's Santas became popular beginning in 1931:

Santa_And_Tree_1906.gif (590248 bytes)
Santa_And_Reindeer_1909.gif (547839 bytes)

Indeed, an English Father Christmas is first recorded in his traditional red and white outfit in a woodcut of 1653. And Barbara Charles and J. R. Taylor quoted The New York Times of November 27, 1927:
A standardized Santa Claus appears to New York children. Height, weight, stature are almost exactly standardized, as are the red garments, the hood and the white whiskers.
This was a full four years before Sundblom drew his first Santa for Coke®.

By the way, we shouldn’t be too shocked at this "commercialization" of Santa Claus. If anything, the Coca-Cola® company was way behind the power curve.
Stores in the United States began to advertise Christmas shopping in 1820, and by the 1840s, newspapers were creating separate sections for holiday advertisements, which often featured images of the newly popular Santa Claus.

As early as 1841, Santa had been used as an advertising tool when stores proclaimed themselves as "Santa's Headquarters." On the day before Christmas that year, J. W. Parkinson of Philadelphia had a real "Criscringle" descending a chimney above the door of his shop to the amazement of all that passed by, especially the children. In 1846, Mr. Parkinson was advertising his store as "Kriss Kringle's Headquarters.

In 1867, Macy’s in New York stayed open until midnight on Christmas Eve.
By the 1870's, Santa Claus was putting in regular appearances in department stores in the United States and Canada. In 1874, Macy’s created its first window display with a Christmas theme.

And in 1875 Louis Prang of Boston published the first American Christmas Card. His 1885 and 1886 images showed Santa Claus – and the now-traditional red suit -- much in the same tradition as the earlier American images, but with a softer, gentler look, more the saintly old gent than the jolly old elf.

By the 1880s, the Boston Store in Brockton, Massachusetts, hired Edgar, a Scottish immigrant, who was tall, roly-poly, with a white beard, a warm voice and a hearty laugh, to be Santa Claus. To top it off, he loved children. In 1890 he donned a Santa Claus to wear during after school hours. But his fame spread so rapidly that within a few days long lines had formed outside the store and more parents and children arrived by train as far away as Providence, Rhode Island. Before the turn of the century, department stores across America had added Santa Claus and even sat him on a throne. Children sat on his knee and whispered their deepest secrets into his ears. Finally, during the 1890s, Father Christmas began to appear in English stores.

In the early 1890s, the Salvation Army needed money to pay for the free Christmas meals they provided to needy families. They began dressing up unemployed men in red Santa Claus suits and sending them into the streets of New York to solicit donations. Those familiar Salvation Army Santas have been ringing bells on the street corners of American cities ever since.

I hope you enjoyed this history of Santa Claus in America.

Note:  information obtained from internet

Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa Christmas Mantle 2009

This year I decorated our fireplace mantle with my collection of Santas - across the top left to right:  1) Santa Stocking Holder (gift from work exchange years ago); 2) wooden Santa purchased at craft fair; 3)  two little vintage Santas (passed down from my Mom); vintage red reindeer (Mom's too); Santa candle; and lighted outdoor miniature Santa.  
Across brick:  1) Santa stocking (passed down from MIL); 2) two crocheted snowflakes I made; Santa Face (is a toilet seat cover but I like it here LOL).  
Followed on brick floor by: 1) small wooden Santa (FIL made) and large wooden Santa (made by co-worker years ago).  On yes you can see a wooden reindeer to the right (FIL made it too). 
 I didn't stage this picture so my crochet boxes are caught in the photo on the left.  

Close up of the Santa candle - I love the colors!

Are you crazy about Santas like me? 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Claus 1865

Did you know that Thomas Nast is credited with creating our popular image of Santa Claus?  Above is one of Thomas Nast's earliest published works of Santa Claus and Christmas Traditions. Nast's illustrations appeared in Harper's Weekly newspapers in the years 1863 -1865. This is a fabulous source of information on the History of Santa Claus, and the origins of our Christmas Traditions. It can be seen that our popular image of Santa was first introduced by Nast during the Civil War. Thomas Nast's picture of Santa would continue to evolve over the years, but  it is fascinating to study these early images and spot all the Santa traditions that we still practice today.  
 Above is a very early Nast drawing of Santa Claus created in 1865.  This is a nice detailed drawing of Santa Claus, and you can see that Santa has not changed much in the last 140 years. This drawing helped to launch our image of Santa Claus that endures today. The illustration is surrounded by inset images showing Christmas traditions of the Civil War years.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Bunny Topper

Sorry, this is a little fuzzy - it's been so overcast and gray here so I haven't been able to re-take this photo.  I bought this adorable Christmas Tree Bunny Topper at The Christmas Haus in Oxford, PA.  This store is to die for inside - all of the ornaments are hand-blown by German artisans.  My hubby doesn't mind stopping here because it is on the way to Gettysburg, PA - one of his favorite places to visit.  Also, in the photo (right lower corner) you can see the beautiful silver spoon with the fairy snowman painted for me by the talented Laurie at Laurie's Charming Designs.  Hopefully I can add a better photo to this post soon.  Hope you enjoyed seeing these adorable ornaments!  

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mr. Jolly

Our little, round, short Santa Claus that we call "Mr. Jolly".

  Isn't he cute?  

We've had him many years and his paint is coming off in some places but we don't want to replace him.

Do you have a favorite family Christmas decoration?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Red and White for Christmas...

Who doesn't love RED and WHITE!  

Another crochet piece I made several years ago (on my second outing of crocheting).  I have the pattern if anyone wants it and it was very easy to make (send me an email and I will email the pattern to you).

It looks so nice on my dinette table if I do say so myself.  

Do you have any RED and WHITE Christmas decorations to share?