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Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

Dreaming Of a White Christmas? Let It Snow On Your Blog

Posted by infinitygoods on December 24, 2007

treeinsnowpostedbypsto.jpgDo you see what I see? It’s snowing on my blog!

Just in time for Christmas, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress has given us the option of adding extra snow to our blogs with just a couple of clicks. Have no fear if you are not a WordPress user, he directs you to an easy as pumpkin pie code from Schillmania too.

And if you are still looking for some Christmas ideas and resources, be sure to click below. These suggestions might be of particular interest this Christmas Eve: Magic Reindeer Food, Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve and Ideas to Reuse Christmas Cards.

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Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Christmas, culture, Holidays, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, News, Noel, Recycle, Reuse, technology, Tips, U.S., USA, Website, WordPress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WFMW — Put Used Christmas Cards To Good Use

Posted by infinitygoods on December 18, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgBe sure to see my other Advent and Christmas ideas below too. I save some of my Christmas greeting cards because I’m the sentimental type, but here are some great uses for those who usually just discard them in the trash. These are some of the uses I find for the ones which do not hold special value to me. I love comments 😉 Also, if you have more ideas be sure to let all of us know what they are.

  1. Give them to a teacher (always ask first when giving). Many preschool, kindergarten and early grade teachers need these cards (Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. too!) for their students to do paper crafts in class. Sometimes they use them to make collages to send cards to soldiers, senior citizens or the homeless. Some teachers will have their students use them to create a priceless gift to their parents. Some teachers will use them for their own bulletin boards to make the classroom more festive.
  2. Give them to a student artist or a professional artist. One of the professional artists at our church asks the office to save all the cards we receive for use as inspiration, models, etc. Some artists will separate the various colors and turn them into pulp for use as papier mache and handmade paper. Others use them as found objects for their art or even for installations.
  3. Give them to a church or senior group. When I was involved with our monthly Senior Luncheon group, the organizer would always be on the lookout for seasonal greeting cards to use as nametags, placecards, To/From tags and decorations. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day each senior would receive a card made from these used greeting cards. The card would be cut in half so that the side written on would be discarded. The picture side would either be folded in half or glued to a piece of paper and a personal message would be added for the senior. You have no idea how much joy it brought to some of these seniors. For some of them, this would be the only card anyone would give them. The church and the volunteers did not have a special card budget, so these recycled ones would be it or there would be nothing.
  4. Use them for scrapbooking. As we become more and more conscious of our environment, printers and card companies are using acid free paper and inks so they can be used to make some fancy frames, backgrounds, clip art, etc. for our photo albums and scrapbooks. Many cards today are even made by hand and have that three-dimensional effect that so many scrapbookers are looking for.
  5. Give them to your child for cutting. Younger children love to cut paper, and cardstock gives them a different texture to manipulate. Manipulatives are very important for a young child’s development and for fine motor skills. The ones with layers, ribbons, pop-ups, etc. can all be taken apart and possibly reconstructed by the child. Children can use the pictures to illustrate their own stories. Old magazines also work well for this.
  6. Save them until next year, and children can decorate their own small packages.
  7. Help your children make next year’s Advent calendar. You’ll need one card for the main scene in the front, from which you will cut out the 25 windows (cut three sides only, door-style). With a pencil, outline the windows on a piece of paper. You’ll need one or more cards for the back where you’ll glue the 25 mini-pictures to the outlines on the piece of paper. Then glue that paper to the back of the main scene with the 25 mini-pictures showing through the windows. Next year, you’ll bend back one window each day of Advent. If you do the craft this year, it will help your children transition from too much excitement during the pre-Christmas rush and too little excitement in the post-Christmas letdown and boredom before returning to school. This craft is not about making the prettiest, most professional-looking calendar (you can buy that at the store), it’s about letting your children practice gluing, cutting, aligning and using their creativity, while letting them do something more than just watch TV and boosting their self-esteem. If you put away the calendar(s) with the Christmas decorations, you will not lose them during the long year ahead. You can also elect to tuck in all your used cards with the decorations and they will be waiting for your children’s creative talents next Advent season.
  8. Another good child craft is to use cookie cutters (or a glass for a simple circle) to outline 25 scenes, cut them out with scissors, punch a small hole on either left/right or top/bottom and string them garland style. Your children can add bows in between each scene, or add beads, etc. Their creativity is the limit. You also have the option to add the numbers 1-25 on them. It will make a nice swag for across the mantle, a vertical garland to hang in their room or for the homeschool classroom for next year’s Advent.
  9. Frame them. Many cards are art reproductions of the Masters, and some may be from unknown artists at Hallmark or American Greetings but just as pretty, and will make cute holiday pictures to decorate your home. Get a few small frames from the dollar store (sometimes even two or three for $1) or insert them in frame ornaments for your tree, which have become so popular in recent years. There’s no law that says you must put in a family snapshot. You could put in a reproduction of the Holy Family or a cutesy teddy bear with a holly wreath if that’s more along your decorating theme (shop those after-Christmas sales for bargains).
  10. Our son, the future scientist, tells me the computer chip components from musical Christmas cards can be reused for scientific and robotic purposes.
  11. If you receive cards from Europe, they have a paper insert which is not glued to the card as they are here in the U.S., so you can just save/toss the insert and reuse the card as a brand new greeting card next year. All you’ll have to do is buy some envelopes.
  12. One senior citizen I used to know would cut away the written portion and send the picture portion as a Christmas postcard. On her tiny, fixed income, she would also save on postage, yet she was able to continue her social tradition of sending cards to everyone she knew. She said the ones which were not embossed worked best as it was more difficult to see that they were reused greeting cards.
  13. Save the written part of the card. Yes, you read that correctly. Professionals write these cards and say it better than most of us can, so save your favorite samples and incorporate them in your own greetings. Soon, even blank cards will be of no concern to you even if you are normally completely tongue tied. This works for birthday and especially sympathy cards.

For the rest of the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my Advent and Christmas ideas, just click below.

If you missed any of my household tips, just click below. I also have these as a separate page you can access any time at the header on top.

Posted in Advent, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Cards, Caring, carnival, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, Family, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, Memories, Noel, Photography, Recycle, Reuse, Rocks In My Dryer, scrapbook, scrapbooking, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 3

Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.

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Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!

16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.

And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!

25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.

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Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Childhood Memories, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, kill god, life, Memories, Music, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, religion, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Tradition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 2

Posted by infinitygoods on December 13, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here.

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Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Of course! Several actually. Like with our Christmas trees, I like to have at least one in each room. I have one I splurged on as a teenager. It is a Fontanini, which I bought from the San Francisco Music Box Company. The manger has a real Reuge movement which plays “Silent Night,” bringing me warm childhood memories of my entire extended family singing that carol in German, French, Italian and English. Each year I add at least one new piece to my nativity. I have another nativity made of porcelain and also with a music box. My mom gave it to me because it is small and one solid piece so that I could take it with me wherever I traveled. This one plays “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.” We have a nativity we inherited from my mother-in-law. It is nothing special, but has great sentimental value to us. I have one Santon from France which is dressed in fabric clothes. I love that little old lady very much, and she reminds me of the Santons my aunt and uncle collect during their travels to the small villages in France. Each one is designed after a real person in the village.

8. Who is your hardest person to buy for? It was my mother-in-law. She was one of those people who has everything, needs nothing, buys anything she might remotely want or wish for, long before anyone else even had the chance to get it for her. When you encounter someone like that, I advise you do as the Wise Men did, and bring lots of gold. Diamonds work well, too.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Our son has loved everything we have ever given him. He is so enthusiastic with every gift, it is a real joy to see him react to even the most basic item.

10. Worst gift you ever received? A scale so I could GAIN weight. I was in high school and my very own parents thought 90 pounds was not an appropriate weight. My feelings were very hurt.

11. Do you mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Both. I send far fewer cards than I used to, but I still send to my relatives scattered around the world and a few dear people who have remained friends over the decades. I do not feel obligated to send a card to every person I have ever met. I send a few e-cards to people who write to me via e-mail throughout the year. I do not write annual Christmas letters, obviously not because I do not like to write, but because if there is someone out there who hasn’t kept in touch with me (and vice versa) since the previous Christmas, then I’m sure they would not be interested in my Christmas letter. I also do not send Christmas cards to atheists, even if they celebrate “christmas” with a tree and gifts. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. The tree and the gifts should be symbolic, not an atheist excuse for consumerism and greed. I also send a few Hanukkah cards.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Hmmm. … One year I found myself having to shop on Christmas Eve, one year I did some year-round shopping, a couple of years I did most of my shopping during all the AFTER Christmas sales and clearances for the following Christmas, so I was a full year ahead. I highly recommend being a year ahead of the game. Not only will you enjoy the Advent season far more if you don’t have to battle those crazed people in the malls, but you’ll save money twice (once because everything is on sale and another time because you’ll have beat inflation since by the next year, all the prices will have gone up. I wouldn’t recommend buying technology-related items like computers or iPods of course.) I prefer making my own gifts for those I love. I just pour all of my love into it. It’s usually projects which require many hours, but the people I love are well worth it, and I think it is much better than a store-bought gift. I also love to create memories more than buying something for under the tree. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I find myself buying fewer and fewer gifts as a reaction to the world getting more and more commercial. One huge pet peeve is that the store clerks are no longer allowed to wish us a Merry Christmas. What a bunch of double-standard, bah humbug Scrooges all these store owners and managers are!

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? If I am given a gift which I have no use for, I will give it to someone I know will be able to use it or enjoy it, otherwise I give it to charity. I see nothing wrong with making others happy.

14. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear lights. I think it looks much better. I still have some old strings of colored lights and they do get used around the house, but not on any of the trees.

Part 3 is here.

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Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Chanukkah, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, entertainment, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Organizing, Recycle, religion, sales, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Toys, Tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thursday Thirteen #10 — Carol’s 13 True Meanings

Posted by infinitygoods on December 12, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen, where you get to learn little-known details about me or things important to me. For the complete list of this week’s participants, just head over to Thursday Thirteen.

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I have loved the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” for many years, but when I recently learned the true meaning of that song, I appreciated this carol even more. This is one of the favorites at my church too, and we always get great audience participation during our Christmas concerts.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” has hidden meanings which were taught to Catholic children during times of persecution, much like the Jews used dreidels during their own times of persecution. Here’s what I learned on how to decipher the code:

  1. On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me; Who could possibly be my True Love? Why, God, is my True Love of course!
  2. A Partridge in a pear tree = The partridge is Jesus Christ (none of the sources I found said what the pear tree stood for, but I think it would be safe to think it is the cross);
  3. Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments;
  4. Three French Hens = Faith, Hope and Love;
  5. Four Calling Birds (some people claim it is Colley Birds or black birds) = The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John;
  6. Five Gold Rings = The Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament;
  7. Six Geese A-Laying = The six days of creation (on the seventh day God rested);
  8. Seven Swans A-Swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, wonder/awe in God);
  9. Eight Maids A-Milking = The eight Beatitudes
  10. Nine Ladies Dancing = The fruits of the Holy Spirit (from the Old Testament: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control);
  11. Ten Lords A-Leaping = The Ten Commandments;
  12. Eleven Pipers Piping = The eleven faithful disciples;
  13. Twelve Drummers Drumming = The twelve beliefs in the Apostles’ Creed

Be sure to check my Christmas Tips, Ideas and Resources and my Household Tips.

Happy Thursday!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, Chanukkah, Children, Christianity, Christmas, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Judaism, life, spirituality, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

WFMW — Magic Reindeer Food

Posted by infinitygoods on December 11, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgWhen our son was about 2 years old, one of our neighbors gave him some magic reindeer food. Although we had never heard of this tradition, our son enjoyed it so much that we have continued it without fail each Christmas Eve. Just like many people leave milk and cookies for Santa, we also leave food for Rudolph, Donder, et al, and it is MAGIC no less. According to our neighbor, to help the reindeer find your house faster, just sprinkle a bit of magic food on your front lawn or even on your balcony. If you’ve been good, they will zero in on your house lickety-split and they will find new energy to visit the next house. On Christmas Eve, before your children go to sleep, have your children sprinkle the food. Our first year, I was ready early the next morning with my broom to sweep the food away from our small covered balcony, but the wind had blown it all away. Not one bit has ever been left over, especially now that we have a yard, but I’ve always been ready with my excuse that the reindeer must have been too full should the need ever arise. Just like my neighbor, you can also make them as gifts to young children. It’s inexpensive, easy and fast to make, yet it will bring a lot of joy and good memories to the children. Here’s the super easy recipe.

Magic Reindeer Food
1 pouch of instant oatmeal or about 2-5 tablespoons
1-2 teaspoons of shiny foil confetti (young children are especially attracted to the shiny foil and 1 teaspoon is a drop in the global environment, but if you have “green concerns,” you can use colored sugar sprinkles instead).
Mix the oatmeal and confetti and put it in the center of some plastic wrap, closing it with some curly ribbon to form a pretty pouch. Colored wrap makes it more festive. Hand one pouch to each child. Older kids will want to make it themselves. Children will sprinkle it with glee for the reindeer, loving not only the magic, but also the fact that they are caring for and feeding Santa’s reindeer.

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my previous Christmas tips, just click below.

If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Children, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Recipe, religion, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Advent Calendar Chain — An Easy Children’s Craft

Posted by infinitygoods on December 2, 2007

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. If you forgot to buy an Advent Calendar or if you’re simply looking for a super easy craft for your children to make, you can show them how to make an Advent Calendar Chain.

It will save you from hearing all month long, sometimes even several times a day, “How many more days until Christmas?” It will help your children get a sense of the passage of time and days, and it will help them with small motor skills by cutting, gluing and perhaps even drawing.

All you need are paper, scissors, glue and if coloring either pencils or markers. You can also get more elaborate by adding ribbons, stickers, beads, or whatever strikes your children’s fancy.

Good paper choices include Christmas scrapbook sheets, Christmas wrapping paper, origami paper, colored construction paper or if your children are coloring their own, then plain white paper or brown shopping bags for a more country look.

The size of each strip can vary. About half an inch to 2 inches by 5 to 7 inches works well. The narrower strips will look more dainty. The younger the child, the longer the loop should be so they don’t get frustrated trying to get their inexperienced fingers to work the loops.

You’ll need 25 strips. If you use craft scissors with waves or zigzags, it will add some interest to your chain. Your children should number the strips 1 through 25.

You have the choice of going by the calendar year (Dec. 1) or the church year (1st. Sunday which this year is Dec. 2). If your child is too young to write, you can do it for them or give them numbered stickers to place on. This helps with early math sense as well.

Show your children how to cut the strips and how to glue them into interconnecting loops. Most children will use too much glue so show them that a little goes a long way. Explain to them that each day they will be removing one loop from the chain to represent one less day until Christmas.

Two good ways to display the chain are across the mantle or hanging down vertically on a wall. You can even use a Christmas stocking hook. If you hang the chain on the wall, you can have your children draw a picture of the nativity or use a Christmas card of a nativity to place at the top. You could also cutout a large paper Christmas star for the top of your chain.

If you turn on the Christmas lights on the tree, turn on the Christmas music, maybe even sing along, and help your children in a relaxed manner, then you will not only be creating pleasant family memories, but creating traditions that your children will treasure so much they will want to recreate them with their own children.

Don’t forget to praise your children and to take lots of photos. Your children will never be this age again, so enjoy each stage and every step of the way.

Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, religion, spirituality, Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Write A Santa Letter To Your Children

Posted by infinitygoods on November 27, 2007

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HO! HO! HO!

If Santa has never written a Christmas greeting to your children, you’d better remedy that by writing him right now at the North Pole, care of the United States Postal Service.

The Fairbanks, Alaska, postmaster delivers Santa’s mail each year to boys and girls all across the country (or world if you have access to U.S. stamps).

Here’s what to do: You are Santa and you write a letter to your children. You can use fancy holiday stationery, including ones with Santa’s jolly likeness. In the letter, tell your children how they are on your Special List of Good Children. Children love it when you personalize the letter with details like their latest accomplishments, awards or grades, their friends’ names, a pet, or a lovey or blanket.

You can include information about the North Pole, the elves, Rudolph training the youngest reindeers, Mrs. Claus and whatever strikes your fancy. If you mention a specific toy, be absolutely positive it’s going to be under the tree (I would only include something that’s already hiding in the closet — you know how those mad shoppers can be).

Santa’s whirlwind flight around the world requires a lot of energy, so Santa Claus should ask for a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. Kris Kringle never worries about calories because the chubbier, the merrier.

When you’ve written the letter, place it in a matching envelope with a Christmas stamp and address it to your child with your full U.S. postal address. In the upper left corner, just write Santa Claus, North Pole (or St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pere Noel or whatever is your children’s favorite name for the jolly fellow in the red suit).

Seal the envelope. You can decorate it with stickers or even a fancy wax seal of a snowflake, Rudolph or an initial like S for Santa or C for Claus.

Place the letter your children will be receiving into a larger envelope, properly stamped for First Class or Priority Mail and address that envelope to:

North Pole Christmas Cancellation
Postmaster
5400 Mail Trail
Fairbanks, AK 99709-9998

The elves at the North Pole Post Office will postmark Santa’s letter with this postmark north-pole-postmark.jpg and send it back to your children!

Your request must arrive before Dec. 15. After that date, the Postal Services requires priority mail postage to ensure the letter’s arrival before Christmas because Santa just would not send his mail after he already came down your chimney.

For a list of other holiday-based towns which will also postmark your mail, click here.

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

Advent Wreath

Egg Tip

Black Friday Holiday Shopping

Bookcases at the Breaking Point?

Organizing Household Binder

Holiday Shopping List

Holiday Decorating Tips and Ideas

Trading Card Storage

Freezer Solution

Large desk calendar inside guest closet

Child’s haircut without tears

Homemade bread stuffing

Plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder

Reuse plastic grocery bags in the car

How to increase Web site traffic?

16 Blog/Web site tips

Toy storage

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in Advent, America, Christmas, culture, Family, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Letter Writing, life, Mail, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel in 30 days, Rocks In My Dryer, Toys, Tradition, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Three Purple Candles, A Pink One And A Wreath

Posted by infinitygoods on November 26, 2007

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from-flickr-public-files-advent-wreath-by-annalena-brych.jpgAdvent starts this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. A tradition we celebrate in our home is the Advent wreath. It’s time to gather our candles and our wreath. We light our candles daily rather than just on Sundays, so I have found that small pillars work better than tapers as we go through too many tapers too quickly otherwise. I’ve also found that picking varying heights for the candles makes for a pretty centerpiece while serving the need since one purple candle will be used for four weeks and the last purple candle for only one week.

Advent comes from the Latin words, AD (to) VENIRE (come). During the Advent season we prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of the Christ Child. The candles symbolize the light that The Christ Child will bring to the world. The circular, unending shape of the wreath symbolizes eternity and the everlasting nature of God. Decorations of the wreath are to symbolize that Christ brings each of us hope, beauty and life.

Here’s how to celebrate this tradition. It’s very simple, so don’t be intimidated if you’ve never followed this tradition.

First Week (Sun. Dec. 2): FAITH — Light one purple candle at dinner time (or each meal) and say a prayer. There are no official prayers, so you can use a favorite prayer, say grace, use one from the many Advent pamphlets published or even make up your own focusing on the week’s theme.

Second Week (Sun. Dec. 9): HOPE — Light two purple candles and say a prayer.

Third Week (Sun. Dec. 16): JOY — Light two purple candles and one pink candle; and say a prayer.

Fourth Week (Sun. Dec. 23): PEACE — Light three purple candles and one pink candle; and say a prayer.

Christmas Day (Tues. Dec. 25): LOVE — On Christmas morning, either light 4 white candles (my preference to symbolize Christ, the joy and celebration of Christmas) or some people light 3 purple candles, a pink candle and a white candle in the center. Say a prayer. These candles are lighted for the 12 days of Christmas until Epiphany (traditionally on January 6).

That is all there is to it. We keep our wreath lighted throughout our meals. If you are used to this tradition or not afraid of a little more devotion after your family’s meal, you could gather around the wreath to read the Bible, read Advent devotions, read the writings of influential spiritual writers, or read some Christmas stories and poems such as O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” and T.S. Eliot’s The Journey of the Magi.” You could even sing some of the songs you heard in church.

How do you celebrate the coming of the Christ Child who is our light? What are your Advent Season traditions or memories? Or if you are Jewish or celebrate Jewish traditions in addition to Christian ones, what are your traditions to prepare for Hanukkah?

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

Santa Letter

Egg Tip

Black Friday Holiday Shopping

Bookcases at the Breaking Point?

Organizing Household Binder

Holiday Shopping List

Holiday Decorating Tips and Ideas

Trading Card Storage

Freezer Solution

Large desk calendar inside guest closet

Child’s haircut without tears

Homemade bread stuffing

Plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder

Reuse plastic grocery bags in the car

How to increase Web site traffic?

16 Blog/Web site tips

Toy storage

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in Advent, Chanukkah, Christianity, Christmas, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, Hanukkah, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Judaism, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel, novel in 30 days, reading, religion, spirituality, Tradition, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »