Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Celebrate Life; Plant Trees On Tu B’Shevat And Year Round

Posted by infinitygoods on January 19, 2008

1 Tree and 1 Bird by Mary B. Bloom uploaded on Flickr public files

When you shall come to the land, you shall plant trees. Leviticus 19:23

At sundown on Monday, Jews around the world will be celebrating Tu B’Shevat, which is the New Year for Trees. It is not a high holiday like Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, but some families celebrate with their children by planting trees, donating to the Jewish National Fund to have a tree planted in Israel, or having a seder similar to the one from Passover as Tu B’Shevat begins the 60 days leading to Passover.

During President Bush’s recent visit to Israel, the Jewish National Fund presented him with a certificate for 36 trees to be planted in his name at the American Independence Park in the Judean Hills and in Negev. The JNF states, “As the present year, 5768 in the Jewish calendar is a shmitta year, when the land lies fallow and no sowing or planting is allowed in the earth of the Land of Israel, the trees that will be planted in the name of the U.S. President will actually be planted at the end of the shmitta year.”

Fellow blogger Robin has an excellent 13-point description of Tu B’Shevat and I encourage you to check her easy-to-understand but detailed information and links.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Childhood Memories, Children, culture, Earth, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, George Bush, Global Warming, God, Holidays, Home, homeschool, How To, howto, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Israel, Jewish, Judaism, life, nature, New Year, News, Photography, religion, spirituality, U.S., USA, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

holly-divider-bar.jpg

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 13 #7 — Thankful for God’s Comforts

Posted by infinitygoods on November 21, 2007

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Happy Thanksgiving To All!!!

Thank you for coming back to Thursday Thirteen. On this day of giving thanks I let you know about 13 things I am thankful God gave us and which comfort my spirit and soul. You’ll notice a major theme with water.  All photos from Flickr’s public files.

  1. lake-1.jpg Lakes
  2. Beach at Sunrise by carlitasway Beaches
  3. redwoods-3-by-skooterdawg.jpg The smell of a redwood forest
  4. rain-window-4-by-marceline.jpg Rain taping on a window or on my face
  5. bird-singing-5-by-andrew-pescod.jpg Birds singing
  6. fireplace-by-sparky2.jpg Cuddling up in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and a great book next to a fire while the rain taps its music on the window pane
  7. Fancy a cuppa by dubbie Hot tea
  8. stained-glass-by-jason-mcconnie.jpg The sun creating rainbows through a church’s stained glass windows
  9. early-morning-fresh-air-9-by-viewoftheworld.jpg Early morning fresh air
  10. watching-nature-by-maarten-utreg.jpg Being perfectly still and quiet, watching nature unnoticed
  11. cascade-gurgling-11.jpg A brook or small cascade gurgling
  12. Moss by zakwitnij The cool softness of moss
  13. morning-dew-13-by-monster.jpg Morning dew

 

Don’t miss my posts about Black Friday and Holiday Shopping.
Thanks to the Internet we can have our cake and eat it too:
Let’s shop all the Black Friday sales WHILE we stay home in our pajamas!!

Now that’s a good reason to TGIF!!

  • 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 America, American History, Black Friday, blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, Christianity, deals, Faith, God, Holidays, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Judaism, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, nature, novel, novel in 30 days, religion, sales, Shopping, spirituality, Thanksgiving, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Holiday Shopping List

Posted by infinitygoods on November 12, 2007

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Here are my picks for a 21st Century Holiday Shopping List, and you can shop right here from the Internet and not have to fight for a parking spot at the mall. Just click on the links to see more and to purchase.

Music Downloads The teens and music lovers will enjoy Amazon’s new music downloads for their iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and other musical gadgets. Starting at only 89 to 99 cents per download, it’s in anybody’s price range and can be given even to paperboys (do they still exist??), teen gardeners, babysitters and others you want to recognize with a gift but don’t want to spend a fortune on. Your own kids will love a more generous download amount, and you will love this clutter-free gift which won’t be sitting around your home gathering dust.

Video Downloads Forget driving to the video store or messing with mail order video memberships. Now you can download your videos straight from your computer. Video downloads can be either rented or purchased from Amazon, a trusted Internet source for years, not a new fly-by-night company you’ve never heard of before.

Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series is “a tour de force … a masterpiece,” wrote the New York Times. Using revolutionary new filming techniques, with a budget of more than $25 million, “Planet Earth” is the epic story of life on Earth as you’ve never seen it before. The Chicago Times praised it as “an absolutely extraordinary achievement.” Five years in the making, using 40 cameramen spanning 200 locations, this 11-part series is hailed as the ultimate portrait of our planet. It also features a 150-minute documentary about our future. “Simply radiant” said Entertainment Weekly and “breathtaking” according to Time Magazine.

The Bible Experience: Old Testament (Inspired By) You can no longer say the Bible is boring or that you don’t have the time. Now you can be entertained during your long commute by an unprecedented cast of more than 400 actors, musicians and clergy, including Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Bishop T.D. Jakes, LL Cool J, Forest Whittaker, etc. in this dramatic audio recording of the Bible. Even the youngest child can “read” the Bible by listening to the Old Testament, the New Testament or the Complete Bible and the whole family can gather around, too. This audio Bible is from Zondervan, the world’s leading Bible publisher.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT This is much more than a toy, it is science lessons in a box and was recommended to our son by his science teacher, a research scientist who participates each year in the DARPA Urban Challenge with Autonomous Robot Cars. Mindstorms is exciting for children and teens (adults too) and will nurture their curiosity. Parents will love that it’s not some mindless, brain-rotting toy. If you missed the posts about the Urban Challenge, you can click here and here to learn about the cars that drive themselves and will be picking up our groceries in the very near future.

iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver The Jetsons have finally arrived. This round vacuum may not look like a robot, but it will automatically vacuum your home, spend extra time in the dirtiest spots and return to one of its two battery chargers to ready itself for the next clean up and you won’t have to lift a finger. Spend the extra time laughing with your children, cozying up with your spouse or pampering yourself.

This great carnival of shopping list ideas was thought of by Chili at Don’t Try It, where the rest of the participants are listed.

For more on holiday shopping, check out my post about Black Friday Sales, Deals and Savings and visit our store on November 23, 2007 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

  • 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 America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, Britain, British, Car, cars, celebrities, Christianity, Christmas, Classical Music, consumers, culture, Earth, education, Faith, Family, God, government agencies, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Judaism, life, Media, Music, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, nature, News, novel, novel in 30 days, Opera, Photojournalism, Pop Music, reading, religion, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, Shopping, spirituality, technology, Toys, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WFMW — Holiday Decorating Tips and Ideas

Posted by infinitygoods on November 6, 2007

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Today’s Works For Me Wednesday carnival is reversed. Instead of me giving you tips and ideas, you give them to me and my readers.

With Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year all coming in quick succession, I’d like to know about your best holiday decorating tips and ideas. Let us know what makes your life easier, what makes your house a home, what your guests and family ooh and ahh about, what traditions you keep, what collections you have. Do you decorate a tree, a nativity, an outdoor menorah, a front door? We want to know and be inspired by you.

I’ll see you on your blogs and I’ll be trying to answer as many of your questions. Don’t forget to stop by Shannon’s for a list of all the participants. And remember, you can comment even if you don’t have a post listed on Shannon’s page.

I’m participating in Chili‘s Holiday Shopping List on November 12. See my post for more details about what I’ll be doing and be sure to come back here on the 12th (and daily too because I LOVE a blog home filled with great reading guests like you and I’m also participating in National Blog Post Month so there’s lots to read).

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If you’ve missed any of my previous WFMW posts, just click below.

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

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  • 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 blog, blogging, Christianity, Christmas, culture, Faith, Family, Hanuka, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Judaism, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel, novel in 30 days, religion, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, Uncategorized, Website, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Christmas Shopping List Carnival

Posted by infinitygoods on November 6, 2007

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So do you run out of Christmas or Hanukkah gift ideas, or have difficult people to shop for who don’t need, or claim they don’t want, anything?

Have I got the thing for you!

It’s Chili’s Christmas List Carnival, also known as Holiday Shopping Carnival, which I am participating in!

Chili came up with a great idea, where we can all share ideas linked to places we can shop right online, or for those of us who are crafty, there will even be homemade gifts linked to the how-tos.

So be sure to come back to see me on Nov. 12 for the Christmas List Carnival (and daily too, because I LOVE a blog home full of great reading guests like you, and I’m participating in NaBloPoMo all month, so there’s lots to read.)

And if you want a head start on your shopping, you’re invited to stop by my Amazon Affiliate store at infinitygoods.com right now!

Only 27 shopping days till Hanukkah! Only 48 shopping days till Christmas!

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  • 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 blog, blogging, Christmas, culture, Hanuka, Holidays, Household Tip, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel, novel in 30 days, religion, Shopping, Tips, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »