Category Archives: Christmas

Just A Little Peek


Earlier today, I caught my daughter going through everyone’s stocking. I know she’s anxiously waiting for Christmas, but I had to again, tell her that she has to wait for Christmas day to open presents, and to also leave the stockings alone as they’re not all for her; she didn’t bother getting into hers, which is on the other side of the tree, with her name on it. I thought I had put them up high enough, but I’m guessing she stood on the back of the couch and got them down, then dumped them all out. I know she particularly liked what my nephew is getting, as she was wearing it. I had to tell her that was for Hunter, which she put back with no arguments. The two of them are really close, like brother and sister.

She still hasn’t found my new hiding spot for all the presents, thank goodness. Guess the third time is the charm, or maybe it’s the really heavy container I put in front of the closet door for good measure. If I have a problem moving that thing, she won’t be able to budge it an inch. Maybe I should knock on wood…*knock, knock, knock*…wait the desk is fake wood…

Each time she found my hiding spot, she would open all the presents, carefully putting the empty packages into the trash can, then run around playing with everything she got out. I wasn’t home when this had happened, or it would’ve been prevented when she got too close to where I was hiding everything. When I walked inside the house, she immediately rushed up to me and showed me what she got with all the excitement of a four year old. Of course I knew where she got the toys and inside I was screaming ‘NO!”, but on the outside, I was smiling and just agreed to let her have them. There was no way I was going to take toys away from a child with autism. So, I just simply found a new hiding spot for the next round of presents, twice.

I didn’t buy that much for her to open each time I had moved to each hiding spot, but now that it’s closing in on the big day, there’s no way she’s going to get into them now, Mommy is broke, er, I mean Santa is broke, so he put this heavy 20 gallon container in front of the door, hiding all gifts from small and crafty hands. I’m so lucky she can’t read this, lol!

I was talking to one of my cousins, and we both agreed that peeking at our presents before Christmas, runs in our family, so I know I’m getting paid for my raising. My sisters and I would open our presents early. Our parents would put a few under the tree and it would bug us, not knowing what was in those wrapped packages. I had unwrapping presents down to a science. Steaming the tape just so and then peal it off without tearing the wrapping. Though once we got a peek at the contents, we weren’t at all happy, so when Christmas arrived, we weren’t all that excited to open anything. Let’s just say, kids aren’t all that happy to receive clothes for Christmas, that wasn’t what we told Santa what we wanted. So what happened? It wasn’t until later when we found out that our little scheme wasn’t much of a secret and that was why the early presents under the tree were nothing but clothes.

Well played. 

Now I know how to deal with that when my daughter gets a little bit older, but how to deal with her now is the fun part. I can’t even get her to leave the ornaments on the tree alone. She takes off with them, plays with them, then I can’t find the things when I notice they’re gone. Usually, they’re hanging on the Venetian blinds in the living room, but I guess she got tired of me taking them down and putting them back on the tree because they’re now MIA.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy


This weeks photo challenge is supposed to be about joy. I think every picture, well almost every picture, I take of my daughter represents some form of joy. Here is a picture I took myself of her with Christmas lights. The night of Christmas I drove around town and through the back roads into the country, showing her houses decorated in brightly colored lights and other Christmas decorations. To hear her gasps and repeatedly say how pretty each house was made my night.

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What is Mithraism


historical view of Heidelberg

historical view of Heidelberg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Sociology class we are learning a little bit about religion in society. One particular religion that we discussed, other than Christianity, was sun worship. How ancient societies would worship the sun, until science came along and explained the world and it’s surroundings to us. I wrote a response paper on a particular sun worshiping group that I had seen on a TV show a few months ago. I had to do some research to make sure what I was saying was accurate, as always. Enjoy!

I love watching the History channel. Some of the shows on there always catch my attention, especially when it comes to talking about historical items in the museum, archeology, or historical exploration. Last year I started watching a show called America Unearthed. Scott Wolter, a world renowned forensic geologist is often called to check out some rock or stone someone has found. Usually that stone has some history relevance to a past society or tied to a particular group of people.

According to Wolter’s show, “these groups of people or societies are relatively known to have lived there, so history says, but with the evidence that’s being found today and the evidence that’s been looked at again from the past, says otherwise. Such as the Mayan’s built temples in Georgia, Egyptian tribes once lived in Oklahoma, the Knights Templar roaming in the Nevada desert. All of these groups of people past history says is inaccurate, but evidence being brought forth shows otherwise.”

The show is primarily based on correcting the history that we’ve been taught in school. Scott Wolter travels all over America, even across Europe, trying to put an answer to some of the items that are brought to his attention.

In Sociology class, we talked about a particular religion where people worship the sun. It reminded me of an episode I saw of America Unearthed called ‘A Deadly Sacrifice’. Evidence of a particular group called Mithraism was found in Oklahoma. Wolter says, “Mithraism is an ancient Egyptian cult of the Apis bull.” However, that is incorrect.

Mithraism was it was a secretive sect. It is part of the Zoroastrianism religion that was founded in the 6th century BC. What is known is that it dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.  

Mithras was a very important Persian god. He was a sun god and a bull slayer. Images are often found of Mithras slaying a bull. It is believed that those in the Mithraism sect sacrificed a bull to honor Mithras, but the blood was used to baptized newcomers.  

This particular group would have been outcast in America as they were very different from Christianity. However, archeological evidence shows that Christianity and Mithraism influenced one another. They both developed in the same area of the world. They both have communal meals and have similar beliefs and practices. It is believed that Christianity adopted one aspect of Mithraism, Christmas Day.

Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th; he was born sometime in the fall. December 25th is the day of the birth of the sun, or the sun god, to which is closely related to Mithras.

When Constantine converted to Christianity from Mithraism, he decided to change December 25th to Christ’s birthday, rather than Mithras’ birthday. Mithraism eventually died out in the 4th century AD when Constantine converted to Christianity.

This post is being brought to my attention and is not at all seen as what I was trying to get across. It seems that I will have to correct some errors.

Christmas Eve Goodies


Every year on Christmas Eve I bake a bunch of goodies and I or Gram’s delivers them to the local Hospice House and our local Fire Department. It’s our Christmas tradition…in a way. Both places hold a place close to our heart. The Hospice House was where my grandpa and many of our relatives had spent in their times of sickness, before they eventually passed away. The local Fire Department, well, my grandpa and two other guys had formed the Bryant Fire Dept in 1973. Grandpa eventually retired from the Fire Dept in 1997. The Fire Dept also came out and built a wheelchair ramp for my grandpa after he suffered from a series of strokes. Both places are employed by some really sweet people.

The Hospice House takes in home baked meals and goodies for the families that are visiting with their sick loved ones. During those times they would rather remain close to their loved ones instead of going home to cook dinner.

I have found a website that has some great recipes, crafts, and other things. They even have a facebook and twitter. I love peanut butter and chocolate…two things that go great together! I found this recipe on their website for these peanut butter bon bons…I’ve been searching for this recipe and finally found a good one! I think I’ve eaten several dozen of these things growing up.

Here’s their website: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com

And here’s a link to find those yummy peanut butter bon bons: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/10/homemade-reeses-peanut-butter-cup.html

I’ll list more recipes later.

Stay calm and…Santa!!!


Today, Santa visited the daycare where my daughter attends. I spent some time at daycare with her today and got to see first hand how the first few hours of their day goes. WOW! Exhausting! I did have fun though and some of the other kids seem to enjoy me being there. I got to play toys and read a few books to them. Then my daughter and I colored.

One of the ladies from the office came to my daughter’s  class room and said it was time for her class to go meet Santa. I could tell my daughter was excited as she grabbed my hand and was tugging on it, trying to get us out the door quicker. All the kids in her class held hands and walked quietly down the hall; my daughter was holding my hand the whole time.

When we rounded the corner a few teachers were blocking the kids view, so they didn’t see Santa right away. All the kids in my daughter’s class were asked to sit along the wall so that they could wait their turn in line to visit with Santa. Santa was already chatting with one little boy and they were getting their pictures taken.

Finally the teachers moved and the kids saw Santa, including my daughter. She let go of my hand and took off running toward Santa with a huge grin on her face. “Santa!!” she was calling out.

Everyone thought it was cute. She was trying to crawl up into his already occupied lap. The other kids had to be asked to go up there, some kids had a hard time even approaching Santa. Not my child! She was excited and ready to see the jolly man!!

This picture (found on Pinterest) of Will Farrell from Elf reminds me of her just then!

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Elf on the Shelf


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I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday…old habits are hard to break; it’s next door to Toys R Us, the place I was actually destined to stop. I walked around the shelves, stopping by the Science Fiction, as always, and found a few Doctor Who books, as well as a few Supernatural books (also a TV show; both are my favorites). I picked out a Doctor Who book and started to look for Torchwood, they had several books the last time I was here, but I wasn’t able to get one at that time. I looked all around and even asked, but no luck, they were only on e-readers. No worries, I’ll just check Amazon and see what I can find.

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I continued walking around and ended up in the main center aisle where all the eye catchers are. Up front are the huge displays with the New Releases, then the tables with Best Sellers, and then the small tables with the holiday selections. I wasn’t interested in holiday selections, so I walked right passed it. Something familiar caught my eye. I turned, and there was a small display of the Elf on the Shelf. I let out a small laugh. There are two ornaments out for this little guy and two different books. I didn’t find the Elf on the Shelf itself, though I wouldn’t have bought it anyway, or would I?

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I’ve been reading about this little guy here and there and I know the Elf on the Shelf is supposed to keep an eye out around the house and report all naughtiness back to Santa, that’s the whole purpose. But, the funny stories parents share about the things they do with their Elf on the Shelf, had me laughing. Some share pictures, which were too funny. Some of them were like pulling pranks on their own kids. It’s almost better than watching the Jimmy Kimmel YouTube challenges. I thought to myself, how much fun this would be if I had more than one child. Actually, with my one child and the shenanigans she gets into, it would probably be a lot of fun…probably too much fun! My grandpa was well known for his practical jokes; maybe I too should get an Elf on the Shelf and have a few laughs myself. Many of my friends and some family members are getting one or already have one.

How long has Elf on the Shelf been out? Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?

Visiting Santa


Every year the local library here has Santa come for a visit. Parents bring their kids and their cameras for a photo op with Santa. They also have activities at the other end of the library, such as coloring pictures, crafts, and games. I’m not sure how long they’ve been doing this, but this is the first time I took my daughter.

Last year, I had her pictures taken at Walmart with Santa. I sat her down in his lap and he talked calmly to her; she wasn’t quite two … almost. She gave Santa this look, as if to say, “Who the heck are you.” The woman taking the pictures had a hard time getting my daughter to look at the camera as she kept looking Santa up and down. I guess she was trying to figure him out. Santa then brought out a book, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and started reading it to her. Her face lit up with a huge grin and he was an instant buddy. The photographer had instant success in taking pictures after that. Maybe we should’ve started with the book first.

Today, I had taken my daughter to the library to meet Santa, “again”. We stood in a very short line. I pointed at Santa and whispered to her, “Who is that?” “Claus,” she whispered back. She couldn’t say the Santa part just yet, but she could say Claus … close enough.

We stood there watching two little girls visit with Santa, one of them was smiling, while the other was screaming and crying; she looked to be five years old. I thought, “Oh great, my child is watching this and is probably going to thing Santa is scary.” Then I realized, she’s my child, she laughed at the scary guy trying to scare her at Halloween. He didn’t succeed and he thought that was just awesome!

Finally it was my daughter’s turn to visit with Santa. I brought her over to him and she said to him, “How you doin’?” He replied, “I’m doing just great. Would you like to sit on my lap and tell me what you want for Christmas?” I put her in his lap and she started to smile. He asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she babbled and then said truck, babbled some more and said ball. I was grinning from ear to ear.

The time came for me to snap a picture. She was too busy chatting with Santa, that I couldn’t get her attention to look at me and smile just for one picture. I was able to snap a few, those came out blurry, then finally she looked and waved and I snapped, awesome picture!

Christmas tree, O Christmas tree…


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The time came to put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house in holiday cheer. I brought in containers full of Grandma’s Christmas decorations from the back porch. As she was in the kitchen deciding on which wreath to hang, I was in the living room trying my best to fluff the artificial tree. My daughter comes into the living room and stops at the end of the couch to see what I’m doing.

She gasps, then says with excitement, “Wow! Pretty tree!”

I couldn’t help but laugh at how cute that was. “Yes baby, pretty Christmas tree. Want to help me decorate it?” I asked her.

She calmly walked over to me as I handed her a plastic ornament ball. I lifted her up, stood her on the coffee table that sits in front of the tree, and helped her hang the ornament. This was too exciting to her, she was really enjoying herself. She stayed to help me hang five more. Those were the only ornaments I could find that wasn’t glass.

Grandma hung all the wreaths she found outside, as well as a few big red bows. We dug through the containers, finding Santa’s, reindeer, and a little glass nativity scene that has come to be my favorite. I guess Grandma and I had spread our holiday spirit onto my daughter as she had brought us some red and green garland from my bedroom. She had seen it in there days prior and I told her it was to decorate the house with for Christmas. I decided to go ahead and hang it up around the tree.

I picked my daughter up and held her in my arms. I stepped back a few feet to admire our tree. “How does it look?” I ask her.

“Pretty,” she replies, smiling up at the tree with its lights all aglow.

Homemade presents for Christmas


Sometimes having a big family is a great thing, but during the holidays it can hurt your pockets. A friend introduced Pinterest to me and now I found many more crafty and creative ideas for Christmas. I mostly make my Christmas presents for the adults and buy a present for each kid; I have five nephews and one niece. To me, there’s nothing more valuable than something that is handmade. It is made from the heart; with love.

A few years ago, I made all the girls, and some of the guys, jewelry. I even made a few book-markers using my grandmother’s embroidery machine. I cannot remember what I did last year, as too much happened during Christmas.

This year I am make photo collages. I made one for my dad and showed it to my mother; she told me that he would love it. Since she’s been begging for pictures of the grand-kids, I made her one as well. My youngest sister, Jil, saw what I had done and now she wants me to do one for her of her with her husband, and her with her daughter. It’s relatively inexpensive for me since I already have most of the supplies here at home; stamps with colored ink, stickers, construction paper, and several unused photo frames.

Jil had asked me what Pinterest was and I told her, it’s a place where everyone post their creative ideas, recipes, photographs, or whatever else. I think it’s a nifty idea. I mean what a better what to search for something on there instead of searching page after page on the internet and still not coming up with what you’re looking for. It’s like an internet Rolodex with pictures.

Have you ever heard of it? Do you use it?

The 1st of December and 24 more days to go…


It’s the first of December, twenty four days until Christmas. Actually, I look at it as twenty one days until my daughter’s birthday; she’ll be turning three. Then after all the wrapping paper is picked up and thrown away, the dishes are picked up, the table and cabinets are cleared of food, it’s time to play with all the toys my daughter got for her birthday. Same thing goes for Christmas day. What? So, I may have picked out a few toys that I wanted to play with too! Like the kitchen set; which I stood next to for three hours on black Friday last year just so I could save fifty dollars. My sister, Jaci, was a few feet away from me, waiting on a Princess table and chairs; she thought it would go great with the kitchen set.

I went overboard on the accessories for the kitchen set, but she still plays with it. And as for the Princess table, it still comes in handy, especially during the holidays. This year I didn’t overdo it, I made sure I didn’t.

My daughter gave me a reason to like Christmas again. I didn’t enjoy it growing up. My parents never really explained to us children the real reason behind Christmas. I grew up resenting Christmas due to the fact that I never got anything, but my sisters did. I didn’t realize the true meaning of Christmas until my daughter was born. I think she was my gift. It was like my eyes were opened and I began to really understand. I actually got into the Christmas spirit after that. I really had a reason to love Christmas. I had someone to share the joys of the holiday with; someone to explain what Christmas is all about. I decorate the outside with lights and put up the tree. And even though I’m terrible at gift wrapping, I wrap all the presents and place them under the tree, then hang the stockings and stuff them. I mostly just spoil the kids with toys and candy.

On my daughter’s first Christmas we were at my brother’s house, his wife read the Christmas story to the kids. I thought it would be a wonderful tradition to continue doing with my daughter and the rest of the kids each Christmas.

Another tradition that my Grandmother and I have been doing for a few years now, is that we bake a bunch of cookies and candy, package it up, and send to each the fire house and the hospice house.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?