Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rerun - HEARTH AND HOME - December 2003

Greetings, Dear Women!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And welcome to the December 2003 issue of HEARTH AND HOME!

What a joyous season Christmas is when we celebrate the true meaning of
Christmas! This year the Lord is really dealing with our family about getting
away from the world's commercialized rendition of Christmas and returning to the
foundation of what Christmas is really all about. Praise be unto Christ Jesus as
we celebrate His birth!

Now, grab a cup of something hot (tea, coffee, or, perhaps, hot chocolate) and
let's get started on this wonderful holiday issue of HEARTH AND HOME! I pray
that you enjoy it! Here we go...

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HOUSEHOLD TIPS
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* Save used coffee grounds, tea leaves, and crushed egg shells and feed them to
your poinsettias and other houseplants. They love the nutrients!

* Make holiday pancakes by lightly greasing heavy metal cookie cutters in the
shape of Christmas trees, etc. and placing them on a hot, lightly greased
griddle. Pour pancake batter (approximately 2 tablespoons) into each cutter.
Using tongs remove cutters after 1 minute; cook pancakes two more minutes, then
turn over and cook until done. Serve as usual. The children will love them!

* Decide what table linens you will be using for Christmas now and Scotchguard
them; it's a great fabric protector and spills will be easier to remove.

*Keep candles in the freezer until ready for use. That way they don't have a
tendency to drip or spark when lit.

*When candles do drip on your pretty tablecloths, fear not. Lay paper towels on
the ironing board over and under the drips and iron the wax spots with a
medium-to-hot iron. Keep moving the paper towels around until the wax is
absorbed into them. Presto! The wax is gone and the cloth is saved.


******************
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the
city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)

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WHAT CHILD IS THIS, WHO LAID TO REST ON MARY'S LAP IS SLEEPING? WHOM
ANGELS GREET WITH ANTHEMS SWEET, WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCH ARE
KEEPING? THIS, THIS IS CHRIST THE KING; WHOM SHEPHERDS GUARD AND ANGELS
SING: HASTE, HASTE TO BRING HIM LAUD, THE BABE , THE SON OR MARY.
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DOLLARS AND SENSE
******************

* Save odd containers throughout the year to be used again at Christmastime. For
instance:

- Save empty nut cans and attach Christmas wrapping paper to the outside.
They're perfect for Christmas goodie gift giving! (Try filling with CHRISTMAS
PECANS recipe below!)

-Try stacking cookies in empty Pringles cans covered in red and white
striped paper, then wrap the whole thing in cellophane with ribbons tied at both
ends so that the package resembles a piece of wrapped peppermint.

* Make your own hot cocoa mix for about 7 cents a cup. Mix 1/3 cup of dry milk
with 1 teaspoon each of cocoa and sugar. Add 1 cup of hot water. Or mix with
cold water and prepare in microwave.

****************************
THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE
****************************

The legend is that the candy cane was invented by a Christian in England in the
seventeenth century. At that time, the government would not let people celebrate
Christmas. So, a candy maker made candy shaped like a shepherd's crook to be a
secret symbol of Jesus. the white stripe represented the purity of Jesus and the
red stripe represented His blood that He shed for each of us. The candy was a
double gift: a sweet treat and a symbol of Christmas.

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HOW TO SPEND WITHIN YOUR HOLIDAY MEANS
**************************************

By Thanksgiving at the latest (I know it's a little late for that, but it's not
TOO late for those of us who haven't started yet!), realistically estimate how
much you can afford to spend. Then, make out a list of people to whom you want
to give gifts, what you would like to buy for each person, along with the
approximate price of the item. A quick total may show that you must scale back
on the amount spent for each person or trim the number of people on your list.
Take the list with you when you shop and stick to it!

Don't forget to budget for the "hidden costs" of Christmas. These include tree
decorations, gift wrap, Christmas cards, and postage, and any entertaining you
do.

To avoid being haunted by the ghosts of Christmas credit past, use cash or a
check whenever possible. Using cash slows down your spending and forces you to
weigh your purchases more carefully.

If you must use charge cards, clip half an index card to the back of the credit
card. Each time you use it, enter the amount of your purchase on the index card
and keep a running total, so that you are continually aware of how much you will
have to come up with when the bills start rolling in during January.

Say no to holiday charge accounts that allow you to buy now and delay payment
until February (unless you have assured bonus or other cash reserve coming to
cover your bill). The allure of "free money" is a trap you would be wise to
avoid.

Ensure that you will be able to do next year's buying in cast by estimating how
much your Christmas spending will be, dividing that amount into 12 monthly
allotments, and then setting aside that amount each month in either a Christmas
club or a money market account.

(Taken from the "15 Minute Home and Family Organizer" by Emilie Barnes.)

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CHRISTMAS PRAISE
****************

Thank you, God, for quiet places far from life's crowded ways, where our hearts
find true contentment and our souls fill up with praise. -Author unknown

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GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN, LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY; REMEMBER
CHRIST OUR SAVIOR, WAS BORN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, TO SAVE US ALL FROM
SATAN'S POWER WHEN WE WERE GONE ASTRAY. O TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND
JOY, COMFORT AND JOY, O TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOY.
*****************
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CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
*****************

* Cookies in a Jar Gift Ideas:

http://achristianhome.com/GoodThingsandRecipes/Cookies%20in%20a%20Jar.htm


****************
O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL, JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT, O COME YE, O COME YE TO
BETHLEHEM. COME AND BEHOLD HIM, BORN THE KING OF ANGELS. O COME LET
US ADORE HIM, O COME, LET US ADORE HIM, O COME, LET US ADORE HIM, CHRIST, THE
LORD!
****************
"Christmas will be as special or as ordinary as you make it. You can be the
architect of memories your children will carry with them for years-memories that
will not only strengthen family bonds, but will also deepen their spiritual
ties." ~Emilie Barnes

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MORE CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
*************************

* When making snack mixes for Christmas gift giving, try packaging them in
resealable plastic bags that have holiday prints on the outside. Be sure to
include the recipe inside of the bag.

*For the babysitter try filling a merry mug with this recipe for Teddy S'more
Bark or wrap it in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

TEDDY S'MORE BARK

2 pkg. (16 sq.) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 cup Teddy Grahams
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Microwave chocolate in microwavable bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes or until
chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is
completely melted. Stir in 3/4 cup each of Teddy Grahams and marshmallows into
bowl with chocolate. Spread on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Decorate with
remaining grahams and marshmallows. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break into
pieces. Make 15 servings (4 1-inch pieces per serving)

* For the photography buffs and scrapbookers on your list how about giving a
disposable camera and a couple for free film developing.

* A phone card or postage stamps slipped in a card is always a welcome
gift...especially for those who are away from home for the holidays.

* Make tasty treats by dipping plastic spoons into melted chocolate, sprinkling
crushed peppermint candies over them as they harden on waxed paper. Wrap in
cellophane, tie a ribbon and place
several in a mug with hot cocoa packets.

* For the children on your list...try this:

Peppermint Play Dough

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup salt
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons oil
peppermint extract

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan.

2. Cook over medium heat until mixture pulls away from side of pan.

3. Be sure to stir constantly.

4. Knead and add color if desired.

This concoction will last up to three months in the refrigerator, if kept in an
airtight container.


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A CHRISTMAS TRADITION: THE MANGER WITH BABY JESUS
*************************
(I really liked this!!! It was taken from the "15 Minute Home and Family
Organizer" by Emilie Barnes. This is something that we are thinking of
incorporating next year!)

"This tradition is probably the sweetest and most meaningful of all. A good
friend of ours, Janet Patton from northern California, provided us with a
home-built manger, that includes straw and a baby Jesus wrapped in meshed cloth.

As you build a "worship center" on a table in plain view for the whole family,
have the following poem written using calligraphy and framed. Place this next to
the manger:
_______________________________________________________________

With excitement we anticipate the special Christmas morn.
Rejoicing daily
that our Christ child soon will be born. We'll spread our love
throughout our
home by preparing a cozy bed. A bed of straw to place his tiny little
head.
As each day passes throughout the month we'll add a piece of
straw for
special love we've spread to one another, special little gifts or
deeds and fun
surprises to each other
What fun our family will enjoy as we spread our love around.
On Christmas morn with joy and glee, we'll celebrate the
Christmas tree.
But most of all rejoice with praise the birthday of our King!
_______________________________________________________________

Everything is displayed except Baby Jesus-hide Him away, but be sure to remember
where. Next to the empty manger is a pile of straw cut into six-inch pieces.
Beginning the first week in December, we gather as a family and talk about the
manger and straw. Every day each member of the family does a good deed on his or
her own, such as sharing toys happily or taking out trash without being asked.
Then everyone puts a piece of straw in the manger. This can be done at the end
of each day. Make sure to talk about the happiness you have given to one
another.

As the month continues, the straw in the manger grows, and soon a cozy bed of
straw fills the manger. Still no Baby Jesus appears. On Christmas Eve, after
all the children are nestled in their beds and asleep, Mom and Dad will find
Baby Jesus and place Him in His rightful spot. Straw or no straw, Baby Jesus
always appears. Some years the manger may not be real cozy, but we have found
that December is the best month of all for good behavior. Watch the excitement
as the children race on Christmas morning to see if Baby Jesus has arrived. They
head straight for the manger even before looking under the tree. Why? Because
during the month we have been focusing on the real meaning of Christmas: Jesus'
birthday."

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O HOLY NIGHT, THE STARS ARE BRIGHTLY SHINING; IT IS THE NIGHT OF THE
DEAR SAVIOR'S BIRTH. LONG LAY THE WORLD IN SIN AND ERROR PINING TILL
HE APPREARED AND THE SOUL FELT HIS WORTH. A THRILL OF HOPE, THE WEARY
WORLD REJOICES, FOR YONDER BEAMS A NEW AND GLORIOUS MORN. FALL ON
YOUR KNEES! OH, HEAR THE ANGEL VOICES! O NIGHT DIVINE! O NIGHT WHEN
CHRIST WAS BORN! O NIGHT DIVINE! NIGHT DIVINE!
*************************
CHRISTMASY TIPS AND IDEAS
*************************

* Instead of cutting little bits of wrapping paper off a large roll, try
wrapping small gifts in pretty Christmas paper napkins.

* Reuse old Christmas cards by splitting them and using the fronts for Christmas
'postcards' next year!

* Create a Christmassy atmosphere throughout your home by setting out pine,
evergreen, or cinnamon-scented potpourri in decorative containers in every room.

*Try tucking favorite Christmas cards into picture frames and mirrors throughout
the house.

*Sew small brass jingle bells along the hem of a tablecloth.


***************************
JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD IS COME! LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING! LET
EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING, AND HEAVEN
AND NATURE SING. AND HEAVEN AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING!
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ARTICLES AND SITES THAT TRULY FOCUS ON THE SEASON
****************************

*Christmas Decorating by Teri Maxwell: http://www.titus2.com/corners/12-03-m.htm

*Fostering An Attitude of Giving in Your Family by Lysa TerKeurst:
http://crown.org/newsletter/default.asp?issue=311&articleid=242

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ANOTHER TRADITION: FAMILY ADVENT WORSHIP TIME
*********************************************

"Many families have established the Advent wreath as a wonderful tradition
during their Christmas season. Here are some guidelines you may want to use:

1. Make a wreath using straw, evergreens, ribbon, etc., and place four red
candles and one white candle around it.
2. Fourth Sunday before Christmas-Light the first red candle. Share Isaiah
2:1-5; 11:1-9; 40:3-11 showing the coming of the Messiah.
3. Third Sunday before Christmas-Light the second red candle. Share Luke 1:26-56
and Isaiah 7:13, 14 telling of the mother of Jesus.
4. Second Sunday before Christmas-Light the third red candle. Share Luke 2:8-20,
telling about the shepherds and angels. Share Matthew 2:1-12, telling about the
wise men.
5. Last Sunday before Christmas-Light the fourth red candle. Share Matthew
2:13-23, telling of the flight into Egypt.
6. On Christmas Eve-Light the white and last candle. You may enjoy reading the
Christmas story found in Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2: 1-20. Let the candles continue
to burn until bedtime.
7. Rejoice! It's the birthday of the King who says, "I am the light of the
world" (John 8:12).

Involve the whole family and take turns lighting and blowing out the candles. we
believe this celebration of Christmas is pleasing to the Lord. It has taught our
children the meaning of Christmas and helps us all to remember His birth and
feel His presence in our homes."

(Taken from the "15 Minute Home and Family Organizer" by Emilie Barnes.)

***************************************************************
SILENT NIGHT! HOLY NIGHT! ALL IS CALM, ALL IS BRIGHT 'ROUND YON
VIRGIN MOTHER AND CHILD. HOLY INFANT SO TENDER AND MILD, SLEEP
IN HEAVENLY PEACE, SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE.
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RECIPES
****************************************************************

WINTER WASSAIL

Makes 13 cups.

2 teaspoons whole allspice
2 teaspoons whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
2 quarts apple cider
2 cups sugar
2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
1 cup water

TIE first 3 ingredients together in a piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter.
BRING cider and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spice bag; reduce heat,
and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Remove spice bag; discard.
STIR in orange juice and remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes or until
heated. Serve hot.

CHRISTMAS PECANS

5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 cups pecan halves

STIR together 4 tablespoons sugar, melted butter, pumpkin pie spice, and orange
rind. Add pecan halves; toss to coat.
PLACE on lightly greased aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with
remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
BAKE at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring once.

CHEESE SALMON BALL

1 7 3/4 ounce can salmon drained and flaked
1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated onion
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients except parsley. Shape in to a ball. Roll ball in
parsley.

Yield 1 cheese ball.

HOLIDAY WREATH APPITIZER

Serves 20

1 (12 ounce) package refrigerated buttermilk flaky biscuits
1 (8 ounce) container chive and onion flavored soft cream cheese
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 400° degrees. Separate biscuits horizontally in half to
form 20 biscuits. Arrange six biscuits in a circle in center of a baking sheet
or stone with edges touching. Arrange remaining biscuits, edges touching in
another circle around center ring of biscuits. Flatten biscuits together to
seal, leaving outside edges scalloped for a petal effect. Bake 11-13 minutes or
until golden brown. Cool one minute. Combine cream cheese, pressed garlic and
dill and spread over cooled biscuit ring. Sprinkle with broccoli, cucumber and
tomato. To serve, pull apart biscuits.




CHOCOLATE MICE


1 jar stemmed cherries (12 cherries), drained very well
Hershey Kisses, wrappers removed (12)
almond bark chocolate or chocolate chips
2.5 oz bag sliced almonds (to be used for the ears)
either small amount of white chocolate melted or tube of red cake
decorating gel (this will to be make the eyes)

Procedure:

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
2. Dip cherry in the melted chocolate, then attach a candy Kiss onto the
front of the dipped cherry (the stem is the tail and the point of the Kiss is
the nose, of course).
3. Attach two sliced almonds between the flat side of the Kiss and the
chocolate covered cherry, one on each side.
4. Dot Kiss with either white chocolate or red decorating gel to make the
eyes.
5. Let them cool on wax paper in the refrigerator.

Serving Size:

12 Christmas Mice


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O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, HOW STILL WE SEE THEE LIE! ABOVE
THY DEEP AND DREAMLESS SLEEP THE SILENT STARS GO BY, YET, IN THEY
DARK STREETS SHINETH THE EVERLASTING LIGHT: THE HOPES AND
FEARS OF ALL THE YEARS ARE MET IN THEE TONIGHT.
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CHRISTMAS PRAYER
************************************************************
May the spirit of giving
Go on through the year,
Bringing love, laughter,
Hope, and good cheer.
Gifts wrapped with charity,
Joy, peace, and grace,
Ribboned with happiness,
A tender embrace.
-Norma Woodbridge

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Well, dear ladies, that's it for this time! Have a joyous holiday season and a
very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I'll see you again in January! God bless one and all!

Love and Holiday ((((Hugs)))),
~Rebecca
(wife, homeschooling mom, and homemaker)
Proverbs 31:10-31; Titus 2:3-5

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