Category: Christmas Time

Kissing Bow – Romantic Christmas


Kissing Bow – Romantic Christmas

Let’s make Christmas that extra more fun and I dare say romantic as well.  Forget mistletoe, let’s have a kissing bow.

Making one will bring out the artistic side in you.

Add anything you want like apples, grapes, garland of ivy, tinsels, etc.  You are only constraint by your imagination.  Hold these together with a wire coat hanger.

Blue Peter’s John Noakes with the Advent Crown

If you are familiar with Children BBC’s Blue Peter, then a kissing bow should be a doddle.

Making a kissing bow is pretty similar with building and creating the  Advent Crown.

Another thing to add to this kissing bow to highlight it are lights.  Thank goodness you can have a fire-proof battery operated Christmas lights now widely available in the market for a pound or two.

Christmas’ Forgotten List

Christmas Decor
Photo by JMorton

The item that would really worry me that I forgot to buy for Christmas is the battery. I remember one Christmas when I bought all these beautiful remote controlled toys for my son.

On Christmas morning, he can’t play with them because of the missing batteries. I saw how bravely he was trying to hide his disappointment but it did break my heart.

Now I always ensure that we have batteries for Christmas.

The next item is the tin foil, the aluminium wrap, to cover the turkey. Stress….

Then running out of gravy granules, that is total disaster. I like my roast swimming in gravy.

Christmas’ Forgotten List

Below is the top 10 forgotten items.  Hope this will be a reminder to make Christmas painless and extra special.

Top 10 forgotten Christmas items:

1.    Batteries
2.    Sellotape
3.    Crackers
4.    Gift tags
5.    Cranberry sauce
6.    Wrapping paper
7.    Pigs in blankets
8.    Napkins
9.    Beer
10.  Gravy

Please let us know your forgotten item or items and we will add it to our list.

The Birth of Christ

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Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

The Birth of Christ

There is so much materialism now attached to Christmas that we are overlooking what we should truly celebrate.

Christmas is the birth of Christ, the saviour of all.  It is time to give Him thanks and praise, also remembering him by showing love and kindness to all mankind.

It is lovely to receive presents and giving is its own reward.

As quoted on a board in Islington underground on 23 December 2016, Christmas is not about the presents under the Christmas tree but the people around it.

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Let it snow, let it snow and snow

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Let it snow, let it snow and snow, photo by PH Morton

Let it snow, let it snow and snow

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Let it snow, let it snow and snow, photo by PH Morton

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Let it snow, let it snow and snow, photo by PH Morton


I saw my adorable grandson today. I went to watch him in his school pantomime. They did a very traditional version of the nativity play, which really gladden my heart.

More and more now, schools here in the UK have succumbed to the onslaught of political correctness and therefore do not want to offend other faiths except the Christian religion! They have been vociferously removing Christ from Christmas.  Anyway that is another blog in itself.

While walking from school, Nathan mentioned to me that he wishes snow for Christmas. He wants to make snow balls and have a real good fun fight in the garden. He also wanted to build a smowman and even offered his own scarf for the snowman to use (he is such a kind boy – so proud of him).

There is always a small chance that it would snow of course as the weather is getting colder and colder.

(By the way my heart goes to those people who were victims of the flood in Cumbria and nearby areas. It breaks my heart to see their homes which have been prepared for Christmas. All their furnitures and decorations were lost and ruined in the flood. It is only right that the Government helps them in anyway they can. It was underhanded of the UK Government to have cut the funds for floods, when it has been occuring more often in many places.)

Hopefully we do have a snowy Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas!

Twelve Days of Christmas

It seems there is precedence to giving and receiving excessive amount of gifts and presents during the Christmas season as defined by my childhood favourite Christmas carol/rhyme, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Partridges: 1 × 12 = 12

Doves: 2 × 11 = 22

Hens 3 × 10 = 30

Calling birds: 4 × 9 = 36

Golden rings: 5 × 8 = 40

Geese: 6 × 7 = 42

Swans: 7 × 6 = 42

Maids: 8 × 5 = 40

Ladies: 9 × 4 = 36

Lords: 10 × 3 = 30

Pipers: 11 × 2 = 22

Drummers: 12 × 1 = 12

Total = 364

The receiver would be responsible for many geese, swans and has to fork out for cows to keep the maids in employment.

She has to move out of her small flat into a mansion with many rooms, where she can escape when the  cocophony of drums and pipes gets too much as well as the house party she has to throw for the raving ladies.

What can the ‘true love’ be thinking?!!! 🙂

Twelve Days of Christmas, art from www.forbes.com

Twelve Days of Christnas, art from www.forbes.com


Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree2

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the third day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

I watch the sunrise (Close to You) – Hymn

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Peter and I went to the Easter Sunday service at our local All Saints’s Church today. During the communion, a hymn was sang by the choir and it just got to me like no other. It really spoke to me. I could not wait to go home to google it and listen to it more.

So got home and googled; the problem was that I don’t really know the hymn’s title. I cannot remember the words. I was going to ask Peter to telephone the vicar about it, but could not really wait that long so went back to the trusty internet.

Deep down, I kept mulling the words ‘watch the sunrise’. I typed it and then added ‘hymn’ and like magic, the hymn was in youtube with its many versions by different singers. I chose Daniel as you cannot go wrong with him.

The lyrics was composed by John Glynn, who was born in Barnet Hertfordshire in 1948. He trained for the diocesan priesthood in 1966 and was ordained in 1977. John Glynn did not only answer his calling from God but also cultivated his passion for music. It was in January 1970 that he wrote the lyrics to Close To You, which became better known for its first line ‘I watch the sunrise’ (Thank God for that, it enabled me to search it 😉 lol). The melody was provided by his fellow student, Colin Murphy, while studying at St. John’s Seminary in Wonersh, near Guildford in Surrey.

John Glynn, after 36 years in various parishes, had resigned from active ministry in 2010 at the age of 62. This did not mean retirement but just moving on to another area, where he can concentrate in his passion for making music inspired by the Gospel of Christ.


I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
Casting its shadows near.
And on this morning bright though it be,
I feel those shadows near me.

But you are always close to me
Following all my ways.
May I be always close to you
Following all your ways, Lord.

I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds,
Warming the earth below.
And at the mid-day, life seems to say:
I feel your brightness near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the sunset fading away,
Lighting the clouds with sleep.
And as the evening closes its eyes,
I feel your presence near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the moonlight guarding the night,
Waiting till morning comes.
The air is silent, earth is at rest
Only your peace is near me.

Pigs-in-Blankets Recipe

Xmas day 2013 285

sausages wrapped in bacon Photo by PH Morton

 

Pigs in blankets are the easiest thing to do and yet a great favourite with everyone. It is an ideal finger food for parties.

I usually make a lot for Christmas to go with the turkey. Actually I get a special request from my son and hubby to make a lot. I find that everyone in our household would eat the bacon wrapped sausages either hot or cold. When cold they can go nicely with the cheeseboard  with some pickles or with some cold meat and salad.

The recipe below is a rather fancy way of making the pigs in the blankets.

The simplest way is to wrap the cocktail sausages in bacon rinds using a toothpick to keep it in place.

Then grill, fry or put it around the turkey or roasting potatoes in the oven for 25 minutes.

Pigs-in-Blankets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8-10 rashers streaky bacon, halved
  • 1 tbsp ready-made English mustard
  • 16-20 small party sausages

Method

Run a knife along the length of the bacon rashers so they stretch a little, spread lightly with the mustard, then cut in half. Use the bacon to wrap a sausage. then spear onto short skewers.
Roast the bacon wrapped mini-sausages in the oven  for 30-40 mins until golden.
Serve with the Sunday roast or some green salad.

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Views

To round off our enjoyable Christmas holiday we visited Trafalgar Square in central London on Jan 3. The Square is a famous tourist location and landmark which commemorates a famous sea battle in 1805. The British Royal Navy was victorious against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).

Twenty-seven British ships of the line led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve off the south west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar.

We wanted to see the giant Christmas tree which every year. The tree is donated to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo each year since 1947 to thank Britain’s assistance to Norway in World War Two (WW2) & is prominently displayed in Trafalgar Square from the beginning of December until 6 January. Jean was happy to see that the giant Blue Cock still occupied one of the four plinths.  We enjoyed the views and  watching the various street entertainers too.

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Views

Table At Christmas

We really had a good time at Christmas, despite cough and cold and flu for most of the family.

I supposed we made the best of it as it only comes once a year and bearing in mind that so much preparations were put into it.

As they said “Feed the cold, starve the fever.” And we really did.

We celebrated our Lord God’s birthday with joy in our hearts, with love for our family, with toys and gifts, which pleased everyone and enough food on the table.

Sharing a meal, with everyone (except for poor Stacey, who was really battered by flu and was resting in bed) was a joyful affair.  The food, if I say so myself, was beautifully cooked.  Peter and I did put a lot of effort into to it.  We were on our feet four hours, pummeling, forming, stirring, mixing, blending, chopping, crushing, washing and cooking the meal.  After 4 hours of non-stop activities in the kitchen, we serve a very palatable Christmas fare, which everyone enjoyed:)

We really had a very merry Christmas and now look forward to many, many more to come!

Table At Christmas

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We did correct the cutlery positions: Fork on the left and knife on the right! 😉

 

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A Christmas table without the Christmas crackers is rather cheerless!

 

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Starter: Avocado and Cantaloupe melon with Serrano Ham

the christmas table
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“It’s ok to let yourself go, just as long as you let yourself back.”
– Mick Jagger
………
I shall diet after Christmas. Promise!!! 😉

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