Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Friday, 14 December 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - U

ABC's of Christmas ~ "U"

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar every month. ~ Harlan Miller

Welcome back to the ABC's of Christmas. Today we're doing the letter....

is for...
Under the Mistletoe, under the Christmas Tree, and It Came Upon The Midnight Clear.

Mistletoe was a plant of peace in antiquity. If enemies met by chance beneath it in a forest, they laid down their arms and maintained a truce until the next day. This is thought to be the origin of the ancient custom of hanging a ball of mistletoe from the ceiling and exchanging kisses under it as a sign of friendship and goodwill. 

According to the Anglo-Saxons, kissing under the mistletoe was connected to the legend of Freya, goddess of love, beauty and fertility. According to legend, a man had to kiss any young girl who, without realizing it, found herself accidentally under a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling. 

courtesy of the Internet

If a couple in love exchanges a kiss under the mistletoe, it is interpreted as a promise to marry, as well as a prediction of happiness and long life. In France, the custom linked to mistletoe was reserved for New Year's Day: "Au gui l'An neuf" (Mistletoe for the New Year).

The custom for a beautifully decorated fir tree encircled by piles of presents was introduced by Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, who had both experienced the tradition as children. 
Source Internet

The origins are thought to date back to the legend of Thor, when St. Boniface cut down the sacred tree of the god, in the German town of Geismar, and replaced it with a fir tree. This practice was repeated each year and the custom evolved as part of the Christmas traditions, beginning with a tree in each town decorated with garlands and later candles, to the popular practice of today bringing a fir tree indoors and adorning it with baubles and twinkling lights. The tree is now a focus of Christmas morning as children excitedly discover what Father Christmas has delivered. {
Excerpt from "An English Christmas"} 

Underneath my tree you will find a collection of dolls and teddy bears as well as a rocking horse or two which wait patiently before the gifts are placed underneath its branches. 

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear is a Christmas carol that was written by Edmund Sears, a preacher in Wayland, Massachusetts, in 1849. The melody was composed by Richard S. Willis also in 1849. A beautiful carol that we still enjoy today at Christmastime.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Please join me tomorrow for the letter V.

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Thursday, 13 December 2018

ABC's of Christmas ~ T

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like the bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do to others is good you do yourself. ~ Norman Wesley Brooks - 1976, from "Let Every Day Be Christmas"

ABC's of Christmas ~ T

Hello my lovely friends and welcome to another ABC's of Christmas. Today's letter is T.

is for...
Tinsel, Toy trains, Christmas Tree, Tradition, Turkey...

Did you know that the Christmas tree originated in Germany?

Queen Victoria and her beloved German Prince Albert introduced Christmas trees with the intricate ornaments to England in 1840. Glass ornaments, decorative beads, paper baskets with sugared almonds and hot air balloons adorned the trees.

And did you know that the early Christmas trees were typically trimmed with real candles, wafers, gingerbread cookies, fruit such as apples and garlands of cranberries, candy, as well as paper flowers and tinsels fashioned from tin and silver?

This is my Christmas tree which I had up in the family room a couple of years ago. It is decorated with ornaments and decorations collected from over forty years. There are no candles but you may find a gingerbread man, apples, and flowers. 

Toy Trains I have always been fascinated with toy trains. My father had a wonderful train set when I was growing up and I have always loved them. I always dreamed of having a train set of my own, running around beneath the tree. Real trains bring back fond memories of our family travelling to New Brunswick to visit my grandparents. Those were the days!

My son gifted me with this Chattanooga train a couple of years ago. 

I think trains have a most charming quality about them. Someday I hope to have a train set. The four foot tree in the family room would be a great spot for it. 

TurkeyWhat is Christmas dinner without a turkey? When I was growing up, my family always had a turkey and I still have a turkey to this day for Christmas dinner. It's called Tradition and I'm very big on tradition, especially at Christmastime. 

I make my simple but tasty dressing/stuffing using bread crumbs, potatoes, onion, summer savoury, salt and pepper, and I cook it outside the bird. I add some of the drippings from the turkey to it which makes it very tasty.

I think one of the nicest compliments I ever received from my mother was that she told me my dressing tasted just like her mother's; my grandmother's. I adored my grandmother so whenever I make my dressing now, I always think of my Granny. I like to think that she would be pleased with her granddaughter.

Please come back tomorrow for the letter U.

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The ABC's of Christmas ~ S

The Letter S

Snow flakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share.

Sleigh bells in the air

Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here

We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see,
Such spirit through the year. ~ From A Charlie Brown Christmas

 Today's letter is...S

is for....
Star of Bethlehem, Silver Bells, Snowflakes, Stockings, Saviour, Sugar Plums.

"And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
And they came to the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh." ~ Matthew 2:10-11

"For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." ~ Luke 2: 11

"Silver Bellsis a classic Christmas song, composed by Jay Livinston and Ray Evans.


Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you'll hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day

SnowflakesThe magical thing about snowflakes, is that there are no two alike. Each one is unique and beautifully created.  

Courtesy of the Internet

Each one of you is like a lovely snowflake. You are beautiful and unique, and there is no other like you in all the world. God has made only one like you and you are precious to Him. 
During this beautiful Christmas season, I invite you to get to know Him. He is the reason we are celebrating Christmas and the best you could give Him, is yourself.

When I was growing up, my mother always made sauce pan cookies at Christmastime. Once I got married, I started making them. I suppose many of you in Blogland have a similar recipe. A few years ago, I added green and red cherries to the mixture and now they are called Sugar Plums.
They are tasty little morsels made of dates, nuts, rice krispies, and cherries, then rolled in coconut.

Tykes on sleds and shouts of glee, icy-window filigree, sugarplums and candle glow, part of Christmas long ago. ~ Jo Geis

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you will stop by again tomorrow as I do the letter T.
Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi