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 30 November 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - I

 The ABC's Of Christmas  

From Home To Home, And From Heart To Heart, From One Place to Another, The Warmth And Joy Of Christmas Brings Us Closer To Each Other. - Emily Matthews

Hello everyone and welcome to the letter I of the ABC's of Christmas.

We had a snow storm Wednesday overnight into Thursday and it knocked out our power for twenty-three hours. I kept thinking it would be warmer living in an igloo! We have never gone this long in the wintertime without heat and lights. How thankful we were when they were restored again early this morning!

Before I get into our letter for today, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of my Followers! Both my old and new blog buddies have made blogging so worth while and I just want to say Thank you for commenting and being the wonderful support that you are. It's simply lovely there are so many of you out there and some of you have been friends of mine for years. Now, on to the letter...

is for...
Icicles, ice skating, "It's A Wonderful Life," Immanuel.

Icicles can be both beautiful and harmful. This photo below is one example of how beautiful they can be.

However, I do recall a time when my little brother and I were playing outdoors in the wintertime and we were knocking icicles off the eves of the house. The icicles were huge! We were about six and eight years old at the time. One huge icicle fell off the house and went through my brother's lip which then required stitches. It gave us all quite a scare at the time and needless to say, we found other things to do outside after that.

Ice skating has always been a popular pastime here on the Island in the wintertime.  


My father used to take my brother and me skating at the rink and on outdoor ponds when we were growing up. My hubby grew up playing hockey on outdoor ponds and has many a story to tell. Not only is it fun but it is wonderful exercise!

The 1945 movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart and Donna Reed is a Christmas classic. It tells the story of George Bailey who is rescued by his guardian angel, Clarence, and shown what the world would look like if George had never existed. 
It is a movie which makes us all think about what we bring to the world and how we can make it better.

Immanuel is another name for our Saviour when He came to earth as a Babe in the stable. As most of you know, it means "God with us." 
Photo courtesy of The Nativity Story

Thank you for visiting today and please join me again tomorrow when I talk about the letter J.
Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Thursday 29 November 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - H

H ~ The ABC's of Christmas

Welcome Christmas friends to the ABC's of Christmas. Today's letter is H...

is for...
The Holly and the Ivy, O Holy Night, Happy Holidays,  and Home Alone.

As an evergreen plant that bears vibrant berries even in the dead of Winter, holly is a natural choice for decorative foliage for Christmas. Its symbolic importance stems back to Druid times who considered the holly to have magical properties. 


Holly is associated with males and as such is considered to bring men good luck, whereas ivy is the female counterpart, so be sure to decorate with both  to have a fortuitous Christmas for the whole family. 

Happy Holidays is a greeting used everywhere nowadays instead of Merry Christmas. It is thought that in using the term Happy Holidays, one would not offend others who don't celebrate the holiday, Christmas. Personally, I greet everyone with Merry Christmas. However, I do have an aunt and uncle who are Jewish and I always send them a Hanukkah card. My aunt always sends me a card wishing me a Merry Christmas. Our beliefs may differ just a little but we still love and respect one another.

courtesy of the internet

Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas comedy film starring Maccaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a boy who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. The first time I saw the movie, I was somewhat shocked at the way he talked to his parents and adults in general. My children would never have talked to us that way! However, Kevin was a very precocious and resourceful young man who relished having the house to himself but soon had to contend with two burglars. Great comedy with good lessons learned.

Holy Night is one of my favourite Christmas carols. 

"O Holy Night" ("Cantique de Noël") is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau (1808–1877), a wine merchant and poet, who had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem. A minister, John Sullivan Dwight,[2] editor of Dwight's Journal of Music, created a singing edition based on Cappeau's French text in 1855. In both the French original and in the two familiar English versions of the carol, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus and of mankind's redemption. {Internet}

O Holy Night
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

What is your favourite Christmas carol? Please join me tomorrow for the letter I.
Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Tuesday 27 November 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - G

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight, 
We're happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland. 
~ Dick Smith, Felix Bernard 1934

G ~ The ABC's of Christmas

Good morning my Christmas lovin' friends. Today I am doing the letter G

is for....
Glad Tidings, gingerbread, gold, frankincense, myrrh, and good will toward men.

Gingerbread cookies and houses are a long time favourite at Christmastime. When my boys were growing up I made gingerbread boys every year. I still enjoy them although I no longer bake them. They are such charming cookies!

These gingerbread boys I found at a craft fair many years ago. They look adorable around my son's ceramic Christmas tree that he made when he was twelve years old.

These days, I have a ceramic Gingerbread House which I purchased at Hallmark a number of years ago. It has wonderful gumdrops on it which light up and keep time to the music that plays when you ring the doorbell. It plays a most delightful rendition of The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.

My grandchildren love it and they always took turns ringing the door bell! I love a little whimsy at Christmastime, don't you? 

I also enjoy old fashioned Gingerbread cake served with apple sauce, whipped cream, or a wonderful vinegar sauce which was my grandmother's recipe. Yes, Vinegar Sauce; and it's delicious!  

The song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is a Christmas carol based on a poem written by Henry W. Longfellow {1807-1882} and J. Baptiste Calkin {1827-1905} composed the melody.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men. 

We've all heard the story of the wise men who travelled a great distance to worship the new born King. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. " -Matthew 2:11

Thank you for visiting today. Please come back on Thursday for the letter H. Have a beautiful day everyone!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 26 November 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - F

What is the Christmas spirit? It is the spirit which brings a smile to the lips and tenderness to the heart; It is the spirit which warms one into friendship with all the world, which impels one to hold out the hand of fellowship to every man and woman. ~ Anonymous

F ~ The ABC's of Christmas

Hello friends! Today we are doing the letter F...

is for....
Father Christmasfruitcake, fudge...

The central figure of most secular celebrations of Christmas is a jolly fellow who delivers presents to well behaved children on Christmas Eve. 

He goes by several names; Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, among others. In England, this jolly gent is known as
Father Christmas.

This is my Father Christmas dressed in his robe and carrying a jingle ball. His robe is very pretty because it is shot through with shades of peach and pink on a taupe/brown. Hard to see in the photo.

I really like this figurine and I find it very endearing. Father Christmas kneeling in worship before the Saviour.

Years ago, I had made a friend of mine a figurine very much like this one. I wish I had made myself one too because I think it says it all.

Every Christmas, I make
fruitcake and fudge among other things. This year, I will make both a dark and a sultana cake. My middle son and his wife as well as myself, prefer the dark cake, whereas the rest of my family prefers the sultana or light cake.

The plate holds a selection of the dark and light fruit cake as well as fudge.

This is my Sultana or light cake which is my maternal grandmother's r
ecipe. It is a wonderful light and buttery cake made with a delectable mixture of fruit and flavourings. It is the perfect cake for Christmas because it is so pretty and looks like it is filled with jewels. Yum!

This is my dark fruit cake which is my paternal grandmother's recipe. I know this recipe is very old. I'm just not sure how far back it goes. This cake is delectable in every way and so moist that I can use some of it for pudding with a sauce. Since my family can take or leave plum pudding, they do like this cake warmed up with a sauce poured over it. 

What about you? Do you make a special cake for the holidays?

Thank you for visiting and I hope you are enjoying this series! Please join me tomorrow for the letter G.

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Saturday 24 November 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - E

E ~ The ABC's of Christmas

Hello everyone and welcome to of the ABC's of Christmas.

is for... eggnog, Emmanuel, evergreens, Christmas Eve...

Eggnog is one of the many treats of the festive season. It is said to have its origins in medieval times and was later enjoyed by the English aristocracy who could both afford the expensive ingredients, and keep the milk chilled.
The drink itself varies from country to country and even amongst families. 

The drink reached the shores of America in the eighteenth century and rum or 'grog' was used to lace the mixture, with the name abbreviated from egg and grog to that used today.
However, good eggnog is made as a punch and should contain a large amount of eggs, milk, and spices such as vanilla and nutmeg. I don't use alcohol although I know many do.

Evergreens have long been used to decorate our homes for the Christmas season. Not only are they beautiful but their pungent fragrance fills one's home with the lovely scent of the outdoors. Many use artificial evergreens today because allergies are such a problem.

My parents always used real evergreens to decorate the doorways and windows of their home as well as using the big evergreen Christmas tree. I miss that nowadays as we use an artificial tree. 

I love to decorate with the evergreens. Every year I use garland on the mantel and I often stick real evergreen pieces into it just to enjoy the scent. There are scent sticks out too that one can slip into the mantel greens and the tree.

The main reason that I use an artificial tree is so that I can leave the tree up longer and I admit it bothers me to see evergreens on the side of the road after the Christmas season is over.

Emmanuel or Immanuel, is the name given to our beloved Saviour Jesus Christ, when He came to earth as a Babe in the stable so long ago. The prophecy was given in Isaiah 7:14.

"Behold, the virgin shall be with Child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which translated means, 'God is with us.'" - Matthew 1:23

How do you spend your Christmas EveIn years gone by, we usually had a church service and then spent the rest of the evening with our family. We always enjoyed my pate after the service which is a savoury meat pie. Of course later that evening, the beautiful strains of Christmas music would be playing while we finished wrapping gifts and filling stockings.

I hope you are enjoying this series. Enjoy your weekend and please come back on Monday for the letter F.

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Friday 23 November 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - D

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Welcome to the ABC's of Christmas.

Today's letter is D... is for Dickens,  Deck the Halls, Dolls, Donuts...

I'm sure most of you have begun your holiday baking and decorating your home for the season.

courtesy of the Internet

My father and I had a tradition of making Christmas donuts together. I would mix up the batter, cut them out, and he was in charge of cooking them in the fat. We always left half the batch plain and sugared the other half. He would keep half the donuts for my mother and himself while I would take the other half home to my family. It was my grandmother's recipe and were they ever good!
Now, I make them by myself but Hubby helps when he can. I really don't make donuts much any more and I really miss those times with my Daddy!

Christmas is also about Dickens...
The Victorian era was when many of the traditions were established. Prince Albert introduced the German tradition of the Christmas tree during Dickensian times, and the Royal family promoted the idea of family Christmases. 

This paired with the novella written by Charles Dickens, cemented the ideologies of Christmas that we uphold today. 'A Christmas Carol' is not only an illustration of Christmas during Victorian times, it promoted many of the sentiments of what the season meant to secular society. 


The story is rich with the importance of family and love as well as merriment, enjoying food, dancing, and playing games, but also most importantly, goodwill to all men and generosity of spirit.

This is part of my Christmas Village. All the characters are dressed in Victorian garments.

When I was a little girl, I loved dolls, and I couldn't imagine never playing with them. Then I grew up and had my own. Unfortunately, they grew up on me. So, I began collecting dolls. The two I'm sharing with you today I had received for Christmas many years ago.

This porcelain Little Drummer Boy, was gifted to me by my hubby the year our youngest son played The Little Drummer Boy in the school band. He is outfitted in his shepherd garments complete with sandals, and plays his drum to the music of The Little Drummer Boy.

This sweet little girl was a gift from my middle son and his wife for Christmas one year. She is out walking her pup and carrying her lantern. She is dressed in her lovely velvet forest green coat which is trimmed with fur. Underneath her coat, she is wearing her little tartan dress. Topping off her beautiful tresses is a matching fur hat. Isn't she adorable?

Deck the Halls is a traditional Christmas and New Years' carol. The melody is Welsh dating back to the sixteenth century, and belongs to a winter carol, "Nos Galan", while the English lyrics, written by the Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant, date to 1862. {Wikpedia}

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la! 

Thank you for visiting today. See you next time for the letter E.....

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Thursday 22 November 2018

The ABC's of Christmas - C

Welcome friends to the ABC's of Christmas.

Today's letter is ~ C.

Before I get to the letter, I would like to wish all my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled with good food and the love of family and friends. We here in Canada have already celebrated Thanksgiving in October but I am careful to give thanks every day because I have much to be thankful for.

is for Candy canescarollerscards, charity, Christ Child...

courtesy of the internet

There are many stories and legends about the candy cane. I will share this one today.

The Story of the Candy Cane
Once upon a time, an Indiana candymaker decided to create a new kind of candy that would witness to his Christian faith. He began with a stick of pure, white, hard candy–white to symbolize Jesus’ Virgin Birth and sinless life, and hard to symbolize the firmness of the promises of God, the Rock of our salvation.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a “J” to represent both the precious name of Jesus and the staff used by the “Good Shepherd” to gently bring back His stray lambs.  Thinking this candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker decorated it with red stripes.  He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed.  The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have eternal life.

Although the candy cane is for many simply another Christmas decoration, its true meaning is still there for those who “have eyes to see and ears to hear.”

Did you know that Christmas cards first originated in ancient Rome? However the first earliest known designer of a Christmas card was Sir Henry Cole, the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was both the Penny Post postal service in 1840 and the industrialization of the printing industry however, that led to the popularity of sending Christmas cards. By 1846, one thousand were sold at one shilling each. Cards in unsealed envelopes could be posted for half a penny.

I like the old fashioned way of sending a lovely card to family and friends as it is much more personal. Sadly, it is fast becoming a thing of the past however, with the use of email. I don't know about you, but I enjoy receiving a lovely card in the mail. When I first got married, my Christmas card list was quite lengthy and sadly now, it is less than a dozen. There are reasons for that of course with the passing of family members and friends. How about you, do you send Christmas cards?

Although there are plenty of formal carol concerts, there is something charming about carollers singing on one's doorstep. In the name of charity and goodwill to all men, groups make their way from door to door or gather beneath a street lamp to sing. It is both a charming and romantic sight this time of year.

Our most important C is of course, the Christ Child. We wouldn't be celebrating Christmas at all if not for His coming the first time as a new born baby in a lowly stable.

"....for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." 
Luke 2: 11-12

Let us give thanks this season for His beautiful gift to us that first Christmas.

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi