Christmas Traditions (Part 12)

Christmas dishes are a huge part of my Christmas Cheer. My Mom had very special Christmas dishes when we were growing up, and it is something I’ve continued…being me, none of mine match. 

Every year I try to add a new dish to my collection, especially if I see one with a deer on it.

Several years ago, Potter Barn featured a set of dishes based around the 12 Days of Christmas. I circled, stared, and pointed it out in the catalogue to my extra parents when they asked what I wanted for Christmas. They are my most favorite Christmas dishes! I love unpacking them every year and I hate packing them away! 

I use the big platter with a Partridge in the Pear Tree to hold all my Christmas cards every year. 

They make me sooooo happy!

Merry Christmas!!!


Christmas Traditions (Part 8)

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.”

Once upon a time, we had a magical and, yes, white Christmas Eve. (The story of why the Vincent side of the family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve will come later.) The day started with the sad news that Jason wouldn’t make it to the family celebration due to work. Spirits were low. Hearts were sad. We knew the day would come when we wouldn’t all be together for the holiday, but it was hard to realize that time was now.
Then low and behold, like the jolly man himself, Jason appears! A good day turned into a great day! A merry and bright day! A day of magical gifts. For, far more important to us than the gifts is  being together.

But the magic of this particular Christmas Eve wasn’t over.


We all wish for a white Christmas, but who in Texas believes we will ever have one, and yet, like a Christmas movie, snow sifted down from the sky! What joy! Grownups forgot their cares and raced outside like so many small children. Snowball fights ensured. Squeals of delight. White stuff flying!

That Christmas was before too many little ones had joined the family, so many of us spent the night at my parents house in a giant slumber party. We stayed up talking late into the wee hours of Christmas morning. We went out into the snow for a game of Frisbees unable to believe the white on the ground and not wanting to waste it.

It was a magical Christmas that joined others like the Christmas Fire, the Marshmallow Christmas, and Why we Celebrate on Christmas Eve, this was the White Christmas.

Merry Christmas! May yours be Merry and Bright with those you love gathered around!


Christmas Traditions  ( Part 7)

Jolly old Saint Nicholas,
Lean your ear this way,
Don’t you tell a single soul
What I’m going to say.
Christmas Eve will soon be here,
Now you dear old man,
Whisper what you’ll bring to me,
Tell me if you can. 

-Jolly Old Saint Nicholas by Unknown

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Elf! It makes me laugh  and cry. It’s sweet and cute. The music is great and I don’t gag at that one part anymore. lol.

I love to watch it while I decorate or wrap presents. Due to an early December cold, I watched it this year while wrapping presents on the couch under my Christmas quilt .  That was enough for one day, so back to resting.

Merry Christmas! 

Christmas Traditions (Day 6)

While wrapping presents or sending out Christmas cards, I enjoy watching this old version of the Nutcracker Ballet. It originally aired on PBS, but you can now find it on YouTube. It has a charming VHS video quality to it.

The Nutcracker Ballet is one of my favorite pieces of classical music. I love the story being told, the magic, the innocence, and the joy of Christmas. You should check it out!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Traditions (Part 4)

One of my very favorite Christmas Traditions is the Church Christmas Party for the Adults. It’s a fun evening of dressing up, finger foods, laughter, and good fellowship. Sometimes there is even Christmas Carol singing.
By this time of the year, it’s usually quite chilly… to us Texans anyway… so we can all wear sweaters and boots. We drive in the dark evening out to the Hodson’s beautiful home, checking out the Christmas Lights on the way. Then it’s in through the front door with crackers and cheese, greetings far and wide to the people I love most in the world, a quick word with my Mom and hug for my Dad, fill a plate–where are the rum balls?– and find a table. Then talk, talk, talk: Movies, books, TV shows, life, theology, personality types, life, more theology (we’re reformed Baptists after all), and more laughter. With a busy weekend, we decide to stay only a short time, but another theological question takes my husband off to a corner, so I rejoin the party. We go home late, but we go home happy.

I look around at these people, these normal, average, ordinary people and realize these will be the people I’m with forever. Not just now. Not just for a handful of years, but forever. I can’t tell you how much that thrills my heart.

I look forward to this event every year. Some of us have been coming for more years than we can count, some of our young people are coming for the first time. Some can’t make it and are missed. Some of us mingle well, and some of us are horrible at mingling, but you should know that just seeing fellow saints, being in the same home with them, is a joy and delight.

Merry Christmas!!!


Christmas Traditions (Part 3)

For years now, my Decembers have involved  Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter movies. This year was no different. My three writing students/dear friends treated me to Fantastic Beasts. We had a wonderful time. We met first for coffee where we loudly discussed Harry Potter and writing. Then we made snide remarks during the pre-show, and ooohed and awwwed at previews. then Silencio for the movie other than popcorn crunching. Good times! The movie was beautiful and fantastic. I had some issues with it, but still loved it. 


Christmas Traditions (Part 2)

“The holly green, the ivy green
The prettiest picture you’ve ever seen 
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home
It’s nice you know, to kiss your beau 
while cuddling under the mistletoe 
And Santa Claus, you know of course
Is one of the boys from home

The door is always open

The neighbors pay a call.”

– Christmas in Killarney by Bobby Vinton

Part of the joy of Christmas is all the wonderful food that you wouldn’t eat on a regular basis. One of those special foods in our family is Sausage Balls. Super easy to make, this wonderful tasting delights are a Christmas must have. We usually make a few batches for ourselves, and then one for each side of the family on the actual  holiday.

Three ingredients.

Ready to go in the oven.

Yum yum!!!

This is the recipe. 😊

Christmas Traditions (Part 1)

Frosted window panes
Candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree
Santa’s on his way
He’s filled his sleigh with things
Things for you and for me

It’s that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear seems to say
Merry Christmas
May your New Year dreams come true
And this song of mine
In three-quarter time
Wishes you and yours
The same thing too.

– The Christmas Waltz By Jules Stine and Sammy Cahn


If you don’t know it yet, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. So I decided to do a short post every day sharing my Christmas traditions, stories, and favorites.

Today, I want to share a new tradition I started last year. For the whole month of December I listen to different versions of The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens on Audible. Not only is Dickens easier in audio versions, but it puts you in a wonderful mood for Christmas. Most versions are 3-5 hours long, with the Patrick Stewart or Tim Curry versions being my favorite.

This is perfect for commutes, especially if you work retail and your having a hard time staying in the mood of the season, or just as you fold laundry and dust and cook. It’s also perfect to share with the family around a fire and a bowl of popcorn.

Dickens masterful work of the ‘meaning of Christmas’ is rich, wholesome, and yet very down to earth, filled with human nature. His descriptions of the market place on Christmas, Mr. Fezziwig, and the Bob Cratchit’s family are a wonderful delight. I hope in a few more years to be able to directly quote this book after listening to it so many times, though I’ll probably do it in Patrick Stewart’s voice.

Merry Christmas and “God bless us, every one!”