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Christmas Dinner (An Ultimate Recipe Swap)

Christmas dinner can be as fancy as a huge turkey and all the trimmings. Think A Christmas Carol after Scrooge has repented. Or it can be as simple as a few boxes of takeout from your favorite Chinese food restaurant. Think A Christmas Story after the dog ate the aforementioned turkey. Whatever you choose, it […]

An Easy Way to Make A Buche de Noel or Yule Log Cake for Christmas

Many years ago, almost twenty, I spent a year in France as an exchange student. I adopted a family — or they adopted me — to call my own. I lived in a different French city, but thanks to mutual acquaintances, we connected and my life was changed. I don’t think I would have experienced […]

A New Look at Jesus’ Birth

The other day, my friend Joy shared this video. (She always finds good stuff, by the way. She’s brilliant.) And I wanted to share this with you. If you know how facebook works, it will make more sense. But, I found it an interesting look at Mary and Joseph and the Birth of Jesus. Definitely […]

The Ultimate To Do List Completed

My Christmases have varied over the years. I am stunned that this is my 17th Christmas as a married woman. FishPapa and I have seen a lot over those seasons: sickness, health, richer, poorer. One thing has stayed constant — who God is. The following post was written two years ago when we were reeling […]

Gramma John’s Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Gramma John was born and raised in South Eastern Minnesota. She lived most of her life on a farm, was widowed twice, and raised eight kids — six of them boys. Besides being a very brave and somewhat ornery woman, she was a fantastic baker. Here we are in my mom’s 1970s kitchen making […]

Easy Stocking Stuffers

I’ll never forget the Christmas I was seventeen. My younger siblings were 14, 12, 10, and 3. I told my mom I would take care of buying the stocking stuffers. Then I promptly forgot. Until Christmas Eve when she asked me about it. If I remember correctly, I stood there with my mouth open for […]

Family Culture & Holiday Traditions

Once upon a time, I learned that my family was different than my peers’. Not only did we absolutely love sauerkraut and spare ribs for dinner and pizza for breakfast, but we also had some quirky traditions when it came to Holiday Time. No one else in the room had ever heard of feeding ice […]

Loving Those Who Grieve During the Holidays

Two years ago this week my mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer. She loved celebrating Christmas with her grandsons. She never really knew our girls. While she and I didn’t always see eye to eye, those things don’t really matter to me anymore. I wish I had learned that sooner. This post was originally posted […]