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December 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*:

As I write, my jolly little stove burns brightly and I am glad of its warmth. There is a cold whisper through the trees. The bright, bright, white snow has come and now it is gone again. It left behind fairy trees.

Maybe it will be back to give us a white Christmas?

For us and many others who run a small business, this year will be a frugal celebration. As a creative homemaker you may want to remember to . . .

Keep the Magic While You Cut the Costs

Here are some suggestions of how to do it right.

  • Create a Christmas budget but always allow for a margin. There will be those few extra items you want to add, just to create the magic and to set the atmosphere of a warm and wonderful Christmas.
  • You can copy the theme of our birthday club: We have four family members with birthdays close to Christmas and the cost of presents got away from us. So we started the birthday club. We set a $10.00 limit on the gifts which we exchanged at Thanksgiving. But that was not all. We decided all gifts had to be a used item, or bought at a yard sale or at a flea market. I got my best item, a pair of earrings I had admired for two years from Peter’s sister. In turn my sister bought her a set of silver thimbles found at the Rose Bowl (she is a quilter) I have no idea how much they are worth and suspect a lot more than the $10.00 Sally paid for them, but I know she will treasure them forever.
  • Some families decide just to buy gifts only for the kids.
  • Another branch of our family used to do the secret Santa thing. We shared many a celebration with them up here in the mountains before they moved to Texas. Instead of buying for everybody we would buy for only one person in the family and the gift would be decided by drawing lots. We set the limit high for the only gift we brought to the table. I still have a jacket I love and wear every winter. It is all of ten years old and still going strong. Those were good days.
  • For food and drink you can have a potluck. I always end up bringing my kahlua trifle.
  • A great, frugal way for you to entertain the kids for an hour or so while the women get on with it in the kitchen is to drive around town looking at the Christmas lights. It adds a touch of magic to the day.
  • You want to keep the spirit of Christmas in your home on that special day. Christmas is about loving and giving. Check out a quaint Christmas book that reinforces this mood, from the library where it is free, and read it aloud to the children.
  • Don’t forget the mistletoe and have screams of fun and lots of hugging and kissing.
  • It is wise not to let the festivities go on too long, with the energy dropping and the kids beginning to fret. As the Creative Homemaker Hostess it is up to you to call the end of the day. It is time to end off when everybody is still bright and bushy-tailed and having fun.
  • Bring your special day to an end by having each family member share what they liked best about the year and Christmas 2012. Record these stories so that you can re-play them or read them the following year. It will bring continuity and love into your family. This is something good for the children.

Blog Summary

Peter and I write these posts because it provides a common reality, giving us much pleasure. The Creative Homemaker - Presents ideas and products to get your life back in the comfort zone. Grandma Thunder and the Griping Grandpa - True data is always out there, but sometimes hard to find – we find it and strive to make it unserious – to bring understanding and a smile or two to you.

All About Santa, Whose Pedigree Goes Back a Long, Long Way

Sinterklaas, the long robed priest with miter hat, is the European version of our jolly Santa Claus. He is linked way back in the third century to Saint Nicholas, a popular saint cast into prison and released by Constantine the Great, the emperor who repackaged Christianity to make it acceptable. Santa was part of the package, for he is among other things, the patron Saint of children, bakers and merchants. See how it fits in?

How did Sinterklaas evolve into our jolly American Santa?

He is found in the charming stories of Irvine Washington, who described domestic Christmas scenes that included a jolly, loveable rotund man with a long white beard, a red hat and Dutch knee-breeches.

Where did Christmas get its delightful character?

The word Christmas comes from the old English (Cristes Maesse) or Christ’s mass. It celebrates that Christ is born although the actual birthday is unknown. In the repackaging of Christianity in the third century his birth was moved to coincide with older annual year-end much loved celebrations. We borrow the caroling, the gifts, the jolly, jolly and the wishing of good cheer from the English Charles Dickens and his “A Christmas Carol”.

Santa makes it all come together for a very special time when friends and family, Christian or not, can come together to honor a religion of love that changed the world for the better.

Quote for the Month

"There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child." ~ Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), American author and humorist.


Call 323-864-9200, or go to to see where we will be doing shows. The password is "art" (without the quotes).

Wishing you the joys of the season and all good things!

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