Friday, December 25, 2009

Here's wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!
Amongst all of the hustle and bustle, I hope you've remembered to stop and think of the real reason for the season. Hope it's a good one, filled with love and peace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top 10 Everything!

I really am a sucker for lists.

So, I thoroughly enjoyed going through THIS LIST at Time Magazine online.

My personal favourites for 2009?

The top 10 New Species
The top 10 Children's Books
The top 10 Pictures

Friday, December 18, 2009

20-odd Things about My Christmas!

There's another of those Christmas question/answer thingies going around. I saw it at So, I figured I'd join in the "fun"...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I can't say that I've ever tried egg nog. I'm sorry, but the idea of anything relating to eggs in a DRINK, just kinda grosses me out! Hot chocolate, on the other hand, is everything good in a mug. My favourite? Second Cup's with whip cream on top OR, at home, I use Carnation Rich made with milk...yum!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? My goodness, of course they are wrapped! The only time I've ever seen presents left unwrapped under the tree is AFTER Christmas morning.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Our house has red and white lights outside. And our tree has coloured lights. I really love white lights, I think they look very elegant especially on a tree trimmed in metallics, but I don't want to buy a new set when mine are still perfectly fine.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. We used to do that at my old fairly interesting on times. And not always good interesting either!

5. When do you put your decorations up? I love Christmas decorations and think they look absolutely gorgeous but I'm terrible at putting them up around our house. We cut our REAL (for all you fakers out there!) tree just a couple of days ago. It's up with lights on but that's just about it right now. Everything else is still sitting in bins cluttering the hallway. Can someone come and decorate for me?

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish? My husband makes the most delicious potato cakes with our turkey dinner - those are definitely my fav!! And I'm all for the desserts after dinner, of course!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? At the time, it wasn't a favourite at all! My parents would always make us wait...ugh!... in extreme suspense on Christmas morning to open our presents. We would wake up super excited and they would tell us to stay in our rooms until dad had lit the fire, until mom got her housecoat on and turned the lights on the tree, until my little brother was awakened, until we read the Christmas story from the bible, until we said a prayer of thanks for all our wonderful gifts...and then we could rip into our presents! Which, by that point, we literally did! It seemed like torture at the time but now, I know they did it to make everything that much more exciting and to try and bring some focus on the true meaning of the day.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was just a little girl, about 6 or 7, I'd say, and I had my suspicions about the role my parents played as Santa. My sister and I still shared a bedroom at the time and we were awake and giggling on Christmas Eve after we were supposed to be sleeping. And I decided to sneak out of the room to investigate the noise coming from the living room. And there were my PARENTS...gasp! stacking gifts under the tree. They saw me and drove me back to bed, my suspicions confirmed.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Jamie's family always had that tradition but not mine. And because Jamie is such a huge kid when it comes to getting presents, I absolutely refuse to accept the tradition. I much prefer the joy of making him wait in agony (must have learned something from my parents about that).
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I wouldn't say that I hate it, per se. However, I much prefer the warmth of summer. Or, the warmth of inside on a snowed-in day. If it were up to me, we would have beautiful snow falling on Christmas Eve and by boxing day, it would be all gone again.
12. Can you ice skate? As a kid, we used to skate on the bay when it froze over. No joke! Those were the days! And there I go aging myself again! After the arrival of our arena, skating kinda lost its charm. We went every year for a family skate and our school booked skating for a couple of gym classes too. And I have to say I was pretty darn good. I could never skate on figures, like a lady, but preferred "hockey" skates, skidding to a stop, ice spraying everywhere, like a boy. However, the last time I skated, many years ago, with my friend Vicki, I could barely stand up anymore, and spent most of my time crashing into the boards. They said it was like riding a bike...they lied!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I was a very fortunate child and got lots of fabulous gifts for Christmas. My most memorable was probably the year I got a plane ticket to fly to Ontario. I was 17, my sister (only 22 herself) had just left her husband and couldn't get off work to come home. So I asked my parents for a plane ticket to spend the holidays with her. I didn't get many presents otherwise but I'll never forget waking up Christmas morning, just my sister and I, sitting cross-legged by the tree in the tiny living room of her basement apartment, and opening our gifts together. That was a truly wonderful Christmas for me.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? With a family of my own now, I realize so much more the importance of family at Christmas. The gifts are fantastic, the chocolate is FANTASTIC, the meals are fantastic. But without such a wonderful family to share it with, what would be the point? And without the birth of Jesus in a manger thousands of years ago, born to become our saviour, we would have no Christmas, no joy, to celebrate. And so I try to keep the meaning of Christmas real in my heart despite also enjoying Santa and the lights and the hoop-la this time of year brings.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I love the abundance of cookies, cookies, and more cookies. Cookies with chocolate chips, cookies dipped in chocoate, cookies layered with chocolate. Oh How I LOVE cookies!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? As stated above in the excruciating tale of my parents making us wait through the Christmas story, that has now become one of my favourite traditions I share with my little girl. But instead of reading "and it came to pass..." from the KJV Bible, we read one of Sarah's books about the nativity, so it's easier for her to understand. Also, every year I bring out the old record-playing stereo (handed down to me from my parents) and listen to Christmas records over and over and over. Love that! Always have!
17. What tops your tree? An angel. My tree is all angels.

18. Which do you prefer - Giving or Receiving? The selfish part of me immediately says "receiving"! Terrible, terrible, selfish me! I'm just being honest, I do love opening my own Christmas presents. But I do so love to buy things for my family too. I've always been the one to get the extra list from my mom and my grandmother and my dad to pick up extra things for everyone else. And I've always really enjoyed searching out the perfect item for everyone. I try to keep in mind little things they may have mentioned throughout the year to buy for a nice surprise. When my sister had her kids, it became even more fun to buy gifts. And now, with our own little girl, it's that much more fun all over again!
19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? I'm mediocre on the candy canes. I could take 'em or leave ' I usually just leave 'em.

20 Favorite Christmas Show? I know it's new and not traditional at all but I love love love "Elf"...Buddy is awesome! hehe! Cracks me up! And I also really love the old cartoon version of "The Grinch" and try to make a point of watching it every year. But my FAVOURITE of all time is probably the old black and white version of "A Christmas Carol".

21. Saddest Christmas Song? Sad Christmas songs drive me crazy. I understand there are losses that are most felt this time of year. But hearing Elvis's "Blue Christmas" just makes it so much worse! I swear, listening to a tune like that over and over alone in your living room could make you want to share Elvis's fate!

22. What is your favorite Christmas Song? This year I love Chris Tomlin's "Glory in the Highest" CD because it has so many traditional carols on it, performed in a more up-to-date way. But in my usual tradition, my favourite is bringing out the old stereo and cranking Charlie Pride and The Smurfs Christmas. And who can forget, "There was my mommy in her nightgown, she was jumping all around, twisting with old Santa Claus...his belly kept a shakin', Mommy kept a makin' jokes about the looks in his eyes...I'll make a little bet, I'll never forget, Momma twistin' with Santa that night". You should see Sarah and I dancing around to that! (Jamie thinks we're crazy!) It's Awesome!
Only ONE WEEK to Christmas Day!! Yay!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa IS Real!

Last night we had our annual Christmas concert at the church.

This year the theme was "The Jesse tree", which is named after a verse in the bible:
Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots."

The Jesse tree is a symbol of God's great love and compassion for his people and how he never gave up on the Israelites, even tho' they gave up on him!

The shoot (baby) that would spring up (be born) from the stump (lineage) of Jesse, King David's father, would be Jesus - the new King, the Deliverer, the Messiah, the Saviour, Prince of Peace, Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

And so, as each person read a bible verse with a "name" of Jesus, an ornament was hung on our (Jesse) tree.

It was a nice idea interspersed with some singing and reading of the Christmas story.

Then the Pastor got up to give a brief message, and he closed with a funny little story entitled "The Four stages of Christmas":
#1. You believe in Santa
#2. You do not believe in Santa (because your older sister told you he doesn't exist!)
#3. You become Santa
#4. You look like Santa

The funny part came during point #2 when the Pastor said "You no longer believe in Santa because someone informed you he doesn't really exist".

That is when the Pastors 7 year old daughter piped up loud and clear for all to hear, "OH YES HE DOES!" and the whole church roared in laughter!

The Pastor's wife then said, "I hope he knows he has some explaining to do when we get home!"

And that is how little Caroline will forever remember finding out that Santa isn't real...Oops! Too funny!

Do you remember when/how you found out Santa wasn't real?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Baby Talk

The hubster and I have been discussing the possibility of having another child.

We are both totally freaked out by the thought. More freaked out than when we had our first baby.

We think we're ready.
We change our minds.
We're not ready.
We'll never be ready.
If we wait til we're ready, it'll never happen.

So last night, our discussion went like this...

Some chatting about the "fun" of not using birth control - the details of which you'll thank me for not sharing.

Hubster: Well, if you got pregnant right now, when would the baby be due?
Me: Um, September...?
Hubster: WHAT??!!! So soon??!!
Me: Totally bust-out laugh-my-butt-off at him freaking out.

Temporarily confused my gestational period for that of a blue whale perhaps?

I believe we have reached an impasse.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Wish List

Dear Santa,

I'm fairly certain, even with the occasional naughty moment, I've made the "nice" list this year.
Since I don't have my helper elves (a.k.a. Christa and Jenny) this year to help the hubster shop for me, I thought I'd best send word to you personally.

I would like:

A pair of snowshoes - because I really need to start being more active in the winter. These updated ones look a little easier to handle than the wooden ones with the tail on the end whose only purpose seems to be tangling up my feet and landing me in the snowbank.

A long black trench coat - a down-filled one that comes all the way down to my knees! I understand this type of coats puts me at risk of looking like a big giant puff-a-lump. I am willing to take that risk for the sake of staying warm and toasty.

Flannel sheets for our bed - I like the printed ones like these with snowflakes or pinecones or plaids. Again, I'm thinking about my warmth and comfort since I'm not a huge fan of winter (no offense to you and your choice to reside in the north pole).

Scrapbooking paper like the kinds shown HERE, printed on recycled kraft paper. I love the look of kraft paper right now for my albums and I'm ALL OUT! That's a shame, Santa, you really should help me re-stock.
True Blood DVD in Season 1 to start. Because I hear it's awesome. Because I don't have HBO. And because I feel the need to satisfy my thirst (get it! I hope you have a sense of humour, Santa!) for all things vampire.
And last but not least - a purse! The teal/greenish one I found one at Avon a few campaigns back. I'm hoping you may have read my mind and ordered from our local representative already because it's no longer showing as available on the website. I understand I may have gone a little overboard with the purses last year when I asked for FIVE. I hope you'll forgive my obsession and allow me just this one...pretty pleeeease!

Oh, and how could I forget!!!
Chocolates!! Lots of them. Fill my stocking full, if you wouldn't mind. Pot of Gold. Cherry Blossoms. Ferrero Rochers. Macaroons and Rosebuds. Terry's get the picture, Santa. I'm sure you're quite experienced in this sort of thing.
I hope asking for all those sweets doesn't put me on the naughty list!
Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Myrna Hynes
P.S. Would you mind helping people remember that it's okay to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" or whatever specific occasion they may celebrate? and not just "Happy Holidays" all the time? - that's just getting aggravating!