Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Friday, December 28, 2018

Fabulous Heavy Duty Gift Wrap Storage Bag Reviewed

Fabulous Gift Wrap Wrapping Paper Storage Bag Reviewed
Last year, I purchased a fabulous gift wrap storage bag from Current catalog.  I didn't know if I would like it or not, but the price was right and I had very little to lose by trying it.  I knew if it worked for me, I would be thrilled to have a protective way to store my wrapping paper from year to year.

As it turns out, this is one of the best purchases I have ever made!

Like most gift givers, I spend a lot of money on wrapping paper.  I love to have pretty gifts under the tree.  Or, an attractively wrapped gift for birthdays and other occasions.  However, I don't like dirty or ripped paper and I often end up buying new wrapping paper annually for Christmas or even if I have only one gift to wrap.  I have always known that it was a waste of money to buy a whole roll for one gift, but I won't give a gift unless it is attractively wrapped.  I have been known to even re-wrap a gift if I don't think it is pretty.

Gift Wrap Clear Vinyl Storage Bag - 8-1/2" x 31" Long

Gift Wrap Clear Vinyl Storage Bag - 8-1/2" x 31" Long

 

Clear Wrapping Paper Storage Bag

https://amzn.to/2URIYFZ
There are several things I really love about this wrapping paper storage bag.  To start with, I love that it is clear and I can see the paper being stored without opening the bag.  I really do hate having to hunt for a specific wrapping paper just to wrap a gift.

I also love that it keeps my wrapping paper clean and pretty, ready to be used immediately.  When I stored my wrapping paper in the shipping box, not only could I not see what was inside without opening the box, but the paper would often get creased or even torn when the box was moved around.

Since I store my Christmas wrap in my attic, I am especially thrilled that no attic dwellers or debris can get inside the bag and be my special Christmas surprise. 

This storage bag is large enough to hold 8 - 10 rolls of wrapping paper, depending on their size.  As you can see in the photo, it will hold the longer wrapping paper rolls too, or you could use that top space for bows, ribbon, tape, and other wrapping supplies.

I absolutely love the handles!  The top handle makes it easy for me to carry down the attic stairs and the reinforced double handle on the sides make it easy for me to carry from room to room.  The zipper top allows easy access, plus keeps the storage bag closed up tight when not stored.  

I sure wish I had this wrapping paper storage bag sooner!  I carefully select our annual Christmas paper and I wish some of our older paper was still in good enough condition to use.  It would be a tremendous money saver to be able to use the leftover paper.

I should add that I also have a separate gift wrap storage bag for birthday wrapping paper.  I keep it in our hall coat closet for extremely easy access.  I just reach in and grab the bag when I need to wrap a gift.  The only way it could be easier, or better, is if the gift would wrap itself.

The featured wrapping paper storage bag is available on Amazon or directly from Current catalog.  Both are linked below for your shopping convenience. 

Click Here to Buy from Amazon




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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Photographing Christmas in Historic St. Charles


One of my favorite Christmas outings is a walk down Main  Street in downtown St Charles, Missouri.  This charming town was built on the banks of the Missouri river.  I wrote about this town in a previous post World Wide Photo Walk
In that post you see the town decked out in their fall décor.

In this post I will give you a brief history of the town and then share my photos taken during early December.

A Brief History of St. Charles

Here is a few of the highlights of St. Charles history. If you'd like to know more, check out the link below.

  • Founded in 1769 by French-Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette
  •  In 1804 on the banks of the Missouri river, Lewis and Clark met here to begin their westward expedition.
  • In 1818 Saint Philippine Duchesne established first free girls school west of the Mississippi.
  • Between 1821-1826 St. Charles served as Missouri's first capital.
  • Today it is a destination for over one million visitors each year.
https://www.discoverstcharles.com/about/history/


Conservatory for Weddings


Before we started our walk  down Main Street we stopped by the Conservatory a greenhouse turned into a wedding venue.  It was my first visit and I found it a delightful setting for small weddings.  Below is a shot looking toward the front of the greenhouse.


Photos from our Walk down the Historic Streets

After visiting the Conservatory  we proceeded down Main Street to photograph the historic buildings in their Christmas décor.  I was especially drawn to the windows and doors as you can see in the photos below.






Zazzle Products from Main Street Photos




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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

December 26th, Time to Write a Thank You Day

Boxing Day Blues can sometimes strike when all the awaited  festivities are over.  

And they do seem to be over so quickly.  All the hustle and bustle of preparing for the BIG day gives way to feelings of let down and down right depression.  Knowing this before hand might just help you to get through those feelings and come out the other side with a new sense of wellbeing and a new purpose too.


thank you note, mental health, Christmas let down, coping mechanisms
Christmas time and all the build up to this holiday can make some people really "crazy".  There are all the lists for food, drink, presents, guests and so much more to attend to.  Then there is the cleaning and other preparations for the BIG day.  

By the time it arrives you are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.  And just when you think it's perfect, it's  over in a heartbeat.  

The let down can be so significant, that many mental health agencies start to prepare for the fall out early as well.  But it doesn't have to be this way if you do just a little more preparation for this amazing holiday gathering.

Having a plan in mind to help you cope with the let down will significantly make the holidays much happier.  To that end, I am going to make some suggestions that just might help you, or someone you love, get through that post holiday let down.

Today, on the Calendar of Days, is Write a Thank You Note day.  Now, you may not think this is a good idea, but I'm here to suggest it's a great way to relive the excitement, joy, and happiness of the Christmas gathering.  It will help you to capture what was really important and let go of the myriad of small disappointments that may have happened to make the day less than perfect.

After all, getting the family together and enjoying each other's company is the real beauty of Christmas.  The gifts and the food and everything else is secondary to just being together.  

Sitting down and writing a thank you, will let you put into words how much you enjoyed and appreciated all the efforts everyone made to make this Christmas special.  It really acts as a way to relive the excitement and the funny things that happened during the previous day.  

If that doesn't work for you there are many other ways to get through that post holiday letdown.  Here is my list of ways to do that and maybe you can add some of your own ideas.

  1. Write that Thank You note to someone who went out of their way to make the holiday special.
  2. Plan a trip to the zoo. Christmas antics aren't just for people.
  3. Arrange some time to go for a walk in the neighborhood to enjoy the lights, decorations and all the sights.
  4. Let yourself relax with a good movie or go out to a show.
  5. Invite someone you haven't seen in a while for coffee and a good chat.
  6. Go out and play in the snow (if you have any).  Bundle up with those new scarves, hats and mitts.
  7. Start a new hobby.  Scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, drawing or woodworking.  Coloring pages are still a great way to relax too.  
  8. add your own ideas here.......

dealing with emotional let down, Christmas let down, emotional exhaustion 
All the expectations, disappointments and let downs seem to disappear when you have a plan in mind.  Just writing a note can help you get through that emotional build up of the past month.  Going out to park, zoo, or being with a good friend,  can give you a release for all the frustrations you may have felt or are still feeling.  It's hard to stay disappointed when you are at the zoo checking out all the Christmas treats the zookeepers have in store for the animals in their care.  Just watching the Polar Bears, penguins, monkeys and more,  get their treats can be a delight for your overworked body and spirit.  The walking and exercise are good for you too.  Too much food and drink can be the trigger to make some people feel cranky and "out of sorts".  Drinking water and walking can help undo all the overeating and indulgences that took place the day before.  If you can't do the exercise, then just sitting back and watching a favorite movie, with full permission to just enjoy it, can also revive the drooping spirits.  A new hobby will keep your mind and hands occupied while you try to figure out just what you are supposed to do. An active mind doesn't have time to dwell on things that didn't go as planned and that's a good thing.   

If this all fails, then you can always go to the internet and start planning something different, a vacation in the new year, places you want to see or books you want to read.  On Review This Reviews, you can find lots of book reviews, Do It Yourself projects, movie reviews and more.  I dare say you could spend the better part of a day just checking out all the articles and I'm sure you will find a few that will trigger some ideas of your own.  


The most important thing on December 26th is to relish and relive, enjoy and form the memories of the day before.  Writing that note may be the first step in some well deserved "self-care" that will keep you from drowning in some very powerful negatives that could be plaguing your spirits.  Don't let Christmas let-down, get you down.......there are plenty more good times coming your way. 

don't let Christmas let down get you down......coping mechanisms, depression,

**Olivia is not a health care specialist, if you are feeling down or depressed, please check out your local  health professionals.




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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review of Hot Drink for the Holidays

Hot Holiday Punch Recipe Postcard
by mbgphoto 

Hot Drink for Cold Days

I love to entertain during the holiday season. When my guests come in from a cold winters evening a cup of hot holiday punch will make them feel warm and festive.

Over the years I have experimented with several combinations for hot drinks and have ended up using this one for the past ten years or so.  It has just the right blend of juices and spices and is great with or without alcohol added.  I always serve the alcohol on the side and let the guest decide how much to add or not.

Hot Holiday Punch

Ingredients


  • 1 Jar (48 oz) cranberry juice 
  • 1 can (46 ox) unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • one orange cut into slices

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in large crockpot and heat.  I put a decanter of rum nearby for those who would like to add a bit of liquor.

At the beginning of this page I added a link to a recipe card for the punch that you can purchase on Zazzle.

Mugs for Hot Drinks

Here are some festive mugs I found on Zazzle.
The first one can be personalized with your name.

Watercolor Pine Tree Joyeux Noel Espresso Cup
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a festive holiday season!!




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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why Should You Have a Beautiful Advent Wreath?

We are in the full season of Christmas and part of that in our family is lighting the Advent Candles on our Christmas wreath.

The meaning of the candles and the wreath as a meditation for Christmas and beyond.  


Most people recognize an Advent Wreath when they see them.  They can be made out of many different types of materials.  The most common are evergreens, but there are many other beautiful options.  The wreath (round just by it's name)  usually has 4 candle holders spaced evenly around the wreath.   These four candles are usually in purple and pink( 3 purple and one pink), for religious celebrations of Advent.  Some have a central larger candle in White.  Other Advents wreaths can have red or white candles or whatever color you happen to like.

What's the significance of the colors in a Religious Advent Wreath?

Advent is a time of waiting and preparation.  Purple is the color of both Advent and Lent in religious ceremonies.  Both  of these seasons Liturgically are waiting periods.  Advent we wait for the coming of the Saviour in the stable and Lent we wait for the Resurrection from the Grave.  Let's focus on Christmas and Advent right now.

Each candle has it's own meaning.

  1.  The 1st Sunday of Advent is for Hope (purple)
  2.   The 2nd Sunday is for Peace (purple)
  3.   The 3rd Sunday is for Joy (pink)(it's pink because the light of the two other candles illuminates this week a little bit more and joy is bright)
  4.   The 4th Sunday is for Love (purple)
  5.   Christmas Day the center candle is lit, if you have an Advent wreath with 5 candles.  This central candle (usually in white) represents the Christ, the Saviour whose birthday we celebrate at this time.
The way we use our wreath, is to light one candle on the first Sunday, two on the second Sunday, three on the Third Sunday and all four candles on the Fourth Sunday.  For this reason it is advisable to use a good sized candle or long tapers.  After 4 weeks the first candle will be considerably smaller than the other 3.

If you want to increase the religious aspect of Advent, you can use Bible verses as a meditation for each of the four weeks, or sing some Christmas carols that speak more to the coming of the Saviour rather than  Santa Claus.  There are also some lovely Advent prayers to be found on You Tube and I have selected one for you with music.  The sound is soothing and a reminder of what Christmas is all about!  Check it out right here, and bookmark it if you like so that you have it for all 4 weeks.



Quiet Meditative Time 


Christmas with all it's hustle and bustle can sometimes overwhelm children, parents and other members of the family.  Do you ever wonder why you seem to see so many children having emotional meltdowns at this time of year.  I personally think it has a lot to do with sensory overload and children not having the coping mechanisms in place to deal with it all.

You might find yourself in that position of having to back away from all the noise, lights, music and people.  Taking some quality quiet time for yourself during this hectic time, is not only a great idea, but a necessity for some.  Everyone is different and will relate to the stimulus differently too.  One thing I do know from my own experience is that taking the time to light one candle for every weekend before Christmas is necessary for my well being.  It's a quiet meditative time for me and a way to refresh and renew my sagging spirit.

If you want to know more about sensory overload or aren't sure if that's what has you in it's grips, there is a great article here on Healthline.  It's worth the time it takes to read it. Not only will it help you to understand this malady, but it will also give you some coping mechanisms.  If you are looking for a more "spiritual way" to cope then I would recommend this article on Seasonal Depression and coping.

When you are faced with this "overload" and you know which methods of coping work for you, then it's time to put it into practice.  This is where my Advent Wreath plays a central role.  For me, coping with the seasonal overload means finding some quiet time, and meditating(some might call it praying).  Christmas for me has always been a "spiritual time" and while I love some of the more secular things about Christmas, I still try to keep it as a spiritual time in my home.  I have to do this for my own peace of mind and you might just find some peace if you try this too!



Why Should You Have a Beautiful Advent Wreath?  www.reviewthisreviews.com




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Monday, December 10, 2018

Snowglobes are Great Gifts and Seasonal Decor

Holiday snowglobes on Review This!
There is something magical about snowglobes. It doesn't seem logical. After all, Snowglobes are simply water-filled globes of glass (or plastic) encasing some sort of item or scene. Shake the globe and the little flakes begin to "snow". But there is something special about that frozen moment in time surrounded by the movement of falling snow.

At this time of year, snowglobes always come to my mind. They are a wonderful part of holiday decorations. Because holiday snowglobes are offered in such a wide variety of styles they can also be very thoughtful gifts. Each one individualized to reflect special interests of the giver or the receiver. Snowglobes range from the tiny plastic trinkets that you can find at just about any souvenir gift shop to high-quality pieces of seasonal art that can be enjoyed and passed down for generations. 


Santa Claus Snowglobes



This review came to mind after recently purchasing a beautiful snowglobe depicting Santa's workshop. There was a piece of synchronicity that led me to thoughts of how special snowglobes can be. 

Scenes with Santa are my favorite snowglobes. And there are MANY Santa scenes to choose from:
  • Seated in his workshop with the elves, making toys. 
  • Flying in his sleigh through the snowy sky. 
  • Dressed in his suit with the huge bag of toys slung over his shoulder. 
  • Seated with a child seated on his knee
Santa's Workshop - musical snowglobe


Musical Snowglobes


Some snowglobes come with a music box option. Typically, the music box key is under the base of the snow globe. Simply turn the globe over, turn the key a few times, then place the snowglobe on the table to watch the snow and listen to the tune.

Tunes that are as familiar as Jingle Bells and as traditional as Oh Holy Night can be found with some snowglobes.


Religious Snowglobes



A variety of religious scenes are depicted in snowglobes. From angels to the nativity scenes (simple and ornate) a snowglobe reminding us of the "reason for the season" can be found.


Nativity - musical snowglobe



Snowglobes and Nature Scenes



In the areas of the world that have four seasons and the possibility of snow during the holidays, snowy naturescapes are reminiscent of Christmas. Trees drop their leaves and make unique silhouettes against the sky. Native backyard birds are easier to see against the white background of snow. Polar bears, penguins, and white hares are wildlife that are often associated with a winter wonderland. 


Penguin snowglobe - plays "Let It Snow"



Baby's First Christmas Snowglobe



Special occasions, such as baby's first Christmas, can be commemorated with an engraved snowglobe. And those globes can last a lifetime.

Baby's 1st Christmas snowglobe



Snowglobes with Favorite Movies, Places, Things



Perhaps your family has made a tradition of watching the Nutcracker during the holidays. Or watching the Wizard of Oz has become an annual event as the holidays approach. 

Maybe you've traveled during the holidays and want a reminder of those special places.


Whatever your holiday traditions include, chances are good that there is a snowglobe that gives a shout out to those special memories.

design courtesy of pixabay.com

Whether you are looking for long-lasting holiday decorations or a special gift for that special someone, snowglobes are a great choice. 

My love of snowglobes was recently renewed during an incident of coincidence. Or maybe it wasn't coincidence at all. I'm not completely sure. If you would like to read about how I came to own my most recent Santa Claus snowglobe you can read about it on my personal blog. 


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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Christmas Inflatables Make Decorating Easy and Fun

In a Heartbeat, Thanksgiving is over and everyone is in Full Christmas Holiday mode!

Part of the whole fun of Christmas is decorating, both indoors and out!  I know many people are just chomping at the bit to get their Christmas trees up and decorated, so that they and their families can enjoy this holiday for as long as possible.
Christmas Decorating getting to difficult for you to handle?  Don't want to be climbing on ladders and such?  There is an easy way around that!  And you will feel the spirit with just a flick of a switch......
Photo courtesy of my niece Tara Hocaliuk!  One very talented lady! (Please do not copy without permission)

Children love getting into the "spirit" of the holidays too!  Schools and Church groups are busy making Christmas decorations or preparing for those Christmas pageants that every parent and grandparent love to attend.  Videos and pictures will grace everyone's favorite social media and the joy of our children will be shared everywhere.

For years we decorated not only the inside of our homes, but we would put up Christmas lights and boughs of evergreens on our porch with the Most Beautiful Wreath on our front door!  These sights would greet all our friends and family as they came for visits over the holidays and we had lots of visitors! 

 Christmas Decorating getting to difficult for you to handle?  Don't want to be climbing on ladders and such?  There is an easy way around that!  And you will feel the spirit with just a flick of a switch......
Photo courtesy of my niece Tara Hocaliuk!  One very talented lady! (please do not copy without permission)


Today, I would not ask my other half to get up on a ladder to attach lights to our gutters, even though he did this for years.  Decorating outdoors has become much easier!  Thank goodness for the ability to share ideas on Pinterest and other social media as well.  If you have the time, these ideas are all very doable and need not cost an arm and a leg.

If you don't have the time, then there is another alternative!  And it does not require anyone getting up on a ladder either!  

Christmas inflatables have become very popular and they are so easy to install and enjoy.  If you have a power source, you are ready to decorate in minutes.  You just need to take the inflatable out of it's box, and plug it in.  Done!  It can't be any easier and there are so many different styles to choose from.

The larger the inflatable, the more expensive they become.  Don't be discouraged, these inflatables can start at very affordable prices and make a big impact!  Santas and snowmen, trains and sleighs, polar bears and penguins are all very popular motifs for the holidays.  Many of them will come in several different sizes, ready to fit your decor ideas.  

Inflatables are a lot of fun, easy to install and enjoy.  Again the choices are many and varied.  Some of these inflatables are animated as well.  That just adds another whole dimension of enjoyment. The biggest problem (I hate to admit there might be one) is that someone may be tempted to steal it from your front lawn.  This is easy to remedy with a little forethought and a handyman or woman.  All you need to do is get a few metal tent pegs and a couple of holes drilled in the base of your inflatable.  Hammer the stakes into the ground and your worries are over.

The children and the adults as well will enjoy the sights that you have so thoughtfully prepared for the Holidays.  I'm sure more than one person will stop to admire your handiwork!  The best part, you didn't have to get up on a ladder and worry about falling off!

Christmas home decor is one of the fun parts of getting ready for the best holiday of the year.  Take a little time and let the whole world know that you still believe in the Magic of Christmas!






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Sunday, November 18, 2018

DIY or New Reusable Advent Calendars For a Treasured Family Keepsake

A Wooden, Cardboard, Cloth or DIY Advent Calendar

We've had a cloth advent calendar for Christmas for the past 20 years. Since the kids were little, the same advent calendar sees our family room annually. 

The nice thing about a cloth calendar with pockets is you can put treats inside for each of the 24 days.

Our family Advent Calendar is featured below.

Bring out your own Advent Calendar each year and make it standard part of family traditions.

However, if you're not into a store bought reusable Advent Calendar, you can make your own. Get the kids involved.

Five DIY Ideas on How to Make Your Own Advent Calendar:
Our Family Advent Calendar
by Funkthishouse.com
  1. Use 24 kiddie Christmas socks. Glue each sock to a painted cardboard or wooden backboard. Put treats in each sock for each day.
  2. Use 24 small boxes (ring size) glued to cardboard or backboard. Keep the lids on the boxes, and inside each box put treats. Decorate the boxes individually.
  3. Attach 24 small gift bags to a backboard or cardboard. Put treats in the gift bags.
  4. Use mini tree stockings. Put them all together on a piece of string with numbers on the front for each day. Put treats in each one.
  5. Use 24 empty toilet paper rolls. I know, that's weird right, but it works. Glue the rolls together in the shape of a Christmas Tree - 1 on the top for the star then, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, then 2 and 2 for the base of the tree. Glue them together then decorate each one. Place goodies inside each roll. 
Making your own Advent Calendar is a beautiful reminder during the kids growing years. When they're older, and no longer decorating with you, you'll pull out that calendar along with your past Christmas memories.

Time holds our treasures, and our treasures stop time. Think about the decorations your kids have made over the years, and what they mean to you. There isn't anything quite as precious.

Whether you use a pre-made Christmas Calendar or  DIY one makes no difference. Create memories during the little years to carry you through the big years.

When the time is right, take all the decorations your kids have made, wrap them up and pass them on. They can include them into their Christmas traditions along with your family stories.




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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Holiday Gift Wrap Bundle Set Reviewed

Coordinated Packages Under The Tree

holiday gift wrap
Holiday Wrap For pretty gifting (image courtesy of pixabay.com)
Before you know it, the time for making sure we have enough supplies for our holiday gift wrapping will be upon us. I don't know about you but I like to have a nice variety of papers on hand but I also like for the packages to have a coordinated look to them. 

I found a nice bundle set to get for my gifts this year and I thought that I would share my discovery with you today. The set comes with three rolls of wrapping paper which have a design on both sides, gift tags and ribbon. I love that they are all color coordinated. The set that I plan to get is in reds and golds but there is an option to choose different color sets if the red and gold does not appeal to you. Our tree is predominately red and gold so this set will look really nice under our tree this year. 

Did you know that red and gold are very traditional colors for the Christmas holiday? Red is often used to represent the blood of Christ when he died on the cross but also the bishops robes were often red and later St. Nicholas and Santa Claus wore red. Gold represents one of the gifts brought to the Christ child and is also used to show the star over Bethlehem. 

Often times in the past I have purchased gift wrap and then tried to find tags and ribbon that would work well but that can be a real pain in the backside. Finding a set that is already matched will make my job so much easier this year. I know that most likely no one will even notice that everything is wrapped in a coordinated color scheme but I will know. Maybe it won't register with the family at all and that is just fine. It might be one of those subtle things that they know they liked it but can't put their finger on why. 

How about you? Do you like for all of your gifts to coordinate or do you just try to use up the paper you have on hand before purchasing new paper, ribbon, and gift tags? 



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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Christmas Candles - A Great Gift Idea or Not?

Christmas Candles - great gift idea or not
I wanted to review a few candle gift ideas for Christmas as I always thought that candles made great gifts at Christmas time.  In fact in my mind candles and Christmas are synonymous with each other, but I wasn't sure why.

I decided to google why we always think of a Christmas candle (just in case it was just me!) and found that there's a lot of debate over whether or not candles make a great gift idea or not.   Apparently a lot of people think you shouldn't give candles at Christmas time - what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

I have always enjoyed being given a candle and I have thought of giving a candle many times although until this year I haven't actually done so before.

Why Christmas Candles


>Apparently candles were used way before we even celebrated Christmas.   During the ancient winter solstice celebrations candles were lit as a way of remembering that spring would soon come.

The earliest records of candles being used at Christmas apparently dates back to the middle ages where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem.

I think the reason that I think of candles and Christmas together is because many cultures put a candle in the window at Christmas time combined with images of the first Christmas trees with candles on them.

The most well known origin of lighting a candle in the window for Christmas is the catholic Irish tradition - this dates back to the 17th century at a time when the catholic religion was being suppressed in Ireland under British rule. The family would put a candle in the window to signal any passing priests that they were welcome, the authorities were told that the candles were to welcome Mary and Joseph into their homes - this was believed to have been an Irish superstition and worked.

Since this time the custom has spread and is said to be a sign of welcome for anyone who may be passing so that they could share whatever the family had for Christmas as no one should go without at this time of the year.

I have also heard that the lighting of a candle in the window is to represent family or people who are close to the family that cannot be there for the celebrations either because they're serving their country overseas or even because they've passed away.

Fragrant Candles

There are so many lovely 'smelly candles' as my daughter calls them, available as a gift that it's hard to know what to give someone. My favorite one this year is the Spiced Vanilla Chai candle. This is a slow and clean burning, hand-poured coconut wax blend candle that smells divine.



Another popular fragrant candle to give is one from the Yankee candles range.

Unfortunately not everyone likes the same fragrances so this isn't a gift that you can give just anyone!

Decorative Candles

Decorative candles are totally different and are a great gift idea whether you choose to give the shorter, fatter candles or the taper candles, these can be gorgeous. A lot of decorative Christmas candles also come with their own holders which are really good.

I used to use candles a lot, but I must admit that since becoming a mum I have been more aware of the dangers of an open flame which is why I love the different LED lit decorative candles that are available. I think these are definitely the best holiday candles if you don't know whether someone likes fragrant candles or not.




This is my favorite LED candle design for Christmas - I love the Robin Redbreast, but there are lots more to choose from if you prefer other styles of candles from personalized photos to peppermint stripes, vintage designs or more - Christmas LED Candles.

Do You Use Christmas Candles & Which is Your Favorite?


Do you have a tradition of Christmas candles and do you like the idea of a candle with a flame (with fragrance of not) or one of the LED lit candles.  I would love to know.


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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Man Who Invented Christmas Review

Movie About Charles Dickens

Christmas Carol Illustration
One might think that a review of the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas would be about the Christmas holiday, but one would be incorrect in their assumption. Certainly Christmas plays a part in the story, but it really isn't the main gist of this wonderful movie that I am about to recommend that you watch. 

I hazard to guess that if you have not read the book A Christmas Carol; you have at least seen one of the many movie renditions of the the tale by Charles Dickens. The story became an instant success when it was first published on December 19, 1843. It remains after 175 years to be a favorite of many adults and children a like. 

The premise of this movie is about how Charles Dickens wrote the novella, his struggles and a snippet of his life in the early years of the Victorian era. Charles was trying to cope with dwindling finances after having written three flops in a row (at least they were flops then but are not looked at that way now). In 1843, he had already had success with The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. He had toured the United States and Canada; he was an international success. He needed to write something new and one that would be well received. The trouble was he did not have a clue what that story might be. 

Dan Stevens, of Downton Abbey fame, plays the young Dickens superbly! Christopher Plummer haunts Dickens as the character of Ebenezer Scrooge and Jonathan Pryce portrays the father of Charles who can be most infuriating to his son. The set designs, costume designs and cast of characters are magnificent. All of these combined make this movie a treasure to watch.

What I loved the most about this movie was how the author is portrayed in the writing process of his much needed prose. I think that anyone who has tried to write a short story, novella, novel or play can identify with the inner battle a writer has while trying to form the story in his or her head and then to transfer those ideas to paper or the keyboard. The story shows how Dickens needed to name Scrooge before he could come to life in his head and the story could begin to form. Once Scrooge was alive in his mind; Ebenezer would haunt the author in his office and around London. There were times that Dickens small office was crowded with the characters (seen only by Dickens) arguing points of the story. It is a process that I think any writer of fiction can identify with. I know my characters follow me around as I write and sometimes even wake me up telling me that I need to add something before I forget it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it to you all. Actually, I think that I want to watch it again. Oh, who am I kidding? I don't think, I know I want to watch it again. I enjoyed it that much! Now, if you will excuse me one of my characters is insisting that I re-write a scene because she says that I have made her say something that she wouldn't say. I think I just heard Scrooge shout, "Bah, Humbug!"





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Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Wishes

To our readers,

We wish you peace during this holiday season.

We wish you safe travels. 

We wish you warm homes -

And hearts filled with warm experiences.

We wish you contentedness - 

And joyous times with belly laughs.

We wish you good health.

And we wish you the best gift of all - love.


Merry Christmas,


From Dawn Rae 
and the Contributors of Review This!






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Sunday, December 24, 2017

T'WAS the Night Before Christmas

When all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Relax and enjoy the Classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Cartoon' with the family tonight:



To your family from ReviewThis, ... Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight. <3 




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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Reese's Peanut Butter Christmas Trees Review

Source: Wikipedia
We're all familiar with the popular candy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  It was one of the confections created by Harry Reese who began his H.B. Reese Candy Company in 1928.  

Reese originally worked at a Hershey dairy farm in Hershey, Pennsylvania. From the very beginning of his candy company he used Hershey's chocolate in his confections. Harry's Peanut Butter Cups became so popular that Reese eventually discontinued his other lines.

Reese died in 1956 and passed the company on to his six sons.  In 1963, the Reese Brothers merged the H.B. Reese Candy Company with the Hershey Chocolate Corporation and by 1969 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups became The Hershey Company's top seller.


Over the years, many variations of these Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have been produced, including different sizes and various chocolates (white, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, etc.).

Holiday editions


I work as a cashier at a retail store and candy is displayed near the cash registers. It wasn't until I noticed the manager opening the latest orders of candy boxes that I discovered that there are holiday-themed candies now on display.  


The one that caught my attention was the Reese's Peanut Butter Christmas Trees ~ Milk Chocolate and peanut butter in evergreen tree shapes.  These are available mainly in November and December for the Christmas season.

Reese's also offers miniature Reese's cups in a Christmas bell shape and a milk chocolate-covered Reese's Snowman, wrapped in a snowman foil. The peanut butter snowman is three times larger than the peanut butter tree.

After doing a bit of research, I've learned that Christmas isn't the only holiday for which Reese's makes the peanut butter cup treats in holiday shapes. Each holiday shape is available for about two months around each holiday. A partial list is shown below: 



  • Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts for Valentine's Day
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs for Easter
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins and Ghosts for Halloween
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Trees, Bells and Snowman for Christmas
Available on Amazon
The Reese's Peanut Butter Trees are perfect for stocking stuffers, and any of the Reese's shapes, including the well-known 'cups', are great for holiday snacking.

So indulge your sweet tooth with a Reese's Peanut Butter Christmas Tree treat for the holidays.




(c) Wednesday Elf


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