Showing posts with label Valentines Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentines Day. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

5 Valentine's Books for the Youngsters in your Heart!

As a Grandmother, Grammie, Nannie or whatever your little ones call you, I know how special it is when they receive a gift that was picked especially for them.  I like to send books, so I will share with you my Reviews of 5 of my favorites.  I know that sometimes with distances between families being bigger than just a block away, it is difficult to be there for all those special occasions.   But, I have good news for you!

The world is truly becoming a smaller place.  It is easy to send a gift from one end of the country to the other and have it arrive in time to put a huge smile on the recipient's face!  What child doesn't like to be remembered by a Grandparent or Favorite Aunt or Uncle?  Just like we enjoy getting mail our children also like to receive something special too!


Here we go with my Review of 5 Favorite Books for Little Ones.


https://pixabay.com/en/
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Books are one of my favorite gifts for young children and they are great to send across the miles too!  There are endless titles for young minds and stories that will take them to all corners of their world or the larger world too.  Toddlers love picture books or books that teach little life lessons and there are so many lovely titles available for little minds.  One of my favorites is written by a friend of mine and I purchased it for my Grandchildren.  It's a great story about co-operation, helpfulness, and friendship.  Just like the story, the book is a wonderful show of support for Ronald McDonald charities that helps sick children and their families.  So I feel really good about supporting such endeavors.  Susan Zutautas has a way with words and my Grandchildren love the story.

The Day Mr. Beaver meets a Moose is a great story, with lively illustrations and a cute story too!

I love to send books to my favorite little people that are fun to read, teach lessons and support a great cause. Boy, oh boy, does this book ever cover all those bases.  It also helps my friend become better known as a Children's Author!  So for me,  this is a winner!

Books that support a great cause make me want to purchase that book even more.  


Susan has another book available too, I think this one will be the next one I purchase for my Grandchildren. Called Mr. Beaver Plans a Party, it looks like it too would be enjoyed by my Grandchildren.  Who doesn't like the idea of planning a party?


Children's books are easy to send or order on-line to be delivered.  You can add a little note inside to let those children know how special they are to you.  As the years go by, hopefully,  the children will have realized how special those books that Grandma and Grandpa sent means to them.  I know I have some books that were my favorites from when I was a child.  These books are the ones that come out when the Grandchildren come to visit.  So I know that more than two generations have enjoyed the same stories and that they make the same impression on little lives.

These Last Three Books are all time Favorites of Mine!  Some are in the top 50 List of Books for Children.  

I promised you 5 books at the start of this Review This article and I'll give you the titles of the next three Because a promise is a promise.  Sticking to 5 books though is really tough.

The next book is one of my son's favorites! Herbert the Timid Dragon. by Mercer Mayer is a great story that everyone enjoys.  My daughter in law resorted to buying one used, my son's copy had disappeared over the years, and he really missed it.  It has become his daughter's favorite book too!

There are a whole bunch of Mercer Mayer books and all of them are really fun and easy to read to your children or for them to read by themselves.  You may find a lot of them are out of print, so when you go to flea markets or Bazaars keep your eyes open for these treasures.

Another book I love to give as a gift to children is a Dr. Suess classic!  Oh the Places You'll Go!  This book has such a nice story and it's written by one of the best children's authors ever.  Who hasn't indulged their inner child with the writings of Dr. Suess?  I know I have and will continue so long as I have more grandchildren coming.  This is a winner in every sense of the word.  Engaging and entertaining for young minds everywhere.

If you have a child that needs some encouragement, this last book is a great find. 


Last but not least on this Review is another favorite of mine.  I love animals and they are always a hit with kids too.  This book makes you giggle as Gerald the Giraffe finds out that he can do things that giraffes aren't supposed to be able to do.  It's a story of encouragement.  It will touch those young ones who are having a hard time or don't quite fit in. Gerald the giraffe gives them a dose of, "I can do it", in the nicest way possible. Giraffes Can't Dance will have your children and grandchildren smiling from ear to ear.

Conclusion:  If you need a good book for a little one, any of these 5 will be a hit!

So there you have it, the 5 books that are my favorites right now.
It's just a small installment of books that I would love to see sent to all children and grandchildren all over the country.  They have great lessons imparted in a way that doesn't seem like a lesson at all. Children of all ages love these books, and they are fun too!

Reading to children and having them read to you is one of the nicest gifts anyone can give a child.  Their imaginations will soar when written words are read and become part of their lives.  A child who reads and loves to read will become an engaged adult with a deep love for the written word.

What a great Valentine's Day gift that is indeed!

Olivia Morris is an affiliate member of Amazon.com, if you purchase a book through her links, a small commission is paid.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reviewing Valentine's Day Address Labels

http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2017/01/reviewing-valentines-day-address-labels.html
Valentine address labels help you send love across the miles this Valentine's Day and every day thereafter. While we have become a digital society there are many  wonderful reasons to send those heartfelt messages through the mail. In this review I will explain why I think Colorful Images is the best place to order your personalized address labels.

Colorful Images Review


Colorful Images has been my go-to for address labels for over a decade. I ordered address labels to denote the change of seasons and to individualize my mail.  I also enjoy their choices of holiday designs and love that I can choose Valentine's designs that send a bit of love no matter what time of year I use them.

After a few changes of address and becoming accustomed to paying bills and keeping in touch with loved ones via the internet, I stopped buying address labels. But I recently placed an order again and was reminded of why Colorful Images is where I will always order my address labels. Just a few of those reasons are:
  • huge selection of address label designs - I can find something that is "me"
  • variety of address label sizes
  • choice of two different fonts
  • when ordering, you type in your address and have an immediate visual sample
  • fast delivery - 6 business days for address labels and other personalized items via standard delivery
  • faster delivery options - you can choose even faster delivery methods (adding 2 days for the printing of the labels)
  • choice of flat pages of address labels or rolls
  • reliability - I have never had a problem with an order


Why Sending Cards Through the Mail is Still Important


We have moved into the instant and digital world eliminating much of our use of sending correspondence via the mail.  However, there are many reasons to continue to send things the old-fashioned way. These are only a few:
  • recipients of handwritten mail are aware that extra time and thought was put into contacting them
  • children love to receive mail
  • elderly folks who are separated from family enjoying knowing someone is thinking of them - often displaying their cards for all to see
  • people who are hospitalized often enjoy receiving cards
  • military folks who are far from home are able to feel more connected when friends and family keep in touch via the mail


Address Labels for Valentine's Day


Colorful Images offers several Valentine's designs.  Designs range from the large round label with the Cupid design to smaller, more traditional labels with hearts.  These Special Heart labels are my favorite heart design. The design is visually pleasing and the hearts can be used for every day.


Special Heart address labels by Colorful Images


Related Article - In the review of The Gift of a Letter, Wednesday Elf explains beautifully why handwritten letters are not something to be forgotten and are, in fact, a gift. 


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Valentine Crafts Reviewed

Valentine Crafts Reviewed
My loyal readers will not be the least bit surprised to hear me say, I love crafts!  Not only do I enjoy creating things myself, but I love to look at tutorials.  Even if I don't end up making a particular craft, I often take away really valuable advice and tips when watching or reading tutorials.

Some of my personal favorite gifts have been handmade crafts.  My mom quilted a throw for me several years ago.  My grandmother made a huge stuffed mouse for me when I was little.  I have ornaments on my Christmas tree that friends and family have made for me.  Year after year, I loving place them in their "spot" on the tree.  

Some of my best childhood memories were opening my gifts and discovering that Mom had made me a new dress, blouse, or rayon* overalls.  Yes, I expect I was the only person ever to have silky overalls, but I loved them!  They suited my feminine tomboy image.  Although, I admit it.  I did not climb trees in those overalls, but I do believe I wore them fishing.  

By the way, did I mention that those rayon overalls were a Valentine's Day gift?  If memory serves me correctly, I do believe they were.  They were certainly lovingly sewn and made just for me.  Isn't that really the best kind of Valentine's Day gift?

Now, let's explore some really wonderful Valentine's Day crafts that would make fabulous gifts!

  *For those who may not know, rayon is a material that looks like silk or satin, but is actually more durable than either.


Valentine's Day Crafts Make Great Gifts


The Keepsake Box


Valentine Crafts for Seniors
Here is a great Valentine's Day craft!  One of our very own contributors, Mary Beth, shared how to decorate a heart shaped keepsake box in her article, Crafts for Seniors.  This is such a perfect craft for parents to make with their young children.  It requires very little, if any, crafting experience and gives a child a real sense of accomplishment.  

But the really cool thing about this craft is that it is not limited to little children.  Anyone could make a beautiful keepsake box for their sweetheart, mom, dad, friend, sibling, or child.  In Mary Beth's case, she helped her own mother make a beautiful box.  These types of memories, and times spent with the people we love, are a big part of what makes me love crafting so much.  Both the memory and the box are true cherished keepsakes.



The Sailor's Valentine


Sailor's Valentine by Sylvestermouse
The Sailor's Valentines that I made for our children is one of my own personal favorite crafts.  It is a simple technique that has stunning results.

A sailor's valentine is made with a variety of seashells.  The art of creating a sailors valentine is simply laying the shells out in a pattern that is visually appealing.  As my grandmother used to say, "how can you fail when you are using such beautiful things to begin with?"  She was absolutely right, of course.  Seashells are quite beautiful individually.   Placed in a pattern or design, seashells are spectacular!

You can learn the history of this craft as well as how to make a very simple Sailor's Valentine in this tutorial:  Sailor's Valentine



Heart shaped Puzzles

The Heart Shaped Puzzle


If you want to give, or send, a secret message to your sweetheart, you will love the idea of creating a Heart Shaped Puzzle.

There are a couple of ways to craft a puzzle.  You can either purchase a puzzle kit, print your own design and completely make the puzzle yourself.  Or, you can simply craft your design with a message and allow the online company to print your image on the puzzle and send it to you to give completely ready to assemble.


I absolutely love the idea of making a one of a kind puzzle for your sweetheart with a private message or photo.  The question is, will you help put the puzzle together or simply watch the process in anticipation of the moment you sweetheart figures it out.


Handmade that is Ready-Made for You to Purchase

If the holiday has sneaked up on you, as holidays are apt to do, then I have a suggestion for you too!   You can still give a handmade gift.  Our own Elf has you covered.  In her Etsy shop, Wednesday Elf offers these really fabulous Valentine Heart Coasters.  Now, I shall forewarn you, there is only one set left, so you will want to act quickly.  I heard tell of a certain mouse that had her eye on these lovelies.  She might sneak right in there and snatch these coasters for her sweetheart.

Handmade Valentine Heart Coasters
  


Your Turn!


I have shared some ideas, but I would love to hear from you too!  Please leave your Valentine's Day Craft link in the guestbook below.  I know I am not alone!  We would all love to discover more Valentine's Day crafts that would make great gifts.

 
 
Valentine's Day Crafts Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Valentines Crafts for Seniors

Valentine Crafts for Seniors The following information is a review of some Valentine crafts I did at my Mom's nursing home during the last year of her life.  I hope you will find it useful in working with Seniors or Children in your life.

Easy Valentine Crafts

 
Crafts for the elderly with dementia need to be very basic. I work with the residents at my Mother's memory unit and help them to do a different craft activity each week. I have been doing this for the past year and have learned by trial and error which types of crafts seem to work well with the group of women. The crafts need to be involved enough to keep their interest, but simple enough that they can do the majority of the work by themselves.

On this page I will tell you about two crafts that they will be doing for Valentines this year.

photos by mbgphoto


Valentine Treasure Box

Valentine Treasure Box - a place for trinkets and treasures



The ladies in my Mom's group love to make special boxes for different occassions. They will then put the boxes in their rooms and keep small items such as candies, jewelry or other trinkets in them. For Valentines day I was able to find some great boxes in the dollar racks at Target. These boxes are heart shaped and made of heavy cardboard. As you can see from the photo, they have a design on the box but the lid is a solid color. This will leave plenty of space for the ladies to decorate the top of their special box.

Heart Decorations - provide lots of variety


I am keeping the heart boxes fairly simple. I give each lady a box and a variety of stickers. I show them a sample of a box that I have made and then encourage them to design their own boxes. The decorations that we are using include a variety of different heart shaped stickers. I have puffy stickers, 3D stickers, foam stickers and rhinestone stickers. From experience I have found that some of the ladies like to line up their design very precisely and others like to cover their box with lots of different stickers. I have also found that some of the ladies like to copy exactly what I have done and feel frustrated if they don't have an example, so I also make an example and tell them they can make the box like mine or design it however they would like. Although, I am only using different stickers this time, you could use a variety of materials to decorate the boxes. Some thoughts that come to mind are buttons, rickrack, or cut out hearts. They could also paint a design on the boxes or use markers.


Puffy Sticker to Decorate


Homemade Valentine Card

Blank Cards - ready to decorate

I found these blank cards in the Target dollar bins. They came 8 in a pack with a bright pink plain outside and a white inside. They will be perfect for making some Valentine cards. You can also find these types of cards at craft stores or you can make your own from construction paper.

Valentine Sticker Sayings

These stickers are one of the varieties I will have out for the ladies to use in decorating their cards. I liked them because they include a variety of sayings for Valentines day. The ladies can use these to add a message to their cards.
As an alternative I could have them cut sayings out of old magazines or cards. I could also provide markers for them to write their own messages.

Finished Card

Finished Card
Finished Card

Inside Card

Inside Card
Inside Card



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Share Some Valentine Love with a Lonely Senior



What can you do to help a lonely senior feel appreciated on Valentine's Day?


Many aging seniors feel more alone every year. Many were widowed or never married. Many of their friends are beginning to leave them through death. Many outlive all their friends. Some are lucky enough to have children nearby, but even so, if their children have spouses or are part of a couple, they may be focused on their spouse or significant other on the day when people celebrate love. They may send Mom or Dad a card and / or make a phone call, but they may not take that lonely parent to dinner or go and visit on what may be the loneliest day of the year for those with no surviving partner or friend. There may be parties for those in senior residences, but that's not really personal. That lonely senior may be feeling pretty blue on the Red and White Day of hearts and flowers.

If that lonely senior is your mother or grandmother, get her the book Love You Forever to assure her you will always love her. It will let her know you appreciate her love for you and that you return it. It will let her know that you will always be there for her while she needs you, as she was there for you.  It would be best, of course, to take her to lunch and give her your present there, but if you live too far away to do that, send the book with a loving message on the fly leaf. Trust me, she will like it better than a Valentine card, and it can substitute for a Valentine card.

Love You Forever has become almost a classic gift book about maternal love. It is meaningful to all ages. Children, mothers, and grandmothers will understand its message of unconditional love. From the moment a mother holds her newborn baby boy, she begins to sing to him: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be. ”

She continues to sing her song whenever her boy is asleep, even as he grows up. Eventually he becomes a mature man, marries, and moves away, but she sometimes still sneaks over to rock him and sing the song to him. (Though it looks silly as shown in the pictures, a mother who misses her grown child can easily see it as a mental visit, a longing for the relationship she misses.)

As the years go by, the mother grows older and older. Finally one day she calls her son to come because she is old and sick and needs him. We watch him pick her up, rock her and sing his own version of the song to her. His version ends with “As long as I’m living my Mommy you’ll be. ” But she can no longer hear it. You’ll probably cry while watching him during those minutes he stands at the top of the stairs in grief before going down. Later, he continues his mother's tradition in his baby daughter’s room. He picks up his daughter and rocks her, as he sings the song to her. This is a great gift for mothers and grandmothers.


What Lonely Person Needs a Card or Gift from You on February 14?


When we still have partners, it’s so easy to overlook our parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or maybe aging friends and acquaintances who may have lost theirs. We may pay special attention to them the first year, and maybe even the next one when February 14 comes around. But we often move on with our lives faster than they are able to move on with theirs. We are younger and busier and tend to forget that they will continue to feel lonely for years after their loss — especially on days such as birthdays, anniversaries, and, of course, Valentine’s Day.

How can you help? The most important thing is to make sure your lonely friend or loved one knows you are thinking of them. If you cannot make a personal visit, a gift with a personal note might be in order.

Should You Send Flowers?


You can order flowers online to be delivered if your loved one is not allergic to them. What has always worked best for me, though, if I can’t deliver the flowers in person, is dealing with a local flower shop. If you’ve never been there, stop in and make sure the flowers are of high quality and the shop is pretty well established in town with a reputation to maintain. Let them know what kind of arrangement you have in mind and let them suggest what is fresh and plentiful that will meet your needs. They will know of a reputable flower shop that they work with near where your loved one lives. They will make the arrangements and see that everything is taken care of to your satisfaction. If you already know the florist is first-rate, a phone call can take care of the entire matter.
Share Some Valentine Love with a Lonely Senior
Farmer's Market Roses, © B. Radisavljevic

Last time I sent flowers, I called a local florist I had visited many times. I talked to the shop owner who assured me they had a reputable store to work with five hours away. I placed the order and it was delivered as expected and the recipient was very happy with the result.

Keep in mind that hardly any florists will deliver on Sunday, and this is also true on line. Make your arrangements at least two business days ahead of when you want delivery. If you wait until the last minute your flowers may not make it on time.

If you are fortunate enough to be close enough to buy flowers locally and deliver them in person, there are options other than flower shops for getting quality flowers at reasonable prices. The ones in this picture were for sale at a local Farmers Market the Saturday before Valentine’s Day at a very inexpensive price compared to flowers you would have delivered. You can also buy cut flowers and living plants at Trader Joe’s and at many local markets. This lets you see the actual flowers your loved one will get. Don’t forget to deliver them in or with a vase you can put them in, so your loved one won’t have to hunt for something.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute to Shop 


You will want to get a card or gift you have obviously put thought into. (This also applies to husbands. I sold greeting cards in stores for ten years, and sometimes I’d start to panic about five days before Valentine’s Day when so many cards for wives and mothers were still sitting there. The men would troop in either on their way home from work February 13 or on Valentine’s Day itself — leaving their shopping for the last minute when the selection was depleted. )

Let’s imagine you’re a widow and your children and grandchildren all live across the country and most of your friends have died. Maybe you do have a daughter close by, but she is going out with her husband on Valentine’s Day. You are bound to be feeling that you are alone on a day when so many are doing something special with their spouses. You miss that spouse who’s not there. You wish you had someone to go somewhere with — even just lunch. The only place you have to go is your mailbox. How do you feel when it’s empty, too.

Here are some suggestions for filling that mailbox. Be sure you write a personal note in your own writing. Maybe a blank card will give you more room to write. Pick a scene that might bring back a happy memory, or a flower that's a favorite. Try one of these blank floral cards from my collection at Zazzle. The one below is an example, but there are many different kinds of flowers in the collection.
Share Some Valentine Love with a Lonely Senior
Greeting Card with Coral Rose, © B. Radisavljevic




Give Your Loved One a Valentine Gift to Brag About

One aspect of making a gift to a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle who lives alone or in a senior residence is giving him or her something to show friends who visit. When he or she says "See what my son gave me" he or she means "See how my son loves me and remembered me." When you give something that lasts and will be used or displayed and seen often, your loved one will feel remembered, loved and significant whenever he or she sees it. It's a gift that keeps on giving, as long as it isn't a substitute for showing your care by personal contact on a regular basis. It reinforces the caring things you do year-round on those days when you can't call or visit. I still use the mugs my children gave me almost exclusively because they remind me of the good times we spent together.

These inspirational mugs from Amazon are for your mom.

Most of these items can be customized when you order them. Some designs are also available on shirts, hats, aprons, memo boards, magnets for the refrigerator, or other gifts. I chose mugs because they are used often and don't take up much space. Many seniors who live alone have limited space if they have moved from their former family homes. These are mugs you can customize at Zazzle. 


Maybe a teddy  bear will be just the right gift for a lonely mom or grandmother. My own mom had a small collection of them.
I think many women never outgrow their love for plush animals, especially teddy bears. This one holds a reminder of your love, even on days your mom may be feeling blue because she wishes you were there with her. If she prefers some other animal to a bear, you might want to browse through these other plush animals. 



It's not the Price of the Gift, but the Thought That Counts

When people start getting older, they begin to think in terms of getting rid of things instead of accumulating more stuff. Unless you know exactly what they really do need, something small and sentimental will probably have the most emotional impact.

When your loved one who lives alone is feeling unloved or unconnected during the other days of the year, a gift obviously picked with love will provide some comfort. It will remind your loved one that she is still loved on some of those days when you might be too busy to call or visit, or if you live far away.

Men may not seem need this as much as women do. But a widowed man who was happy in his marriage will still be lonesome on Valentine’s Day. A card, call, or visit to let him know he’s in your thoughts will be appreciated. And he also might like to go to lunch or dinner if you can manage it. If you are able to get off work early, maybe you can arrange to take your parent or grandparent to lunch and then have a romantic dinner with your spouse later on.



Family is most important, but also try to remember those who may have no family left. Some people may never have had children, or their children may have preceded them in death. They may have no one left. If you know someone in that position, what an act of kindness it would be to remember them with a card or a small gift or the pleasure of your company on Valentine's Day. After all, it's a day for showing love, and no one needs love more than the lonely.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

O Holy Night

My Favorite Christmas Song ~ O Holy Night

I love the song "O Holy Night."  It is truly my favorite Christmas song, and it may well be my all time favorite song because of the beautiful message.   The easy words and beautiful melody draw me in, sooth my soul and remind me of the real reason I celebrate Christmas. 

As we move through the holidays at a breakneck pace, it is so easy to forget where our focus should be.  Singing this song always brings me right back to the reason why I sing, the reason why I love Christmas, and the One whose birth I celebrate above all others.

The History of "O Holy Night"


Would you believe the original poem used to write the lyrics for this song was written in 1847 by a wine merchant who wrote poetry as a hobby?

That alone reminds me that God can use anyone to do the most exceptional things.  150 years later we are still singing "O Holy Night" and being touched by the message of the words of a recreational poet.


O Holy Night Sung by Faith Hill



"O Holy Night" Lyrics as sung by Faith Hill 

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
The thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O night, O night divine!




The Original Poem written by PLACIDE CAPPEAU


O Holy Night Poem
Minuit, chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle,
Où l'Homme-Dieu descendit jusqu'à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d'espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.

Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur !

De notre foi que la lumière ardente
Nous guide tous au berceau de l'Enfant,
Comme autrefois une étoile brillante
Y conduisit les chefs de l'Orient.
Le Roi des rois naît dans une humble crèche :
Puissants du jour, fiers de votre grandeur,

A votre orgueil, c'est de là que Dieu prêche.
Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur.
Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur.

Le Rédempteur a brisé toute entrave :
La terre est libre, et le ciel est ouvert.
Il voit un frère où n'était qu'un esclave,
L'amour unit ceux qu'enchaînait le fer.
Qui lui dira notre reconnaissance,
C'est pour nous tous qu'il naît, qu'il souffre et meurt.

Peuple debout ! Chante ta délivrance,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur !
Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour, When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

The ardent light of our Faith,
Guides us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Conducted the Magi there from the orient.
The King of kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your grandeur,

It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.


People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!






Adolphe Charles Adam portrait (9607018730)
Adams via Wikamedia Commons




The Music of "O Holy Night"


The music for "O Holy Night" was composed by Adolphe Charles Adam, a prolific writer and composer.

Adolphe Charles Adam was the son of a concert pianist and was trained from a very early age in music and piano.  He wrote his first opera in his mid-twenties and two operas per year thereafter.

After failed investments in a new Opera House in France, Adam was rescued from certain poverty by the Paris Conservatory who appointed him as a professor of music where he taught until the time of his death.





O Holy Night Sung by Josh Groban



"O Holy Night" Lyrics as sung by Josh Groban 

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine! Oh night when Christ was born!
Oh night divine! Oh night! Oh night divine!
Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother,
and in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his holy name.
Christ is the lord, that ever, ever praise we.
Noel! Noel! Oh night;oh night divine!
Noel! Noel! Oh night; oh night divine!
Noel! Noel! Oh night; oh night divine!




Fessenden
Fessenden via Wikimedia Commons

"O Holy Night" Published, Translated and First Song Broadcast on the Radio


"O Holy Night" was originally published in French and entitled "Christian Midnight."

John Dwight, an ordained Unitarian minister and great promoter of European classical music, translated "Christian Midnight" into the English hymn, "O Holy Night."

"O Holy Night" was the first song broadcast over the radio.  It aired on December 24, 1906 when an Canadian Inventor named Reginald Fessenden, pictured on right, broadcast the first AM radio program in which he played the song on his violin.  Needless to say, I applaud his selection on song to share with the world.



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Plus, If You Would Like to Learn the History of More Hymns, I Recommend the Featured Book Below


May You All Be Blessed by the One Who Was Born on that Holy Night!

O Holy Night Music Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Reviewing Christmas Wreath Marshmallow Treats Recipe

One of my family's favorite Holiday treats...

Around the holidays you will find me happily creating all sorts of treats in my kitchen. I love to make cookies and treats to give away as gifts and to also have on hand when family and friends stop by. I do believe that if I ever decided to skip the Christmas Wreath Marshmallow treats on any given year, I would be disowned by my family. They absolutely love them!

Mine do not really look like a wreath because I've gotten lazy over the years and don't take the time to form them into circles so, really, mine are more like Holly clumps with berries. It doesn't matter really whether they look like a wreath or not, it is that yummy buttery marshmallow taste that grabs them every single time. I also do not use the traditional cinnamon red hots for the berries, either. Instead, I substitute those little red hots with red M&M's. 

Why the substitution, you might ask? Well, truth be told I start making my Christmas cookies and treats in September and October and I found that it is extremely difficult to find the little cinnamon candies at that time of the year. So, I decided to use red M&M's one year and my family actually likes that added bite of chocolate better than the cinnamon. 

The Recipe Is So Easy!


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons cinnamon red hot candies (or red M&M's)

Directions for making:

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the marshmallows and cook until they are completely melted. Stir this mixture constantly so that the butter does not start to burn. Remove from the heat and stir in the food coloring, vanilla and cornflakes cereal. 

Quickly drop the mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. You can form them into wreath shapes with lightly buttered fingers. Decorate with red hot candies (or my substitute). Allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the waxed paper. Store in an airtight container. They can be frozen!

A Few Tips For This Recipe

I do not recommend substituting the butter with margarine or a butter substitute. It will dramatically change the taste of your treats. Real butter works better with the marshmallows and if you are concerned about calories, well the butter is not the biggest culprit in this mixture. Trust me, use butter.

I make mine in my 6 quart dutch oven pan. It is large enough to accommodate the 4 cups of cornflakes and it is much easier to mix the ingredients together in. 

Work quickly when dropping the mixture on the waxed paper from the pan. The marshmallow begins to set-up rather fast as it begins to cool. I do not recommend keeping the pan on the heat because it will begin to burn.

I also do not recommend trying to double this recipe. Although, you certainly have enough marshmallows and cornflakes to do a double batch; it is too difficult to get everything stirred and mixed together and then onto the waxed paper before it cools too much to work with. 

Normally, I fix one batch and do my clean up (the pan gets pretty messy with green marshmallow residue!) and then in a day or two, I make the second batch. It is totally up to you as to how you approach it but one thing I would not attempt is to do a second batch in the pan that still has green melted marshmallow in it. That residue will burn while you are melting your butter and that ruins the second batch. Now, why do you think I know that? Hmmm? I learned the hard way that some shortcuts are just not worth trying when it comes to cooking!

If your family loves Rice Krispies Treats, they will love these Christmas Wreath treats! The cornflakes give it a slightly different taste but they are really good!




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Friday, December 4, 2015

A Charlie Brown Christmas Movie Review

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/The Christmas Classic Movie

I feel as if I have always known Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang.  They were not only a part of my own childhood years, but they were a part of my husband's childhood.  Of course,  we introduced them to our children when they were little too.  Therefore, our household has literally had decades of being entertained, and multiple generations taught, by the magnificent Charles Schulz characters.

In 1965, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" made it's debut on television.   It is one of the Christmas classics that I must watch every year.  I even find myself singing or humming "Christmastime is Here" while I am cooking or decorating our tree.

The Peanuts gang is an entertaining group for every age and every member of the family.  Watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" together is a wonderful family tradition.

Each year, my heart is touched by the message shared in this Christmas classic to such a degree that anyone watching me would think I had never seen the show before.



A Charlie Brown Christmas Ice Skating Party

The opening scenes of everyone ice skating are beautiful with the snow falling and the loving sense of happiness.  The theme song softly plays in the background.  As I mentioned earlier, it is such a simple melody, that it often plays in my mind throughout the Christmas holiday.

While they are walking to the ice, Charlie Brown is telling Linus about his general depression surrounding the holidays and his own lack of understanding for his absence of excitement and enthusiasm.    
(You can view that in the video scene below)



Did You Know? 

When A Charlie Brown Christmas was made, the producers broke a lot of unwritten rules. 

* No canned laughter was inserted 
* References to the Bible were used to reinforce the true meaning of the season 
* Real children did the voices of the gang instead of adults talking like children 




Setting the Stage for "A Charlie Brown Christmas"


Moving past the tranquil opening scenes, we find Charlie Brown seeking advice from Lucy about his holiday depression.  Lucy takes her station in the lemonade stand as a Psychiatrist to help Charlie Brown determine why he is depressed.  In an effort to help, she appoints him as the Christmas play director.

Meanwhile, the beloved beagle, Snoopy, sets out to win a decorating contest by decorating his dog house.  Even though Charlie Brown detests the commercialism of it all, the dog house really is very pretty when it is decorated and later wins 1st place in the competition.


"Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"
~ Charlie Brown from "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

 

The Christmas Play

When it is announced that Charlie Brown will be the Christmas play director several people, including Snoopy, express disappointment.   Lucy takes over and assigns everyone their parts and the practices begin.  Then, Lucy sends Charlie Brown and Linus to bring back a Christmas Tree for the play.


The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

It's so sad...


Against Linus' objection, Charlie Brown chooses the Christmas tree that needs him.  Of course, he is laughed at and criticized by his peers when he returns with a real tree instead of a modern aluminum tree.

It is at this point that Linus steals the show with his description of what Christmas is really all about.  His eloquent delivery of the true Christmas story is the reason why this show rates as one of my Christmas favorites.



Heeding Linus' words Charlie Brown determines not to let commercialism ruin his Christmas.  He takes his little tree home to decorate it.  After using one ornament from Snoopy's decorated dog house, the little tree bends under the weight of the ornament. Charlie Brown believes he has killed the little tree and walks away even more depressed than before.


Showing Love 


Again at Linus' suggestion, the gang comes together to show a little love and decorates Charlie Brown's tree.  When Charlie Brown sees what his friends have done for him and for his tree of course, he is overjoyed.  The entire group breaks into song:  "Hark the Herald Angel's Sing".

 A Charlie Brown Christmas (Remastered Deluxe Edition)Check Price

Amazing isn't it?  Charles Schulz was actually allowed to make a Christmas story that tells of Christ's birth and it became a classic.


A Charlie Brown Christmas Movie Review
House of Sylvestermouse



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.