Three Steps to a Simpler Saner Christmas

Today’s the day to give myself a simpler saner Christmas! It’s Sharpie Day!

This is my fifteenth Sharpie Day, so you would think I’d have it all figured out by now.  I thought I did.  I really thought there was nothing about Sharpie Day that would surprise me.

But this year, things are a little different.

What is Sharpie Day?  (You mean you haven’t heard of this awesome day? It should be a National Holiday and you’ve never heard of it?)

Sharpie Day is a simple, 3 step process that simplifies Christmas and restores my sanity (and quite possibly saves my marriage).

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It’s OK to touch Jesus

I had a little guest in my home last week, and it was my delight to tell her calmly

It’s OK to touch Jesus.

She was transfixed with the nativity scene I had set on the hearth of my fireplace. I watched with joy as she reached out hesitantly and caressed baby Jesus. Just like my own kids, she scooped the tiny figure into her hands and cradled it as she sang him a lullaby.

That’s when her mom walked into the room and began to scold.  “No, No, No! We do NOT touch.”

I looked at the mom and calmly repeated.

It’s OK to touch Jesus.

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Three gifts every mom needs

This is my third installment of gifts every mom needs (and can give herself).  No matter your budget, age, size, or hair color I can promise you that these gifts are a perfect fit!

In 2012, I shared a guest post on Mothering From Scratch and recommended that every mom give herself the gifts of Simplicity, Significance, and Perspective.

In 2013, I suggested that every mom give herself the gifts of Grace, Laughter, and Peace.

It’s 2014 and I’ve dreamed up three new gifts to give yourself.

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Are you a hostess? You deserve some M&M’s

Really.  If you are a hostess for a major holiday (like say… Thanksgiving or Christmas) you NEED to buy some M&M’s.  Trust me. Send someone out to get them while you finish reading this post.

I’ll wait.

Ready?

Good.

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Monday Musings for the New Year

Since my husband and kids are still on vacation, I’m struggling to get back in the swing of blogging for the new year.  It doesn’t help that my youngest son has taken over my favorite comfy writing chair, leaving me floating between the edge of my bed and the dining room table.

I’ve gotten all the Christmas decorations down.  All but one box of them are already stashed back where they belong. It felt really good to have Christmas packed and put away before the New Year began.  But it feels like I need to finish out the Christmas stuff with YOU before I can move forward into the New Year.

I’ll tell you up front, this was a tough Christmas for us. [Read more…]

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Do you hear what I hear? Christmas Phrases.

Christmas vacation is almost over at our house and quite frankly, I’m ready for everyone to get back on the normal schedule.

But until then… let’s play a fun game.  Do you hear what I hear?

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Messy Christmas? God’s got it covered.

Wow.  Part of my Christmas was Messy.  (Yes, it deserves the capital letter.  Really.  It was a messy Christmas.)

It was the crazy kind of messy that people don’t normally talk about because it’s uncomfortable.  Sharing it is scary and hard, but I know somewhere, someone else had a holiday that was just as messy (if not messier). They need to know they aren’t alone.

What you need to know first is that this post isn’t the one that was originally published.  [Read more…]

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Time’s up. Grab a Sharpie. It’s SHARPIE DAY!

Today is Sharpie Day in my house.  I’m working to have Sharpie Day declared a national holiday because it absolutely rocks.  I’ve decided that next year, I should celebrate Sharpie Day every single MONTH.

(Before I forget – don’t miss #7 on my list today.  Or the explanation I give.)

Not so coincidentally, it’s also the last day of school for my kids.  As of about three this afternoon, Christmas vacation is happening whether I’m ready or not.

Between my late-night craft-a-thon, the last day of school, and this morning’s total meltdown it’s pretty clear my family has reached stress level MAX.

The only thing that helps is Sharpie Day. [Read more…]

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It’s not Christmas without my Sugar Cookie Recipe

I grew up with these as the “go-to” sugar cookie recipe of the family.

I have many fond memories of cutting out shapes, decorating with sprinkles, and baking the cookies with my mom.  But technically, these aren’t sugar cookies.  The original recipe called them “old fashioned tea cakes” and it was from the 1953 edition of the Red River Cookbook published in Shreveport Louisiana (and currently out of print).

When I first became a mom, I couldn’t WAIT to share the holiday sugar cookie tradition with my boys.

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I refuse to compromise my cookies

How can a simple cookie recipe be my downfall?  When did cookies get so complicated? How much butter is “too much?”

It started with an old family recipe for bar cookies.  I stumbled across the recipe card not long ago and it triggered fond memories from my childhood.

So I got all the ingredients together, assembled my food photography studio (more on that… later) and started to work. [Read more…]

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