Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas One and All!

It’s the time of year when we are all looking around and saying “Bless it, I forgot to get a gift for… (insert name here)!

Yeah, we all do it and more often than we want to. I’m doing it right now and trust me it’s a total panic attack since I have a pretty big family. I’d love to lavish them all with whatever their little heart’s desire, but that just isn’t possible until I win that darn lottery. Then you’ll see some Christmas presents, I tell ya!

So here are some ideas to take some of the fear out of forgetting a special someone, or at least to let them know you actually did think of them, even if it was at the last minute. The craft store is your best friend right now, so here are some ideas before you jump in the car.

For the thinker in your circle: make them a PDA! Not the electronic kind, this one fits in the back pocket and uses a more traditional interface. Get a small notebook that will fit in a pocket and a small craft pencil. Wind ribbon in a bright color around the pen and glue in place, leaving two lengths about 4” long to attach to the notebook. The tails can be used to tie the book shut. Now they can keep their day organized. You can decorate the book as well with fancy inks or stamps. Make a few, since these are good for men or women.

Decorate a pen for your favorite writer: Choose a pen that is a little thicker than normal. You can wrap it in fancy ribbon or fabric trim (check out the remnants sections of your nearest craft store for some good deals) hang chains with charms from the top, strings of beads or pearls, or paint the barrel of the pen with glue and roll in seed beads for a mosaic effect.

Make a necklace for your beloved fashionista: Mix and match different sized chains from thin to thick and add chunky beads, sea glass pendants, wood and ceramic to create a drape she’ll be proud to wear.

Bracelets: These can be done with leather thongs, chains, braided colored cords, you name it. If you can tie a knot in it, you can make a bracelet out of it. Add steam punk charms, lockets, watches, dog tags, mini bird cages, whatever looks fun and wild. Great for the teen emo in the family!

If you can sew or know someone who can, get a plain rayon scarf in their favorite color. To this you can add coin or bead trim, fringe in the same or a contrasting color (black and white is always good).

A custom T-shirt: stamp it with fabric paint in a cool design or use a bleach pen to write their name on it over and over again (works better on cotton fabric, and remember to rinse with a vinegar solution to stop the bleach from eating the fabric)

We love Christmas and we love our families, but sometimes life just gets in the way of showing that. None of these quick crafts require a lot of time and all will be appreciated! Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Hannuka, and a Blessed Winter Solstice to everyone out there!

Rev Zita.

Merry Christmas!

(The fact that there is no picture to go with this post is my fault. Rev Zita asked me to take a picture of this amazing light display in town and I forgot my camera. I am really sorry, but hope the spirit of this post shines through. Love ya all. Rev. Kelly)

Christmas is a big deal in my part of the world, whether you are a Christian or not. You get together with family and invite the friends, talk and laugh, and yeah, sometimes fight, but it’s all a part of being family.

Here in the USA, we hang lights, buy presents and eat way too much while sharing our stories and reconnecting with those we love. It’s a time for those warm and happy feelings to be expressed, so don’t be shy about it.

Here’s some ideas to get you going, even if it is a little late:

Send Christmas cards and let your loved ones know you are thinking about them. We all love getting something pretty in the mail, but don’t add glitter or confetti! It gets everywhere and is hard to clean up.

Put a nice message on your Facebook page to let your online friends know you wish them well. Add a cute picture or cartoon to spruce it up a bit, or include a link to a fun video or song!

Go Caroling! It’s fun even if you can’t sing, and nobody will criticize your performance because it’s Christmas! (Trust me on this) You can get the lyrics and music online to make it easy.

Go sledding. If you’re not a kid, who cares?

Build a snowman! You can even start a snowball fight.

Wait until dark and then go for a drive to see all the pretty lights on the houses. Lots of communities have competitions for this, so some of the displays are pretty amazing! Take pictures and send them to your friends.

Call your Mom. ‘Nuff said.

Wrap your gifts. Don’t use those nasty gift bags, even if you can’t make a square corner and it looks messy. Use lots of ribbon and tape so you can have fun watching them try to get it open! Wrapping shows you took the time to make it special, all jokes aside.

Be nice to strangers. You don’t know what kind of day someone else may be having, so a cheery ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ could be the high point of their day. Open doors for shoppers and smile!

Bake cookies! Eat them with friends and lots of milk or cocoa.

Watch a holiday movie like ‘Miracle on 42nd street’ or ‘The Santa Clause” (a fave of mine). If you love the classics, there’s always ‘Santa Claus conquers the Martians’ for a laugh!

Whatever you decide to do, do it with people you care about and who care about you. This time of year it’s important to reconnect with one another, at least for a while. You can always fight later; but for now, this is a time of year to put aside the petty things and remember that we are all in this together. Love one another and it will be all right.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanza, Happy Yule…from all of us at Heartfelt Ministries: Rev. Kelly, Rev Zita (the author), Rev. Tamara, and Zachary (our tech assistant).


Enough with the Christmas Carols–a shopper’s rant

Enough with the Christmas Carols! It’s only October!


I am not a ‘happy camper’. This blog is being written for the marketing geniuses who have made this consumer quite upset. I’ve had it with you guys and your utter lack of a sense of the appropriate.

Yesterday I was in a large discount store where I frequently shop. Imagine my confusion when ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ started tinkling merrily from the overhead speakers. ‘It’s three days from Halloween’ I thought; ‘Shouldn’t they be pushing the candy? What about the little plastic monsters and ghosts, why weren’t they advertising those in a last-minute frenzy before store managers had to put them on clearance?’

What about Thanksgiving?  It’s like November doesn’t even exist on the advertising calendar. I admit it’s hard to think of a catchy little tune celebrating the death of a turkey but sheesh—can’t we finish one holiday before we go on to the next?  

I continued shopping, barely aware of the soundtrack that segued from one Christmas carol to another as I collected my bags of orange and black candy, my vampire costume (the unsparkly kind, thanks very much) and a few tombstones and skeletons for the yard.

I rounded a corner and stopped in utter consternation. What I saw was irrelevant to the Halloween holiday taking place this weekend. It was bizarre and completely out of place.

Christmas trees.

A small forest of artificial pines and firs arose from the linoleum; already decorated and pre-lit with flashing lights and ribbons. Next to them were the lawn ornaments: electric reindeer and snowmen, laden blowup sleighs, elves and Santa figures prancing across polyester snow like a macabre lynch mob. Tim Burton would have been proud to come up with something so twisted.

Are you kidding me?

A store employee saw my appalled expression and stood next to me for a moment. “Yeah, it’s a pain, isn’t it?” she said in a rare moment of retail honesty. At my bemused nod she went on to complain about how their corporate headquarters was ordering the Christmas displays put up earlier every year and how much she hated having to listen to the carols for three months.  I felt bad for her—I could leave at any time, but she had to hear it five days a week, eight hours a day. Poor thing, I felt sorry for her. Can you imagine having to listen to Burl Ives drawling on about that freaky snowman over and over again?

As I left the store I began to get angry. I understand this is the main retail season of the year and stores need to make the most of it, but come on! Stop patronizing me, already. I know I have presents to get and decorations to hang but it will wait until after December first.  I’m not buying a tree until then, either, no matter what your researchers tell you. Get over it.

While the advertising specialists try to force Christmas to last from Labor Day to Valentine’s, I refuse to bite. I’m going to paint my face and scare the caramel apples out of a bunch of kids this weekend, without an elf in sight. Three weeks later I will roast an unlucky bird and share it with my family while my brothers and nephews watch football and tell hunting stories.

I will keep my holidays in the order they come, and I will ignore your tawdry tinsel until its’ proper time.

The rest of the shopping world can do as it pleases, but I am mounting a one-woman rebellion. I will celebrate my holidays in their proper season, no matter what the commercials demand. Halloween, All Saint’s, Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and their kindred are not forgotten in my house. I will NOT be going anywhere near Black Friday’s sales the next morning, either. Pfft. So there.

Okay, rant over. Find your peace, Friends.

Rev. Zita.