Happy Christmas!

Christmas 2018
jenniferkellandperry.com

I’m taking a mini-break from blogging over the Christmas season. 

Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you again in 2019. (Wow! Seriously – where did that year go??)

***Wishing Joy and Peace to all my friends and followers.***

Season’s Greetings from Vivian & Maisie

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Vivian K. Perry here with my sister Maisie, to tell you my face is ALL BETTER!!!
Just in time for the holidays.

Jennifer also asked me to tell you there’s only one day left to enter her $25 Amazon gift card draw. Click on the card to subscribe to her email list for a chance to win. Subscribers will receive an email tomorrow announcing the winner. Good luck!

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Stay safe, and we’ll see you all again in the New Year!

Christmas Gifts With A Wow – Not An Ow!

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Big-Hearted Gifts on a Small-Sized Budget

There is satisfaction in settling on the perfect gift – something that shows how well you know the recipient and how much you care about your relationship with them. And contrary to what advertisers will tell you, you don’t have to drop loads of cash to find the right present. In fact, the most meaningful gifts are often the ones that cost less money, but take a little more thought, time, and creativity.

Check out this list of gift ideas that tug at the heartstrings while giving your wallet a much-needed rest.

Poetic License

Express how you feel about the recipient with a poem or quote (you can use someone else’s, but please give them credit). Write it on heavy cardstock in your prettiest handwriting and frame it. Even if you’ve never crafted before, there’s lots of inspiration to be found online.

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Dinner Party for Two (or More)

You don’t have to be a master chef to make a delicious, inexpensive meal. Look up some recipes and whip up a loved one’s favorite meal and dessert. For an extra festive touch, deck the table with Christmas decor items from your local thrift store.

Personalized Playlist or “Mixtape”

Burn a CD of songs that mean something to you and the recipient, make nifty cover art with an easy-to-use template, and print out a track listing. Or, use Everyone’s Mixtape to keep the gift purely digital… while giving a nod to old-school mixtapes.

Do It Differently

Come up with something unique. There are many unusual present ideas for her or for the man in your life that don’t mean whacking the wallet. Stay away from the same-old, same-old, and watch their faces light up!

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Movie Night – Their Choice

Invite that special someone over for a movie marathon – they get to choose the flicks. Make awesome snacks, munch, laugh, discuss, enjoy, repeat.

Say That Again?

Choose a quotation that means something to your friend or loved one, or is significant to your relationship, and get it lettered on a cool print.

Make It Snappy

Use a service like Printstagram to print photos from a trip or an event, or order pictures of you and the gang, or the family. In a world of online selfies and digital photo albums, a tangible memento has special cachet.

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Bargain Bag

Searching Amazon for “cheap stuff” returns a treasure trove of fun gifts. Do your part to help a loved one get goofy and playful with a bundle of goodies they might not buy themselves! Need some ideas? A vintage owl pendant, ‘80’s Style Wayfarer Sunglasses, The New York Times Light & Easy Crossword Puzzles, and the game Set totals less than $19.

Simply Sales

At Threadless, artists submit designs and the community selects which ones will become t-shirts. The result is unique tees with fun, funky graphics. Shop the $10 category for cool and adorable t-shirts for men and women.

Selecting the perfect gifts for your loved ones is often tough, we all know that firsthand. But if you can come up with heartfelt presents, they will earn you mistletoe merriment and possibly save you money in the bargain!

Do you have any clever and inexpensive gift ideas or online gift sites to share?

The Best Gifts

2009
Christmas 2009

Dear Santa:

Just a little message
it’s the same one every year
I do not yearn for presents
as Christmas Day draws near

what I wish for yuletide
is not inside your sack
I have been blessed already
there’s nothing that I lack

because on Christmas morning
 when we gather ’round the tree
to see these little faces
is the only gift I need.

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I’m taking a short break from blogging until after the New Year.
Wishing one and all a happy and healthy Holiday season!

Further Reading from Jennifer’s Journal:
Christmas Renewed

Friday Bouquet #12

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Wendy L. Macdonald, the GreenLightLady, is a fellow Canadian blogger. We have been following each other for nearly two years, and during the entire month of November we were also each other’s writing buddies for National Novel Writing Month.

In her own words:

“I’m a writer, poet, and nature lover.
I also enjoy expressing myself through photography.
Creation has a lot to say.
My prose and poems are a small sampling of nature’s words.
I’m a Christian that loves reading the Bible
so you’ll find a few Scripture verses woven into this blog.”

In keeping with the festive season, last week she shared a Christmas post that is decidedly “blogger style”. Click on the link below and don’t forget to tell her Jennifer sent you.

The Twelve Days of Blogging

Comments are disabled in hopes you will comment on her blog.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, everyone!

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Christmas Renewed

As the busy days of December flurry past and we march through our calendars to Christmas, I ponder on the many elements of the season. The dictionary gives us the literal definition:

a. the annual commemoration by Christians of the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec 25
  b. observed as a day of secular celebrations when gifts and greetings are exchanged

Reflecting on most of my Christmases, I feel a warm glow around my heart. But does that feeling come from observing the season as defined above, or from somewhere else? What is my common denominator, the origin of these warm, fuzzy, though sometimes bittersweet, emotions?

For me, it is Family. My most precious memories are intertwined with the love of close family through the years, especially the early reminiscences of my mom and dad, bless their souls, who helped create the tinseled childhood magic I hold so synonymous with Christmas.

Then came the low period. For years, more precisely since my mother became ill, I was the Scrooge who just wanted Christmas to go away. Putting up a tree, cooking and baking, the shopping, I only wanted to get it over with. Nothing seemed the same anymore after Mom got sick and passed away. I missed Dad too, of course, but to me, my mother epitomized Christmas, with her Nancy squares, her sumptuous turkey dinner, and her selfless but fun-loving spirit. I couldn’t look at a tree without thinking of the time I couldn’t get home, and she kept hers up and decorated for my visit on January 15th. Without my mom, my heart was no longer in it.

Mom - Christmas 1967
Mom – Christmas 1967

But somehow, this year feels different. At last, I can say I’m not going through the motions of the season. There is a sleigh full of love, too, in the shiny new memories I forge these days with my children and their significant others, and with our two beloved grandchildren. There is a renewed love, baked into the Christmas cookies I prepare (and the ones I buy), and in the gifts I wrap for them (yes, that includes gift cards!). There is love and wonder in our hearts seeing our grandson sing in his Grade One Christmas concert. There is laughter again while watching TV shows with the kids, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and silly Mr. Bean’s version of the holiday.

There is revived anticipation of traveling back to see our loved ones in a couple of weeks, a fresh gratitude when we gather round with our extended families, to eat and celebrate together. And when we return, there are the New Year’s festivities with friends here, who always make us feel like family.

Until I am with my grandbabies again, I will hang their pictures of the Grinch they drew for us this past weekend.

"What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?"
“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?”
"What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
“What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will gaze at my grandson’s Kindergarten portrait…

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“If you’re that tall, people wouldn’t be able to talk to you. Not even your girlfriend could talk to you.”

“I don’t want one,” he said.

“A girlfriend?”

“No,” he said, giving me a hug. “I only want you, Nanny.”

Me: {{{heart melting}}} “Awww!” ❤

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What do you love about this time of year? Celebrating with family? Giving to the less fortunate?
The church services? The carols? The decorations?

Or is it all “Bah Humbug”? Has it been overshadowed by loss in your life?

Please share: what does Christmas mean to you? 

The Daily Post: Getting Seasonal

Meowy Christmas :)

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Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! Vivian K. Perry here, filling in for Jennifer today because she is in town celebrating the holidays in the bosom of her family.

Maisie and I are hanging out at home with our early Christmas presents, two new cat beds! We are thrilled with how cozy they are, and Jennifer was thrilled because they were only ten bucks a pop from Sears catalogue.

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In keeping with the spirit of the season, please have a look at Maisie’s Christmas photo shoot below.

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Happy holidays!

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A Welcome Weekend

This Friday, my husband and I are going to town to spend a few days caring for our two little grandchildren. Allowing L and J’s hardworking parents to go off on a private weekend and enjoy some time by themselves has become a little tradition for us, a tradition we happily and gratefully accept.

We look forward to taking them on a couple of outings, one of which will be to buy a Christmas present for a needy child and putting it under the Happy Tree at the mall. Some visits with family, a Santa Claus Parade, and the obligatory games and bedtime stories will ensure lots of fun-filled moments for the children and grandparents alike.

This weekend couldn’t come at a better time for me. Spending time with my sweet little ones is just the diversion I need right now, a breath of fresh air that will help me regroup, regain focus, and get back to my normal life. There’s this novel I started writing last month that I had no other choice but to put aside due to my recent loss, but it is back on the agenda this week, I am pleased to say.

Here are just a few photos I selected from fun times we had with L and J, over the past year.

Four more sleeps, kids! Your Nanny and Poppy can’t wait. 🙂

The Little Things…

You always hear people say that we shouldn’t love the material things in life, and usually I am inclined to agree.  However, in one particular area of my life I must beg to differ.  Sometimes we have certain items that are so very precious to us because they keep our memories bright.

My mother is now in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  She has changed so very much in the past few years, from a vibrant, independent and beautiful woman, into a person who needs constant care.  She can still smile in recognition at me, but can no longer carry on a conversation of any sort.  We are losing her, bit by bit, with every visit and every passing day.  This is probably why I hold on so tightly to a few items that came from her.

As I write this, I am wearing a pair of wool slippers that my mother knit for me.  They are teal blue and white with little bows sewn on the top. I found them a couple of months ago when I was sorting out some storage items, and even though they were a little tight, which was the reason I had put them away in the first place, I have worn them ever since, stretching them so they would fit.  Just knowing that she had made them for me gives me comfort. 

While I was looking for some Christmas baking inspiration a few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for cherry cake in my collection, that was written in Mom’s handwriting.  I remembered her making that recipe many times over the years.  My heart ached with loss as I read it, but I knew I had to use it.  Now that Christmas is behind us for another year, I still have some of that cake left, and I savour every bite. 

And on my right hand, I am wearing my mother’s wedding band.  It had been sitting in a little box in my dresser drawer for months, waiting until the time that would come for it to go on her finger for the last time.  So for now I am wearing it, because it makes me feel closer to her, and to Dad as well.

So please don’t try to tell me that things aren’t important.  Sometimes it is the little things that we need to hold onto, the touchstones for our priceless memories.  Sometimes it is all we have.