Friday, December 31, 2010

Food For Thought

While working on this post yesterday, the first true snow of winter was fluttering past our windows.  We had a little skiff earlier this fall, but it all melted by lunch-time.  This promises to be here for a little while ... yeah!  We may not have had a white Christmas, but we will enjoy a white New Year! :)

This sort of weather is perfect for snuggling up with a hot drink and a little something sweet.  Seeing as I, personally, am done with cookies, I thought I would highlight another delightful baked good ... the scrumptious cinnamon roll.  Perfect for breakfast, a mid-day meal or alongside a cup of chili.  And you can even enjoy one for dessert.  I don't recommend actually eating four in one day ... but you could. :)

This Food For Thought also falls under the heading of "Worth the Work".  They take a little extra time and you have to plan ahead, but they are so very much worth it.  So ... pay attention, pull out your butter so that it can soften ... and get ready to be spoiled!

Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe is from my mom's recipe book ... she used to make these at her bakery.  Yum!

You can make cinnamon rolls with regular bread dough ... but this sweet dough is so much better.  I remember my mom coming home smelling just like this recipe.

Sweet Dough:
1 cup warm milk
2 1/2 cups flour (you really have to use white here ... wheat is too dry)
1/2 T. yeast
2 sticks of butter, softened
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar

1 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 1/2 cups flour (again)

In a large mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAide mixer), combine milk, yeast and first set of flour.  Beat at a medium-low speed for about 5 minutes.  Lift the beater out of the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for about 1 hour.  The dough will double in size.

Add the butter all at once and beat until smooth on medium speed.  You will have to stop a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Next add the eggs one at a time, while beating slowly.  Once all the eggs are added, beat on medium-low for several minutes until it is well blended.  Add the sugar and blend well.

In a small bowl, combine the salt, nutmeg and second set of flour.  Mix it well.  With the mixer on medium-low, gradually add the flour mixture.  Turn it down a bit if the flour starts flying out ... just a word of wisdom from experience. :)  Once all the flour is added, turn the mixer up to medium and let it run for about 5 minutes.  You may need to use a wooden spoon here at the end if the mixer begins to labor.

Ready to chill.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it a few times.  Shape it into a ball and put it into a large bowl (sprayed with a little pan spray).  Cover it with plastic wrap and pop it into the refrigerator.  You will want this to chill for several hours or overnight.  (I choose to make this in the morning, the day before we are going to eat it.  That way I can roll them out the evening before and bake them the morning of.  You just have to plan ahead.)

When you are ready to roll out the dough, let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes or it will be too hard to work with.  Flour the countertop and roll the dough out into a rectangle.  You want the dough to be about an 1/8 of an inch thick.

Ready for the sweet-stuff.

Spread a little softened butter over the dough - this will help the cinnamon and sugar to stay put.  Next sprinkle the surface with brown sugar and cinnamon.  If you want to add raisins or nuts to your cinnamon rolls, this is the time.  We like ours sweet and simple, sans any additions.

Sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up the dough so that you you have a long log.  Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch slices.  I usually start with one cut in the middle and then another cut in the middle of that and then cut each of those sections in half and then in each of those in half again.  That gives me a sixteen rolls.

Ready for the pan.

Place the rolls in a greased 9x13 pan leaving plenty of room between each one.  They will rise again before baking.  (At this point, I would cover them with plastic and pop them in the fridge for the next day.  You can do that, or continue as follows.)

Ready to rise.

Turn your oven on for about 5 minutes ... just long enough to warm it up ... and then turn it off.  Cover the rolls with a towel and place the pan in the oven to proof.  This usually takes about an hour.  They will double in size again.  Carefully remove the pan from the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the rolls until they are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.  We like ours a little bit doughy in the middle, so we aim for 25 minutes.

Icing:
1 1/5 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup milk
1/4 t. vanilla

Mix well and add either more sugar or more milk until you get the consistency you want.  Spread this lightly over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm.

Ready to eat!

We enjoyed these rolls on Christmas morning ... a tradition we might just have to keep!



Cinnamon Rolls

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Additions

Back before we had kids, we had fish.

Yes ... this was our true test of parental responsibilities.  Could we keep a tank full of guppies alive?  Would we be able to adequately care for other living creatures that were utterly dependent on us?  Could we remember to feed them?  Could we keep their tank (relatively) clean?  Would we notice if we ended up with a floater?  An essential assessment prior to becoming parents.

We passed.  Or, at least, I guess we did because ... well ... we have kids and they are alive, cared for, fed, (relatively) clean and we haven't had a floater yet!

After we added kids to life's equation, the fish tank got boxed up and set into exile.  We knew our limits in the realm of responsibility and felt that it was important to have our priorities right.  Kids:  first.  Fish:  later.

Now we are "later".

About a month ago, Aaron started talking about wanting to get a fish.  My immediate reaction to Brett's suggestion to let him have one was, "Uhhhmmmm ... really?"  Super enthusiastic, huh?  In my mind, we (or I should say "I") had plenty to take care of already.  Why add one more thing?  But as the days went by and Aaron's interest persisted, I warmed up to the idea.  Truly, fish are by far one of the easiest pets to care for.  And the most contained.  Okay ... why not?

For Christmas, we dusted off the aquarium box, made sure all the parts still worked and got Aaron a gift card to our pet store.  We decided we would cover the rocks, food and filters and he would be responsible for the plants, tunnels and fish.  We felt a little cheap for not getting him something new, but that feeling disappeared as soon as he opened the box.

Christmas morning ... note the chaos behind him.

He was so excited to have his very own fish that he never even commented on the used appearance of his gift.  Within just a few minutes of unwrapping his package, he and Daddy were upstairs, clearing off the shelf we had designated for it, rinsing gravel and hooking up hoses.  We poured in the water, turned on the bubbles and heater and ... waited 24 hours to get fish.  That boy is developing the patience of a saint!

When the tank had been running for an entire day, we headed out to shop for fish.  It was such fun to see his excitement and the enthusiasm of his sisters.  They ran from tank to tank, reading labels, comparing sizes and making the tough decision of who to take home.  Aaron eventually decided on an orange tailed guppy and a sucker-fish.  He wanted to get more, but the fish-worker-person recommended that we start with just two and add on once the tank is established.  (A saint, I tell you!)

We took the fish home in their little bags to let them float in the tank and let them acclimate.  (Absolutely saintly!)  About an hour later, Aaron dumped his first little buddies into the tank.  Swim, little fellas!

Such concentration ... and concern.

The excitement the kids shared in seeing the little guys darting around the tank for the first time is a snapshot I want to take with me!

Saying, "Hi!" to our new fish friend.

The funniest part of having fish has been the lengthy and ever-changing process of naming them.  On almost a daily basis, Aaron comes up with a different name for one of his friends.  It got to be so confusing for me that he finally wrote up a list and taped it to the tank.  Now I'll know who is who:

The Red Tail Tuxedo Guppy is Captain Orange Tail. (Like the pirate Black Beard ... only a fish.)
The Sucker is Deadline.
The Black Neon is Spotlite.
And the Tetra is Sonic.

The final two we got yesterday ... and they are adjusting just fine.

And not a floater yet. :)


My saintly boy and his aquatic buddies.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Getting Back to Normal ... Whatever That Is!

The Christmas craziness has begun to subside around the house.  We found homes for most of the goodies from our stockings:  a bowl for the chocolate coins, our new toothbrushes in the bathroom (Lydia used hers as she trudged upstairs), and the notepads and sticky notes are on the school shelf.  Now the dining room table is finally cleared of all snowflakes and crumbs and we set out all the packaging and wrapping paper to be recycled.  The washing machine is thumping and doing the fourth load of laundry.  Next I'll strip beds and wash towels and get everybody settled back in their usual rooms.

Brett was back to work on Monday and my mom and sister went home on Tuesday.  In that sense, we are getting back to the normalcy of me and the kids being home together.  Back to naps.  Back to chores.  Back to figuring out how to "play well with others."  The big kids go back to school next Tuesday and I'm sure they will be relieved to return to their normal routine, too!

The kitchen is still quite Christmasy ... mainly in the realm of sweets and treats.  Oh, my.  Who knew that we could acquire so many bags of cookies, breads and delicious delights?!  The trouble is that they are delicious and my willpower has now reached its very threshold.   Each time I go in the kitchen, they call from their bags and tins, "Oh, Morgan ... we're over here!  And we're tasty!  Just one little taste?  Yeah!!  She's going to choose one of us ... oh, or two of us!  Yipee!!"  Ugh.  It is imperative that we clear out these goodies so that I will fit in my clothes in 2011.  I hate to pitch anything, but eating it all is really not an option.  Hmmm ... I guess we'll downsize tins and try not to feel too badly about the goodies that get the boot!  I guess if you feel like your Christmas pantry is a bit bare and you WANT a re-fill, let me know! :)

We have officially moved on from the traditional Christmas music ... right back to "Dynamite", I might add!  Proof that it is indeed our family's theme song!  I guess I'll have to delete my Holiday stations from Pandora ... and look forward to listening to them again next year.  Or maybe in June if I need a little pick-me-up!

We will probably take down most of our Christmas decorations this weekend, but I will keep our snowmen and pinecones out a bit longer.  I like having a little transition from a fully decorated, Holiday house to the seemingly naked look of an undecorated home ... hence the job of a few Frosty the Snowmen!  We'd hate for the house to seem empty and bare! :)

We have a delightful collection of Christmas cards and letter and pictures to sort through.  I love taking a few days following the holidays to go back through the cards and notes and make sure that we have current addresses and re-read notes.  Then I take all the photos and glue little magnets on the back to hang on our refrigerator.  Each January I update the photos of our family and friends on the fridge and it's a delight to see how everyone has grown and changed!  The past several years, I have sent our Christmas card fronts to St. Jude's Ranch.  A super simple way to make a difference! :)

We're back to just the six of us around the kitchen table and it's kinda nice to simplify the plans for dinner.  And breakfast.  And lunch.  Sloppy Joes in place of a 12-layer lasagna.  Carrots and dip in place of a perfectly dressed salad.  A bowl of cereal in place of cinnamon rolls.  Of course, within a week or so I'll be itching to have guests again.  Hmmmm ... maybe we'll need to have a Martin Luther King, Jr. dinner. :)  What sort of menu would that entail, I wonder.

It will be good to get back to our normal daily routine.  You know ... dressed before 10 am, not snacking our way through the day and eating meals we're not really hungry for, going to bed at a reasonable hour (instead of playing Wii until 10:30) and getting up to work-out instead of just thinking about it.  (See the kitchen problem above.)

Brett will be relieved to see our budget return to its normal in's and out's.  A regular trip to the grocery (instead of three - one just for eggnog), just one visit to Wal-Mart for the necessities (instead of two ... with gifts to purchase), a trip to Sam's club just for food (instead of electronics) and eating at home instead of dining out!

Each day we tackle another little part of the house and return our daily lives back to our usual routine.  But not everything at once!  Too quick a transition might be a bit too traumatic! :)  The tree still twinkles in the corner and if you look at the floor you will still see traces of packing peanuts, pine needles and an errant piece of tape and wrapping paper.  I'm still choosing to veg on the couch with my kids instead of doing too much housework and a cookie after dinner is still a wonderful idea.  We're getting closer to normal around here.  (If there is such a thing!)  We're just not in too much of a hurry to get there!  :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Just Hair ... Right?

This morning Aaron came downstairs after breakfast and asked me to help him put his hair up in a mohawk.  Hmmm.  A mohawk, huh?  Really?

Just yesterday we had the debate about getting a hair cut.  I wanted to trim up his hair - it was getting a bit curly over his ears and the back was a little scruffy.  He wanted to leave it long, "I like it like this, Mom".  Okay ... how about we compromise?  I got to cut off the back and clean it up over his ears and he got to have it long-ish on top.  We both walked away happy.

But now ... a mohawk?  There wasn't really enough to make an authentic spiky mohawk, but there was enough to goop together to make a spike down the middle.  We headed upstairs and applied the hair glue.  It's really called that.  Glue.  I started to pull the hair together toward the middle and I heard my mother's voice in my ear:  It's just hair.  And then the slideshow of past hair-do's began to run through my mind.  My mother must have repeated that mantra a lot through the years ... just about every time I came out of the bathroom!

Here's a little walk down Hair-Do Lane.  Proceed with caution!



When this is what I started with, it's no wonder it only got wilder from here!  I guess I was just glad to have hair!  My mom remembers taping bows to my head, just so people would know I was a girl ... when I was two.

But when I finally started growing hair ... it came in with a vengeance!   And still does!


It was long, pretty much straight with a few haphazard curls to keep things interesting.  I wore braids, pony tails, pig-tails ... and apparently hair pieces ...



I'm not entirely sure where the wig came from, but we have pictures of each of us kids wearing it.  It definitely adds a little something.  A little color.  A little curl.  A little curiousness.

Next we have a hair-do that I had a for a loooong time.  I think it was "in" at the time.  I guess I hope it was!  We had one side short and one side long ... and by "we", I mean my sister and I.


We had matching hair-do's ... only we were mirror images of each other.


This was the hair-style that for a while also sported rat-tails.  Yeah ... I'm hoping that was an "in" thing, too.  I remember braiding that little wisp of hair, putting beads on it and also just letting it curl and go free.  I'm sure the style was easy for swimming and for keeping up with ... but it is definitely the hair-memory that gives me the most hee-bee-jeebies.  I'm just glad that I share this 'do with my Sissy.  It makes it a tad bit more bearable!

Next, I went for an all-over even length ... and curl.  A lot of curl.  Fake curl.  This would be the era of perms for me.  Years and years of perms.  My sincerest apologies to my hair for the chemical torture endured.


Here we see the fan to either side of the face:  hair-sprayed and blow-dried into place.  The bangs also are curled, teased and lacquered to withstand any and all weather conditions.  And this would be considered my polished, permed look.  Every hair glued in place.  Next we have the perm on a regular sort of day ...


Eeek.  There is a lot of frizz here ... almost a "crimper" style.  But the big bow holding all those wacky curls back is truly the topper.  I imagine that there is a good amount of hair-spray in use keeping the top and sides slicked ... no wispy run-aways here.  But the cuckoo curls do not stop here.  Nope.  Here we have the coup de grĂ¢ce of curls.



This must be an amazing combination of chemical perm, high-heat blow-drying, teasing and neglect of anything like a moisturizing conditioner.  Can you hear the pitiful little cry of each hair?  "please, please ... let us be ... stop the torture ..." :)  It pains me to say that this was "my look" for a while.  I have a number of pictures of me with this 'do:  playing the flute, going to prom, headed to school.  I'll save you the silliness, but suffice it say, this was definitely a look I was going for.  (head shake ...)

I'm glad to say that at about my junior year, I gave my hair a rest.  And look what happened.  It revolted ...



It's confused and doesn't know where to go or whether to curl or be straight!  I vividly remember this morning because I was trying to get my hair together and suddenly there was this cowlick that showed up right in the middle of my forehead.  It must have developed over-night because I had no idea what to do with it.  Some hairs wanted to go left while the rest wanted to go right.  I remember a lot of curling and squooshing and spritzing and hoping.  And then this is the picture that came back for the year book.  Oh, the horror! :)  Fortunately, I learned how to work with the cowlick and my senior year I enjoyed a simple, stylish hair-do that actually was complementary.  


But it was also a lot of work!  All that hair to dry and straighten so that I could curl it again.  Remember ... I had some curl, unpredictable curl, but still curl.  For many years I fought against the natural wave of my hair, mainly because it wasn't anything I could actually control.  I still can't.
As you can see from my adult years, I have continued to try new and different looks:

Straight and short ...


Curly and shorter ...



Longer and a bit wavy ...



And finally ... living with the curl and letting it go!




So ... I guess it really is "just hair".  It grows.  It does it's own thing.  It endures all attempts to control and  tame it.  I guess it will also survive a mohawk.  But, I'm still not sold on the idea.

Actually, this morning I got Aaron's hair all gooped up and slicked together in the middle ... and stopped.  I just couldn't do it.  We compromised (again) and he went to school with his hair standing up - spiked and looking sharp (ha, ha ... pun intended!).  Maybe over the holiday break he can sport a mohawk and I can get used to the idea ... or maybe he'll have another hair-do in mind.  Trends change pretty quickly!

_______________________________________

I wrote this post a few weeks ago ... and as of day 11 of our break, we are still mohawk-free. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

What's Today?!?

Why, it's December 27!  Anyone know what's special about today?

Nope, it's not "Hum-Drum Monday after Christmas".  

It's not "Take the Random Christmas Kilt Kit back to Target" Day. 

It's not "Dump the Christmas Cookies Down the Garbage Disposal" Day. 

Or "Heft the Christmas Toy Packaging to the Curb" Day.

According to my calendar (that I made last year) ... 
it's "Cut Paper Snowflakes Day"!  Yeah!

This is especially important this year because it's the only snow we've seen. :(  I'm certain that I'll be grumbling about the snow come February ... but I'd still really like to see some now!

Anyhooo .... the kids and I had a lot of fun making some paper snowflakes last week for our Christmas dinner decorations:

Lydia kept busy with a little solo game of Battle Ship.
Norah makes her deliberate cuts.

Ashley's own interpretation of a snowflake. :)

Such fun!

We ended up with a wonderful variety of sizes, shapes and designs ... with a few, frosty blue ones thrown in for fun.

Such focus and attention to detail.

As it turned out, Aaron is our resident snowflake maker.  He was amazing ... and completely out of our league!  While we girls were making cautious little snips, triangles and curves, Aaron was boldly cutting huge zig-zags, arrows and hearts.  When we unfolded our creations, it was always a little more exciting to see what Aaron came up with ... intricate designs and stunning patterns.  I guess this was an example of where a little extra boldness results in truly astonishing beauty.  (It also resulted in several snowflakes snipped to smithereens ... but that's a risk he was willing to take!)  Two little lessons, I should take to heart! :)

Ooohh!  Aaahhhhh!

So that you can join us in "Cut Paper Snowflakes Day", here are some very simple directions that I got from Norah's teachers.  We made about a million of these little guys one morning at school with the 2nd graders ... so you can master this, too!  Just follow along and you can make it look like a blizzard has struck you house, as well!

1)  Get a square piece of paper.  You can use 8.5 x 11 paper and trim off one end to make a 8.5x8.5 inch square.  I rummaged around in my craft supplies and found some blue 12x12 inch scrapbook paper for a few bigger snowflakes and some pretty mulberry paper for a few delicate looking snowflakes.  Of course, you could use hot pink scrapbook paper ... and have either hot pink snowflakes (Norah would love that!) or just turn them over ... seeing as that side is white, and all. :)



2) Fold the paper in half.


3) Fold the paper in half, again.  You should have a small square.  Now unfold it, you will use the crease in the center as a guide.


4)  At this point, make sure that the opening of the folded paper is facing away from you.  Otherwise, things get funky!

Fold the right side of the paper in towards the center crease.  You will now have a crease at the half point and a crease at the one-quarter point.  Open it up again.


5)  This is where it gets just a tad bit tricky.  Take the left corner closest to you and fold it so that it touches the one-quarter point crease.  You will have a tail sticking up above the top line of the paper.

Yes ... I'm wearing a pop-bead bracelet that Ashley made me.
6)  Now take the right corner that is closest to you and fold it across the paper to make a triangular tip.


You will have something that looks like this:


7)  Take this funky triangle and fold it in half.  Now you have the paper folded to make a 6 pointed snowflake.


8)  To have points on your snowflake, you want to cut the bottom at an angle.  For a round snowflake, simple cut straight across.


9)  Here is an example of my cuts.  If you want Aaron's more dazzling snowflakes, think:  Bigger and Bolder!


And here's the finished product!  So pretty!


To flatten out your beautiful creations, slide each snowflake between to pieces of paper and iron them on low.  Of course, my kids (as always) were surprised that we owned an iron.  Yes ... I just don't use it very ofter.  If ever.

Here are a few of our other favorites ... for your inspiration and viewing pleasure:

Even Ashley ended up with some lovely snowflakes by simply folding the paper into fourths and snipping, snipping, snipping.


Norah was recovering from a slumber-party hang-over, but she still managed to cut and create some beautiful and unique snowflakes.


Here are a few of my favorites.  Even with my cautious approach, they turned out lovely.


Finally, here are Aaron's favorites.  He certainly has a creativity that is lacking a bit in his mother's. :)  He was like Michaelangelo ... freeing the snowflake from the computer paper! :)


So ... what are you waiting for?!?  Grab some paper and scissors and get cutting ... create a blizzard!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Not Long to Wait ...

Yippee!  It's finally Christmas Eve!  Weeks of anticipation all coming together in "one more sleep" before the big day.  What do you have planned for this special day?

We will be heading off to our church's Christmas Eve program to sing "Silent Night" by candlelight (I hope!), then home to open our traditional PJ's ... then some snuggling and cuddling before bed.  Hope we can sleep!





One More Sleep 'Til Christmas


There magic in the air this evening
Magic in the air
The world is at her best, you know
When people love and care
The promise of excitement is one the night will keep
After all, there's only one more sleep til Christmas

The world has got a smile today
The world has got a glow
There's no such thing as strangers when
A stranger says hello
And everyone is family, we're having so much fun
After all, there's only one more sleep til Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly and joyous
With a burst of pleasure, we feel it all right
It's the season when the saints can employ us
To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive

There's something in the wind today
That's good for everyone
Yes, faith is in our hearts today
We're shining like the sun
And everyone can feel it, the feeling's running deep
After all, there's only one more sleep til Christmas
After all, there's only one more sleep til Christmas day 

_____________________________________


This is such a lively song ... fitting for this day of anticipation and excitement!  


I hope that you'll be humming this little tune later on tonight ... with "faith in your heart", "shining like the SON"!


Merry Christmas!
_____________________________________


Thanks to ST Lyrics for the words and ravechief24 for the video to today's song.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankfulness ... All Year Round

As promised to my little girl at the beginning of "The Muppets Christmas Carol", Ebenezer Scrooge does indeed change his heart.  When finally faced with his own stinginess ... and the disdain of his fellow Londoners ... he vows to be different.  As he paces back and forth in his dressing room following his night visitors, he promises, "I will honor Christmas, and try to keep it all the year!"

He heads out into the street that Christmas morning, and he sees those around him in a new beautiful light.  His fellow man (and muppets) are special and wonderful creations!  And so is Ebenezer!





A Thankful Heart


With a thankful heart, with an endless joy
With a growing family, every girl and boy
Will be nephew and niece to me
Will bring love, hope and peace to me
Yes and every night will end, and every day will start
With a greatful prayer and a thankful heart

With an open smile and with open doors
I will bid you welcome, what is mine is yours
With a glass raised to toast your health
And a promise to share the wealth
I will sail a friendly course, file a friendly chart
On a sea of love and a thankful heart

Life is like a jouney, who knows when it ends?
Yes, and if you need to know the measure of a man
You simply count his friends
Stop and look around you, the glory that you see
Is born again each day, don't let is slip away
How precious life can be

With a thankful heart that is wide awake
I do make this promise, every breath I take
Will be used now to sing your praise
And to beg you to share my days
With a loving guarantee that even if we part
I will hold you close in a thankful heart

I will hold you close in a thankful heart 



________________________________________


I absolutely love the final lines from the first verse,  
"Yes, and every night will end, and every day will start, 
With a grateful prayer and a thankful heart." 


A great model for my everyday ... all year round!


____________________________________________________


Thanks to ST Lyrics for the words and TheMonkfan1992 for the video to today's song.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Love & Christmas ... They Go Hand-in-Hand

I've had this song stuck in my head all week.  Not that that's a bad thing! :)  Just be forewarned that you might be humming along with this catchy tune now and later ... much later!  Like in February. :)



It Feels Like Christmas

It's in the singing of a street corner choir
It's going home and getting warm by the fire
It's true wherever you find love
It feels like Christmas

A cup of kindness that we share with another
A sweet reunion with a friend or a brother
In all the places you find love
It feels like Christmas

It is the season of the heart
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear
It is the season of the spirit
The message if we hear it
Is make it last all year

It's in the giving of a gift to another
A pair of mittens that were made by your mother
It's all the ways that we show love
That feel like Christmas

A part of childhood we'll always remember
It is the summer of the soul in December
Yes, when you do your best for love
It feels like Christmas

It is the season of the heart
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear
It is the season of the spirit
The message if we hear it
Is make it last all year

It's in the singing of a street corner choir
It's going home and getting warm by the fire
It's true, wherever you find love
It feels like Christmas
It's true, wherever you find love
It feels like Christmas
It feels like Christmas
It feels like Christmas
It feels like Christmas 


____________________________________


The Spirit of Christmas Present is, by far, my favorite of the three ghosts that visit Scrooge.  I love his jolly exuberant laugh, his child-like excitement for Christmas, his lacking of anything akin to a critical heart ... and his compassion when Scrooge is faced with the truth of his own hard heart.


After this song, Scrooge is almost festive.  He has caught a glimpse of the miracle and meaning of Christmas and he asks to see some of his family and friends (if you can call them that).  The spirit obligingly takes him to both his nephew's house and the Cratchit's home ... only to have his Christmas spirit doused in the truth of his own uncharitableness.  His eyes are opened to the fact that he has not been loving, or generous, or caring, or kind, or sympathetic, or anything like the song he just sang!


This is the moment of truth for Scrooge ... to continue on in his own cold-hearted lonely way, or embrace the message of Christmas.  How could one resist the draw of "going home and getting warm by the fire", sharing "a cup of kindness" and finding both love and Christmas, too?


Not me! :)


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Thanks to ST Lyrics for the video and words to today's song.