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message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments And just like that we are in our final month of December. Christmas is just around the corner. Just curious if you all have any special traditions or things that you might be doing this Christmas?

message 2: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (last edited Dec 01, 2018 07:34AM) (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2244 comments Mod
Where did this year disappear to?! Haha! Seems like every twelvemonth vanishes before I'm ready.

Christmas includes...
* seeing Christmas lights
* decorating the tree (already done this year)
* eating delicious food
* the Christmas story
* exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve
* presents from "Santa" on Christmas morning (yes, even though my sis and I are both grown; some traditions die hard)
* Christmas music
* Christmas movies (we're seeing White Christmas in theaters on Dec. 9)

message 3: by Kelli (new)

Kelli | 39 comments My Mom used to make old fashioned fruitcake - I hated it as a kid! It had candied fruit ☹️ and I wouldn't eat it. She made it in October and would drizzle brandy on once a month until Christmas. Fast forward to 2016. Mom died and my oldest sister and I decided to make fruitcake together as a tradition Mom started BUT we updated it and cut out the candied fruit and replaced it with dried fruit - tasty! Sis and I have done it two years in a row and hope to keep the family tradition going.

message 4: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2862 comments Mod
Kelli - I make the old fashioned fruitcake but with a bit of a twist, and everybody who eats it seems to love it. Not quite as heavy as the old fashioned kind and has orange juice in it. Even with the candied fruit, people seem to enjoy it.

Our Christmas decorations go up the day after Thanksgiving so we can enjoy them for a nice long time. This year we had our 6 year old grandson with us that day, and he helped me haul all the decorations up from our storage in the garage and decorate the tree. It was lots of fun having him help me for the first time. We also start listening to Christmas music that day. We have so many Christmas CD's that is the only way we can hear them all before Christmas. We have a three way Christmas celebration since our family is small. We spend Christmas Eve at my daughter in law's sister's house, after attending church, as she and her son have no other family. Christmas morning is at our son's home and our daughter in law always makes a wonderful breakfast buffet and we watch our grandson open his Santa gifts. . Then Christmas night everyone is at our house to open presents there.

Hunter (Totally NOT a communist ☭) (codenameagentmcmuffin) Is this a good thread to ask questions about ebooks and audiobooks? I bought a new tablet yesterday and plan to use it for reading.

message 6: by Missy (new)

Missy | 544 comments I love Christmas, especially growing up in the North with cold and snow. But living in the South now, I have difficulties getting in the Christmas spirit. But I did go Christmas shopping on Saturday and got it all done. Yay me! (I'm usually a run to Walmart on Chritmas Eve to finish up.)

Growing up we always put the Christmas tree up the day we got out for Thanksgiving from school, because we would spend Thanksgiving and the weekend at family. Usually sometime before Christmas our church would go caroling and have a soup supper afterwards that was always fun. When I was in elementary, the school would host a Christmas movie and Santa (always a bag of treats with a nasty apple hiding in there). But our real tradition started on Christmas Eve, mom would always make chili and oyster stew (for my dad) for dinner before we went to midnight church. We always got to open one present before we left, usually a new dress or new coat to wear. Christmas Day we were always at families, so Christmas Eve was our tradition.

My husband and I are trying to set new traditions, it seems difficult when we are both estranged from our families (which makes this time of year even more difficult for me). But we have a 6 year old son, so we are trying to come up with some new traditions.

message 7: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2244 comments Mod
Missy, estrangement is never easy. I hope the new traditions shape up well over the next couple of years. My family is also estranged from both sides' extended relatives. Our traditions are pretty set now that it's been over a decade. There are still moments that are rougher than others, but I think most of our moments are filled with peace. Hang in there, Missy! Keep clinging to God and know He won't let you go. He has beautiful peace in store for your heart. Hugs and blessings!

message 8: by Joy (new)

Joy (audioaddict1234) | 104 comments My children are grown but living at home, so we are figuring out new traditions. We will be visiting family and my older daughter wants to cook a meal for us.

I want to scale down the decorations. Nativity set for sure—that went up this weekend. Small tree. I was ready for no tree but my 19yo disagreed.

Hunter (Totally NOT a communist ☭) (codenameagentmcmuffin) Our traditions and what wee do are changing and i dont like it.

I know why and I understand why my mind doesn't like it but it still happens.

message 10: by AlegnaB † (last edited Dec 04, 2018 04:41AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 958 comments Our family went about 12 years with no cable TV, but hubby decided in 2013 or so that he wanted to get it again. He started watching the Hallmark Channel with our teen daughter, especially during the Christmas season. He decided to get rid of cable earlier this year 🙂👏🏻, but he didn’t want to miss the Christmas movies this season, so he recently signed up for the Hallark Channel and is planning to keep it for two months. I thought of him when I saw these:


Yay! This is the first time I’ve been able to post an image (not counting photos in my profile).

message 11: by AlegnaB † (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 958 comments Hunter (Totally NOT a communist ☭) wrote: "Is this a good thread to ask questions about ebooks and audiobooks? I bought a new tablet yesterday and plan to use it for reading."

I suggest posting in a thread or starting a new topic in the Book Talk folder at

message 12: by AlegnaB † (last edited Dec 04, 2018 05:34AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 958 comments My hubby and daughter love decorating for Christmas. Me? Not so much. For years we didn’t have any outside decorations but had candle lights in the front windows. Now we have the most decorated home on the street.😧 The newest additions are two lighted deer in the yard and colored, blinking lights around the front door. Well, I did get a lighted, white, flat nativity thing, since I wanted something related to Jesus out there. I also bought some throw pillow covers (including a nativity scene), a small picture with LED lights, and flags (nativity scene, Jesus is the Reason..., and others) to hang up inside. I ordered the following, 26 x 18 on canvas, a couple of days ago:


If I had plenty of room to hang them and wouldn’t feel guilty about spending so much money on material things, I would buy a slew of Christmas pictures by the same artist, Nicky Boehme:

message 13: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2244 comments Mod
Hunter: I started a thread for asking questions about eReaders. You may find it here:

message 15: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2244 comments Mod
I'm glad to help, Hunter.

message 16: by AlegnaB † (last edited Dec 05, 2018 06:22AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 958 comments Don't miss our book covers game for December. It's a variation on a game that was highly popular at CFD in the past:

message 17: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen | 7 comments This year is a bit different for us. We have one son living away from home and the other working away from home for the month of December. They were both home for Thanksgiving so I put up the tree. One walked by and said, "Oh, you put the tree up." The other one sat and looked through the box of ornaments while I hung others on the tree : / Oh well, it was just fun to have them around. We usually put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. We also have a lighted Christmas village that we put on the tops of the cupboards in the kitchen and do that the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Our extended families live about 1 1/2 hours from us and we are usually with them for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. When our sons were small we started the tradition of opening gifts with them the Sunday before Christmas. We have kept this up and it still works well.

message 18: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2244 comments Mod
I love hearing all these various traditions. Merry Christmas, everyone!

message 19: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Pretty low key in terms of Christmas traditions here...however, we do make an occasion of decorating the tree while watching a Christmas movie, then I make hot chocolate. It's a fun and cozy time.

I also love listening to Christmas music (always bust out my trusty Michael Buble CD!). At my parent's house, everyone has a stocking, and my mom picks the best things to put in them. The adults in the family also draw names and exchange gifts, so it's fun to see what everyone gets. :) Then we have a great time watching the kiddos open their gifts.

Another simple favorite of mine is reading my Advent book and my Bible with the tree twinkling near. Or just getting cozy by the light of the tree.

message 20: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Would any member that is a GR librarian mind adding the Audible version of A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert for me? :)

message 21: by AlegnaB † (last edited Dec 13, 2018 05:13AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 958 comments working on it
A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

message 22: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
AlegnaB † wrote: "working on it
A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert"

Thank you, Alegna. I knew you or Hannah would come through. ;)

message 23: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments I love hearing everyone’s cozy Christmas traditions. The construction-paper chains and the elf on the shelf takes me back about fifty years(!!), the picnic by the fire sounds like a nice tradition (we used to pop popcorn in our fireplace). For me, candles in the windows, lights on the tree, good music and setting up the nativity scene are the bare essentials to make it cozy. Oh, and making spritz cookies with my grandfather’s secret recipe – yum!

Growing up we always had at least two Christmas trees in the house. A freshly cut tree in the family room with the more rustic decorations and an artificial one in the living room with the more traditional and fancy German glass ornaments. My mom died many years ago; and after all of us kids had grown and left the nest, my dad just started leaving the artificial tree up year-round (too much trouble for him to put up and take down every year?). Well, one summer day I stopped over and couldn’t figure out what was making that horrible loud noise coming from inside the house. I walked in to discover the artificial Christmas tree listing to one side and precious, antique ornaments falling to the floor below while my farm-boy father “dusted” the tree with one of his super-high-powered gas leaf blowers!! My 89-year-old Daddy just died several days ago and we buried him this weekend and this was one of many crazy-funny stories we shared in his eulogy. He was quite the character! We have many, many family Christmas traditions, but another one we enjoyed with friends and family at the reception this weekend was making eggnog the same way Dad always made it (teetotaler) on Christmas Eve when we would get home from church and drinking it in the antique ruby goblets that were only brought out once a year for the eggnog. Dad also had an old vinyl recording of beautiful Christmas music played on antique music boxes – this was one of the albums we played for him during his final days.

All the out of town guests have now gone and I’m sitting here on a quiet, rainy day just comfort-playing on Goodreads, trying to get myself motivated to read a book or watch a Hallmark movie or put up my Christmas tree. I’m leaning towards just taking a nap!!

message 24: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments I'm drinking a mug of steaming hot Russian tea and wondering if Russian tea is part of anyone else's Christmas traditions.

message 25: by Missy (new)

Missy | 544 comments I've heard of it, never tried it though. I looked up a recipe, it sounds pretty good. We always have hot spiced cider warming throughout the day. I think I drink it all myself though, my daughters don't like cider (crazy I know) and my husband says it is too sweet. Oh well, all the more for me.

message 26: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn V | 215 comments Jane, my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your father. We also suffered the loss of our father in the last year. The holiday may be a tough one this year for you. Maybe, keep a yearly tradition in his honor.
I am also reminded of bringing out the collectible nativity scene. in recent years; I put the box by the kitchen door for my spouse to take to the basement; and he thought it was meant to take out to garbage; and gone was my nativity set. I'm slowly building up a fontannini collection of historical biblical buildings, biblical figures, easter scene and christ birth; and they never go into storage!

Hunter (Totally NOT a communist ☭) (codenameagentmcmuffin) This year it hasn't felt like Christmas time to me.

I'm not sure how to explain it...I'm no Grinch. i don't *hate* Christmas. I don't even *dislike* it. I really enjoy the holiday ((i say holiday because that's the only December holiday I myself practice)). But this year it just..hasn't felt like the holiday season. i know it's less than a wee away. We have our tree and our presents and watch Christmas movies and hear the songs. We're going to look at decorations sometime. So I'm not sure why it just doesn't feel like time.

It still feels like November to me.

Have any of you felt like this before?

message 28: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 408 comments Yes, on years I struggle more with depression. This year I'm at a pretty good place, so that means that my meds are working for me. But, in general, I will say that Christmas is never as exciting as an adult as it was when I was a kid.

message 29: by MKay (new)

MKay | 35 comments Both my sons are military so I haven't had them with me for Christmas in a while, but the closer son I am able to spend time with at some point. My niece and I went there last weekend and we did a hayride through lights, had pictures with Santa and decorated ornaments. She and my granddaughter are just months apart in age so they enjoyed each others company. Trying to come up with some new traditions.

message 30: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Missy, you should definitely try Russian Tea. It's a sugary, Christmas treat that makes me feel all cozy and takes me back instantly to my childhood and Christmases spent in North Carolina!! I found a (discontinued) candle once that reminded me of the spicy smell of Russian tea; I went on eBay and bought up all I could find, simply to have the nostalgia with me year round!

message 31: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Carolyn, Thank you. I've already carried on several of Daddy's traditions this Christmas season -- they seem even sweeter than before! Hope you're carrying on some of your father's traditions, as well. And I can't believe your husband threw out your nativity scene!?!?!! Aargh!! I'm very attached to the nativity scene I inherited from my mom, so I can understand your pain. :) Mine has lots of memories and is well-worn …. the angel has a broken wing, the shepherd has been glued back together so many times that the glue will no longer stick, and several sheep are missing legs! Even though your new one may not have the same memories, it's nice that you're able to start a new collection and make some new memories. (I looked up Fontannini nativity sets online and they are so very pretty!)

message 32: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Hunter, I've missed talking with you. I understand what you and Rachel both spoke of. There have been Christmases in the past where I’ve been depressed and kind of blah and it just hasn’t felt like Christmas. I think my situation might be a little bit different from yours and Rachel’s, because for me, I tend to get more down and not feeling all the twinkliness of Christmas when I try to do the perfectionist thing and want my life to be just like a Hallmark movie! Surprisingly, with my dad recently dying, you'd think I'd be depressed this year, but I'm not. I've spent so very much of the last four weeks just sitting quietly with Dad (and my siblings) and holding Dad's hand and praying and reading the Bible and listening to good music; every other diversion and "busy-ness", including reading books, was abandoned. I didn't care if my house got decorated or whether gifts were bought or whether I felt all sparkly and Christmas-y. Just enjoying quiet time with family and focusing on death and life and our HOPE in Jesus has left me refreshed (I'm exhausted, but emotionally and spiritually I feel fresh). So, my little bit of advice would be to try and enjoy some quiet time with your family, and with Jesus; don’t worry, if it doesn’t “feel” like Christmas. Btw, did you get hit with the big snow that hit NC/VA? Did that not make you feel all cozy and Christmas-y?!? 😊

message 33: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Adalberto, popcorn is the BEST!!! And it’s so much fun to pop it in the fireplace! It sounds like you’re making some lovely memories with your little ones!

message 34: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Andrea, in our family, we also used to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve after church and then we’d leave milk, cookies and a note for “Santa” and wake up Christmas morning to see what gifts he had brought us. I think it’s lovely that you and your sister are still enjoying the childlike wonder of Santa! Do you still leave milk and cookies? (One year my father suggested that Santa might really like some buttermilk with his cookies. And don’t you know? Santa left us a little note saying that he quite enjoyed the buttermilk!! 😊 Haha!)

Did you get to see White Christmas in the theatre on the 9th?!? I bet that was fun! I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the oldies yet this year, but I was looking at the “it’s a wonderful movie” blogspot (https://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.c...) and there are some good movies coming up this weekend on the TCM channel. (Did you tell me once that you liked The Shop Around the Corner?? I think it’s coming on Monday afternoon; I may have to dvr it, if it’s one you’d recommend.)

message 35: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments MKay, Thank you for raising two honorable men that have chosen to serve our country! I know that Christmas can be a hard time for military families. Your hayride through the lights sounds like it was fun. Decorating a special ornament every year with your niece and granddaughter sounds like a lovely tradition; and I imagine they’ll cherish the memories!

message 36: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Angela, I love those socks!! Also love that artist. Her scenes are so cozy, some of them remind me of Thomas Kinkade. (And a couple of them reminded me of jigsaw puzzles I’ve done?)

message 37: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Beth, I just listened to the Michael Buble Christmas cd on Amazon. I love it and might just be adding it to my own stocking this year!!

I loved when you mentioned reading your Bible with the tree twinkling nearby. It sounds cozy and perfect! (As a child, did you ever lay under the tree and look up and dream? That perspective always made everything seem perfectly right and cozy. I haven’t done that in years! I’m feeling the need to do it again this year!! Although, if I don't get my tushy moving and put up a tree, I may have to borrow my neighbor's twinkling tree --- hah! They'd definitely think I was crackers! "Excuse me, you won't mind if I come in and lay under your tree for a little while, will you?")

message 38: by AlegnaB † (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 958 comments Jane wrote: "Angela, I love those socks!! Also love that artist. Her scenes are so cozy, some of them remind me of Thomas Kinkade. (And a couple of them reminded me of jigsaw puzzles I’ve done?)"

They also remind me and my husband of TK paintings. I’m copying images of NB’s paintings and adding them to my jigsaw puzzle app to do them. I bought two of her non-Christmas canvas prints for myself for Christmas.

message 39: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 408 comments Merry Christmas!

Hunter (Totally NOT a communist ☭) (codenameagentmcmuffin) I haven't felt depressed or anything. just doesnt feel like Christmas, even today!!

i went to family things which I normally treasure but this didnt feel special or fun or anything. not much was different but this year it just doesn't make sense.

Also the GR app is acting wonky. maybe I should try reinstalling it...

message 41: by Alex (new)

Alex | 32 comments Merry Christmas to everyone!

message 42: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2244 comments Mod
Happy Christmas!

message 43: by Loraine, CFD Momma (last edited Dec 28, 2018 08:15AM) (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2862 comments Mod
There will be a new topic for you to check out in January - Biblical Fiction and the Old Testament. If you like to read Biblical fiction and want to see where it connects to the Old Testament, here is the link:

message 44: by Kelli (new)

Kelli | 39 comments Looking forward to this ne topic! Thank Loraine for your time and effort!

message 45: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2862 comments Mod
I've already listed the books for the first four chapters of Genesis Kelly if you like to check them out.

message 46: by Christine (new)

Christine | 428 comments I was wondering if I could get some help from one of the librarians out there. Could someone add Switch on Your Brain Every Day by Dr. Caroline Leaf? The publisher is Baker Books. If you need any other info just let me know. Thank you!!

message 47: by AlegnaB † (last edited Dec 30, 2018 05:14AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 958 comments Christine wrote: "...Could someone add Switch on Your Brain Every Day by Dr. Caroline Leaf?..."

Hardcover Switch on Your Brain Every Day 365 Readings for Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Caroline Leaf and kindle Switch On Your Brain Every Day 365 Readings for Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Caroline Leaf editions are already in the system.

message 48: by Christine (new)

Christine | 428 comments Thanks Alegna :)! Not sure how I missed it.

message 49: by Wendy (last edited Jan 19, 2019 05:26AM) (new)

Wendy Sparkes (wendysparkes) | 260 comments The end of December went a bit crazy for me, Jane so I missed sending my condolences on the Homecall of your father. Just wanted to let you know I am praying for you!

(And I hope you did find a tree to lay under!)

message 50: by Jane (new)

Jane | 113 comments Wendy wrote: "The end of December went a bit crazy for me, Jane so I missed sending my condolences on the Homecall of your father. Just wanted to let you know I am praying for you!

(And I hope you did find a tr..."

Aww, Wendy, thank you, you're a sweetie.
And no tree to lay under - I didn't have the energy; but I did drape colored tree lights across both of the fireplace mantels and also put some in large crystal bowls in my bedroom and other places. So, it turned out to be rather cozy around here. In fact, (shhhh! don't tell anyone) I still haven't taken the lights down and I'm still listening to Christmas music and reading Christmas books.
Hope you had a lovely Christmas celebration and that 2019 has started off (and continues to be!) all bright and sparkly!

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