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Thursday

A New Year's Auld Lang Syne

A New Year's Auld Lang Syne

What does "auld lang syne" mean, anyway? Loosely translated, this perennially popular New Year's Eve phrasing means "long time ago," "long time since" or "long, long past."

New Year's Eve is a traditional occasion for reflecting upon cherished memories from past years and looking forward eagerly to the future with family members, friends and other loved ones.



How will you celebrate New Year's Eve this year?

Will you play "Auld Lang Syne" at your New Year's Eve party?

Here's "Auld Lang Syne," from the soundtrack of the 1940 film, Waterloo Bridge. (Subtitles are included - revealing the lyrics:

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What's on your New Year's Eve playlist?

How about this favorite, "As Time Goes By," performed by Frank Sinatra, from the soundtrack of the 1941 film Casablanca?

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Happy New Year! Be safe!



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Tuesday

What's your favorite song from 2009?

What's your favorite song from 2009?


Do you prefer pop, blues, rap, rock, soul, gospel or another style of music? What was the best song of 2009, in your opinion? Did you buy it on CD or download it to your MP3 or iPod?

Here's an amazing remix blend someone made of Billboard's Top 25 hits from 2009 (posted yesterday on YouTube). Whether you like pop music or not, the blend is intriguing. See how many hit singles (and popular music artists) you can recognize. Can you find Fergie, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Flo Rida, and other artists?

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What did you think?

Happy New Year! 

Don't you just wonder what popular music 2010 will bring?

Wednesday

Sunday

Christmas Carol Playlist

Christmas Carol Playlist

Here are 30 of our own favorite Christmas carols (shuffled into random order - for your Yuletide listening pleasure).

Merry CHRISTmas. Celebrate the season . . . and its Reason with blessings all around!


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Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


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Did you hear your own favorite Christmas carol? If not, please leave a comment to let us know what your most treasured Christmas song is (and who performs it best).

Friday

What Sort of Christmas Card Are You?

What Sort of Christmas Card Are You?

Having sent out our family Christmas cards, I thought this Christmas quiz sounded like fun.

Try it, and see what results you find! Be sure to leave a comment - announcing your result!

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You Are a Cute Christmas Card



You love the holidays, and it's hard for you to feel any sort of seasonal burnout.

You're the person who thinks the holidays don't start soon enough. You have your Christmas cards picked out months in advance.



The holidays make you feel happy and content. You're tickled by every gift you receive and every old friend you reconnect with.

You are a thoughtful gift giver, and you take the time to make each object you give unique and special. You like to see someone's eyes light up when they open your present.



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Related Items of Interest:

Personalized Christmas cards add a homespun flavor to the holiday season. Do-it-yourself Christmas greetings allow individuals and families to exercise a bit of creativity, adding interest to holiday greetings, while saving money at the same time.

Holiday cards are coming soon. What will yours look like this year? Will you select a box off-the-shelf, or do you want to do something a little more original? And who doesn't love photos of family and friends?

Christmas gift giving is an expression of thoughtfulness. Why not include a gift tag with a happy holiday message? Try these 10 super sites for free printable Christmas and winter holiday gift tags. Title links lead to each site's selection.

3 Easy DIY Christmas Place Card Holders
A festive Christmas table may need creative place cards to help guests find their places. Place cards help party attendees to recall one another's names. What crafty Christmas place card holders can you make for your holiday dinner party?

A Highly Decorated Deer?

A Highly Decorated Deer?

Oh, dear!

Have you seen those light-up reindeer in folks' yards each Christmas? How about those plastic Rudolph figurines with the light-up noses?

Look what happened in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last week. This deer tops 'em all.

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Actually, the Colorado Division of Wildlife said the decorated deer had been spotted a few weeks earlier. Apparently, however, the deer is not in danger, as long as the lights are only tangled on his antlers, which he will eventually shed during the winter.

Holiday Recipe Roundup

Holiday Recipe Roundup

Are you baking for the holidays? What are you making? Do you make cookies for Santa? How about Christmas brownies or bars? Does your family have a traditional recipe for holiday fruitcake?

What home-baked goodies do you bake for the holidays in your home? Or do you buy Christmas cookies and treats from a bakery, gourmet food shop or grocery store?

Here are a few favorite recipes, if you're looking for inspiration.

Got a bake sale at school? Need to whip up a batch of brownies in a hurry? Perhaps company is coming, or you simply want to surprise your family with a home-baked treat. These blond brownies are ever-so-easy to make.
Cut it out! Holiday cookies are fun to make and bake, alone or in a crowd. Here are a few oh-so-easy recipes for these perennial favorites, that taste just like Grandma used to make! Start a tradition this holiday season!

Christmas cookies and cookie swaps are highlights of the holiday season. What healthy creative cookie recipes might you prepare and share this year? Simple and sweet, these healthy holiday cookie recipes will appeal to holiday revelers.

Great for an autumn party, Thanksgiving feast, or anytime! This healthy bread is so deliciously moist that I usually bake it in a bundt pan. What a yummy brunch offering, or even a dessert!

Candy-making is a time-honored holiday tradition. These delicious toffees are easy to make. What a wonderful and festive gift for family members, friends, teachers and other special people!

Holiday truffles are a perennial favorite! Who doesn't love a tasty treat? Truffles are delightful for dessert, hostess gifts or teacher treats. Try this simple recipe. Even preschoolers can help.

Easy Peanut Brittle - Microwaving Makes Magic!
Christmas means candy-making, cookie baking and more! Here's a sweet confection you can whip up in a hurry for family and friends. Toss some in a festive tin, and you will have a delicious homemade gift for someone special.

Home-baked cookies are a treasured tradition for winter holidays. Christmas cookies make super homemade gifts for families, friends and others. Butterfinger Drop Cookies are a great way to use up leftover Halloween candy, while baking holiday treats.

Fudge bars are a holiday favorite and a treasured Christmas confectionary. This simple fudge-making recipe is an excellent way to use up leftover Halloween candy. Snickers Fudge Bars make a delectable holiday party treat or a great gift.

Pies are a perennial highlight of Thanksgiving, Christmas and holiday parties. This delicious no-bake pie is an excellent way to use up leftover Halloween candy. Peanut Butter Cup Pie makes a wonderful holiday dessert for a party or festive family dinner.

Have you ever attended a Christmas cookie swap? Here's how to host a holiday cookie exchange:

What is a Christmas cookie exchange? A Christmas cookie exchange is an informal holiday party that includes the swapping of home-baked holiday cookies. What are the basic ingredients of a successful Christmas cookie exchange?

Do you have holiday recipes to share? Why not leave a comment with a link to your favorite holiday recipes?

Need help making an active link?

See Super-Simple Linking.

Feel free to bookmark it for future reference!

Don't be caught empty-handed, if someone shows up with a surprise holiday gift!

What can you do when someone offers you a holiday gift, and you find yourself unprepared to reciprocate? If you are clever (and well-stocked), you can simply put on your best elfin smile and offer a clever present in return.

Happy holiday baking!

Thursday

Hushed Hallelujahs?

Hushed Hallelujahs?

Even an alleged vow of silence can't stop these monks from raising holy Hallelujahs for the holidays. Take a look at the Ecumenical Chorus of Abilene's Monks (2009). This group is actually made up of local pastors and church leaders from Abilene, Texas.

Don't you love it? (The "of" monk probably has amazing abs - by the end of this thing!)

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Related Items of Interest:

What is your favorite sacred Christmas carol? Do you have treasured memories of singing traditional Christmas hymns each holiday season? Which beloved Christmas songs evoke fond recalling of Christmases past or deeper devotion in you?
Christmas carols are the musical highlight of the holiday season for many. As trees are trimmed and stockings placed by chimneys, the air is filled with the music of Christmas. What's my favorite carol of all?
By Linda Ann Nickerson

Tuesday

Can Pets Come Along for Holiday Visits?

Can Pets Come Along for Holiday Visits?

Are you visiting family or friends for the holidays?

Is it acceptable to take your dog or cat (or another pet) along with you for an overnight stay in someone else's home? What's the protocol on pets?

Or, if you are hosting family or friends for the holidays, how do you feel about your guests showing up with their canine, feline or other animal companions?

What do you think?

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Holiday travel plans often visits with family members and friends. Pet owners wonder if they can take their cats, dogs or other animals along for such stays. Before packing the pussycat, pooch or other pet, a houseguest might consider these ten reminders.

Monday

Tips for Holiday Tipping

Tips for Holiday Tipping

During the holiday season, many individuals will choose to offer gratuities to those who have served them well (in any number of professional capacities). Often, a customer will tuck a few extra dollars inside a holiday greeting card.

What are the basic guidelines for tipping, particularly for holiday tipping?

Should patrons tip babysitters, cleaning services, garbage collectors, hairstylists, mail carriers and other service providers for the holidays?

Certainly, the amount and appropriateness of a gratuity is up to the giver. But these articles may provide some overall standards and helpful hints for tipping etiquette.

Tipping for Drive-Ups and Deliveries

Holidays and special occasions may call for tipping for a host of personal and professional service providers. Are mail carriers, package delivery drivers and trash collectors part of this tip-giving tradition? Ought they to be?
By Linda Ann Nickerson

Christmas gift ideas for your mail carrier. How you can add your mail carrier to your Christmas tipping list.
By Jolene Thomas

Valet Parking Tips

City dwellers understand the value of strategic parking, particularly for dining out at restaurants, checking into hotels, attending theater events and visiting at hospitals. What tipping is appropriate for valet parking service?
By Linda Ann Nickerson

This article will give you some direction about who to tip and about how much is acceptable.
By Carl Benjamin

Super Sitter Gifts
To a parent with young children, reliable teenaged babysitters can be worth their weight in gold. What great holiday gifts (or even tips) might parents offer a valued babysitter?
By Linda Ann Nickerson

Check with the child's parents before you tip; remember the teenage babysitter is not an adult and it is the courteous thing to do.
By Rebecca Furtado

Hairstylists rely on tips to cover many of their salon expenses. How can you figure out how much to tip your valued stylist?
By Linda Ann Nickerson

A short guide to holiday tipping, the amount, and the recipients.
By Lynette

Take-Out Tips
Stop at the gourmet coffee shop, the bakery or the smoothie counter for a quick snack. As you pay for your treat, you may notice a jar on the counter, marked "tips." Many customers will drop a few coins or a small bill into the tip jar. A few may deposit the change they receive with their order. Should restaurant patrons offer tips when paying for take-out food?
By Linda Ann Nickerson

Knowing the proper tipping etiquette is important to anyone receiving personal services. These etiquette tips for tipping services will provide the reader with gratuity protocol.
By Melissa Harker Ridenour

Sunday

A Grandma Moses Christmas Array

A Grandma Moses Christmas Array

Out for the Christmas Trees
by Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses), a familiar and beloved American primitive folk artist, died on December 13, 1961, at the age of 101.

Grandma Moses became famous as a self-taught painter in her seventies. Her work focused primarily on seasonal and holiday scenes of American country life. In fact, folks believe Grandma Moses completed her first painting at age 76.

From then on, the beloved folk artist painted nearly every day, even after severe arthritis made this process painful for her.

The Old Checkered House in Winter
by Grandma Moses

In her memory, here are a few popular Christmas paintings by Grandma Moses. Perhaps you have seen these images, either in museums or on Christmas cards.

Sugaring Off
by Grandma Moses


We Will Celebrate
by Grandma Moses


Merry Christmas!

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Have you mailed your Christmas cards yet? Need some artistic, crafty and creative holiday greeting card ideas?

Related Items:

A festive Christmas table may need creative place cards to help guests find their places. Place cards help party attendees to recall one another's names. What crafty Christmas place card holders can you make for your holiday dinner party?

Personalized Christmas cards add a homespun flavor to the holiday season. Do-it-yourself Christmas greetings allow individuals and families to exercise a bit of creativity, adding interest to holiday greetings, while saving money at the same time.

Holiday cards are coming soon. What will yours look like this year? Will you select a box off-the-shelf, or do you want to do something a little more original? And who doesn't love photos of family and friends?

Saturday

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began last night. This holiday continues for eight days (through December 19th).

Hanukkah (Chanukah) is the Jewish Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is a wonderful opportunity to send greetings of faith and love to family members and friends. Try these three easy do-it-yourself Hanukkah card crafts to share holiday greetings.
The menorah is the classic symbol for Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, making it an ideal decoration for homemade Hanukkah greeting cards. Try these simple do-it-yourself Hanukkah menorah card crafts for your family and friends.
The dreidel is an ideal Hanukkah card decoration. The dreidel contains four Hebrew letters to spell an acronym: Nes Badol Haya Sham. Loosely translated, it means, "A great miracle happened there." Try these simple dreidel card designs for Hanukkah.


Friday

Great Ways to Trim Costs on Christmas Dinner

Great Ways to Trim Costs on Christmas Dinner

Are you planning to host Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in your home this year? Will you serve the traditional meal, or will your menu be somewhat different this time?

Here are some super strategies for keeping holiday dinner expenses down without sacrificing merriment this Christmas.

Christmas Eve dinner is a festive gathering of family and friends for food and celebration. A traditional holiday dinner can be costly. What frugal steps might a Christmas Eve host take to cut costs, without sacrificing traditions?

In the midst of a tight economy, many Americans are scratching their heads over how to save money on the holidays. Here are some easy tips for saving money on the dinner your serve on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Learn ways to re-think your Christmas party to save money and still have a great time celebrating with friends and family.

Whether you clip coupons, search for sales or simply prepare holiday foods prudently, it is certainly possible to keep Christmas dinner costs under control. And no matter what you serve, may you enjoy a festive feast and a blessed Christmas with those you love the most!

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones ... from Practically at Home.

Thursday

Favorite Christmas Song Ever

Favorite Christmas Song Ever


What is your very favorite Christmas song of all? Which version of your choice tune do you prefer? Who sings or plays it the best?


Do you like to go a-caroling at Christmastime? Where do you carol? Do you host or attend a caroling party? Do you sing at school or church? Do you carol in your neighborhood or somewhere else?


Here are some of my friends’ top choices of Christmas music favorites. See how they match up to your own.


This article shares information about my favorite Christmas song of all time.
By Charlotte Kuchinsky

Christmas carols are the musical highlight of the holiday season for many. As trees are trimmed and stockings placed by chimneys, the air is filled with the music of Christmas. What's my favorite carol of all?
By Linda Ann Nickerson

"I am dreaming tonight of a place I love even more than I usually do." A Christmas song reminding us of the true meaning of home, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" reminds us we can find a place to celebrate the holidays wherever we are, even in our dreams.
By Khara House

This may sound a really strange choice of favorite Christmas song for me because I love my husband dearly and adore living in America.
By Susan S

I explain my favorite Christmas music, the songs, the collections, the written music, the classic recordings and some of the memories that make the songs important to me. Included is many selections learned from Gerard Schwartz and the Seattle Symphony.
By Sheri Fresonke Harper

"White Christmas" My Favorite Christmas Song
Waking up in the morning to a clear sunny day with a new fresh snow, tipping all the trees white, and seeing white for miles What a beautiful sight to see (before the darn snow plows go through). Everyone hustling around to get their holiday shopping done.
By Mary Lynn 321

My father would often tell me that it was the most beautiful Christmas song he had ever heard.
By Agnes Farside

Find out more about the story behind this popular Christmas song about King Wenceslas of Bohemia.
By Kathleen McDade

What is your favorite Christmas song? Do you prefer the traditional Christmas carols or the modern holiday music? How about leaving a comment to add your favorites?

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