I added White Christmas – Bing’s version – to my Christmas iPod playlist. Had to smack my forehead and long for a V8 when I realized I had overlooked it. Just a few minutes ago, I was reminded of another must-have – Christmas in Dixie. That one is for my family that lives south of the Mason-Dixon Line. We won’t be together this year.
Come to think of it, there is another Alabama Christmas classic missing – Angels Among Us. That one is just for me. Love it.
What has Christmas music got to do with Long Haul Coach Drivers? Listening to Don the bus driver’s version of Christmas in Dixie brought back memories of my life on the road a long time ago. Long Haul Coach Drivers are a unique breed. All of them have stories to tell. Many drive because they love the road and the people they meet. Driving may be a second career, or a chance to escape the mundane. Sometimes driving supports the hobby farm. The best drivers have extraordinary people skills, patience and an unerring instinct for adventure. God bless them, every one!
Candle jewellery par moi
Bruno Pelletier‘s voice is floating from my iDock singing songs of the holiday season. My favourite Christmas album of all time takes me back to a dark, snowy street in Old Montreal. I was surrounded by friends walking toward Notre Dame while the holiday lights twinkled. The highlight of the evening was a performance by Bruno and the Montreal Symphony. He was doing two gigs – recording both. Eventually they became the album that is now putting me in the holiday mood. Two unforgettable evenings. Two outstanding shows in a beautiful setting.
Those moments are the inspiration for the candle jewellery I’m making. The completed set of 4 LED candles will become my holiday centre piece this year. I’ve guests coming for dinner at the end of the month so my table must say, “Welcome friends. I have missed you.”
I do not recommend dressing a traditional candle. The jewellery becomes a fire hazard. LED candles have become very sophisticated, covered in a layer of wax so that they fell like the real thing. They run on batteries, and because the “flame” is created by an LED bulb, a grouping of candles doesn’t produce heat. Great for entertaining.
Select your candles. Measure their circumference. Choose a ribbon that is wide enough to make a statement, but doesn’t overwhelm the candle. Cut a piece of ribbon about one inch longer than the candle’s circumference. Also cut a piece of cardstock the same length. Using double sided tape, stick the cardstock to the candle within the top third. Using your glue gun, glue the ribbon to the card stock.
Now you get to do the fun part. Cut a piece of ribbon for the bow. You’ll want to wrap some wire around the centre of the bow. Cover it with a piece of ribbon once you have twisted the wire ends together at the back of the bow. Attach 3 pieces of chain of varying lengths to the bow with the twisted wire.
After, attaching to the chain some charms or beads, use your glue gun to attach the bow to the ribbon you wrapped around the candle. That will hide the wire and the ends of the chain nicely. Be careful. Don’t let the weight of the chain and charms drag the bow off the ribbon. You’ll have to weight for the glue to dry, before you can set the candle upright.
Repeat with each candle. Et voila – a bejewelled candle centrepiece.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas began playing. Bruno’s timing has always been impeccable.
Joyeux Noel mes amis.
Canadian Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock. Our Thanksgiving is a legacy of the Family Compact and British colonial rule. About 200 years ago, some politically well-connected leaders tried to establish the Anglican Church as the state church. One Anglican tradition was a harvest thanksgiving service. That religious celebration is the root of Canadian Thanksgiving. The state church failed to materialize, but the tradition of a day of Thanksgiving in October continues to this day.
We celebrate with turkey, trimmings and football, just like the Americans. We don’t have Black Friday, and a kick-off to Christmas. We do try to gather family to share the meal. I’ve delivered the meal on Sunday as often as I have on Thanksgiving Monday. This year we are being really traditional – dinner at noon with a turkey and trimmings today, Monday. No football though. I’m taking Nephew #1 to see Real Steel.
This hasn’t been my best year, yet if I dig I can find a lot for which I should be thankful. That’s what I’m going to concentrate on today – the things for which I am truly thankful.
Image via Wikipedia
The junior genealogist put the finishing touches to a family history book she is making as a Christmas gift. I admit what has me hooked on the hunt are the skeletons of stories that I am uncovering. Yet there are eerie, seeming coincidences, haunting my dreams at night that set my spine to tingling.
A Norwegian ancestor – in the 1500s – nigh unto 500 years ago – left home and landed in the Lowlands – modern Belgium, where he married. His descendants moved to France, back to the Netherlands, and on to New Amsterdam. His genes kept moving south, then west to the New World. Then they took a 90 degree turn and moved north once more. There they joined a pool of Irish and English genes. All of whom were travelers, never satisfied at sitting still for long.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the disparate branches of the family tree appear to have one thing in common. Most of them became free thinkers – following Calvin when most of their community clung to the State appointed religion. Not my folk, they did it the hard way, opening up frontiers. Leaving all they knew behind, their faces always toward the next horizon. None would be surprised that their descendant continues the tradition.
The turkey is ordered. I collect it from Longo’s on Friday. If you haven’t tried one of Longo’s “special” fresh turkeys, you haven’t lived! Wonderfully packaged including instructions for roasting and stuffing. And delicious, absolutely out of this world. I tried my first one at Thanksgiving. Couldn’t resist for this year’s holiday meal.
The only jobs left to do before the holiday begins – polishing the silver and cleaning – well – everything. I don’t mind the silver polishing. Cleaning, however, is the bane of my existence. Yes Santa, I really would like a maid for Christmas.
The “what-is-it” stocking stuffers have arrived. My sister’s contribution came with an envelope – sealed and labeled – do not open until you’ve really tried hard to identify the “what-is-it” stocking stuffer. Competitive? My sister? Duh, yes. Admittedly I sent 2 this year…
I’m trying to remember how many years ago I landed in Shanghai on Christmas Eve? I had fled Canada to escape the holidays. China seemed as good a place as any. Surprise, Surprise! The arrival hall of Shanghai airport was decked with Santas and Tinsel.
I spent New Year‘s Eve as a guest of the state – no not in jail – but a huge dinner put on by a tourism department. Our arrival we were greeted by young girls waving flags and a band! A much better band than the cover band I saw in Atlantic City, that New Year’s Eve I flew to the gambling capital just for the evening. Wouldn’t do it again.
I’m repeating last New Year’s Eve. And I’m looking forward to it, ’cause Jackie Richardson will be singing her heart and the old year out.