Happy Holidays

Christmas day is just around the corner and I’ve been busy making preparations to celebrate with family and friends. I like to send e-cards and created this one from a photograph I took of an angel on a pillar in the chapel of the Tile Museum in Lisbon, Portugal.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays and all the very best for the coming year. Marion

To see more of my images, please visit my website http://marionmccristall.com

© Copyright Marion McCristall, all rights reserved

Why Do You Celebrate Christmas?

Sometimes we hurry about making plans for the holidays and don’t take time to reflect on our reasons for celebrating Christmas.

a little French porcelain nativity set

Families create traditions that are passed from one generation to the next…special decorations, favourite foods, exchanging gifts, going to church, music, parties, and other festivities.

As my kids have grown and made homes of their own, some of our traditions have changed.  My daughter always used to be the one to put the angel on top of the tree…the last decoration to take it’s place. My son used to like to go with me to pick out a living tree and put on some Christmas songs, (especially the Boney M collection,) as we decorated it.  I love to make my Mom’s shortbread cookies that absolutely melt in your mouth…it’s the 20 minutes of kneading the butter, flour and icing sugar that make them special.

I have always put out a lovely blue and white Danish porcelain nativity set along with other decorations.  This year I have a tiny set that I found in an antique market in France. The figurines are only about 1 1/2 inches high and I enjoy the rustic nature of the artistry.

I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to share with you how I would simply retell the story of Jesus’ birth…the way I would to a child…as we set out each piece of the the nativity scene.

What are your favourite traditions?

Take time to talk with your family and friends about how you came to celebrate Christmas and what it means to you.

Crunchy Peanut Brittle

Looking for a quick gift idea that you can make in your own kitchen?

crunchy, yummy, peanut brittle ~ a great little gift for someone special

a little gift made with love

Every Christmas I make a batch of peanut brittle to take as a host/hostess gift, tuck in a stocking, or add to gift baskets.  This recipe is really easy to make…only 4 ingredients…and once it’s cool you can just pop it into clear cellophane bags or airtight tins and tie with a ribbon.

Marion’s Peanut Brittle

Prepare a cookie sheet lined with foil and lightly buttered or sprayed with a little Pam

Assemble 2 c. sugar, 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp. butter, and 1 1/4 c. salted peanuts.

Stirring constantly, (I prefer a wooden spoon,) melt the sugar, 1/2 c. at a time in a large heavy frying pan over medium high heat.  When all the the sugar is melted and golden in colour, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter…it will foam a little.  Place back on the heat and stir in the peanuts until coated.  Pour carefully and quickly on to the cookie sheet and spread with the back of the spoon. Break into pieces when it is completely cool and store in an airtight container.

pieces just right for snacking

this little tin looks pretty lined with cellophane

attach a little decoration just for funadd a small decoration just for fun

It’s nice to attach the recipe.  I made this one to print on 4×6 glossy photo paper.