Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas graphic


Sunday, December 24, 2023

Beholding the Birth of Stars

Three wiseman graphic

Baby steps, one, two…no need to rush…
These are days to be savored.
Turn thoughts to olden times, glory times, remembering the joy.
Let gossamer nets of twinkling lights drape gently o’er the rush of the day,
Illuminating truths that are created now, in the midst of those that endure.
Listen to angelic melodies of souls exalted, sung across the lands. 

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 23, 2023

A Christmas cactus, 23 turkeys, and a whole lotta rain

Blooming Christmas cactus.

Well, winter went away in a heartbeat as it poured all night last night and I battled running water all day today (December 18.) It had rained most of the night and I looked out at the pond just after breakfast and a wooden box was swirling around over the outlet of the pond. I quickly put on my boots and rushed down as water was running everywhere. As I went down, I saw that water was running out of the safety valve outlet ditch at full stream. I had only seen this once before when the outlet pipe got plugged.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 18, 2023

Watch This!

Christmas lights on trees.

I rose at five, to walk. I hoped for stars.
And bright they shone, despite streetlamps and cars.
Down here I saw December’s common sights:
leftover snow, and people’s Christmas lights
lit through the night – to cheer the passerby?

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 16, 2023

Wouldn’t be Christmas without Karen’s fruitcakes

Short- Eared Owl

So far, the storm coming up the east coast hasn’t done much in this area other than rain. They are predicting that it is going to change to snow overnight, but who could tell with this up and down weather we have been having. Some people to the south of us in Tennessee got hammered with tornadoes just outside of Nashville with six people killed, hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed, and thousands without power. The warm weather to the east clashed with the cold air coming from the west, causing these tornadoes. It was a thin line looking on the weather map, but if you were in it, that’s where the tornadoes happened.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 10, 2023

Poinsettia: A Sub-Tropical Plant That’s A Christmas Tradition 

Illustration of a poinsettia

Poinsettias are among the most popular potted flowering or foliage plants of the Christmas Season. They have been for decades. According to the 2020 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Floriculture Report; the most recent statistics available); the wholesale value of U.S. grown poinsettias, that year, was $157-million. At the retail level, by most estimates, poinsettias contribute more than $250-million to the U.S. economy.

Paul Ecke Ranch 

Long-recognized as the largest and most successful poinsettia breeder in the world, Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, California was founded in 1924, by German immigrant entrepreneurs who moved to the U.S. in 1902. For three generations, the Ecke family grew and sold poinsettias; first as cut flowers and field-grown landscape and mother plants and, eventually, as greenhouse-grown stock-plants. They moved their stock-production facility to Guatemala during the 1990s and, in 2012, sold the business and the name. The leadership team stayed on.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 9, 2023

Reminiscing about wreath making with mother and grandmother

Christmas tree

The fourteen inches of snow we got last weekend [is] now just a memory. What I see today [Dec. 4] is about two inches of wet slush with a combination of rain and wet snow falling outside, [and a] temperature of 32 degrees. The way my little intermittent brook is flowing today, we must have gotten well over an inch of rainfall yesterday [Dec. 3]. The outlet of my pond is flowing a full tube this afternoon, with mink tracks in the snow around the open water. I pulled all my pine marten traps last Thursday and only got two this season. With the beechnut crop as good as it was, these little critters are hard to attract to any bait when they have nuts to eat. I didn’t see an influx of mice around the garage, even with the big nut crop. I did have some chipmunks and a few gray and black squirrels move through my feeder area, but [it was] not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 4, 2023

Hallmark-style film begins filming in Lake Placid

Promo photo for A Jar Full of Christmas film

From award-winning screenwriter/director Candy Cain comes a Christmas story that packs love, nostalgia, and community into a single jar. In Lake Placid, NY, Rose inherits her mom’s home, reuniting her with her childhood friend, Summer. Sparks fly with old pal Everett, and the trio uses Rose’s mom’s jam recipe to save the town church, blending nostalgia, love, and community.
The film is slated to begin principal photography in Lake Placid, NY and the surrounding areas, today, Monday Dec. 4 and wrap around Thursday Dec. 21, Cain said.

“The perfect holiday film is a combination of humor and sappiness,” Cain said, whose previous holiday films include JOY & HOPE and SANTA’S SECOND WIFE.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 19, 2022

Lessons from Santa and St. Nikolaus   

st nicholas

Back in the 1980s, when I was living in Munich with my German husband, our two young sons would start asking around the end of November each year if we were going to celebrate Christmas the American way or German-style that year. With a very American mother (where tradition is concerned) and a German dad, they experienced the traditions of both countries.

Most years, we took a vote. I always feared that “German-style” would win since it offers the obvious advantage of allowing them to open all their presents on Christmas Eve rather than having to wait until the next morning. I felt the need each year to hold a lengthy oratory about the excitement of hanging the stockings by the chimney with care, setting out cookies and milk for Santa, listening all night for the prancing and pawing of reindeer hoofs and creeping down the stairs while the house was still dark to get a peek at Santa. 

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 13, 2021

Yule Logs

yule logs

The tradition of burning a Yule log has largely fizzled out in most parts of the world. While holiday cards often feature cute, picturesque birch rounds in the hearth, old-time Yule logs in 6th and 7th century Europe were monster tree trunks that were meant to burn all day, and in certain cultures for twelve continuous days, without being entirely used up. 

Apparently, if you didn’t have a leftover bit of this log remaining after the marathon burn, you were doomed to misfortune in the upcoming year. The remnant piece of charred wood was tucked away in the ceiling and was used to light the following year’s Yule log. I assume it was extinguished before being squirreled away in the rafters or some really bad luck would ensue.

While a birch log is charming, it doesn’t compare with many other hardwoods in terms of heat value and how long it will burn. Heat value from wood and other fuels is measured in British thermal units (BTUs), one BTU being the energy required to heat a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. If you look at firewood BTU-value charts you’ll see that few of them agree exactly. This is to be expected, as the heat value of a given species varies according to the conditions in which it grew.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Under the mistletoe

What is Mistletoe? 

A mistletoe is a flowering plant (angiosperm) which, although capable of growing independently, is almost always parasitic or, more specifically, partially or hemi-parasitic. Mistletoes grow on the branches of host trees and shrubs, sending out roots that tap into their hosts’ vascular systems, which they then rely on for uptake of water, mineral nutrients and, to some extent, carbohydrates. It’s interesting to note that the word mistletoe translates from its Anglo-Saxon origin as dung on a twig; derived from the ancient belief that the plants grew from bird droppings. Actually, they grow from seeds found in the bird droppings.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Dangerous Ideas from Christmas Past

amateur santa clause headlineAlmost 30 years ago, Dana Carvey’s character, “Grumpy Old Man,” was a popular recurring feature of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.

He’d offer an assessment of current times compared to the so-called “good old days,” highlighting some barbaric practices of the past (exaggerated to great comedic effect) with the closing line, “And we liked it!”

I was reminded of that concept while perusing some shocking guidelines suggested in the early 1900s regarding the enjoyment of a safe Christmas season. Regional newspapers carried a list of suggestions for an enhanced experience … and I liked it! » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Natural Christmas Tree Decorations

“What a horrifyingly garish sight,” I said to my friend as we surveyed my Christmas tree last year. We had just finished decorating it and my eyes were sending messages to my brain, like, “Hey, this is really tacky.”

Truth is, the décor I had accumulated after years of city dwelling in my sassy twenties looked awfully out of place in my humble Vermont cabin. What I once thought dazzling – glitter-coated icicles, a miniature disco ball, a purple-feathered bird with jeweled eyes, flocks of shiny gold and green balls – now looked as out of place as a pink flamingo at my bird feeder. Even the duck decoy my great uncle carved seemed to give the gaudy fiasco an alarmed stare. Such a tree no longer belonged in my world. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Holidays to Remember: Christmas, 1945

Among the finest Christmas seasons in America’s long history is the year 1945. We’re constantly bombarded with how special the holidays are, so it’s tough for any one year to stand out as extra special, but 1945 makes the list. Events across the Adirondacks that year epitomized the nation’s attitude. Surprisingly, it wasn’t all about celebrating, even though the most destructive war in history had just ended a few months earlier. We often mumble mindlessly that we’re proud to be Americans. But the first post-World War II Christmas was the real deal, worthy of the word “pride.”

To set the scene, consider the events that had transpired at that time. After being mired for a decade in the worst financial collapse in our history (the Great Depression), Americans had begun preparing for what seemed inevitable: joining the war in Europe. And then, between the Pearl Harbor attack and the war’s end four years later, hundreds of North Country boys and men were killed in action. Thousands more were injured or missing. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Origins and History of Christmas Trees

by Viggo Johansen 1891As far as I’m concerned, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a beautifully decorated, real Christmas tree. Real trees have a stately presence and rich, fragrant aroma that awakens the senses, bringing the forest into the home and warmly welcoming everyone that enters.

The Christmas tree tradition can be traced back to the Roman celebration of the winter solstice; the festival of Saturnalia, the pagan feast of Saturn, god of the harvest; when evergreens were used to decorate homes and temples. Saturnalia was also a time for decorating trees, exchanging presents and going door to door singing (caroling) in exchange for food, drink, and gifts. » Continue Reading.



Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox