1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered cocoa
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 containers of white frosting
2 3/4 cups flaked coconut
Shortest Day Ham Loaf
Mix all ingredients above and shape into 2 individual loaves. In a saucepan combine:
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 cup water
Bring sauce to a boil, pour over the loaves, place loaves in a 350 degree oven and bake for 1 hour, basting regularly.
2 c eggnog
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsps butter
In a shallow bowl, mix the eggnog, egg and cinnamon, stirring well. Slice the croissants lengthwise. Melt one
(This recipe is an old Pillsbury recipe. Actually it’s not that old, I came across it when I was food editor at a newspaper.
It’s become a family favorite. My kids hated them when they were little, but as they grew older and acquired a taste
for “spirits” these kind of grew on them. My husband, whose drink of choice is Rum and Coke, still hates them).
2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup finely chopped candied red or green cherries (I omit these)
½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
¼ cup rum
3 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup powdered sugar
Combine crushed vanilla wafers, 1 cup powdered sugar, cherries and pecans. Add rum, corn syrup and butter; blend
well.* Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; roll in ¼ cup powdered sugar. Cover tightly and let stand at least 24 hours to
allow flavors to blend. *I mix all the ingredients in a food processor.
Submitted By Phyll
I come from an ample extended family who, when I was younger, all got together to celebrate holidays, birthdays, weddings – any excuse for a party.
The winter holidays were always a frenzy of commotion, with 30-40 people taking part. The children were abundant: my mother had six, my aunt had four and my uncle had five. In addition there were other cousins, aunts, uncles, step siblings, ex-husbands, great aunts and second and third cousins.
My family, particularly my grandmother on my mother’s side, at whose household we held the holiday celebrations, enjoyed many traditions and superstitions about all sorts of things, especially Christmas and the New Year.
For instance, she said: if you don’t hang mistletoe above your front door, you’ll have bad luck. And if you do not kiss the person standing under the mistletoe, people will gossip about you. If you stand beneath the mistletoe and no one kisses you, you will not have a lover for a year.
If an unattached young man wanted to date a young woman, he could begin with a kiss under the mistletoe, and all would know his intentions were honorable. You were then considered an “item” and it was regarded almost an engagement.
The mistletoe customs were a fun and enlivening part of our holiday festivities; even when we were very young, we plotted when to get under it – trying to get the object of our desire to kiss us. This very seldom worked, because most of the time our dad or grandpa or some equally boring adult would kiss us before the inept young men got up the nerve.
Another great kissing practice is the “friendship ball,” generally made with a lemon, orange or lime and studded in some interesting and attractive manner with whole cloves.
The idea is to offer the ball to a person that you want to kiss, who then takes it, pulls out a clove with their teeth, chews it and then kisses the person who gave it to them. Then the one with the ball has the option to return it to the person that initially gave it to them, with another kiss, of course or to pass it on to another person and kiss them.
If someone offered you the kissing ball and you refused to kiss them, no one else would offer you one for the rest of the evening.
This game was fun, but more than a few conflicts were initiated when people had a tiny bit too much to drink and an individual kissed someone else’s wife or husband a few too many times or too passionately. The sparring individuals would ordinarily leave in a huff over that, but the kids found it a perfect way to emulate the “adult game” of kissing.
The New Year’s customs were regarded even more earnestly, if that were possible. We always had a special meal on New Year’s day, a sumptuous, extravagant meal, said to insure that we’d eat well the rest of the year. We toasted in the New Year together, as a family, lest one of us die during the year. We, even the kids, had champagne with strawberries, said to please the small folk into aiding us in accomplishing our desires. We toasted one another’s health, prosperity, good nature, marriage, etc. To shower good wishes on one another was necessary to insure that we’d prosper during the coming year. It has only been in the last few years that I no longer call my whole family long distance on New Year’s eve to carry on the tradition, it was that strongly ingrained in me.
More customs included that the last person to finish the meal on New Year’s day was going to get fat, or have a baby, depending on whether it was a man or woman. The first person to leave the house on New Year’s Day was supposed to kiss everyone in the house and they were to say “See ya later, alligator” before leaving the house. If one person was still asleep, or in the shower or something, the person leaving was to wait.
My grandmother, Ma Mère, was the one who was the fanatic about superstitions, and they carried over into everything, but the Christmas and New Year’s holidays customs were clearly the best. I endeavor to begin an amusing new tradition each year. You may want to use some of these or think of a festive new one for this year, and don’t forget the mistletoe!
How do you compete with Christianity’s biggest holiday? You don’t have to! Most traditional Christmas customs originated from pagan practices. In fact, nearly every culture in some way celebrates the Sun/Son God at this time of year. You can reclaim Yule as your family’s heritage; pass down your family’s traditional recipes. If you figure out how to avoid the rampant commercialism, let me know.
Yule (also Yuletide or Alban Arthan) is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, December 22ndthis year. It is the longest night of the year, when the Goddess gives birth to the new sun and nights begin to grow shorter again. We are reminded that even in the darkest hour, there is a ray of hope. This is a time of dreams and wonder. We honor our children and our inner child. There are so many wonderful traditions to choose from. Here are some ideas to try this Yule:
Heather Osterman is the Family Services Coordinator for the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. For more information on pagan oriented activities and events for children and families please contact her at ATCchild@AOL.com or ATC at (360) 793-1945 between 9a.m. and 9p.m.
A Celtic Flavor
For a Happy New Year one would say “Athbhliainfaoi Mhaise Duit.”(AH-vlee-ihn fwee WAH-shuh it) for the singular;
Just as in English the two expressions are often combined to say Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year, “Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise
Duit.” (Nullug shunna AH-guhs AH-vlee-ihn fweeWAH-shuh it). The plural would be:
Note: To pronounce duit. “it” Hold the “t” longer than you do in English.
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Téarnaigh in Eineacht
Téarnaigh in éineacht, téarnaimis go haerach
“Tear knee in Ain nocht, tear nah mish go hair ock”
téarnaigh, ó téarnaigh go mBeithil Thoir
“Tear knee, o tear knee, go meh hill hoar”
Chífimid an Nai ann, Rí na naingeal, losa
“chee fee midge an neh ow-n, Re nah nangle, Ee-sah”
Umhlóimid sios Dó
“Oh loy midge shes dough”
Seinnidh, a Shlóite, Aingeal, suas bhur gceolta
“Shay knee, a hloyta, angle. sues were key ol ta”
Freagraidh, a chomhachta, a gceoltasan
“Frag rah, a co och ta, a key ol ta san”
Glóire gan teora, do theacht am tSlanathóra
“Glora gone chore ah, dough yhack ah-m teh slaw nah hoar ah”
“Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing – peace is the measure.” ~George Melton
As a child I dreaded the holidays. Weeks of uninterrupted solid family dysfunction were made unbearable by what seemed like everyone else having the best time of the year. I remember one year buying a tiny plastic tree and decorating it with cheap lights and tinsel so I could have some holiday spirit, too. I got sick a lot during those vacations and, sitting feverish in front of the holiday film reruns and advertising, only made me feel worse. I know from being married to a doctor for the last three decades that the holidays are a peak time for illness and emotional breakdowns.
Everyone is carrying around a sack full of something, and for many, it is an emptiness that only seems to get heavier through the years. It is easy to believe that with all the media messages around that we can purchase the fullness we all want to feel. It only took a couple of years of gorging on stuff to realize that stuff never satisfied anyone. Instead, over the years I created our holiday traditions around healing rituals that not only helped me to heal my own past, but have also given my kids a chance to make their own meaning in this time.
We had a lot to work with as our mixed religious backgrounds gave us many holiday choices to reinvent. The Hanukkah ritual is a favorite and it can be adapted to any other holiday or even just used at winter solstice. A celebration of light, for us it became a celebration of recognizing the light of gratitude and wonder in our own lives. Each night we take turns lighting candles and sharing the light of all the many things we have to be grateful for. My children have been profound teachers in this ritual, each with remarkable insights into the beauty and wonder of the world.
Training one’s mind in gratitude is perhaps one’s most worthy pursuit and guaranteed to heal one’s holiday emptiness. In fact, there is no other single human emotional quality that has the power to completely reinvent how you perceive your life and open a door to contentment and abundance. Many of the oldest secret societies in the world have gratitude built into their foundational belief systems. It takes practice if you are not accustomed, but gratitude is how happiness feels when it is imbued with wonder.
The most meaningful gifts at this time of year can’t be bought or even given; they are the transformation that happens in us when we are open to receiving. As a chronic giver, this ability to receive is a fledgling chick just learning to fly in me, but I now understand that letting go of how I think things should be and listening deeply to what is right in front of me is almost always a gift that I would have entirely missed in the past. When we get stuck on how life’s offerings (and you can expand that to include people and stuff) don’t match our expectations, we literally turn away from the love and pleasure that is ours. I see it happen every day; we refuse to be loved when it doesn’t look the way we want it to. Celebrate life this holiday season by allowing and receiving life’s gifts in front of you. Practice releasing your thoughts and preconceived ideas when you open a gift and listen for what might be deeply hidden in the gift in front of you.
All of this healing might make you bold enough to attempt the deepest giving of all- Forgiving. This is when we accept that we won’t get a better past and when we finally understand that the only one being harmed by the grudges we hold are ourselves. Forgiveness, in many ways, is the ultimate act of receiving. You finally free yourself from carrying around the baggage of emptiness filled with justifiable injury and disrespect that might never get proper acknowledgement. Forgiveness is a chance to see beyond what we have always known and create room to get a glimpse of a universe still unknown to us. In these moments, we can drop the stories that have defined our holiday memories for so long.
It is a bold step, creating rituals to heal the holidays; you will be astonished at how it transforms the New Year.
Deborah, I and all of us at HeartMath wish all of you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and wonderful new year. Remember to take some time to connect with your heart during the hustle and bustle and to breathe and flow with ease.
As you scurry from shop to shop in search of the perfect gifts for friends, loved ones and colleagues, it’s nice to know that relying on your intuition and a little heart coherence will guide you in the right direction. Before setting out to shop, give yourself the first gift.
#1 -Prevent the Frazzle
Take a few moments to calm and center yourself. You can use HeartMath’s Inner-Ease™ Technique; and when you are out and about you use the 30-second Quick Coherence® Technique – anywhere – to put things in their proper perspective.
#2 – Replace Something Old With Something New
How about giving you a unique holiday gift that will also prepare you for the new year by replacing something old with something new – within.
Begin by asking your heart’s intuition to make you aware of some emotional habit pattern or behavior that you would like to change. Here are some examples:
These are two examples that most of us experience at times. Ask your intuition to reveal a non-effective habit that you could change and replace with a positive strength. Give it time and your intuitive feelings will alert you when the “just right situation” pops up.
Once you decide what emotional pattern you want to change; then write it down. Also write down your new replacement intention — such as replacing impatience with patience. Make the process fun — like an experiment. This keeps the drama and heaviness out of the practice, making it much easier to succeed.
#3 Don’t Make it a Big Deal
When you catch yourself repeating a pattern you want to change, just acknowledge it and breathe the feeling of ease for a while. This will calm the mental and emotional vibration of the pattern. Then, from your genuine heart, shift into the new replacement attitude or behavior that you chose. Repeat the process each time the old pattern pops up. Be patient and respect that some emotional habits take longer to change but you will see progress — as your heart commitment strengthens.
At times if it seems too hard to shift the old patterns or feelings — don’t stress over it or judge yourself – don’t make it a big deal. Just acknowledge it, then move on and visit it later when the energy has subsided. It soon becomes easier to identify unwanted feelings and attitudes and replace them. Remember it’s a gift you are giving to you, but your friends and loved ones also will benefit.
We hope you will gain as much from opening these gifts for you as Deborah and I have gained from using them. Sharing your comments and stories will be a holiday gift to others and inspiration for the new year.