Cocoa Snowballs

Cocoa Snowballs
3 eggs
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
Beat eggs well, gradually beat 1/2 cup sugar into the eggs and set aside. Combine remaining sugar, cocoa,
milk and butter in a pan and cook on low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Remove from heat
and add vanilla and salt. Pour egg mixture into that.
In a bowl, put remaining dry ingredients and slowly add the cocoa mixture, beating all the while…. fill 30 ,
2 1/2″ muffin cups about 1/2 full and bake 20-25 mins at 325 degrees. Cool completely and frost bottom,
top and sides. Then roll them in the coconut. Let them stand at room temperature until the frosting is firm,
then serve or store in a container.
Submitted By Ahreinya Hazelle

Shortest Day Ham Loaf

Shortest Day Ham Loaf

1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 pound ground ham
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk

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.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Eggnog French Toast

Eggnog French Toast

2 c eggnog
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 Croissants
3 tbsps butter

In a shallow bowl, mix the eggnog, egg and cinnamon, stirring well. Slice the croissants lengthwise. Melt one

tablespoon of butter in a skillet or on a griddle. Dip 1 croissant half in the batter and place in the griddle. Repeat
with the remaining halves. Cook on each side for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown. Use remaining butter
as needed. Remove to a serving platter. Serve at once with warm maple syrup. Yield: 6 servings.
Submitted By Dana

Rum Balls

Rum Balls


(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

Grandma’s House

Grandma’s House

by Amanda Silvers


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!

Thirteen Yuletide Celebrations

Thirteen Yuletide Celebrations

by Heather Evenstar Osterman


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:

  1. String chains of popcorn and drape them around trees and bushes. Hang honey popcorn balls outside your windows and watch the wild birds feast.
  2. Create a wreath out of pine boughs, holly, and sun symbols to hang on your door.
  3. Make a special red candle to light at sunset on Yule evening and keep vigil through the night. Stay up with older children to keep the Goddess company while she labors to give birth to the new Sun. Put younger ones to bed to dream the sun into being.
  4. Gather your family on a hilltop in the area where you live and watch the sunrise on Yule morning. Sing, cheer, and have a breakfast feast in the Sun God’s honor.
  5. As a family, make new ornaments to add to the tree each year. Give extras to friends who come to visit.
  6. Make an Advent calendar, counting down the days until the Solstice. Make a chain of paper links or small packages filled with tiny treats.
  7. Bake sugar cookies shaped like suns and decorate them. Or, make a birthday cake for the sun and throw a birthday party!
  8. Instead of letting Yule cards be a chore, get the whole family in on the act! Design your own Yule cards to send to friends and family. Make it a family project to sign and address them.
  9. Decorate a Yule log — Go out and find a special log (oak is traditional) and festoon it with holly, rosemary, ribbons, or whatever suits your fancy. Attach slips of paper with your wishes on them. Use this log to start your fire. If you don’t have a fireplace in which to burn the Yule log, drill holes and put candles in it. You can save part of your Yule tree for next year’s Yule log.
  10. Donate food to a local food bank, serve dinner at a soup kitchen, or spend time at a nursing home.
  11. Reenact the battle between the Oak King (life and rebirth) and the Holly King (darkness and death). Make swords out of wrapping paper tubes and shields out of cardboard. Hint: the Oak King wins this time.
  12. Uphold the tradition of wassailing by passing around mulled cider and singing songs. You could sing traditional carols (“Joy to the World”) or new ones (the Beatle’s “Here Comes the Sun”).
  13. Kiss under the mistletoe!

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 or ATC at (360) 793-1945 between 9a.m. and 9p.m.

A Celtic Flavor

A Celtic Flavor

The most common way to say Merry Christmas in Irish is “Nollaig Shona Duit.”
(Nullug Shunna it). This would be used if addressing one other person.
If you were addressing more than one person you would say “Nollaig Shona
Daoibh.” (Nullug-nuh JEEV). This literally means “You have a Happy
Christmas.” A common response to this would be “Nollaig Mbaith Chugat”
(Nullug WyHU-gut), which literally means “A good Christmas to you.”

For a Happy New Year one would say “Athbhliainfaoi Mhaise Duit.”(AH-vlee-ihn fwee WAH-shuh it) for the singular;

and the plural would be: “Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Daoibh.”(AH-vlee-ihn fweeWAH-shuh HEEV).
The literal translation would be “You have a Prosperous New Year.”

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:

“Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliainfaoi Mhaise Daoibh.” (Nullug shunna AH-guhs AH-vlee-ihn fwee WAH-shuhHEEV).
For the all of the above greetings a common responseis; “Go mba hé duit” (guh may hay it) which means:
“The same to you.”

Note: To pronounce duit. “it” Hold the “t” longer than you do in English.

Oh Come All Ye Faithful in Irish

Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Téarnaigh in Eineacht

Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Téarnaigh in Eineacht
“Tear knee in Ain nocht”

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”

Umhlóimid sios Dó
Umhlóimid sios Dó
Is glóire Dó
“iss glor-ah 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”

Umhlóimid sios Dó
Umhlóimid sios Dó
Umhlóimid sios Dó
Is glóire Dó


Solstice Meditation and Visualization

Solstice Meditation and Visualization
Winter Solstice is an excellent time to undergo a vision quest to find your magickal name, a totem animal, a mantra, or other empowering
insights. This meditation is meant to accent that quest by opening your awareness to the power within and without all things. Begin in a
standing position. Center yourself and breathe deeply. Slowly take off your mundane clothes., likewise removing the “World” with each.
Wrap a blanket around yourself for warmth, but remain naked for the meditation. You need no trappings to discover personal power.
Sit and close your eyes. Let any remaining tension drain away, then begin listening to the sound of silence. Smell the aromas of oak and herb.
Feel the latent energy of everything around you and the magick you’ve placed there. Know it is your own. Listen to your breath and your heartbeat.
Sense the pulse and bb within as the same energy without. Listen closely; does it whisper a message to you? Does it whisper a name? Do you
hear the cry of an animal? Do you hear words that fill you with energy? Linger in this place between Earth and stars until you receive a message.
Then return to normal levels of awareness, and write the experience in your journal.