Do you still send Christmas cards?


With email and Facebook and texting the sending of letters by U.S. Mail has certainly decreased, and along with that the sending of Christmas cards.

The custom of sending cards at Christmas dates back to 1843 England when Sir Henry Cole, an Assistant Keeper at the Public Record Office (now the Post Office) had an idea along with his artist friend, John Horsley, to design and sell the first Christmas card for about a shilling (about 8 cents in today’s economy). By the early 1900s the custom of Christmas cards had spread across Europe and was especially popular in Germany.

The U.S. saw the beginning of Christmas cards in the 1840s, but they were too expensive for most people to afford. Louis Prang, a printer originally from Germany, started the first mass production of Christmas cards in 1875. In 1915 John C. Hall and two brothers launched Hallmark Cards.

Christmas cards are still fund to send, and in this electronic age they’re fund to receive.

Did you send cards this year?


Five Blogs about the Nativity that We Love

Image: The Nativity, Western Dioces of the Armenian Church, Burbank, California

Image: The Nativity, Western Dioces of the Armenian Church, Burbank, California

Christmas is Friday and Christians all over the world welcome the
coming of the Christ child. Homes and churches display the
traditional nativity scene with the child in the manger surrounded by
angels, shepherds, kings and animals. It’s a romanticized version of
the actual history, but it tells the story.

Here are five blog posts that talk about the Nativity and what it
means to Christianity.

Stone Gable Blog asks and answers the question “What is the

At Salt and Light, Vivian Cabrera sits down with producer and
correspondent Sebastian Gomes to talk about the Birth of the Messiah.

Pastor Bill Randles looks at the gospel of Luke and the descripion of
the Nativity: On Singing Christmas…Luke’s Nativity pt 10.

At Noelle Kirchner offers 8 Nativity Activities to Teach
Little Ones about Christmas.

Youth Ministry 360 offers 10 Christmas Story Takeaways Your Students
Need To Know.

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent


God became man.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

Micah 5:2-4

The fourth Sunday of Advent prepares for the birth of Christ.

Advent traditions differ as sometimes do the meanings of the candles. Traditionally the fourth candle means love and represents the love of Christ who came to the earth sinless to take on himself the sins of the world.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 13:15

Love Came Down at Christmas

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Cristina Rosetti

You have ONE week


Christmas is one week from today. Are you ready?

We’ve given you gift suggestions for him and for her. We’ve told you how to
select your tree. We’ve been talking Christmas for days.

At some point you’re going to have to step up your game.

Or maybe you’re one of those over achievers who shops and wraps everything
before Labor Day, your tree is up well before Thanksgiving, your Christmas
dinner is planned, and all you’re waiting for is for guests to arrive.

All you have to do is pour another glass of eggnog and tune into your Favorite
Christmas Specials.

Much applause to you if you are. You are very likely in the minority.

For the rest of the world, brace yourself. You’re going to have to go shopping
tomorrow on the Saturday before Christmas. You can do it.

It’s Christmas.  Just believe!

What’s the deal with fruitcake?


Fruitcake. You either love it. Or you hate it. Or you use it as a doorstop.

There’s no middle ground.

On the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson once said that there was only one fruitcake and that it had been re-gifted around the world for years.

True, the density and high sugar content in fruitcake inhibit the growth of bacteria. That only intensifies if it’s soaked in alcohol. The general rule of thumb is that you need to make a fruitcake three to four months before it is to be consumed. But some fruitcake afficionados wait as much as a year or two. But don’t freeze it because, believe it or not, it won’t keep as long.

If you love fruitcake, maybe it’s because you grew up with it. Or maybe you grew up in Claxton, Georgia which claims to be “The Fruitcake Capital of the World.”

If you must have fruitcake, and if you must bake your own, keep in mind you’re too late for this year’s holiday celebrations. But here are some recipies to consider.

The New York Times has the recipe for White House Fruitcake. That’s the name, not an editorial comment about any past or present occupant. has a no-bake fruitcake recipe by Paula Deen. It may shock you to know there’s no butter involved.

You might want to try the Backhouse Family Fruitcake offered by Martha Stewart.

Then there’s Alton Brown’s Free Range Fruitcake shared by the Food Network.

Epicurious gives us Mrs. Mackinnon’s Christmas Fruitcake.

If you try one of these recipes or find your own, come back in a year or two and let us know how it turned out.

Finding the perfect gift for her


Christmas is next week and you still don’t have any idea what you’re getting her, do you?

Run, do not walk, past the apliances and kitchen utensils.

Sure you can go the traditional route of jewelry and fragrances. And if you’re this late, you just
might want to do that.

But why not show her you put a little extra thought into it this year? Here are some suggestions for
some unique gift choices. Maybe they’ll be the perfect choice, or maybe they’ll inspire you.

Have some other ideas? Share them in the comments.

facemugHow about a Face Mug?
It’s enough to hold your coffee plus keep your snack warm.



nanotipsNanotips Touchscreen Glove Solution

Baby it’s cold outside and no one wants to take off their gloves just to answer and send a text. Nanotips is a fast-drying liquid that helps make the fingertips of your gloves touch screen friendly.



r2tea2Artoo Tea-Too
Celebrate Christmas and the release of the new Star Wars film with this R2-D2 teapot.





engravedwineEngraved, stemless, wine glasses
Each wine glass features a different hummingbird fluttering above a spray of cherry blossoms. Personalization is available.



adultcolorAdult Coloring Book
Coloring is no longer just for kids. Adult coloring books are becoming more and more popular. Choose from several designs to find the perfect one.

Five Santa Blogs We Love


This one was a challenge, and it makes an enterprising young, or not so young, blogger wonder why no

one has really cornered the market. Forget the sugar plums, visions of potential for next year are

turning in our heads.

That said, here are five Santa Claus themed blogs to check out.

Santa Claus’ Christmas Blog
Keep up to date on what’s happening with Santa and life at the North Pole.
Keeping up the tradition of photos with Santa Claus.

Santa Claus Indiana
Santa’s got his own town in the state of Indiana.

Operation Santa Claus
Answering the “Dear Santa” letters for children who would otherwise have no Christmas at all.

Santa’s Blog
Ask Santa a question and he’ll answer for you.

Have a favorite blog about the Jolly Old Elf? Share it in the comments below.