Wednesday 31 December 2014

New Year's Eve Trivia Test

1.  Which are the top three cities to celebrate New Year's Eve?

a.  Las Vegas, Orlando, New York City
b.  Los Angeles, Orlando, New York City
c.  Sydney, Orlando, New York City

2.  In Italy, what do people do for good luck?

a.  Wear red berets.
b.  Wear red underwear.
c.  Wear red t-shirts.

3.  In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, what do people do at midnight?

a.  watch an old movie
b.  stuff a pig and roast it
c.  stuff a doll called "Mr. Old Year" and set it ablaze

4.  On New Year's Eve, it is considered good luck to eat:

a.  brown beans, beef and bologna
b.  black-eyed peas, ham and cabbage
c.  sausages and cabbage rolls

5.  In Ancient Rome, the new year commenced on:

a.  February 1
b.  March 1
c.  April 1

6.  The first New Year's Eve celebrated in Times Square took place in:

a.  1904
b.  1906
c.  1908

7.  "Auld Lang Syne" written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, is a Scottish phrase which means:

a.  "times gone by"
b.  "out with the old"
c.  "in with the new"

8.  Sydney, Australia sets off ____ fireworks on New Year's Eve.

a.  8,000
b.  50,000
c.  80,000

9.  Edinburgh, Scotland is famous for its New Year's Eve:

a.  dance
b.  parade
c.  street party

10.  While New York City has the ball drop, Seattle, Washington residents watch an _____ drop.

a.  elevator
b.  egg
c.  apple


1.  a
2.  b
3.  c
4.  b
5.  b
6.  a
7.  a
8.  c
9.  c
10.  a

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Let it Go!

Frozen's Elsa singing "Let it Go!" courtesy

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change." (Reinhold Niebuhr)

As we head into a new year, I find myself anxious.  What does the new year hold for me?  While I had many blessings in 2014, I also faced a major disappointment.  Try as I might, it is hard to put it out of my head.  It lingers there, raising its ugly head in my nightmares.

I need to follow the advice of the character Elsa in the movie Frozen as she stands on top of a mountain, hiding her secret power from the outside world, and belts out:  "Let It Go!".  Three words that can do wonders.  Three words that can lift the burden.  Three words that can liberate the spirit.

Let it go.  Let go of the past.  Let go of the disappointment.  Let go of the hurt.  Trust in God that it will be alright.  Trust in God that He will carry me through.  Trust in God that He has plans for me to prosper.

Let it go.

Here is a link to the full Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Neibuhr:

Monday 29 December 2014

Potty Training vs. Driver Training

When Thomas went on the potty for the first time, I was elated!  I ran outside to the backyard to announce the news to Rob who was cutting the grass.  Little did I know that it was just the first of many steps -- the old "two steps forward, one step back".  Nine months later, after awarding him with endless stickers and chocolate eggs, my son was in big boy underwear.

Well, I long for the potty days now.  I was excited when Thomas got his beginners' driving licence on December 16.  I had taken him six times to parking lots and once home from the pizzeria. Since then, Rob has taken him to McFit which is just three or four minutes from our house.  The route requires only right turns.

After a five day break, however, I decided I'd take Thomas out for another lesson last night.   Left turns were on the agenda this time.  That's a whole other ball game!  With my heart in my throat, and my foot on an imaginary brake, I watched as Thomas ended up in the oncoming lane thinking he had to make a left from the left lane.  Luckily, it was only on our quiet street and no one was coming the other way. Calmly, I just reminded him that in North America, drivers always stay to the right.

Thomas made up for his mistake when he successfully turned left from Brantwood Park onto Dunsdon.  I intended on going to Wink's for a bag of milk.  But when we reached Park Road North, Thomas signalled to turn right rather than left (I had pointed left but he didn't want to look at me, but rather focus on the road -- that's a good thing, right?)  Outwardly calm, I just asked him to stay in the middle lane and continue through the intersection.  Plan B was to go to Shoppers Drugmart.

Thomas drove along Dunsdon, successfully changing from the left lane to the right lane.  He crossed King George and entered Shoppers Parking Lot.  He stayed in the car while I went inside for milk. With two items in my hand, milk and half price Christmas serviettes, the lady in front of me had a full cart to be checked out.  The lady behind me was getting frustrated with her young daughter, who wanted to wander around the store rather than stay by her mother's side.  At that moment, my nerves ringing, I would have traded my 16-year-old and his driving lessons for the restless five year old.

Finally, I returned to the car with my purchases.  We made our way out of the parking lot and retraced our steps home.  Thomas pulled into the driveway, both of us in one piece.  Thomas looked proud of his accomplishment.  I felt like I'd just gotten off a roller coaster at Wonderland (I don't like roller coasters!)

Thank goodness Thomas' first official driving lesson is scheduled for January 5.  Driver training is a job for a professional!  As for me, I want to return to potty training.

Sunday 28 December 2014

Merry Christmas Makes a Comeback

It was only about two years ago that I was shopping at No Frills and said Merry Christmas to the cashier, which sparked a conversation about the politically correct term "Happy Holidays".  She said that at Walmart, if an employee said "Merry Christmas", he or she could be fired!

As part of the politically correct campaign, Lowe's started selling "holiday trees".  Food Basics wished its shoppers a "Happy Diwali" but there was no mention of "Merry Christmas".  I noticed that Sear's had signs hanging in their stores which said "More Merry".  Where was the final, most important part, of that phrase?

It was such political correctness which ignited the "War on Christmas".  The American Family Association made a conscious effort to boycott stores which used the salutation "Happy Holidays". Others unofficially voted with their feet by shopping in stores which still supported "Christmas". Last year, I posted a list of Christmas friendly stores here in Brantford on Facebook.

After all, the majority of Americans identify with the Christian faith.  Similarly, over 60% of Canadians consider themselves Christian.  Shouldn't we call a spade, a spade?

The large American retailers must have started feeling the crunch.  This year, they have made a deliberate effort to bring back "Merry Christmas".  Walmart, Walgreen's, Macy's and Kohl's have all embraced the salutation.  Lowe's is once again selling "Christmas trees".  Food Basics wished its shoppers "Merry Christmas" this year in its leaflets.

Whereas in 2005, only 20% of large American stores were using the phrase "Merry Christmas", this year that number is up to 80%.  As the large stores embrace Christmas, the small stores will follow suit.

Even politicians are getting in on the act such as British Columbia MP Nina Grewal, who, despite being a Muslim, encourages Christians to be proud of their traditions.  See the following clip:

I am looking forward to next year when I hope to see even more "Merry Christmas" signs in store window fronts, hanging from store ceilings, in leaflets and catalogues, and online.  Long live Christmas!

For more information, visit

Saturday 27 December 2014

A Green Glass Bowl, A Silver Serving Tray & A Miniature Christmas Tree

This is the day we used to visit my Grandma and Grandad Tufts' house in Toronto to celebrate Christmas. My aunt, uncle and cousins from Ottawa would join us there.  We always looked forward to certain traditions.  In the early years, Grandma would cook the turkey, but when it became too much for her, we went out for dinner.  In the early 1980's we went to the old Leaside Station Restaurant.  Later, we dined at Mother Tucker's and other Toronto eateries.

Grandma's serving tray was similar to this one, but with squared edges rather than rounded ones.  Photo courtesy  

After dinner, we would head back to their brick bungalow on Lankin Boulevard in East York where Grandma had prepared treats.  She always set out a green glass bowl filled with potato chips along with a matching dip bowl.  She also prepared 13 different kinds of Christmas cookies stacked on a triple-tiered silver tray:  shortbread, Sweet Marie bars, date pinwheels -- you name it, she made it.


Beside the fireplace in the rec room sat a miniature Christmas tree, lit up with tiny lights, under which sat gifts for the children and grandchildren.  We also brought presents for Grandma, which she tore into, and Grandad, which he carefully opened with a paring knife.  

After we opened our gifts (although Grandad was still working away on his first one), Grandma would turn off the lights and treat us to a slide show.  For anyone under 30 years old, that's a series of photographs set in cardboard frames, placed into a round tray, and projected onto a screen using a projector.  Grandma would poke fun at herself and her family -- she was the only one who could get away with ribbing my dad.  Grandad would let out an infectious belly laugh with each joke.

Slides courtesy

After the slideshow, Grandad would treat us to a rendition of Danny Boy or another song on the upright piano.  On top of the piano, sat a wedding photograph of my parents, young and in love, my mom in her white satin gown and matching gloves, my dad looking dapper in his suit and tie. Opposite their photograph, was one of my aunt and uncle, on their wedding day the following year. My aunt wore a beautiful gown and sparkling tiara, my uncle, a dark suit and thin black tie.

It has been 17 years since Grandad passed away, 21 years for Grandma.  I miss the bungalow.  I miss the green glass chip bowl...the tiered silver tray...the miniature Christmas tree.  I miss Grandma's wit and Grandad's infectious laugh.  Merry Christmas, Grandma and Grandad!

Miniature Christmas tree courtesy

Friday 26 December 2014

The History of Decorative Boxes

The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day in Britain as servants and tradesmen used to receive a gift, in the form of a Christmas box, from their employers.  Here are ten examples of decorative boxes:


1.  Chinese Ming Dynasty mother of pearl round box courtesy

2.  18th Century German gold and mother of pearl snuffbox courtesy

3.  1915 metalwork silver and cloisonne box courtesy

4.  Jewel box lined with red velvet courtesy

5.  18th Century London snuffbox courtesy

6.  French snuffbox courtesy

7.  Bible box courtesy

8.  Antique Bible box courtesy

9.  19th Century biscuit tin courtesy

10.  Chinese sewing box courtesy

Thursday 25 December 2014

The Star of Bethlehem

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
(We Three Kings)

Adoration of the Magi courtesy

The Star of Bethlehem, also called The Star of the East or The Christmas Star, appeared over Bethlehem after Jesus' birth, according to the Gospel of Matthew.  The Magi, sometimes translated as wisemen, sometimes as astrologers, followed the brilliant star to Bethlehem, to visit the baby Jesus.  The presented Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, twelve days after his birth, referred to as Epiphany.  The wisemen did not return to their homeland via the same route, after God warned them that King Herod, who was expecting them, planned to kill baby Jesus once he found out his whereabouts.  

The mystery of the Bethlehem Star remains.  Conjecture over past centuries has produced various theories as to why the star was so brilliant.  Was it the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn? Was it Uranus?  Was it a comet, as depicted by in the 13th Century Italian painting Adoration of the Magi?  Was it a supernova, "a stellar explosion which briefly outshines an entire galaxy, radiating as much energy as the sun" (wikipedia)?

Regardless of the source of the Star, it must have been a magnificent sight for the magi to behold. I'm sure its beauty took their breath away, rendered them speechless.  What a fitting way for God to announce the arrival of His Son, our Saviour!  

Wednesday 24 December 2014

A Baby Changes Everything

Teenage girl
Much too young
Unprepared for what's to come
A baby changes everything.

The teenage girl in the verse from Faith Hill's song could live in Boston...or Toronto...or Brantford (see    A young woman, heavy with child, scorned by her family, lonely, scared, confused, nowhere to go.  A baby changes everything.

Turn the clock back over 2000 years.  A teenage girl in Bethlehem found herself pregnant.  Her fiance wondered about the baby's paternity, planning to send her away secretly.  Her future in-laws could have carried out a "mercy killing" for her adultery.  Her community shunned her.  A baby changes everything.

The young girl visited her much older, pre-menopausal age cousin, also pregnant with child.  Upon the occasion, her cousin felt her own baby move in her womb.  "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb," she declared, soothing words for a girl who was much too young.

About to give birth, she undertook a long journey on a donkey, her fiance by her side.  Near Bethlehem, she found herself out on the street, no room at the inn.  In a manger, under a brilliant star, she lay down on the hay, and there, among the oxen and lambs, she gave birth.  A baby changes everything.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Bells of St. Mary's Minutae

Here are ten facts you may not know about the movie "The Bells of St. Mary's", starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.

1.  A priest acted as an off screen adviser during production of the movie, based at a Catholic convent and school.  As a prank, Ingrid Bergman and Bing Crosby share a passionate kiss during the closing scene; the priest roars his disapproval of the kiss, only to find out it wasn't in the script.

2.  "Varvindar Friska", or "Spring Breezes", is a traditional Swedish folk song sung by Ingrid Bergman in the film.

3.  "The Bells of St. Mary's", which earned 3,715,000 at the box office, was RKO's most profitable film ever produced.

4.  Ingrid's Bergman's character, Sister Mary Benedict, purchases Gene Tunney's boxing manual at the sports store to train one of her students who is being harassed by a playground bully.  While Gene Tunney was a true boxer, he never wrote a book called The Art of Boxing.

5.  "The Bells of St. Mary's" served as a sequel to "Going My Way", also starring Bing Crosby as a priest.

6.  Leo McCarey, the movie's director, was inspired to write the script by his aunt, Sister Mary Benedict, who helped build Immaculate Heart Convent in Hollywood.  As Sister Mary in the movie suffered from tuberculosis, real life Sister Mary suffered from typhoid fever, which led to her death.

7.  "The Bells of St. Mary's" is considered a Christmas movie in large part because of the Christian theme and the Christmas play staged by the schoolchildren in which they sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, complete with a real baby in a basket.

8.  The Pledge of Allegiance did not contain the words "under God" at the time of filming; hence the children did not recite that version.

9.  Many of the theatrical posters for "Bells of St. Mary's" contained shots of Bergman and Crosby in non-clerical garb.

10.  At the 1945 Academy Awards, Leo McCarey won Best Director for "Going my Way" and Bing Crosby won Best Actor.  When Ingrid Bergman went onstage to receive her best actress award for "Gaslight", she said:  "I'm glad I won because tomorrow morning, I start shooting the sequel to "Going My Way", with Bing Crosby and Leo McCarey, and I was afraid that if I didn't have an Oscar, they wouldn't speak to me."

For more information, visit my post "The Bells of St. Mary's" at

Monday 22 December 2014

White Christmas Rakes in the Green

Here are ten facts you may not know about the movie "White Christmas".

1.  The song "White Christmas", though made famous by the movie, was first performed by Bing Crosby thirteen years earlier on the radio show "Kraft Music Hall".

2.  Danny Kaye's role was intended for dancer/actor Fred Astaire who declined it.

3.  A 25 year age gap existed between Bing Crosby (51) and his love interest in the movie, Rosemary Clooney (26).

4.  Vera Ellen only danced in the movie.  Her dubbed songs were actually sung by Rosemary Clooney and Trudy Stevens.

5.  The Haynes sisters' brother, Freckle Face Haynes never appears in any scenes.  The audience does see his photograph, however, which is a picture of actor Carl "Alfafa" Switzer.

6.  Vera Ellen danced with the New York City Rockettes at the tender age of 18.

7.  "White Christmas" features beautiful costumes designed by Edith Head.

8.  "White Christmas" was by the far the biggest box office bonanza of 1954, raking in $12 million.

9.  The Vermont inn featured in the movie was the refurbished inn from another Bing Crosby film, Holiday Inn.

10.  Prominent dancer George Charkiris, who dances with the Haynes sisters, later went on to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in West Side Story.


For more information, read my post "White Christmas" at

"White Christmas" still courtesy

Sunday 21 December 2014

The Most Famous Christmas Movie

Last night, we watched the 1947 classic, "Miracle on 34th Street", the most famous New York City Christmas movie.  In the summer of 2012, when Rob and I walked to the Empire State Building, spotted Macy's and realized we were on 34th Street, it was a surreal moment for us; all the memories of the movie came flooding back.  Here are fifteen facts you may not know about the movie.

1.  "Dear Santa" letters were up by 25% in 1947 after movie goers saw the 21 sacs of mail sent to Santa in the 1946 movie.

2.  Edmund Gwenn, who played Kris Kringle in the movie, also played Santa Claus in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade of 1946.

3.  Edmund Gwenn's character replaced the drunk Santa in the parade.  In 1948, the New York Times magazine reported a "Santa who grabbed a trim young mother, set her on his knee and suggested they both go out and have a drink".

4.  In the opening scene of "Miracle on 34th Street", Edmund Gwenn's character walks down a New York City street and notices Santa's reindeer in a store window.  Rudolph, however, is missing. While Rudolph had already been invented in 1939 in the Gene Autry song, he did not become popular until the 1964 TV special "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".

5.  Edmund Gwenn's character was given a psychological test in which he had to answer a series of questions including "Who was the Vice President of the united states under John Quincy Adams?"  He answered it incorrectly by saying "Daniel D. Tompkins."  The correct response should have been John C. Calhoun.

6.  The headline "'Kris Kringle Krazy!  Kourt Kase Koming Kalamity!"'  Kry Kiddes" was probably inspired by the absurd headlines run by the Daily Variety in the 1930's and 1950's including "Sticks Nix Hick Pix".

7.  The Santa suit that Edmund Gwenn wore was auction for $22,500 in 2011.

8.  A little Dutch girl meets Santa at Macy's and sings the traditional Dutch song "Sinterklaas Kapoentje".  Edmund Gwenn's character, who happens to speak Dutch, sings along with her.

9.  A real life rivalry did exist between the two departments stores, Macy's and Gimbel's, from 1910 until 1987, when the latter when out of the business.

10.  Every year at Christmas time, U.S. courts re-enact the trail of Kris Kringle for children.

11.  Screen writer Valentine Davies was inspired to write "Miracle on 34th Street" after Christmas shopping in 1944.

12.  Edmund Gwenn grew a white beard and gained 30 pounds for the role of Kris Kringle.  He won an Oscar for his performance.

13.  Three hundred children each year sit on Santa Claus's knee at Macy's.

14.  "Miracle on 34th Street" could have been called "It's Only Human", Mr. Kringle of "The Big Heart".

15.  Seven-year-old Actress Natalie Wood, who played the little girl who didn't believe in Santa Claus, actually thought Edmund Gwenn was the real McCoy.

Note:  For more information on the movie, read my post "Rickety Wooden Escalators & Cracked Marble Floors" at

Source: AND

Edmund Gwenn in "Miracle on 34th Street" courtesy

Saturday 20 December 2014

It's a Wonderful Life Facts

1.  Sesame Street characters Bert & Ernie were not named after the police officers Bert and Ernie in "It's a Wonderful Life".

2.  The Charleston scene where Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed's characters dance was filmed in a Beverly Hills high school.  The gym floor really did open up to reveal a swimming pool.

3.  Usually painted snowflakes were used as snow for movies.  However they were too noisy.  For "It's a Wonderful Life" the crew used a combination of ice, gypsum plaster and formite-soap-water mixture.

4.  Jimmy Stewart's daughter, named Zuzu, brought home a flower from school, its petals falling off.  Zuzu's Petals became the name of a rock band, a character in the movie The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and a Far Side comic.

5.  In 1943, writer Philip Van Doren penned the story "The Greatest Gift" as a Christmas card to family and friends.  Frank Capra renamed the tale "It's a Wonderful Life".

6.  RKO bought the movie rights to "It's a Wonderful Life" for $10,000 in 1946.

7.  Little Rascal "Alfafa", Carl Dean Switzer, played the ill-fated dance partner of Donna Reed's character.

8.  The bridge scenes were actually filmed during a California heat wave.  As Jimmy Stewart contemplates jumping off the snow covered bridge, he is actually sweating.

9.  "It's a Wonderful Life" was actually a box office bomb, costing 3.7 million to make, but generating only 3.3 million in sales.  It wasn't until the movie was replayed on television in the 1970's that it developped a true following.

10.  Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland and Jean Arthur all turned down the starring role of Mary Bailey because it was too "bland".

For more information visit

Friday 19 December 2014

A $35,800 Christmas Card

1.  Sir Henry Cole commissioned the first Christmas card in London, England, featuring artwork by Callcott Horsley, in 1843.  The hand coloured card read:  "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You."

2.  Postmen in Victorian England were called "robins" due to their red uniforms.  Many Christmas cards at the time depicted a robin delivering Christmas mail.

3.  The Christmas card designed by Horsley evoked controversy due to the people on the front drinking wine during a Holy holiday.  In 2001, it became the world's most expensive Christmas card when it was auctioned for $35,800.

4.  The first official White House Christmas card was issued by President Eisenhower in 1953.

5.  In 1962, the first official Christmas postage stamp was issued by the United States Post Office.

6.  Over 200 billion Christmas cards are sent in the United States each year.  Fifteen percent of these are purchased by men.

7.  About 500 million e-cards are sent each year.

8.  Fifty three percent of Christmas card purchasers prefer the greeting "Merry Christmas".

9.  Canada Post released the first Christmas stamp in 1898.

10,  Licensed properties like Thomas Kinkade, Peanuts and Disney's "Frozen" are featured on this year's Christmas cards.


Thursday 18 December 2014

My Favourite Christmas Decoration

My Mom loves Christmas.  She has always done an excellent job decorating her house to celebrate the season.  When I was growing up, Mom would put up a large artificial tree in the living room (later rec room).  She would put a medium sized silver tree (circa 1960's) on top of the grand piano. She would hang our monogrammed red and white stockings above the fireplace.  She wrapped garland around the staircase leading up to the bedrooms.  She hung a large wreath on our front door.

But my favourite Christmas decoration was the manger scene that sat on our television set.  It came in a rectangular box which said MADE IN ITALY on the bottom.  The roof folded up to fit inside the box as did the stable.  Plastic figurines lay under the roof.  Mom would set up the stable, open up the roof to go on top, and place the figurines carefully in their spots.  Mary and Joseph sat on either side of baby Jesus, sleeping on what looked like a tiny stool lined with hay.  The donkey, ox and lamb gazed at the baby Jesus from a distance. The three wise men, their gifts in their hands, waited in a single file line to see the newborn king. The angel hung from a nail at the peak of the roof.  And the best part of all was the miniature light bulb poking through the back of the stable to serve as the Star over Bethlehem.  

There was something so peaceful about that creche.  When Rob and I bought our house we tried to find a nativity scene just like it, but to no avail.  It was one of a kind.  For more information, visit

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Christmas: The Sweetest Word

As Kirk Cameron says, the most important thing about Christmas is the first six letters.  Here are ten businesses that dare to use the sweet, yet politically incorrect, word.

1.  Canadian Tire, Canada's Christmas Store, courtesy


2.  Walmart:  Christmas Comes Together for Less.

3.  Home Depot says "Merry Christmas"


4.  Macy's, the home of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, says "Merry Christmas".


5.  Lowe's is like Christmas city, according to one blogger.  


6.  Toys R Us advertises a Christmas catalogue.  


7.  Brantford busses say Merry Christmas on the front.

8.  JC Penney's Merry Christmas America commercial.

9.  Hobby Lobby celebrates Christmas.


10.  Nordstrom says Merry Christmas.


Tuesday 16 December 2014

Thomas, Take the Wheel!

We arrived at the Driving Centre at 4:15 pm.  There was a line up and we had to take a number.  Shortly after we sat down, Thomas school friend arrived and took a number.  We chatted while we waited our turn.  Thomas was well prepared:  he already finished eight in class driving lessons and he completed several practice tests online.

The lady finally called our number.  Thomas filled out some paperwork, then completed a vision test, calling out the numbers he saw on a contraption that looked like a giant viewfinder.  The lady announced:  "That will be $146.00 please," and my jaw dropped.  I think it cost $10.00 when I wrote the test 31 years ago.  Nevertheless, driving is a necessary skill.  I paid the fee.

Thomas took the test paper into the exam room while I waited in the waiting area.  The minutes ticked by.  I watched as the other teenagers returned their test one by one and were called to the front one by one.  "Congratulations!" said the lady behind the desk.  Three people in a row passed the test.  We were on a roll.  I prayed that Thomas would make it four.

At 5 pm, the worker behind the desk asked another worker to take the exam papers away from the remaining test writers.  I prayed that Thomas was just about to finish.  "Did you get a chance to finish?" I asked him as he walked out of the exam room.  "Just," he said.  "Thomas Jonasson" called the worker behind the desk.  "You passed!" she announced.  "Congratulations, Thomas" I said, high fiving my son.  Thomas smiled, both joy and relief spreading across his face.

"This calls for a pizza to celebrate," I said, as we drove out of the parking lot.  We ordered a pizza at the neighbourhood pizzeria.  There's nothing like seizing the day.  While we waited for it to bake, I let Thomas get behind the wheel and he drove us down a back street to Lynden Park Mall.  Then he circled the back parking lot and returned down the back street to the pizzeria.  Then he drove us up Brantwood Park Road to our house.  Congratulations, Thomas!

Monday 15 December 2014

Christmas Cookie Collection

In honour of my Grandma Tufts who used to bake 13 different kinds of Christmas cookies each year, here are 13 recipes for you to try this Christmas.

1.  Chocolaty Melting Snowmen at

3-D Sugar Cookie Trees

3.  Snowflake cookies at

Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints

Candy Cane Cookies by Betty Crocker ~ An annual tradition in our home for more years than I wish to say... RECIPE:

7.  Peanut Butter Snowballs at 

Peanut Butter Snowballs

8.  Date Pinwheels at 

Mint Meringue Kisses