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Re: VIRTUAL XMAS PARTY preparations

Today, we're getting the house ready for the Virtual Xmas Party:

I am a bit of a grinch about Christmas -
decorating requires cleaning junk out of the way first.  One year my
decorations consisted of a pile of two strings of those $2 Christmas tree
lights all tangled up in a heap on the living room table with two emptied out
boxes of small ornaments and a few pine branches.  Sort of a modern
impressionist version of a Christmas table centerpiece.

It was actually very pretty, much to my surprise.  I may do it again this
year!  Pile some candycanes around the edges.  And hang a big red bow on the
front door.

Linda M


And there's always one in every gang, helping out in any way he can:

In response to your invitiation for recipes for Christmas, here is mine.
 Take one bottle of Johnny Walker Black.  Open it.  Pour contents into glass
with two ice cubes. Drink.  This can be used as an appetizer, an entree or a
dessert.  It's name is "Christmas Cheer."  It can be pictured and named in
AIS publications, but not with attribution. :)
Clarence, who usually charges for his recipes, but who gives you this one as
a Christmas gift.

You need decorations?

When my two sons (now in college) were babes, I made a tree skirt out of
white fabric, backed with green.  I then bought green fabric paint.  Each
year (until their "independence") we would make their hand prints on the
skirt, and identify and date them.  When they started to write, they signed
and dated each year.  Some years I wondered why we were doing this, because
they didn't always WILLINGLY cooperate.  But now I love looking at all the
hand prints and at their maturing signatures...I'm very sentimental.

Another thing I did when they were young and anxious for Christmas to come:
as I wrapped Christmas gifts I would save scraps of different gift wrapping
paper.  From these I made a paper chain containing the same number of links
as there were "days left until Christmas".  I hung the chain on their
bedroom door, and each night we would break off one link, thus giving them
the answer of how much longer it was until Christmas.

In case there was any doubt, I'm looking forward to attending the party.

Kathy Marble
Harvard, MA
We took up the Xmas tree and began decorate it with lots of 
tinsel and lots of decorations.  This Xmas tree is indoors. Many 
people have real ones but we have an plastic tree; itUs rather 
like a real one. In the window we have an illuminated star (star 
of Bethlehem
d Xmas candles. We like to have an Xmas rose 
(hellebore) on the table and a pot of Christmas flowers 
(hyacinths tulips etc.). We have the Xmas cards on the living 
room table also and have an little Xmas creche in the children's 

We have built a gingerbread house, with lots of candy on 
standing in the kitchen an a tray, (the kids eat it up after Xmas).

Gunnar in Sweden


While I am cooking this, my husband is in the basement tending to the
otheroven (the reliable one. My main cooking stove is an old 1927 gas and
coal combo, but in the basement we have arelatively modern Magic Chef
range for major cook-ins). Down there his annual pecan pie is baking and
he is wrapping his gifts which he probably ran out and bought that day.

The dining room is where the tree is--small and decorated in thousands of
little white lights and Victorian floral nosegays, chains of mother of
pearl and a dozen mirrored ornaments for a bitof flash. If I have had
time, there are garlands of yew swagged around the fireplace mantle and up
and down the front staircase, both twinedwith ribbon and lights, with
little fresh flowers in floral tubes stuck in them.

So I'm pre-cooking this dinner which we will actually eat on Christmas day
between blue books, and Roger is in the basement wrapping. He's slow, so I
finish first, get things cleaned up and sit down with seed and plant
catalogs and start checking off things I would love to order. Thisis my
favorite part. On Christmas eve I am even allowed to check of $300 daylily
introductions. (I just can't order them.)

When Roger finally emerges I bring out plates of creamy Brie and saga blue
cheese and small cocktail rye bread, and a couple bottles of champagne,
and we nibble and open gifts and talk.

Next morning I emove all the precooked Christmas dinner from the frig and
stick it in the oven and grade while it heats.

 Carol Wallace
PA (just outside Scranton) Zone 5b with some zone 6 microclimates

We just put up our tree and lights outside this weekend, was a good family
gig. We dug the tree up and will try to transplant to the country.

Joe the Wonderful reads Dylans' "A Childs' Christmas in Wales", an old
tradition of his.

Luminarias, the lights that folks put up around their houses in New Mexico,
always means Christmas to me.  You put up a bunch of paper lunch sacks, put
sand in the bottom, and put a small votive candle in the sand.  Light the
candles after putting the bags/sand along a walkway or on the roof edge.  We
used to drive around to see all the luminarias in NM the sat before Christmas.

Sharon Ruck, Texas


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Bunny & Al Darnell

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