Saturday, December 3, 2011

Candles for Xmas!

Xmas blogging and free books!

What a great time of year to blog!.So much wonderful atmosphere surrounding everything you see and do. No matter your faith or your beliefs, the carols and joyous aura of the season can’t help but lift your spirits. It’s the only time of the year I miss the snow we had when we lived in the east. But not enough to want to go back, but not nearly enough to go back.

I’m interested in your Xmas traditions. Xmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate. Love’em all.I have one I follow without exception, and will continue as long as I can find the proper Xmas candles. I’ve blogged about my amazing grandmother before and I honor her in a small way at Xmas. As she always did, I burn a bayberry candle on Xmas eve. The saying she taught me was “A bayberry candle burned to the socket, brings health to the home and wealth to the pocket” Once you light it you must let it burn completely down to make the verse come true. Now it’s getting harder. Not only are bayberry candles difficult to find, at least in California, but we’ve gone for years to a friend’s house on Xmas eve. I scrounge around as much as I need to find a bayberry candle, and then light it and put it in the sink to burn to the socket You’ve gotta burn it clear down, so you’re left with nothing but a little wax in the saucer the next morning.

My children think it’s a charming custom, so I find candles for them too. Not easy, believe me, at least on the west coast. I imagine easterners don’t have this much trouble.

Here’s a little Xmas present for you, especially if you hate cooking the way I do. For a great appetizer, put a slab of cream cheese on a plate and pour cranberry relish over it. Wonderful with crackers or pita chips.

And for another present… I want to hear your traditions for the holidays. I’ll pick the two top ones and give them my choice of e-books, any of them. Druids, Mages, or historical. All are listed on my website or Amazon, www.jeanhartstewart.com and you can make your choice.

And to all of you, truly one and all, a happy holiday season.


Tina Donahue said...

Holiday traditions, hmmmm. Eating as much as I can, hoping for great presents, being with friends. That about sums it up. :) Love your idea about the cream cheese and cranberry relish. Yum.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks Tina. Tried to comment before but it's not showing up. Do try the dip. Good and easy to keep the ingredient on hand for unexpected guests.

Adele Dubois said...

Jean--My paternal grandmother always burned bayberry candles on Christmas Eve. As a child, I loved this tradition. Maybe I'll burn bayberry candles this Christmas Eve in memory of her. It will make me feel closer to her, now that she's gone.


jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, Adele... Hope you can find a bayberry candle easily and light it in memory of your grandmother. Bayberry is hard to find in California.

Fiona McGier said...

I never let the kids watch Christmas videos before December, because I knew I'd get good and sick of them being played repeatedly; consequently, they regard watching them as a special treat for December only, even now that they are all in college! My daughter just emailed that she can't wait to be home in another week or so, to watch the holiday cartoons and movies!

I always make cookies, usually about 6-8 kinds, then I give small packets of them away to people who are extra special to me year round, like the guy who always puts extra poppyseeds on my bagels, or the one who chats pleasantly to me when I pick up my soup to go, or the guy who oversees getting our various cars in and out of the shop quickly. Something unexpected is always the best gift.

And my darling husband has always put up lights outside for me, since we first moved in together 28 years ago, and I confided to him that my own Dad wouldn't ever put up lights because he was too cheap and thought it was a dumb tradition, one he hadn't grown up with in Scotland. Since my birthday is the day after Christmas, I always felt sad that it got so little attention. That first year, I came home from work to find that my man had put up a single strand of lights on the bushes out in front of our tiny rented house. I cried. He's been doing it ever since, and it makes me happy every year.

jean hart stewart said...

Fiona, thanks for commenting. I LOVE hearing about other traditions, and love yours about little gifts to all the people who've been special to you. Enjoy your holidays, incluing your birthday....Jean