What Christmas means to me #2giveaways @DivinePromotions #Bloghop

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What Christmas means to me.

 

Hi everyone welcomes to Divine Promotions Christmas Blog Hop. This is a hop designed to lift Christmas spirit and be fun. There is a grand prize, and most participants will be offering a prize as well.

What Christmas means to me.

Christmas used to be a time of happiness and cheer. A time when our families all got together on one day and celebrated with a big dinner, decorations, laughter, and joy. Yes, there was gifts, but what I loved most were the music and laughter of all the kids and family members. It was a happy time.

But we all grow up. Family members move, and some pass on. Things changed a lot with the loss of my mom several years ago, my dad and brother moving five hours away and me and both sisters being disabled now.  It is hard to get all the family members together with job schedules and other family obligations.

This is supposed to be a post to boost spirit, and that’s what I hope to do. Just because situations change and traditions fall to the wayside, money is tight, whatever the reason doesn’t mean you can’t have a joy-filled holiday season.

Is it too expensive or your health doesn’t allow you to decorate to the nines like you used to? Pick something that makes you happy. Add one or two small things. Get inexpensive, small tree ,add a few dollar store decorations.  or just popcorn garland. Get one Poinsetta for color, Use just one of your old favorites you have in storage. You don’t have to spend a lot or put up a  lot of lights that drag on utilities.

Is it the holiday music you love and miss? Turn on the radio, pop in an old cassette, find the holiday music station on your tv and listen to one or two a day or while you cook.

Do you love to bake or make candy but not able to stand on your feet for extended periods of time anymore, or have a limited income? Pick one or two of your favorite recipes. You don’t have to make fifty kinds of candy.  Did you used to make big baskets for your neighbors and coworkers but no longer can afford it or feel like it. Again pick one or two kinds, put in smaller tins or wrap in lovely saran wrap. You don’t have to take everyone a full batch.  A piece or two per person will put a smile on someone’s face, especially f they don’t make candy or get any gifts. You don’t have to buy brand name products either. Shop big box stores for bulk or do as I do and go to an Aldis or no name brand store; I save a ton, and people love my candy. I got more compliments one year for my fudge than the year before with the off brand chocolate chips and peanut butter.  This time of year there is sales stock up, clip coupons online. But whatever you do, don’t go overboard. Make it fun not overwhelming. You don’t want to work all day then bake till midnight.

my cookie Jars

Gifts, I don’t have an answer. We shop for immediate family only these days as a family has grown so large.  You could always draw names for extended family if that works for you. Homemade gifts are lovely too. Maybe a gift of time. Offer to take someone to an appointment or shopping.

One of my favorite things about the Holidays is sending cards. It’s funny because I normally am not big on cards. For Christmas, though I can send a card with a small gift or just a wish to people talk to online or are far away.  I send out anywhere for 50 to 100. So far this year I am at 65 I think. I gather my list after Thanksgiving update each year, buy stamps, make my return labels, figure out what to put in which cards and set aside a couple of hours a night to work on them. I like to listen to Christmas music while I do this. This is my happy place and if I can only choose one thing for the Holidays this will be it.

I am going to put up my tree this weekend, I have three poinsettias and will get out my holiday dishes as well.

 

My menu will be simple.  Ham, beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes in orange sauce, cranberry relish, and rolls. I will make some pies most likely pecan and apple or berry and there will be an array of fudge and cookies depending on how I feel.

Everyone loves my fudge both peanut butter and Chocolate I use the same recipe for both.

I will share my favorite fudge recipe with you. It is inexpensive and easy.

Prepare a sheet pan with lots of thins pieces or a cake pan for thicker ones. I use a 9 x 15 and get a good amount. I line with foil or parchment and spray with buttery cooking spray let the edge of the liner hang over each end for easy lifting.

2/3 can of evaporated milk

1 jar of marshmallow fluff

1 package of your choice of chips(peanut butter—chocolate (milk, bittersweet or semi(I use semi) or white chocolate

3/4 stick of butter

3 cups of sugar

Vanilla

Nuts optional

Bring butter sugar and milk to a full rolling boil. Add vanilla. I sometimes use other extracts such as Raspberry. Stir continuously for 5 minutes remove from heat add chocolate and marshmallow and stir. Add in nuts. Stir until thoroughly blended Pour quickly into prepared pan and let sit several hours to cool.  Be sure to use heavy tall pan and long-handled utensils for stirring I with a wooden spoon. Do not use plastic I boiled one, one year. Another tip if you have arthritis or weak hands I found after removing from stove I could put in a very deep bowl over my fluff and chips and use a mixer. I have a deep kitchen aid that works well. Warning: go at very low speed and stay back, so you don’t get burned.

I hope these tips help you make fudge if you got to where the stirring was too much. Cut into smaller pieces as a little can go a long way.

Another thing I love about Christmas is the ugly sweaters, I don’t have one, but I do have my Santa hats. When I worked, I wore one every day at work beginning Black Friday. It became such a tradition that sometimes people gifted me new ones with crazy sayings.  I haven’t been able to work for over 5 years now, my hats sit in a box upstairs. I pull one out, but that is usually it. This year I think my  new tradition will be to hang up my Ho Ho Hats ( that’s what everyone called them)

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I also wore Christmas earrings. I thought this year my prize will be this adorable pair of Cat Christmas earrings.

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I  will pick one winner after the hop is over. Be sure to leave your email so you can be contacted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Hop Grand Prize

Ebook of your choice from Author Grein Murray

Swag donated by Author Grein Murray (only available

to those living in the USA)

Ebook of your choice from Author Sean Kerr (from his series Dead Camp)

Ebook – The Hard Boys: Alien Abduction (Case #1) from Ian Cadena

Grand Prizes for this blog hop

3D fun face Charms Bracelet – 3 pieces (image attached)

18 K Gold Filled Crystal Pearls Heart Party Dress Jewelry Set (image attached)

$10 Amazon Gift Card from RAM PA Group

5 Days Promo Tour from Divine Promotions

Dreamspinner Press Vouchers

$5 gift voucher from Pride Publishing

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter the Grand blog prize all you have to do is go to DivinePromotions Blog  and leave a comment on their post, telling what your favorite part of Christmas is.

 

Don’t forget to check out all the other blog hops. For more Christmas spirit and chances for great prizes.

🎅🏻 IrishdaisylovesRomance – https://dawn84blog.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/🎄-christmas-blog-hop-2016-🎄/
🎅🏻 Tempeste O’Riley – http://tempesteoriley.com/blog

However you choose to celebrate may your holiday be merry and bright!  Hugs and best Wishes!

International Authors’ Day Blog Hop 2016 #favorite Authors

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I was invited to participate in the International Author’s Day blog hop.  By bookish Indulgences by bOOk r3vi3ws

The Rules of the Blog Hop are to
– Write a post about your favourite Author / Book or your Reading habit & thank the Authors

Since I write posts all the time about some of my favorite Authors and books I thought I would share my reading habits. Basically it’s not a habit but an addiction. Yes, I can admit that.

I read in any spare time I have and listen to audio books when I am doing chores or crafting. So most of my waking time is reading or listening to books. See I told you I was an addict.

I like many genres but mostly romance, westerns of any kind and some mystery and suspense. Oh yeah! I like Vampires and shifters too. I read both mainstream M/F and LGBT. I prefer adult and new adult but do read some YA at times.

Some of my favorite authors are Laurel K Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Nicholas Sparks, Ann Rice, Stephen King. Some you may not have heard of but should try are, Sara York, V. L. Locey, Ellie Mack, Morticia Knight, Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows, Parker Williams, Casey Harvell, Randi Alexander, RJ Scott, Susan Mac Nicol, Rain Carrington, Avril Ashton, B.G. Thomas, Brandon Witt, Rhys Ford, LA Witt, TM Smith, B A Tortuga, Jean Joachim, Kathleen Ball, Tricia Pimental, Adele Downs, Joe Cosentino,Patricia Logan I could go on for pages and pages. These are not even the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you all for your hard work and great stories and for feeding my addiction.

Who are some of your favorite Authors? Go wish them a happy Authors day!

 

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