Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Jars

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such a fast read - a little over 100 pages. The story is a tearjerker, keep a box of tissues close by. Not even 15 pages into the book and I was crying, thinking to myself, what kind of story is this? However, as the story quickly unfolds it is a story about the true meaning of Christmas - giving to those who are less fortunate, or giving to those who need a lesson in humility and giving.

The story begins about a single woman who is left a baby girl. She takes on the responsibility and love to raise this girl. As the girl grows up she becomes a writer for the local newspaper. Her adopted mom then gets cancer and dies, leaving her all alone. When you think the story can't get any worse the young girl who is all alone gets robbed one night of all she has. During that same traumatic evening she soon finds a large jar of money on her doorstep. Because she is a writer/reporter for the newspaper she decides to investigate where this jar of money labeled, "Christmas Jar," came from. What she finds is an amazing family who created this sweet tradition....

This book really made me want to start this tradition, Christmas Jar. I may not be able to do this tradition now because of my living situation and finances. But, hopefully someday I can keep a large jar in my kitchen all year long, place all my spare change into it, and give it to someone who truly needs it! I know that I can't afford to do that now, but this Christmas season is not only about giving to others in need, but it's about how you treat others. It can be some of the simplest things, like holding a door open for a Mother with her arms full, and children by her side. It's wishing people a Merry Christmas, just saying thank you for doing a small thing, or just being kind to others.

Christmas Jars is great read, and a quick read, that should be added to your holiday list of books/stories. It now has become a favorite of mine.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

25 Day's (or things) of Christmas

Fa la la la la, la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Tis the season to to be merry....

1. Put up my tree - this year I went for the the silver and gold theme - pretty, but to elegant for my surrounding???
2. Started working as a holiday gift wrapper. I am officially a pro at wrapping gifts. I have the paper cuts of a seasoned holiday gift wrapper.
3. Watched my fair share of overly cheesy, romantic Christmas movies.
4. Used my "cocomotion" one to many times to have the creamiest hot chocolate EVER!
5. Read the book, Christmas Jar's for book club, and as I read it I was put into the real reason for the season...then I attended book club and became a Grinch???? Figure that one out???
6. Drove around one day (cause I was lost) and ended up taking in the beautiful Christmas lights. Wow, people really get into that. Good for them!
7. Had a family C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S should've read about that. (Scroll down if you missed that post.)
8. Sat on Santa Claus's that was rather interesting...
9. When Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas I jokingly, YES JOKINGLY said, "Can you get me a man?" He then asked, "Where do you live?" I then said, "I'm from St. George area, but now live in Cedar City area." He then tells me, "Well, that's your problem, you live in Cedar City." Guess I won't be seeing a man under my tree this year. Wink, Wink.
10. After a painstaking long time, or so it felt, I FINALLY got my Christmas cards sent out! Only to find that I had spelt Santa Claus wrong, then to fix that mistake I spelt "oops" wrong. Good NIGHT, what a mess. For those getting my Christmas cards I hope you had a good laugh!
11. Continued to put off my Christmas shopping because I feel that I work better under pressure?
12. Christmas kept getting closer, and closer. Yet, I continued to put off the shopping.
13. Thought about doing my Christmas shopping online, but missed that deadline.
14. Finally, with three days to spare I got up early and in the worst possible weather traveled to St. George to start and finish my shopping in approximately 3hrs because I had to be to work by noon. Mission accomplished! I never in my life have shopped that fast.
15. Attended a packed Christmas concert in Cedar City to get me more into that Christmas spirit.
16. Continued to work like a crazy person wrapping peoples gifts and trying not to get ticked off when they don't say thank you for doing a FREE SERVICE and wrapping their Christmas presents! (I'm not bitter - in fact, I have been offered the opportunity to go back for every holiday and next Christmas!)
17. Wanted to make some holiday goodies to take around to my neighbors, ran out of time and ended up taking them chocolates from my Mommy's chocolate factory. It's sad that it's only at Christmas I actually get to sit and visit with my next door neighbors.
18. Family arrived to ring in the holiday filled with lot's of food.
19. Watched the Seinfeld episode that featured the holiday celebrated on December 23, Festivus.
20. Christmas eve was spent eating dinner together with the family, and watching a sweet movie/documentary about forgiveness. The Heart of Texas. Rent it, watch it, and strive to be like them.
21. Finally got to sleep in some on Christmas day. Had a wonderful breakfast and enjoyable time opening and giving gifts to each other.
22. Santa heard my plea for not only a "man for Christmas," but I got me a new salad spinner. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! (Do I have a story about getting a man...wouldn't you like to hear it...guess that will be kept a secret for now.)
23. Ate more food and visited with family.
24. Played games for hours on Christmas day, and enjoyed every minute of it.
25. Received a white Christmas...the day after, but it came.

With all those 25 things, my Christmas was really swell!

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great Christmas Tradition

On my Daddio's side of the family my Auntie Debbie always does a C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S dinner in the month of December. This year all of us relatives in the surrounding southern Utah area got to be apart of this great Christmas tradition. I was so excited! I always thought this was such a cool tradition, and I have always thought that if I ever get married and have a family I'm going to do this very tradition! The tradition consists of having a meal that spells out Christmas. Oh my gosh the food was so good - and so much! I was sicker than a dog, but that's the norm for me.
Picture was provided, and put together from my crafty cuz, Anisa! Thanks Anisa for letting me borrow this.
Ryan and Anisa welcoming us all.
You don't have to tell us it's time to eat - we all know how to dig in!
Jessie reading her family history about our Great Grandparents.
Visiting - it's what we do best...besides eat!
Joren loves Peyton!
My baby Peyton - I love her. Oh, I'm going to miss her!!!! A tear!
More visiting - or listening...
Trace! This is his "Libby Face!" I love to make him do this - so glad I actually caught it on camera.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Card Catastrophe

I'm starting to panic because it's almost Christmas and I haven't got my Christmas cards sent out. I wanted to do something similar to last years - take the poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and tweak it to my life this year. But, because of stress from school, working two jobs (now just the one), and trying to just stay sane I haven't got my cards done and I'm FREAKING OUT!!! I want people to enjoy my card, but will they???? I got my picture with Santy, and the envelopes are all addressed, but the poem. The BLASTED POEM is still in the works! Sheesh...

Last years Christmas card - it was a joke, I hope you got that.

The Night Before Libby’s Christmas
By Liberty Williams

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Libby was STILL single, and searching for something called a spouse!
The lingerie was hung by the dryer with care,
In hopes that a man soon would be there!
Libby nestled herself all snug in her bed,
With visions of men dancing away in her head.
With pajamas from Gap,
She had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter!
She sprang from her bed to see what the matter?
Looking out the window on the new fallen snow,
‘Twas a limo of men driving up from below.
The driver drove faster than Edward in Twilight
As he shouted the men’s names in hopes she might find her white knight!
Now, Blue eyes! Now, Tall, Dark, and Handsome, Now Edward.
Now, Clever! Now, Active! Now, Wealthy and Funny!
Right before her eyes, she was ready to call one “My Honey!”
Now hurry, now hurry, now hurry one and all!
So, up to the house the men came running,
They were all just so divinely stunning!
When, what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But the twinkling of a diamond, which made her stand up and cheer!
She knew in a moment this must be the one,
Could this be true, could she really be done?
No more searching, wishing, hoping, and dreaming,
Single no more was beginning to look so pleasing.
With a wink of his eye, and a smile to make one melt,
He then began to knelt…
When out of the blue such a beeping arose,
As her alarm clock blared, and her dream disappeared.
Libby woke to a Christmas filled with despair,
In hopes that next year, she might have a prayer!
But until then may your home be filled with cheer,
As I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Land in a Pile of Poop and Seem to Come Up Smelling Like Roses

A couple of weeks ago during my little, "my life is so rough" moment I was hanging out one night with my Cuz Summer. During our little "hang out" we went to the one and only department store in Cedar City called Christensen's. I was pretty much bored out of my mind while The Cuz went shopping. During my "bored" moment I decided since it was getting close to Christmas and I had been thinking about a holiday job I would ask someone at the store if they were hiring. I saw (and knew) that Christensen's had a "wrapping center" in the back of the store. I decided to go back and just ask if they would be hiring for holiday help. At the time, I was REALLY all about it, for working thru the holidays. But, as the weekend came to a close I was like, "Naaaa, I'm going to enjoy my Christmas holiday rather than work." However, during my shopping time with my Cuz I had talked to one of the owner's wife and daughter about working the wrapping counter through the holiday's. They were just as sweet as suga' to me, and really made it sound like they would hire me on the spot. (I also talked to the Manager that night as well, him telling me to turn in a my resume.) Well, like I said, the weekend came and I decided against turning in my resume to this department store. As my luck, I guess, would have it, two weeks later that daughter, Amy, who I had spoke to that night came and found me on campus at SUU. She had apparently seen me working in the Testing Center (so glad she was one person I had been nice too) and left a message for me to call Christensen's. The message was that they wanted to hire me, but couldn't seem to find my resume that I had turned in. Hello, I didn't turn in a resume! So, I decided that I must REALLY need this job through the holidays. I printed off my resume and immediately went in. I talked to one of the Assistant Managers and first thing he said was, "Sorry we lost your resume, but we would love to hire you for the position of a holiday gift wrapper." I explained, " never lost my resume because I never turned one in..." He was in complete shock, and said, "The job is yours, if you want it." I told him, "I really want it, now, and I'm sorry I never turned in a resume. And, don't think that I'm a complete aloof person." He just laughed and thought it was funny that they had to send one of their workers to stalk me on campus. So, here is to another job on my resume. I already worked the "Black Friday" and absolutely loved all 8 hours of it! This has got to be my new favorite job ever. I know what you are thinking...give Libby a couple weeks at this job and she'll probably rant about something on her blog. I'm here to say, don't count on it yo's! One last thing, this job gets tips. Whoever tips gift wrapping people, I know seriously. (Not the Mormons...cause you all know how I feel about those 10 percent tippers.) Anyhow, I'm not expecting any tips from anyone, but I do know that from working this job if I ever have anyone gift wrap then I'm giving them a tip. That's just how I roll!

So with school done and now plenty of time on my hands I am completely grateful for this new wrapping job. As my Mommy always likes to say to me, "You seem to always think you land in a pile of poop, (she doesn't say that though) but in the end come up smelling like roses!" This time, I have to agree!

Friday, December 3, 2010


This just in - Liberty Williams has finally, finally, FINALLY passed her chemistry class. She received a C+. Frankly, for her, that is like an A+. However, she still has to take the final on Wednesday December 8, 2010. Her Ph.D carrying Professor has specifically told her that on the final all she needs to do is show up and put her name on the test. Sources tell me that she STILL is going to study, and try her hardest on the final. If that is the case, Liberty could walk away with a higher grade. Until then, she is on top of the world, and will be celebrating tonight by wrapping gifts at her holiday job.
(Picture taken after hearing her wonderful news...somebody looks excited?!?!?!?!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Music & Christmas Movies

NOW, Christmas can be in the air! As the holiday has begun I am drawn to lot's of classic/fun/sweet Christmas movies. Along with renting/watching all my Christmas movies this month I'm pulling out all my Christmas music as well. What's your favorite Christmas movie, and music?

Top 15 BEST Christmas Movies Ever! (According to me, and in no particular order.)
1. Christmas Story - grew up watching this movie every year..."Ohhhhhh Fuuuuuuuuuuudggggggggggeeee!" "HO!" Long Pause. "HO!" Long Pause. "HO!"
2. Christmas Vacation - HILARIOUS! You should all know my favorite quote, "Why is the carpet all wet TODD? I DON'T KNOW MARGO!"
3. A Very Brady Christmas - a TV made movie that my parents recorded years ago, and is still to this day, a favorite. The Brady kids are all grown up and want to do a family Christmas. (Sadly, I can't find it anywhere on Netflix.)
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Real people version). "It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! Maybe Christmas, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas …. perhaps … means a little bit more!" (Currently working on a cross stitch pillow with this quote.)
5. The Christmas Card - a new family favorite of about two years ago. Acting is silly, (my Bro loves this movie, and during dramatic moments him and I like to say, "Now that was an academy award winning performance!") but the story is just so CUTE! It's about a girl, Faith, who writes the troops in Iraq. One letter in particular reaches a certain soldier...and then love begins, in the heart of Christmas time, of course.
6. Jack Frost - part cartoon, part real people. Grab a box of tissues cause this movie is a tearjerker!
7. A Smoky Mountain Christmas - Dolly Parton stars in this fun family movie. Dolly Parton plays a Tennessee music star who is trying to get out of the camera lights when she comes upon a cabin with runaway children, and we can't forget there is a witch is in the story also. I know what you are thinking, but this was another great TV made movie, that as child, I fell in love with. Luckily my Bro was able to get a copy on VHS.
8. One Magic Christmas - seriously, grab TWO boxes of tissues for this wonderful Disney movie. Set in the mid 80's Mary Steenburgen stars as the Mom of a middle class family just trying to survive. During this time of "making ends meet" her family is struck with a tragedy. Soon a Christmas Angel comes and helps her remember the true meaning of Christmas. Oh shoot I'm crying just typing about this movie. (You can't get it on Netflix - kind of mad about that, but I own a copy on DVD that Santa got for me last year...he found it on Amazon.)
9. Prancer - I remember when my Daddio took my Bro and I to see this movie along with All Dogs Go To Heaven (double feature). The story is so touching and sweet, and it's gotta be if Sam Elliot stars in it!
10. A Charlie Brown Christmas - who didn't wait each year for CBS to play this cute little 30 minute movie. Well, I couldn't wait. My most favorite Christmas cartoon! “If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself—just send money. How about tens and twenties?”
11. The Preachers Wife - with Whitney Houston. Actually, it's been a long time since I have seen this one. I will be watching it this year. Netflix, just added it - top of my QE.
12. It's a Wonderful Life - if you don't love this movie then something is wrong with you. One of the best Christmas classics around! "Every time a bell rings, an Angel gets its wings."
13. Mr. Krugers Christmas - another wonderful Jimmy Stewart movie. I think the LDS church put this movie out long ago. It's a short sweet movie. On this LDS note I LOVE their five minute movie called The Nativity.
14. Home Alone (only the first one). "Keep the change you filthy animal!"
15. The Santa Clause (only the first one). Disney did it again with a sweet story about Christmas and family togetherness. SO many great one liners in this movie!

Top 15 Christmas Songs (Once again, no particular order, and this list is according to me!)
1. Jar's of Clay, God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen (Their whole album "Christmas Songs" is amazing too!)
2. Sarah McLachlan, Silent Night
3. Jimmy Eat World, Last Christmas (This has got to be my most played/favorite/cell phone ringer song of Christmas.)
4. Faith Hill, A Baby Changes Everything
5. Faith Hill, (again) Where Are You Christmas (From the real people Grinch movie.)
6. Carrie Underwood, What Child Is This
7. Paul McCartney, Wonderful Christmastime
8. Mannheim Steamroller, Carol of the Bells
9. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Christmas/Sarajevo
10. Josh Groban, Little Drummer Boy (Not really a fan of him, but I do own his Christmas CD, and it's good!)
11. Starlite Singers, Christmas Shoes
12. Kenny Rogers, Mary Did You Know?
13. Glee Cast, O Holy Night (I'm a Gleek, gotta support yo's!)
14. Britney Spears, My Only Wish (I know, I know, I know...)
15. Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson, Wintersong (I also like Sara McLachlan's version - her whole Christmas CD is great though.)

NOW, get watching and listening -
Christmas will be here before we know it!!!