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Posts Tagged ‘festive’

That’s right – 33 more Christmas wallpapers have been added to our already large collection!

Check them out!
As you mouse over a thumbnail, the tooltips for the new papers will read “2011paper.”

Enjoy!

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Whoppy and Streaker's 99 Christmas videos, courtesty of Artie Wayne on the Web

Click on Whoppy & Streaker’s Christmas portrait to visit their
awesome list of 99 Christmas videos.

I recently received an e-mail from Artie Wayne, detailing how his fine, festive felines, Whoppy and Streaker (pictured above), have compiled an impressive list comprising 99 YouTube Christmas videos. Adding to this, we have Artie Wayne’s personal commentary, springing from his clearly vast knowledge of popular music and the music industry. So get on over there and start boosting your Christmas spirit, right now!

Then, spread the joy! Share the link around. Not only does music soothe and civilize the savage beast  (as seen above) but it cheers. It can change your whole mood from dark to bright, if you let it.

Merry Christmas, Artie, Whoppy, and Streaker!

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CINNAMARTINI

These particular drinks both call for Cinnamon schnapps, of which the most famous variety is Goldschlager, a Swiss product with flakes of real gold floating in it. Some have been concerned that the gold may cause an adverse reaction in individuals who are sensitive, but Wikipedia assures us that “there is currently less than a tenth of a gram (0.1 g) of gold flakes in a 750 ml bottle of Goldschläger[1], which, as of July 9, 2008, amounts to about 3.00 USD on the international gold market.[2]” I don’t know why this information, in itself, should assure us, but no matter: you can get cinammon schnapps without the gold (although certain other brands have copied Goldschlager). DeKuyper’s Hot Damn!™, for example, doesn’t contain gold flakes, and it is on the Washington State Liquor Stores Current Price List.It also has the advantage of being a fiery red color, which goes with Christmas.

Now, having made all these qualifying statements, the recipes themselves are very straightforward–

CINNAMON MARTINI

Ingredients:
– 1/2 oz Cinammon Schnapps
– 1 oz. Vodka

Preparation:

Pour both liquors into glass – do not mix or stir. Serve on the rocks or straight up. Add cinnamon stick garnish.

APPLE-CINNAMON MARTINI

3/4 oz Apple Schnapps
1/4 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
2 oz Vodka

In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine ingredients and shake. Strain into glass. Drop in a thin wedge of green apple (e.g., Granny Smith var.) or mount on glass and add cinnamon stick.

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Christmas Sugar

Your kids will enjoy helping with this recipe – and they’ll be more than happy to eat the product of their labors afterwards. This is a great item for a kids’ Christmas party, as well.

Ingredients:

15-20 large marshmallows
6 oz. semisweet chocolate
red and green sugars
waxed paper
toothpicks
cookie sheet or platter

Preparation:

Place a piece of waxed paper on cookie sheet or platter. Stick a toothpick into each marshmallow.

Heat the chocolate in a double boiler (or a smaller saucepan placed inside a larger saucepan of water if you don’t have a double boiler) until melted. Take each marshmallow by the stick and dip in chocolate. Then pass it off to a kid who will then thoroughly roll it in red or green sugar.

Put the marshmallows on the cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

Sliced bananas or other fruit of your choice may be substituted for the marshmallows.

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Judging on Nov. 20, 2008

I’ve never known the good townsfolk of Lynden, WA, to be lax on Christmas Spirit, so I’m thinking that this contest, sponsored by the Lynden Chamber of Commerce, may yield some fine displays, indeed. Judging is on Thursday, Nov. 20th, so the following weekend might be an excellent time for a stroll through downtown Lynden to peruse the window decorations.

Click on the graphic for more details.

Higbees window display, from "A Christmas Story"

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Now it’s time to begin with the really fun part of this blog. As with last year, I’ve been searching out all sorts of interesting holiday recipes for both food and drink, along with a host of other “Christmas arcana” – from poetry and fiction to Christmas trivia and factoids, from wallpaper and Victorian postcards to classic video and music clips – and more. This year I would like to make “Old Christmas” – the traditions from way back when – a major focus of the blog.

Here is a hearty brew from Athole, a mountainous region of Scotland, which may be served either warm or cold.

ATHOLL BROSE or HOGMANAY

athollbrose

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups Scotch whiskey

Preparation:

Heat honey, and when it thins slightly, stir in cream. Heat together, but do not boil. Remove from heat and slowly stir in whiskey. May be served hot, or thoroughly chilled overnight. If you have some comb honey on hand, a bit of the comb may be used as a garnish, as shown in the illustration. Makes 4-6 servings.

———

Factoid: Today Atholl Brose is sold as a liquer, containing the traditional ingredients of oatmeal water, heather honey, and Scotch whiskey, but minus the cream. Often cream is added, particularly on festive occassions.

*Henceforth, all drink recipes will be clearly labeled either “alcohol” or “no alcohol.”

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I know that October  8th may seem rather early to debut the Christmas calendar for 2008, but the fact of the matter is that some of the ticketed events are already selling seats – and it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to bring the calendar online after these have sold out. Surprisingly, however, one very big holiday event kicks off before the end of this month – namely, the Tacoma Holiday Food and Gift Festival, to be held at the Tacoma Dome October 22-26.

As with last year, there will be a strong emphasis this year on discovering and listing free and low-cost events throughout Whatcom County and greater Western Washington that the whole family can enjoy. This is in line with the general theme of this site: simplifying Christmas, and  creating pleasant and memorable experiences in the place of pre-Christmas stress and a post-Christmas flat wallet.

Events with a price for admission will of course be listed, as well – there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the producers of an event asking that a production or festival be supported by the attendees (although I must confess that $184-$450 price tags on a family-of-four admission to a certain time-honored production this year strikes me as near-larceny).

From now until Halloween, I’ll be very busy behind the scenes, here, gathering material for the site, and discovering even more events to populate the calendar (there’s a whole lot out there). Before I close this post, though, I’d like to ask you to keep the following phrase in mind: Ornament is for joy. Christmastime is a season of ornament, and has the potential to be a time of real value, of real joy, rather than a time for superficial affectations of joy and a closing value that can be summed off of gift-receipts.  But it’s up to you. If you’ve turned the holiday season into a finance-straining, nerve-shattering experience…well, it’s your own damned fault. About that, here’s some good news: it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make it better; you can make this very Christmas one to remember fondly.  And I can help you with that.

See you on November 1st: All Saint’s Day!

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