Christmas seems to have a way of waving a magical wand over all the world, creating an enchanting Christmasland of sorts, with festive decorations, good food and family traditions that celebrate the moments that fill our hearts and homes during this special time of year!

Creating our own Christmas Land!

(via Hallmark’s Christmasland movie)

While the version of Christmasland we each create in our little corner of the world may not resemble a Hallmark movie, per se, it is unique to each of us and should be what we treasure most about this wonderful holiday season!

Creating Christmasland!

Although my husband and I are empty nesters now, we still love creating the special spirit of the Christmas season in our home as we look forward to welcoming family members, special friends and good neighbors.  (Besides, as grandparents, I think you want to be some of Santa’s best advocates!)

Christmas gifts

My mother often said, “The best gift around the tree is the presence of a caring family all wrapped up in each other!”  I confess to some eye rolling in my youth when she said this, but I now fully understand the wisdom of her words!

  • Add meaningful décor!

While the retail stores do their best to promote all the latest and greatest in holiday décor, (and believe me, I love adding bits and pieces of fun new trends to my home on occasion) I think you’ll agree, that some of the things we tend to cherish the most while decorating our homes, are the items we’ve collected through the years that celebrate special memories from past Christmas seasons.

Olive Wood Nativity

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is an olive wood nativity set that my husband and I bought when we visited Jerusalem with my parents one special Christmas season when we were first married.  I can’t help but think of the kind, elderly gentleman who so skillfully carved each piece with detailed precision.  I can also recall the spicy aromas that filled the air of this enchanting and noble city, and how humbling it felt to be walking on some of the same ancient, cobble stone streets that Jesus might have traveled on so many, many years ago! 

Creating Christmasland!

It’s always fun to pick out a few new ornaments every so often, but the ones that we’ve collected over the years when our children were growing up are the ones that seem to make our homes an extra special Christmasland!  

  • Treasure some classic traditions!

I think we all enjoy some eclectic family traditions that evolve over the years…like white elephant Bingo and ugly sweater contests, to name a few, and I love finding fun, new activities to do each year, but perhaps treasuring a few classic Christmas traditions, like singing Christmas carols together, jumping in the car to drive around town to see the dazzling light displays, then stopping at a local diner for peppermint hot cocoa, or reading some of the age-old classic Christmas stories, just might give your Christmasland an extra special touch!

Lantern light display at Temple square

Rarely does a holiday season go by that our family doesn’t go see the Christmas lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  The light displays there make for a beautiful vision that creates a special Christmasland all on their own! 

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

My husband and I found this new edition of a classic Christmas story, beautifully illustrated by Charles Santore, that we are looking forward to reading with our granddaughters before bedtime after all the other festivities on Christmas Eve.

  • Include a sense of wonder!

From inspiring Christmas programs at local community venues, to the sparkle of twinkling tree lights and the laughter of children as they anticipate all the delights of the Christmas season, I believe it’s important to be awestruck in Christmasland!

Lower Lights concert at Kingsbury Hall

This year for his office party, my husband and I took all his employees to a Lower Lights concert.  Such an amazing, beautiful night.

The wonders of Christmas!

There’s nothing quite like seeing the wonders of Christmas through a child’s eyes!

     Most of all…

…love should abound in Christmasland…the kind that gets a good grip on your heart and you can’t help but feel that all is right with the world for a while!!

Merry Christmas in Christmasland!

I loved celebrating Christmas with my children when they were young…but it has taken on an even more festive mood since having grandkids!  

Merry Christmas in Christmasland!

I hope everyone has a blessed and Merry Christmas!

What are some of the things you look forward to in your special Christmasland during the holiday season?      


Hello February! 5 Ways To Have A Lovable Month!

Hello February

I don’t know about you, but with all the snowy weather and gray skies of January, I welcome February with open arms!  At the very least, planning some fun Valentine activities has the potential for sparking a festive spirit of love this month!

5 Ways To Have A Lovable Month!

1.  Set the mood!

Valentine's Day decorations.

While we don’t often decorate for other holidays like we do for Christmas, a few fun love reminders scattered around the house can’t help but set the mood for a more loving month!  I got these letters from Pier 1 Imports and glued them on a glittered background before putting them in an old frame I dug out of storage!

2.  Make plans!


(#Plan journal via A Beautiful Mess)

The notion that we have to plan for love doesn’t often fit our romantic fantasies…but planning for a really important aspect of our lives, when we’re busy with so many other things, is simply a reality for most of us if we want to keep those love vibes going strong!  Penciling in a fun breakfast date or an hour at the bowling alley after work–or any other activity that creates a break from our usual routine and helps us focus on our loved ones for a while, is definitely worth the effort!

3.  Get inspired!

Hallmark movie, "TheWishList!"

(via Hallmark channel’s “The Wish List” with Jennifer Esposito and David Sutcliffe)   

Sometimes we just have to find some inspiration to help reignite those feelings we had when we first fell in love!  Perhaps watching a “sappy” love story or reading a good book together, even attending a fun marriage workshop, will help remind us of those quirky things we love most about our spouses!  I also think it’s fun to ask friends and family members what they do to get their romantic cupid on!

4.  Show everyday love!

Love quote.

As much as we might love the grand overtures of romance on occasion, it’s often the little day to day acts of love that seem to have the biggest impact in our lives!  Being on the giving and receiving end of a beautiful smile, a warm hug, a sincere compliment, a handwritten note, kind encouragement, or thoughtful service will not only help make showing love a daily habit, but we will likely find ourselves looking forward to sharing love with others more and more each day!

5.  Be good to yourself!

Be good to yourself!

(via Manicure Station)

It goes without saying, that as women, we often take care of others needs before our own–but doing a few little things for ourselves is a sure way to guarantee that we’ll be better prepared to approach our daily responsibilities with more love!

Perhaps Mark Twain had the best insight on love…

Mark Twain quote on love.

I hope everyone has a fabulous February and that Valentine’s Day is just one of many wonderful days this month for you! 

What kinds of things do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day and those you love?


Christmas Cinderella Days! Holiday Activities and Goodies!

Christmas Cinderella Days!  Holiday Activities And Goodies!

My husband and I always love spending time with our two granddaughters, but it’s especially fun during the holiday season!  Lately, we have really enjoyed some neat Christmas “Cinderella Days” together!  Children always have a way of spreading a special Christmas spirit!

Special Christmas Activities And Goodies For Children.

It’s good to be children sometimes…but never better than at Christmastime!

Fun, Simple Activities And Goodies For Kids!

My husband is the ultimate tool guy, so it’s fun to see him nurturing the inner DIY personalities of our granddaughters, Makena and Marli!

Simple, fun activities with kids.

As I mentioned in this earlier journal entry, on the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot provides all the supplies for a fun kid’s craft.  It’s neat to see how excited my granddaughters are about making something with their grandpa…and the finished project makes for a fun holiday decoration for their rooms.  

One of my favorite Christmas memories with my own children was stacking up all the Christmas books and then piling on the couch to read them together.

Christmas books.

My granddaughters love doing the same thing now.  A favorite new book this year is Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse, about a mouse family who moves into a warm spot beneath the kitchen stove of a big house one cold winter.  Soon Mr. Mouse and his family learn about a baby born long ago, and a jolly man named Santa who brings gifts to celebrate the special child’s birth on a day called Christmas!   

Although kids usually love games of any sort, funny made-up Christmas games are always a big hit!

Fun activities for kids.

My husband got these large, puff dice at a work event he attended.  I made up a Christmas game where there’s an activity associated with the number that’s shaken on the dice.  For example, sing a line or two from your favorite Christmas carol, what’s a favorite gift you’ve given, or how have you been nice this year…etc.   

(Amazon carries these dice.  They are fun to play regular games like Yatzee too.) 

I think anytime children can attend any formal Christmas programs, or better yet, participate in them, it can’t help but make them feel the spirit of Christmas!

Makena playing her violin.

A highlight for our family the last few years is being able to watch our oldest, granddaughter, Makena, play her violin at various Christmas programs around town during this special time of year.  It’s a nice reward for all the hours she practices to see how much people love seeing her perform the beautiful songs she plays!

Baking with these two, cute girls always provides a great time, but making holiday goodies doesn’t have to be too complicated to be fun!


These darling powdered-sugar donut snowmen are so easy to make!!  All you’ll need is some skewer sticks, mini chocolate chips, and a few gum drops.  Marli said it was kind of hard to eat their cute faces! 

Christmas goodies for kids

Kids love fun goodies that are served in miniature size.  I’m excited to have individual chocolate fondue plates for Christmas Eve dinner.  So yummy, and yet so easy to make!  Just heat up some ice cream hot fudge in small bowls and serve with any fruit and cake bites. 

I love seeing Christmas through the eyes of children–they have such a unique way of reminding us what this special season is really about!

Celebrating Christmas with children!

My granddaughter, Marli, has always been drawn to the little figure of Jesus in the wood nativity I have displayed in my family room at Christmastime–she tells me that she just loves Him so much!  Such a wonderful sentiment from this sweet, wise soul! 

I hope everyone takes time to really enjoy the rest of this Christmas season with all your family members–young and old alike!

What are some fun activities and goodies you enjoy with the kids in your family?