Monday, December 10

Christmas Secrets and Some Christmas Fun

Yes, Christmas is drawing near and it's a time for secrets. If all of you promise not to tell, I'll let you in on some of the secrets that I've been cooking up, but you must promise to keep your lips sealed. Of course you are all good at keeping Christmas secrets, so here goes:
Yesterday hubby and I took Mom to Micheals. Mom had mentioned on Saturday night that she was feeling a little lonely. Though she keeps busy, I'm sure that loneliness sets in once in a while because she lives alone. I do call her every night before I go to bed, but I'm sure there's times when the day is long. Sometimes I talk to her two or three times a day, just to be sure that she is doing okay.

We don't usually shop on Sunday, but I thought Micheals would be a nice treat for Mom. She loves that store and is a very crafty person. I'm not so much, but every once in a while I like to make something for somebody. This time I decided to make something for my daughter and her family.

Micheals was packed when we got there about 2:30 pm. However, as we looked around, the people starting dwindling. That was okay by me since I don't like crowds very much. Crowds will make my Christmas spirit fly out the window faster than anything else and so I try to always avoid them. I usually have all of my shopping done early and only go to the stores to see the Christmas decorations at this time of year.

But I'm getting off track. We looked around the store and saw many lovely Christmas decorations as well as the supplies needed to make them. I was looking for nativity supplies, as I thought I might like to make a nativity set. But alas, there was nothing. Then I spotted these lovely birch bark Santas. They have a base, but the beard, hair and eyebrows are made from birch bark. Being a lover of nature, they tickled my fancy. Then I saw the pine brooms. Being a lover of these vintage looking brooms, I decided I would make something with the brooms and the Santas. Here is the finished product.

It was hard to get a good photo of this, so here are some closeups. First, the birch bark Santa.

Then the berries and the holly that I placed strategically on the handle slightly above Santa.

And finally, the last finishing touch - silver bells and pine near the top.

The photos do not do it justice, but you get the general idea. I enjoyed playing around and creating a little something to give to the boys and their parents that was made with love by Grandma. In fact, I think I will print a label and attach it to the back, so someday they can treasure it. I made one identical for myself and one day the boys can have it too, so there will be one for each of them.

Being a little crafty got me into the Christmas spirit. We aren't giving much to the boys this year, as we are taking them to Florida. However, they needed a little something to open on Christmas Day. Most of the gifts we got them will be going in a large Disney World bag and they will be opened while we're traveling. I really want to keep the boys occupied while we're driving because if they get bored, they will drive us insane. LOL So, I wrapped the boys gifts that they will be receiving on the 25th. I am not quite finished, as I still have to add the ribbon and all the fancy things I place on their packages to make them look nice.

Now that you all know my Christmas secrets, there is one more portion to this post. I want you to guess what are in the boys packages. The person that comes the closest to getting the right answer will win a copy of the book, Loving the Children from the Guideposts series, Listening to the Animals. My story The Old Red Barn is in the book and Renie Burghardt's story Chicken Dreams Can Come True is also featured. If the winner would like, I will autograph the book for them. So let's have some fun and see if you can guess what is in these packages. The fun will stop on Wednesday night at midnight EST - my time and I will divulge what is in the package and who the winner is on Thursday. Remember to think boys.


  1. I may be waaaayyy off base here, but since you are taking them on a long trip, how about something that will keep them busy? Like video games? Or books to read?

  2. Is it board games, and books?? I love the santa brooms, they are so cute.

  3. Good Morning Mary,
    Oh my, I love the Birch Santa broom. It is beautiful. You did a wonderful job decorating it. That would be nice putting a tag on the back of it. You are very crafty and that was so sweet of yall taking your Mother out for a while. It is nice that you can still go places together and enjoy it. I hate crowds as well. Some people are so very rude. I'm going to guess that you bought them some games and books to read. I know the feeling about keeping them occupied while traveling. My 2 girls are the same way. They usually take their traveling MP3 players or their game boys. That will keep them occupied for a little while tho. LOL. Then they start saying, "I'm bored". Imagine that. LOL. I always tell them to look at the scenery out the window. Well, take care my friend and have a great Tuesday. May God Bless You and Yours.

    Love & Hugs,
    Karen H.
    P.S. I would so love to win the book with your's and Renie's writings in it.

  4. I would guess that the gifts are journal books... writing supplies... and possibly drawing supplies...
    so they can journal their trip to Florida... and so they can send you lots of letters and pictures when they move...
    I love the sweet Santa's you made for you and the boys....

  5. Looks like YOU'RE having fun with these "secrets" and that's as it should be. I love the Santa broom and I'm sure whatever is in those lovely wrapped packages will be perfect.
    Hugs and blessings,

  6. It has been a while since I have done something crafty. Love the brooms.
    I know the boys will love all of the things that you have gotten for them. Especially the window paints.
    And in the boxes could it be winter clothes and books?
    I know how you are about books.

  7. I'm thinking...trip to Florida...boys...I say............................Swim Trunks?

    Wow...ya'll are driving to Florida???

    Let me know if you stop anywhere near Columbus!

  8. I love the Santa Broom! That is just super did an excellent job too.

    Now as for guessing what the boys have in your secret packages I wouldn't have a clue!!!

    And, no I didn't receive your emails since the one I found in the bulk folder...I'll go look sometime today. I'm hungry right now, I guess that's a good sign that the flu is subsiding. I slept most of the day yesterday and hopefully that helped too.

    Hope you're feeling stronger too. Ya, the cold and flu season wouldn't be any good if you have to travel.

    Luvya bunches...I'll go check my email this afternoon sometime hopefully. I just wonder what's up with that? At first your emails were received in my inbox, now they're in the spam folder? Hopefully I can find 'em and then figure out how to get your name back on the 'inbox' receiving end. *shrug* Modern technology can leave a lot to be desired.

  9. How sweet of you to think of your mother like that. You are a good daughter. I have no doubt you are very dear to her heart and she treasures each and every conversation with you.

  10. The Birch Broom Santa is so cute! I love it!

    And lets see...hmmmm...I have a 10 year old boy so this shouldn't be too hard. I'm going to guess one of those Lego Transformer or Bionicle kits.

  11. I love that you took your mom to Michael's and then ended up getting making that charming birch Santa broom! about read-along CD's in the packages?

    I'm probably wrong, and too bad, because I'd love to win that wonderful book! :)

    Blessings to you this week!

  12. I love the Santa broom, too! Hmm... let's see. Could you have little transformers in those packages? Activity books? Perhaps games for their DS or some other hand held game? How about a Walkman for listening to their favorite songs? I'm all guessed out! Beats me, Mary, but you sure are a good Grandma and daughter!


  13. Now you have a reply. Hope it arrives to YOU instead of floating somewhere else. :o)

  14. I loved your Birch Santa broom.Your so crafty. I also love nativity's and collect them. I have about 20 or so. All sizes.Each has a special story of how I got it. One is 30 yrs old.
    I'm feeling better. Thanks for all the prayers.

  15. The Birch Bark Santa Brooms are so lovely. Very nice touches to put the berries and the silver ribbon and bells on them. Another idea to try and remember for next years gift making.

  16. Hi, You are taking them to Fl. so maybe it is a new pair swim trunks for them both!!
    That was nice you could take your Mother to the craft store!! Your Santa brooms are so neat!! You did a good job!!
    We still have power! Yea!! Love and hugs Carolyn

  17. Thanks to each of you ladies for participating in the Christmas fun and also for your kind words and comments on the Christmas brooms. They were simple to make, but I do like giving homemade gifts.

    Love and blessings to each of you. I don't want to say too much here because I may inadvertantly give away the secret.


  18. Since you like to write (and you're so good at it) I'm assuming that you think reading is very important. So, I'm guessing the boys are getting books. But those boxes don't look like they are holding books, so I'm probably totally wrong.

    I love the Santa broom!

    Our Happy Happenings

  19. Ha ha boys going to Florida need a snorkel, swim mask and fins plus a good ole fashion water pistol to play around in the pool.

    I think you are sweet to call and check on your Mother each day and I know she enjoyed the trip to Michaels crowd and all.

    You said you were not crafty but you sure make a nice broom. I love the birch Santa.

    Have you ever played the rhyme game with the boys. Puppy and I would pass the time in the car doing that and also we would pick a color for a truck and then count to see how many each would get. You could also change colors at rest stops. Just a few idea that you might can use to occupy two boys.

    Peace be with you.

  20. Hello dear Mary:-) Finally have time to do some visiting! Oh my, I just LOVE those Santa brooms you made, they are just gorgeous!! I'm bringing my mom shopping tomorrow and she wants to go to Michael's:-) Hmmmm as for what's in the presents you got the's either little cars, or action figures or handheld games. That's what my boys were into at that age! lol xoxo

  21. Your Santa broom is lovely, Mary! And it should last for years to be passed down to the boys.

    I received your lovely Christmas card yesterday, and mailed yours today. I do hope it arrives before you leave for your trip, but if not, it will be waiting for you when you get back home. ;o)

    Hmm...What could be in those packages? How about video games and the consoles?

    Careful in your icy weather, my friend. We MAY get some snow on Saturday....Not sure just yet.

    Love and hugs,


  22. Lady Di, Pea and Diane,

    Thank you so much for your kind comments on my Santa brooms. I really enjoyed making them and do like to make gifts for people. I'm thinking maybe I need to start early in the New Year and make ALL of my Christmas gifts for next year.

    Thanks for playing along with the guessing game. This is a lot of fun for me.

    Blessings to each of you.

  23. Mary,

    The Santa broom is beautiful! What a great idea - and you say you aren't crafty!!!!

    Hmmm - traveling games for the Disney trip? That is my first guess anyway!


  24. I love the Santa broom. . How clever. I so hope you have a wonderful safe trip!

  25. Tina and Lin,

    I'm glad that both of you ladies enjoyed the Santa broom. I enjoyed making it. I like simple crafts that are easy to make. This is one of those. These brooms can be decorated in a variety of ways.

    Tina, I will announce the winner tomorrow.

    Blessings to each of you.