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Almost "Free" Christmas Ideas

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons The real things haven t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 11, 2007
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      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons

      "The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and
      truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple
      pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."~~Laura Ingalls

      "That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest".~~ Henry David

      "When you finally allow yourself to trust joy and embrace it, you
      will find you dance with everything." ~~ Emanuel

      For nearly 2000 years people around the world have celebrated
      Christmas. Santa and parties, twinkling lights and ringing bells
      cannot take away from the `real' meaning of Christmas – the birth of
      Christ in the manger of Bethlehem.
      The perfect Christmas is always in the back of our minds with
      different traditions and foods, but still the same – with love and
      family central to us all.

      It's said that most American's cannot even remember their favorite
      Christmas present from last year! The most meaningful things, are
      usually free!

      Free (or almost) things to do at Christmas!

      Make a craft. Teach someone to knit or crochet, or sew, or do some

      Take a walk in the dark on a crisp, cold evening and notice the hoot
      of an owl, the stars, a plane streaking across the sky, smoke from a
      chimney, shadows on the snow.

      Go to the library for some great Christmas stories and some libraries
      have books on tape, and videos, as well.

      Give the gift of babysitting, while parents go shopping. The
      laughter of children will be a gift to yourself.

      Bake together. Or have a cookie sharing party.

      Go to a museum.

      Have a snow picnic. Bundle up and roast hotdogs over an open fire.

      Remember the 80-20 Rule. You only use 20% of your stuff. Getting
      rid of the rest will be a gift to yourself.

      Help someone. Does a neighbor need something shoveled, or need a
      dinner, or a load of wood? The warmth in your heart from a good deed
      will last through the season.

      Attend a Christmas concert – there's nothing like music to help bring
      focus to the season.

      Go to an outdoor nativity in your area. Don't forget to bundle up!
      This is fascinating, especially to city kids who don't often see
      animals up close and personal. What a great way to make a memory!

      Make a cake or cookies and visit a neighbor you don't often see, or a

      Make a snowman – don't forget the snow angels!

      Have some cocoa and cookies while you decorate the tree.

      Have a pot-luck with friends.

      Go Christmas Caroling

      Have a kiss under the Mistletoe!

      Do some family research. I recently found my great-great
      grandparents graves near Mesick at a small cemetery, with the
      directions from my Great-Uncle. I had been by there numerous times
      and didn't even know they were buried there. They were born in the
      1850's! I feel like a piece of a great puzzle has been found.
      Hooray!- What a treasure! The only thing better is if I could have
      known them - but in a way, I do. Their daughter and son-in-law were
      my great grandparents and I did know them. They had a neat and tidy
      home, they were loving, they read daily from their Bibles, my
      grandfather wrote poetry, they raised four loving daughters. My
      great-great grandparents legacy lives on.

      1 lb. dry navy beans 1/4 lb. salt pork cut in strips (opt)
      1 t dry mustard 1/4 c brown sugar
      2 t salt 1/4 c dark molasses
      1/2 c ketchup Chopped Onions (opt)
      Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight. Drain
      water. Save for other uses. Cover beans with boiling water and cook
      30 minutes. Drain water. Save for other uses. Add salt pork, put in
      bean pot adding some of the salt pork to the top. Mix mustard,
      onions, sugar, salt and molasses; add to beans. Add ½ cup boiling
      water, cover pot and bake at 250F oven for 6 hours. Add more water if
      needed, just to keep beans covered. Remove cover during last hour. I
      like to sprinkle French Fried Onion Rings (Dried) on the last ½
      hour. 8 servings.

      Keeping it Simple,

      Please contact me with recipes, questions, comments and simple living
      ideas that work for you. Email: thesimple_life@.... Join the
      online newsletter to print recipes and look up previous columns.
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