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Archive for the tag “Christmas”

Noteven the Mouse: A Christmas Tale

What follows is a fun, little rendition of Clement Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. It’s also my latest writing challenge for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Helper story contest. If you have any interest in writing for children (or just want to read a fun blog), hop on over to Susanna’s blog. Many thanks also go to the judges and wonderful prize contributors in this contest. And to any co-contestants: best of luck! I’ve already read so many good entries! Aren’t these contests great? Now on to the story!

Photo credit: Annie Platt on Unsplash

Noteven the Mouse (216 words)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,

the humans were sleeping, but Noteven, the mouse,

was just winding up for a night on the town.

The cookies were out!

There were crumbs all around!

When what to his wondering ears should he hear?

A clumping!

         A thumping!

                  A ker-flumping–

                           “Oh dear!”

Away to the chimney, he dashed to the flue.

Noteven, the mouse, was wondering, “Who–

is there in the chimney and blocking the way

of Santa’s arrival with gifts the next day!”

To the top of the hearth–

         to the top of the log–

Noteven the mouse skipped a jiggety-jog.

He peered up the chimney and to his surprise–

peering back down were two dark, twinkling eyes!

“I’m stuck!” whispered Santa. “My jacket is caught!

I’m hooked on a nail, and I’m in a tight spot!”

Noteven the mouse, well, he went straight to work.

He nibbled. . .

         He gnawed. . .

                  And then with a JERK–

                           “Oh! Ho, ho, ho–hoooo!”

Santa bellowed with glee

and tumbled right out to land under the tree.

Noteven the mouse scampered straight to his side,

but the jolly, old elf grinned a smile big and wide.

“I thank you, Noteven, for helping me out.

That small act of kindness is what it’s about.”

Let it snow, let it snow. . . well, you know

snowfall image

Yay! We had our first official snowfall this past week!

A prediction of minimal flurries.

Thank goodness we can’t count on our weather forecasters to be accurate because we had big, fluffy flurries! Flurries that came down with an eagerness to please my snow-lovin’ heart! Large, friendly flurries! Not those pesky, sorry excuses for a first snowfall. No, this was put-on-the-Christmas-music snow.

Granted, it didn’t stick around. But there for a while it was a full-fledged snowfall.

I’ve been given the unofficial title of Snow Whisperer. I wear it proudly. I’m glad that when my friends look out and see snow, they think, “Doggoneit! Jen is praying again!”

You see, I (and others in my family who will remain nameless for their own protection against snow-haters) pray fervently and specifically for snow. When I say specifically, I mean that we pray for snow to arrive within a certain time frame (Thanksgiving week to–oh, maybe mid-February). We also pray for a couple of raging, everyone-stay-home, window-rattling blizzards. The kind that swirls drifts into window-high piles and fills the ditches with frosting-like sculptures.

I’ll admit that I’m usually a traditionalist–Christmas music waits until after Thanksgiving, as do the decorations. But this year has been different somehow. Everybody seems to be in the Christmas spirit a little earlier (or maybe that’s just my perception). Is it the short, three-week crunch between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year? Are we all getting a running start so we can breath a little easier as Christmas approaches?

A couple of things have put the jingle bell in my step earlier this year. First, I’m giving a little decorating and craft demo at my house tomorrow night for a group of women. Nothing like an audience to kick in the creative juices! So I’ll be sharing some ‘junking’ ideas as well as some seasonal craft and decorating projects. I’m kind of a procrastinating/give-me-a-deadline kind of person. So, of course, I pulled out all the crafty stops this week and did a little junk shopping in preparation for tomorrow night.

So for those of you in the junking/crafty vein, I’ve included a few pictures of what I’ve been up to.


O.k., let me explain, as I realize this doesn’t look like anything very interesting. This is a huge, metal tray my mom was going to sell at her garage sale this summer for 50 cents. Whoa, Nellie! I nab that off the table in a heartbeat! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but it just had “PROJECT” written all over it. And here it is–in process. I used Frog Tape to tape off the inner flat surface. (Make sure you always burnish your tape to get a good seal. There’s nothing more disappointing than peeling that tape off and finding the paint leaked underneath.) Then I applied three coats of chalkboard paint. I LOVE that stuff! I just think it’s so cool to paint stuff and be able to write on it. I know, I’m easily amazed. Once the paint dried, I used an Exact-o knife to cut around the inner edge where paint and tape meet. I don’t want any of the paint peeling off when I remove the tape. My final plan, then, is to drill two holes in the outer edge, thread it with some wide, satin red ribbon, and hang it in my mudroom with a cheery Christmas greeting. Sorry I haven’t gotten that far yet, but I’ll post some Christmas decoration pics.


This is my second vintage collage I’ve tried, and I think I’m getting the hang of it. Starting with a blank canvas, I use old magazines (I’m talking 1930’s) and vintage-look scrapbooking paper to cover the canvas. You just tear and modge-podge the paper onto the canvas. I try to find interesting old ads, line drawings, or clever pieces of headlines. Once the canvas is covered, brush a nice coat of Modge Podge over the whole thing and let it dry. After it’s completely dry, arrange your sticker letters–again, I try to place mine so specific pictures or words will be showing. Now you paint over the whole thing again with a thin coat of paint. Your newsprint should show through. Allow to dry. Your next coat is Glitter Paint. (I love glitter, and I love paint!) There are a gazillion colors of this at Michaels. Obviously, your glitter paint is going to match your base paint. I used red paint and red glitter paint. I suppose I could have also used silver, white, or gold glitter paint. You may want a couple coats of glitter paint depending on how sparkly you want it. (For those of you who are not fond of glitter, the glitter doesn’t come off the picture. So you won’t find this all over your house.) Once your glitter coats have dried–drum roll, please–peel off the stickers! How fun is that? And finally, I put one more coat of Modge Podge (or spray a clear coat) over it to give it a nice shine. I’ll finish mine off with a velvet ribbon hanger and find a fun spot for it soon.

For those of you who aren’t interested in the vintage collage but are drooling over the ornaments, those are a few of my junking finds from this past weekend. They’ll join all the rest of my shimmering, old ornaments on our Christmas tree or on one of my many mini-trees. I also bought a handsome-looking mirror that is bound for an elegant dressing of greenery, white ribbon, pine cones, and small, silver ornaments come December. Yes, I’ll post pictures.

And for my listening pleasure while I’ve been crafting, my two newest and favorite Christmas cd’s this year.

IMG_5899I’m kind of a Christmas music junkie. I’ve got so many cd’s I’m not sure I listen to all of them every year. Of course, I get stuck on my favorites and just play them over and over.

So what are the rest of you vintage-loving, junk repurposing, crafty people up to for Christmas this year? I’d love to see or hear about your ideas. Let me in on your favorite Christmas music, too.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what my other bring-on-Christmas, jinglebells-on-my-shoes motivation is–kiddos coming home! My far-flung first born will be home on Dec. 23 (one of my “Lord, please don’t let it snow” days prayers) and nose-to-the-grindstone son #2 will be home a week before that. And then, for those precious days, I’ll pray for hillsides of snow to sled on, moments by the fire just for talking, and the good sense to just sit back, smile, and enjoy it all.

Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood. ~Andy Goldsworthy

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