Tag Archives: Christmas

missjunebug’s HO! HO! HO! Hacks

missjunebug has been super busy getting ready for Santa’s Big Day, but she wanted to take out some time to share a few nifty Christmasy ideas she’s come across on the internet or even thought of herself!

HO! HO! HO! Hack No. 1

Make your own nametags for gifts using watercolor paper, watercolors, and Christmas cookie cutters. Trace ’em, cut ’em out, paint ’em, hole punch ’em and ribbon ’em up! So much calorie-free fun!

Name Tags Galore!
Name Tags Galore!
To Spark Your Creativity!
To Spark Your Creativity!
Love Those Dots!
Love Those Dots!

HO! HO! HO! Hack No. 2

Wrapping a lot of gifties? Take missjunebug’s advice and use the inner cardboard tube of the first wrapping paper you finish off to make lots of little clasps for your other wrapping papers. A super simple, super smart way to keep all your wrapping papers tucked away neatly.

missjunebug's Got It On Lock
missjunebug’s Got It On Lock!

HO! HO! HO! Hack No. 3

missjunebug loves to buy her wired Christmas ribbon at Costco where the prices for it are reasonable and the ribbons are colorful and varied. But the ribbons generally only come in two width sizes: large and even larger. Try cutting the ribbon lengthwise into three strips: two thin ones following the wired edges, leaving the middle strip about one-half inch in width. Now you will be ready to wrap any size gifts with 3 different widths of ribbon.

Ribbon x 3!
Ribbon x 3!

HO! HO! HO! Hack No. 4

When using packing tape, missjunebug used to fold down the end so that it wouldn’t stick back on to itself. This wasted tape, but she could find the end when she needed it. Recently, she came across this simple idea on the internet that solves the pesky problems of wasted tape and lost edge. Attach a plastic bread tie to the end of the tape, so you will always find the tape’s edge. Just pull the tab, cut the tape you need, and reattach the tab when your finished with the tape.  Genius!!

Bread Tab: Super Tape Saver!
Bread Tab: Super Tape Saver!

HO! HO! HO! Hack No. 5

Relax, have some Trader Joe’s (Light) Egg Nog, and enjoy the shiny season!

Merry Christmas from missjunebug, Mr.JB, Elder JB, TinyJB, SpoonBug, and LeftyJB!

Copy that!
Copy that! 

Speculoos is Spectacular!

Cookie Magic! Photo by mjb2013

Every once in a while missjunebug comes across a product that is absolut! blog worthy. Like Consumer Reports, she receives no special consideration or payment for her endorsement. missjunebug is an ad-free zone! She shares this information for the sheer joy of hoping others will enjoy the product as joyfully as she has enjoyed it! Too many joys?? Not in this case! Speculoos is a taste bud-altering experience, unlike any missjunebug has ever had. Imagine delicious cookies, mildly spicey shortbread cookies. Imagine those cookies smashed to bits. Imagine those smashed bits being spun into a creamy, silky, buttery, sweet, caramel-ly spread. Imagine dipping a spoon into said spread and slathering it on, what else? another cookie! Ahhhh. Spectacular Speculoos! If no other cookies are available just enjoy straight off the spoon.

Your taste buds will be forever grateful as missjunebug is to ElderJB for introducing the junebug family to Speculoos during the Christmas holidays. He wends his way through Brussels, Belgium on his trip from Rwanda to the Hacienda in SoCali and always does a little airport shopping. While missjunebug appreciates the awesome Belgium chocolates ElderJB lavishes upon the junebug fam, she’s just wild about the new find: Speculoos! Thanks, ElderJB for this smashed-up cookie spread madness!

If you are not traveling to Brussels in the near future you can track down Trader Joe’s version of Speculoos descriptively named Speculoos Cookie Butter. missjunebug doubts it is as good as Lotus Original Speculoos but it might run a close second, and it is available a lot closer to home! Sadly, missjunebug will probably have to settle for TJ’s version because her jar of LOS is profoundly empty.

Alas...the jar is empty! Photo by mjb2013
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missjunebug’s Holiday Bars

Holiday Still Life! Photo by mjb2012

No, this is not a post about the best place to imbibe alcohol during the holidays! missjunebug wants to share with you her recipe for fruity and nutty Holiday Bars. If you never got into fruitcake but enjoy dates, raisins, and walnuts, this holiday cookie is for you. Mega Delicious and Semi Healthy describes this bar perfectly. Easy to make, easy to freeze, easy to take to any party or cookie exchange, and very, very easy to eat!

missjunebug’s Holiday Bars

(adapted from an ancient but beloved cookbook entitled Cookery for Entertaining)

Ingredients

1 (8-oz.) package Sun Date California Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup raisins, Trader Joe’s golden or SunMaid regular or a mix of both kinds

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup sugar, divided

1 stick butter (1/4 lb.), room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, organic

2 cups unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 tablespoons orange juice

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 2 baking sheets (or use Silpat liners or parchment paper); set aside. Stir together in a large bowl dates, raisins, walnuts, orange peel, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup sugar until the fruit is well coated; set aside. In a separate bowl or Kitchen Aid mixer (best choice!) cream butter and the remaining sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Whisk together in a small separate bowl the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange juice. Then add this flour mixture to the sugar and egg mixture. Add the dates, raisins, and walnuts mixture and stir until blended. The dough will be stiff.

Divide dough into four equal portions and shape two logs (12″ x 2″ x 1/2″) on each prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes until slightly brown. The logs will feel soft but they will firm as they cool. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut diagonally into 3/4″ bars. Dust with powdered sugar. These freeze well in Zip-loc freezer bags or cookie tins. Makes approximately 64 delicious bars!

After you make these, you can head to your fav holiday bar and celebrate! Cheers!

Don't these look yum x tum! Photo by mjb2012
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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like You Know What!

Pile of gorgeous gifts
Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

missjunebug has seen and heard the signs of the season and they are plentiful: First candle of advent lit in her church’s advent wreath–good job acolytes!–, twinkly lights up and glowing around her neighborhood (mjb is not too crazy about the cool-light LEDs, a little too Disneylandesque for her; she prefers the warmth of incandescent, but oh well, they are still festive in a Neon sort of way,  Christmas music playing on 94.7 the Wave way, way before Thanksgiving–they really get into the spirit early, and that same music playing in every store she frequents leading mjb to feel a little sorry for those people who find the music crazy-making. mjb’s advice: embrace it, people! Music increases endorphins and by way of that, happiness! Remember, the season flees as quickly as it approaches, kind of like those parking places at the mall disappearing as soon as you head down that aisle! Which brings missjunebug to the trickiest part of the season: gift buying!

missjunebug has a love hate relationship with gifting. She loves to get gifts, hates to give them. Just kidding! What she really loves is finding the right gift for the right person. No small feat for sure, but usually worth the effort. With the help of amazon.com and all the .com stores she loves as well as helpful reviews, missjunebug can come up with some pretty dece choices. When in doubt she buys something at the mall she likes and hopes that it gets re-gifted to her someday! JK again! When in doubt (for real!), she cops to the gift card and that keeps everybody happy. There’s also nothing quite like cold, hard cash to warm the heart.

Onto the fun part: gift wrapping! missjunebug loves this part BIG time! She just bought her heavyweight Hallmark paper today, buy one roll, get the second one for a dollar! Deal! She chose the Santa paper, the poinsettias and the Merry! Merry! graphics. She’s lined up her massive package of Costco tissue and wire-edged sparkly ribbons for sweet bows. What’s missing? The boxes! missjunebug bought all her stuff online and it comes sans box! Big bummer. She’ll just have to improvise! Or do some mall shopping for herself and get a box for every single thing she buys for herself and just can’t live without this time of year. Yeah, that’s sounds good! Merry! Merry!

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A Few of missjunebug’s Favorite Things

English: Christmas cookies in Czech republic. ...
Image via Wikipedia

missjunebug is not much of a fan of that Julie Andrews song from the treacly Sound of Music--was that really Best Picture??–my! how tastes have changed. Anyway she still likes the idea behind the song: enumerating favorite things can be fun and useful. So here are a few of missjunebug’s current favorite things this time of year:

The Somis Nut House–the most awesome place to buy holiday candy, fruit, and nuts in Ventura County, SoCal. Located in an unassuming building reminiscent of a big shed, you’ll find an array of  candy favorites vintage and new as well as nuts amped up with spices, sugars, and smoke. She even found a spicy little mix called Samurai whose name speaks for itself! There are the usual sweet suspects: cherry sours, licorice, a virtual gummy zoo of shapes, malted milk balls on steroids, English toffee that’s pricey but so worth it, and many other chocolatey and foil-wrapped Christmas favs. And nuts and dried fruits galore. Mr.JB’s fav? Dried Kiwi fruit! Pale green disks of sugary sweet fruity goodness that look perfect as the centerpiece of a Christmas gift box. Where is this delightful house of delicacies? 4475 East Los Angeles Avenue  Somis, CA 93066-9616 Call them at (805) 386-1211 or check out their website at www.somisnuthouse.com. You and your sweet tooth will be thanking Somis Nut House (and missjunebug) the rest of the holiday season!

Pandora Radio set to Christmas Jazz. If you are a little tired of Jingle Bells barked by dogs or the Vienna Boys Choir somber Latinate songs of the season or the mellifluous but slightly depressing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” crooned by various old school musical masters like Bing and Tony or updated by Michael B. then try the instrumental and upbeat Christmas Jazz stream playing right now on Pandora. missjunebug recommends it as the best possible music to decorate a Christmas tree or bake cookies to. For a slightly edgier mix try setting your Pandora to Mannheim Steamroller. That will definitely get your Christmas groove on.

Spritz Cookies! What would Christmas be without these little pressed wonders so sparkly and buttery! missjunebug knows you remember she already gave you the recipe for those cookies in a previous blog post. If you don’t believe her just search her very accommodating site for it under Semi-Healthy Mega-Delicious Recipes! And make some! If  you can’t find the time to do that and you still crave sugar cookies, try to make it to Royal Bakery in Ventura for some delicious Christmas sugar cookies that are so worth the drive! Green trees! Red stockings! Black and white cows! Okay, so the cow cookies are not particularly seasonal, but they are delicious!

A fresh-cut Christmas Tree from the Men of the Elks Lodge or other such helping organization! These dedicated white-haired gentlemen provide funding for so many worthy charitable enterprises in local communities, you’ll feel practically holy buying a tree from them! And the piney fragrance is worth every penny! So bite the bullet, dole out the cash, and inhale the green freshness of that very noble Nobel Fir!

A Kiva Gift Card to help support small business entrepreneurs throughout the world. This is the quintessential gift that keeps on giving. As soon as the global entrepreneur pays back the loan, guess what? You can re-lend it again! And again! missjunebug has helped finance a Kenyan moto man so that he could buy some new tires for his burgeoning motorcycle taxi transportation service, a Rwandan woman who needed to procure beauty products for her salon, and another Rwandan woman supplying her clothing business with some fresh fashions! It’s never been more interesting to provide a hand up, not a hand out! Check out this super worthy enterprise at www.kiva.com!

Now missjunebug has an important question for you: What are your favorite things of the season? Shopping? Eating? Watching Christmasy movies–(actually, missjunebug should have included this one, too). Figure it out! Get busy doing them! And do as Julia says,”I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”

Happy Holidays!

 

 

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Thankful for Things Software

Gi?y ghi vi?c in s?n-Preprinted Post it notes
Image via Wikipedia

missjunebug has been thinking about writing things down lately. She’s started her usual lists for this time of year–Thanksgiving pie ingredients, Christmas presents for her side of the family and Mr.JB’s side of the family, seasonal chores to do–you get the idea. She’s been especially taken by a program on her fab little MacPro called Things that keeps her on task and productive. It contains EVERYTHING a person needs to succeed in, to borrow a phrase from David Allen, getting things done!

If you know D.A. you’ll readily see the way in which Things meshes perfectly with the Getting Things Done precepts. And it’s fun!

If you find yourself in search of some order in your goal setting and a way of tracking your progress, missjunebug assures you that you can’t go wrong with Things. She wants to give a shout out to ElderJB who got her started using Things! Thanks, ElderJB! Good on you!

Of course, you can always set your default to The Paper List when your computer isn’t handy! It’s small, simple, portable, and check-off-able! missjunebug is a big proponent of all things Occam’s Razor -y!

Another fun internet site to set your sights on for list making is www.43things.com. You can make your own goal list or be inspired by others! Think of this as good preparation for those New Year’s Resolutions which are just a blink away!

 

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Petite Pumpkins Straddle the Holiday Season

A Plethora of Petite Pumpkins Christmas Style! Photo by mjb2011

missjunebug wasn’t quite ready to part with her petite pumpkins after Halloween so she decided to bust out her Liquitex Acrylic Paints and have some fun. She’s done this little transformation for a few years for a bunch of good reasons. Here are some of them:

1. Those little pumpkins are just too cute to throw out! missjunebug likes the idea of repurposing her decorations whenever possible.

2. This painting project is so easy! It just takes a couple of hours depending upon how intricate you want to get with your designs.

3.  missjunebug loves instant gratification and these little pumpkin gems just glow once painted with shimmery gold, bronze, silver, red, and green. But feel free to create your own color palette if you try this fun project.

4.  It’s impossible to mess this project up! Any design works! Any color works! And the clean up is super easy. Swirl your brushes in some water and voila! You are done!

Place these petite pumpkins around the house for a colorful burst of holiday spirit or gather them all together for a lovely centerpiece. Get your holiday arts and craft groove on! You will be delighted with the results!

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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…

Christmas tree with presents
Image via Wikipedia

missjunebug knows you know the rest. She was running a few errands today, a Saturday, something she almost never does since she has the leisure to shop during the week when 90% of the world is working give or take a per cent or two. And what does she find at her local mall? A FULL sign on level one of the parking garage. No way! She circled up to level two where she usually parks where there were only 56 spaces available out of hundreds. No way!

Way.

Lucky for missjunebug she found an open one! Now Level Two was down to 55 spaces!

missjunebug was on a mission! She was buying a birthday gift card for a friend and a wedding present for a lovely niece, but the people she was bumping into had already polished off the Halloween candy and dashed right to the Christmas stocking. And stocking up they were! Perhaps this is a good sign for the economic doldrums the country’s been navigating through for three years give or take a year. (Check out Margin Call with Kevin Spacey if you need a refresh about how we ended up in those econodoldrums.)

But missjunebug digresses.

Back to the madcap shopping going on at her mall: she was hardly in the mood for it. Why? She’d just watched Skipping Christmas the day before. Yes, you read that right. She watched her first Christmas movie on the 4th day of November while she was baking cookies for a church event–one unrelated to holiday cheer.

missjunebug is just not ready for the seasonal whimsy quite yet! And if you are at all familiar with John Grisham‘s little homage to Christmas…spoiler alert…believe missjunebug when she says in the filmed version despite what the title promises, the Kranks played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis most definitely do not skip Christmas.

Not that missjunebug would really want to. She’d just like to ask for a delay of game! At least tonight she can fall back an hour on the clock postponing the frenzied inevitable.

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Kringle! missjunebug’s New Fav

Here's the Vital Contact Info for Kringles Sent Straight to Your Home! Photo by mjb2011
Here's the Vital Contact Info for Kringles Sent Straight to Your Home! Photo by mjb2011

If missjunebug hadn’t gone shopping for TinyJB in her last visit to the Midwest, she would still be blithely unaware of one of the most delicious breakfasts treats on the planet! Thank goodness TinyJB needed a few grocery items in his kitchen (except beer, of course! Plenty of that in the frig!).

She enjoyed her very first Kringle sitting around TinyJB’s breakfast table last fall, enjoying the company of TinyJB, his cute as a button friend Leslie from Michigan, and Mr.JB. What a great impromptu breakfast! Cherry Kringle: A flaky, flat oval with fab cherry filling topped with the most delicious icing. It’s like a squashed filled donut sans frying! Brilliant!!!! Those Midwesterners know what’s good to eat and drink. (For another post, another time missjunebug will delve into the wonders of the Milkwaukee Lakeside Brewery Beers! Skol!).

missjunebug needed more!! (Kringle, not Brewski)!!! But sadly the JBs had a plane to catch and a re-supply for take-home was not meant to be.

Enter the Awesome Ricks!!! For Christmas the JBboys and missjunebug and Mr.JB received Kringles for the holidays and beyond. missjunebug is now a member of the Kringle of the Month Club as mentioned in her post-Christmas post!!! (Thanks again, Awesome Ricks!!) What a lasting reminder of the holiday festivities that she can bust out on her breakfast table whatever morning she wishes! Deliciousness x 10!! And, yes, she tracks the calories (1/12 of the oval = 250) on My Daily Plate at www.livestrong.com and believe her when she ways it’s worth every single one of those pesky calories to enjoy the oval icing-slathered, fruit-filled or other-filled wonder Kringle!!!

Decidedly NOT Ashram approved, but missjunebug cannot live by steel-cut oats alone!

Here's the Cinnamon Kringle Close-up! Photo by mjb2011
Here's the Cinnamon Kringle Close-up! Photo by mjb2011
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A Christmas Miracle!

The junebugs had the best Christmas EVER! Food Fun: Racine Kringles, those magical circles of pastry dough, fruit filling, and lots and lots of icing were the best surprise! And the junebugs were enrolled in the Kringle of the Month Club, a club missjunebug has long aspired to join! Thanks, Ricks!!! Delicious truffles from New Hampshire! Thanks, Landys!!! What delicious fun!

Only to be topped by perhaps the most entertaining gifts for the kids ever, pictured here:

Surprise! It flies! Thanks, JBUnc &JBAunt! Photo by ElderJB
Surprise! It flies! Thanks, JBUnc &JBAunt! Photo by ElderJB

The Helizone Firebird Helicopter!!!  It did take a full morning of post unwrapping tinkering to get those pesky copters off the ground, but when they took flight, they were unstoppable and indestructible!!!! It was truly a Christmas Miracle!!!!

Forget the Canon60D Camera for Elder JB and the MacAir for TinyJB!  Those high tech toys didn’t hold a candle to the Helizone Firebird!

TinyJB shows the love for his new Christmas toy! Photo by ElderJB
TinyJB shows the love for his new Christmas toy! Photo by ElderJB
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Christmas Trees: Nothing Like the Real Thing!

IMG_0207

missjunebug and her fam. favor the real thing when it comes to Christmas trees. Many of her friends have made the sensible move to the boxable, artificial tree they can depend upon year after year, no fuss, no hassle, but the junebugs keep fighting the good fight of trekking to the tree lot, choosing a fresh tree, wrestling it onto and off of the SUV, hauling it up the stairs, hammering in the stand, and setting it up in the middle of the Great Room. Yeah! That was fun!

And this year was no exception! Except that ElderJB chose an exceptional tree: 10 feet tall!. Thanks, ElderJB!!! But somehow it all worked out: ElderJB, MG (ElderJB’s best girl), missjunebug, and Mr.JB were able to get all 10 feet of it into the little Hacienda without a hitch! Then began the many-hands-make-light-work decorating mission! MG and Mr.JB on the lights, ElderJB and missjunebug on the ornaments. And before missjunebug could say “Twas the night before Christmas” three times fast, that gorgeous hunk of evergreen was shiny and bright with lights and bulbs and a lifetime of junebug ornamental memorabilia from grade school on! What used to take missjunebug a week to decorate by herself was done in one delightful evening (cue Christmas carols and brandied eggnog!).

Whether your tree is the real thing or the perfect imitation, enjoy its unique beauty and decorate it with the spirit of Christmas!

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Misgivings About the Season of Giving

Thanks for this, Ms.JBSis-in-Law! Photo by mjb2010
Thanks for this, Ms.JBSis-in-Law! Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug is going through her usual failure of confidence that strikes this time of year. Did she buy the right gifts? Did she spend too much on some, not enough on others? Is her house decorated well enough? Will her cookies measure up? Will Mr.JB finish stringing all those pesky Christmas lights? Will her Christmas visitors approve of what they see and experience at the junebugs’ little Hacienda? It’s enough to drive a bug buggy. She confided to a friend recently that she felt a little like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. Make that a reindeer.

Here’s her checklist of what still needs to be done:

◊ EVERYTHING!

Wish her luck as she whips up some Spritz Cookies, Chex Mix, and dinner menus with one hand and wraps those questionable gifts with the other. She won’t even go into what still needs to be cleaned up and made habitable! Ah…the holidays! Fun times!

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Holiday Highlights! Subtitle: Christmas Loot Galore!

missjunebug's Christmas Loot!  Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug's Christmas Loot! Photo by mjb2009

missjunebug is happy to report that she got everything she wanted for Christmas…and more! A gorgeous Jennifer Miller bracelet a lá Hoda Kotb from Santa, a new pair of UGGS from TinyJB, a delightful, funny, interesting and sweet x 10 phone call with Rwandan-based Elder JB, and some funny little gadgets from Mr.JB (carabiner flashlight! extra camera battery! Chinese watercolor brushes!).

But she knows what you must be thinking. What about the nutcrackers? Did she score more? missjunebug is happy to report that Mr.JB/Santa has moved on to new Christmas decorating territory with the addition of a gold-lamé, white-furred Santa and a wine-red brocade and white lace Angel with a face, well, like an angel!

After a present-opening frenzy, the junebug family knoshed on Waffle-House style Cheesey eggs, Jimmy Dean sausage, and leftover rum cake. What a feast! Then Mr.JB headed outside to trim palm trees with his nifty new 14-foot chain-powered saw/pruner given to him by TinyJB! Wow that thing can cut up some tree! Meanwhile, TinyJB read through his new beer-making library of books (3 in all!) and missjunebug slipped into her UGGS, bagged up her loot, and began working on the evening meal (Spiral-cut ham, green bean casserole and fab pineapple stuffing).

Later in the afternoon, Mr.JB busted out his new blue-ray DVD of Quentin Tarentino’s masterpiece Inglourious Basterds, cooked up some popcorn, and gathered the junebugs to settle into the Men’s Club to watch one of the best revenge stories ever! Somehow it seemed like perfect Christmas viewing material, Jesus being a Jew and all.

After a savory Christmas dinner, Mr.JB continued reading the Uganda novel with the word eclipse in the title that ElderJB gave him for the big 6-0 while TinyJB and missjunebug duked it out over Trivial Pursuit. Sadly, missjunebug was not a winner as TinyJB edged past her with the sixth and final pie piece on a lame question: What was taken in John Godey’s novel The Taking of Pelham One Two Three? Thanks to the recent remake with John Travolta, TinyJB had no trouble coming up with “a subway train.” Puhleeze.

What a family! What a celebration! What a Christmas!

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A Few of missjunebug’s Favorite Christmasy Things

This one speaks for itself! Photo by mjb2009
This one speaks for itself! Photo by mjb2009

missjunebug hopes these images cheer you during the Holiday Season!

Go Santa Go!  Photo by mjb2009
Go Santa Go! Photo by mjb2009
Wide-eyed Santa glistens! Photo by mjb2009
Wide-eyed Santa glistens! Photo by mjb2009
One of mjb's all time favs! Photo by mjb2009
One of mjb's all time favs! Photo by mjb2009
A Sparkly Orange Orb! Photo by mjb2009
A Sparkly Orange Orb! Photo by mjb2009
A Beary Merry Christmas!  Photo by mjb2009
A Beary Merry Christmas! Photo by mjb2009

Merry Christmas! Happy Baking! Wonderful Wrapping! And Unwrapping! Delicious Eating! Thoughtful Praying! Exuberant Praising! Sincere Thanking!

Blessings to you and your family from missjunebug, Mr.JB, ElderJB, and TinyJB!

Rain! Glorious Rain!

missjunebug is delighting in the rain that has finally come to SoCal. Hoorah for rain! She can finally turn her sprinklers off! She can fully get into the holiday spirit thanks to the colder temperatures and gray skies. Is there anything better than cozying up to a fireplace listening to the sound of rain falling outside? Maybe cozying up to a fireplace listening to the sound of rain falling outside while drinking a hot toddy! Ha!

missjunebug would not say no to a hot-buttered rum right about now, but Mr.JB’s not here to share it with her so she better just get back to wrapping those Christmas presents that are piling up on every flat surface in missjunebug’s little house.

Cheers!

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When Collections Go Wrong

Nutcrackers Vying for Mantle Space!  Photo by mjb2009
Nutcrackers Vying for Mantle Space! Photo by mjb2009

It started out pretty innocently. Mr.JB began giving nutcrackers to missjunebug about 30 years ago give or take a few years. Year after year missjunebug would gleefully open up the beribboned rectangular boxes from “Santa” and delight in what she found inside.

Nutcrackers of every description: stalwart soldier, aproned baker, flouncy flamenco dancer, twig-broomed snowman, bun-coiffed teacher, golfer, skier, gold-trimmed Pharoah, London Beefeater, milk-bottle clutching dairy cow (missjunebug’s current fav), piano-playing musician, caroler, wise man, leiderhosen-clad beer drinker, betooled toymaker, and a whole army of red and white clad Santas complete with toy-filled Santa bags. missjunebug is sure you get the idea.

She’s got a crap-ton of nutcrackers!

Every year she turns on the Sounds of the Season on her cable tv and to the croony voice of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas, she shleps down to her Christmas closet and unpacks and unwraps each and every one of these nutcrackers and places them in pretty much the same locations as she did the year before, except of course she has to find space for the new ones Mr.JB gave her the previous year! It’s a little like fighting for shelf space in the cereal aisle of the supermarket! There’s a finite supply of it and these insistent nutcrackers want to be at optimal eye level. They’re a pushy bunch.

missjunebug has a feeling this collection has gone terribly wrong. It reminds her of the origin of the nutcracker fascination, that part of the Nutcracker ballet when little Clara dreams of giant nutcrackers come to life. A little creepy if you ask missjunebug! Which brings her to the question at hand: When is a collection done?

missjunebug will continue to ponder this question as she squeezes out a little more prime mantle space for the latest nutcracker model in her collection.

She can hardly wait to see what Mr.JB (aka “Santa”) has in store for her this year!

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