Wednesday 24 December 2008

My Christmas Gift To You . . .

Christmas is a season
For gifts of every kind,
All the glittering, pretty things
That Christmas shoppers find,
Baubles, beads, and bangles
Of silver and of gold -
Anything and everything
That can be bought or sold
Is given at this season
To place beneath the tree
For Christmas is a special time
For giving lavishly,
But there's one rare and priceless gift
That can't be sold or bought,
It's something poor or rich can give
For it's a loving thought -
And loving thoughts are something
For which no one can pay
And only loving hearts can give
This priceless gift away.

~Helen Steiner Rice

This is my Christmas Gift to each of you. My loving thoughts for each of you to have a wonderful Christmas holiday. May all your lives be enriched beyond your wildest dreams with the things in life that really count . . . faith, love, friendship, family. . . For those of you who are spending it with loved ones dear, may the love that is shared be that little bit sweeter, that little bit more blessed. For those of you who may be on your own and a bit down, may the love of our Heavenly Father touch your hearts so that you can know that you are never truly alone, that there is always someone who cares. For those who are ill or hurting, may your lives be touched with special healing from above and may you know that God does see the little sparrow fall and as much as He loves the little things, He loves you even more.

Know too, that I love you, all my invisible friends . . . those ones of you who make yourselves known to me, and those of you who pop in for a quick read, and then just as quickly melt away without letting me know that you've been here. I Love you all and I wish you, each and every one of you, a very Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.

Joyeux Noèl . . . Froehliche Weihnachten . . . Buon Natale . . . God Jul . . . Maligayang Pasko . . . Vrolijk Kerstfeest . . . Feliz Navidad . . . Wesolych Swiat . . . Kala Christouyenna . . . Shub Naya Bara . . . Nadolig Llawen . . . Nollaig Shona Dhuit . . . Nollaig Chridheil . . . Glædelig Jul . . . Veselé Vánoce . . . Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kuthu Olsun . . . Srozhdestvom Kristovym . . .

Merry Christmas one and all!!

Here's the Stuffing recipe from my make me Bake Challenge last week. I hope you all enjoy!

*Herb and Sausagemeat Stuffing*
Makes enough for 10 to 12 people

I had never really tried a stuffing made with meat before I came over here to the UK. My mom always made a bread and potato stuffing. I have come to love them both and they'll both be served with my holiday turkey tomorrow. You can use this to stuff the bird, shape into balls or press into a love tin and serve it in slices.

2 ounces of butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
8 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped (if rinded, remove the rind)
12 ounces good quality sausage meat
9 ounces fresh soft white bread crumbs
a good handful of chopped parsley
2 TBS chopped fresh sage, or 2 tsp dried
3 TBS chopped fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried
1 egg, beaten
1 bay leaf (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and the bacon and cook for about 8 minutes until they are softened and golden brown. Set aside.

Put the sausage meat into a bowl with the breadcrumbs, the herbs (except the bay leaf if using) and the egg. Season well. Add the onion and bacon mixture. Mix it in well, then leave to cool completely.

To stuff the turkey, push half into the neck end, then shape the remainder into balls. half an hour before the end of the turkey cooking time, put the balls into the tin around the turkey, or cook them in a separate tin which has been greased. Alternatively, lay a pay leave in the bottom of a 2 pound loaf tin. Press the stuffing well in over top, turn out onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, then cook with the turkey for 30 minutes. Or you can just do like me and leave it to cook in the loaf tin and then cut in slices like a meatloaf to serve. Anyways you do it, it's delicious!

PS - I had a lovely card in the mail from my oldest daughter yesterday and I also spoke to her on the telephone and we received a little package from my oldest son, along with a lovely little note card. I am going to call them all at their dad's on Christmas day anyways, even if it is a bit uncomfortable at first. You've all given me the courage to just do it. I thank you all!


  1. so glad you heard from your children! and yes, do call. they will enjoy hearing from you!

    and the recipe looks wonderful!!!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas! How could they not want to hear from you?

  3. Oh, Marie, Merry Christmas to you and Todd! I hope that your day is full of all of the blessings it can possibly hold! That recipe looks fabulous! It is starting to ice here as I write - good thing I got my shopping done yesterday! Much love, Raquel XO

  4. Merry Christmas, Marie!
    Your children will love hearing from you!
    Best wishes to you and Todd.

  5. So happy for you that your have heard from some of your family and that you are going to call tomorrow they are your children. Hope you and Todd have the best of Christmases. Happy Christmas Marie. Love Joan

  6. Wanted to stop by and wish you a very Merry Christmas and holiday season!!! - mary the food librarian

  7. Good for you for plucking up the courage to feel uncomfortable for a minute or two. I know I still like to hear from my parents and grandparents on Christmas!
    Merry Christmas!

  8. I am so pleased your family have been in touch ,and that you find the courage to dial those numbers and speak to those you want too ,and to those you dont.. well merry blooming Christmas! lol ,Your painting is delightful ,that little girl is becoming very familiar ,has she got a name ? May I suggest Merry ! love and all good wishes for a lovely day tomorrow for you and Todd ,may the good Lord Bless your Jan xx

  9. Hello my dear,
    As I am up and rushing around this happy Christmas eve morning,I can just picture you doing the same in your Oak Cottage. I can almost smell your turkey and sausage stuffng baking in your oven. The elders and your guests are probably arriving soon to enjoy your wonderful cooking and partake of the sweet spirit of love that is so abundant in your home.

    You radiate love my dear Marie. It surrounds you like a halo. My heart is warmed by your friendship and the love you extend me.... and I know that countless others feel the same. Thank you for touching and blessing my life and theirs. Just thinking of your name makes me smile.

    It is my honor to know you. You set a great example for me. I am a better, more appreciative person because of you. I have always loved my dear children and been thankful for them and their families....but knowing you has made me appreciate them and the time we can spend together even more. Now instead of being tearful and sad that 3 of them live in other states I am joyful that we can get together as often as we do. You have made me see the glass half full. I thank you for that.

    I must rush and make the most of this lovely day. I love Christmas eve almost more than Christmas day. To me the last min. cooking and the hustle and bustle is so fun. I wish that I could bottle it and pull the thrill of today out whenever I want to. Since I can't do that I am trying to soak up happy feelings of this busy day and hold them in my heart. Then the memories will be there to warm me later.

    I went to bed thinking of you and was so happy that I could hardly go to sleep. You sweet voice was still fresh in my mind as I awoke this morn. Thoughts of you will be with me today. I am so glad that you heard from your children. They may not fully understand how blessed they are to have you for a mom...but one day they will. I am glad that you are going to call them tomorrow. Even if it is awkward speaking to your ex, talking to your children will be worth it.
    Have a wonderful dinner tonight....have a wonderful Christmas tommorrow. You and Todd are not are loved by many...including me.

    May your hearts be full and happy as we celebrate the birth of our dear Savior. May God bless you my sweet friend. With love, Lura

  10. Yes Marie, please do call your children. I love hearing from you and you are not my mother. I am sure they will be so delighted that you braved their step mother and your ex to chat with them.
    Thank you for your very sweet words. You are an awesome lady, very blessed by God Thank you for your sweet birthday wishes and the daily encouragement. I really wish you and your Todd have a very delightful time with the missionaries this evening and tomorrow a special time as you share as only you can share with others.
    Love you,
    Ruthanne xxoo

  11. Happy Christmas to you and yours Marie!!!
    God Bless!

  12. Wonderful recipes!
    A very Merry Christmas to you, Marie!!!

  13. It's wonderful that you heard from your children Marie,It must have made you very happy! What a gift for you! Merry Christmas Marie, I hope it's full of love for you!

  14. MMMMMMMmmmmmm. Stuffing. Love it. Sounds really good.

  15. Thank you for the gift Marie. I love your Christmas drawing, it's darling! I'm so happy you heard from your children and I hope you get to talk with them on Christmas Day. I wish you and your husband a Merry Christmas!

  16. Marie --
    Merry, Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful time with the missionaries and a great Christmas with your Todd. I think of you often with love. Thank you for being such an inspiration and example.

    I am glad you heard from your children and I think it's a wonderful idea to call them tomorrow.

    Love and Hugs,

  17. HUGS to you Marie...and by the way, you have a right to speak to your grandchildren as well!! YOU DO!! Prayers it will be a good chat with them!! So glad you heard from some of them already!!

    Even if the folks who own the house are not nice to you...might not be so bad for the children to see that you would not hurt for you to have some sympathy either!!
    Elizabeth in NC

  18. Vrolijk Kerstfeest/ Prettige Kerstdagen to you too Marie ♥

  19. Thank you for he beautiful poem and recipe! Looks fabulous! Merry, merry Christmas!!!


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