Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Let's Chat


How are your Christmas plans going?

We've already gone to look at lights two times, made gingerbread houses, have Christmas music playing, have watched several Christmas movies.

Mom and I watched one last night that I'd never seen before. It was called Angels Sing, and starred Harry Connick, Jr, Connie Britton, Willie Nelson. There was a good supporting cast, too. We streamed it from Prime, but it was a rental. I enjoyed this movie a lot.

I think that people put too much pressure on themselves to do too much at Christmas time. The last decade I've been trying to find what is special to me during this season, and then do those things, but not ALL the things!

No one needs you stressed out. My problem is that I can think of so many special things, and want to make them happen! I had to learn that not all of my family like to have all of the things happening. For some reason God saw fit to give this extrovert five introverted members of my immediate family! LOL!

Oh, how that can cause conflict! Also before I learned to keep a generally tidy home, the stress on me the day of an event carried over to my family. They didn't enjoy preparing for guests because mama would be crazy! I learned though, and now most of my kids, even some of the introverts, are good hosts and hostesses in their own homes!

This week, Tim and I are going to Rachel and Weston's apartment for dinner. What fun that's going to be! 

I'd like to get my parents out for dinner, maybe next week. One of my mom's good friends is coming over tomorrow afternoon for a visit. I am going to try to have a treat or two and some tea ready.

I think that I'm going to need to go to tea soon, too! This is one of the special things I love to do at Christmas time. 

As you know I am hosting my homeschool co-op mom's Christmas party. I love these women.  Some are new and I don't know them very well, but I love that I get to host them in our home. 

Everyone brings a gift, and everyone brings some kind of treat to share. I make a treat, and my famous Holiday Tea. I got the recipe years ago from a friend, modified the spice, and have made it every year since!

Here's the recipe -

Holiday Tea

5 tea bags of regular black tea

2 cups boiling water

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

6 ounce can of orange juice concentrate

6 ounce can of lemonade concentrate

Pour 2 cups boiling water over the 5 tea bags and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Then add the sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients. This makes a concentrate. To serve add 3 Tablespoons of concentrate to 1 cup of hot water. However, when I am serving a large group, I double the recipe, and in my crock that I serve from, I can fit 22 cups of hot water and it is perfect! If you don't have a large crock, I think you can do a cup of concentrate to five cups of hot water!

If you are having a gathering and make this, let me know how your guests like it! You can cut the sugar some, and could even use xylitol instead of sugar.

Kyle signed up to make four dozen cookies for church. There will be caroling in a neighborhood and then we will have cookies between services on the 19th. He is making chocolate chip since that is his favorite! 

I may make some Russian Tea Cakes today for my mom's guest tomorrow. My grandmother used to always make these cookies at Christmas time. 

Russian Tea Cakes

1 pound of butter
1 cup of sugar
4 1/2 cups of flour
Vanilla to taste
walnuts, optional
Powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar and mix 1 cup of flour into the butter and sugar mixture at a time. Add vanilla to taste - I use 1 tsp of REAL vanilla. If you want to add walnuts you can add them now.

Roll dough gently into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cook for 10-12 minutes. After cookies cool, roll in powdered sugar.

Have you ever read this version of 1 Corinthians?


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata,
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas!

Author Unknown

I'm going to leave you with one of my favorite Christmas Carols. I have many and will continue to share them with you this month.


  1. I love the Christmas version of Corinthians. It is very true and remind myself more now than ever. Thank you for your blog and posts. I'm also an introvert and may not comment often but enjoy reading your bog.

  2. What a fun post, Deanna! �� Thanks for the recipes. My mom always made Russian Teacakes at Christmas, and I have been thinking of baking some this year.

    I had not seen that version of 1 Corinthians 13, but it is great. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lovely Christmas Version of Corinthians.

  4. I think it is a great and timely idea to slow down a bit and do what's necessary decorating-wise, but not go over the top. I bought a smaller tree this year and only the super-special ornaments went on. I will do less of some things, but not less of anything truly meaningful, like spending time with my family, which we all enjoy so much. Also, thank you for these wonderful recipes. I used to make a huge batch of what we called "Russian Tea" which involved instant tea crystals with tang and lemonade and sugar and spices. It was so good and nice for gifting but I quit because it's rather expensive to make and it has so much sugar that I can't drink it. I love your concentrate version. And those Russian Tea CAKES! Wow, I will have to make some of those because I know they'll be a big hit. I found you through Miss Beside a Babbling Brook! xoxo


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