Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Although the U.S. may be negatively known for Black Friday, a day-after-Thanksgiving day of consumer excess, we also have Small Business Saturday,  sandwiched between Black Friday (in-store excess) and Cyber Monday (internet excess.) (There’s more than a little irony about the URL of the SBS website being prefaced by “American Express”, but…)  In England, Small Business Saturday is Dec. 2.  I’m not sure about elsewhere.

At any rate, on that day we’re encouraged to shop locally or at small businesses via the internet.  I love this idea.  Since I’m not very handy at making things, other than food, I have to fall back on shopping.  I can’t disclose gifts, as my family might be reading my blog (at least I hope so).  But so far, I’ve managed to avoid Amazon, Google, and the other big name giants.  I’ve gotten gifts at art shows, local shops, and from talented individuals.  I’ve also bought some things from bigger places such as Costco, but they don’t threaten to rule the world the way Amazon/Google/Apple do, at least in my eyes.

Of course, where you get things can depend on what you need to buy, but I’d encourage you to buy at least some things from small businesses or individuals this year.  When looking for a gift for someone who has everything, a donation to a charity is a wonderful choice.  And if we struggle with trying to come up with a gift list for those who want to get us something, we are indeed blessed, a priceless gift.

Here are some of my blogger friends or other small businesses (in no particular order) who have something to offer for holiday giving.  If I missed you, please forgive me and add your information and link in the comment section.  I hesitated to do this so that I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings by missing them, but I decided to go ahead, with apologies at the ready.

Wild Ozark

Located in Kingston, Arkansas, Madison and her husband, Rob, sell wild American ginseng (if you can pick it up; see website), shagbark hickory syrup, books, handmade notecards, and more as well as Rob’s gorgeous handmade wooden keepsake boxes.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

An accomplished artist and author, Rochelle has written a three-book series that takes her heroine from the pogroms of Eastern Europe to the difficulties faced by Jewish immigrants in 1908 Kansas City.  She also does portraits by commission.

Beth Carter

Beth left the corporate world to write books.  She’s written women’s fiction, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and children’s picture books.

Our French Lifestyle

If you’re in Europe, or France specifically, Susan offers a variety of vintage finds or you might like to contact her about escaping to their luxury cottage for a getaway.

Jan Morrill

Jan is an author and speaker.  Her novel, The Red Kimono, takes place in 1941 and is about the Japanese internment.  She also has several other books, including on of haiku in which I have one haiku.  (Couldn’t resist adding that!)  In addition to writing, she’s available for workshops about writing.

Claire Fuller

Claire’s first book, Our Endless Numbered Days, won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize.  She’s published a second and has a third coming out in 2019.  You can find links for buying her books on her website and, although can buy them from Amazon, in the spirit of Small Business Saturday, I’d encourage you to order through your local independent bookstore.

Isadora and Al De La Vega

A former New York policeman, Al makes whimsical copper and brass items, many with a distinctly nautical/ocean theme.  Besides blogging, Isadora makes beautiful jewelry.  Stop by both sites for a look.

Hannah of Bittersweet

Hannah is an amazing vegan cook and food photographer.  She has a new cookbook, Real Food, Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes or Less, coming out in January and you can preorder it by clicking on the link to her blog.


Full disclosure: I worked here for two year and don’t now only because the business is completely online now.  That makes me able to assure you that the commitment to quality and service can’t be bettered.  With close to 140 teas or tisanes (herbal or floral mixes that don’t contain actual tea) and the ability to ship to anywhere in the contiguous US, you can’t go wrong buying from SereneTeaz.

Le Chocolat du Bouchard

If you can’t make it to Paris and you’re anywhere near Naperville, Illinois, stop into Le Chocolat for French ambience, macarons (not macaroons), pastries and chocolate truffles of all sorts, drinks (wine, coffee drinks, or chocolate drinks), or lunch or dinner.  I currently work there, so maybe you’ll even meet me.  🙂



OK, as I said, if I missed you, I apologize and please leave your link in the comments, along with a short description of your product/book/art/whatever.  Thanks!

Any links that are just to blog posts or blogs and not relevant to Small Business Saturday will be deleted.

Change is everywhere, even on the Weekly Photo Challenge, which has switched from Fridays to Wednesday. I’m unhappy about losing Wordless Wednesdays unless I double-post, as Thursdays are reserved for Thursday Doors. Change is supposed to be good for me, right? I’ll try to remember that.

On to Shadows.  At Christmas, no place is safe from a decoration!

© janet m. webb 2016

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then happy holidays or have a wonderful day.  This is why our family  celebrates today and always
and I wish you a day filled with love and happiness.

© janet m. webb 2016

Let there be light.

Posted: December 23, 2016 in Miscellaneous
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© janet m. webb 2015

Silent night

Posted: December 6, 2016 in Miscellaneous
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The snow began Sunday morning while we were in church, bringing a smile to my face and joy to my heart.  I was told 2″ was the forecast, but evidently someone failed to inform the weather. The snow kept coming.  By last afternoon, which passes for night these days, we had a good 6″ or more and it was still coming down, muffling even the ever-present noise of traffic that pervades the entire Chicago metropolitan area, and my face was sore from smiling.  (Not really, but the smile had worked its way inward and I was smiling body and soul.)  The snow was the wet, heavy sort that can be hard on plants but sticks to everything and looks like the distilled essence of Christmas and winter together.

We met friends at the Christkindelmarket, wallowing in a perfect excess of Christmas ornaments, food, and more, mostly from Germany and a few other European countries.  We have a plethora of such ornaments, some given to us by my s-i-l and some bought at a Christmas store not far from our house in Cleveland, so we were mostly looking and getting into the mood.  We did buy a small bicycle ornament in honor of my husband going over 3,000 miles for 2016.  I bought an alpaca and bamboo woven cap, made in Peru and field tested successfully during my walk yesterday morning.

Come. I’ll share.  You can bring a hot drink and don’t even have to dress warmly.

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016


Merry Christmas!!

Posted: December 25, 2015 in Personal
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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” 
Thanks so much for being part of my blogging world of friends this last year (or longer.)  I look forward to the next year as well and pray that God will bless you richly in 2016 and with any luck, I’ll get to meet even more of you in person!

(If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish you happy holidays or a wonderful day and still a blessed 2016.)

copyright janet m. webb 2015

As for our family, this is the Reason we celebrate the season:

Luke 2

2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

copyright janet m. webb 2015

I know.  It’s Friday and Photo Challenge time.  But today is part of our younger daughter’s present:  time together…lunch, hot chocolate, a manicure.  That means I won’t be around for a good part of the day.  Instead, I decided to share a bit of our Christmas with you.

Our tree isn’t up yet.  It will go up Saturday.  But I always do lots of decorating in the house.  Since the girls were little, we’ve had a small artificial tree, a nature tree.  Over the years, we’ve collected bird ornaments and other outdoor or animal ornaments.  Some of them are too big to fit on the tree, but just as in the forest, there are animals on the ground, some of our ornaments are in the snow surrounding our tree.

Here’s our newest owl, liberated from the sale table at Sur la Table a few nights ago.  He fits in just perfectly with everyone else.

copyright janet m. webb 2015


Christmas disappeared today

Posted: January 10, 2015 in Poetry
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Christmas disappeared today
into the maw of the truck
   eating the set-out Christmas trees.

Arctic winds swept dry snow
into crunchy scallops
across equally crunchy yards.

A bush outside our window 
scraped it in a manner worthy of Jack Nicholson
    on a horror rampage.

Unprotected heads and hands
squandered heat
faster than a teen with Mom’s credit card.

Tea and coffee were copiously consumed,
furnaces struggled valiantly,
soups and stews bubbled,
and dreams of spring crept in unbidden.

Christmas snowfall

Posted: January 6, 2015 in Poetry
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Silent snow adorns
Cattle, sheep, live Christmas trees
Nature’s swaddling clothes