Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Post - Brooke from Applesauce is the New Black !

Today, in my series of guest posts, I want to introduce you to my IRL (in real life) friend Brooke.  To my cyber friends who haven't had the pleasure of knowing Brooke, I have to tell you this lady is uber talented!  You should see the nursery (with theme!) she painted!!!  (One of these days when I finally get my antique windows to her, she's going to paint them for me - still going back and forth on whether I want strawberries, or cupcakes..hmmm...  ok, maybe BOTH! LOL)   Booke is new to blogging and has a blog I love.  I love the name too:  Applesauce is the New Black.  Please go check it out.  I especially loved, and could identify with, a lot of her Thirty Thankful Things.  Right now there's an excellent post on Mommy Wars.    Do check out her blog and say hello.   And now, I want to introduce you to Brooke!

Do you have Christmas traditions? Christmas was filled with tradition in my family, but not so much in the “traditional” sense. We didn’t pull out the fancy china, or light the candelabras on the table. We didn’t go caroling to the neighbors houses or even have an advent calendar. But what we did have is, tradition. Traditions, which are important I think, for kids. Traditions are what your kids remember.

Every Christmas Eve, our family celebrates Noche Buena which means “Good Night” in Spanish….or rather, this is what I am told because even though I am half Cuban, I understand very little Spanish. My 3 year old knows more Spanish than me…his Southern Daddy taught him…not me. Anyway, tradition: my family gets together that night and we have the same menu each year: Roast Pork, Yucca, Black Beans and Rice, Plantains, Salad and Bread. We always play some kind of game. We always start an hour later than what we planned. Someone always complains we got the wrong “kind” of Solo plates. And I always talk about how gross and disgusting Yucca is. Tradition.

Now that I am a mom, I am quickly realizing I am the maker of memories and I am the weaver of traditions. This Christmas, my son, Connor, will be three and he is just now starting to understand the Santa thing. Now, I am a Christian…a born again, Bible believing Christian. And we do talk to Connor about the Reason for the Season…but I also love me some Santa Claus at Christmas time. Now some of you may disagree with me on this one and to each his own…but I believe there is a little magic in Christmas …magic that only lasts in a child for so long. That small window where they believe the impossible happens….and I don’t intend to miss out on that. I also don’t feel like Santa makes me any less of a Christian. So today I am going to touch on making Christmas memories involving both Santa and Christ’s birth….because I personally feel you don’t have to choose.

One way of putting Christ in your child’s Christmas:
Two words: Play Nativity. I stress the word “PLAY.” I do not encourage you to let junior clink the heads together of your grandmother’s antique wise men. Think child friendly. Think plastic. It may not be the most gorgeous but you don’t have to worry about sweeping up glass once the inevitable “flying angel” happens. Having the play nativity will allow an easy and fun way to explain the Christmas story.

One way of having some Santa “magic” in Christmas:

Here’s my nifty find from Hallmark…around $7.00 maybe? Santa’s key. What is Santa’s key? Well us folks here in Florida…a lot of us don’t have chimneys because it’s hot….all the time….our Christmas mornings are sometimes happening in shorts and tshirts, people! So with no chimney…how is Santa to get in??? Santa key…hang it on your door Christmas Eve and in the morning the kids can find their Santa Key hanging on the key hook or on the tree. Genius!

I am excited. Excited for the memories. Excited to see my son’s face Christmas morning when he sees his filled stocking. Excited to listen to him sing Happy Birthday Jee-Jus (Jesus). Excited to see my baby girl wake up in her matchy- matchy Christmas jammies that look like her brother’s on her first Christmas morning.

To end this …I’d like to share a piece of a Christmas decoration that was in my mother’s house for years. Goes to show you can have Santa and Baby Jesus in the same house.

May your Christmas be full of merry and happy! God bless and ho ho ho!



  1. That nativity set is so cute. My kids have one similar from Playmobil. They are older now and I miss them playing with it, and yes playing is the word. Loved your pictures.

  2. Jeanette...any time you are ready for me to paint those windows...I'd be happy to!


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