FREE customized Holiday card to APO address

FREE Holiday card to service members overseas Zazzle would like to help you send your holiday wishes to the troops overseas. Just customize one of the templates below with photos and/or text and Zazzle will send the card completely FREE. All you need is an APO/FPO address. Our heroes overseas deserve all the holiday wishes and Zazzle is proud to be able to bring them some good cheer. Start customizing your holiday card today! Continue reading

50% Off Cards and Invitations I Designed

Save 50% Off Greeting Cards, Invitations, Photo Cards and Postcards (not just for the Holidays).

Use code CARD4HOLIDAY at checkout. But hurry; this code expires at midnight on October 20th.

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Retro Holidays Fabrics

Retro Holidays fabric, © 2011 by J. Thomson All rights reserved.

Retro Holidays Fabric, © 2011 J. Thomson All rights reserved Continue reading

Retro Holidays Apron DIY Project

Retro Holiday Apron Project © 2011 J. Thomson All rights reserved
Retro Holidays Apron Project, by J. Thomson. © 2011 All rights reserved. Continue reading

Retro Holidays (Fabric Designs)

Retro Holidays Fabric, © 2011 J. Thomson All rights reservedRetro Holidays Fabric, © 2011 J. Thomson All rights reserved Continue reading

2 DIY Halloween banners (fabric designs)

Halloween Banner © 2011 J. Thomson All rights reserved.

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A Visit from St. Nicholas

ClementMoore Although his authorship of the famous poem has been contested (unconvincingly, in my opinion) the poem popularly known as Twas the Night Before Christmas is widely regarded as having been written by Clement Clark Moore, who was a distant relative of mine (fourth cousin, seven times removed to be exact. His 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Goodale, was my 10th great-grandmother.) It was first published unattributed in 1823 in the Troy, NY Sentinel. In his time, he was known as a professor of Oriental and Greek Literature at Columbia College (now Columbia University). His home at the time was a country estate where the neighborhood of Chelsea now stands in Manhattan. There is a park today at 10th Ave. and 22nd St. named after him.

The illustrations here are from an 1869 edition of the book, illustrated by Thomas Nast. Note that Santa at this time is still shown as he was when the poem was written, that is, he is dressed in brown fur and not the red and white getup we recognize today. (He’s still an elf, too!) So, in honor of cousin Moore and of Christmas, here goes…

A Visit From St. Nicholas

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,

And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.


More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,

“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;

“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”


As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:


He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys was flung on his back,

And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly

That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.


He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

—Clement Clark Moore


Images: Livingtson Family Site

My family connection with Moore

Reindeer Poops Cookies Recipe

I affectionately call these hearty oatmeal cookies “Reindeer Poops” because of the way they look. They are surprisingly delicious, and very filling. You can make them freehand for a rougher look, or use a small measuring cup to form the dough into a more uniform shape; they won’t change shape in the oven. To dress them up even more, drizzle the tops of the baked cookies with melted chocolate. I forget where I found the original recipe, but I changed it so much this one may as well be original. Continue reading