Wait a minute, Mr. Postman!

One of the contest questions in last week’s “giveaway” was . . .

“When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper; put it in an envelope; put a stamp on it and mailed it?”

I must admit I asked this question with fingers crossed that many of you would say, “all the time”.

I shudder to think that email may completely replace the hand-written letter someday. The encouraging news is that the majority of people – who answered the question – do actually write letters and love receiving them in return!


Some of you communicate by snail mail quite often; others include hand-written notes in your Christmas cards; still others write letters on paper for elderly relatives who are not computer savvy, but most of you seem to agree there’s nothing like a hand-written note!


I have a cherished stack of letters and cards from family members that are no longer with us. Their notes are absolute treasures and part of their legacy. Many were written to me during special times – like when my children were born. There are also family recipes written on assorted scraps of paper or recipe cards – some have precious “hints” added in the margins! My favorites are the sweet, newsy, everyday kind of letters – they’re just brimming with tales of the past. Now and then, I come across some of them, unintentionally, and a glimpse of the handwriting brings back a wave of wonderful memories. Reading the messages is a chance to “visit” with loved ones, once again.


Some would argue that an email can be printed and kept, but it seems a poor substitute for handwriting on a pretty card, or scented stationery, or even plain old yellow lined paper!

I worry a little about today’s kids. They don’t have to spell because there’s spell check; they don’t have to multiply or divide because there are calculators; they don’t even have to “talk” because there is texting and instant messaging.

My hope is that they’ll experience written communication often enough to realize how special it is – so much more warm and fuzzy than a keyboard! Otherwise, I fear that handwritten letters may someday become as quaint as the inkwell.


Sweet As Can Be! Snowman Cupcakes

I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters, and when you add all of the husbands, wives, and kids in our extended family, there are usually about twenty-five of us on Christmas. It’s a fun-filled event and we look forward to it each year.

Everyone brings food to share – usually a favorite dish or dessert. A couple of years ago, I decided that I’d like to bring something new. I came across these little snowman cupcakes and I just couldn’t resist them! Aren’t they cute? Here’s the photo that’s included with the recipe.


But I also have a few pictures of our attempt to make them, and a little bit of advice for anyone who wants to give them a try this year. First of all, I implore you to make them a couple of days ahead of time! Please don’t wait until the night before, as we did. Talk about pressure! Silly me had the idea that it would be a relaxing thing that my daughters and I could do after dinner on Christmas Eve. Fun, it definitely was! But relaxing? Not so much!

Once we realized exactly how time consuming it was going to be, we even enlisted my husband to make the “snowman scarves”. At that point, it truly became a family affair!

The assembling of each snowman took a little practice, so it was slow going at first. But once we got the hang of it, we were working in an assembly line fashion, and the little fellas began to multiply quickly. Here’s our finished version. Notice that one of them is winking at you.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

In the photo below, it’s almost midnight – almost Christmas!!! The snowmen are all packed and ready to travel 🙂

One last thing though . . .

Hopefully, yours will be served at home – or at least somewhere in the neighborhood. Our stress was not totally over until we completed the 2-hour car ride to my brother’s house on Christmas Day! We all gasped at every bump and pothole along the way, but fortunately the little snowmen survived the journey without incident and they looked quite festive at the family gathering 🙂