Tag Archives: Christmas

Easier Way To Keep Christ In Christmas

by Tammy Taylor~

This time of year is known for cheer and excitement. Trees trimmed with sparkly decorations & cheerful gifts under the tree.  It’s known for an awareness of sharing and giving to others.  A gentle season pushing us to remove the focus from ourselves & think of others.  But oftentimes there’s an uglier side too.  Think about all the hateful rhetoric flung about on social media this time of year about Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays. Sometimes it calls for action, snarkily responding to those wishing us a Happy Holiday that we want to hear only MERRY CHRISTMAS!  It’s a well-meaning but oftentimes harsh push to keep Christ in Christmas.  But that unnecessary ugliness is really disturbing to me.

 

Do you REALLY want to keep Christ in Christmas? It's easy to do without mean-spirited hatefulness or separating 'Us' from 'Them' #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homemade Pocket-Sized Hand Warmers

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

Y’all know RancherMan & I like to make our Christmas gifts ourselves.  To us, it’s just so much more personal.  Plus by doing so we’ve removed ourselves from the consumerism and stressful side of the holiday.  We feel it’s brought us back to a more well-balanced Christmas filled with the love of Christ & the warmth of family & friends.  Sure it takes more time (and sometimes more money too) but we feel we’re living our values, and that’s important to us. 

You can see a few of the homemade gifts we’ve made in the past here.  This year we’ll be giving experience gifts to our grandchildren.  We’re taking them to a live production of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, performed in a vintage 1940’s theater – how fun!  But we still want them to have something to open during our family Christmas celebration too.  So we decided to make pocket hand warmers for each of them to keep their little handsies warm during the chill of winter. 

These Pocket-Sized Hand Warmers are perfect to keep little one's hands warm! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Generosity Shouldn’t Be Judgmental – Just Show LOVE!

by Tammy Taylor~

It’s easy to look down at others when your life is going well – your career is holding steady, children are healthy and happy, marriage is strong and you have no sudden unexpected medical conditions to plunge you into that place where no one wants to land.  But what if that weren’t the case?? Think about these real-life circumstances for just a moment: What if your spouse left you or died?  What if your child developed a serious and very expensive medical condition?  What if you were laid off from your posh career without warning?  Don’t kid yourself, these things can happen to any of us.

We're all just one terrible situation away from being on the receiving end of others generosity. Don't judge a book by its cover! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Obtaining Small Jars For Gifts

~by Tammy Taylor~

 

As is our tradition, RancherMan & I are making many of our Christmas gifts ourselves.  This year we’ve been busy making several different kinds of gifts.  I’ve also been experimenting with making extracts – it’s all been so much fun!  I thought some of those extracts might make great gifts, but if I was going to give them as gifts I needed to purchase small jars to hold them.  But it just seems… I don’t know – not quite right to go to the craft store & buy small bottles.  Thankfully I’ve found an alternative that works beautifully – check out today’s Homestead Hack.

OBTAINING SMALL JARS CHEAP: I needed small bottles to hold my gifts. I've found an alternative to purchasing empty bottles that works beautifully #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Christmas Gift Idea Roundup

by Tammy Taylor

Whaaaa….??  Is it already time to start thinking about Christmas???  Well it is if you plan on giving homemade gifts this year – you’ll need a running start so give yourself plenty of time.  I’ve written many times about our Christmas traditions here on the ranch. RancherMan & I try to make our gifts homemade and we’re almost always successful in giving our family & friends great gifts from the heart.  Of course there are times when gifts must be purchased instead but even then we try to make sure the gifts we give are gentle to the earth.  Looking for ideas?  Well you’ve come to the right place!  Today I’m sharing a roundup of my Christmas Ideas posts.  Grab some coffee & come stay a spell…

Gift Idea Roundup! A Roundup of my CHRISTMAS POSTS - homemade gift ideas, decorating, celebrating and wrapping ideas. Grab some coffee & come stay a spell... #TaylorMadeHomestead

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RancherMan’s Famous Green Bean Casserole

by Tammy Taylor

 

Special family holidays like Thanksgiving & Christmas require two non-negotiable dishes to be provided from the Taylor Household:  It’s requested that I bring my desserty dish that I make with cherry pie filling, whipped topping, crushed pineapple, and my own quick homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk.  Sometimes I add chopped pecans if there are no allergies to work around  – we’ve named the dessert ‘Cherry Shtuff’.  Also on the must-have menu is RancherMan’s Famous Green Bean Casserole.

Now I’m not exaggerating here, those dishes are NON NEGOTIABLE – we can bring other dishes to the gatherings if we like as long as these two specialties are included!  I’ve already shared my Cherry Shtuff recipe with you dear readers, but I’ve recently had several requests to share RancherMan’s most-requested dish.  Today’s the day!

RANCHERMAN'S GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE! No holiday is complete without his much-demanded dish. Today I'm sharing his recipe. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Cute Repurposed Denim Fabric Baskets

by Tammy Taylor

 

OK y’all, if you follow me on Facebook you already know that I can’t sew because I’ve complained about it for years.  I know I must have been a bitter disappointment to my grandmother who sewed all her life (even homemade patchwork quilts for FUN??) and my mother who was a skilled seamstress herself.  I could just never do it.  I was gifted an old Singer sewing machine and I promised myself I’d learn to use it.  But.  I.  Didn’t.

One of my New Year’s Goals (not resolutions) this year was to finally learn to use my sewing machine.  My very first project was to make these cute small denim baskets with repurposed denim from RancherMan’s old worn jeans. Y’all know that I love all things denim & I think these baskets are ADORABLE!  And if *I* can do it, anyone can.  Check out how easy this is, y’all!

Quick & Easy Denim Baskets repurposed from old worn jeans. I don't sew so If *I* can do it, anyone can. Check out how easy this is, y'all! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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The TRUTH Behind Perfect Facebook Posts…

by Tammy Taylor

 

I’ve read how people are oftentimes negatively affected by reading about others’ festivities on Facebook.  You know, holiday pics, vacation photos, or lavish special-occasion dinners, etc.  It’s common knowledge that many people start to feel inadequate when reading about Martha-Stewart styled Christmases or picturesque views one of their FB friends enjoyed on their vacation. They begin to compare their normal everyday life to the sparkly perfection they’re reading about from their friends’ posts.  Their perfect holiday or perfect children.  Their perfect vacation or perfectly made & presented home-made meal.  Now I’ve never really been affected negatively by reading Facebook posts because I look at it this way: People are NOT gonna post the boring blah parts of their lives, only the shiny parts. And that’s ok!  I actually enjoy reading about what’s going on outside these four walls.  But it got me to thinking…

THE TRUTH BEHIND PERFECT FACEBOOK POSTS! Do you feel inadequate comparing your life to the perfection you're reading on your friends' Facebook posts #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

by Tammy Taylor

*includes affiliate link

One year I just got completely frustrated with all the consumerism associated with the holidays.  Every year we were struggling to equal or top last year’s gifts.  Then there was the shopping, the crowds and the mounting EXPENSE!  Now don’t get me wrong I’m not against gifts.  They’re a fun way to share our love with those around us.  But whatever happened to our vision of the real meaning of Christmas?  You know, gathering with family & friends and spending time together in celebration of the birth Christ??  When did that get shoved aside & it all become about the GIFTS and the tunnel-vision mindset of “what’s in it for me??”

RancherMan & I had a heart-to-heart talk with each other that year & decided although it would take much more effort on our part, we wanted to give more personal gifts.  Something from both of us, straight from our hearts.  We’ve now been doing this for several years – way before I had my own blog.  So I don’t necessarily have pictures of everything to show you.  But I thought it would be helpful to know some of the gifts that we’ve given that were well received.

Homemade Baskets: Here's a list of homemade Christmas ideas we've done in the past. All were very well received. Don't wait until the last minute - get started NOW for a homemade Christmas you and your family will LOVE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How Will I ‘Provide Christmas’ This Year?

by Tammy Taylor

OK, I’ve just gotta ask.  Is it just me or does it seem holiday commercialism has really gotten out of control?  I mean, when you think back to past Christmases don’t you think about the days when children’s eyes lit up over the magic of it all and the excitement of opening a gift that held that cherished doll or a new baseball glove?  It seems now it’s more represented by expectations of a higher and higher stack of gifts each year.  And incredibly expensive & elaborate gifts & electronics even for very young children.

And did I REALLY just see a commercial where a small girl sitting on Santa’s knee was demanding a new car for her busy lifestyle??   Now I’m not saying that gifts aren’t fun – they are.  It’s wonderful to be able to give that perfect gift.  And Christmas is a beautiful season of sharing.  But when did it turn from the simpler times of the past to “what’s in it for me” and frenzied attempts at Martha Stewart-caliber holiday decorations?  It’s all just gotten so crazy.

Some families are stressing over not being able to 'provide Christmas' for their children, assuming that Christmas comes from a store #TaylorMadeHomestead
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