Every Year, Every Christmas
  • Songwriters: Richard Marx; Luther Vandross

I don't know how love could do this to me
I've waited and waited for someone I never see
But I'm so sentimental, and I'm so hopeful you'll be there
So, here I am every year, every Christmas, yeah

I've wished for you in my heart and in my head
And I got my answer that first moment that we met
And, oh yes, I believed you as you told me, as you said
You'd be here every year, every Christmas

There must be a lesson for me to learn
If you don't trust in love, you'll get nothing in return
Why should I be lonely, don't tell me it's fine
I have my pride, but I'd rather be with you tonight

So much emotion, it's driving me mad, yeah
But I'll take my chances with these feelings that I have
And I'll come back to this same corner where we met
And I'll be here every year, every Christmas

Mere words can't explain the pain and the fear
'Cause oh, I wonder, yes, I wonder are you gonna leave me standing here
Today's almost over, but I don't want to leave
Has my heart made a fool out of me?

 My friends gather round me with holiday cheer, yeah
They say to forget you, to let you go 'cause you're not here
Well, I can't keep explaining what they'll never understand
And why I'm here every year, every Christmas

I return every year, every Christmas
I come here every year, every Christmas

Old Fashioned Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

    •  Some people decorate their Christmas trees with elegant ornaments and ribbons, while others prefer more inventive, maybe even outlandish, trims. An old-fashioned tree can set a nostalgic tone for your holidays and create a warm addition to your seasonal decorating.

    Gilded Nuts

    •  Natural nuts and berries were among the first Christmas tree decorations. You can add a sense of richness by painting them with gold metallic paint or sprinkling them with glitter. Wrapping them in aluminum foil adds the shimmer of the metal to the tree without the mess and fuss of painting.


    •  Small candles are another early decoration for Christmas trees and they add a warmth and cheer to a dark tree. You can avoid the fire risk of the flickering lights by substituting battery-operated candles. Setting them in foil circles before clipping them to the tree will reflect their light to double the effect.

    Paper Chains

    •  Generations of children have made paper-chain garlands for classrooms everywhere. Simple construction paper strips make a classic chain, or you can combine old-fashioned with contemporary by switching to scrapbooking or origami papers. Embellish them even more by adding small mirrors to catch and reflect the lights in the room.

    Food Garlands

    • Popcorn strings are a traditional and easy option for Christmas tree garlands. Be sure to make extra popcorn, though, so everyone can snack while stringing. Cranberries are a little more difficult to string than popcorn, but the plump berries make a beautiful scarlet contrast to the green of the tree. A leather thimble will make pushing the needle and thread through a little easier.

    Cookies or Cookie Cutters

    •  Simple sugar cookies cut in holiday shapes make an old-fashioned addition to your tree trimming. Make them shiny and protect them with a coat of acrylic varnish. Mix cinnamon and glue to make dough that will also scent the room with an old-fashioned Christmas aroma. If you do not have the time to bake the ornaments, you can also tie the holiday cookie cutters to the tree instead to create an old-time country feel for your tree.

    Candy Canes

    •  Peppermint canes hook easily over the limbs to show the traditional Christmas colors. Tying a gold or silver bow to the curve and suspending them on the branches also adds more light and glitter to the tree.

 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through 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 danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down 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 miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
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 called 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 that 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 hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked 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 laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed 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 filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang 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!"

Sacred Ground In Israel
Believed to be one of the two probable sites
 of the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Holiday Recipes

2 Minute Microwave Fudge


1 pound of powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 pound butter/margarine
1 cup chopped nuts


Mix all dry ingredients together in a 8x8 inch microwave safe pan (important to use this size pan). Add milk and vanilla extract. Place chunk of butter/margarine in center ( leave butter as whole do not chop up). Microwave on high for 2 minutes until bottom of dish feels warm. Stir vigorously and blend in chopped nuts. Put in mold or whatever and chill for 1 hour. * Use real butter for best results.

The Best Cinnamon Bread
You will need:

  • 3/4 cups butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cans buttermilk refrigerator biscuits (10 biscuits per package)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Bundt pan

1) Preheat oven to 350°
2) Grease Bundt pan
3) In a small bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
4) Separate biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters.
5) Sprinkle 1/3 cup pecans in bottom of pan. Arrange 1/3 biscuit pieces on top of pecans. (Biscuits will be crowded) Pour 1/3 of syrup mixture over biscuits. Repeat the layers two more times.
6) Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in a biscuit comes out clean.
Serves 8

Chill-chasing Cider

You will need:  
  • 3/4 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and stir. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until juice is warm. Pour into a mug and serve.
To microwave, combine juices in a microwave safe mug and stir. Place cinnamon stick in mug and microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds or until warm. Stir before serving.
Serves 1

Frosty the Snowball

You will need:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 drops green food coloring
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • cinnamon candy (optional)
  • 1 quart ice cream

  • 1) Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
  • 2) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugar and stir well.
  • 3) Add three to four drops of green food coloring and stir well.
  • 4) Add cereal and stir gently.
  • 5) Spoon cereal mixture onto waxed paper and divide into four pieces. Form each piece into a wreath. If you like, decorate the wreaths with cinnamon candy.
  • 6) Refrigerate wreaths for about 1 hour or until set. Before serving, place a scoop of ice cream in the middle of each wreath.
Serves 4

Amish Sugar Cookies
Part One Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup oil
2 eggs

Part One Preparation

Mix well.

Part Two Ingredients:

1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups flour

Part Two Preparation:

Mix part two well.

Blend ingredients together, then chill. Flour hands, then shape into balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten with bottom of chilled glass dipped in sugar. Sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake at 350 farenheit until edges are golden.

Symbols of Christmas
The Mistletoe

The kissing under the mistletoe was originally a belief that this plant, which stayed green even in winter, could produce and increase sexual power.
In a few parts of the world it was regarded as being so potent that it could increase the productivity of the soil, be used as a fertility drug for cattle, and it was also used as a cure for impotence in humans.
The Druids believed that the mistletoe's magic potency extended far beyond just conferring fertility. It was thought to cure almost any disease and was therefore known as 'all healer'. Sprigs fixed above doorways of homes were said to keep away lightning and many kinds of evil. As the plant had no roots it was believed that it grew from heaven.
An old wives tale has it that a girl who had not been kissed under the mistletoe would be barren. Now it is only an excuse to take innocuous liberties.

    The Yule Log
    The yule log was a magical source of much-needed fuel for the sun, and subsequently symbolised the sun's light, warmth and life-giving power. Another story was that the 'yule' which supposedly referred to the ale drink at that time. 
    Christians adopted the yule log and it became customary to place it on the hearth on Christmas Eve. It was kept burning there for at least twelve hours, its glow adding extra warmth to the home and enhancing the atmosphere of the festival. Strict rules must be followed in everything pertaining to the log. It can never be purchased it has to be received as a gift, be part of a tree grown on one's own property or just be picked up. It had to be kindled with a fragment of the previous year's log which had been specially preserved for this purpose, and its fire was never to be permitted to go out by itself.

The Holly
The evergreen holly symbolises eternal life. This shrub's most conspicuous features have long been associated with Jesus Christ. The bright red berries represent the drops of blood He shed on the cross; their color also represented the burning love for God present in the hearts of the faithful. The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns the Roman soldiers placed on Jesus Christ's head.

Baubles and Apples

Apples in some parts of the world are used to decorate trees, stems from the apple's associations with the Tree of Life in Paradise. According to popular belief, though the Bible never actually says so, this was an apple tree.

Baubles are said to be replicas of the fruit. But are mostly just colorful ornaments which contribute to the festive spirit in a home. They also reflect light, which gives a multiplying effect of the candles and lights.

The Poinsettia

The poinsettia is named after Joel R. Poinsett, who served as the USA's first ambassador to Mexico, from 1825-1829. He saw this indigenous plant with large scarlet leaves encircling small, greenish-yellow blossoms, which was the Mexican Christmas flower. He sent specimens back to the USA, where they flourished.
A Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia became a Christmas flower. A poor peasant girl was anxious to bring a gift in honor of the Virgin Mary to the Christmas Eve service. She had nothing ot give so she went with nothing. On the way she met an angel, who told her to pick some weeds. She did this. As by a miracle they were transformed into the bright scarlet 'flowers'. Ever since poinsettias have been popular decorations for churches and homes during the Christmas festival.

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas in Alaska
    Most Alaskan Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, just as people do in the continent of the US. Santa Claus may arrive for a pre-Christmas visit, but, food, gift giving, and decorations are like what you might see in Texas or Wisconsin.
    The songs sang at each home include Aleut words Gristuusaaq suu'uq, or Christ is born. Everyone joins in the closing words, Mnogaya leta, or god grant you many years. At the end of the carols the host provides carolers with maple-frosted doughnuts, cookies, candy, piruk, or fish pie, and sometimes smoked salmon.
    In Alaska children wander from house to house carrying a colored star on a long pole, and singing carols.
                       Christmas in Bethlehem
    In Bethlehem the town where Jesus is said to have been born is the site of the Church of the Nativity, which is ablaze with flags and decorations on every Christmas. On Christmas Eve natives and visitors alike crowd the church's doorways and stand on the roof to watch for the dramatic annual procession. Galloping horsemen and police mounted on Arabian horses lead the parade. They are followed by solitary horseman carrying a cross and sitting astride a coal-black steed, then comes the churchmen and government officials. The procession solemnly enters the doors and places an ancient effigy of the Holy Child in the Church. Deep winding stairs lead to a grotto where visitors find a silver star marking the site of the birth of Jesus. Christian homes in Bethlehem are marked by a cross painted over the door and each home displays a homemade manger scene. A star is set up on a pole in the village square.
Christmas in Holland
    St Nicholas arrives early in Holland with his gifts, in November. He is dressed in Bishop's robes and journeys in a boat with his helper who is called Black Peter and who wears Spanish clothes. It is said that the pair live most of the year preparing lists of presents and writing every child's behavior in a very large book. Many people go to Amsterdam docks to greet him. He mounts a snow horse and rides through the streets in a great parade, amid many festivities. December 5th is Sinterklaas Eve or Sinterklass Eve, and presents are given and received. Farmers in Holland blow long horns at sunset each evening during the Christmas period. The horns are blown over water wells which makes the sound extremely loud. This is done to announce the coming of Christmas. All Dutch children know that Sinterklaas or Sinterklass lived in Spain, where he spends his time recording the behavior of all the children in his little red book, while Piet stocks up on the presents. Christmas Day is a religious time, and the day is spent with visits to Church. In the afternoon, people sit around the tree, sing carols and tell stories.
                                   Christmas in Ireland
      Christmas in Ireland lasts from Christmas Eve to the feast of the Epiphany on January 6, which is referred to as Little Christmas. Ireland's Christmas is more religious than a time of fun. Lighted candles are placed in windows on Christmas Eve, as a guide that Joseph and Mary might be looking for shelter. The candles are usually red in color, and decorated with sprigs of holly. Irish women bake a seed cake for each person in the house. They also make three puddings, one for each day of the Epiphany such as Christmas, New Year's Day and the Twelfth Night. After the Christmas evening meal, bread and milk are left out and the door unlatched as a symbol of hospitality. St Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas, is almost as important, with football matches and meetings going on. For children, the Wren Boys Procession is their big event. Boys go from door to door with a fake wren on a stick, singing, with violins, accordions, harmonicas and horns to accompany them. The reason for the ceremony is to ask for money 'for the starving wren', that is, for their own pockets. Children often put out Christmas sacks instead of stockings. It is tradition to leave mince pies and a bottle of Guinness out as a snack for Santa.
      Christmas in Norway
        Norwegian children always remember a little gnome Nisse at Christmastime. He guards all the farm animals, and he plays tricks on the children if they forget to place a bowl of special porridge for him. Norway has its gift-bearing little gnome or elf. Known as Julebukk or "Christmas buck," he appears as a goat-like creature. Julebukk harkens back to Viking times when pagans worshipped Thor and his goat. During pagan celebrations a person dressed in a goatskin, carrying a goat head, would burst in upon the party and during the course of evening would "die" and return to life. During the early Christian era, the goat began to take the form of the devil, and would appear during times of wild merry-making and jubilation. By the end of the Middle Ages, the game was forbidden by the Church and the state. In more recent times the goat has emerged in the tamer form of Julebukk. A favorite holiday cookie is called a sand kager is made by mixing 2 cups of butter and sugar, 4 cups of flour, and 1 cup of chopped almonds. This pressed into a tin, baked until golden brown, and cut into squares. In the dark afternoons, in the Viking tradition, children go from house to house asking for goodies. Norwegians eat lye-treated codfish, and wash it down with boiled potatoes, rice porridge, gingerbread, and punch. Norwegians are very close to the North Pole, and they strongly hope for the magic of snow for the holydays! Christmas in Norway begins with the Saint Lucia ceremony on the 13 December. At the crack of dawn, the youngest daughter from each family puts on a white robe with a sash, a crown with evergreens and tall-lighted candles, accompanied by the other children, the boys dressed as star boys in long white shirts and pointed hats. They wake their parents, and serve them coffee and Lucia buns, lussekatter. The custom goes back to a Christian virgin, Lucia, martyred for her beliefs at Syracuse in the fourth century. The Saint Lucia ceremony is fairly recent, but it represents the traditional thanksgiving for the return of the sun. The Christmas tree, juletre, spruce or pine tree usually, are often decorated with candles, apples, red harts, cornets, straw ornaments, balls of glass and tinsels, all depending on what you like. The homes have a scent of resin, hyacinths, red tulips, spices and tangerines. Some children, especially in the country still believe in and remember a little gnome or elf, fjøsnissen at Christmas time. He is told to guard all the farm animals, and he plays tricks if the children forget to place a bowl of special rice porridge, risengrynsgrøt, in the barn or outside for him. This is old superstition. Norwegians also love to eat this porridge on the 23 December, lillejulaften, and then it holds a magic almond inside. The one who finds it gets a prize. Some eat the rice porridge for lunch on the 24th. Perhaps in the evening they have some gløgg, it is a spicy drink (you can add some red wine if you like), with raisins and chopped almonds. Julaften, on the 24 December, a lot of people go to church service before they gather at home around the table for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. The dinner can consist of a rib with a good crackling, ribbe, (served with "cabbage à la norvégienne", surkaal, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, sprouts, prunes and brown sauce), salted and dried ribs of mutton, pinnekjoett, (served with potatoes, carrots and mashed swedes), or lye-treated codfish, lutefisk (served with potatoes, bacon and pea stew). For dessert: rice blended with whipped cream served with a red sauce, riskrem, caramel pudding, cherry mousse, or whipped cream blended with multer (orange, wonderful berries found on the mountain - looks like rasberries). In the evening Santa Claus, julenissen, arrives with gifts. Often it is snowing. In the days between Christmas and New Years Eve, romjulen, the children sometimes go from house to house in the afternoon asking for sweets, this tradition is called "Christmas buck", julebukk. The tradition harkens back to the Viking times when pagans worshipped Thor and his goat, but just a few children keep up the tradition today. On Christmas Day a lot of people have a big brunch at noon or dinner in the afternoon for friends and family. It is done the Italian way and can last for several wonderful hours! Traditional cakes and cookies made at Christmas can be julekake (with raisins), kryddekake, delfiakake, rosettbakels, fattigmann, smultringer, goro, silkekaker, pepperkaker, kokosmakroner. Different nuts, fruits, figs, dates and sweets also belong to the celebration.
          God Jul! (Merry Christmas!)
                        The Origin of Christmas Parties
                        Christmas parties and festive meals originated years ago. People would hold parties at which people would dress in lots of party attire such as paper hats, masks, etc. This was done to ward of evil spirits.
                        The Nativity
                          And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 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. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and Saying,
                            "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
                          Luke II 1-14


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