Finally, the most loved day of the year (for some) arrived: Christmas Eve. Is everything ready for this night? The tree? Food? Gifts? Cookies for Santa? Your Christmas spirit? Well, I hope that everything is fine. Nevertheless, if you need of something to get in the mood of Christmas I made a list with some suggestions for this night with recipes, music, the history about Christmas, some Christmas papercraft for the children and for you, games and more fun stuff. Here is the first part of my suggestions. I hope you enjoy it!
Christmas songs are great, but how about hearing some stories about Christmas or radio programs about it before the Christmas Eve midnight supper?
Among the tons of audio files that you will find at Internet Archive, I selected five audio versions books, texts and even classic carols provided by LibriVox: A Christmas Carol, from the classic of Charles Dickens; Christmas Carol Collection 2006, a collection of traditional Christmas carols; The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry; ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, poetry by Clement C. Moore; Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus.
Santa’s Journal. Santa’s Journal? Yes, Santa has a blog, and a podcast! – that’s why the link is here. So even if you were a naughty boy or a naughty girl you can hear the wise words of Santa before and after Christmas. Have fun kids!
Storynory is a fantastic place to find audio versions of books and short stories for children. For Christmas they have A Christmas Carol, A Visit From St. Nicholas, The First Christmas, Tim Learns About Father Christmas and more. Make the most of it and subscribe the podcast to your kids.
With 8 channels, at Radio Nostalgia Network there is a big probability that you find something you like. They did some special programs for Christmas, like Ye Old Christmas Radio, with 13 episodes, Christmas Special #2… The Revenge!, at their film score podcast, Big Band Serenade 79 Glenn Miller and His Orchestra Christmas Eve in the War Years and Radio Journeys … Christmas Special … Commemorating Reginald Fessenden. Take a look thre for much more.
And if you are English, or lives in UK, don’t miss the latest ‘episode’ of the Royal Podcast, that will be The Christmas Broadcast (The Queen’s speech), which will be available from 1500 GMT on Christmas Day 2006. I don’t live there and I won’t miss it; this sounds very curious to me.
At Flickr I found this fantastic photoset: Building a Gingerbread House – step by step. I have to try it one day, maybe soon I hope.
Expert Village has a collection of videos of Classic Christmas Cooking with 5 traditional recipes for the season. How about try Traditional Eggnog Recipe? I won’t try this today. May I do this tomorrow? Is that ok? Let me know about it, because I never had it.
I tried this one today and it really works: Chocolate chip perfection. It’s easy and the cookies will be delicious. Santa will be very happy if you make some to him. (via digg)
More cookies recipes, this time with a video and instructions of Santa Claus. To be sincere I used Santa’s method with the first recipes of chocolate cookies.
Slashfood posted many recipes and links to Christmas’ recipes. Among all I liked of this one: Vanilla Cutout Cookies. It looks very easy to do and the pictures with suggestions to decorate the cookies look great.
This is not part of the recipes, but it’s food: The Christmas Tree all made with chocolate by La Maison du chocolat. This is definitely the best Christmas Tree I’ve ever seen! It’s a pity that I don’t live in London, Paris or New York, because they don’t send it over here. (via Slashfood)
The blog The Old Foodie did a special post with Vintage Christmas Recipes. There are recipes of pudding, pies, Christmas Cake and drinks. I’m not so sure if the ingredients are easy to find, since I didn’t check all, but it’s always an inspiration to create new recipes. (via Plep)
And, if you speak French, try one or a few recipes for Christmas from Blog appétit.
What is Christmas without some funny stuff? Some people have fun cooking, other buying presents, and other entertaining the family with amusing and funny stories. But while you are there, in front of your computer, spread some happiness (or must I say silliness?) with this collection of cool internet sites, or just take a look at them to amuse yourself.
Buy Nothing Christmas isn’t part of the silliness, however it fits better in this session as the “spread the word” links. It’s a new way to see and enjoy the Christmas: without all the stress and all the shopping stuff. They propose to you give something that you made, offer coupons for free massages – my boyfriend would love that – or desserts, or try something of their catalogue.
Does your browser need to be more festive? Try one of those themes for your Firefox: Tinseltown – I’m using this one and if you have many icons at your navigation bar it may get a little hard to see them; X-Mas and X-Mas (Light) – the difference is the CPU usage of the normal version, since it “creates” some snow to you.
Elf Yourself does what it says: it helps you to do an elfamorphosis! It has also an option to send your elf version dancing with a message – you must see it. And just in case of some of you ask, yes, I tried this silly stuff. (via Micro Persuasion)
I should have posted this earlier, but you can try it tonight or find the toys that Santa hid in Google Earth: Track Santa in Google Earth. Today, December 24th, Santa will load his sleigh, take the reins and soar into the skies, delivering presents to good children all over the world. And now you can follow his fabled flight in real-time. (via
Official Google Blog)
Mix-Mas: World Greeting Chain. It’s a kind of social site where you creates an avatar with a message and spread it to your friends. In the site you will find the avatar and the messages of other people from around the world. We hope this greeting chain will spread the holiday spirit beyond country and culture. Well, I put a little message there yesterday.
More stuff from Google to your Google desktop: Holiday Gadgets. There is a Christmas tree, a countdown to New Year, a Christmas frame and more.
Simon Sez Santa 2.0 has the same principle of Virtual Bartender and the Subservient Chicken. Just type and order, expression or word and see what happens. Try: insult me, yodel, sex, kiss, hug, dance, run, destroy, milk, cookies, book and sleep – I had more suggestions but I forgot all the words that I tried. (via Unscathed Corpse)
There are other options if you don’t want to be an elf. Try PikiPimp and pimp your pictures. I’m suggesting it, because it has holidays and Christmas options to get a new life to your old portraits, like turn yourself into Santa Claus.
This is one of my favourites: Enlighten Holiday Party Excuse Generator. This is very useful if you were invited to some boring party or to visit a friend or a relative that you don’t like very much. You choose the kind of party it is, what are your feelings about the host, how badly do you want to avoid the party, the tone of your excuse and how believable your excuse looks like.That’s all: your excuse is read, just copy or send it to whoever invited you.
The history of Christmas is always good to entertain the kids, to refresh your memory of what is all about of just to amuse you. So, why not read about Christmas before, to get the spirit, or after open the presents, so you won’t need to talk about the last news or embarrassing things to you?
Let’s start with the basic, with Wikipedia. It has a very good article that explains what is Christmas. I won’t say that you will find everything you always wanted to know about Christmas, but it will keep you busy for some time. The best part: the article is available, not all of it, in many other languages.
From the Herbert Hoover Museum, An American Christmas Exhibit: How We Came to Celebrate Christmas as a National Holiday. The text starts in 1840, with The Origins of the “Christmas Tree”.
Salon has a nice article about Santa: The man in the red suit – An endearing enigma in a scarlet fur-trimmed jacket, Santa has spent the past 150 years spreading joy — and shilling for Macy’s, Maxwell House and Dewar’s scotch. BTW, you must watch a short ad before read anything at Salon, if you don’t subscribe to it.
The Library of Congress is a fantastic place to find material about the history of American culture. That’s why they also have a small page about Santa Claus, called Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus. It’s a kind of guide to know more about him, with links to help you to explore the site. Don’t forget to check Santa Claus hides in your phonograph, an old recording made by the Thomas Edison Company in 1922,
The site from The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, The Legends of Christmas, explains the traditions and customs, like Caroling, Santa, stockings, and gingerbread, that came from Europe, and other elements that are part of the Christmas in many countries, like the elves, the cards, the music and other subjects related with it, like the classic Dickens novel, the Nutcracker and even Rudolph.
Here Comes Santa Claus: Holiday Tips from the North Pole. Santa Claus explains How to wrap a Christmas present, How to build a toy boat and he gives a guitar lesson. There are seven videos available with Santa’s tips. (via Making Light)
Lifehacker always have great suggestions to make your life a bit easier. They made a contest for holidays suggestions and those are my favourite: The giant wreath and The Advent calendar – that won the contest.
Is the camera ready for the Christmas pictures? So, before you begin, take a look at this helpful guide: 16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas. (via Lifehacker)
Will It Blend? has many crazy videos about what it can be blended with the powerfull blender of Blendtec. I will die for it, specially because I could do some snow with it. Remember, I live in the tropical part of globe and it’s too hot to have any snow here – with a lot of luck there is snow in southern Brazil (but not at this time of the year). So, if you also want some snow, and have that blender, make your own snow.
More about Christmas tomorrow and at Christmas Linkdump, A Christmas Carol, Cats Cards, Christmas BlogCard, Christmas Music Linkdump, Christmas Trees, Holidays without CATastrophes, Santa Claus!, Santa Santa Santa and Top 11 Ways Geeks Celebrate Christmas.