Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Mommy Rantings Christmas Card for Everyone! We Hope You Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

I don't know about your house, but I can tell you that the children are bouncing off of the walls here. I don't think the excitement - the elated feeling, children floating on cloud nine - could get any thicker around this house! 

We hope something in this Mommy Rantings Merry Christmas 2011 post will bring a smile to your face, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, and regardless of how you're feeling this holiday season! So, sit back, call your kids over and collect around the computer!

This year, we have some super-cool things to share with everyone. This post took us DAYS to throw together! It's packed full of a compilation of Christmas songs, commercials, music, videos, light shows, news story highlights, links to cool Christmas sites, and even photos that we have enjoyed (or found enlightening or made ourselves)...and some of the news stories will make you feel blessed around Christmas time. Sorry if the load time of this page is slow, but I think it's worth it!

Beyond baking cookies and cakes and opening presents that Santa leaves under the tree, we have been enjoying something old and something new.

Slow down, Santa! 

This commercial has symbolized how Christmas feels (for most of us) in the form of trucks...

(My children love those big trucks decked out with lights! Share it with your little people! And, ummm.....we're a Pepsi family here. Sorry, Coca Cola!)

It will come, fast and furious like those fabulously lighted trucks and then it will fly right by, like the wind, whether we like it or not.

Whether we're happy in our hearts or depressed in our souls, have not a penny to our name or flexing bankrolls in our pockets, Christmas is here. Hey, I've felt the economy crunch myself, trust me, but I can find so many, many things to be thankful for, so many things that I'm blessed with.

So, to get us started on our Christmas blog post journey of 2011 and lift up the already light hearted, I-Love-Christmas people. Or to shed some light on the hearts that are a bit heavy this year, here are the 7 Best Christmas Light Shows Ever (you're gonna like this):

Don't you just love the Amazing Grace one?

My Speech the Other Night About Christmas

This year, let's strip it right down to basics. If you're celebrating Christmas, you're celebrating the birth of baby Jesus.

As I reminded my children the other night in one of my frazzled moments, "Christmas is the day that Jesus was born. We celebrate his birth because he was THE kindest, most caring, loving person that ever walked this Earth - and probably will always be. That's what Christmas is about. Right? It's about giving to people from the heart, wholeheartedly, without asking any questions. It's about loving others."

I gave this speech as a reaction to the arguing and bickering that was echoing around the house. It's about loving from your heart, "even if it's only love that you can give". (Santa's elf wrote exactly that in the letter that the children received just today, directly from the North Pole).

But, because things have become so commercial over time, let's take things back in time a bit (when I was a kid):

I've always loved it when they played an oldie-but-goodie commercial that reminded me about Christmases as a child.I have yet to lose the Christmas spirit. Somehow, some way, no matter how depressing Christmas can sometimes be, something always happens to remind me that Christmas is about that spirit.

And, in the spirit of giving and Christmas, I have an


Oh, yeah, don't forget the GIVEAWAY. At this point, just email me for the codes and I will pass the 5 codes that I have out to the first five emailers. send an email to

I'll get you the code to you ASAP.

It feels good to give. I wish I could give more to everyone...

And, while I'm talking about cool stuff on the Internet that is free for for you to give to your children for Christmas, I want to mention:

The NORAD Tracker

My kids are already asking about it today: "When can we track Santa?" I think Nicholas has asked me this well over 30 times in the past 24 hours. I finally showed him where to go and the countdown is, all day today, we're going to be checking the updates.

The NORAD Santa Tracker website is beyond just a tracker that tells you where Santa is at which times. It also has a little village with games for the kids (and grown-up kids - you know who I'm talking about!)

What's the coolest part of the site, as far as I'm concerned, is how you can track Santa on Google Earth - yes, for the scientific people who really want to get technical.

Have You Smiled Yet?

Okay, look, if nothing I've said or shown you has made you smile or feel good about Christmas in some little way, maybe this will help you out (now, I'm going to warn you that there are some naughty bad words on this one -  just a few, so it may not be for your kids):

And, if that didn't bring a smile to your face, you need to check out some of these sites:

  • Elf Yourself lets put your face - or anyone else's face(s), for that matter - on elves and then watch your elf self dance to music. We've hurt our tummies laughing at some of these videos!
You'll also have to check out the videos that we made at MyFunCards:

Here's my three little guys.
And, here is a little family joke...I always tell my daughter that we tried to give her a sister. LOL

  • Highlights lets you design your own gingerbread house. Perfect for pre-schoolers, but I honestly think everyone can have fun with this one.
  • You can even check your very own naughty-or-nice rating, if you dare. :) The kids will love this! Here's what Santa had to say about the members of our family:

Bethany Cousins (QueenMom)
Overall, niceness outweighs naughtiness. Was good a lot last month! Politeness often good, but has room for improvement. Could help around house more instead of watching so much TV. Expected to move even higher up "nice" list.

Hey! Does that mean that I'm going to get something special this year??? Or am I going to have to wait until next year again?

And more from the naughty-or-nice meter...

Randy Cousins (Dad)
Nice, but has naughty lapses. High marks in the good deeds department. Better than average manners. Hopefully, thoughtfulness will continue to be as good as last month. Neatness needs improvement!
(Looks like Santa's got your number!)

Lucas Cousins
"Nice" with just a few naughty marks for excess TV. Also had a tough month back in February, but has shown real "nice" effort ever since. Beware of not cleaning up kitchen messes and forgetting to say "thank you." Very nice job of kissing everyone "good night."
(Lucas, you lucky duck! Santa's elf missed a few things.)
Veronica Cousins
Nice, with a few exceptions. Needs to be nice to everyone not just friends. Could try a little harder when things are tough. Good sense of humor. Made list last year. Needs to be good all December.

(Aha! Santa's elf has been watching you, huh?)

Nicholas Cousins
Nice, but has been naughty at times. Neatness and politeness have been very good over the last two weeks. Shows proper respect for others. Shares well, but could always be better. With a little more effort could be near top of "nice" list.
(Awww....Santa's little elf caught you, Nicholas! But, overall, not too bad)

Wesley Cousins
Just when we were about to give a "Naughty" rating, this one came through last week with a good deed. Great work! Back to the "Nice" list. But watch out for interrupting when others are talking, and burping without an "excuse me"�even when you think no one heard the burp! Remember, I hear it all!
(Whoops! Thank goodness for that ONE good deed!)

Dylan Cousins
Nice, but has naughty lapses. High marks in the good deeds department. Better than average manners. Hopefully, thoughtfulness will continue to be as good as last month. Neatness needs improvement!
(Nice, but has naughty lapses...couldn't get much closer!)

Dakoda Cousins
Teetered back and forth but has made the finals on the "Nice" list. Naughty marks for skipping baths, hiding junk food in bedroom and staying up too late. Is sweet to parents and little kids, though. Really came through with plenty of "please" and "thank you's." Was especially well behaved the last week of last month. Has a good chance of clinching a "Nice."
(Yup, he teetered all right! That terrible two're busted, too, KodiBear!)

I'd be curious to hear where you landed on the naughty-or-nice meter!

And, Here Are Just A Few More Links:

  • Then, there is Planet Christmas. Enough said.
  • has some great displays that clearly show the people who forgot to take a quick drive out of the neighborhood and then pull back in just to make sure that the lights looked right. It probably looked nice and cheerful up close...
  • has all the answers about Christmas...or at least a whole lot of answers. Cultures, customs, colors...I really liked it.
  • Christmas Stories....a little something for everyone here, too.

Is That What Christmas is all About?

Wonder what it's like in the White House for Christmas? Here's a sneak peek:

Although it's huge and somewhat gawdy, sadly, I can almost say it's a fact that the girls did not decorate that one. Maybe they did, but I doubt it. I hope that they have their own personal Christmas tree to enjoy decorating. Isn't that what it's all about? Decorating the tree...wrapping presents...baking cookies....singing carols?

Top 2011 Christmas News Stories

  1. Christmas Brings Unusual Anti-Burglar Measures in Homes (Bored some?)
  2. Fighting to Hold On To a Gift From Santa This is pretty sad.
  3. Mistletoe Gets the Kiss-Off A shortage of mistletoe? Now what do we do?
  4. A Stranger at the Door Highly recommend this.
  5. Six Christmas Traditions From Around the World A good read. 
  6. A Christmas Story - Where Are the Cast Members Now?
  7. Christmas 2011: Five Festive Holiday Towns
  8. Christmas Wish Sparks Facebook Frenzy - Video - WCVB Boston  

Spreading The Holiday Cheer

...this is how some people did it...Secret Layway Santas...God Bless You!

One of my cousins also mentioned on Facebook that someone in the drive-up line in front of her paid for her order. It warms my heart that people are so generous. 

Kiddie Christmas Carols!

And, what's Christmas without some Christmas carols? (I just found this video...she's not my little cutie, but I had to share it with you!)

Our Christmas Tree

We did the Bowdabra thing again this year...our tree is nothing at all like the tree in the White House, but there's a lot of love (and crafting) that went into decorating our tree. :) No, there is not one present under the tree right now, or else the little people here would be tearing them apart. Additionally, Santa's still making his last minute naughty-or-nice you can see, I had a little resistance on these pics. :) (Oh, and the baby was sleeping so soundly during picture time, so we let him get his rest!)

A little resistance...

Getting there...

Still having trouble with getting everyone to smile at the same time...

Okay, forget the smiles! Merry Christmas!

So, here we are, at the end of the Christmas 2011 journey, the tree is ready to have blessings propped underneath it and I just want to say thanks.

To everybody out there who has supported Mommy Rantings in 2011, thank you! Anyone new to Mommy Rantings who came to read this post, thank you, too! Tons of cool things are coming in the year 2012, I promise.

Here's to getting through Christmas with our sanity and heading toward a new year with new hopes, plans and dreams!


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