DECEMBER 2006

Merry Christmas!
Don’t you get tired of political correctness? Maybe this comes to mind because we just had a general election. It’s nice to be past all the campaigning, signs, ads, calls, etc. It’s a weariness of the mind. Funny, but it seems that it’s okay to set political correctness aside when elections are underway. Why can’t we do that at Christmas, too? There’s no other time of year that’s like Christmas. It’s a time when strangers wish you the joys of the season. A time when memories fill the heart with warmth as a special Christmas song comes on the radio or plays in a store. It’s a time when entire cities “dress up” to celebrate. It’s Christmas…with Christmas trees and Christmas presents. Not “winter holiday” and “holiday trees”. It’s Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ, as has been done for hundreds of years. We’ve lost a lot in our country by forgetting our roots and allowing history to be revised because parts of it are unpleasant to some. History is what it is, and if we don’t learn from it we are destined to repeat it. It’s your right not to celebrate Christmas. Maybe it isn’t part of your religion or faith. We who do celebrate Christmas won’t be upset if you choose not to. All we ask is that you not be offended if we do! It’s part of our American Heritage. So, with no offense intended: We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

Don’t Let This Happen To You!
As wonderful as Christmas is, there are always “scrooge-like” folks out there who would spoil the season for you if they had the chance. Don’t let them! Plan some safety measures into your holiday schedule. Here are some tips: 1) Don’t leave gifts where they are visible from outside your home. 2) If shopping at night, park in well lighted areas. 3) Take someone shopping with you. You’ll be safer and have more fun. 4) Lock gifts and packages out of sight in your trunk. 5) Have your keys out when walking to your car. 6) Keep a firm grip on your purse and packages as you walk. 7) Keep car doors locked and windows rolled up when driving. 8) Be aware of your surroundings. Finally, RELAX and don’t get too stressed out by everything. It’s Christmas!

Christmas Cooks Corner
Knorr Soup Spinach Dip
Ingredients:
1 (10 oz.) pkg. Frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) pkg. Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, finely chopped.
3 green onions, finely chopped
Round loaf of Pumpernickel bread

Directions: Squeeze the spinach until dry. In medium bowl, stir spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise and soup mix together. Add chopped water chestnuts and onions. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, overnight is better. Cut the top off the round loaf and hollow the loaf out, leaving a shell to hold the dip. Butter the inside of the bread shell and fill with the dip. Tear the bread that was removed into bite size pieces and place these and a variety of raw vegetables around the loaf on a serving platter. Set it out as an appetizer for home or a special holiday get together. This dip is also great on crackers if you would rather skip the bread bowl. Wherever you serve it be prepared to receive A LOT of compliments. This is a great recipe and will disappear in a hurry. It’s also nice to have a dish for the holidays that sort of makes you think you are eating something that’s good for you! Enjoy.

Some Holiday “Gifts” Not Appreciated.
We have had some complaints lately from neighbors who don’t have pets, but are finding that “gifts” have been left in their yards. If you walk your dog, please be prepared to pick up after it. This is the polite, responsible and neighborly thing to do.

Neighbor to Neighbor Offer
Neighbor Raelyn Luper is now an Independent ARBONNE consultant. ARBONNE is a line of skin care and other products. If you are interested in finding out more about this line of products, she is interested in talking with you. With Christmas upon us, no doubt, you could do some of your Christmas shopping right here in Johanna Woods. Give her a call if you are interested. You can reach her at 355-9221 or via e-mail at:  raelynluper@valornet.com