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Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Movie Premiere of “Christmas in Montana” on Saturday, December 14th at 9pm/8c! #MiraclesofChristmas

 

My family’s Christmas tree last year.

Can you believe that Christmas Eve is twelve days away? TWELVE! Are you ready for the holiday? Have you completed your Christmas shopping? Thankfully we have. I just need to wrap (I’m not a fan of wrapping).

Me and my family have been trying to squeeze in as many holiday movies as we possibly can.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has been airing a lot of wonderful holiday movies all season long. I love that they keep adding new movies to watch too, unlike other channels that play the same movies over and over again.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has added 40 new original movies to their line up. Personally, I’m impressed by that. Forty brand new movies is pretty impressive. These movies are premiering throughout the holiday season. Check out the hashtags #CountDowntoChristmas and the #MiracleOfChristmas to see what others have been saying about them.

This Saturday, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries is premiering a film called Christmas in Montana. The film stars Kelly Martin and Colin Ferguson.

Before the holidays, Sara goes to Montana to help resistant Travis save his ranch. Can time on the ranch help restore her faith in Christmas in time for a miracle?

The film premieres this Saturday (December 14, 2019) at 9:00 PM (EST) / 8:00 PM (CST).

I would love to visit some place beautiful like Montana for the holiday season. The furthest I’ve ever been for Christmas is my aunt and uncle’s house in Pennsylvania, and that was a very long time ago, when I was a young girl.

That year, everyone was at their house for the holiday, including my other aunts and uncles, all my cousins and my great-grandparents, as well as my family.

It was hard to fit everyone around the dinner table that memorable Christmas.

I miss my great-grandfather. I’m also wearing my beloved cousin’s hand-me-down pajamas. He passed away in October of this year, making this Christmas memory even more special.

Me, my great-grandfather and some of my cousins.

The house was overflowing with people. All of us kids had to sleep on the floor in one of the room’s because the adults took up all of the beds and couch. We didn’t mind. It was like having a giant sleep over. It was especially fun on Christmas morning. None of us slept that night (as you can imagine). We kept trying to sneak downstairs to see if Santa arrived, but we were chased back upstairs by one of the adults (and being constantly told to go back to bed – which was impossible!).

Christmas morning all of us kids dashed downstairs and were greeted by our exhausted parents, sitting around the tree sipping on coffee, and piles of gifts for all of us.

That Christmas was one of my most favorite Christmases ever. Oh how I wish I could go back in time, even for a day. I would re-live that day over again in a heartbeat.

 

When I think about the holiday season, I always think about my family and all those great memories. Of course, enjoying fun, holiday entertainment is always great too. I don’t think we watch much else during the holidays aside from holiday related films and television shows.

For more information about this and other delightful holiday films, please visit www.HallmarkMoviesandMysteries.com/MiraclesofChristmas.

For information about all 40 of the new holiday movies all season long on both Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, as well as the Hallmark Channel, visit the links below.

www.HallmarkMoviesandMysteries.com/MiraclesofChristmas/New-Movies-2019

www.HallmarkChannel.com/Christmas/New-Movies-Countdown-to-Christmas-2019

Be sure to check out both channels on social media, as well as follow the hashtag #MiraclesOfChristmas.

I will be hosting a wonderful giveaway this Saturday when I live-tweet along with the movie. The winner will receive an amazing gift package, consisting of the following items. 

I will be live-tweeting on Saturday, December 14, 2019 from 9:00 PM (EST) / 8:00 PM (CST) until 11:00 PM (EST) / 10:00 PM (CST), during Christmas in Montana

Watch the movie and tweet along with me, using the hashtags #MiraclesofChristmas and #ChristmasinMontana, as well as tag me (@She_Scribes) and @HallmarkMovie. I will pick a random tweeter to win the above prize package. The more tweets, the more entries you have to win. 

You can also enter to win a collection of 41 Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments and beautiful Balsam Hill Christmas Tree here.

I hope to see you on Twitter this Saturday during the film.

Kimberly

Create colorful holiday keepsakes with the Treemendous Ornament Decorator

 

Some ornaments on our Christmas tree. The angel, for example, I’ve had since I was a kid.

My family has a special holiday tradition. Each year, we add new ornaments to our Christmas tree. My husband and I purchase a new ornament for each of our children. We’ve been doing it since they were born. That way, when they “fly the coop,” and move out on their own, they will have a set of ornaments to adorn their future Christmas tree.

This is a tradition that my mother started for me when I was a young girl. Each holiday season I decorate our Christmas tree with the ornaments my mother gave me each year growing up. We also place on our tree the ornaments we’ve been giving out kids since they were little, as well as ornaments they made us.

I miss my kids being little and bringing home decorations they made at school. On our tree you’ll find simple ones made out of construction paper, to more elaborate ones made from their hand and finger prints. We even have on our tree decorations our kids made on their home, using craft supplies we had around the house.

Kids love to make ornaments for their Christmas tree, as well as to give to others. That is why I enjoy doing ornament crafts with the kids at work (aka, my “work kids”). Each year I try to come up with ideas that would appeal to a large group, as well as to both girls and boys.

This year my work kids enjoyed making an ornament for their tree using the Treemendous Ornament Decorator. Yes, “Treemendous” is spelled correctly. It’s a play on words. The shape of the device is that of a Christmas tree, which is fitting.

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you might recall a review I did for a product called the Eggmazing Egg Decorator. You can read that review here – Take Easter egg decorating to a new level with Eggmazing Egg Decorator. The Treemendous Ornament Decorator is made by the same brand, and how it works is identical.

The Treemendous Ornament Decorator is a plastic “box” shaped like a Christmas tree. In the middle is a hole. It’s there that you insert one of the included plastic ornaments into a small “stump” (for lack of a better description), which holds the ornament in place and makes it spin around. Next, turn the Treemendous Ornament Decorator on and watch the ornament spin around.

To use the Treemendous Ornament Decorator, take the included ornaments and place them on the spinning ornament to create colorful bands, squiggles or more. How you want to decorate it is totally up to you.

The below video shows you how it works.

 

The kit comes with a nice assortment of colorful markers. Replacements are available on the brand’s website (in case you need more or replacements in the future).

My work kids opted to make colorful bands. Last year when they made the Easter eggs with the Eggmazing Egg Decorator, some of them made squiggly lines.

You can decorate the ornament even more by adding colorful gems, stickers, or use the markers to write names or special messages on them.

I put out gems and stickers for my work kids, but they all preferred to stick with the colorful bands. A few of them did write messages on the ornaments after they colored them with the Treemendous Ornament Decorator.

The kids had such a blast doing this. They were sad that they could only do one each (I only had enough for one ornament per child). I wish I had more because the kids would have gladly made a few each (or at least two each).

Thankfully additional ornaments for the Treemendous Ornament Decorator can be purchased. The kit comes with the decorator and three ornaments. Additional ornaments are available in six packs.

I should note that you need to remove the silver end cap (where you insert the ornament hook) before placing it in the machine, otherwise it won’t fit.

The Treemendous Ornament Decorator also uses 4 AA batteries (not included).

The Treemendous Ornament Decorator sells for $29.99, and refills (pack of 6 ornaments) for $12.99.

You can learn more (or make a purchase) at Eggmazing.com/Treemendous.

The brand can be found on social media. The links are found on the top left of the website.

What do you think about the Treemendous Ornament Decorator? Does it look like something your child or grandchild would love to use to make ornaments for their tree and/or as gifts?

Kimberly

*I received free samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

How to Make a DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater on a Budget

 

The holidays can put a strain on anyone.  With last-minute holiday shopping waiting in the wings and being embarrassed because you went way overboard when you went out for some Black Friday shopping post-Turkey, it’s perfectly natural if you don’t want to spend another $50-$75 dollars just so you can have an extra special ugly Christmas sweater this holiday season.   While dressing to impress can be important when it comes to turning everyone’s heads when you show up to your upcoming ugly Christmas sweater party, or after-hours work holiday meet-up, or family gathering, if you’re the type that would rather express their inner creativity than throw money at your holiday fashion, you’ve come to the right blog.

Creating something ugly for the holidays can indeed be a daunting task, but if you use the following tips when it comes to making your own ugly Christmas  sweater, then rest assured, you should be able to “out ugly” any of these big box and internet companies who are really killing it with their amazing ugly Christmas sweater that they’ve got for sale on the internet and in such stores like Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s.

Follow these tips below when you’re ready to start on your own DIY ugly Christmas sweater and you’ll be sure to not be left out in the holiday cold this year when it comes to dazzling your friends, family, co-workers, with an amazing ugly holiday sweater when being ugly makes you the most beautiful person in the room.

Step #1:  You need a sweater.

Check your closest, check the attic, check the basement for a comfortable, old sweater that you won’t mind-altering for your ugly holiday outfit.   It’s always best to use the most comfortable sweater you’ve got, but one that you’re comfortable with destroying, in a manner of speaking.  Maybe, it’s one that you wear when you’re cleaning, maybe it’s that old sweater you wear when you have to go outside and work in the garden in the Spring, or maybe, it’s that old sweater that once belonged to your husband, but now its yours because when you wore it to paint some of the rooms in your house, you accidentally spilled Emerald Green on it.   Don’t even worry about it, if it has an old, jagged sports team logo across the front.  If it does, use your imagination to integrate that design into the total ugly scheme of the whole project, you might even find yourself viral on social media when you post photos.

If you don’t have a sweater that you’re willing to get rid of, to destroy, to alter for the sake of ugly Christmas spirit, then the best place for you to get one, for pennies more or less, is your local thrift store.  What’s great about going to your local Goodwill is that when you walk into the store you can’t help but notice how they’ve taken the extraordinary steps to color-code every single piece of clothing (men’s and women’s) that they have for sale.  At the Goodwill you can start letting your imagination run crazy; after all, the sweater is your canvas.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a green sweater, yellow, red, orange, pink!  It’s a canvas, and the first thing that you realize when you start on your ugly Christmas sweater design journey is that certain colors while being almost violent to the eye, can be perfect fodder for your DIY ugly Christmas sweater creation.  Think: pink and brown, for example.   Certain colors do drive the mind crazy.   Have you ever seen the 1980 horror movie, The Shining?   The one with Jack Nicholson.   Do you remember that creepy carpet in the hotel that the movie is set?  Well, think about the colors.   Certain colors are unsettling, indeed.

An example of an ugly Christmas sweater. PHOTO SOURCE: UglyChristmasSweater.com.

Step 2:  Will you be featuring a design on the sweater?

The ugly Christmas sweater has been around for a very long time.   For anyone born before 1985, you might recall how your mom or your aunt or your grandma, someone that you didn’t see very often, except around the holiday season when you were kid, might often knit you a scarf or a sweater.   Boy, they were ugly, weren’t they?  When you’ve found your sweater, think about those good old days when you’re coming up with your design.  One word: felt.  Remember when you could go to Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics and get those super hideous patterns, graphics that you could sew into things?  You could get a super tacky cartoon-ish image of a reindeer or something and sew it into a holiday blanket?  For the person that wants to be super ambitious with their DIY ugly Christmas sweater using a pattern can make the project extra fun; but if your someone that’s going for the so-ugly-it-hurts look, then you might want to stick to sharp, contrasting colors with 3-D effects added for good measure.

So once you have your sweater, and your mind made up as to whether or not you’ll be integrating a pattern or sticking with ugly colors, then it’s time to expand on your concept.   And there are so many ways to do that.

Lights you can purchase from UglyChristmasSweaters.com to decorate your ugly Christmas sweater.

Of course:  Never forget about Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics.    Also, don’t be afraid to go to Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, or your local Family Dollar for penny-deals on Christmas ornaments, tinsel, wrapping part and other ephemera that you can sew onto your sweater.   Get some gaudy fabric and sew it or glue it onto the sweater.  Don’t be afraid to add text.  Don’t be afraid to make it 3-D.   If you’re someone that had to go to the thrift store to get your sweater, then hopefully, you also scoped out any second-hand Christmas ornaments that they might’ve had for sale as well.  The thrift store is a great place to find used, ugly, old tinsel, and forgotten Christmas decor that you can add on to your sweater via glue, etc.   Some of the best ugly Christmas sweaters are so over the top that they’re not only unforgettable but they also leave a person who sees them thinking: how on earth did they think of that?   Don’t limit your mind when it comes to your design. Go crazy.  If your better fashion sense, that you shouldn’t do something: do it anyway.  Don’t be afraid to wrap tinsel around the sweater.  Don’t be afraid to make your design funny, raunchy, innuendo-based.  The whole point of the Ugly Christmas sweater phenomenon is the spirit of Christmas itself; and what better time is there in the year to let your freak flag fly or your sense of humor, regardless of how appropriate or inappropriate it may be.

Too Many Ideas?  Start Here: Get a DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Starter Kit.

If you’ve got so many good ideas that you’re not sure where to start or how to start, sometimes it can be best if you just start small to see what you like, what works and doesn’t work for what you’ve got in your mind.  And the best way to do that is to just get an Ugly Christmas Sweater Design Kit like the ones available at UglyChristmasSweater.com.   Using a Design Kit is a good way to start on your journey to an ugly Christmas sweater design freedom.  Use the materials that come in the kit to start customizing your ugly holiday sweater and once you’ve used up the kit, stand back, and take a look at the sweater.  Put it on!   Look in the mirror!  Is it ugly enough, or should you continue building on top of what you’ve already done?

Remember, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating an ugly Christmas sweater.   There’s no such thing as too ugly when it comes to joining in the fun.

Cute, interactive Christmas sweater from UglyChristmasSweater.com

About the Author: 

This is a guest post co-written by Justin Michaels from UglyChristmasSweater.com.  He loves riding mountain bikes, listening to music, and reading.  His favorite pajamas are ugly ones and you can get yourself a pair here: https://www.uglychristmassweater.com/product-category/christmas-pajama-jumpsuits/

Movie Review: Elf Pets: A Fox Cub’s Christmas Tale

 

The whole idea of “Elf on a Shelf” has really taken off over the years. The elves now how their own clothing, pets, movies and more.

When I was a young girl, my sister and I had elves. My mom never told us that they were watching us for Santa, and she certainly didn’t take the time to set her up around our home doing funny things. For me and my sister they were simply cute little elf decorations.

The one I had went missing a long time ago. To this day I don’t know what happened to it. My mom couldn’t find a suitable alternative, so she bought me a gold elf instead. The gold elf was smaller, but he had the same face as the one that went missing.

Fast forward decades later. I still have the gold elf. Every year when we take our decorations out of storage, I place my gold elf on top of my desk so that he can watch me while I blog.

We also have three new elves that I purchased a few years ago. They look similar to the ones we had back when we were kids (my sister and I). They have that same retro look to them. Those three elves are positioned around our home.

My gold elf is pictured above. It’s not an old photo. When I took the photo (years ago), I used a filter on it to give it an old look.

Back to the Elf on the Shelf craze.

The Elf on a Shelf franchise has released a new movie for the 2019 holiday season, and it’s available now on DVD. The new film is called Elf Pets: A Fox Cub’s Christmas Tale.

The DVD is available at places like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Meijer, Kohl’s and Party City.

A Fox Cub’s Christmas Tale gives an all-new glimpse into the magical world of Santa’s North Pole, and answers the universal question: How does Santa travel the whole world in one night?

Come along with “Newsey Noel,” the North Pole’s ace Scout Elf reporter, as she rides along with Santa on Christmas Eve to learn first-hand how time pauses so Santa can deliver presents undetected and unheard.

This movie was adapted from the book, Elf Pets: An Arctic Fox Tradition, which will launch this holiday season and comes with an arctic fox plush.

I was sent a copy of the film to review.

If you have ever seen any of the other Elf on the Shelf movies, you have an idea of how the film is animated (CGI), as well as the characters. The characters are the same in all films (continuity). And just like with the other films, there are a few songs that are song. If I recall correctly, this film has three songs.

This is a sweet film. In addition to learning how Santa is able to fly across the globe on Christmas Eve without being seen, we also learn about a little boy whose missing his mother, whose in the military and might not be able to make it home for Christmas. I’m sure there are a lot of boys and girls around the world who can relate to that.

Elf Pets: A Fox Cubs Christmas Tale is also available for purchase on the shop.elfontheshelf.com website, for $9.95. The disc includes the 28-minute animated special, as well as the trailer, sing-along version and filmmaker’s commentary.

Be sure to check out the other fun goodies available on the Elf on the Shelf website. They make great gifts and stocking stuffers.

Below is the trailer for the new film.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Movie Review: Santa Fake

 

Available now on DVD and on digital, is the holiday film, Santa Fake.

The film stars Damian McGinty (“Glee;” Celtic Thunder), Heather Morris (“Glee”), John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings; Indiana Jones), and Judd Nelson (“Empire;” The Breakfast Club; St. Elmo’s Fire).

Pat grew up in an orphanage in Ireland. He was an infant when he was given to the orphanage by his mother after his father passed away. He has no family.

When Pat was old enough and aged out of the orphanage, he did jobs here and there until he was able to make his way to the United States.

Pat had no job and no paperwork. Thankfully he was able to secure a job doing bussing and doing little jobs around a bar. The bar was run by Joe, an Irish mob boss.

Pat had his suspicions about Joe and the type of “work” he did, but he never questioned it. He had a job, so that was fine with him.

One evening, Joe asks Pat to take a couple of brief cases to the train station, where he was to meet up with someone who would take them from him. The station was only a few blocks away.

Joe offered Pat $10,000 to do that small favor for him. Pat was a bit reluctant, because he knew Joe was a mob boss, but the thought of $10,000, and the fact it was just a few blocks away, Pat figured he could do it. Not only that, Joe pressured him into doing it.

Unbeknownst to Pat, Joe knew there was the possibly Pat could get caught with briefcases. Joe knew Pat would be too afraid to snitch on him, and he has no legal paperwork, so once Pat finished a stint in jail, he would soon be departed.

Feeling like he was in trouble, Pat hoped on the first bus that was leaving the station. The bus ends up taking Pat to Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Feeling guilty, and concerned for his safety, Pat calls Joe. Joe demands he returns the briefcases right away, or else he will send someone to find him and kill him. That brief phone call helps Joe to determine that Pat is in Sante Fe.

Upset that Pat took the briefcases from Joe, Joe sends two of his men – Seb (Judd Nelson) and Jim (Jeff Fahey) to Sante Fe to find him, kill him and bring back the briefcases. Since Pat has no family, no one would know he was missing.

Pat ends up in a boarding house run by Mrs. Oretga. He also builds up the nerve to open the brief cases (he thought they contained body parts of a missing employee), only to find they contained a lot of cash.

While at a local mall buying clothes, Pat mistakenly calls Joe again. Joe notifies Pat that his thugs are already in Sante Fe, and when they find him, they will kill him.

Scared for his life, Pat goes to flee the mall. That is until he bumps into Emily. Emily is in charge of the mall’s Santa and is in dire need of a Santa. Pat just happened to be the right size to fit the suit. Scared, Pat agrees to put on the suit, knowing that it will disguise him and keep him safe from Seb and Jim.

For the next several days, Pat continues to be the mall’s “fake Santa,” in hopes he can hide from Seb and Jim, who are hot on his trail.

Will Seb and Jim find him? Will Pat be able to hide from them until he can think of an escape plan? After all, once the holiday is over, Pat won’t have the Santa costume to hide behind. To find out, look for Santa Fake. You can find it on digital and on DVD.

I would consider this film a “dramady” – part drama, part comedy. It’s mostly a comedy, but there are some dramatic instances in the film (at least in my opinion).

I don’t know who Damian McGinty is. I have never heard of him until now. He has the move beautiful voice. He sings several songs throughout the film.

Here is a clip of McGinty from the film singing “O Holy Night.” Check out his beautiful voice.

 

I thought Heather Morris would have sung too, since she was in the television series “Glee,” but she didn’t.

The film was slightly predictable (in a good way), but it had a surprise ending that I didn’t see coming. It’s a different kind of a holiday movie. Most holiday movies don’t involve an Irish mob boss and a young man hiding from thugs trying to kill him.

If you would like to learn more about this film, check out the social media accounts (below). I’ve also included the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.

Twitter: @SantaFakeMovie
Instagram: @santafake_official
Facebook: facebook.com/SantaFakeMovie/
Hashtag: #SantaFakeMovie

Also releasing as companions to the film are the soundtrack EP from the star Damian McGinty and a children’s picture book, SANTA FAKE: You Are Never Alone at Christmas, which will be available in e-book and print.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener link in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Movie Review: A New Christmas

 

Now available in select theaters, on digital and On Demand, is the holiday film, A New Christmas.

The film stars Prashantt Guptha (The Tashkent Files), Grace Wacuka (“Say Anything”), Preeti Gupta (Unfreedom), Aurora Heimbach (Soul to Keep, Loud Places), Carl Garrisson (1 Angry Black Man), and was directed by Dani Tenenbaum (Landing Up).

Kabir is not looking forward to Christmas this year. His mother passed away a year ago, and Kabir has not been able to get over his devastating loss.

For most of Kabir’s life, it’s been just the two of them. His father died when he was very young.

Christmas was a favorite holiday of Kabir’s mom. Kabir wasn’t into it as much as she was (the reason why is later explained in the movie).

Kabir hasn’t even taken down the decorations from last Christmas. The dusty, fake tree his mom lovingly put up still sits in the living room.

Kabir is married, but him and his wife are estranged. She tries her best to get through to him and help him, but he wants no part of it.

A few days before Christmas, Kabir meets a young lady named Kioni. She is here in the U.S. from Kenya. She is studying filmography at a local university.

Kioni loves Christmas, and wants to see all the sights of New York City, including the tree at Rockefeller Center and the window displays up and down 5th Avenue.

Instead of giving Kioni directions, Kabir offers to take her. This sets off an entire day (and night), exploring all the sights and sounds of New York City, even venturing into Brooklyn. Not only does Kabir get to experience the holiday in the city through her eyes, but the pair also have some deep, heartfelt conversations.

Will Kioni help Kabir have a different outlook on Christmas? Will Christmas forever be Kabir’s least favorite holiday, since it reminds him of his mother who passed away during the Christmas holiday? And what about Kabri’s wife? What will she think of Kabir’s new friend? To find out you need to look for A New Christmas in select theaters, digital or On Demand.

I have to be honest with you. I thought this was going to be a Hallmark Channel-like movie. You know how they go – boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, something happens to challenge their love, then they live happily ever after. This is NOT a Hallmark Channel-like movie. There are some similar qualities, but this movie is much more than that.

There are two “curse” words (if I recall correctly), in this film, which is no big deal. There is no sex or nudity, but there are two people in bed after having sex. I am not sure of the rating, but I would guess this film is a PG-13.

This film has a lovely soundtrack. There are two songs I heard in the film that I really like.

I was pleasantly surprised by the film. In the beginning it seemed to go a bit slow. That pace continued, however, the slow progression of the film was necessary to tell the story.

If you are looking for a high octane, “bang-bang-shoot-’em-up” kind of film, this is not it. This film is more about the spectacular images around New York City during the Christmas season, including the skating rink and Christmas tree in Rockefeller center, as well as other magical holiday displays and decorations. The film is also about what Christmas means to the main characters – Kabir and Kioni – and if their belief and experiences would “rub off” on each other, in a good way or bad way.

I enjoyed the film. In fact, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I was also surprised by the ending of the film. I thought it was going to end in an entirely different way.

I did find the film on Facebook, but I could not find any other social media pages for the film, or a dedicated website.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I was provided with a free screener link in order to view the film for this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.