Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Holiday Traditions: Singing Christmas Carols

One of my favorite holiday traditions is singing Christmas Carols. Now I have to admit, I have never gone Christmas Caroling, but I certainly love hearing all the Christmas songs. I think that is why I love visiting Disneyland during the Christmas holidays. They have old type carolers and they are so fun to listen to.  So how did this tradition get started?

Caroling started in Europe thousands of years ago, but at that time the songs were not of Christmas. These were songs the Pagans sang at Winter Solstice celebrations.  The word "Carol" means dance or song of praise and joy.  They were written and sung back then during all four seasons, but the only tradition that has survived is the singing of the Christmas Carols.

In AD 129 a Roman Bishop said that the song "Angel's Hymn" should be sung at a Christmas Service. With this idea, many composers started writing Christmas Carols for the church services. These songs were mainly written and sung in Latin and were not popular amongst the people as they could not understand them.

In 1223 St. Francis of Assisi started Nativity plays in Italy where the people in the plays sang songs that told a story.  They were sung in all languages so that the people watching the play could understand and join in.

Before carol singing in public became popular, there were official carol singers called "Waits." These were a band of important  people within the towns and villages who sang on Christmas.  Many orchestras and choirs also started to be formed at this time in England so that Christmas songs could be sung.  Carol services were created as well as the custom of singing carols in the streets.

Today the tradition still holds strong. Many churches hold candle and carol singing services every year at Christmas time. These services have become some of the favorites. While we may not see many carolers on the streets anymore, it is still a fun tradition shared amongst family and friends.

Kristi Oloffson. (2009). Christmas Caroling. Available:,8599,1949049,00.html. Last accessed 06/22/15.

Unknown. (Unknown). The history of Christmas Carols. Available: Last accessed 06/22/15.
Connie Ruth Christiansen. (Unknown). Christmas Carols, the History and Origin. Available: Last accessed 06/22/15.
Reprinted with permission from

Sunday, June 21, 2015

DT Call...Are you up for the challenge?

The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up has almost reached our six months mark and we are looking for a few more people to join our dynamic Design Team.


  1. Do you currently have an active blog?
  2. Do you love to create Christmas and other holiday cards?
  3. Are you comfortable working with digital images, digital sentiments and digital papers?
  4. Do you love to have fun and hang out with like-minded crafters (i.e., people who are easy-going, friendly, caring, open minded, supportive, etc.)?
  5. Do you love to create for the sake of creating and to help inspire others?
  6. Can you take good clean/clear pictures of your work?
  7. Can you meet a deadline?
 If you answered yes to the above questions, then you should keep reading to find out what else you need to do in order to apply for a spot on The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up Design Team

We’re looking for a few enthusiastic, dedicated, dependable, team-oriented, designers to join us.  

 Prior Design Team experience not required.

What do you need to do?
First of all, you must have a blog that you keep current. 

Next, send us an email to serve as your DT Application.  It must include the following information:
  1. Your name and blog address.
  2. How you would describe your style (we’re looking for all different styles).
  3. Why you want to work with us and why you think you’d be a good fit with The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up.
  4.  Let us know what your experience is working within a design team.  If you don’t have any DT experience, that is okay too!
  5. Please attach three (3) different Christmas cards showcasing your talent (don’t worry, it doesn’t matter how new you are to card making).  These projects can be pre-existing cards.  However, we’d like one (1) of those cards to showcase you using digital papers since you will be using digital papers on ALL the cards you create as part of this team.  Additionally, all of the cards you choose to share with us need to feature a digital image that you have coloured in yourself since you will be colouring in sponsor's images each month as well.  If you have never used a digital paper before but are willing to do so should you be chosen to work on the team, then you can grab a freebie HERE.  Please note that you can use digital papers the same way you use digital images--you can easily resize the paper and then print it out and cut it out to attach to your card base.  Using digital papers does not mean that we are expecting a digital card--although digital cards are welcome (but they must be cards not other items like tags, layouts etc.)
  6. Any other relevant information you’d like to share.
What do you get?
We are NOT looking for people who are into design teams just to grab every digi they can; or, for people whose sole mission is to promote themselves.  If that is you, then I’m afraid you just won’t be a good fit with us.  HOWEVER, if you love to have fun, enjoy colouring digital images, are willing to work with digital papers, and want to help inspire your fellow Design Team members along with our readers, then this is the place for you!  And of course, each month you'll have the opportunity to work with sponsor's images and be given some digital papers to work with.  Plus, you might receive some other goodies along the just never know!

Other Details…
  1. Terms are for six months long (with an option to extend if mutually agreeable).  Your first official card and post will be due in August.
  2. You will be assigned to one of two teams--the Sleigh Belles, whose cards are showcased at the start of the challenge, or the Merry Maidens whose cards are showcased during the midway.  On average you will need to create 1 project a month. 
  3. You may be asked to participate in special events, i.e. blog hops, etc. but these will be planned and discussed well in advance.
  4. All group communication and file uploading will take place on a special blog for DT Members so you will need to become comfortable working within the Blogger environment.  It is a private group and only The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up DT members will have access to it. 

So, are you up for the challenge?  

If you are seriously interested in becoming a member of our team AND can meet the obligations outlined above, please send us an email to the_12_moc_linkup {at} outlook {dot} com (or by clicking HERE to bring the address up in your email program).  Please put "12 MoC DT Application" in the subject line.  Please submit your application by July 20th.  This will allow us time to get new members set up on the DT blog and them set up for their first official challenge in July.

For more information regarding how the link up began, please check out the Introductions tab at the top of the page.  To find out more details on how the link up works, please check out the Challenge Details tab.

Interested in earning a FREE digital paper? 

If any of you, would like to advertise the DT call for us on your own individual blog we would sincerely appreciate the shout out and there is a free digital paper up for grabs if you do.  Just make sure that you come back and let us know by leaving a link to blog in a comment on this post.  You can either grab the badge at the top of the page which is 450 px wide or this smaller one that it is 250 px wide:

If you create an actual post letting your readers know about our DT Call, your name will be put into a draw for one of six mini paper sets.  If your name is drawn, you will get to choose one set from the choices offered below.  One set will be given out for every five people who create a post on their blog announcing the DT Call.  Those are pretty good odds for winning, wouldn't you say?!  If you do this, please be sure to leave a comment with the link to your post.

In closing, both Monica and I would just like to say, thank you so much for your interest in applying for our design team!  We look forward to hearing from you and seeing all of your creations! We can’t wait to see who will be joining our incredible group!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Challenge #6 Midway: Home for the Holidays...Vintage Theme

Hello everyone! We have reached the midway point of Challenge #6.  Just before we start, I wanted to mention that we'll be having a DT Call very shortly.  Same as last time, we'll be offering up a free paper for everyone who helps to promote our call, so be sure to keep your eye out for it!

For now though, it is time to see what the Merry Maidens have been up to with their images from Lunagirl, our guest sponsor this month!

Check out all the wonderful images that the Merry Maidens got to work with this month for the mid point of the challenge.  Clicking on any of the image watermarks will take you to their page in the Lunagirl store where each of these images can be found.

Christmas Birds & Holly Rounds

While team members had the option of working with any of my Décosse's Dynamite Doodles papers, I did create a special set called A Grungy Christmas, based on the theme for this challenge.  Check out the preview...

Everyone who links up a minimum of two cards during the month of June will earn ONE of the digital papers from this set.  The specific paper up for grabs will be shown during the winner announcement post.  Additionally, one random winner will earn the full set of papers.  

Have your say in determining which colour will be offered to those who link up a minimum of two cards this month by completing the poll in the sidebar on the top right hand side.
Now check out what the Merry Maidens came up with to inspire you.  This time around, Edwina had the time to make three and Kemly created two for us!  Monica, my Co-coordinator, and I also had the chance to make a card for the midway of the challenge.  Clicking on the names will take you to the individual blogs where you can check out the details for all these wonderful cards.  However please note that there is no link to Julie's card this month.  Unfortunately, Julie's blog has disappeared.due to the unscrupulous activities of a hacker.  Don't fret though, Julie is working hard to create a new blog and should be back online shortly!

Now while we are a card making challenge, I wanted to show you this great garland that one of our team members created using images from our sponsor this month.  It is a beautiful decoration but please remember, that for the challenge, we only accept cards--they can be handmade OR digital, it is up to you--but cards only please.

So if you haven't entered already, what are you waiting for?   It is time to link up your Christmas and other holiday cards for June.  Whether you choose to link up two Anything Goes themed cards simply to earn your free paper this month, or you choose to also follow the optional theme to have a chance at the sponsor's prize, it is completely up to you!

Here is a refresher of the details for this challenge...

Optional Theme:  Home for the Holidays VINTAGE THEME
Do you remember Christmas time when you were little? All of us come from different eras and hopefully we all have some fond memories of Christmases past. The look of ornaments, decorations, wrapping paper and cards have definitely undergone changes in their appearances throughout the years. Have you stayed traditional to your roots or have you moved on with the times? Regardless of your style, this month we want to see a card that reflects the Christmases of old.

In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, make sure that your card has a vintage theme. So, break out those classic images, grungy papers and anything else that will give your card a vintage look. If you do follow the optional theme, be sure to add FT after your name so that we include you in the draw for the prize.

Remember, you don't need to follow the theme to link up your cards and earn a free paper each month, and have your name thrown into the year end draw for some extra digital goodies. You only need to follow the theme if you want a chance to win this month's sponsored prize of a $15.00 gift card from Lunagirl.

If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab.  As this is a unique kind of link up where we have both an anything goes Christmas option and an optional theme to follow, be sure to read all the details and rules you need to know in order to participate, by checking out the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).

You can find the Challenge Details Summary along with the link up for Challenge #6 by clicking HERE.

 Don't Forget...

  • Be on the lookout for our DT Call coming up soon!
  • Be sure to join us on June 23rd, when Monica will be back to share another holiday tradition with you all.
  • Next up it will be time for our new challenge to start on July 1st.
  • Then, the winners from Challenge #6 will be posted on July 8th.
  • Other special posts may be published throughout the month.  Be sure to sign up to have our posts delivered by email or follow us through Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!

We look forward to seeing you participate!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Challenge #5 Winners Announcement

Hello and happy Friday to all of our friends out there in blogland.  It is time to announce the winner and top three of Challenge #5 along with the list of individuals eligible to receive a free digital paper for May.  Are you one of those lucky peeps?!

Steffi, you are the winner of a $25.00 gift certificate from Deedee's Digis, our guest sponsor for May (chosen by Mini Web Tool), based on all eligible participants (i.e., those entrants who followed the optional theme).

Steffi, please send an email to the_12_moc_linkup {at} outlook {dot} com (or click HERE to bring the address up in your email program), with the subject, "12MoC Challenge #5 WINNER" to make arrangements to receive your prize.  Please note that it may take me a few days to get back to you.  Thank you for your patience.  In the interim, please grab a copy of the winner badge below for your blog.

Next, it is time to get on with showcasing the Top Three for Challenge #5.  With all the great entries to choose from, this was once again a difficult task for the design team.  We did however settle on three wonderful  creations.  So, without further ado, here are our Stocking Stuffers for Challenge #5:

Congrats to our top three Stocking Stuffers!  Rosina, Ursula, and Terrie, please grab a copy of the badge below for your blog.

Next up, it is time to share all the names of those people who linked up two cards in May which makes each of them eligible to receive the fifth free digital paper of 2015.

19 people linked a total of 55 cards.  Fourteen of those individuals linked up a minimum of two cards each qualifying them to receive the digital paper from May. The cats paper was the clear winner in the poll we had up during the month of May with 56% of the votes.   I have included the watermark of it, below.

So, the following people need to send an email to the_12_moc_linkup {at} outlook {dot} com (or click  HERE to bring the address up in your email program), with the subject, "12MoC May Paper" to make arrangements to receive your free paper:
  • Hazel
  • Margaret A
  • Ursula Uphof
  • Megan 
  • Cathy(KraftyKoolKat) 
  • Terrie (Paper Addict)
  • Crafting Vicky
  • Steffi
  • Marie B.
  • Valerija 
  • Meg
  • KT Fit Kitty

Welcome to Steffi and Rosina.who are new to us this month linking up two cards!  We also had two other new faces linking up just one card.  To all of you who linked up this past month, thanks ever so much!  We are so happy to have all of you with us and hope that you'll continue to link up your holiday cards throughout the year!!!

Now, as always, if you thought you had linked up two cards but don't find your name in the list above, just let me know and we'll sort things out. We will also add these names to the 'Challenge Win Information' page as soon as we get the chance, for anyone who doesn't see this post.  I ask that you be patient with waiting for me to send out your paper. I promise that I'll get to it as quick as I can.

Just like last month, we are going to have a random draw from all the entries and give out the set of six papers, to one lucky individual.  The papers are all made so why not have an extra prize!  Here is the watermark for the full set...

The winner of the Christmas Critters Mini Set of Papers is (chosen by

Megan, please send me an email (address and link above).  Use the subject, "12MoC: Christmas Critters Set" and I'll make arrangements for you to receive the full set of six papers.

Well folks, that is it for today.  While you are here, please be sure to check out the details for our current challenge going on now (if you haven't already), with the Optional Theme this month of being "A Grungy Christmas".  You can find out all the details along with the link up, by clicking HERE.

Also, be sure to join us on June 15th, for our midway post where you'll get to see cards created by the Merry Maidens!  Then on May 23rd, Monica will be back to share another holiday tradition with you all.  Other special posts may be published throughout the month.  Be sure to sign up to have our posts delivered by email or follow us through Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!

Until next time,