Saturday, December 6, 2014

Holiday Hint: Mug Scarves

Here's an idea for entertaining during the winter holidays (or just the family at home!): give each of your cocoa mugs a colorful felt "scarf" tied around the handle. It will help people remember which cup is theirs. Use a 1/2 inch by 4 inch strip and tie once around the mug handle (it has to be removable for washing so don't tie a double knot!). Sparkly or printed felt would be extra nice!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Pleasant Times Christmas Village Mountain and Skater Additions


Happy December! I'm very happy to announce that there are now some extra pieces to the popular Printable Christmas Village!

To give the village a little more depth, you can now print out this mountain background to put behind the village. There is also a little skating girl, which can be put in front of the village, though properly she should be put up as side piece to the town. (Mountain and Skater Here
Mountain Sides here)

The mountain is named "Mt. Merry Christmas." The credit for that name goes to one of our Field Editors, who is great at "discovering" and naming mountains. He graciously allowed me to borrow this unique name for my village mountain.

 If you are just starting with the village, you will want to edit the town and home pieces a bit. I would suggest cutting out the sky where you can, or just leaving it white. As you can see in the above photo, my original village had a snowy night time sky. I still think it looks great with the mountains in the background!

 Here we finally have a person in the village; I'm not terribly good at drawing people so until that changes this is all you get! Lest you think she looks lonely, let me assure you that she is not the only person in town. This little lady is the proprietress of the cocoa shack, and waiting for the other villagers to come out for an hour of skating under the stars.
 For a simple village, you can just color and cut the piece out. You can add glitter for a step up. If you print one more piece, you can cut one up and layer them on the other so some elements "stand out" more.
 Here is the skater with all of the above. The skater and pond are layered, the little cocoa house and a few of the Christmas trees are also layered.
 You can do the same thing to Mt. Merry Christmas, and the more copies you print out, the more layers you can do! Here I did two layers: the middle hill and the trees are separate layers.
 I hope you can see it better from this photograph what I'm talking about. If you print out one more, you can make the tall trees another layer. These trees are really tall- they are as tall as ship's masts.

Of course, you can leave it one layer and glitter it and it will still be lovely.
Once you have done as much as you want to do, you can tape the side pieces to Mt. Merry Christmas, and fold them inward slightly, so that the mountain ranges will stand up for you. 



You will notice one little moose/deer/elk (or maybe a new species!) who has ventured out of the woods. Perhaps he isn't afraid of the hunters since they are all at home by their warm fireplaces!


On the other side, there is a waterfall and a stream that isn't quite frozen up yet.

I will be adding these links to the original Christmas Village posts as well.

Enjoy and have a Happy December!

Mountain and Skater Here

Mountain Sides here

The original Christmas Village posts:

The Meeting House and Woods (PDF page) (blog post for the Meeting House ) (blog post for the woods)
The Village Shops (PDF page) (blog post)
The Village Houses (PDF page) (blog post)
The Farm (PDF page) (blog post)


If you have made up the Christmas village I'd love to see a picture! You can email me at 
"the pleasant times @ gmail . com" (no spaces)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Reply to Ye Olde Christmas Letter

Woman Writing a Letter




Mrs. Jones reading the reply


Dear Friends the Joneses,

How nice of you to go to all that trouble to send us a card, seeing how busy you are. And thank you for the long letter updating us on the doings of your family. The paper was such nice, fine quality. It was a pity to throw it away but we had to use it to light the kindling in our little tin-can stove. It is the only heat source we have now, in the garage, since our home burned down this year, just before the snow storm hit.

Congratulations to you for your new son-in-law, and that your daughter married so well. It sounds like you are enjoying your grandchildren. We are, too, since the job market crashed and all the kiddos moved back home-- with all 17 grandchildren. Fortunately they think tent camping in winter is "fun."

Our in-laws have parked their RV close by, so we have some access to plumbing and running water. Since my son's father-in-law lost his job, they have been strapped for cash. We felt that it would only be fair to let them stay in the driveway and enjoy their grandchildren, too. We are hoping that the landlord will see fit to take our collected rent and let us stay a little while longer, since we can't go anywhere else as gas prices are high and we only have one car now, since we sold the others to buy food.

I hope you don't mind us re-using the front of your Christmas card. The post office forgot to cancel the stamp, which was a boon for us. You are the only person to get a card from us this year-- until the post office forgets to cancel another stamp.

If you are ever up this way, be sure to drop by and say "hi." We'll put more water in the soup for you.

We are sure you will have a warm and merry Christmas.

-The Smiths


Friday, November 28, 2014

Ye Olde Annual Christmas Letter

Good News from Abroad
Good News from...
George Smith
Buy This at Allposters.com


Dear Jane and John,

Well hello again, friends. It has been another fantastic year. I hope you enjoyed it! Our family grew by leaps and bounds again this year-- we were so busy we met ourselves coming and going!

Our daughter's wedding in France was beautiful-- it was quite a feat not just to host 600 people for a wedding, but to get them on planes to the wedding was something else! She pulled it off beautifully. It was a good thing the chateau was large. And here we have yet another son-in-law that is a millionaire. Our daughter continues in her highly successful career as a consultant, and she is often called away from her Island home in the Mediterranean to fly all over Europe and offer her advice.

Our second son graduated this year with all the usual honors from Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge all in one month! You can imagine how tired he was from all that studying and traveling. He is excitedly looking toward the future as he starts his new job in a prestigious law firm. He is already on track for the presidency and sure that in a couple years he'll win an election. Pretty good for a 15 year old.

Our youngest boy-- the baby of the family!-- is really into sports. He's won every major competition in swimming, basketball, biking, skateboarding, track, skiing, hockey, soccer, football, figure skating, volleyball, baseball, chess, and Frisbee. His coaches are talking about sending him to the Olympics. If so, that would make 3 of our kids who have competed in that venue.

My Uncle Hal won the lottery again!! That makes twice! Can't believe the luck of that man! We enjoy having him around-- he was a 5 star chef and he makes the most wonderful meals for us. We want him to retire and stay with us forever, but he is in much demand in Hollywood.

Hubby and I continue our busy week of work, he has been with his company for so long they are naming the new office building after him, and I am still called upon again and again to run the bank. I guess a person of my abilities can't be done without! But I have to get off work early so I can oversee the construction of our new house. This is our 5th custom home, and I think I'm beginning to be an old pro at being my own general contractor.

The new home will be our biggest yet, as we are expecting to host a lot of family gatherings, now that our oldest has had their 3rd child. Yes, we are grandparents yet again. All the little ones have far exceeded the normal milestones; Ace was supposed to enroll for kindergarten, but the teachers in 2nd grade begged to have her there! Topp is reading already-- at 2 years old. This isn't a surprise as his Daddy already was writing up his thesis at 2 1/2, and his Mother had cut an album of original songs by that age. And the new little baby is as bright as they come, so they named her Starr.

Lest you think it is nothing but work, work, work around here, we did enjoy 5 weeks of vacation this year, besides the wedding (which I don't think you can call a vacation!). Two relaxing weeks we spent at our summer home in Aspen. Then we spent some time visiting friends in Italy, and took a hop over to India and enjoyed a resort. Then off to Australia! You can imagine we were glad to get home and take a rest! But with the Christmas holidays upon us, we will be glad to take some time off of the hustle and bustle and celebrate the New Year on our Yacht in the Caribbean.

We hope that your family has a happy holiday!

-The Joneses

Hi Smiths-- how are you poor people doing this winter? I heard you had 6 feet of snow and no power for a week! Hope you stay warm!




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