Family Christmas Online™ was formed to help your family to have a joyful and meaningful Christmas, even if your life is going in thirty different directions.
Welcome to our growing library of stories, ideas, and songs to enrich (and in some cases simplify) your Christmas season. Each year we have added or improved resources, so keep checking back. This year we already have a number of upgrades in the works, but it's too early to make a formal announcement.
Also, please don't let the Victorian look fool you - we like old-fashioned Christmases, but we live and work in the twenty-first century. Most of the tips we pass on are things that we or our closest friends and family members have learned first-hand. If you have a tip you'd like to share with your fellow readers, please let us know.
Update for April, 2012 - We have moved servers. We had to do it because we have been borrowing space on another server (btcomm.com) and we have simply outgrown it. You shouldn't be able to tell when you're navigating the site, but:
- Any favorites/bookmarks you have saved may point to the old site, which will eventually be discontinued. If when you click on them, you get an address that starts with http://www.btcomm.com/familychristmasonline/, that's the old site. Go ahead and delete that favorite/bookmark, then go to familychristmasonline.com, navigate to the page you need and use the "Add to Favorites" button to add the new favorite/bookmark to your browser.
- Most of the organic rankings that we have earned over the past several years will point to the old site as well. Eventually we hope to have each page on the old site point to the new one, but in the meantime, it will be possible to get "lost."
- Any number of links will probably be broken. This is something that happens whenever you change servers and I'll be working my way through each page to doublecheck. In the meantime, if you discover any broken links or other areas that need attention, please contact us with the details.
The good news is that we will have room to add several features that we didn't have room to add before. So hopefully when the dust settles, you'll be glad we went through this.
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled web intro page.
Here are some areas we hope you find interesting, helpful, and encouraging, in or out of season.
- The Bible Story of Christmas - The most important Bible passages about Christmas, with illustrations
- Other Stories of Christmas - Christmas stories from diverse sources, including Charles Dickens and O. Henry, as well as original stories by our own editors and authors. Includes new stories for 2010!
- Christmas Poems - This page contains links to uplifting or humorous family-friendly Christmas poems. Many are classic poems by well-known authors.
- Christmas Memories - This page represents the beginning of a new collection of special Christmas memories, from our family and from readers. Your special Christmas memories are welcome as well.
- Christmas Musings - This department contains articles that answer common questions about Christmas and Christmas traditions, as well as articles about topics that don't fit anywhere else on the site. Here are a few examples:
- Christmas Craft Resources - Original resources to help you plan and complete Christmas craft and gift ideas. Features include:
- Craft Wrapping Paper - Free vintage-looking, color-coordinated printable wrapping paper patterns you can use for crafts (or even for wrapping small presents). Note: Many of these patterns can be used year-'round.
- "Ready-to-Roast" Marshmallows - How to use a hunk of used styrofoam, a couple of sticks, and an old hole saw to add charm to a winter fireplace display. Admittedly, we've seen similar crafts elsewhere, but ours are the first round "marshmallows" we've seen.New for 2011!
- About Christmas Decorations - A discussion of when, how, and why Christmas decorations have been used; including articles that should give you ideas for decorating your home. Features include:
- About Christmas Trees - Describes the history and other aspects of Christmas trees
- About Nativities - addresses the history and variety of nativity displays.
- Family Christmas Music - A small but growing collection of traditional Christmas music from various countries, with descriptions of regional practices and of the songs' histories. Many of the songs include mp3 arrangements for listening to an instrumental verse and chorus.
- Christmas Recipes - A resource for folks who need to prepare a holiday dish in a hurry, or for folks who want to make some item that Mom or Grandma used to make, but you don't remember how - mostly still in the planning stage. New for 2011, a great summertime combination:
- Christmas Movies - This page is the beginning of a collection of Christmas movie reviews, focusing on movies worth watching with your family. Your suggestions are welcome as well.
- Christmas Activity Ideas - Family-friendly activities you can do during the Christmas season, including day and overnight trips.
- Thanksgiving, Then, and Then, and Now - Harvest feasts go back to the ancient days - including three ancient Jewish festivals that celebrated harvests, with surprising parallels to our celebration of Thanksgiving.
Also be sure to visit:
- CardboardChristmas.com™, a careful cross-reference of the most useful and reliable web resources about cardboard Christmas houses. We have also added a forum for asking and answering questions, and collecting information about these houses.
- OldChristmasTreeLights.com, the Internet's largest guide to collecting Christmas tree lighting. Additional features include:
As always, our hope is that the resources we have so far can continue helping you and your family (as Dickens said of Scrooge):
Honor Christmas in your heart, and
"try to keep it all the year."
In the meantime, please keep in touch, and let us know what you'd like to see added or changed.
May God grant you joy and wonder every season of this year,
Paul and Shelia Race