If you have spent any amount of time surfing through these pages (especially recently) it will be evident that Lost Cowboy is an anglophile. One Christmas tradition I have adopted from the Brits is placing Christmas crackers as favors on the dinner table. We have had great fun with the various crackers we have had over the years – some fancy with relatively high-end gifts inside and tasteful jokes, other really tacky with bad jokes – but all part of the fun. The fine folks at Rockett St. George offer some really nice Christmas Crackers – like their Ice Grey Christmas Crackers.

About the Ice Grey Christmas Crackers from Rockett St. George:

“Christmas is the most glittery and magical time of the year and there is nothing we love more than adorning our homes in one-of-a-kind tree decorations, baubles, fairly lights and quirky decorative accessories that make us smile! This year we have a selection of witty, rock ‘n’ roll and utterly unique Christmas decorations that will help you curate your most stylish and stand-out festive interior. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas Crackers and these silver beauties with a black star motif are the perfect Christmas Crackers for your table… with a fun twist! Totally one-of-a-kind each cracker contains a crown and a festive gold coloured pin! The perfect crackers for Christmas day or Christmas parties, we wish you a very merry Christmas from Rockett St George.”

Find the Ice Grey Christmas Crackers from Rockett St. George here.

See all the Christmas Crackers from Rockett St. George here.

Find all the homeware and decorative items from Rockett St. George here.

There has been much debate in recent years as to whether or not the classic movie, Die Hard, is really a Christmas movie. It does take place at Christmas, but it is not really very Christmassy. That said, I fall down on it this way – if you want to celebrate Die Hard as a Christmas movie and make it part of your traditions I am all for it. Meanwhile, you will have plenty of company, a whole cottage industry has sprung up to support a Die Hard Christmas – Like today’s “Read” – A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic by Doogie Horner (Author), JJ Harrison (Illustrator).

About A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic: “A delightful Christmas storybook for adults based on the action-packed Die Hard movie. All John McClane wants for Christmas is to reunite with his estranged family. But when his wife’s office holiday party turns into a deadly hostage situation, he has to save her life before he can get home in time for Christmas! The unconventional fan-favorite movie Die Hard is now an illustrated storybook—complete with machine guns, European terrorists, and a cop who’s forced to rely on all his cunning and skills (and the help of a fellow officer) to save the day. Based on the classic ‘Night Before Christmas’ poem and filled with whimsical illustrations, this cleverly reimagined homage is destined to become a holiday classic.”

A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic by Doogie Horner (Author), JJ Harrison (Illustrator) is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

One hazard folks living in big cities with cold winters is falling ice from buildings. When it is Chicago, the city is big and the buildings are tall – and yes, the winters are cold. A couple of weeks ago there were reports of ice falling from buildings all over the city resulting in property damage, personal injury and the closing of city streets. On my visit to Chicago this past weekend I noted the various falling ice warning signs all over the place. Most were generic warnings – but this one had some fun with the concept and it made me chuckle:

I love the vintage whimsy of this Miniature Red Christmas Camper I found from the fine folks at Factory Direct Craft.

About the Miniature Red Christmas Camper from Factory Direct Craft:

“Whether it is a holiday road trip to visit the family or a time to take a weekend enjoying the simplicity of the outdoors, this Miniature Red Christmas Camper is here to bring exciting adventures for your fairies, and gnomes, as well as provide you with a darling, detailed display! Place it in your fairy garden or Christmas village for the holiday season. You could even design your own Griswold family inspired terrarium! Combine it with vintage baubles and to create a unique table vignette. However you use it, it is a must have for your Christmas collection!”

Find the Miniature Red Christmas Camper from Factory Direct Craft here.

See all the Christmas awesomeness of Factory Direct Craft here.

 

Wreaths just want to have fun I guess. Well, I have seen some pretty awful wreaths in my day (think pink and orange felt with plastic reindeer) but I really love the festive Cyndi Lauper Holiday Wreath available exclusively from the fine folks at Grand in Road.

About the Cyndi Lauper Wreath from Grand in Road:

“The traditional Christmas look you’ll remember from childhood is now even nicer. Classic with a sophisticated twist, our exclusive Cyndi Lauper Wreath has a familiar retro look made merrier for today with updated styling that uses a lifelike mix of faux greenery, red berries, pine cones, and twigs. This greenery says that you’re really home for the holidays, our indoor-use wreath is beautiful on a mirror, door, above a console, or even hung on a bedframe.”

Find the Cyndi Lauper Wreath from Grand in Road here.

See all the great Christmas cheer available from Grand in Road here.

The menorah on Daley Plaza in Chicago celebrating Hanukkah…

The perfect place to go if you are looking for a little inspiration for your Christmas crafts, decorating, or giving – is Oriental Trading’s Christmas Headquarters. This is the place to find all things Christmas, but I like their special collection of Peanuts Christmas Supplies – including the really fun Snoopy Christmas Craft Kit.

About the Snoopy Christmas Craft Kit from Oriental Trading:

“Create your own dog house for Snoopy to hang out on with this 3D Peanuts® Snoopy Christmas Craft Kit. A fun craft for kids to complete at school or home, each kit includes foam pieces that fit and stick together to create a dog house! 4 3/4″ x 7 1/2″ We recommend using a hot glue gun, foam glue or glue dots to help secure the house edges. All craft kit pieces are pre-packaged for individual use. Kits include instructions and extra pieces.”

Find the Snoopy Christmas Craft Kit from Oriental Trading here.

See Oriental Trading’s Peanuts Christmas Supplies section here.

Visit Oriental Trading’s Christmas Headquarters here.

One of the joys of the festive season are the Christmas markets so iconic in Europe but finally making a stand in the US – like the fabulous Christkindlmarket that has popped up in Chicago’s Daley Plaza for its 23d season…

There is still time to create a custom Christmas card with a favorite photo. But why use the dime-a-dozen typical kind from your local pharmacy when you can have a high-quality custom holiday card from the fine folks at Smockpaper.

About the Custom Holiday Cards from Smockpaper:

“Create unique custom holiday cards by combining any of our printing methods (digital printing, foil stamping, letterpress printing and blind embossing) on our exclusive smooth cotton paper.  Customize by changing inks, patterns, fonts and more—the options are endless!”

Learn more about the Custom Holiday Cards from Smockpaper here.

We are off to Chicago for an extra long weekend to take in the sights and sounds of Christmas in the big city. As always, we’ll share highlights and our great finds here.

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