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πŸŽ† Happy New Year πŸŽ‰

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"Only a minute to go," he said easily. "I always think of that last minute between years as untime."  When her brow furrowed, he knew he had her attention and slid his arms around her.  "Not now, not then.  Not anything. If we were alone, I could do what I want with you for those sixty seconds. But it wouldn't be real. So I'm going to wait till it is. Put your arms around me. It doesn't count yet. Not for seconds yet." 

Montana Sky



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By Nevit Dilmen (talk) - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75219840





Get A Fresh Start This New Year's Eve With These Cultural Traditions


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14 Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve Like Our Grandparents Did



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Why do we kiss on New Year’s?


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He took her hands at the countdown—ten, nine, eight. She turned to him, rose up— seven, six, five. His arms came around her—four, three, two. “Happy New Year, Avery.” His lips met hers as c…

To-Die-For Hot Chocolate Recipes

"You would like hot chocolate?"
Freddie was torn between the comfort of her father's hand and one of her favorite treats. 
And Nadia was smiling at her, not with that goofy look grown-ups sometimes put on 
when they had to talk to kids. It was a warm smile, just like Natasha's. "Yes, ma'am." Nadia gave a nod of approval at the child's manners. 
"Maybe you would like to come with me. 
I show you how to make it with big, fat marshmallows."



Taming Natasha






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When cold weather hits, there's little more soul-soothing than curling up with a cozy mug of hot chocolate. We've created several ways to make your cup of cocoa more decadent, including mix-ins, stir-ins, and of course marshmallows!






Better Homes & Gardens






Beautiful Snowy Scenes

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It sat like it belonged there, content and well-settled in the woods.

Blood Brothers



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Photo by MossCreek - Browse home design photos Photo by THV COLLECTION - Look for exterior home design inspiration


Whether the holiday season brings sunshine or rain where you live, we hope these 100 snowy scenes will bring warmth and cheer this holiday season. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy some winter armchair travel with these modern, traditional and contemporary-style exteriors shown in all their snowy splendor. 





HOUZZ


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“It’s a beautiful spot, Cal.” Layla took the first out of his hands. 
“Currier and Ives for the twenty-first century.”

Blood Brothers



Three Men Are Watching Every Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie and It's Our New Favorite Thing

“I planned to watch a movie with dinner.” “I like movies.” “I was going to watch Steel Magnolias.” He let out a long, long sigh. “I probably deserve that.”

The Witness


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Checklist app? Check.  Tea? Check.  Non-stop Christmas music? Check!  You’ve got almost everything you need to make the most of this year’s killer lineup of Hallmark Channel holiday movies.
The only other thing your movie-watching marathon is missing is a podcast hosted by three ordinary men. (Yes, really.)
Brandon Gray, Daniel Pandolph, and Daniel Thompson are the voices behind Deck the Hallmark, the hit podcast. Together, they watch and then review all 37 of Hallmark’s original holiday movies.
“Just 3 dudes…watching Hallmark. What could go wrong?” the iTunes description reads.



Better Homes & Gardens



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“I guess you leave him there and go home and watch ESPN.” He studied the drums. “Some people would complain it’s sexist to assume I watch ESPN. Maybe I’m a fan of Lifetime.” She gave up.

Christmas Cookies Baking Guide

Baking helps put me in the mood for the holidays.  There’s nothing like a little flour on your hands  to start “Jingle Bells” ringing in your head.  The tradition in my house goes this way:  First put on an album of Christmas music.  It isn’t possible to work over a hot oven without the proper setting.  Gather your ingredients...


Nora Roberts’s Holiday Recipes * Plain or Painted Holiday Cookies * @Holiday Wishes





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Your one-stop shop for the best Christmas cookies, decorating ideas, and tips for storing, packaging and mailing Christmas cookies.

Taste of Home





8 things to know about the winter solstice

“Midnight approaches.”  She turned her head against Rhiann’s bracing shoulder.  “The solstice. The darkest hour of the darkest day.”



Witching Hour






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From when it happens to why,  here's your crash course  on the shortest day of the year.



Mother Nature Network








Kids Totally Nailed Their Letter To Santa

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Dear Santa, We have been good.

Zeke wanted to put in very good, but Zack, the conscience, rejected the idea.






All I Want for Christmas




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Florida Memory [No restrictions or Public domain],  via Wikimedia Commons




Spare a thought for Santa. He gets millions of letters a year to trawl through, with the vast majority of them boring and formulaic along the lines of “Dear Santa can I have an X-Box for Christmas please.”

However from time to time there are little nuggets of genius or hilarity that must surely make the jolly old guy crack a smile. Kids are known for speaking their mind, and are especially forthright when it comes to making requests (or demands), so we here at Bored Panda have decided to make a list of the funniest, frankest and most bizarre Santa Letters kids have ever sent.


Bored Panda





How to Pick the Best Christmas Tree Ever

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The simple pleasure of choosing a Christmas tree was enough to put the  laughter back in her eyes. “This one!” Shane exclaimed, stopping in front of a short-needle pine.  “It's exactly right.” “It doesn't look much different from the other five hundred trees we've looked at,”  Vance grumbled, slicing the point of his shovel into the snow. “That's because you don't have a connoisseur's eye,” she said condescendingly.  He scooped up a handful of snow and rubbed it into her face.  “Be that as it may,” Shane continued with remarkable aplomb,  “this is the one. Dig,” she instructed, and stepping back, folded her arms.




First Impressions





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By Trevor Webb - Own work, CC BY 4.0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65119685





Confused about how to choose the best Christmas tree for your family? The experts at Better Homes & Gardens can help! With these tips for choosing the optimal real Christmas tree and keeping it looking good for as long as possible…

Appetizers Every Host Should Know

She took a sip of wine, then set the glass down to get a jar of olives out of the refrigerator. 
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She transferred olives from bottle to a shallow dish. 
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“This is my version of an appetizer, by the way.” She shoved the olives toward him.



The Search





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Forget mixing and mingling. A holiday snacks spread this good means everybody will be bellied up to the buffet. And with Christmas snack ideas like these, who can blame them? Cue the carols!

Taste of Home





25-Minute (or Less) Holiday Appetizers





Quoting Nora

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Replant a festive tree

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"I'd say we're ready for the tree. Let's go find one." You want to drive into town now?. "Of course not." Pandora was already pulling coats out of the hall closet. "We'll go right out in the woods and dig one up." "We?" "Certainly. I hate it when people cut trees down and then toss them aside after the new year. The woods are loaded with nice little pines. We'll dig one up, then replant it after the holidays."

A Will and a Way



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By Randi Hausken from BΓ¦rum, Norway - The Christmas tree, CC BY-SA 2.0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29876120






By the time you purchase a tree, it has already been cut for weeks, or maybe even months. However, even a freshly cut tree has been separated from its roots and replanting a Christmas tree without roots simply isn’t possible. If you’re determined to plant your Christmas tree, purchase a tree with a healthy root ball that has been securely wrapped in burlap.…

myth-busting facts about sleepwalking

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She shoved her arms in the robe. “I don’t remember.” “I can see that, and in your place I’d hate it as much as you.  It was an hour or so after we’d parted ways for the night,  you came knocking on my door.  Not quite awake,  not quite asleep— you understand what I mean.”


Stars of Fortune











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John Everett Millais [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons





In the silent film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," a deranged hypnotist controls a sleepwalker, using him to commit crimes. Obviously, this 1920 film isn't an accurate depiction of somnambulism, but even a century after the film's release, this sleep disorder still isn't particularly well understood. We don't even know what causes it.
Indeed, there's probably more fiction than fact surrounding sleepwalking, and knowing so little about it only adds to the disorder's mystique.
Still, there are things we do know, and that knowledge can help to dispel some of the mystery around sleepwalking.






Winter Driving: How to Survive

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Damn snow. Gabe downshifted to second gear, slowed the Jeep  to fifteen miles an hour, swore and strained his eyes.  Through the frantic swing of the wipers on the windshield  all that could be seen was a wall of white.  No winter wonderland. 

Gabriel's Angel




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By HopsonRoad - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54631963





Winter adds an extra level of danger when a car breaks down.
Family Handyman



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He was hungry, soaked to the skin, and afraid he would run out of gas-petrol-before he found anything remotely like an inn or village. In his mind he went over the map. Visualizing was a talent he'd been born with, and he could, with little effort, reproduce every line of the careful map his hostess had sent him. The trouble was, it was pitch dark, the rain washed over his windshield like a roaring river, and the wind was buffeting his car on this godforsaken excuse for a road as if the Mercedes was a Tinkertoy. He wished violentl…

Team Thought Tom Cruise Died While Shooting the Crazy Helicopter Stunt

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“How messed up?” “Broke a lot of bones, bruised a few organs, sliced some skin.” He shrugged, but Parker didn’t buy it had been that simple, that casual. “It sounds serious. How long were you in the hospital?” “Put me out for a while,” he continued in that same careless tone.

Happy Ever After






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https://www.flickr.com/photos/greg2600/ [CC BY-SA 2.0 
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons






This exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from Mission: Impossible – Fallout details how the actor did one of his most harrowing scenes.


"There was an audible gasp from the crowd. That's a huge drop," says Henry Cavill.
Cruise himself is pretty cavalier about the whole thing, having done crazy stuff like this for years.
"You know it's going to be a big impact. It really knocks the wind out of me," Cruise says.



Esquire






Women are aging alone more than ever

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“I’m happy,” she told him. “I tend to be a happy person, and I learned 
how to be happy on my own. It was good for me, to have that time, 
to find out a little bit more about myself. What I could do, 
what I could do without.”

Chasing Fire





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By Alexandre Godreau alexandre_godreau -  https://unsplash.com/photos/lbhVDNb5JRU, CC0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61829641





Figuring how to make it work
There are challenges — and rewards — to going solo.


mother nature network



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She waited until she thought that Lulu had had time enough to get home from the bookstore but not enough to settle in too comfortably. 
After she’d waded through the lawn art, adjusted her eyes to the 
virulent colors that Lulu habitually selected to paint her house, 
and knocked on the back door, Ripley was pleased to see her timing was good. 
Lulu had changed out of her work clothes into a sweatshirt that read, 
“Coffee, Chocolate, Men . . . Some things are just better rich.” 
She h…

How to Build the Perfect Fireplace Fire

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Doyle dumped her duffle, prepared to step out again and leave her to it. But she walked to the fire, looked at him, looked back. “What? I’m supposed to light a fire for you now? Christ.” Muttering all the way, he took bricks of peat from a copper bucket, arranged them on the grate as he had as a boy. It was simple enough, took only moments, and if the scent squeezed his heart, he ignored it.


Island of Glass





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By FASTILY (TALK) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28046203






I have a fireplace, a cord of split, seasoned wood, and a cold family. So I make a lot of fires.
There are many resources for building fires that promise successful fire-building. Many. So, so many. I urge you to review them. There’s the lean-to method. The teepee method. The pyramid method. The top-down method.
But, for me, nothing about a fire is ever consistent—not the tinder or kindling or logs.



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