Archive for the ‘Cool Yule News’ Category

Spread a little Yuletide Cheer

December 11, 2014
Mom making her purchases at The Christmas Mouse

Mom making her purchases at The Christmas Mouse

There’s this thing I do now during the holidays that I learned from my mom. I guarantee it will really make you feel Christmas-y.

Buy some small treat — you know like a Russell Stover mini box of chocolates, or a Godiva Bar. You don’t have to spend more than a couple of dollars, if that. And it doesn’t have to be candy — it can be like a $5 gift card for McDonalds or Starbucks or something. Even a candy cane or an extra Christmas card would do.

Just keep ’em stashed in your purse, or on you.

Then when you go out this time of year, like say to a restaurant, you leave that token along with the tip for the waiter. Or if you are Christmas shopping, you give it to the person who rings you up, even at the grocery store. At the drive-thru. For your pharmacist. For your bus driver.

Anywhere where people are nice to you or you think they could use a lift. The more random and anonymous, the more fun it seems to be.  You know, like your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing.

By the way, if you have kids, this is something you want your kids to “catch” you doing from time to time. Generosity is learned and modeling is the best way to do it. And what better way to be generous, in any way you can, than during the holidays?

This isn’t to replace the conventional tipping you would do during the holidays, like for your barber or hairdresser, dog walker, babysitter, etc. This is a little extra you give to people who would not expect it.

Let me tell you: people act like you gave them a million dollars! You want see a tired person grin, just try it.

They’re so surprised and pleased, and they really appreciate it — all you have to do is give it to him or her with a quick and warm thank you, and of course, Merry Christmas. Strangers have hugged me!

It is so much fun and it will make you feel like Santa Claus!


Holiday Blogger Call for Content, Events, Guest Posts

November 15, 2014

1684_35443242705_4289_nHello all! Cool Yule is back for 2014!

Each year, since 2009, I blog in November and December about all that is wonderful about the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

If you have ideas to share, I would love to hear about them.  I appreciate event information, guest posts, photographs, and videos.

If you are interested in guest-blogging about a topic, please let me know (email: or Twitter @MaryFletchJones).

Here are some ideas…

  • Religious services, church services
  •  Dining/Restaurants (offering special holiday menus, specials, etc.)
  •  Holiday Fashion for women (all ages and sizes)
  • Hanukkah-related
  •  Money-Saving Tips for Holiday Meals and Shopping
  •  New Year’s Eve Ideas
  •  Special Needs focus – this is a big focus for me, appreciate all the content I can get
  •  Thanksgiving Specials
  •  Travel/Hotels specials for the holidays


National Christmas Tree Lighting live online today

December 6, 2013
Crowds on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., wat...

Crowds on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., watch the annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree, attended by President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, Thursday evening, Dec. 7, 2006, during the 2006 Christmas Pageant of Peace. White House photo by Paul Morse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 91st Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on the Ellipse in front of the White House on Friday, December 6, 2013 starting at 4:30pm ET. President Obama and the First Lady will light the tree. Featured performers include Aretha Franklin and Mariah Carey, among many others.

Should you go in person? If you have VIP tickets, yes. If you don’t have tickets, no! It will be very hard to see anything, the crowds and traffic will not make you feel very Christmas-y, and on top of that, the forecast is for rain.

My Cool Yule Tip: watch it live online, instead:

Or watch it on public television, where the program will be aired throughout December.

Oh, and this is new: the tree itself has a Twitter profile! Follow @theNationalTree for fun updates.

Welcome, winter holiday season 2013!

November 11, 2013

16407127_sAs you may know, I write several blogs, but Cool Yule is my favorite, just-for-fun blog.  Because I love the winter holidays, especially Christmas!

This year, I’m looking forward to writing about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year‘s celebrations.

Even when I take a break the rest of the year from Cool Yule, it’s gratifying to see that I still get daily views, and there are holiday enthusiasts out there eager to read and share fun tips and events. Thank you for reading.

So it’s time to get started!  As you may know, the focus of this blog is sharing the best that the holidays have to offer, with a side focus on holiday offerings in the Washington, DC area.  So that means we’ll talk about recipes, movies, music, performances, shopping, religious services, fashion, traditions, party ideas, gift ideas, decorating, events around town, and more.

I always wonder if my Thanksgiving updates belong here or on my harvest blog, which also focuses heavily on Halloween.  It’s a tough call, but this year, I  think I will add them here, because so many of those recipes do well for December celebrations.

I would love to have a few guest bloggers this year.  I think it would be great to have some different voices and ideas, and maybe also some posts about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.  If you are a blogger and you have an idea for a blog post on Cool Yule, please email me  Please also contact me if you have an event or product you would like me to blog about.

Thanks for sharing Cool Yule online and with your friends who you think would enjoy it!

Happy Holidays!



A video look at the White House Chrismas decorations — with Bo!

December 17, 2012

Bo makes a final inspection of the 2012 White House Christmas decorations before 90,000 visitors come through the doors of the People’s House this holiday season. Find out more about the 2012 White House Holiday celebrations, including the special tributes to troops, veterans and military families at

Santa and sleigh featured on the whimsical 2012 holiday stamp

November 20, 2012
Santa’s Christmas Eve journey is joyfully captured in this block of four holiday USPS stamps, with two rows of two stamps each presenting a “classic” image of Santa and his reindeer circling around snow-covered rooftops.
Artist Paul Rogers worked with art director Howard Paine to create this block of four holiday stamps. These computer-generated images were originally drawn in pencil on paper.

Christmas Stamp 2012: the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt

November 19, 2012

The dramatic story of the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt has been depicted in art and music for centuries, and now it is featured on the USPS 2012 Holy Family stamp.

“To me, this beautiful piece of contemporary art is an important part of the joyful and miraculous story of hope and salvation that we celebrate each Christmas season,” said U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors member Louis J. Giuliano.

“We are proud that this stamp will decorate millions of greeting cards, letters and packages this year,” said Giuliano. “Cards may carry seasonal messages inside but season’s greetings really begin on the outside — with stamps.”

Working together, art director William Gicker, designer Greg Breeding, and artist Nancy Stahl have created a new image of the Holy Family. Usually associated with the Flight into Egypt — part of the traditional Nativity story — the scene on the stamp shows Joseph leading a donkey that carries Mary and the infant Jesus, guided by a star shining in the twilight of a desert sky.

Happy Holidays!

July 15, 2010

Thank you for visiting!

Cool Yule: A Christmas Blog features articles and videos about fun things to do for Christmas and New Year’s, mostly in the Washington, DC area, but also throughout Virginia. I’ve also included some fun holiday videos and recipes, as well as reviews.

Please comment and add your own contributions!  And if you have holiday events, recipes, stories, or ideas you would like me to include, you can contact me at

Cheers!  — Mary

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