Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Holiday beverage markers

December 23, 2007

Here is a quick solution for beverage markers—
place a 2-dimensional paper sticker on a metal rimmed office tag.

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They were slightly difficult to attach to the glass, but worked in a pinch and looked really festive. If one had more time the wire ring could be changed to an actual wire beverage i.d. hoop.

Homemade Caramel Corn

December 23, 2007

This is a sweet treat for some sweet friends. 

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I use my friend Di’s recipe.  It is easy and so delicious!

Di’s Caramel Corn

½ Cup butter (1 stick)
1 Cup light brown sugar
¼ Cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 quarts (12 cups) popped corn                       

In heavy saucepan on medium to medium-high heat melt butter then add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly.  Once mixture boils stop stirring and boil for 5 minutes (Do not stir).  Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda.  Pour mixture over popped corn. Gently stir to coat popcorn.  Place popcorn into a large roaster or rimmed baking sheet and bake at 225° F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

Two batches of this recipe filled my three containers from Wal-Mart perfectly.

Traditions

December 20, 2007

Since our oldest son was a toddler we have had friends come over IN THEIR PAJAMAS to read Christmas stories. Our oldest son is now 15 and this has become one of our most loved holiday traditions.

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There are no fancy clothes or fancy food and kids are definitely invited. At first the guests (especially the adults) might be shy about wearing their pajamas—but we insist. We sit around reading Christmas stories, drinking hot chocolate, sometimes we do a craft(decorating gingerbread houses and making gift tags are a favorite), and we eat a few simple snacks. It is such a special way to spend a cozy and relaxing evening with friends. We enjoy listening to our friends favorite Christmas books and as some of the children have gotten older they enjoy reading the stories also. I can’t say enough about how special the evening is for us. It is a moment in this busy time of year to slow down and remember what the Season is about!

When we moved to Germany I met my dear friend Wendy who was also having these parties. Her sister Tara has written some wonderful invitations. I “borrow” these poems and then make a theme around the invite. This is one of my favorite, The Polar Express.

We would like for you to join us for

a Christmas tale

We’ll gather for a story about a

little sleigh bell

We’ll be in our pajamas so that’s

how you should dress

All aboard headed north on the

Polar Express

Your time and date

Please bring your favorite Christmas

story to read!

Invitations can be made by layering holiday papers and adding a jingle bell at the top

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The best thing is we can always elaborate on the theme and change it up. Next time I use this I want to make jingle bell wreaths. Family Fun has cute jingle bell bracelets to make. The possibilities are endless. Party favors would be cute sent home in a bag clipped with this jingle bell clip.

So warm up some hot chocolate and invite some friends over and relax and enjoy some special family time. A sweet little 4 year old said it was the best party she had ever been to. Now that is a pretty good endorsement when you have been to a “princess” party before!

Breakfast with Santa

December 16, 2007

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For six years now we have hosted “Breakfast with Santa” for our son’s basketball team. 

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I try to make it look special from candles on the table to hanging stars from the chandelier.

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I hot glued three candy canes together to make an easel to hold each of the boys names for place-cards.  We drink hot coca out of Santa mugs and I let these rowdy boys use the fine china for such a special occasion!

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We eat pancakes, bacon and sausage ——and a few snowman doughnuts. Mini powder sugar doughnuts with a candy corn nose and candy eyes (from the cake decorating store).

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Usually we make a craft but this year I couldn’t resist playing “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” with these fifth grade boys.  Santa graciously agreed!

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Santa takes a photo with each boy

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Hands out a small gift to each boy

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In the past Santa has read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  This year Santa was so fabulous he said the entire poem from memory.  He also reminded the boys how lucky they were, to be good, listen to their moms (thank you Santa) and remember those who don’t have as much. 

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I’m thankful these boys still go along and just lose themselves in the magic of the morning!