We woke up to minus four degrees yesterday and today is predicted to be colder. Crazy! I'm well-known for my love of snow, but I'm not nearly as found of extreme cold! Today, I may just stay home and keep warm! Denise is away for the week with her husband on a buisness trip.
Yesterday, aside from lunch with Natalie, I shopped most of the day, alone, finishing up almost everything but a few stocking stuffers for Grace! Happiness. I had Zaylee in the afternoon and never had a free moment until after 9PM. CRAZY! Family Home Evening, thanks to Gracie's planning, was a fun little activity, making out Christmas lists of what we all want for Christmas and what we can do to give Christ a birthday gift. I thought it was cute that she wanted ten on each list. After hearing the lists, I'm quite pleased because I've scored big with my shopping accuracy! Quayd's list was short and sweet. And iPod Touch and the last Harry Potter BlueRay DVD. He had all ten of the gifts for Christ, including being kind to his sisters and keeping his room clean all the time for a whole month. Happiness!
As of midnight, everything is wrapped and under the tree, except Zaylee's gift, which needs a big box! My gallery can be cleaned and return to normal, instead of Christmas Central!
Speaking of giftwrapping.... this year, I've chosen one wrap for each of the kids and will be using no tags. Every year, we try something new to keep them guessing until Christmas morning. The past few years, I've created silly names for the kids and put the tags on the gifts but no one knows until "the moment"! It's hysterical to listen to them guessing, certain that the "snowflake" wrap is "mine" for the moment because they like the shape or size of the package. Tomorrow, they are certain it's that they "red wrap is mine". It's just another way to make it fun and for us, it works.
One other idea that I suggested a few years ago... wrap your stocking stuffers now, as you buy them! It's a good way to save on giftwrap because you always have those little pieces trimmed off the big packages. Wrap them now and store them in one gift box for each person in the family. On Christmas Eve, you won't find yourself up all night wrapping all those tedious little packages. Just open the gift box and transfer the gifts into the socks... stockings only take a few minutes to stuff!
Cake balls are all the rage these days. I found this idea a few years ago and love it! And seriously, it couldn't get ANY more simple! Purchase a cheesecake. Using your melon baller, make cheesecake balls. Put a sucker stick into each ball. Freeze on plate for about 30 minutes. Remove and dip in melted chocolate, drizzle with caramel or raspberry glaze. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the finished product. Freeze until serving! Oh, my, my! Simple. Tasty. As Martha would say, "It’s a good thing." For some really sweet ideas (pun intended), Google Christmas Cake Ball Images. Oh my!
A stocking stuffer idea: Carol has done this for years and I forget every year until she mentions it on the day afterChristmas. When you are purchasing your stocking stuffers, include a couple of the mini serving-size boxes of your child's favorite cold cereal. They can open them and snack during the gift opening instead of just munching on candy and treats at 6 in the morning. They'll love it and they'll have something to keep their tummies in check until brunch is served.
Recipe: Christmas Crunch - Another simple and tasty idea!
Gently mix and toss:
1 box Rice Chex
1 bag Pretzel sticks or small squares
1 pound bag M&Ms, in Christmas colors, of course!
1 can salted roasted peanuts or cashews
Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Pour over mixed snacks and gently toss. This is a great treat to take to the office or share with your neighbors in those fun little buckets or containers found at Target's Dollar Spot!
And one last personal note: ONE WEEK UNTIL LIZA IS HOME! It doesn't get better than that!!!
There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions.