I was so proud of myself because every year I have the goal to get all the presents that need to be mailed to far-away family mailed by December 1st. I can probably count on one hand the number of times that has happened, but this year was one of them. YAY!
Not that there isn't more to do within my own home and for my own family, but having that checked off my list of things to do, I feel like I'm a little less distracted, and a little more focused on the joy of the season.
We don't typically have the calendar filled to the brim with holiday events, performances, parties and the like, but it's some of the simplest of things that bring us joy and make things feel festive.
I thought I'd share some of our favorites that make the Christmas season merry and bright for us.
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But not just the ordinary, hear-the-same-ol'-song-on-the-radio-every-fifteen-minutes kind of Christmas music.
Here are some albums that we really like.
(Warning: some of the band names are terrible, but this album is good.)
And of course the new Keith Harkin and She & Him that I featured on this recent post.
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What is your favorite cookie? Mine, hands down, is a molasses cookie, but nothing says Christmas cookie to me more than a peanut butter blossom. (You know, a peanut butter cookie with a chocolate kiss in the center.) That's what my mom always used to bake.
Having a baking day with the kids is such fun. Recently, I found this at Trader Joe's. 😄
Since finding this cookie kit, I've seen "ugly Christmas sweater" cookie cutters in the stores!
One thing that is usually on our calendar is an annual cookie exchange hosted by one of Hannah's friends. Not only are they fun and festive, but a great way to build a large assortment of cookies for gift giving. We often take one night where we bundle up and carol while delivering cookie gift plates to our neighbors.
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Sometimes adding something new to our collection is just what is needed.
This year Hannah turned an ugly Christmas sweater into an ugly Christmas sweater pillow cover! I am totally loving it! You might think about doing the same thing, if you have some sweaters that you no longer wear. She was inspired by this pin, but you can find the tutorial here on how she often makes pillows.
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When the temperatures drop outside, curling up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn or caramel corn and watching a movie all snuggled together makes me feel snuggly inside too.
These are some of my favorites. While You Were Sleeping and Little Women aren't Christmas themed movies (and not for younger children), but they take place during Christmas so they feel like Christmas movies to me. 😊
Have you ever watched Fay's Twelve Days of Christmas? You should. We try to get it from the library.
Here is our recipe for caramel corn.
1 c. popcorn kernels
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
*large brown shopping bag (request a paper bag at your store check out - they do have them still.)
Pop the popcorn in an air popper 1/3 cup at a time. Discard any unpopped kernels. Place popped corn in a large brown shopping bag. (not a lunch bag - that is too small.)
In a large glass bowl, microwave brown sugar, salt, butter, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. ( Microwave 2 minutes, look. Microwave again, look. etc.)
Remove from microwave. Add 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Stir until brown throughout. Pour over popcorn in the bag. Roll top down and shake to coat. Put the popcorn filled bag in the microwave for 45 seconds. Remove and shake. Microwave again for 45 seconds. Remove and shake. Pour out onto waxed paper - spreading to a single layer. Let cool and ENJOY!
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So what little things make you rejoice in the Christmas season? I'd LOVE to hear!
Wishing you good cheer and Christmas blessings!
Linking with Strangers and Pilgrims