December 13, 2012 by currbell
This is the first year I have been excited about Christmas since I was a kid. The girls make everything fun *grin*. Even though we don’t watch any TV and it wasn’t something we were talking about much they have somehow picked up all this information about Christmas. They were busy telling me everything they knew about Christmas, and one of them said, “And we open up alllll the presents and see ALLLLL the MONEY!” I’m really striving this year to have a balanced Christmas…lots of fun and joy for the girls, but not a lot of stress and running around. And that has meant I have to let go of expectations as I see they are going to cause too much stress. These words really encouraged my heart towards peace and my hands towards patient service is the busy days.
We don’t own many store bought decorations, so I found several fun easy Christmas decorations with make with the girls on the Crafty Crow blog. We’ve settled on Reindeer and coffee filter garland (wet coffee filters, drops of food coloring, let dry, glue to yarn or cheep wrapping paper ribbon). I’m really pleased with how cheery it makes the house look. I’m thinking about trying to make some of these too.
If things go according to plan we will be at home on Christmas day and I love to do a nice laid back day with lots of filling and tasty snacks, instead of a big meal. This is what’s on the menu for this year: Spinach Artichoke dip, Cheese dip (thick grated cheddar, mayo and tabasco eaten with corn chips…I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I could just eat and eat and eat this, and I probably will,. It’s good with jalopenos too and REALLY good with homemade mayo), Crab dip (My sister taught me this one, one drained 6oz can of crab meat, 16oz of sour cream, and chilli powder to taste, eaten with potato chips) Veggie platter (baby corn, pickles, olives, pickled beets), Cheese, salami and flatbread, Russian Ginger Bread Thumbprint cookies (these turned out SO good), sugar cookies, and Korova Cookies (a favorite from the last two Christmases) Rubarb baked with white wine and vanilla bean (I can’t EVEN tell you how good), baked apples and cranberries, pop corn, and egg nog. I decided I am making white flour flakey biscuits, a rarely seen treat at out house…the white flour part…for breakfast Christmas morning. You make the biscuits flaky, like the ones that come in the can, by rolling out the dough, then folding it in half and doing this 8 to 12 times. And I’ll serve the baked fruit with yogurt. Then the rest of the day just let everyone snack at will. All. Day. Long. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? We’ve been make a batch of two of cookies, flatbread, or biscuits a week and then put them in the freezer, so it will mainly be slicing cheeses and mixing up dips on Christmas.
We also started what I hope will be a new family tradition, a Christmas tea for the ladies of our direct family. I did a pre-lunch tea, since I wasn’t ambitious enough to take on serving lunch this year. We had the Russian Thumbprint cookies, shortbread cookie, and crumpets (which turned out to be more like pancakes from the make-do-without-crumpet-rings recipe I used, but that’s okay.)
I’m re-reading a parenting book from the 1800’s called “Hints on Child Training” by H. Clay Trumbull. I wanted to share these quote with you from the chapter entitled Giving Added Value to a Child’s Christmas. “Each one went to his or her stocking. There was nothing in it but a little card, pendent from a thread coming over the mantel edge. On that card was a rhyming call to follow the thread wherever it might lead…They lead hither and thither, the children following , almost holding their breaths with the excitement of pursuit and expectation…By and by the thread came once more to a common point and there in the center of the room were seven mammoth pasteboard Christmas boots…Each child seized a boot and hurried, as directed, back to the breakfast room. Then came new surprises. All hands sat on the floor together. Only one package at a time was opened, that all might enjoy the disclosures to the full. And there were unlooked for direction on many a package. One child would take a package from her Christmas boot, and on removing the first wrapper, would find a written announcement that the package was to be handed over to her cousin. A little later, the cousin would be directed to pass along another package to a third one of the party…What lifelong memories of enjoyment were then made for them…but the charm of that day was in the mysteries of that pursuing chase all over that beautiful house, and in the excitement of prolonged anticipation and wonder.” The specifics of these ideas won’t work for my little family, at least not this year. But I loved the principle of it all, making life full of joy and anticipation, and the idea that it isn’t about the money, but the thought that goes into it.
May God bless you with the needed wisdom to create your own balanced Christmas! c