For those who are dying to know, we have just three days until the big office move and I’m about 90% ready. The bulk of my Christmas parties are done, along with my Christmas baking so I’m feeling pretty good. Now to address and mail Christmas cards… I can do it! My poor friends who came over last night just got Christmas cards not even in envelopes… saved myself the 2 seconds it would have taken to put those in envelopes. Phew.
I keep hearing great and exciting new from people both personally and professionally so my heart is in a happy place which is nice because a friend had some very bad news recently and that had made my heart rather heavy. But none of these things are my stories to tell but I’m sure all involved would appreciate your prayers of thanksgiving and for peace.
This time last year, Jack was almost a month into his recovery from his hand/foot surgery. It’s hard to believe that a year ago he was so much smaller and quite frankly dirtier because in order to give him a bath, we had to make sure the cast was wrapped up nice and tight, it was quite a process, so we didn’t bathe him too regularly while the cast was one (as opposed to the frequent schedule we have him on now – right, Keri?).
1. What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
I pretty much have loved all the Christmas presents I’ve received (cheeseball) but the one I remember being the most excited about came when I was younger – late elementary school age I think. I loved to check out the presents under the tree to see which were for me and one year I had peaked under the wrapping paper on one end of one of the gifts and saw that it was a ceiling fan box and I was SO disappointed. So on Christmas Eve I left that present for last, not wanting to open it, knowing it was going to be that stupid ceiling fan. But lo and behold, my parents fooled me and it ended up being a very large stuffed animal and I was beyond thrilled! I haven’t peaked at a Christmas present since.
2. Worst/Funniest White Elephant gift ever received?
I’m quite partial to two presents currently circulating in my family, one is an autobiography of Michael Jackson written in the 80s (so it’s super up-to-date and an accurate portrayal of his life) and the second is a real [dead] stuffed frog that is sitting at a small wooden piano. I believe that both of them are currently in my brother, Mike’s possession, hopefully he didn’t draw my name for Christmas Eve. 🙂
3. Is your Christmas tree plain and simple (white lights and matching ornaments) or is it wild and crazy (colored lights with lots of ornaments collected over the years)?
I’ll take the third option, non-existent. We have Christmas decorations up – white lights around the living room, multi-colored Christmas ball wreath propped up, Willow Tree nativity on the mantle and ornaments on the windowsill. I think that next year we’ll have a tree again but while we have a child who cannot be trusted to be left alone with anything, we’ve opted to not put up a tree (we go to my parent’s house for Christmas and they do have a tree – no worries).
4. “How” do you iron your clothes? The old-fashioned iron/ironing board way, the shower, back in the dryer, etc.
For a few select items I pull out the iron, but mostly I try to crease things when they are still warm from the dryer – my preferred method.
5. How much baking do you do for Christmas and what are your “must make” items? (I’m looking for recipes here, peeps…)
I do quite a bit of baking, or rather, treat making:
– peppermint patties
– oreo truffles
– chex mix (6 batches)
– get thee behind me satan snack mix
– pretzels with peppermint kisses and mint m&ms
– peanut butter and pretzels “sandwiches” dipped in dark chocolate
Other year’s I’ve made:
– peppermint meringues with dark chocolate bottoms
– snack cracker toffee bark
– peanut butter and Ritz sandwiches dipped in chocolate
– muddy buddy snack mix
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1/8 tsp. peppermint oil (NOT extract)
2 Tb. hot water
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 slab of Gulf Wax (find this in the canning section of a store)
Melt butter. Add sugar and blend together well – you have you use your hands near the end of this. Add peppermint oil and water. Add water 1/2 TB at a time – you want the filling to be pretty thick and not wet feeling, just dampish (the word here should be moist but that word is awful), so you might not need the whole lot of it and if you feel like you added too much, you can always add more powdered sugar. Roll into balls and flatten and place on cookie sheet covered with wax paper and cooking spray. Put in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Using double boiler (I just use a metal mixing bowl over a regular pot of boiling water) melt broken up wax and add chocolate chips when wax is mostly melted (the wax takes longer to melt, so it works if you put it in the bowl first until almost completely melted). Dip patties in the chocolate (I use forks for this). And then use a fork to drizzle lines over the tops of the finished patties (this makes them look professional).
Patties are best kept in the fridge but store for a while in the freezer.
1 package of Oreos (I use double-stuffed)
1 package cream cheese, softened
Semisweet Chocolate for dipping (ghirardelli 60% cocoa baking chips are my favorite for these)
Run Oreos through the food processor until all crumbled. Add cream cheese and mix until combined. Roll into balls, freeze. Dip in melted chocolate. Keep in fridge.
“Get Thee Behind Me, Satan” Snack Mix
3/4 cup butter (don’t know if it HAS to be butter, but never used anything else)
3/4 cup lite corn syrup
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
Melt all in sauce pan, boil X 2 min.
In large bowl mix together 14oz box of chex cereal (corn or rice), about 1 c peanuts (I omit these), 2 + cups mini pretzels. Pour syrup over all and mix well. Put into large greased roasting pan. Bake @ 250 for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 min. Dump out on wax paper or foil to cool then add M&M’s (also optional, plenty good without them)