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Holiday preparations

Over the years we have visited several Christmas tree farms. They vary in their attractions and amenities (some have cider and wreaths and goofy photo ops and warming houses full of ornaments and other Christmas stuff and some don’t) WIth our recent move we found ourselves with two no nonsense christmas tree farms that are both neighbors (not walking distance because we live in the country. but a less than 2 minute drive across or down the street). We picked the Cedar Creek Tree Farm. We were looking for the huge tree that we have wanted but have been unable to get for the past 10 years due to house contraints…. and we found a beauty and it just grazed the vaulted ceiling! We were not really thinking about the lighting and decorating part in all of our excitement but after it was all done it really was magnificent.

xmas prep

Josh loves time in the kitchen and over the years we have made a variety of treat assortments to give as gifts. Again this year Josh and the kids made an assortment of gluten free treats to share with family and friends. The list included: bacon brittle, apple cider caramels, date pistachio truffles, candied walnuts and candied orange and lemon peels…..Nora helped by learning how to make bacon all by herself and the kids wrapped many dozens of caramels.

xmas prep2

I am not much of a baker and I didn’t have a lot of time this year to do much crafting before the holiday and so for the school craft and bake sale I consulted my trusty pinterest pins for some good ideas.

I made: Santa hat snack mix, chocolate chip oatmeal quickbread mix, chocolate dipped oreo pops (much harder than I would have thought, we broke over half of the oreos in the package, but the kids loved helping and eating the broken oreos which we do not stock in our house on a normal day). I also I made several batches of  turtle brownies (a doctored up Ghiraredelli brownie mix from Costco). I always try to package everything up nicely so that it looks great. The craft and bake sale is a long standing tradition at MCMS and it is fun to make some stuff for a great cause.

xmas prep 3

The two days before Christmas break involved a lot of snow and cancelled school. As a result we were able to get a little extra gift making done with the kids. We made pony bead sun catchers. They made the house smell like a toxic waste dump and I would never do it in the house again (I saw someone recommend a toaster oven outside). But they turned out really cute and the kids had a fun time assembling them. I wish I had taken a photo of the finished product. You can see what they look like if you follow the tutorial link above.

xmas prep 4

I always have such great plans for all of the handmade gifts I will make for the holiday. I sometimes get down on myself for not doing more. But then I look back at all we do manage to accomplish and I feel pretty good about it. Happy Holidays’