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New Year’s Traditions

With little kids, staying up until the official New Year begins is out of the question.  So, we improvise and throw a bit of a New Year’s celebration just for them!  Here are some ideas to try out this year…add your own as well!

  • Our favorite is to set our clocks three hours ahead.  The kids get the sensation of midnight without it actually BEING midnight.  We blow horns, throw streamers, cheer and dance.  Then, it is time to head off to bed while it is still actually a reasonable hour!
  • Serve up kid-friendly snacks for that New Year’s eve bash.  Pinwheels are easy to make and yummy for kids.  Simply roll your favorites in a tortilla, slice and serve.  We’ve had peanut butter and jelly pinwheels, cream cheese and ham pinwheels, and frosting with sprinkles pinwheels – let your kids help prepare them, too!
  • Another great snack for New Year’s eve is pigs in a blanket.  Roll Little Smokies sausages up in crescent rolls for a yummy surprise. 
  • We pull out our goblets for the kids to use on New Year’s eve as well, although last year we avoided near-disaster by using plastic ones for the first time…it was a good thing, too, because they wanted to toast the New Year with the “clink” of the glasses!  Serve up sparkling grape juice or the like for those little revelers.
  • We take a family picture on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  It is a great scrapbook opportunity to usher in the new year in photographs!
  • Our older son, now 9, invites a friend to come and spend the night with us.  The more the merrier, and we all have a wonderful time.  Two years ago, we had the other child’s entire family stay with us until after “faux-midnight” to celebrate. 

What are some of your ways to celebrate with kids?  Leave a comment and share!

Holiday Recipe: Monkey Bread

This is a great treat for Christmas morning – or any other morning for that matter!  It is easy and fun (and messy), so be sure everyone gets involved in creating it!

1.25 c sugar
1T cinnamon
3 cans biscuits
1 stick butter, melted
1.5 lbs powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Cut biscuits into fourths.  Mix 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon.  Put mix on biscuits.  Drop biscuits into well greased bundt pan.  Mix melted butter with 3/4 cup sugar and pour over biscuits.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Drizzle with a powdered sugar icing you can create with the powdered sugar, vanilla and a little water if needed. 

Tis The Season To Give

Our church is offering up a wonderful ministry this holiday that literally anyone can do on their own.  Try out a few of the recipes posted on here and you’re on your way to a new holiday tradition.

Our church is creating small bundles of cookies (2-3 in each bundle) to hand out on Christmas Eve.  The idea is to take them and deliver the bundles to those that are working that evening – the pharmacist, the policeman, the convenience store worker, the grocery clerk, the hospital staff, the fireman.  It is a way to spread a little holiday cheer (no matter what holiday that person celebrates) at a time that they probably don’t get to celebrate much.

And, think of the wonderful message this relays to our children – that it is better to give than to receive, and while the cookies might be yummy, someone else may enjoy them as well.  And that is a wonderful lesson to learn this holiday season.

Holiday Recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Swirls

This is a great little, light cookie that is perfect for dessert, snacks, and even breakfast!  It is very easy for kids to make, yet tastes like it came from a commercial bakery.  It is sure to be a favorite with everyone!

2 T butter, melted
2/3 c sugar
1.5 t ground cinnamon
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, 9 x 10.5 inches, thawed.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.  In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/3 c sugar and cinnamon.  Stir until blended.  Sprinkle some of the remaining 1/3 c sugar on a work surface.  Unfold the thawed puff pastry on top of the sugar with one of the short sides facing you. Generously sprinkle more sugar on top of the puff pastry, and spread to cover.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry, continuing to sprinkle with sugar as you roll.  Roll out to 10×16 inches.  Brush the melted butter onto the pastry.  Then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Press it down evenly.  Starting from a long side, roll up the pastry, jelly-roll style, stopping just before the end.  Press the edge to seal the seam.  Cut the roll into 1/2 inch slices, placing about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.  Bake each batch 12-14 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before moving them to cooling racks.

Holiday Recipe: No Bake Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies

This is a terrific recipe for children to help with!  It requires no baking, yet it is yummy-sweet and delicious all the same!  We love to make these each December and hand them out to our neighbors.

2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk and salt.  Heat and bring to a boil; boil for one minute.  Add teh remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Working quickly, drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper.  Allow to cool before removing from waxed paper.  Makes about four dozen cookies.  Can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container.

Note: the peanut butter is optional.  It will, though alter the consistency of the cookies and makes them stiffen quicker, so be ready to quickly drop onto waxed paper! Enjoy!

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