From our home to yours, have a very Merry Christmas!
May it be filled with joy and all the magic of this wondrous season!
With Christmas just a day away, I thought I’d share a Christmas story. I asked my brother recently if he remembered the year that we unwrapped all of our presents and rewrapped them before our parents got home. I was hoping he would have some recollection of that event as well as who initiated it. He didn’t.
I remember it. Christmas wasn’t that much of a surprise that year, but it seemed like a good idea at the time! Although I can’t say how old we were, Mom and Dad must have deemed us fit to stay home by ourselves. Being the older sibling, I am taking full blame here. Besides, when you’re the older sister, you automatically have someone else to place the blame on! Poor “curious” little brother of mine!
With Mom and Dad out of the house, we took the opportunity and ran with it – right underneath the Christmas tree. As usual, I was probably snooping underneath the tree (ask me what I got this year from my husband – I already know!). I must have spotted a present with a corner of paper that was lifting. Sometimes tape doesn’t always stick to the corners of a carefully wrapped gift. That may have been the year DIY entered my life!
We went through our pile of gifts and found every one that seemed easy enough to unwrap. We took a good look at each one, told each other what we got (I remember being really excited about a purse and a pair of earrings I unwrapped), retaped them and replaced them just as they were before anyone noticed!
We did a really good job at rewrapping because I don’t remember Mom or Dad being suspicious Christmas Day. And even though we had our pre-Christmas fun, I can’t recall being entirely disappointed when our gifts were no longer a surprise. I think I was just happy to unwrap them all over again and finally get to put everything to use!
That year was our little secret and apparently we were clever enough to “keep it under wraps.”
Were you sneaky when it came to Christmas?
As my husband snuck a peek at the notebook page where this post was drafted, I could only imagine him thinking “You’re the last person on Earth who should be giving advice on how to stay calm.” I am irrational. I have zero patience. I am hot-tempered and don’t work well under pressure. But this Christmas, I’m trying not to let holiday stress get the best of me. Even though I am checking off my to-do list, I’m not worried about those things that get left behind.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR COOL DURING THE HOLIDAYS
- Remember to breathe. It’s a time for calm and joy. Calmmmm yourself!
- Make a list of your holiday to-do’s.
- Now edit that list and cross off anything that doesn’t seem crucial.
- Wrap presents as you buy them. Keep them in a designated area or nestle them underneath the tree if you don’t have little Santa believers around. Nothing makes a Christmas tree seem more complete than pretty, wrapped presents underneath it!
- Clean/declutter. Trust me. It helps! You’ll feel relieved and focused when things are nice and tidy.
- Turn up the ♪ Christmas tunes ♫ or watch a holiday movie! Instant cheer!
- Take a walk. Get some fresh air in the evening with someone you love and enjoy the houses all lit up!
- Pour yourself a drink. Hot cocoa, tea, eggnog, a glass of wine – whatever’s your poison!
- Cuddle. Nothing makes me feel better than a good snuggle fest!
- If you don’t get to everything on your list, don’t sweat it. There’s always next year!
Christmas is just about a week away. So most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the holiday season. As quickly as it comes around each year, it goes away just as fast! Cuddle up with a Christmas cookie, a good movie or book and enjoy the rest of this wonderful time of year!
Cinnamon ornaments are one of those things that has been on my holiday to-do list for years and I never got around to making them. It’s probably because the last time I attempted to make them, they turned out to be a big, crumbly mess.
Considering that I am making out like a boss on my holiday to-do list this year, I took a little time over the weekend to try making cinnamon ornaments again. I used a no cook recipe that was so easy to make! I might even say it’s fool proof. The dough came together nicely and was real easy to work with. I used a bamboo skewer to poke holes in my cinnamon cut-outs for hanging, then set them out on foil to let them dry overnight. When they dried in the morning, I flipped them over and let them dry on the other side. Then I used baker’s twine to hang.
- - 1/2 cup cinnamon
- - 1/2 cup salt
- - 1 cup flour
- - 3/4 warm water
- - Cookie cutters
- - Bamboo skewer
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl until dough begins to form.
- Turn out dough onto a plastic cutting board and knead with your hands for a couple minutes.
- Roll dough out and cut shapes with cookie cutters and set on foil to dry.
- Using a bamboo skewer, poke a hole in ornaments.
- Allow ornaments to dry overnight. Then turn them over and dry again.
- Hang with baker's twine when ornaments have completely hardened.
- Ornaments can be decorated with paint or leave them just as they are. They will be a light color when dried.
This recipe made over a dozen cinnamon ornaments. Use Christmas cookie cutters or simple shapes like hearts and stars to create your ornaments. These pleasantly scented ornaments give the tree a traditional, homemade look. Make an extra batch to use as unique holiday gift tags!