“…who don’t give you presents on Christmas,” Andrew is quick to remind our kids these days. Even though we follow the tradition Andrew grew up with of opening gifts on New Year’s Day and saving Christmas as a special day to remember Christ’s birth, it in no way lessons the excitement and fun of Christmas at our house.
Soon after Thanksgiving, I googled “Christmas appetizers for kids” to find foods they could make to take to our church’s Christmas fellowship meal.
Andrew picked up the two (of the three!) ingredients we didn’t have on one of his trips out, and that afternoon Hannah and Marie made “Christmas candy” (as I call it).
They laid out some pretzels, then put a Hershey’s kiss or a hug on each one.
After I baked them in the oven at 170 degrees for a few minutes to get the kisses all nice and soft, they put a green or red M & M on each one. We did run out of those colors and used a few blue ones too.
Andrew was all set to go get our Christmas tree even before December! I was sure that was way, way too early.
He was patient, and we waited until the first Saturday in December to go get it.
After reading about Davene’s family going to a Christmas tree farm to get their tree a few years ago, we looked up the same farm. We’ve gone there every year since.
It’s not very far from us, and it’s a really fun place to take kids to look for just the right tree. If you go at the right time, you can hunt and find the candy cane tree.
Last year we went too late in the season and the kids were sorely disappointed not to find any candy canes. This year, that was not the case!
Of course, Andrew suggested we could wait to get our tree until just after Christmas and simply drive around until we found one sitting out on the curb and pick it up and bring it home to use. Perhaps it would even be decorated and still have the lights on it! None of the kids thought that was a good way to get a Christmas tree!
These pictures are proof enough that we got a fresh-from-the-stump tree.
After we got back home, Andrew and the kids did all the decorating, which was perfectly fine with me. I rested for a little bit, and then rustled up our lunch.
After lunch, while Rachel was napping, Paul, Hannah, and Marie made their other Christmas fellowship food. I found a recipe and picture for a Christmas wreath. We made a few changes (such as making roll dough instead of using a can of crescent rolls), but it turned out just fine. They sure enjoyed making all those little balls of dough and putting them in a circle. We actually ended up with two wreaths and quite a few spare rolls.
We just decorated one wreath. I made a dip of cream cheese, sour cream, dill weed, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt, which I spread on the wreath. Then the kids put shredded lettuce all over the dip. (This is all after it was baked, or course!). While it was baking, I also cut bell shapes out of colored peppers with a tiny cookie cutter. (They were supposed to be stars, but I discovered I don’t have a little star cookie cutter. Somehow I thought I did.) I also cut little bits of peppers when I couldn’t get any more bells out of them. I put some dip on the back of the bells, and they stuck them onto the wreath. I also put little bits of dip on top the lettuce for them to put random pepper pieces on.
It looked really nice when it was done. It tasted good, but I think if I do it again I might figure out a few more ingredients to give it more wow, or something.
We had a really great time at the fellowship meal that evening. It has been so different to experience the holidays this year. It is so much easier! For the first time in, what, maybe 7 years? I’m not nursing a baby, I don’t have a newborn, and I’m not pregnant. On top of all that, all my kids eat table food, and they only eat 3 times a day (rather than 8 or 10). At the fellowship meal, I actually visited with some other ladies and could carry on a conversation. I was able to actually think and focus enough to carry on an intelligent conversation! I enjoyed it so much. Sure, there are times when I miss having a little baby to hold, and I miss some of those newborn experiences, but I’m also determined to enjoy the stage that I’m in. There are a lot of great things in the here and now.
Even though neither Santa nor their parents are giving our kids presents on Christmas day, we are having a good time celebrating Christmas.