Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holly Wreaths - Quick and Simple Idea for Gifts, Holiday Gatherings, and Cookie Exchanges!

 If you are anything like me (and if you are lucky- you are NOT), you are frantically running around shopping, wrapping, planning and attending to the last minute details of the holidays.

If you are looking for something different this year, try this very simple, very festive treat!

Holly Wreaths

 Pictured here on a platter but given as a gift, try buying festive paper plates- the wreath is the perfect size and can fit inside a gallon ziploc storage bag.  

This is the PERFECT solution for:

Teacher Gifts
Cookie Exchange Parties
Bus Driver/Postal Carrier Gifts
Holiday Parties

What you need:

Corn Flakes Cereal
1/4 Cup Salted Butter
Package of Large Marshmallows
Green Food Coloring
Cinnamon Imperials (aka Red Hots)

You will want a good amount of waxed paper on your counter ready to go

Warm the marshmallows and butter on the stove, be sure to be constantly stirring.  Once liquid- add 4-5 drops of food coloring.  Mix Well.  Add in 6-8 cups of corn flakes.  This is the tough part, mix and mix mix some more all while hot.  The more you work it, the better the syrup will cover the flakes.

This would be a good time to utilize an assistant (the tinier the fingers, the better).  Drop blobs of the mixture onto wax paper, quickly add 2-3 cinnimon imperials per "blob".  It helps to keep butter handy for your (CLEAN) fingers to keep from sticking to everything. 

Once cool, you can plate them as is or create wreaths by plating them in a circle.  I buy the red packaging bows to add a little flair when I plate them as wreaths.

And it's as simple as that!  Fast, easy and inexpensive.  These have always been a huge hit at cookie exchanges and as gifts if you need something small.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mommy, is Santa Real?

I've dreaded this day from his very first Christmas.

There have been doubts over the last nine years, but now- after becoming a very intelligent, logical, inquisitive, young, man, my 9 year old son finally popped the question.

"Mommy, Santa isn't real.  I know he isn't  Everyone at school says he isn't.  Please tell me the truth".


Funny thing about that word, there is more than one version of the truth.  For an extremely literal and trusting child, this truth is what I would give.

I searched some of the Santa letters online and took some suggestions from good friends via Facebook and then composed my own version with a Christian spin.  I was raised Lutheran and my children have been baptized and raised the same.  I've always been concerned about "Santa" overshadowing the true meaning of Christmas and this was a perfect opportunity to express my own beliefs about both.

Each and every family will handle this situation different based on their own values.  Some parents continue the Santa story indefinitely like my own Mom.  "I still believe in Santa", she'll say.   Some say "I'm not sure but I know he only brings gifts to those who believe he's real"  *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* and some parents never bother pretending in the first place.  For us, this response is what felt right.  

Now, <insert deep breath>, I'm going to give it to him and I am hoping his sweet little heart will always believe in Santa the way I explained it.