Is your belly still full from those Thanksgiving leftovers? Don’t fret, because it’s time to put on some stretchy snowman pajamas! The holiday season is upon us! Put up those trees and lights with pride (if you went ahead and put them up after Halloween, we don’t judge).
2019 has come and gone like Santa in a snowstorm. What a year it’s been! During these last few weeks of the year (and decade, wow!), take time to reflect on the good that’s come of it. We have so many reasons to be grateful! How can we give back? The holidays are often the best time of year for some families, but a lot of times they are the hardest part of the year for others. Participate in a toy drive! Many organizations such as churches and schools hold Christmas drives to provide toys for children whose families cannot afford them. Some organizations even have a program called adopt a family where you get a profile of a child and what their interests are, and you can sponsor them and make their Christmas wishes come true!
As Buddy the Elf so gracefully put it, Santa’s coming! Santa’s coming! How are we to prepare for his arrival? There are so many ways to decorate your home for the holidays, it can be hard to keep up with them all. We’ll start with our personal favorites!
What’s more fun and bright than outdoor lights? Make the outside of your home twinkle with Christmas lights! Keep it simple with uniform white lights for a more sophisticated look, or go all out and use rainbow lights for an exciting display! If you have kids, we love those inflatable characters. What kid doesn’t want to have a giant Frosty the Snowman in their front yard?
As much as I love to stand around White Barn and sniff candles all day, candles can actually be a great decorating tool too! Get a large amount of light smelling candles and place them around the house – individually or in clusters; candles can brighten any room in more ways than one.
Probably the most important decoration inside the house is the Christmas tree. Christmas trees come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so it’s hard to give you specific decorating instructions. Make it a family activity! Let the little ones hang the lower ornaments (not the breakable ones, of course). Bring out the old ornaments from when you were growing up. Just make sure that however you decorate it, you do it with love and joy.
It’s Christmas Eve and there’s only one thing left to set out… cookies and milk! We have a fantastic cookie recipe from Paula’s Palate that’ll make Santa say Ho Ho Ho!
OLD FASHION GINGER SNAPS
This is Santa’s favorite cookie at our home. This is great cookie to make with kids all year round! The cookies will flatten during baking, and their tops will crack.
¾ cup shortening, e.g., Crisco
1 ½ cups white sugar, divided use
¼ cup molasses
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cream the shortening and 1 cup of sugar. Add the egg, molasses, salt, baking soda, spices and cocoa to the creamed sugar and mix well. Add 1 cup of flour and mix well.
Remove beater/paddle from the mixer and add remaining cup of flour, mixing well with a spoon.
Form small 1-inch diameter balls by rolling dough between the palms of your hands.
Place ½ cup sugar in a pie plate and roll the balls in sugar.
Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 minutes.
If you’ve loved the last 2 recipes we’ve posted, check out PaulasPalate.com! We can’t get enough of her delicious recipes!
Although the holiday season has different meanings for everyone, the most important part of this season is to be with those you love. Whether that’s family, friends, or even strangers, be sure to spread kindness and gratitude. We here at Millennium Designs want all of you to know how much you all mean to every single one of us. We wish you all a very merry holiday season!