This is my favorite time of year.
I love the activities with family and friends–baking, holiday movies, parties, caroling, the whole nine yards. If I can make a confession, my Christmas tree was up on Halloween night. Granted, it’s a small tree that’s comes with lights and decorations that fit into the fall Thanksgiving scheme as much as the Christmas holiday scheme and disassembles in two pieces, but it was assembled and plugged in nonetheless. (Sorry about that lengthy sentence, but it seemed necessary.)
Below are some of my favorite things for the holiday–quick recipes, activities, and traditions. May your days be merry and bright! I’ll see you all closer to the new year. Have a Merry Christmas!
- Reindeer Food — meant for human consumption! It’s a sibling to Puppy Chow, for those of you familiar with the delectable snack. A friend of mine, a Texas native, introduce me to Puppy Chow in college, and my life has never been the same. My employer is a skilled maker of Reindeer Food. With snacks and friends such as these, my life is truly blessed.
- Apple Cobbler — for those who aren’t pie aficionados, cobbler is a must-have for the holidays. This recipe includes pecans, which I love, but are easily substituted or omitted.
- Short on time? Use canned biscuits or crescent rolls for your dough! (My family loves this alternative–and they have no idea that I wasn’t making homemade dough all morning.)
- Coconut Cake — my family flips their lid over coconut cake. It’s a lovely baked good, suitable for gifting, and it is a white fluffy beacon of the season. It’s also nice for locales that don’t see snow or won’t have a traditional white Christmas. It’s a sweet, snowy, delicious dream.
- A beloved friend of mine made me a coconut cake this Christmas, using homemade cream cheese icing. DELICIOUS.
- Homemade Dog Treats — for our four-legged friends and family members! You can make traditional shapes or use cookie cutters to make them festive! Great gifts for friends and family members who have pets! When gift giving, check the ingredients with the pet’s owner. Include a recipe card as an added gift.
- If you’re feeling the Christmas spirit move you, look into baking these treats and taking them to a local shelter. Check with the managerial staff to be sure that you can bring outside snacks for their loveable guests!
- While you’re at that shelter, look into adopting a new member into your family–a great Christmas gift for a four-legged friend!
- Magic Reindeer Food — This is OK for humans to eat, but it’s meant for Santa’s reindeer! This is a great activity for your youngsters, and the recipe is safe for your outdoor critters to consume. It also comes with a nice little poem that your kids can write out, decorate the page, and put in their stockings for Santa.
- If you’re attending a Christmas party and gift-giving to kids, this makes a great stocking stuffer! They can go out and sprinkle food for Santa’s reindeer before the Big Guy’s arrival!
- Star Wars Snowflakes — Just in time for The Force Awakens! You and your padawan can cut out and decorate with really rad Star Wars snowflakes!
- Homemade holiday cards — Great activity for friends and family alike! All you need is paper (construction, colored, card stock, whatever your heart desires), writing/coloring utensils, additional tools like glue sticks and scissors–and your imagination!
- If you’re feeling the spirit of Christmas, make holiday cards and take them to a local nursing home or homeless shelter!
- Holiday TV specials — every year, my family and I enjoy the classics — Charlie Brown’s Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the Chuck Jones classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We sing along, too, because the loved ones who nerd-out together stay together. Truth.
- Movies — I admit that I’m a sucker for a great Christmas movie. It doesn’t have to be strictly Christmas-themed, like The Holiday, which I watch every year. My favorite Christmas movie is The Santa Clause, and I regret nothing. I still laugh, after all this time. The Hallmark Channel has been showing some cute family-friendly movies, too, and ABC Family has their 25 Days of Christmas tradition. POLAR EXPRESS, ANYONE?!?!
Enjoy the holidays, everyone!
Spend time with loved ones, bring tidings of good cheer, and share the love.
What are some of your favorite holiday activities and traditions? Let me know in the comments!