Archive for December, 2009

Holiday Crowns

I made these in anticipation of New Year’s Eve. I’m not good at keeping secrets, especially fun ones, so I let the kids have them before Christmas.

The crowns are made of cotton flannel with a stiff layer of interfacing in the middle. I plan to cut numbers and decorations out of felt to stick on them — this will be one way we can pass the many hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve. We’ll start that day with 2009 on them and, come midnight, we can replace the ’09 with ’10. Presto, chango! In the meantime, the crowns are being worn and enjoyed undecorated.

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Merry Christmas To All!

And to all, a good night!

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Trash-Picked Treasures

This old sled was saved from a landfill last spring. It sat deep in the back of my garage until recently.

I have no idea if it would work as a sled — we don’t seem to get enough snow to try it out. Nor have I ever used a heavy one like this — a plastic one seems so much easier to lug up a hill with a kid on it. Even if this sled never again flies down a hill, it will continue to bring some glee to me as a front-porch holiday decoration. Merry Christmas to all!

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Buche de Noel

Because I’ve always wanted to make one, and because it was the day before Christmas and I still felt the need to bake, it seemed like a good idea to make this traditional Christmas Eve cake.

The recipe for the cake came from here. I made the white frosting — a type of white-chocolate-cream-cheese-whipped cream mixture. I originally attempted to make white chocolate ganache but it didn’t work out so then I improvised. For the outside of the cake, I used *gasp* chocolate frosting from a can.

We made mushrooms for the cake out of marshmallows. It’s traditional to use meringue but marshmallow seemed an easier option — and one the kids could participate in.

As I look at my kitchen sink, piled high with every bowl and pan imaginable, I can now say that I am officially done with my holiday baking.

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Final Preparations

The excitement is building here. My kids got up extra early this morning to practice for Christmas morning.

We went to the dollar store a few days ago. My kids buy presents for each other there. It’s fun to see them giggling and dodging each other in the aisles so they don’t catch glimpses of what the other is picking out. Then we go home and things get secretly wrapped and stashed under the tree.

They get to open these gifts to each other tonight — Christmas Eve. Already they are spinning with glee and excitement (the breakfast donuts, I’m sure, contributed to much of the spinning) — so much so that I wonder if this level of energy can be kept up all day. And there is much more merriment to come — more baking, more wrapping, more parties to attend. There is special music and stories to listen to and special people to see. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

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Pop-Tart Books

These were made to occupy my kids during a lengthy, family restaurant evening. We used the debris from that morning’s breakfast. Yeah, Pop-Tarts, I know. Not exactly the breakfast of champions but, well, what can I say? We love them.

To make these, we cut apart the boxes, folded plain paper and tucked the paper inside the folded cardboard. I ran the book through my sewing machine using a long stitch length with a heavy-duty needle, then trimmed the pages. These are so simple to make that even explaining the process seems like overkill. The amount of time put into these was minimal and my kids were very excited. They fought over who got which flavor book. But all was good and they served their purpose well.

We need to make more. I know what I’ll be serving for breakfast today.

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There’s Still Time

I keep coming across more and more fun ideas for presents. Today’s obsession has been making personal coloring books for my kids. I know they will be very happy to color on their siblings’ faces.

These were made at crayola.com — they have a program on their site called “Lights, Camera, Color!” which converts digital photos to coloring pages. To print the pages, you need to enter a special code found on boxes of specially-marked crayons. I just googled for a code and found one.

This is a program I could play with forever. I keep thinking that a book of less-than-flattering photos would make an awesome joke present.

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