Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Prep Begins .................

This weekend will be the start of my Christmas preparations. Yeah!!!
I have an enlarged calendar where I designate my list of goals for things I like to get done. And "like" is the optimum word -- if it doesn't get accomplished, then I don't sweat it. I wanna have fun!
So, the first thing I do is to dig out my Christmas cards.
I pick up Christmas cards throughout the year at garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores. I've been fortunate to get some vintage cards; and I'm fortunate to have met so many lovely bloggers who appreciate vintage cards. (Are you on my Christmas card list yet??)
The next thing I do is to find my Christmas binders. I made these a number of years ago -- I have one for recipes -- tried and true as well as untested -- and a second binder for jokes, stories, gift wrapping ideas and anything else that takes my fancy. I printed off pics from the internet to use as covers and dividers (and didn't realize until tonight that "Homespun Christmas" is a Gooseberry Patch recipe book. And I STILL haven't won a Gooseberry Patch cookbook yet!!).

My recipes have protective sleeves to keep them clean and readable. Some of the recipes in this binder that I make every Xmas are:

  • My wonderful dark fruitcake (and don't all rush off at once to email me for the recipe!!!).....

  • Whole wheat ginger cutouts - which are these gorgeous gingerbread cookies with grated orange peel & juice in them. One of my favorites! (The girls like to decorate them and will often do celebrities like Brittany Spears [a gingerbread girl with no hair] or "dress" the cutouts as hobos or scary clowns or zombies! It's their father's fault!!!)


  • We also do what we call Teddy Bear Noses. It's a peanut butter cookie dough wrapped around a Hershey kiss so that just the very tip shows. Yummy! (And thankfully, after they've cooled and the chocolate has hardened again, they need to be eaten quickly before the cookie dough dries out! No problem for my household!)
There are a lot of wonderful recipes in the binder that I've tried through the years, especially the more difficult or time consuming ones that I could do when I was a SAHM. Like this absolutely delightful little thingie (which I'm considering resurrecting this year, if time allows). I mean, look at the recipe! Grated chocolate, finely chopped almonds and minced candied orange peel encased in a wonderful meringue & lightly glazed with confectioner's sugar & water! I can still remember how I felt when I bit into this cookie all those years ago. Blissful!!

I also have some favorite Xmas breads, like this wonderful one. It's a double twist of sweet bread dough -- one twist has an apricot/prune filling and the other a sweetened cream cheese filling. Imagine cutting that and sinking your teeth into it. Soooo good!
There are many, many other great recipes for appetizers, cakes, pies, squares, cookies, candies and cheesecakes. I'm going to try this year to bake at least 2 that I haven't tried before and treat my friends. They're perfect guinea pigs!

Here are a few pages from my other binder - Simple Joys:
- One of my favorite pages is the "14 Holiday Commandments" which lists things like:
  • #8 Thou shalt not wear holiday theme sweaters. Verily, no Santas, Rudolphs, snowmen, nor elves. Especially elves.
  • #10 Thou shalt gain weight over the holidays. It is the way of all flesh. Get thee over it!
  • Tips on how to wrap things nicely ...
  • And these Xmas gift bags are simple brown paper bags that have been colored/painted. How creative they are!



What fun it is to revisit these binders each year! It brings back memories of Xmas past and hopes for Xmas to come. It's the biggest birthday party of the year, and I love preparing for it and thinking of the Baby that gave so much for me.


Kelly L said...

Great post - I love Christmas too!
Love to you.

Saranne said...

You are SO organized......and my mouth is watering looking at those recipes - Enjoy!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I love the way you've made up your binders. The protective sleeve for the pages is a great idea. I do wear those Christmas sweaters with the reindeer and santa's on them though. I've enough for the whole month of December and love doing it as Christmas is my favorite time of year. After next weekend I'll be in full swing getting ready but first I have our Thanksgiving to do.

Unknown said...

I wish I were half as organized as you are! Binders...that's a great idea! And the recipes look really wonderful. I've bought exactly ONE Christmas gift, so far, and I'm thinking about returning it, because the recipient has been ever so naughty!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I try to be organized. Things do still fall apart -- that's just everyday life.

I used to have a small collection of Xmas sweaters etc. But my girls were so embarassed by them that when we moved 3 yr ago, they made me throw them out! I'm slowly accumulating a small collection again! (Heh heh!! Drat those Dover boys!!) And I have a marvelous collection of pins, necklaces and earrings -- even ones that light up! I gotta be me!

★Carol★ said...

You're so smart to be so organized! After reading a few blogs this morning, it's very tempting to start decorating now. Today! There's so much to do!
I hope you get everything done that you want to today!

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

Love the post! I bet you have such a great time pulling those out year after year!
I am keeping the commandments also!!!!
I will gain weight and I won't dress up as an elf!

Jocelyn said...

Wow great ideas, and you are so organized! I am still wondering what happened to October?


Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

I so excited to get the season started! We're throwin' a trip in after Thanksgiving right after the dinner to Texas to visit my parents. A little later than norm this year because harvest was pushed back due to rain. It's really going to throw me off takin' a week off right now. But you can bet do or die I'll get~er~done!!!

Have a wonderful time planning the season!

Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) said...

I firmly believe that it's too early for Christmas until I've eaten the last piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving evening . . .

So Bah Humbug!

wendy said...

Wow, you have lots of Christmas recipes. I like the writings you put on some of them like "lots of work but worth it" (or something like that)
I like the Christmas rules
sorry, for those who do, but I HATE holiday sweaters of any kind. (just an opinion)
and Of course THOU SHALT gain weight.

I think vintage cards are the best, but I pretty much like vintage everything

Jeanne said...

I hope I can take a lesson in organization from you after reading your terrific post. The binders are A great idea. Yhe recipes sound different and I know they are good,

Hugs, Jeanne

CB said...

I love your recipes and binders and seriously I hope you actually make a post of the Christmas commandments (that's a request - ha ha).

You are very organized it will be fun to follow you through the holidays!

CB said...

P.S. My girls had holidays sweaters when they were younger. They hated them and we still laugh over it. Now the "rage" is for the young adults to go to "Ugly Sweater parties" at Christmas - What a hoot!

Jeanne said...

I hope I can take a lesson here on being organized. Your binders sound terrific. I especially need to organize my recipes too. Good job.

Hugs, Jeanne