Thursday, December 18, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 18

Number 18...Plan the Christmas Menu

We are a week away! Time to get serious. ; ) This is one of my very favorites...I love planning the menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We all discuss what we will have, when we will eat,  and when we will be attending Mass. Then I sit down with my binder and a cup of cranberry tea and get to work. I plan for Christmas Eve first, then Christmas Day...including breakfast and dinner. Lately, we have had our large meal on Christmas Eve, and have a lighter meal Christmas Day. We usually have ham dinner on Christmas Eve, then I plan for ham sandwiches on Christmas Day. This year, we are trying something new. We are having our big meal on the night of the 23rd. Different, I know...But we have no plans for that night, and I thought that way, Christmas Eve will be much more relaxed and less stressful. That day is our very favorite day of the year. We didn't want to be rushed cooking and cleaning and getting ready for Mass. I am planning on a simple Stromboli and salad before Mass, and then some yummy cheesecake for dessert after.  Christmas Day will be ham sandwiches on fresh rolls and some pasta salad. We stay home, and I have found through the years, that the kids would much rather play with their new things than sit down to a large meal. Someday that will change, but for now, it works for us. : ) So whatever your plans, you will find things run smoothly when you plan ahead. : )

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 17

Number 17...Get Christmas Clothes Ready

One way to assure that Christmas will run smoothly is to plan ahead. It is getting close, so now is the time to check everyone's Christmas outfit. In addition to setting out mine and Steve's, I like to check each child's outfit and make sure it is clean, pressed, and ready to wear. I also ask the older girls about shoes, scarves and coats. It makes it so much easier on Christmas Eve if I know everyone's outfit is ready to wear. One less thing to stress about on that happiest day of the year. : )

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 16

Number 16...Make Dinner Special


There is no denying this time of year is busy. It can be easy to let things like family dinner time go. I like to keep our family dinner time consistent through the busy season to offer some degree of comfort among the chaos. One way to do that is by planning easy meals. Now is not the time to try a brand new, Pinterest inspired meal with crazy ingredients. Rather, it is easier and just as special to stick with tried and true favorites that can be easily made and enjoyed. One of our favorites this time of year is good old grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Serve this meal on lovely Christmas dishes with a festive piece of chocolate on the side and make some fun holiday memories for your family. And make one less trip through that McDonald's drive thru. Not that we don't do that from time to time! : )

Monday, December 15, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 15

Number 15...Have A Fire

We love to light a fire on a cold December day. There is something about sitting around the fire reading or just visiting that makes everything seem so very cozy. If you don't have a fireplace, no worries. One of Flynn's very favorite things to do is watch the fire on the DVD we have. Really. It is so realistic and relaxing! I found it on Amazon. So this Christmas, take some time to gather around the fire and enjoy the season together. : )

Sunday, December 14, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 14

Number 14...Write Out Christmas Cards Together

I love Christmas cards. I love sending them. I love receiving them. I love to watch families grow year after year. I have always loved getting my cards, setting up my table, pouring a cup of tea, and writing out our family cards. Once we began homeschooling, I realized that it is even more special when the kids help me with them. Sometimes they put the return labels on, or even address a few.  It is just another chance to spend time together during this most special season. So this year, why not make an afternoon of it...put on some Christmas music and write out your cards together? : )

Saturday, December 13, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 13

Number 13...Play Christmas Games

Family games are always fun, but family games at Christmas? The best. These are our favorite Christmas games...and we play them all the time! I like to keep them out so that we remember to grab them and play them often. My favorite is the Rudolph Memory Game...Flynn is so good at it. Me? Not so much! They are all available at Amazon. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 12

Number 12...Get Your Baking Supplies Ready

Baking together is a wonderful way to make memories this time of year. I like to have all my supplies ready and organized in the pantry so we are all set to go! Some things you may want to stock up on...flour, sugar, brown sugar, Crisco, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, salt, cocoa, and sprinkles. Anything else? Let me know! And enjoy baking with your family. : )

Thursday, December 11, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 11

Number 11...Light A Christmas Candle

Anyone that knows me, knows of my love for candles. Yankee Candles to be exact. I love to burn candles all year long, but candles during the Christmas season? Perfection. I love the simplicity of having a candle burning during the day, filling the house with the unmistakable scents of Christmas. I love burning a candle during the long, dark evenings as well. It makes the house so cozy. First thing in the morning, I plug in the tree, turn on the music, and light the candle. That way, when my family wakes up, they are greeted with the sights, sounds, and scents of the season. Just one way to let them know I love them. : ) So whatever candles are your favorites, stock up and get lighting. Your family will be glad you did. Oh...and that Home For The Holidays candle? I have burned that in our home at Christmas for years and years. My children say the smell of it will forever remind them of home. Their home. At Christmas. : )

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 10

Number 10...Gather Your Wrapping Supplies

It is never too early to gather your wrapping supplies together. I keep mine in a box in the storage area, and pull them out early in the month to take stock of what I need. I buy my paper from Current, and it is the best!!! I like to stock up during their sale in January, so I usually have more than enough come December. Also be sure to have plenty of bows, ribbon, bags, tags, and tape. Lots and lots of tape. : ) We like to wrap together as a family during a Sunday afternoon, and then separate each group of gifts into piles according to what goes to whom...what gets mailed and what gets delivered. It is a fun way to spend time together, as well as accomplish a big project. Afterward, we celebrate by getting pizza for dinner! : )

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 9

Number 9...Bake Cupcakes

Is there anything more fun than baking during the Christmas season? I like to whip up a surprise batch of Christmas cupcakes with the kids just for that reason. Just for fun. Grab a box mix...yes, a box mix...and get baking. Baking together is fun, and your little ones will remember it forever. Plus...dessert?!? Come on, why not? : )

Monday, December 8, 2014

24 Things To Do Until Christmas Comes...Number 8

Number 8...Create A Coloring Center

You are never too old to color, right? This time of year, I like to set out some new, sharp crayons with a few cute Christmas coloring and activity books so that the kids...and I...remember to spend some time coloring together. This season passes so quickly, and if these things are shoved in a drawer, I would no doubt pull them out sometime in February and wonder why we didn't use them. Just an extra activity to do together during these cozy days inside. : )