We celebrate our family Christmas on Christmas Eve.
We host an Open House all day, and we encourage people to come by at any point for a quick bite to eat, or some coffee or tea! :)
In the afternoon, we had a choice of two soups Chicken Tortilla or Italian Sausage. We also had a Cold cut tray, pickle and olive dishes, some deviled eggs and an assortment of cookies, tiger butter and fudge. :)
Some friendly kids crafts!
A beautiful centerpiece sent from my Aunt Patty!
Our friend, doing a craft.
Kids working on the gingerbread house, someone is not happy!!!
A tray of fudge and tiger butter.
We had several visitors for lunch. I love when people come and spend time occupying the children, by doing crafts with them, building the gingerbread house, etc. No TV running, no one looking for outside entertainment, but just truly enjoying each others company. Young and Old, People who have know each other for years, and people who have just met. The commonality is the relationship we all have in Christ.
Then our supper guests started to arrive.
A peek at the dinner buffet.
Our dinner feast was spiral ham, baked ziti, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese made with a steak house onion cheese,mashed potatoes, carrots with honey and brown sugar, asparagus with holiday sauce, turnips, and dinner rolls. Our beverage choices were a cranberry pomegranate punch, ice tea, and water.
Doesn't he look good with a baby...????? (hint, hint, I know you read my blog) ;)
Our desserts were plentiful, pumpkin pie, caramel apple pie, cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake, an ton of cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, two chocolate cakes, cupcakes and chocolate covered cherries, there were 3 more pies that I froze!!!
And then the gift exchange.................. not many pictures of that at all because it happened all to fast!!!!
All in all, it was a blessed Christmas Eve with family and friends celebrating Christs birth, each other, and the love we all have for one another.
Yesterday, we put on the Christmas tunes, laid out all our ingredients, and then began our baking extravaganza!!!!
do you see that cutie peeking out from behind the butter! :)
And a little coffee to help to keep the baking going!
So after several batches of Chocolate chip, Oatmeal, Shortbread, Tiger Butter, Fudge, and Cinnamon Rolls! We ended the night exhausted! But happy to have alot of goodies for Christmas Dinner and for sharing! :)
Every year, we as some point head out to see the outdoor decorations in the local neighborhoods.
When my older children were younger we use to get Mc Donalds and drive around and view lights, bigger companies use to have light shows. When hubby and I were dating we use to go to a big farm that did a wonderful light display.. but I digress, none of that is happening anymore more.
Because McDonalds is not healthy for you and because my kids all get sick from it, we cancelled our regularly scheduled pizza night this past Friday for "McEmmons" night.
I made bacon cheeseburgers, homemade fries and packed it all in paper lunch bag, with juice boxes. We loaded up in the car and had our meal while looking at all the different lights. Then we headed down to a neat store called Tractor Supply.. We had a blast in there!!!
The kids had a wonderful time.. it's these time of memories and traditions that will be passed down from my kids to their own. I look forward to watching them carry these traditions down, and love listening to them each year describe the fun they've had while continuing on with our tradition.
I have two teenagers now could say " I don't want to go" or "I have plans with" but because they value our time together they don't say that. They look forward to it!!
We have many different traditions here in our home, and this is just one of them! But it's one of the favorites!!!
The holiday, especially Christmas can be an overwhelming time of busyness and time constraints.
There is so much to be done and what seems to be such little time.
Here's some tips to keep the holiday from becoming and overwhelming mess, and to keep you from becoming that mom you don't want to be.
Make sure you have your menu planned, now if you don't follow a menu regularly this is week to give it a try. You will thank yourself later, when you are able to feed your family great meals among all the last minute stopping!
Keep a list, of what needs to be done. I create on big list and I add and cross off as the week goes on.
Make sure you school schedule is light,NOW is not the time to introduce and new concept or something that is going to take over your day.
Be happy!! Keep it light!! We have a continues stream of Christmas music playing and lots of holiday movies to choose from.
Use paper!!! I don't often use paper plates and such, but this week I do! When doing all the extra baking and cooking a meal giving away, you can greatly reduce stress by having that healthy meal prepared, but eating it on a paper plate!!!
Most importantly remember~~ JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON~~
Use this time to remind the children, why we celebrate Jesus' birth, and let them see you witness to others during this time.
Upon entering our home the first thing, you will see is our Christmas Tree! :) There is also a wonderful pine garland going around the room.
This shelf hangs on the opposite wall, with a beautiful garland of PEACE that my friend Christine made for me, just this year!!! I love it!
A family favorite below. A gift from a relative many years ago.
The Front Door entering into the house. A beautiful wreath made by friend Theresa.
This is some cute stickers, I got last year after Christmas at Wal-Mart for 2.00...
I got this many years ago from Avon.
Some of the children's stocking hanging here. We have them hung through out the house in a couple different locations. :)
Upon entering the kitchen, there is fresh pine hanging from the beam that goes across the whole kitchen. The Dept. 56 house grace the top of our cabinets. Hubby and I have been collecting them for years, but have had to stop due to lack of room. We love the 50's feel of them.
Vintage Signs!! Love them!!!
Upon entering the dining room, all doors have the beautiful bells wreaths hanging from them.
This scene is set up in the bay window of the dining room. I love the caroler people and am thinking about starting a collection of them! How cute that window would look full of carolers!!! :)
I'm sure there is stuff I have missed, but this gives you a mini tour of my home!
After two years of my dining room table being in storage, and my "dining room" being everything from a big empty space, to a formal living room, classroom, sewing/craft area, I have brought my dining room table home! yeah!!! I missed it much!! Now we were just eating our meals at the kitchen island, but as my "baby" is getting older and no longer in a high chair we needed our table back.
SO each night my little girls set the table, from dishes to silverware and glasses. I love watching them have fun with it. We are trying to encourage the correct way a table should be set, but sometimes our silverware is on our plate with a "fancy" napkin! or We have glasses on the left and silverware on the right, but most of the time it's done properly! :)
Each night we light the candles, cheap little candles..but this is a big deal in our home as to who gets to light them! :) From the oldest to the youngest everyone wants that special job!
Once we're seated, we say our blessings and begin supper. Since we're in the Christmas season I do play an instrumental Christmas Cd, but other wise all other noise has stopped. No tv, no radio.. Just us.
We dim the light, and begin our feast.
It's amazing, that although I am home all day with my children..how much you find out at supper time. It really is a time of blessing. I listen to them talk to each other about something funny that happened during the day, or the dinner table is a great place to talk about everything. It's a place of grace, and we can speak freely about a hurt we might have felt during the day, or an injustice that was done. Often there are apologies going around the table.
I am reminded that scripture is clear. Eph. 4:26~“In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
How wonderful it is to have this quite time of repentance and forgiveness while breaking bread together.
Praising God for my family! Thank You Lord for blessing me with these little souls to train for your kingdom, while I still learn myself.
With a large family we can run through a box of hot coco in one sitting. SOoooo the easiest thing to do is to make it all in bulk and keep in a container to use. It's way cheaper and super delicious!!
Along with using some of the mixes below, they make great gifts for teachers, neighbors, bus drivers, and friends. You can use a mason jar with an oak tag for directions, or just print a sticker! Make them your own! Personalize how you wish, We had dipped plastic spoons in chocolate let it harden and attach to hot coco mix. Candy cane can be added as well. :)
Here are some ideas:
1 8 Qt box of Non-fat dry milk
1 6 oz jar of nondairy creamer (aka Creamora)
1 lb Powdered Sugar
1 16oz container Nestles Quik
Mix all together store in airtight container, use 1/2 to 3/4 C mix to hot mug of water.
Here's another Hot Coco, I really like this one.
1 C Coco Powder
21 oz of Creamora
2 lb box powered sugar
1 large box of instant pudding. you choose choc, or vanilla
8 C powered milk
Mix it well. I put this in my kitchen aid and use the whisk attachment to crush the dry milk really well.
1/4 C to hot water.
3/4 C Instant unsweetened tea
2 C tang
1 1/2 C Sugar
1/2 t ground cloves
1 T cinnamon
Mix all together, store in airtight container. 1 1/2 to 2 T to a cup of boiling water.
The Russian Tea is great if your beginning to get sick, I swear it helps fight off colds! :)
2 C quik chocolate Mix
2 C coffee creamer (dry)
1 C instant coffee
1 1/2 C Sugar
1 t Cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
Mix well, add 2-3 heaping spoonfuls to a cup of hot milk! Delicious!!!
The beauty about bulk is that you can adjust ingredients for your families needs.
Super fun to make with the kiddos and fun to drink!