And the reason I want a super-clean bathroom is because in just a few short hours my littlest nephew will be here from California along with his mom and dad. (Actually, now that I think of it, he's not my littlest nephew, because he has a little brother who's on his way in another 4-5 months!) My youngest sister will also be here today, and we'll all get to celebrate Christmas together. I can hardly wait to see them, and it will be so fun to have a toddler in the house at Christmas!
Kayla had her annual Christmas tea party last Friday, but this year we called it a Cupcake and Cappuccino party like last year. I think "tea party" was starting to sound too childish, and I understand, but we definitely didn't want to do away with the event altogether. Kayla is blessed with wonderful friends, and I love seeing these girls all together.
|It was also a pajama party!|
Like every year, the girls decorated gingerbread (well...graham cracker) houses, and then we played some Christmas-themed games: Candy Cane Pass, A Nativity Passing game, and a Christmas version of charades/Pictionary. On the menu for lunch was bagels and cream cheese, cheese and crackers, chocolate dipped strawberries, cookies, cupcakes, and a ham and egg casserole. Tea, coffee, and hot cocoa were the drink choices. (Pardon the details, but this is part of how I remember and plan from year to year!)
Here's a link to some fun Christmas party games. Thanks to Laura Machak for the recommendation!
You can read it for yourself here. Might want to have a tissue handy. Proof that God knows and sees us and is able to provide for our needs.
And while I'm thinking of it, here is another link to a wonderful article about the "why" of Christmas. Why did Jesus have to come and put on flesh? Because it was "fitting" that's why!
Before the party a LOT of baking went on. This served a triple purpose: the party with the girls, our staff and elders party later that night, and the rest were frozen for Christmas and my family's arrival.
I love these new blue and green sprinkles, and the gingerbread-looking men have cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on them. Don't know why I never thought to do that before!
And here's a pic of the gluten free version of the "Insanely Delicious Turtle Cookies." Oh my....
|These were NOT served at the girls' tea party due to several nut allergies!|
I mentioned in the last post how much I love to give gifts to my kids, but I also love to give a gift to our church staff and elders as well as a few friends who are near. It's sometimes difficult to come up with a gift to give to about 10 or 12 folks that is the same. I've done dish towels, bags of mulling spices, and baked treats before, but this year I came across another idea that seemed fun and practical and not too expensive ~ spice mixes. (And NO sugar ~ hurray! Christmas often feels like the Plague of Sugar!)
I also saved lots of apple butter from the fall to give as well, so everyone got 2 different spice mixes and a jar of homemade apple butter. Then I searched online for printable mason jar labels and found these cute ones for free. It was really fun to put all of this together, and I only wish I had more time for creative and kitchen-y things like this. Even more fun to give them away!
In case you are in need of a last minute gift idea, here are a few links to the spice mix recipes and the labels. There are tons of versions of labels and spice mixes out there, but this will get you started.
(I decreased the spices to 10)
(This can also be mixed with oil and vinegar for a steak or fajita marinade!)
(Same as above for a fajita marinade.)
(All of my favorite Indian spices here. Yum.)
Okay ~ off to do a bit more baking, cleaning, and errand running. 'Tis the season for going to the store A LOT ~ Ha!
I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas week!