Christmas Cheer

Part of the reason I love this time of year is because I intentionally slow down enough to make time for some of the things that make me happy. (It’s probably an unfortunate truth that I don’t do this enough the other 11 months of the year, but nonetheless.) This Christmas season already has so many fun memories! We’ve been up to all kinds of things over here…

My kitchen appliance are on over-drive this December! A few weeks ago I had my girlfriends and their kiddos over for brunch and to decorate sugar cookies. It was fun, sticky, sugar-y chaos , and we had the best time. FullSizeRender (9).jpg

61avbhlngjl-_sx522_I used this recipe for homemade, rolled sugar cookies by Jill Saunders. I’m not a baker, but these were easy and came out great! Make to sure to let your butter and eggs sit out for a bit; I made these the night before so they would have plenty of time to cool. I also picked up these cookie cutters from Amazon (#iloveprime) – they are 5 inches in height, so there was plenty of space for sprinkles and icing!

Another tradition I started last year with Mac was salt dough ornaments! I can’t show you this year’s finished product yet because they are grandparent-presents, but this is such a fun project for toddlers. Mac was able to stand on a chair, help me pour the ingredients, mix the dough, press it out, and decorate!

I used a new recipe and thought the dough was much easier to manage compared to last year… I’ve decided the key is “when in doubt, add more flour.”

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of regular flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1/2 cup hot water.
  • Mix dough with a fork and then knead gently by hand.
  • On a prepared surface, roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.

The rest is up to you! I found a cute, easy idea on Pinterest for commemorating our first house and made a little ornament using our key. Mac loved pressing his hands into the dough, and on the messy scale of “A few paper towels” to “Just burn it down and start over”, this is about a 3.

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One of the best things about moving to Nashville is that there is a Trader Joe’s!!! I still haven’t figured out why there is not one in Chattanooga, of all places… Several of our friends have had bigger life events over the past week, and TJ’s is a great place to start throwing together care packages! (I “think” I have perfected the TJ Holiday Bread recipe, and will share that soon!)

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Last night, we headed out to Opryland to see the Christmas lights! Mac is still a little young for the ice slides and Grinch exhibits, but we enjoyed walking the hotel and seeing the gorgeous decorations.

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Several of the big conference rooms were set up for the smaller kids; Mac and Nana had a great run on the train!

Mac LOVED the fountain show, as you can tell from his awe-struck face. He danced to the Christmas music and in general, was a huge ham.

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I hope you are enjoying this festive season as much as my family and I are. What do you look forward to around Christmastime? I’d love to hear some of your yearly traditions!

 

 

 

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