Monday, December 7, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

It is that wonderful time of year again. I love all of it – the music, the preparations, the decorations, the lights, the scents of the season – but most of all I love spending time with my family.

Do you have your tree up and your house decorated yet? I am almost finished getting all the decorations up. We had decided not to get a live tree this year, but branches kept breaking off our artificial tree as we were trying to put it up, so we trekked up to the tree farm and picked out a lovely Virginia Pine. Luckily, we didn’t have time to decorate it this weekend, because we noticed today that the stand was leaking! All over my hardwood floor – oh no! So, because we hadn’t put any decorations on yet, it wasn’t a huge deal to replace the stand. Now, the kids have the tree decorated and I almost have the house back in order. Whew!

I am looking forward to sharing some of our favorite holiday recipes with you, just about as much as I am looking forward to making them! We have three holiday treat traditions: I bake a variety of holiday cookies and make truffles and my husband makes fudge. In the past we have made each year about 15 pounds of fudge, around 7 pounds of truffles, and I don’t know how many dozens of cookies.

However, making all that took away so much time from the family, we had to decide to cut back a couple of years ago. Although I want to make the treat bags to give to family and friends, the stress of getting everything made in time when matched with our homeschooling and my work schedule took a lot of the joy out of it, and it made it very difficult for the kids to be a part. Cutting back has allowed me to enjoy making the treats again, since it’s a “want-to” instead of a “have-to.” Plus, less cookies around the house is better on the waistline, too.

This year, I am going to let the kids make most of the decisions about what we will make, and we are going to make treat-making a real family event. They have always helped, but I am really hoping they will be interested in being more involved this year. Katie is old enough to start choosing new recipes on her own, and I hope she will find a couple to begin a new tradition or two for the family.

Ooohh, I can’t wait!

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father’s house,
Cindy <><

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