Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Ideas and Recipes, con't.

If you are linking over here from Karen Ehmans 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway, then welcome! I have so enjoyed reading how all of my P31 sisters celebrate their holidays, and I trust you have too. I am thrilled you came to visit today, and hope you come back again soon! This is a great time of year to be a blogger isnt it! Tune in all month for tasty recipes and Christmas ideas, along with some thoughts to ponder about keeping Christ as the center of our Christmas.

Wow, Christmas is only 17 days away now! In a way, I am sort of bummed. I love the month of December. I dont even mind the crowds or traffic really, because that just gives me more time to listen to my Christmas music and be in the hustle and bustle of the season! I know you are thinking I am crazy, but I love Christmas, and believe it or not, Christmas day is my least favorite day of the season.

Now dont get me wrong, I love receiving gifts - what girl doesn't?! And Michael and I love watching our children and family open their gifts and get excited about everything. I love traveling from house to house visiting with family and eating lots of yummy food. But really, it is the meaning of Christmas, and the sounds, sights and smells of the season, that I love the most.

The special holiday things that we get to do for 25 days (or more in my case, since I usually begin my holiday frolicking around Halloween)are what truly warms my heart.....so I hate when it is over! I honestly start getting depressed when I have to take down my Christmas decorations, and especially knowing that I have to move on into January next, a dull,cold, dreary month where I have to experience yet another birthday (yuck).

So every year, I want to make the most of my holiday, in every way possible. People can poke fun at me for it; maybe my house is overly decorated; the kids can say that I am embarassing for listening to so much Christmas music and starting in October; and my husband can grow weary of my excitement over Christmas lights and wanting to do special holiday things, but it is all good - I am just a Christmas kind of girl - and proud of it, thank ya very much! In fact I have so many favorite things this time of year, I cant even name them all! (and you probably do not want me to anyway).

What about you? Is there something wonderful and special that you love about this month? Is there a unique reason why the holidays are so special to you? What are your favorite things at Christmas? Got any great thoughts for us cyber friends to read today that would impress our hearts and help us draw closer to Christ this December? Let me hear from you!

Today I want to share with you two tasty appetizers. Both of these are great ideas to take to a holiday gathering, without a lot of effort or money! And for goodness sakes, we all know we need to save our energies and our funds this time of year! Hope you enjoy them!

Bourbon Hot Dogs
1 lb cocktail franks
1/2 cup bourbon (dont worry - the alcohol cooks out!)
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp finely grated onion (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan, stirring frequently. Simmer over low heat for one hour. If it dries out, add a bit more bourbon. Transfer to chaffing dish and serve with toothpicks!
(for a larger group, just double the recipe; the ingredient measurements stay the same)

Tasty Cream Cheese Rolls
1 large jar of dried, sliced beef
1 package of cream cheese
1 jar of whole green olives (optional)

Separate the dried beef slices, and spread a 1/2 tsp or more of cream cheese in the center of the slice. Roll the beef up into a roll, and secure with a toothpick. Wa la! You are done! You can add the olive on top and secure it with the toothpick as well, which gives it a more festive look. Place the rolls on a pretty dish with some holly leaves or colored cellophane, and you have an easy but delicious presentation.

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A Simple Country Girl said...

Good morning Tracie!

Since I am A Simple Country Girl and we are in the process of relocating, I did not put up all of my decor this year. But my home still will be filled with the smells that delight our olfactory senses.

Usually I simmer great things (fruit sauces, spiced apple cider...) in my crock pot and the all-day aroma is wonderful. I recently discovered an even easier way to make a home made spiced cider drink.

Buy a jug of organic cider apple juice (we actually use cider that we pressed this autumn; I froze some extra a couple of months ago), pour it into your crock pot. Add a bag or two of gingerbread spice tea. Drop in a big blob of honey. Let simmer until your nose is delighted, mouth is drooling, and taste-buds are tantalized.

I am not a strict recipe follower, I do it by taste... So if you want an estimate on amounts; 1 gingerbread tea bag & 1/3 cup honey per quart of apple cider.

Simple doesn't always mean easy at my house, it means down-home, real, and as close to natural as possible. But in this case, my spiced apple cider drink is simple & easy.


Haroldly Taveras said...

hummm...what I really like of Christmas,is the fact that the whole family(even those really far cousins) gets together to eat, have fun and simply enjoy ourselves.

Joyful said...

Tracie, I'm a Christmas girl too! I love the sights, sounds, smells, thoughts, giving, hustle and bustle and most of all the Christ of Christmas.

I honestly start purchasing gifts in January for Christmas in December. I like keeping Christmas all year long. One year we kept our tree up (artificial due to allergies) all year. (I won't go into the details as to 'why', but there was a reason!) The strange thing was - people didn't even notice it or stopped noticing it as the year went on. Sadly, how easy it is for the extraordinary to become ordinary. Praying that the Christmas story never becomes so familiar that I lose the wonder of God's precious gift of His son.

Desiring a fresh look at Christmas,