A Little Smackerel of Christmas
Our family celebrates Christmas with very little stress — the kids get presents, but for the adults, we just exchange small edible treats, and make donations to our favorite charities. The fact that I don’t have to run around trying to find the perfect gift, is a gift in itself! So I am free to enjoy the season peacefully.
My favorite old tradition:
— setting up my mom’s Christmas village
My favorite new tradition:
— using my exercycle while wandering through London virtually and looking at all the Christmas displays, via YouTube. I started this last year, and I found myself looking forward to it this year. It is a great way to get a little exercise, while feeling like I am having a lovely outing.
My favorite gift I have received this year:
— this beautiful assortment of wool! One of my quilting friends is de-stashing, and she pulled out her wool (washed it and made sure it was moth-free), and divided it among our quilt group members. To me, this is an incredibly thoughtful gift, because she gave us all something we have wanted to experiment with, but would have never bought for ourselves. And there are so many colors; it is sure to give us all lots of ideas.
My favorite gift to myself:
While I was quilting one day, I searched YouTube for videos on gifts from quilters. The results had more gifts FOR quilters, and one suggestion by Karen of Just Get It Done Quilts was a few magazines I had never heard of. I looked them up, and after just a few seconds watching a flip-through of an issue of Uppercase magazine, I ordered myself a multi-pack of back issues.
It was more than I usually spend on myself, but my kids are all artists too, so I told myself I would pass on the issues when I was done with them. Well, the issues arrived, and the first one I looked at was “One Little Piece at a Time” (paper collage, textile art, artist trading cards, etc.), and there are so many ideas there; I don’t think I will ever pass these on to anybody.
I want to order them all and the “Encyclopedias of Inspiration” by the same publisher. I look forward to spending lots of time with these in the next year.
A well-received treat to give:
Microwave Pecan Pralines
large glass bowl
a large, stout spoon
waxed paper or freezer paper
2 cups sugar
2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup of buttermilk (or any kind of yogurt or kefir)
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
Measure the baking soda into a small dish, because it needs to be added quickly when it’s time.
Put the sugar, pecans, butter, and buttermilk into the large bowl, and stir it up.
Microwave for 12 minutes total on high, stirring every 4 minutes.
Stir the baking soda. The mixture will foam up. Stir for about 10 seconds.
Put it back in the microwave and microwave on high for 90 seconds.
Remove (carefully!) from microwave, and stir until it thickens, about 90 seconds.
Drop spoonfuls onto the waxed paper. It may seem very fluid, but it usually sets up in less than a minute.
Sometimes they look smooth and shiny, sometimes they look more opaque and crystalline, but they all taste good! And they keep very well.
I hope you are enjoying a peaceful holiday full of treats!
Merry Christmas. Definitely something to be said for keeping it as stress free as possible
Thank you for a couple of great tips! Must look into the YouTube videos. Uppercase magazines look incredibly tempting. Enjoy your holidays!
I hope you have great holidays too! 🙂
I just love the wholesomeness of your sharings. Everything is always so thought out and just easy on the mind. Thank you for the simplicity. It’s feels good on my brain. Oh! And I LOVED the trip through London! Something I’m now inspired to do for myself. Thank you. And… Merry Christmas!
Oh, thank you so much! Sometimes it seems so frivolous to talk about small tasks and treats instead of big issues, but a moment of peace is good too. 🙂
Absolutely! It’s a beautiful reminder of the simplicity of the true nature of life and living. It makes for such an easy experience, but with depth and value. Thank you.
What a great idea, wandering through Christmas shops and displays while you exercise. I’m going to keep that in mind, since I’m always trying to find something to watch! I’ve wanted to look at Uppercase, so I’m going to check out your link, too! Thanks for sharing the recipe, too! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
I know! I feel like I am learning something at the same time, with the added benefit of not spending any money. 🙂
Merry Christmas to you and yours too!
Good ideas and Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year. Video is fun.
I love those videos. I can be where ever I feel like being — London on a rainy morning, Positano on a summer evening… If they had come out with videos like those years ago, I would have exercised much more often! 🙂
I enjoyed seeing that video – wouldn’t that be wonderful to wander around in person. That recipes sounds delicious, might make it 🙂
We’re with you on the gift giving: a major charity donation in the name of the family and friends, and then small nonsenses. For the Dowager, dark chocolate gingers, for the SILs, chocolate cherry fudge, for the BILs, rum balls, and so on. Love the sound of this pecan praline, I must see how it works with macadamias!
“a littler smackeral of something” …. hmmmm, you’ve been reading Winnie the Pooh!
Not since childhood, but those great phrases stick with a person! 🙂
Hmmm…Now I have to find a copy of Uppercase magazine, so this may be an expensive post for me, too 😀