Wednesday Snap Shot
Good morning! I was up early this morning and the house was feeling very chilly. Hubby got the fire going and I made the coffee. Things have warmed up nicely and I'm currently enjoying my 2nd cup of coffee. It's starting to get light out and it looks like an overcast day. I like that :). I've been working on so many different Christmas projects and having a cloudy day makes it all seem so cozy and festive.
Over the weekend my youngest son came over and together we finished up the fort kits and he had some fun checking them out and building a couple forts. He's 20, but said to me.. I would have LOVED this as a kid! :D .. I was kind of thinking he was enjoying it as a 20 year old! I'm sure he'll have a great time helping his nieces and nephews when they get the gift on Christmas Eve.
a sneak peak picture.. don't want to give too much away to any family reading this.. ;)
I also began doing some crocheting for the grandkids. Not going to say to much about it in case my kids are reading this blog, ha, ha! The fun of Christmas is the secrets we keep until the 25th of December!
It has had me thinking a bit about Christmas. It's so commercialized nowadays and the expectations can be so high. If you have a big family it can be even more challenging. I try to make many of the gifts I give. I obviously can't make all of them for 8 children, their spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends, and 14 grandchildren. But I do try and keep my Christmas simple and within a reasonable budget.
When my children were little we didn't do personal gifts at Christmas. All the gifts under the tree were for all of them. They loved this because it meant that no matter what was opened, everyone was able to enjoy it. I purchased things like books, puzzles, games, movies, and so forth. They all had a Christmas sock that was filled with small goodies that were their own. All of my children say they loved Christmas and have wonderful memories. No one ever thought they missed out on the tradition of giving individual gifts. As my children grew up the gifts changed to practical things like clothes, hats, gloves, jammies, and if my adult children mentioned something in a passing conversation like how they were in need of socks but couldn't afford them, then they would get those socks for Christmas and be so happy.
Expectations is a big part of the holiday season and gift giving. As the season has become more commercialized the thought is to give better, bigger, more, etc. It's a mental fight sometimes to ignore that and do my own thing. I can not and have no desire to spend $100 or more on each person. I'm thankful that since the beginning Christmas for us has been a simple thing with smaller expectations. It's one reason I love homemade gifts. A gift of someones time and energy means a lot, I think. I know if someone gives me something they made I realize the time and effort that went into that gift and treasure it more so.
Without high expectations from my family I'm able to enjoy the process of gift making, not be stressed by trying to find someone the perfect gift (or lots of someones in my case), not go into debt based on the commercialized expectations of what I'm supposed to do, and most of all I can find so much joy in a season that is often times riddled with stress for so many.
I have a lot things on my list today. And will soon get moving on that. I will be spending time crocheting today for sure. When my hand can't take it anymore and needs a break here is what I'll do in between my crocheting marathon..
~Make 24 hour fruit salad to take to my daughter's house tomorrow for our Thanksgiving meal. This fruit salad has been a tradition in our family for many, many years. I love that my adult children want this to continue on.
~Make dinner – I'm going off my menu plan due to so much going on and will cook up a quick pot of chili instead
~Make cocoa mixes – these will be the small gifts that I like to have on hand for friends that stop by
~A bit of housework to keep up on that – laundry, vacuuming, kitchen maintenance, and a few advanced lunch preps for my hubby's work week – unfortunately he has to work on Thanksgiving and will be heading to work shortly after we have our dinner at my daughter's house. Such is life when you work for a airline. They are running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
~And did I mention I need to crochet! Ha, ha!! I have lots to do!
For the Love of Books!
I was going to read Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling but after searching through my books I decided to read The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne. So far I'm loving the book! With all the other things I have going on, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to read but it is one of my favorite ways to relax in the evenings.
Over the weekend I made up my granola. I ended up having enough ingredients to make 1 ½ batches. I have 6 quart jars filled and little more left. I'm still deciding if we'll keep that little bit or I'll put it into some smaller jars. If you'd like my recipe for my granola I did a blog post on it yesterday and you can find that HERE.
As I mentioned above, I want to start making my hot cocoa mix. My plan is to make a few different varieties. I get ideas and go searching for recipes and can't find what I want so I think I'll combine different ideas and come up with my own. I have all the ingredients I think I'll need.
My desire is to make peppermint cocoa, double chocolate cocoa, and toffee cocoa. I'll be sure to make a post about this if I find what works. I'll give this away in smaller size canning jars tied with a ribbon. Here is my current stash of ingredients to work with..
Cocoa powder, powdered milk, coffee creamer powdered sugar and the chips to make the batches extra yummy :).
Fitness and Health
I was doing great on my steps each week but this last week I've been so preoccupied with all that I have going on that I haven't made progress. That's ok, I'll be back at it soon.
View from my Deck
As I said, it's cloudy and rain is in the forecast. The perfect day to be busy inside with the fire going.
Today's weather: High: 45 Low: 43
That is all for this week! I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday :)