Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and today, being Christmas Eve-Eve is, for me, a day to spend with my babies.
For some reason, I simply cannot celebrate Christmas until everything in this house is in perfect order. This means that it has to be spotless and all the clothing must be washed and the children’s bedrooms must be re-organized so that there is a place for every treasure Santa brings them. I don’t know if all people do this or of it is just another symptom of the ol’ OCD, but the shit has gots to be done.
Yesterday, I pulled every single article of clothing out of the closets and piled them into the hallway to be re-washed and re-folded and re-hung up. I haven’t a clue why this seemed so important and so today, I am doing laundry and practicing my speech for the Mother-of-the-Year award that I will surely bring home by late this evening.
Not because I do laundry. Anyone can do laundry, really. No… the MOTY Award will be for exercising extreme patience during the great Christmas Cookie Event and also for my undeniable creativity in the Holiday craft section of this fine day.
Dean will be cleaning bedrooms.
While he does that I shall amaze everyone by doing about 87 loads of laundry in tandem of arts and crafts and cookie making. I shall be a multi-tasker.
I could do all of this myself, but where in the hell is the fun of that??? My kids are now of the ages where they can get down and dirty in the kitchen and although they’ll make a humongous mess, they’ll also have a blast. Being that I’ll more than likely make Dean clean up the mess, I am more than willing to assist the children in the cookie making.
Okay, in actuality, we aren’t making cookies but this is a mere technicality. What we’re really making is far better and I shall post these ridiculously easy recipes and directions here for you so that you and yours can have a go and return to me with many messages of gratuity for sharing such delectable treats with you.
Gawd. This is about to be an uncharacteristically Martha Stewart post. I will try to insert curse words in random places so that you don’t forget who is writing the damned thing. I shall share with you TWO easy, child friendly recipes and TWO child friendly craft projects. Just for fun, I shall also share with you TWO fun “Santa is real” things parents can do to make Christmas even more special for their Little’s. Let’s get busy.
On the menu are Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and Buckeyes. Chocolate Chip cookie bars are sort of like brownies only not brownies at all and Buckeyes are like round Reese’s Cups only smooth and creamy and…. extremely addicting.
For Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:
You will need-
1 Package of Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of margarine
2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
2 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup (or more if you like a lot of the shit) of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
***Mix first seven ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients and spread in a greased 9x13x2 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Cool and cut into bars… sort of brownie sized. Enjoy!
(I made these for Dean’s unit to take to Iraq with them. I think I made about 12 pans of them and filled up a shitload of Ziploc bags assuming that they’d last them a while…. it was later reported to me that not a single bag of them made it off the plane because they ate ALL of them during transit. I thought it was pretty funny.)
And now… for the Buckeyes. But before I post the recipe, I want to make sure that I share a few things about these with you. First off, I’m pretty sure that they are a traditional Ohio treat, hence the name “Buckeye”. My mom made these things every single Christmas for as long as I can remember and it is a tradition that I continue with my kids. They are very creamy and very, very rich and the only complaint I’ve ever heard is that you want so badly to eat a shitload of them in one sitting but you just can’t. Because they are so rich. Here’s the recipe:
You will need:
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
5 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 c. peanut butter
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
12 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 bar paraffin
***Knead all the ingredients together and shape into balls the size of walnuts. (you WILL get greasy!) Melt the chocolate chips with the paraffin in the top of double boiler.(make sure you don’t get ANY water or liquid in there… not even a drop or it’ll turn the chocolate gritty) Stick toothpicks into the balls and dip into chocolate so all of the ball is covered except top where toothpick is. This is what makes them look like buckeyes. Set on cookie sheet or wax paper in refrigerator until cold. Remove them with a knife. Keep refrigerated.
That concludes the holiday treats. And now onto some fun Christmas crafts to do with your kids:
The first thing is extremely easy and all you really need is construction paper, scissors and Elmer’s glue.They’re Christmas Trees that can be used as place settings or a centerpiece or whatever you want. Here is Matt to show you how:
Take some green or brown construction paper and fashion it into a cone. Use glue to secure it in place. Cut along the bottom of the cone so that it stands up nice and straight.
Take green construction paper and cut it into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in width and as long as you want. What you’ll do is make fringe by cutting little slits the entire length of the paper strips leaving just enough space to apply some glue.
Add a tiny bit of glue to each strip of fringe and, starting at the bottom of the cone, start wrapping little rows going up the tree. Wrap them evenly and overlap them but don’t wind it all the way up the cone. Use multiple strips.
Once you have a fringy, festive, little tree, use construction paper or beads or fuzz balls or whatever you want and decorate your tree. Make a lovely star or angel for the top and sprinkle the thing with glitter if you like. Use ribbon to wrap around the tree for garland. Kids love to decorate their little trees and they make lovely craft projects that are easy and fun. If you like, you can write your dinner guests names on the stars atop each tree and stick em’ by their plates. It’s cute. This one is not yet decorated -)
My next holiday craft are…. Snowglobes!
To make snowglobes you will need:
-a jar with a lid (baby food jars make great sized ones to hang on the tree and salsa jars are great for decorations)
– Hot glue gun
-glitter (silver works best to make snow)
I’m going to walk you through a snowman snowglobe as those are easiest but, really, you can stick whatever you want in there. To make a snowman one, get marshmallows or poof balls from the craft store or little styrofoam balls and use hot glue to fashion a snowman. (or, just buy a fuckin’ snowman at the store). Dress him however you like and use toothpicks, wire or sticks to make his arms. Use a bit of the ribbon to make a scarf, beads to make buttons and any other junk you want to make him original.
Open your jar and turn the lid upside down. Hot glue your snowman to the INSIDE of the lid or if you have room, hot glue him to the bottom of the jar. Use cotton balls and glue them in place to simulate a snowy ground. Pour as much or as little of the glitter you want into the bottom of your jar and then fill the thing all the way to the top with baby oil. Screw the lid into place and hot glue ribbon around the outside of the lid itself to make it decorative. Really, you can do whatever you want to make the lid look pretty. I like mine to match the snowman’s scarf.
If you are using baby food jars and making snowglobe ornaments for your tree, just make a loopy so that you can hang them.
Turn em’ upside down and give them a shale and watch it snowwwwww….
So easy and so fun for kids of all ages. Older kids can hot glue gun or mom or dad can do that step but even the younger kids can fill the jars with glitter and baby oil and help make the snowman. My kids have a blast and they last forever. The ornament ones are also so very cute to place at everyone’s seat at dinner as a gift.
So, this will be my day with the kids. Between doing laundry, we will be baking and getting our craft on. And, Dean and I have a couple of things WE have to do to prepare:
If you have a fireplace, on Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed, make boot prints in the ash and on the hearth…. let em’ think Santa was really there. Also… make some Reindeer evidence! Get a box of Quaker oats and mix with glitter. Sprinkle it outside on the porch or driveway and show the kids the “evidence” that the reindeer were there enjoying a snack while Santa unloaded the booty.
Have fun this year with your family and here’s wishing everyone a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!