It’s almost here! I know this time of year we get to bustling about. Trying to find one more gift, get everything wrapped, get any last minute groceries we need in anticipation of Christmas morning.
But a long time ago, on that very first Christmas, the earth grew silent in the middle of the night as a star rose in the sky and angels appeared to shepherds to tell them the glorious news.
It was a silent night
a holy night
all was calm
Rather than rush about, the earth stilled.
And a multitude of angels began praising God singing
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
Each time I think about that I find myself stopping, my breath catching in my throat as I think about that night and what it meant for all of mankind.
On Christmas Eve, make sure you take a moment to go outside in the stillness of the evening, look up at the sky, and imagine that star appearing to you. Imagine what it must have been like for the shepherds to suddenly see an angel and hear his voice declare “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…”
Take a moment to still your heart, still your spirit, and feel the reverence of the silent and holy night.
To read the Christmas story from the Holy Bible for yourself, please click here.
Last Minute Gifts From The Kitchen
The best gifts come from our heart, rather than our wallets.
If you find yourself in need of some last minute gifts or just want to give something with a little more meaning, these recipes and a little bit of love are all you need!
Instead of showing a picture of each one, I’m just going to make a list and tell you about them and then you can click on the title to visit that post and get the recipes.
Gifts for Kids of all ages:
- At the top of my list is Gingerbread Scented Play Dough because it has been such a big hit for us this year. I keep turning out batches and the requests keep pouring it. This is simple and inexpensive to make but the reactions are priceless. Pair it with a few cookie cutters for play dough fun and you’ve got a gift that will still be played with long after the decorations have been put away.
- Snowman Soup Kits – I have printable tags on this post that have a cut little poem about making “Snowman Soup” which is actually hot chocolate. Also included in this post is my recipe for homemade hot chocolate mix, which I received from my first grade teacher (Thank you, Mrs. Menotti!). But you can just as easily print out the tags and assemble the kits with purchased packets of hot chocolate mix. My kids were so tiny in this post!
- S’Mores kits – I first made these S’mores kits when my son was in elementary school to pass out to all of his classmates. This past week I discovered that they are just as popular now that he is in high school as they were back then. Brady gave way over 40 kits before school even started and texted me asking if I had more! These are also great as a little thoughtful gift for coworkers.
- Holly Jollies – This simple chocolate candy has limitless options. I make them in mini muffin papers and package them in party favor bags, mason jars, or even decorative Christmas tins.
- Tiger Butter – THIS is my absolute go to candy for Christmas gifts due to: 1. How good it tastes, 2. It is my kids favorite 3. How quick it is to throw together. Each year I lose track of how much Tiger Butter I make and this year is no different.
- Red Velvet Cake (Or Green, in our case) – A lot of you have been following the importance of Green Velvet cake in our family through my posts about Katy’s writing assignments. The recipe we use is a family favorite that was given to us by a dear friend. We use Green food coloring because my grandmother was allergic to red. Even though Grandmama is no longer with us, the green velvet is still made in memory of her. My recipe for this absolutely delicious homemade velvet cake can be found here. I wrote it out for cupcakes but when I make it as a cake I just bake it in a sheet pan or two 8 or 9 inch round layer pans and bake at the same temperature until it springs back when lightly touched in the middle, about 10 minutes longer than the cupcakes. Velvet cakes make a wonderful Christmas gift. A few nights ago I made four of them in an evening and gave two away to friends. The others were sealed and tucked away in my refrigerator for Christmas day dinner.
- Sugar and Spice Pecans – if you are blessed with an affordable (or free) source of pecans, nothing beats a small tin of these cinnamon spiced sugar coated beauties.
- If you have peanuts but not pecans – Candy them using this recipe! Place in a treat bag and tie with curling ribbon for an economical way to give them.
- Quick Breads make excellent gifts as well. You can purchase large bread bags to put them in on the same aisle as the ziplock bags. They come with twist ties or you can use curling ribbon for them. My top suggestions would be Banana Bread or Amazing Apple Bread. When I have a lot of people to bake for, I make mini loaves rather than full size. Each full size loaf recipe will make about 4 mini loaves, but if you have larger mini loaf pans it will make fewer, of course. Mini loaves can be packaged in the little party treat bags.
- If you’d like to see some fun old fashioned Christmas coloring pages, like we used to have back in the old days, visit my Great Big Pinterest Board on Pinterest. I have a lot on there and you can click on them to go to the source and print them out. You don’t have to have a Pinterest account or login or anything, you can just click on the link and go see my board. Katy and I have really enjoyed those this year.
- If you are looking for recipes for your Christmas Day Dinner, check out my Holiday Menu Bonanza with over 70 recipes by clicking here.
I do hope you have a Merry Christmas but most importantly, I hope you marvel at the wonder of a silent night all those ages ago.