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That’s what’s going on around here this week. Lots of preparing.

I made the executive decision to suspend any and all schoolwork for the week. I do this pretty much every year, and I’m always delighted with how much of my time it frees up. Honestly, I need time off from school BEFORE Christmas way more than I need it after Christmas!

I usually bake something to give to our neighbors, and this year I decided to go with cinnamon knots.

( I like to do something other than cookies or candy, just to be different, so I generally bake something yeasty.)

Fortunately, there were some cinnamon knots left for us after the girls delivered the gifts last night.

It would be sort of sad to give them allll away.

I’m making some progress on my wrapping.

I’ve sort of decided that reusable fancy gift boxes (like on the right side of the photo) are very nearly my favorite way to wrap things. They’re beautiful and easy. And in the off-season, I use them to store ribbons and other wrapping supplies.

As a result of online shopping (oh, how I love the convenience!), there’s quite a bit of cardboard piling up for the recycling bin.

On the whole, I’m feeling pretty good about the progress I’m making on my gift list.

(Even if I did have to fork over $12.95 for hurried shipping to get Mr. FG’s grandma’s photo calendar here on time. I might have procrastinated on that a bit this year. Ahem.)

How’s your holiday prep going?


Joshua’s 365 post: Little Bears

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Skirnir Hamilton

Friday 21st of December 2012

I made the cinnamon knots today. :) I made the knots, then sprinkled a bit of the cinnamon sugar over them and baked. Yes, I can tell I went light on the sweetness and cinnamon, but very good. I made 32 with some other modifications and I typed in all ingredients and it came to just over 100 calories each! Woohoo!


Friday 21st of December 2012

Kristin, I feel really good about my holiday prep, I have you to thank for it. Your posts back in October helped me think about simplifying things this time of year, and I made some goals. I wanted to be finshed with shopping early by the start of Advent this year, and I finished most of it. I did almost all my shopping online, which to me is so great because I didn't have to drag my two-year-old into stores with me, AND I could read customer reviews and make better decisions about what I was buying. We limited what we were buying for the kids. We had just added a bathroom to the lower level of our house, so my husband and I decided that would be our gift to each other. I made a donation to my church's youth group and received in exchange two teenagers who came to my home and wrapped most of the gifts while our three kids were at a kids-only church event. (My husband will do his part by finishing the wrapping this weekend!) I really wanted to focus on the parts of Christmas that were the most relaxing, meaningful, and fun. I had a stressful week or two earlier this month while trying to finish 3 photo books and order Christmas photo cards (lesson learned: start much earlier on those next year, even doing a little bit at a time as photos are taken). But this past week have been pretty relaxing. I did some baking so I had some goodies to share at events. We attended one party right in our neighborhood. We went caroling with a group from church at the retirement center down the street. The Christmas cards are 99% mailed. There is usually Christmas music playing in the house. We are able to relax and watch Christmas movies with the kids. A friend from college is coming to bake with me on Saturday. (Love the baking!) This weekend we plan to take a drive and look at lights--the two-year-old loves lights! I feel like I will be able to relax and listen during the Christmas Eve and Christmas services. With fewer gifts to open, I can really watch and enjoy seeing my kids' expressions, and then have fun trying out some of their new things with them, or maybe we'll go sledding in the afternoon. Meals will be simple--not pizza ordering-simple, but ham, green beans frozen from our garden, a simple salad. And birthday cake for Jesus, at the request of our two-year-old. I have never felt so relaxed at this time of year. Thank you, Kristin, for suggesting that I take a look at what we were doing, make priorities, and simplify. Thank you to your readers, too, for their great ideas. It was so fun to read about what others do!

Skirnir Hamilton

Thursday 20th of December 2012

Made some peanut butter blossom cookies, but they are a bit dry today. :( Not sure if I overbaked, or the lack of vanilla or something else. *sigh*


Thursday 20th of December 2012

I occasionally have that problem with peanut butter cookies-not sure what causes it.

The Greatful Mom

Thursday 20th of December 2012

Our holiday prep is going pretty well! Our gifts are bought, we have quite a few items wrapped, and now we are just enjoying a week with different low-key Christmas activities for the kids (today they helped wrap the grandparents' gifts, this afternoon we will FINALLY be making Christmas decor for our door). Other preparations that need to be done include getting all the groceries needed for our Christmas and Christmas Eve meals, and de-cluttering some toys and clothing so that when the gifts roll in we have space for them.

condo blues

Thursday 20th of December 2012

I'm done with everything except making the fudge I promised my Husband. That happens today. I made cloth gift bags after Christmas two years ago. I use them for gifts I give in person (family) so I can get the bags back to reuse the following year. They CHANGED MY LIFE this year. I can come home from a store, wrap the gifts and have them safely hidden under the tree in 5 minutes instead of doing a stressful gift wrapathon.

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