Archive | Christmas

Christmas Pins

I love December and getting ready for Christmas.  This year, I have buckled down (following tips from this post) and have gotten most of my shopping done so that I can more fully enjoy my December with my family.  Thanks to Pinterest, I have a list of things to do together this month.

1.  A Hanging Snowflake

2.  Paper Snowflakes

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As always, if you need an invite, please let us know!  We would love to share the fun!


Christmas Neighbor Gifts

I have lived in many places and everywhere we go, we always exchange Christmas gifts with the neighbors. We grew up doing this too. Some years we spent SO much time putting together Christmas crafts for the neighbors. One year we made little reindeer out of wood and their tummies were baby food jars. (I wish I had a picture.) Other years we bought treats and put a cute little note or saying on it. When you have time, it’s also fun to make a plate of goodies. However, a couple of years ago I almost burned down my house trying to make Amish bread for all our friends and neighbors!! YIKES!

As I was searching for what to give to my neighbors this year, I found a gazillion cute ideas!
How Does She has a list of 30 neighbor gift ideas. I love this one….I actually did this about 6 years ago, except I made my own cookie dough.

There was also an article in the Deseret News that had 3 pages of ideas! I love these because they are budget friendly. (aka: cheap!! ha ha ha!) You’ve got to think about that when you have a lot of friends and neighbors! You can read the article HERE.

These Creative Juices has a cute ideas for cookies in a jar…
and a snowman candy bar.
She even has free printables to go with these cute ideas. Go HERE!

I also liked this idea! (Found here!)
Healthy and Yummy! It’s a win win!

So…what are you giving to your friends and neighbors this year?


How to throw a Christmas Party

Our family is getting bigger……

As of right now we have 12 adults and 12 grandkids.
A few years ago we decided that several of us wanted to own Christmas morning with our kids;
however, we still wanted to get together to carry on some of our traditions.
So, we came up with having a Christmas Party the Friday and Saturday before Christmas.
What we do:
We usually meet at 5:00 p.m. (or 6:00 p.m. whenever everyone can get there) and have dinner.
How we do it:

Do something simple so that you don’t have to spend ALL day in the kitchen!

Two years ago we had soup in a bread bowl and I just had everyone bring something.
Last year I went even easier and had pizza here for everyone!
What we do:

After dinner we have a “gift exchange”. We start from the youngest and go clear up to grandma and grandpa!

How we do it:

Usually at the end of October, we put the all the kids names in hat and draw them out, so they know who their giving to early. This makes it easier, because it was way to expensive to buy a gift for everyone!
We limit the amount spent to $20.00.
For the adults we do couple gifts and rotate each year with a limit of $50.00.
Our parents obviously still want to give to everyone, so they are not in the drawing, but my siblings and I have worked out a great plan for their gifts. We all decided to go in together on their gifts because you can get bigger/nicer things with more money. One of us is responsible for collecting the money, doing the shopping, wrapping, and delivery for one “occasion”. We split the occasions like this:
Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Mom’s B-day, Dad’s B-day, and Mom’s and Dad’s Christmas.

What we do:

Then we usually have a story or two from Grandpa and sing a few songs.

How we do it:
Each year my dad reads a book called, “Aaron’s Christmas Tree” by Alma Yeates. You can read it HERE. and a poem called “Funny Funny Mother.” It’s author is unknown, but you can read it HERE.
The music kind of depends on the year. Sometimes my sister’s play duets on the piano and sometimes the kids sing to us, but we always end by singing a few traditional Christmas songs together.
What we do:
Which then leads into our special visitor……SANTA CLAUS!!
How we do it:
It’s hard to find a Santa every year on the day you need him! (He’s a busy guy! ha ha ha! 🙂 Anyway, last year I found someone who could do it (a family friend) but he didn’t have a suit. Lucky for us, I found one at TJ Maxx for pretty cheap. We all went in together and bought it so now we’ll have it every year. My mom is great to put bags of popcorn and candy together with names on them and then we have them in a big bag ready for Santa to bring to us. (If you have a Santa who doesn’t know you very well, it’s nice to give him a list of all of your names ahead of time, so he doesn’t mispronounce anyone’s names.)
The kids with Santa!
The adults with Santa!
What we do:

Then we project a movie up on the wall for the kids and the adults get to hang out and visit!

How we do it:
My brother has access to a projector through work. He brings it and hooks it up to our surround sound and all the kids get in their jammies to watch the Christmas movie. We try to pick a new movie every year. I think our favorites are The Polar Express and Elf!
We usually get the kids into bed and then talk till midnight! (or so! 🙂

What we do:

The next morning we have a yummy breakfast!!

How we do it:
Everyone is really good at pitching in and bringing something. We like to do waffles (I usually have someone else bring their irons too so that we can make them fast!) with strawberries and whipped cream! YUM! We have also made breakfast casseroles and butterscotch pull-a-parts the night before, to make breakfast easy!
What we do:
Next, we send the kids downstairs to play and the adults get to play Bunco.

How we do it:
Have you played Bunco before?
(If not, you can go HERE to read the instructions!)
It’s a fun game using dice. You have to have 12 people so it woks great for us!!
All you’ll need is score cards and pencils for everyone, 3 tables, and 3 dice at each table!
Then I have dollar store prizes for everyone. The winner gets to pick first on down to the last one.
I usually go with candy because who doesn’t love candy? 🙂 Everyone usually leaves me a few dollars to cover the cost of the things we’ve had to buy.
We try to keep this party easy and inexpensive so that it isn’t a financial burden or too stressful on anyone.
Here is a picture of all of us after the game with our prizes!
And here’s a silly one of us all kissing our spouses! Isn’t it hillarious?
We usually have a little lunch for everyone and then they stay as long as they want!
I LOVE hosting the FAMILY CHRISTMAS PARTY and can’t wait for the party this year!
Good luck on hosting your own Christmas party! Let us know how it goes!Linking up here:
Six Sisters’ Stuff, One Artsy Mama,