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sweetpumkinpye

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We didn't make it to any lights either
Actually thinking about it we did not do a lot that was Christmassy. I would like to think about what we can do to celebrate a bit more next year.
It is so hot here (especially this year) that we need to change things up a little. Maybe dinner by the lake or something along those lines.
 

halimer

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Adding to what Mary said about food allergies and such:

People should not expect you to prepare extra foods that they can eat if they are on a special diet - medically required or not. These people must take some of the responsibility on themselves. We have a cousin who has various allergies and, while she might ask for the menu beforehand, and I will be sure to include somethlng she can eat, she will always bring something for herself that she can eat. On Hanukkah she brought dairy free brownies that she shared with everyone. We also have a friend who is dieting and will often bring her own food. Both these people know that I will not be insulted if they do not eat everything that I have prepared.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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I am still packing stuff away. I am going to make a great effort in 2020 to cut back on the stocking fillers. We get 2 stockings each, 1 from our house and 1 from Mum's and so many of the items are duplicated. This is OK for some items like tooth brushes and tooth paste that will be used throughout the year but there is way too much other stuff.
I will make a note in my planner to re read this thread in CIJ just to remind me that it is OK to cut back on things.
 

Miss JoDee

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Well, I was trying to be kind and helpful and give ddil a break from having to lug all her gluten free stuff to my house from OH. I have cooked with her enough to know what they can have,
but it is the cross contamination that made it difficult. I made the soup twice because of cross contamination and just learned today that the split peas we used for the split pea and ham are not safe for them to eat. :( I will rethink it all next year and maybe go to their house and help her cook and then freeze it and bring it back home with me. It's a plan...?
 
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Miss JoDee

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Actually thinking about it we did not do a lot that was Christmassy. I would like to think about what we can do to celebrate a bit more next year.
It is so hot here (especially this year) that we need to change things up a little. Maybe dinner by the lake or something along those lines.
A Christmas picnic, how fun would that be? Rent a cabin by the lake for Christmas.
 

Minta

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I made an amazing baked french toast that I added fresh raspberries and white chocolate chunks on Christmas Eve for Christmas breakfast. It was lovely and very quick to prepare.
mind sharing the recipe please
 

Minta

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Minta, again, I can relate to a lot of this. We didn't have anyone in marching band but 4 out of the last 5 years I've spent most weekends visiting colleges or going to volleyball games in the fall. That first year was R-O-U-G-G-H. Not having weekends to do the extra prep work made me prioritize and rethink a lot of things.

One thing that helped me was to define what was important to me or what made Christmas seem like Christmas to me. Then I focused on making sure those things happened. For example, if I could only make one type of cookie, it would be springerle. If I could eat only one thing Christmas morning, it would be stollen. So those are my two priority foods to make. Is there a favorite candle scent or soap scent you like at Christmas? If so, buy it for you. Is there a movie or book that you'd like to read for Christmas? Then go do it. Liturgically speaking, the Christmas season ends January 6th so if you are resenting where you are now, you have time to reclaim the things you like to do at Christmas.

I agree about doing what is important to us. We usually do gingerbread houses with extended family. This year we were pressed for time and we didn't enjoy it as much as in the past. Next year I am only buying one kit and will do that with my kids and DH on a night that works for us. Some of our activities we try to plan other extended family members schedules and try to be as accommodating as much as possible. This year we will do what works for us and our schedule. I would love to be able to make and freeze cookie dough in advanced but even with a chest freezer space is at a premium so I plan on spreading out the baking through out the month of Dec more and bake what we really enjoy.
 

Miss JoDee

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Some of our activities we try to plan other extended family members schedules and try to be as accommodating as much as possible. This year we will do what works for us and our schedule.
Minta, if you want to things with extended family set the date and let them know when and if they can/want to join you they will. They can even bring their own gingerbread house with them.
 

Minta

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Minta, if you want to things with extended family set the date and let them know when and if they can/want to join you they will. They can even bring their own gingerbread house with them.

I wish it was that easy. My kids are older ( I have one going into high school next and one graduating from high school) and my oldest works after schools so we do things around her work schedule even if it means pushing times back later in the evening/nights. The cousin are younger (all 10 or younger) and have way earlier bed times then mine do. That leaves the weekends and our oldest works every weekend. Next year not sure how her work schedule will be.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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mind sharing the recipe please
I found this a few years ago, it is a Pioneer Woman Recipe.
You can add the raspberries and chocolate if you wish. If using the berries and chocolate you may want to leave off the topping. We had it all and it was delicious and a very easy stress free breakfast.

Baked French Toast
1 Loaf crusty French Bread (best if at least 1 day old)
8 eggs,
2 cups milk,
1/2 cup cream (or 2 1/2 cup milk),
3/4 cup white sugar,
2 tabs vanilla

Optional
Punnet fresh raspberries
Block of white cooking chocolate chunked

Topping
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter.

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Tear bread into chunks and place in pan, add raspberries and chocolate. Mix gently to distribute berries and chocolate.
In a bowl mix eggs, milk and cream (if using) white sugar and vanilla.
Pour over the bread, cover and store in fridge overnight.

In a separate bowl mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Add butter and mix until resembles breadcrumbs. Store in ziplok bag in fridge.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 180c (not sure what this is in US temperatures but apparently 350)
Sprinkle topping over the bread mix and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
 
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sweetpumkinpye

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jampss

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Ahorsesoul

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I have a pan in the Refrig to cook tomorrow. LC1 will bring raspberries and chocolate when she comes to work in the morning.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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So, 180 F degree oven?
Sorry, I am Australian so 180c. Not sure what that would convert to in US temperatures. I will edit the recipe.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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I have a pan in the Refrig to cook tomorrow. LC1 will bring raspberries and chocolate when she comes to work in the morning.
Hopefully you like it. Let us know what you think.
 
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housewife2

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i didnt get to see any lights no winterfest for me either. hope to plan better for 2020 need to focus n stocking stuffers also will pick up all year. all in all we had anice christmas even with the stress of work having the flu losing 2 friends to cancer was so sad for me. opening up a christmas savings at the bank next week.
 

AuntJamelle

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Decorating – I think I’ve hit a good point in my decorating career – just enough – not too much. Purchased some lighted berry garland for next year but that’s it. I liked how I handeled the BIG tree this year. Day One of decorating marathon I put the tree up but that was it – no fluffing, just UP. Then I moved on to all the other decorating in the house – the things I am usually too tired to tackle well after doing the tree!

I did the fluffing and tree lights another day and then finally did the ornaments the last day. DH had taken DS shopping somewhere so I cranked the carols and sang to my tree. It was so nice!

I will remember this strategy for next year for sure!


Gifts and Shopping – Amazon was my friend, FOR REALZ. Very happy with how all gifts turned out. DS got a TON by the time other relatives jumped on the bandwagon. For the first time this year I walked him thru Target toy section and made notes on what he liked. Then I searched for the items on Amazon and added to his wish list. Which I then shared with family members that normally send gift cards – I suspected that they would like picking something out for him instead and it appears I was very right, lol

I did some in store shopping but not much.

Wrapping – oh I am so glad I did so much early – because there was PLENTY left to do as the days drew close to Christmas. In many cases because said family members had the Amazon gifts shipped right to us, unwrapped. But I don’t mind, I really do love to wrap – just don’t want to be panicked about it! With my early start it was never total panic mode. Although I felt a little stressed at one point J


Entertaining – Annual Christmas party for friends went well. Next year I will make less freezer apps – had more than half left of three kinds because everyone brought so much food!!! Dinner for BIL’s and wives went well too as did dinner for my sister and her BF. That one was super easy since it was almost all from the freezer – I just love how well lasagna freezes!!!


Baking – I would have said I made too many cookies. BUT I ended up helping out a friend with her holiday baking and most of what she picked from the list I gave her of ideas was already in the freezer. So even after everything I gave to her, and all the cookie tins/boxes (I’m talking garment boxes!) and platters I STILL have enough assorted cookies left to do one decent size platter. But everyone is Cookied Out!!! And once New Year’s hits everyone will be dieting – I guess they’ll just stay in the freezer for now!

Christmas Eve/Day – We were on our own this year and I learned NOT to eat lunch at 2PM on Christmas Eve. We were so full we ended up freezing what we were going to make for dinner!

I made a sausage strata overnight casserole for Christmas morning which was good – and easy to have baking while we opened gifts. BUT next year I will make sure we have something to nibble on ready to hand during that first wave of gift opening – I was starving!!!!

We made a roast for dinner that day and I felt it was not tender enough – I will plan to have it in oven longer next time. Or just make a different roast in crockpot I love that always turns out supper tender!

All in all it was a pretty good holiday season! Didn’t get sick until AFTER Christmas – and then not too badly. Kept up with my Airbourne all month long and thru the cold I caught and I’m on the mend. DS has the sniffles too but he seems to be getting better as well.

DH asked me if I would remember to not do QUITE so much next year. I only nodded and smiled. Because I know me.