When December comes I like to pull out recipes that I haven’t used throughout the year. One of my favourites is the recipe for Christmas Gingerbread. The combination of spices and sweet molasses is always a crowd-pleaser and kids love the decorated shapes.
Originally from Mexico, the Poinsettia plant comes in a variety of colors including red, white and pink. It flowers through December to February.
Poinsettia’s like diffuse light. They cannot tolerate bright light but at the same time need to be away from drafts. If the temperature gets below 65 degrees Fahrenheit the plant may not survive.
Water your plants twice a week until the soil is moist but not drenched. Do not allow the roots to sit in water or it will die.
To keep a Poinsettia after Christmas move the plant to a cool, dark area and decrease the watering schedule. Fertilize after blooming with a house plant fertilizer once a month.
In May, put the plant in a diffuse light location. Cut back the branches to 5-6 inches in length. When the branches grow to 10 inches pinch the tips to encourage growth. Do this until the end of August.
In September, move your plant to a room with at least 12 hours of darkness at night. This will encourage the plant to turn color for the holidays.
Never leave an open flame unattended, especially near a Christmas tree. Many fires are caused over the season from candles.
Wrap presents in colorful comic strips, sheet music or wallpaper that you have around the house. Decorate with bows , baubles or greenery.
Have a scavenger hunt for small trinkets to keep children busy while you are preparing the meal. They’ll have fun and you’ll have more time to prepare the turkey.
Prepare as much of the food as you can ahead of time. Even better delegate specific dishes to family members who are coming to visit. Everyone will have more time to visit.
Keep plenty of batteries on hand for gifts that unexpectedly need batteries or for cameras. You don’t want to be without your camera to record the fun.
If you must drink invite guests to stay over for the night or alternatively take a taxi home.
Make a garland from snapshots of your children from the past year and hang above the fireplace. Alternatively, children’s artwork can be cut in snowflakes, trees or snowman and strung in a garland as well. It’s a fun way to keep your children’s treasures without having to store reams of paper.
Christmas is the one time of year that my family always baked several kinds of cookies for guests over the holiday season. Times have changed and we no longer need the selection of sweets we used to but I find myself still baking some of my holiday favorites.
This is probably my most favorite cookie. The tangy cranberries, aromatic almonds and white chocolate create a sumptuous cookie.
I’ve tried replacing the white chocolate in this recipe with milk chocolate but the recipe is not the same. If you absolutely hate white chocolate replace it with dark chocolate. The bitter chocolate pares well with the cranberries.