embracing life and letting God

11.19.2012

Our Holiday Traditions



Every holiday season we have traditions we always do with our children.  Here are just a few:

Before Thanksgiving week we make sure that we get to our local Hallmark store and pick our yearly Christmas ornaments.  Each one gets to pick a character or symbol that reminded them of the year[s] past.  

Once Thanksgiving week arrives we are ready to decorate.  If company is coming to our home for the big day, we do our best to go all out and decorate the house with holiday goodness from the tree to wreath on the front door.  

As we decorate there are 4 essentials that must be on hand [besides all of our decorations and new ornaments]:  chocolate chip cookies, sausage balls , hot chocolate and Christmas music.  

Holiday Sausage Balls
1 lb sausage (hot or mild)
3 cups Bisquick
1 cup water
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
1 Brown sausage in a frying pan, crumbling it as it cooks. Set aside to cool.
2 In a large mixing bowl, combine Bisquick, water, and cheese. Stir, then mix in cooled sausage.
3 Wet your hands (so the meat won't stick) and roll into small balls. Bake on cookie sheets at 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Some years ago when my husband and I were dating, his brother died in a tragic accident.  My mother-in-law started a new tradition that year in remembrance of Chris’ brother.  She found these beautiful star ornaments from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store.  Each year they choose a new design and the stars are dated.  Many years have passed since that first Christmas.  
Here are the stars decorating our mantle in 2010
Don't my children look like they are about to do something mischievous?
We now have a beautiful collection of 25 golden stars that adorn our Christmas tree in memory.  They are even more special now.  Over three years ago my mother-in-law was released from this earth and from her suffering of ovarian cancer.  Each time we place another star on the tree we now remember two sweet souls we lost too soon.

You can see these gold stars as well as their silver snowflakes when you visit:  THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART STORE.



It’s Christmas eve, eve, eve, eve…. and the lights are all lit.  It’s time to put on our pajamas and go on a trip.  HA! There isn’t a year that goes by that our children aren’t begging us to take them to see all of the Christmas decorations in the neighborhoods in our city.  It’s really a fun trip to take to ooh and aaaah over all of the different decorations people put up in their yards. So gather up your snugglies [p.j.'s in the Brasher home] and your blankets, [we roll down our windows when close to the houses] and go see how your neighbors have decorate this year.

My mother had this ‘sweet’ tradition she still carries out to this day.  Five Minute Fudge.  Each year she would make batches of fudge to share with all of our family and friends.  Chris and I have taken on this tradition, sharing it with all of his co-workers and our neighbors.  It is such an easy recipe and delicious to eat. Here is the recipe I use:

FIVE MINUTE FUDGE

2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 ounces) miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions
  1. Combine butter, sweetened condensed milk and salt in sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Bring to full boil. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate pieces, vanilla and nuts. 
  4. Stir vigorously for 1 minute (until marshmallows melt and blend). 
  5. Pour into 8 inch square buttered pan. 
  6. Cool. 
  7. Cut into squares.


Another tradition we have begun in recent years is the annual Christmas day treasure hunt.  We usually have a family gift that we share and my husband, being a child at heart, is the greatest scavenger hunt creator ever!  He sits down and comes up with the most clever rhymes and ideas that take the children all over the house as they seek out that one last gift at the end of Christmas day.  It’s so much fun.  They are giggling and screaming as the excitement builds to that one last clue.  

How to you and your family carry on traditions during the holidays? I would love to hear your ideas. Blessings!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy Brasher
Revelation 12:11

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