Friday, December 16, 2011

On the 5th Day of Christmas Creativity...

How-de-do, friends!  Are you enjoying our 12 Days of Christmas Creativity?  Sure hope so.  I know I am!

Today it's Ileana's turn to host.  Be sure to head over there and give her some love!

I've been thinking about holiday traditions lately.  We have a few, but over the years it seems they've evolved.  We have two generations of kids and some things have carried over from the older generation to the younger.  For example, we like to have a family shopping day where we all go to the stores, split up and shop for each other.  The challenge is to hide your purchases from the person you are buying for... without being charged with shoplifting or something.

My parents have a tradition that we have carried over to our marriage.  Their first Christmas together as a married couple they bought (or received as a gift, not sure) a pair of stuffed animal puppies with Christmas hats on.  Every year they go under the tree (even today) and keep watch over the presents.  I loved those Christmas Puppies when I was a kid.  It made me feel so connected to the past.  Victor and I also have a pair of Christmas Puppies that go under our tree. I think they were from Hallmark. They have little magnets in their noses that make them kiss. Awwwwwww.... Whenever I see them, I think of my parents and the Christmases of my childhood.  In our house, the doggies have to hang out up on the tree with the ornaments.  That way they don't get eaten by our actual dog, AKA The Christmas Bandit.

One last tradition to share with you.  Every year for the past several years, I make tons and tons of baked goodies.  We make up plates and take them around to people we love or people we think need a lift.  The kids love doing it and so do we!

Today, I have another awesome Christmas cookie recipe for you.  Thumbprint cookies have got to be my hands-down favorite Christmas cookie of all time... ever.  Here's my recipe.

Jam and Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Makes: About 4 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, softened
4 oz. (1/2 of an regular size package) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Seedless jam or jelly

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together.
3. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add salt and flour and mix well.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
6. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Form 1/2 inch indentations in the balls with the back of a small round measuring spoon or end of a wooden spoon.
8. Fill each indentation with about 1/4 tsp of jam or jelly.
9. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until sides are just set.  Don't allow to brown.
10.  Remove from cookie sheets and cool on a wire rack.

These don't stick around very long, I'll promise you that!  I made a bunch to give away last weekend and my family was so mad they couldn't have any.  I had to make a double batch on Monday to make up for it!

Hey, don't go yet! We've got prizes, remember? Here are the details:

Here are the prizes:

1) The whole set of 12 Days of Christmas Tags
2) $10 gift code to Sam & Hailey Designs
3) $10 Michaels Gift Card
4) The December VDBC Grab Bag (or a $7 gift code to Sam & Hailey Designs if you have already purchased it)

How can you win them? On the 12th Day (that will be the 23rd for our little blog-fest) I'll hold a drawing for each one of the prizes (that's four drawings in one day... I think I can handle it!). All you have to do to enter is comment on my blog to enter. You can comment on my blog on each of the 12 days so you'll have up to 12 entries in the drawings! Each day I'll have a new thing I'll ask you to include in your comment so keep an eye out for that. It's as simple as that!

Today's comment requirement:

Leave a comment and tell us one of your family's holiday traditions!

Be sure to include some way to contact you in case you win the drawing (for example, your VDBC forum name, your email address, etc.). If you don't, I might not be able to get your prize to you!

Time to get crafty, people!


lilred said...

one of our families holiday traditions is we have a handmade book that has approximately 30 Christmas Stories. When my children were little, we would allow them to pick the story and we would read one to two every night until the 24th on this night we would open a present that was usually Christmas PJ's get dressed in them, then read "The Night Before Christmas" and then The story of Joseph and Mary and the birth of Jesus from the Bible. Then my children would go to bed and sleep until we would wake them or they would wake us I should say.

Now that my children are older they share this tradition with their families. But I also have to say that there are some nights when they come over that my husband and I get to choose a story and they read it with us.

Margie said...

One of my favorite holiday traditions is watching holiday movies!

Pam S said...

Now that I have adult children, they think it's not Christmas unless I make twice baked potatoes OMG they fight for the leftovers.

Trisha said...

Our most-loved family tradition is the annual Christmas cookie baking. We make cut-out sugar cookies, and then ice them is bright colors, adding lots of sprinkles and sparkles. One year, I didn't do cookies, and you should have heard the uproar! I think I'll not skipp this again.

momof5 said...

Every year as a family we go up in the mountains and cut down our Christmas tree.

We also have an elf named "Elfis" from Santa's workshop that arrives in our home on Dec. 1st. The first day the kids always know they will find him in the fridge as he is adjusting to the warmer weather here then after that he moves everyday to a new hiding spot to keep an eye on how everyone is behaving. They all have fun trying to find him as well. Then on Christmas Eve he disappears and returns to report to Santa.

Jun Bug House said...

Reading the story of Christ birth, then opening one present on Christmas eve.

bzyPTmom said...

Love the recipe--have to see if I can convert it to a gluten free version. One of our traditions is the Christmas baking--we remember people through recipes, the kids help as we make my Aunt Lora's sour cream sugar cookies (frosted and decorated they are works of art!), Aunt Gwen's fudge, Grandma's ginger snaps and my husband always heads up the Pfeferneuse making, using his mother's recipe (she is no longer with us). As we bake we relate fun stories of the people who's recipes we are making, my children have never met some of them but all know who's recipe I use. Of course we now make everything gluten free--so I can safely enjoy the treats and my family as well.

Anonymous said...

These are just adorable, missed the first 3, but love the one I have so far, lol.
Beachlover (Silhouetteplus forum)

Renae said...

We always go christmas caroling in my husband's childhood neighborhood on Christmas Eve. We particularly visited the elderly who are usuall alone on the holiday and a pair of handicap boys who don't get out very easily. Several times we have been escourted to their bedroom to sing while they sat in their hospital beds. My in-laws no longer own the house and my MIL lives in a retirement apartment complex. So we reserve the community room and sing for the residents there. Last year was the first time we did this and they were thrilled. We were invited back by the activities director and actually added to this months schedule of events. It feels GREAT to bring such joy to those that would otherwise be alone for Christmas.

rpcrafter at gmail dot com

Kelly S said...

One of my family's traditions is making Christmas cookies while singing along to Christmas music. My sister and I both love the song "Percy, the Puny Poinsettia" - nobody else seems to care for it, but we think it is hilarious. :-)

Anna said...

Well it seems like life has changed so much now for our family. I can tell you that my hubby has a bunch of stuffed animals that he loves to sit out all around the CHRISTmas tree on packages on the tree and anywhere that looks cute. I have a very old Nativity set that was my mom's and she had it when I was young (56 yrs old now) and I always put it out in honor of her. We also have to watch The CHRISTmas story.

Esther W-B said...

It was fun reading everyone's traditions. Every year I put up a 4' tree with only Scotty Dog ornaments. I've collected quite a few over the years.

Denise Foor said...

My sister made these when I was young and put cherries in the middle. I snuck into the kitchen and ate all I could so sick....never touched another cherry! Got in big trouble, too! Our tradion....peanut butter cookies. ROFL

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