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With just a
few days before Christmas, I want to take the time to say
Merry Christmas to all my readers. May your holiday be
full of good cheer, family togetherness, and the blessings
Remember...Jesus is the Reason for the Season! Let's live so
that is evident to all.
Easy Does It Christmas
By Monica Resinger
Since both my husband and I have family to see at
Christmas time, we spend time with his family at our house
on Christmas Eve and my family at their house on Christmas
day. Since my mom always makes a big beautiful dinner and
we have so much going on at the time, I usually make a
snack buffet table for the
Christmas Eve celebration at our house.
It is very simple and helps keep my stress level down. I
can make all of it ahead of time and just set the table up
later. I don't get fancy with the table decorations, but
do include a pretty poinsettia tablecloth and pretty
paper plates and napkins. It's now a tradition that
everyone looks forward to because it's easy and provides
delicious snacks all day long. The best part is that by
using paper plates, there are no dishes or pots and pans
The only clean up involved is putting away any leftovers,
that is, if there is any!
Here are a few tips to plan your own snack buffet. When
you have time, take out a piece of paper and start writing
down some possibilities. Write down any recipes that come
to mind as you read the following:
~ Trays of things to dip is always popular. I like to put
out a veggie platter with ranch dip (I use the packet of
`Uncle Dans' found in the grocery store to make the dip)
and an assortment of crackers with my popular recipe 'clam
~ A tray of sandwich makings. I load a tray with deli
meats and cheeses, and other sandwich makings such as
onion, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard. You might
try a tray of club sandwich makings or Reuben sandwich
makings. You can also experiment with different breads
such as party rye or sourdough.
~ Cookies and Candies. Each year I make two or three of
our family's favorite recipes which are included below.
What's your family's favorite cookie and candy recipes?
~ Beverages. The Irish Cream recipe below served over ice
is wonderful and a special treat. We also buy pop and beer
and this seems to make everyone happy. You might have a
favorite punch, eggnog or hot buttered rum recipe you'd
like to serve.
~ Crunchy things. I always have the Chex mix out.
Don't forget that you can have family members or other
guests contribute! This will give you more variety and
less work! Just tell them to bring a snack type item.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (6-ounce) can minced clams, save juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
Combine cream cheese and clams. Stir in just enough clam
juice to make a nice
consistency for dipping. Add remaining ingredients and
Serve or cover and chill. Serve with crackers or chips.
1/4 Box Saltine Crackers
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter or Margarine
1 large bag Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a large cookie sheet
with aluminum foil.
Grease with butter. Cover with saltine crackers. Bring 1
cup sugar and 1 cup
butter to a boil & continue to boil for 2 1/2 minutes.
Pour over crackers &
spread fast. Bake 5-7 minutes. Spread a large bag of
chocolate chips over, like
icing. Top with chopped walnuts if desired.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 2/3 c. Whiskey
1 tsp. instant coffee
2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix on high for
Refrigerate. Shake well before serving over ice. Should
keep for at least 2 months.
Peanut Butter Bon Bons
1 - 1 Lb Box Powdered Sugar
2 Cubes Margarine (1 cup)
1 Cup Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Almond Bark
Mix all ingredients except chocolate. Shape into round
balls. Chill. Insert
toothpick & dip into melted chocolate. Chill until set.
I know the recipes aren't for the health conscious, but
it's only once a
year. Here's to hoping you have an `easy does it'
Christmas celebration this year.
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sense vs Common Sense
By Sharon Jaynes
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The
statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the
simple" (Psalm 19:7 NIV).
Sitting in my backyard, I
love to listen to the sounds of all God's critters: birds,
crickets, frogs, katydids, woodpeckers, and most of all -
children. Framing our yard from every side children's
giggles, chatter, and raucous play are a symphony of
stringed instruments and percussions alike. There's the
rhythmic thumping of a basketball bouncing on concrete, the
squealing of little girls being chased by boys, the skidding
of bicycles tires on asphalt, the popping of a cap gun,
declarations of "you're it" and contentions of "you
cheated." All blend together in a symphony of youth. Of
course the orchestra would not be complete without the
reprimanding of parents breaking up fights and reminds
stubborn wills of house rules.
Rules, rules, rules. What a
bother - especially when you are five-years-old. When I was
five, I never understood why parents had to interfere and
ruin al the fun with rules. I eventually decided it was just
part of their job descript8ion. Paretns: law enforcement
officer who patrols the neighborhood, runining all the fun
for little girls and boys.
As a five-year-old Tom Boy,
my favorite possession was a pink sparkly bicycle with a
silver glittery banana seat and u-shaped handle bars.
Streamers were attached to the ends of the handles and blew
in the breeze as I peddled around the neighborhood at
breakneck speed. I could leave skid marks as long as any old
boy, balance without holding on the handlebars, and do
"wheelies" with my front tire saluting the air. Oh how I
loved to ride around the race track (otherwise known as Pine
Haven Drive) feeling the wind whip through my ash blond
streaked hair and brush past my bare shect. It was the "bare
chest" part that was the problem.
"Sharon Ann Edwards," my
mother would call from the front porch. "Get in the house
this minute and put on a shirt!"
"I don't want to war a
shirt," I whined. "Stewart doesn't have to wear a shirt. Shy
"Because you're a girl and
because I said so. That's why."
My brother was five years
my senior and he often romped around without a shirt. As far
as I could tell, there wasn't any difference between him and
me. So why did people snicker when I rode past them
bare-chested? I just didn't get it. So begrudgingly, I'd
knock down my kickstand, stomp through the house, and pull
on a t-shirt, mumbling all the way.
This was not a one time
incident and my mother tired of making me dress like a girl,
or should I day, dress period. But then something amazing
happed. I entered first grade. Suddenly something clicked
and I noticed that boys and girls were indeed different. It
all started with Isaac Thorp and his big blue eyes. Well,
mom never had to tell me to keep my shirt on again.
Rules - what a bother.
Rules - what a comfort. Eventually, I learned that even if I
didn't completely understand one of my parents' mandates, it
would usually make sense later on. And just like with my
earthly parents, I learned that if I didn't understand one
of my Heavenly Father's rules, it would usually make sense
later. God's principles are not randomly contrives to ruin
our fun. They are meticulously thought out and created to
protect His children. God is a lot smarter than we are. Have
you noticed that? If I question Him and He answers, "Because
I said, so," well that's good enough for me, and hopefully
I'll figure the reason out later - but I may not. If I
don't, I just need to remember that Father knows best.
Dear Lord, Thank you that
You do not set up rules for us to follow to ruin our fun or
to cause us frustration, but for our protection. Help us to
stay within the confines of the safe boundaries you have
laid out for us in the Bible. Help us to obey even when we
do not understand your holy logic.
In Jesus' name, Amen
Sharon Jaynes is an
international conference speaker and author of ten books
including Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids, Becoming
the Woman of His Dreams, and Becoming a Woman Who
Listens to God. For information about Sharon's books or
speaking topics, visit
By Nancy Twigg
Have you ever dreamed of simpler
celebrations that leave you exhilarated rather than
exhausted? Overjoyed instead of overwhelmed?
If so, stop dreaming. Celebrate Simply:
Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special
Occasions is for you.
Author Nancy Twigg guides you on a journey
to simpler celebrations expressive of your values and unique
personality. With an emphasis on low cost but high value,
Celebrate Simply illustrates how you can:
Give meaningful gifts that are within your
Add spiritual significance to your
Undo a history of holiday and special
Extend hospitality without the stress of
trying to impress guests
Give one of the most precious gifts
ever—the gift of your time
Can celebrations be simple, yet significant?
Certainly! And Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler,
More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions shows you
If you want tips on how
to simplify your Christmas, this book is a must-have. Nancy
gives you practical ideas for taking the stress and expense
out of the holidays - not just Christmas, but all the
holidays and special occasions you encounter throughout the
year. She gives tons of examples and tips on making simpler
holidays a reality.
You can purchase the book
for $10.99 for the
clicking here. Shipping is FREE.
Click here to read articles on managing your
Click here for parenting lessons from real life
here for some family-friendly recipes.
Click here for articles on keeping your family
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