Getting ready for the holidays!

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Getting ready for the holidays!

Are you busy getting things ready for the holidays? Take a minute to share with us what you're doing...

I'm (im)patiently awaiting the arrival of more family members so we can decorate the house. The weather has turned cool and the house is even colder, so we've got that Christmas feeling in the air. I'm enjoying wearing sweaters and scarves and drinking tea, wondering where the Christmas mugs are. I'm debating what Christmas cookies to make next...perhaps some Oreo truffles? Always delicious.

Have you been baking? Shopping? Cleaning? What's going on in your house?

I just been down to the basement to get all the christmas stuff smiley Now i'm cleaning so i can put them up smiley

I just made some Mexican Wedding Cookies which are wonderful with hot tea - light and crumbly. Here's a good recipe but I add a few drops of maple flavoring. They are easy to make, easy to take, and keep.

We have drug out all of our decorations but that is as far as we've gotten. Maybe after a few more cookies I will feel motivated....

We usually start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving... Friday we hung up our icicle lights outside & later that afternoon we went to a tree farm, scouted the area for the perfect tree, cut it down & brought it home with us. Had hoped we'd have the tree lights on by now, but school stuff takes precedence. smiley Once we get those on, we'll start making cranberry-popcorn garland (while we watch Christmas movies & drink cocoa), hang the garland up, and start decorating the tree. Outside of fall foliage season, this is my favorite time of the year! smiley

I just can't get into the holiday spirit until I'm done with classes which will be this Friday! My goals over the next week include putting up the tree, decorating the house, and finding tacky Christmas sweaters for a friend's Christmas party. I need to load all my Christmas music onto my iPod for driving around town. That will help!

Sounds like everyone's getting in the holiday spirit!

I love Christmas music, and I've been enjoying listening to it everyday while I work. My favorite Christmas album is this one by the Steeles, which is sadly not really available. It's a family favorite and it couldn't be Christmas without listening to it (and singing along rather loudly). And I have to confess that I'm really enjoying Justin Bieber's Christmas album. Perhaps a new favorite. Currently I'm listening to Amy Grant's Home for Christmas, another family favorite.

Over here in the Netherlands we have to celebrate 'Sinterklaas' before we decorate our houses for Christmas, so no Christmas themed things over here, just for Sinterklaas (HERE some info about Sinterklaas)
So no Christmas themed things before 5 December here!

After a lifetime in New York (state, not the city! smiley ), I moved to Florida last I'm still finding it tough to feel Christmas-y when it's 70 degrees outside! (I painted some snowflakes on my living room window last year, that seemed to help lol.) I haven't gotten the decorations out yet, but I know exactly where they are, which is progress for me!

Since we're on a VERY tiny budget this year, I don't think I have any commercial shopping planned (aside from supplies..and a tree, of course!). While I adore shopping for people (and loved doing so almost exclusively on Etsy last year), it's actually made my life a lot more peaceful, knowing I don't need to go out anywhere/wait impatiently for things to ship to me, and it's lovely knowing everything will be coming from my own hands.

The cookie assortments (usually 10 or so types) I send out to family each year are becoming slightly legendary, so I've got that list together to start on, as soon as I empty out some more Tupperware to store them all! I've been crocheting away on gifts for a month or two now (no applause plz, I'm still so far behind!), just waiting to scrape together a little spare money to buy the rest of the yarn I need. Luckily, the family we're close with is pretty small, so there's a (very!) slight chance I'll finish everything on time!

@Wilma - it´s nice to know about Sinterklaas. I´ll read it carefully later smiley

I like an old The Cartpenters X´mas album - No idea on the name - and "Celtic Woman Celebrating Christmas" too. But my favorite song on top of them all is "Santa Claus is comming to town".

My family don´t have so many traditions for Christmas. This year, we don´t have any idea on where or how we are going to celebrate. And, although we already have lots of Chrismas stuff on the pet shop where I work - There´s a tree set, clothes and even dog´s panettone. Here in Brazil the panettone is the most know Christmas´ snack, it´s a tradition here that can be compared to the Christmas cookies in the US).

I plan to craft some hybrid table calendars to have as Christmas gifts.

My kitchen floor right now smiley

Christmas is my favorite season, so I'm all set and ready, meaning, I've got my home decorated last week. Started on my December Daily, too, so I'm excited it's finally here - the season!

@Marissa: I want some Oreo truffles, will you share them on your blog when you do make them? smiley

@Tina: growing up in south Texas, I absolutely looooove homemade mexican wedding cookies soooooooo much!!!!

@ Wilma: I always knew that Sinterklaas is kind of the main Christmas event in Holland. But I'm surprised that no decorations are put up before that. What about the stores? I'm sure they've been decorated for Christmas since a while, though, right? (Been to Holland countless times, but never around Christmas ...)

Now that my children have grown up I don't decorate as much, in fact if we are not going to be home for Christmas then the only decoration is a door wreath.
Normally I don't start decorating till 3 weeks before Christmas, but this year I have already started with a few little touches. I will be putting up the 'big tree' later and going all out for Christmas this year and I don't decorate outside the house, as no-one will see anything due to the location of where I live.
I'm in the process of planning the menu for Christmas day and as it will more than likely be a hot day, lots of cold items are on the menu.

I just bought my first 2 gifts yesterday and will hopefully get decorated over the weekend. We have a tree farm a mile down the road so I think a tree will be in order as well. I was hoping to make something for the blog train but this week has been run,run,run and no time for scrapping fun!! Maybe next time...

I made two calendars through Shutterfly one for my brother and his wife and the other for my Grandmother... and they came in the mail yesterday... they came out better than I expected since I used a 72 dpi alpha converted to 300 dpi... I had to sharpen and then do surface blur to get rid of the pixelization but it looks perfect on the calendar covers... so I 'm stoked... We usually go to a tree farm to buy our tree and personally cut down our tree but this year my mom and I went to the local hardware store and bought a pre-cut tree for much cheaper since my folks just had to replace their heating oil tank and the boiler... cost them over $7,000 so no splurging this year for Christmas... WE haven't set up the tree yet though, I think we're gonna do that this weekend... last year my mom and I started a new tradition of making a Yule Log Cake so I'm hoping we'll get to continue that tradition this year.... as for Christmas music... I was in the music program from 4th grade through my Senior year of High School so I got a little tired of Christmas Music and even after all these years I still don't like most Christmas music, though I heard a new Christmas song from the Backstreet Boys that wasn't half bad and I too like Celtic Woman... oh and I forget who said they love Santa Clause is Coming To Town the most but I just saw Tony Bennett perform that on TV last night I think it was, maybe the night before... I love old Crooners... So now my mission for the month of December is to try to make one layout a day for my mother's Christmas present which is a scrapbook of our Vacation to Maine this past summer.... I have the cover and two pages done... so hopefully I can get the rest done by the 14th or 15th and then get it printed.

Cat had a very busy day helping decorate the tree.

@Sarah: I have these vague memories from my childhood of my grandmother and aunts making a Yule Log and it being like the most epic/complicated thing ever. Even at the time I was a little confused about what a Yule Log even is...

@Tiffany: Glad you have your cat to help out on difficult projects!

@Tiffany: Oh, I love that picture! LOL Cats....

Tiffany, that picture is priceless! ha! What a good helper.

@Marisa... a Yule Log was traditionally a large log that was burned during Christmas/Yule celebrations... also traditionally the Yule Log Cakes are chocolate but my mother is allergic to chocolate so ours was white cake with banana pudding in between the layers... YUM. I celebrate both Christmas and Yule, since my family celebrates Christmas but I'm pagan so I celebrate Yule... so now I celebrate both and the Yule Log Cake was my mother's way of trying to participate in my Yule celebrations.

@Tiffany... he/she is obviously working very hard... cute pic.

Do you make yours look like a real log? I guess it could be birch if it's a white cake...I seem to remember decorating it with "mushrooms" and stuff.

Yes! We used white frosting and black squiggly lines made out of that decorating frosting (the thin kind) to make it look like a Birch... though it was kinda boxy... I think I'm gonna suggest baking each layer separately instead of one big sheet and then trying to fold it into thirds... it looked funny but it sure tasted good.

I have pix... here's one of the better pix of the top... we had lighting issues last year... the room had no over head lighting... that's been fixed this year so hopefully the pix this year will come out a little better.

We put cream cheese frosting on it... and like I said there was banana pudding in between the layers... super sweet but oh so yummy!

Here's a pic of a slice so you can hopefully see the layers...

I LOVE the idea of doing a birch Yule log!! ...I didn't even know what a Yule Log was until last year, when my mother-in-law (who remembered them from childhood) asked if I'd be willing to make one. Rolling up cake was one of the strangest-feeling things I've ever done in the kitchen!! While there were a million steps to keep straight, it wasn't quite as terrifying as I'd expected - even my little meringue mushrooms came out okay! ...Though I'm leaning toward making a mini-log (a stump? lol) this year, since there will likely only be three or four of us eating it.

As mentioned, my usual baking adventures include massive amounts of cookies - and it occurred to me it might be relevant here to share the "cheat sheet" I made last year! Since I'm always explaining to people which cookies are what (so the grandmothers don't eat spicy things, etc!), and since I was mailing most of the cookies instead of delivering in person, I figured I'd design a reference. Everyone thought it was such a great idea! Looking forward to how adorable this year's will be with the addition of some pixelscrapper papers. smiley

@Jessica: Cat is adorable helping you! What a priceless picture. You will use it for digiscrapping?

@Sarah: This Yule log cake seems pretty much like a kind of cake we have here in Brazil and is called Rocambole. It´s sooo Yummy! My husband and I are also pagans, but we are going to celebrate Summer Solstice istead of the winter one, as we are on the South hemisphere.

Gaaah it should be forbidden to show pictures of cakes and stuff to a pregnant women smiley Looks so yummy smiley
And Tiffany omg that picture is amazing smiley I really look forward to christmas now smiley

The cakes look great.
Cat really hates her picture taken, but I do it anyway.

I have to admit to beng somewhat of a pintrest addict (okay its better than drugs, sex or gambling addict right? lol) So this year i decided to make most of my ornaments. I just finally got my tree up and pictures taken, and posted some on my facebook through instagram. ive made some twig stars, gingerbread men and women outta cloth, rag candy canes, rag stars, clear ornaments with scrapbook and newspaper curls in them, and my own tree topper. Now im working on stuff for the mantel. Ive made some of the glistening snow mason jar lanterns, some cone trees outta burlap, rope, and felt, repainted all cream color some dollar store mini churches, and made a photo frame with sheet music and snowflakes. Now Im working on a wooden sign that says baby its cold outside..... Ive been a little busy lol

Sounds like you've been busy Karrie! We're just decorating the house today. Just set up the Christmas tree and I think cookies will be following soon.

fortunately I'm completely finished all my shopping ... and most of my wrapping is done too ... just a couple things left to wrap. Now I need to start on my Christmas cards (cause I still mail them). I got together with my mom already as well, and we baked christmas cookies. I'm definitely ahead of schedule, but I have an exam on the 20th, so it was kind of necessary. Can't wait till xmas though ... absolutely my favourite time of year!

I feel so guilty... I'm probably one of the few people that doesn't do cookies @ Christmas time with her kids. (where's that embarrassed or blushing emoticon when you need it?)