My Tuesday evening Bible study had their Christmas party last night. We had a wonderful time! It was a potluck. Now, when I host a potluck, I never assign dishes to anyone, nor do I have anyone sign up to bring something, carefully listing the items they intend to share. I know how life often gets in the way. You sign up to bring one thing & then something comes up suddenly & you don’t have time to make your favorite dish, the one you SWORE you were going to bring! Nope. None of that for MY potlucks. Instead, I just tell everyone to bring whatever they want & if we end up with all desserts, YAY! I have never had an event where we end up with only salads, nor have I had an event where we end up with only desserts (BOO!)
Last night worked out great. We had an excellent mixture of food from casseroles to appetizers to veggies & salads. And we had CAKE! (You knew there was a reason I was telling you this, didn’t you?) Jan brought 2 cakes and they were FABULOUS! One was angel food topped with a frosting made with Cool Whip & pineapple. The second was the one I had. It was yellow cake frosted with a delicious topping made from Cool Whip, pudding & egg nog. Yum! And guess who was lucky enough to bring the rest of the cake home with her! 🙂
Jan shared her easy recipes for both cakes with us last night. Today, I am share cake recipes from Southern Living. Every celebration deserves a cake! Enjoy!
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, as the song says. Christmas also goes by in a blur. Time seems to speed up, leaving us gasping & wondering how we are going to get it ALL done! Betty Crocker to the rescue with a selection of recipes you can make ahead. Being able to prepare dishes ahead of time calms me. I feel a bit more in control of the situation, whether or not I really am. So take a breath & take moment to decide which of these delicious recipes might give you more time to celebrate Christmas! Enjoy!
Christmas is a time for traditions. The things you do with your family through the years make an impression we may not see until our children are grown. Growing up, I made cookies with my mother each year. After she passed, I continued to share our favorite cookies with family & friends each year. When The Child came along, WE began making cookies together. Oh, we made some changes as life got busier. Some years, we only baked the cookies that come in rolls from the store but we baked! Then, one year, I came home late from work to find a huge stack of chocolate chip cookies on the counter. The note on the stack said “DO NOT EAT!” The next day, Katy wrapped dozens of stacks of cookies & handed them out to her friends! A tradition that continues.
Good Housekeeping offers you & your family some new traditions to add to your Christmas season. Whatever you do, the things you do together stay with you & your children all your lives. And THAT’S a Simple Joy money can’t buy! Enjoy!
I LOVE making Christmas cookies. Sometimes, however, I get a bit tired of the same old cookies. How wonderful that Country Living has come up with such an extensive list of recipes for Christmas cookies. This should keep me busy for awhile! And inspire you to begin your baking! Enjoy!
You Deserve to Celebrate Too!
Your focus at Christmas is your family. You spend most of your time making certain everyone around you has a wonderful Christmas. Well, you deserve to celebrate too! At Simple Joy, we believe women must take care of themselves first or they won’t be able to care for others. If you focus entirely on everyone else this season, you may forget to enjoy yourself. Take time throughout December to do things YOU enjoy! Remember, we are the hearts of our families. The way we feel impacts the way the entire family feels. If you are stressed, focusing only on others, you may develop a not so nice attitude that eventually affects everyone around you. Taking care of yourself first is NOT selfish. It is the best & most effective way you can care for everyone else!
Cookies are a traditional treat for Christmas. Whether you only bake a batch for Santa or prepare dozens for friends & family, it’s always fun to add a new recipe to the mix! Midwest Living offers us a BIG selection of cookie recipes from which to choose this Christmas! Pick one or two. Let your kids pick a new cookie to make. However you decide, it’s guaranteed to be a Simple Joy!
Sometimes, it’s difficult to admit our shortfalls but when we do, we have an opportunity to help others. Years ago, I was so fixated on making things perfect that I failed to budget. I felt perfection, appearances were more important than the cost. I won’t bore you with details but you can see the problems this would cause down the road. Over the years, I have seen other families fall into this trap, spending to not just keep up with the Joneses but to surpass them at all cost. Not good!
Christmas can be one of the worst times of the year for overspending. Mr. D always reminds me to avoid guilt spending, feeling an obligation to buy expensive presents out of guilt. I have learned many lessons over the years & I work to learn even more. One lesson I have learned it that we can have a beautiful home during the Holidays without spending a fortune. One way to accomplish this is by making our own decorations. right now, our home is filled with handmade decorations I have been working on the last few months. They didn’t cost much & they allow me to create a low cost version of the beauty & perfection I could never seem to buy.
This year, avoid spending so much on Christmas that you spend all 2015 paying for 2014! One way to avoid this is by making decorations like these 9 craft projects from All You. Homemade decorations & gifts allow you go create unique items unlike any other. And to me, that is the best Simple Joy of all!
Affordable Holiday Crafts
Even if you don’t add decorations throughout your home during Christmas, you want to decorate your mantel. No mantel? No problem! these ideas from Southern Living work well on any flat surface, even you dining room table with some adaptations. Enjoy 1 or 2 this Christmas!
When Mr. D & I were first married, we could afford a Christmas tree. We also had no room for one. So we strung garland along the curtain rod in the living room & hung ornaments from it. Our presents went under the round table we used as a television stand. this worked well for us.
Not everyone can afford a tree, has room for a tree or perhaps WANTS a tree. this doesn’t mean you can’t have some type of tree with the help of Midwest Living & some ingenuity. Midwest Living shares 5 very clever (and cute) ideas for substitute trees. Even if you have a traditional tree (or more) you might still want to add one of these cuties!