A couple of weeks ago our church had a Christmas Wreath Party for all the women in our church and their friends and neighbors. It was a fun evening with a gorgeous musical program, yummy treats, beautiful decorations, and lots and lots of wreath making! This was the 49th Wreath Party and it was a pretty big deal so I was really nervous when I was assigned to make the Wassail. Our local congregation is all about their traditions and having Wassail is one of the favorites for some of them. And I had never even tasted Wassail, let alone made it! Thank goodness I was given a recipe that they have used for years and thank goodness it was fairly easy.
Fun fact: Wassail (pronounces Woss ail) means “be well or be whole” and is usually toasted to everyone’s good health.
To make this warm, sweet drink you need 1 gallon of apple cider, 1 quart of orange juice, 1 large 46 oz can of pineapple juice, 1 cup sugar, 6-10 whole cloves, and 2-3 cinnamon sticks. Mix all the ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Do not boil.
Before serving strain out the cloves.
Download Printable Recipe
For our activity I had to make 150 servings and I also had to keep it warm over a long period of time so I made mine in crock-pots. I placed several crock-pots on the table and “cooked” the drink for 2 hours. It was warm and yummy and worked with the large quantities I needed.
Here’s a few snippets from the big night. The smell of the fresh boughs was to die for. This was my first time making a real wreath and while I need some practice it was fun. I can’t wait to see what they pull together for the 50th next year!
We’re finishing up some last minute packing and gift wrapping before we head out to be with the hubby’s family for Christmas and I was looking for something cute to put on top of the gifts. Something that will also travel well and won’t get squished while the baggage handlers gently place our suitcases carefully in the cargo hold as they are known to do.
So I made some cute polka dot initial gift tags that look good and will also identity who the gift is for. If some of your family members have the same first initial then you can use multiple tags to do all their initials or spell out the whole name.
For the bow I plucked off the tops of some dollar store carnations and glued them on. I’m hoping they will be more crumple-resistant than regular bows. *fingers crossed*
I’ve made the entire alphabet in these red little tags and put them into two PDF files. The first has the letters A-P and the second is Q-Z and some generic shapes.
Decorating with initials for gift tags can be lots of fun and there are a lot of great ideas out there. Rebecca from Older and Wisor is hilarious and creative as always and has tons of initial gift tag examples here and here that I highly suggest you check out as well.
Is everybody ready for Christmas or have you waited until the last minute to get it all done?
White elephant gift exchange parties are always lots of fun, and let’s be honest…they give us a good way to get rid of that junk we’ve been keeping in the back of our closet. :)
There are a lot of different ways to do the actual exchange part and this is a fun twist you may have not tried before. My family did this years ago and we had lots of fun with it. Everyone starts out holding the gift they brought and then someone reads the following story. As the story is read every time the word RIGHT is said you pass your gift to the RIGHT. And the same with the word LEFT. When the story is over the gift you are holding is the gift you get!
Christmas was almost here and Mother RIGHT was finishing the baking. Father RIGHT, Sue RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT returned from their last minute errands. “There’s not much LEFT to be done,” Father RIGHT said as he came into the kitchen. “I’m glad we finished all our shopping,” said Billy RIGHT. “I don’t have any money LEFT.” The telephone rang and Susan RIGHT went to answer it. She rushed RIGHT back and told the family, “Aunt Sarah RIGHT LEFT a package for us RIGHT on Grandma RIGHT’S front porch. I’ll go over RIGHT now and get it.” she said as she LEFT in a rush. Father LEFT the kitchen as well and brought in the Christmas tree. By the time Susan RIGHT returned, Mother RIGHT, Father RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT had begun trimming the tree. The entire RIGHT family sang carols as they finished the decorating. Then they LEFT all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the RIGHT gifts for their family. Now I hope you have the RIGHT present for yourself, because that’s all that’s LEFT of our story…except to say Merry Christmas, isn’t that RIGHT?
If you’d like to print off the story for yourself you can download the PDF.
I’m loving the festive decorations everywhere! Can’t we just keep Christmas decor up all year? All in favor? The motion passed. It is now Christmas all year long. I have declared it so.
If I haven’t won you over to my Continual Christmas Crusade yet well then just wait. You might be persuaded when you see these mini fluffy Christmas trees. How can you not love them?
This was a craft win for me since I completely made it up as I went along and I love how they turned out. This craft was made using mostly left over supplies I had from other projects: Styrofoam cones, red berry stems, glue, and wait for it… pillow batting. I have so much batting left over from when I made my Dishcloth Pillows so you know it was bound to show up in another craft soon.
I glued pieces of the batting on the tree in sections, row by row. As I went up the tree I tried to use thinner pieces of batting to help with the shape.
After the glue had dried I did take some scissors and trim a little bit just to make sure the shape was good. Some “frost” covered red berries added the final touches. All I had to do was cut off each berry from the main stem and leave a good 1/2 inch-1 inch of wire to stick it into the Styrofoam.
Cover the entire tree, repeat a second time, and you have two cute, fluffy, mini-Christmas trees.
So cute. So easy. And so sure to be a hit as teacher’s gifts, neighbor gifts, or just for fun! What am I talking about? These darling Santa Hat Reese’s Pieces.
So stinking cute, right? If you want to make some you’ll need scrapbook paper, cotton balls, pom-poms, mini Reese’s Pieces, Red Line tape (it’s the best for this project), and glue.
Begin by cutting out circles that are 3 1/2 inches. Cut those circles in half.
Put a line of tape around the top of the Reese’s Pieces. (Reese’s Piece?) And then place the half circle onto the Reese’s exactly as shown.
Next you almost roll the Reese’s around the curved part of the circle, sticking it to the tape as you go. It will roll up into a cone. When you reach the end place another piece of tape along the edge to finish off the hat.
Embellish with cotton ball fluff along the bottom and gluing a pom pom to the top. Finally step back and smile because these little mini hats are just too adorable!
One of my dear readers asked me for some help in creating a tag for some gifts she was putting together. 80 gifts to be exact! So we worked together and I think this Christmas Towel is a perfect combination of budget friendly, meaningful, and perfect for this season. On a personal note I love when every day things can remind us of our Savior. Because really everything we have is given by Him and is a blessing from Him.
Gift Tag: Download the PDF
Isn’t this such a sweet little story? I just love it. And it is a simple gift that is quick to put together and will definitely be used by the giftee. I can see so many different people that this works for- neighbors, friends, church members, etc. Thank you to my reader for inspiring this gift idea!