Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Holiday Preparations


The past week has been hectic with holiday preparations. On Wednesday, I located and busted out all of my wrapping supplies – wrapping paper, boxes, bags, tissue paper, bows, gift tags, etc. I also rummaged around the house and located all the gifts we bought for family members this year. I set up a wrapping station on our dining room table in hopes of being able to begin the process of wrapping presents. I believe two presents were wrapped before my five-month-old son demanded my undivided attention and wrapping was put on the back burner.

On Thursday, the orders from our wine party were delivered. We were taking three of the five orders to my parents' house, one was being picked up by our wine guide, and the final order belonged to my cousin who happens to live in the same town we do. I sent her a text to let her know her wine was in and said it would be a good day to visit the baby if she wanted to come by after work.

She got to our house around three o'clock in the afternoon and stayed for a couple of hours. While she was over, I got to work on making Hot Cocoa Cones to give out as small gifts to some people. We bought all of our supplies on Amazon and were planning to make 50 of them. The supplies made slightly less – around 42, if I remember correctly. The price each had we been able to do 50 of them as around $0.50 each which is awesome! Regardless, we made plenty cones to give to the people we had decided to gift them.

My first task was to cut out the tags I created. I made them in Microsoft Word using an Avery label template and printed them on heavy paper. I found a free clipart image of hot cocoa in a mug, matched the text colors to it, added the directions, and finalized it with "Merry Christmas!" with our surname beneath it. (I removed it for privacy purposes on this post.) Using a hole punch, I added a singular hole next to the "H" in the word "hot". Here's a peek at the tag:


Next, I got out all my supplies to make the cones. This included Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix, Nestle milk chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and twelve inch piping bags. After looking at the serving size of the hot cocoa mix, I decided to use one quarter of a cup in each piping bag (the suggested amount to mix with eight ounces of liquid) topped with two tablespoons of chocolate chips and one third cup of mini marshmallows. I twisted the remainder piping bag and knotted it, took some red and white braided twine, cut a piece, strung it through the tag, and tied it on under the knot.

The cones turned out so cute! I didn't get a picture of them after I put them together, however, the idea came from a "recipe" on another website. The cones I created looked very similar to the ones below other than I used slightly less chocolate chips, added the tags, and used the red and white twine instead of the gold ribbon. This image was borrowed from the site where I found the recipe and a link is under it:

Source ~ Simply Jessica Marie
After finishing the cones, I wrapped a few more presents which had to be wrapped by Saturday as we had our first Christmas party of the season. It was at my parents' house and completely atypical of our normal Christmas celebrations. A normal party at my parents' house runs from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Christmas Day. My husband and I would usually stay all night there Christmas Eve. We would have stockings from Santa, breakfast of biscuits and gravy, open presents, and then have a big lunch including steak or prime rib and numerous delicious sides.

This year, my parents are taking a cruise over Christmas and will be gone so we celebrated early. We got my niece a present and small gifts for my parents. For my siblings, we had a white elephant gift exchange with new gifts and a $10 limit. We bought this awesome large coffee mug with a donut warmer on top and a decorative pillow. I ended up getting a gold Christmas-themed wax warmer. It's really pretty and I like it! My husband got a mini shop-vac that connects to the AC adapter in the car. We ate the equivalent of Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, mashed potatoes, noodles, dressing, corn, cranberry sauce, and rolls.

We also celebrated the birthdays of my niece, cousin, and brother's girlfriend. My husband and I created a four-layer cake with each layer a darker shade of pink. I made homemade buttercream frosting for the first time. The cake was amazing in taste and appearance. I really wish I had taken a picture!

Anyway, as of now, we may have a party to attend on Saturday and my husband's side of the family is celebrating on December 26th. After Friday, my husband is off work until January 2nd. I'm so excited to have him home with our son and me for so long! Should be a pretty relaxing Christmas break.

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