Remember when you were a kid, and Christmas and the holiday season seemed so magical? Putting up the lights and Christmas tree, baking cookies, family gatherings, it was all something wonderful. Do you remember when that changed? When did the magic leave? I’m not talking about when Santa became “real,” but the moment that Christmas became more about watching the budget and picking up the constant pine needles and braving the bitter cold…that part! When did that change?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still think Christmas is the most magical time of year. I love the decorations and lights and sparkle and cookies. One of the best things about Christmas is the sparkle and twinkly lights! And watching the kidlets open their gifts is the best part of all, especially when they are little! The Christmas carols, nativity scenes, making snow cream and snow jewels, hot cocoa, fire in the fireplace, chestnuts roasting on an open fire… (Does anyone actually DO that one?!) The utter stillness that comes right after a snowfall, Christmas Eve services, Silent Night by candlelight… all things as we celebrate the amazing fact that God sent his son to us as a helpless, innocent baby.
Our family has a tradition of heading out to a local Christmas Tree farm to find that perfect tree. Once found, we get to cut it down and enjoy the hayrides (sometimes horse-drawn!) and hot cocoa and cider and cookies they serve while we wait for our tree to be tied up for the trip home. So much fun! What Christmas traditions do your family have?
Traditions are important to instill a sense of family identity… more importantly, in those ever-important “remembery” making moments! My girls are old enough now that they pretty much take care of the decorating themselves, which is a nice break for me, but I don’t plan on our tree resembling anything close to one of those craft-store display models for quite a few years to come!
What makes Christmas special at your house?
Here’s one of our traditions, we have several cookie recipes that we make every year. This is one of our favorites! (Best of all, it’s pretty easy too!)
Bristle Bar Cookies
An easy and delicious way to make toffee-cookies using only 4 ingredients!
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 sleeve saltine crackers
- 1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips
- non-stick spray
Preheat oven to 350*. On a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with short sides!) Line with foil, then cover with non-stick spray. Lay out a single layer of saltine crackers. In the saucepan, add butter and sugar. Melt butter, stir in sugar and then bring mixture to a roiling boil. Make sure to not boil overmuch, as the butter will scorch and turn brown. Once boiling, remove from heat. Pour liquid over the crackers, attempting to cover all. Try to ensure the crackers are still in a single layer. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Crackers should be slightly brown. While still hot, sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. They will melt. Spread them across the tops of the crackers. If desired, you can add optional toppings of crushed candy canes, pretzels, nuts, sprinkles, whatever you like, but they are just as good without. Refrigerate them for 2 hours. When they come out, take a sharp knife and cut along the lines of the crackers. So good!!
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