Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Signs of the Season

Christmas is really a wonderful time.  There are so many fun and good things about the season that make it special.  One of my favorite things about advent is our nativity.  We have a very beautiful, elaborate nativity from Fontanini that has been a gift over the years from my mother. We have been reading the Story of the Nativity by Anna Milbourne so when we set up all the figurines we talked about each character and how they played a role in the story of Jesus' birth.  I like the fact that this book talks about how the birth of Jesus was the first Christmas because it is a nice segway into talking about the real meaning of Christmas instead of focusing on the Santa and gift giving.

Although speaking og gifts, we spent the day today working on gifts for Xander's teachers and daycare providers.  This peppermint bark is one of my all time favorites and I look forward to it every Christmas. I don't think anyone else enjoys it as much as I do but I only make it once a year at Christmas so it is special to me.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and peppermint combined in multiple layers? Every year I have to go on the great hunt to find just the right white and dark chocolates.  It's really amazing to me how many things call themselves white chocolate but don't even have cocoa butter in them.  We also did chocolate dipped pretzels and I used the candy melts- yucko! You have to add oil to them to thin out the chocolate because if you add anything else - like cream- it turns into a hard lumpy mess (ask me how I know...).  Anything that involves chocolate and vegetable oil and doesn't involve baking is just gross in my opinion.

And of course we have the ever present Christmas cookies decorated liberally by the boys.  We had to have several long discussions about not eating all of the cookies and how it isn't very nice to lick the knife you are icing other people's cookies with, but despite a few setbacks, the boys did decorate most of the cookies themselves. I got some of those sugar decorations and they had a lot of fun sticking those on every cookie they could get their little hands on. Cookie stickers as Xander called them. We'll have to make another batch for Santa on Saturday as these will all be eaten or given away before then!

And since this is a yarn along post there must be some knitting! I finally finished this milo for James. I started it a long time ago- not sure when because somehow I managed to erase my project start date- and it hit the back burner for awhile but it was always intended to be a Christmas present to match this one I made for Xander. Now they both need to be blocked and wrapped and I will have 2 more presents for under the tree.  I like the giant cable on this one better than the aran braid I did on Xander's.  Really this yarn is a solid but the variegation is enough that the aran braid is kind of lost in it.  It will look better I am sure once it is blocked. Besides who cares what it looks like, it is Malabrigo Rios and it is heavenly soft (and washable!!!!), now I just have to get them wrapped. We made the switch to all fabric gifts bags this year and despite the fact that I bought the fabric back in March I was sewing bags last week.  I need to sew a few more tomorrow morning and then wrap these sweaters and stockings and we are all set! Which is a really good thing because Frank busted up his knee playing basketball this morning and is on crutches for the time being! He'll be spending most of the holiday on the couch icing his knee...poor guy!

Come yarn along with us over at Ginny's Place.


Andria said...

I love peppermint bark too! We always make it to give as gifts, and then another batch (tonight!) for ourselves. I love your Milo, I've been wanting to make one for ages.

Mami Dearest said...

Love the Milo - it's too cute along with the model :)

Boo! for busted knee and during the holidays! Hope he gets to feeling better!

Crunchy Momma said...

The milo is super cute and I am sure it is dreamy soft. I have tried to switch to fabric bags for Christmas here for the past few years and everytime I am confronted with tears from my children at the thought. We have never really used any paper products around here and they are not used to disposable anything but I guess the thought of not ripping open presents is too much for them. Thanks for sharing!

Lori ann said...

yum peppermint bark! and oh how adorable the milo is, and your super cute model too!

knittingintherockies said...

I have the Fontanini Nativity set, too! We used to wait until Christmas morning to put the baby Jesus out. I recently went to a Christmas store that had a life-size Fontanini Nativity set and you can imagine the price tag on that! Have a wonderful Christmas with your sweet munchkins.

christina said...

miss u!