Tag Archives: christmas

Have A Holly Jolly

Momsense would like to send warm holiday wishes to everyone. We hope your holidays, no matter how your celebrate, are surrounded by those you love, filled with lots of laughter and, most importantly, peace!

We are so honored that you chose to spend some of your free time with us. We hope to continue provide useful information and to improve upon what we do here to make it even better for you.

Have a holly jolly Christmas.

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Best Christmas and Holiday Books for Kids

I know, I know…there’s only, what 3 days until Christmas and you’re probably done done done with gifts for your kids. I thought I was too. But, can never resist the call of something cute. If you need a few more things, books are always a great idea. I love sitting and reading to my daughter each day before nap time. And, if this list is too late for this year, consider it an early Christmas gift for next year!

(I’m happy to say, we have many of the books on this list, and they are a joy to read over, and over, and over, and over! again!)

Taken from parenting.com

1. The Elf on the Shelf

How exactly does Santa keep tabs on who’s naughty and who’s nice? Turns out he’s got a mole–the elf on the shelf–who comes packaged with a companion book. The elf mysteriously changes locations overnight, and kids love looking for him as soon as they wake up in the morning. Bonus for parents: Since the elf’s always watching, you should be able to milk major good behavior out of your kids.

2. The Night Before Christmas

We all know the magical, evocative words of Clement C. Moore’s traditional holiday poem. This gorgeously illustrated version, which uses collage papers and oil paints, adds a modern twist: Santa wears funky pants, sports dreadlocks and leaves the children traditional African gifts.

3. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas

Nancy’s psyched about the holidays until her ultra-fancy tree topper breaks. Can the ultimate girly-girl learn to love plain old DIY tree decorations? As always, the detailed, sparkly illustrations make this a fave among the princess set.

4. The Berenstein Bears and the Joy of Giving

Does your kid have a case of the holiday gimmes? Brother and Sister Bear do too, until they learn what Christmas is really all about. This holiday-themed book in the series begun in 1962 ends with everyone learning a very important lesson, just like always.

5. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Remember this one from when you were a kid? Older children will love this 1972 classic, in which the six misbehaving Herdman kids — the “worst kids in the entire history of the world” — take over the church pageant and reinterpret the story of Christmas. The mix of outrageous moments, hilarious hijinks and profound surprises makes this one read parents will love as much as kids.

6. Dream Snow

Lovers of Eric Carle’s classicThe Very Hungry Caterpillarwill recognize the same iconic collage illustrations in this wintry tale about a farmer who dreams about a white Christmas. LikeCaterpillar, the pages hold extra interest for young readers, with cutouts and counting.

7. Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa

Brer Rabbit meets African tradition in this tale of a rabbit looking for something special to give his sick grandmother for Karamu, the Kwanzaa feast.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

What would Christmas be without the Grinch? Kids love the dastardly character, who plots to cancel the holiday, only to find it happens anyway, even without the presents. Grinch-loving kiddos will go for the animated and live-action movie versions too.

9. Olivia Helps With Christmas

The plucky piglet gets her house ready for Christmas, “helping” her parents in the most unhelpful ways possible. The charming black and white illustrations–punctuated with green and red accents for the holidays — play off the spare words to tell the whole story.

To continue with the list, click HERE.

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Tasty Thursday (on Friday): Peppermint Patties

Sigh…yesterday was just a crazy busy day that I didn’t have any time to sit down in front of the computer. Or to sit much at all in general.

Hope you enjoy these yummy looking peppermint patties. They look fun to eat, and fun to give.

Taken from FamilyFun magazine.

Peppermint Patties
These are the addictive classics, with a snappy, minty middle and a luscious chocolate coating. Packaged prettily, they make perfect gifts. Be sure to whip up a test batch for yourself just to make sure they’re really, really good.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar (3-3/4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 10 to 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 6 hard mint candies (we used Starlight), crushed in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the water, corn syrup, lemon juice, and peppermint extract, then sift in half the confectioners’ sugar. Add the shortening. Beat on medium, then slowly sift in the remaining confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is well combined.
  2. Knead the mixture into a ball (it will be very stiff; if necessary, add 1/2 teaspoon water to make it workable). Use the bottom of a glass pie plate to apply firm, even pressure to flatten the ball between sheets of waxed paper into a circle about 9 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Lay the waxed-paper-covered disk on a cookie sheet and freeze it until it’s firm, about 15 minutes.
  3. null Place the frozen disk on a cutting surface and remove and reserve the waxed paper. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment. With a small round cutter (ours was 1-1/4 inches), cut out circles from the disk, then place them on the cookie sheet. Gather the scraps into a ball, use the pie plate and waxed paper to flatten it again, and cut more circles until the entire disk is used up. Freeze the circles for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Coat the patties one at a time: balance each on a fork and dip it (use another fork as needed to flip the patty in the chocolate), then shake off any excess chocolate before returning the coated patty to the parchment. Sprinkle each patty with a bit of crushed mint candy. Add more chocolate to the double boiler as necessary until all the patties are coated.
  5. Harden the finished patties in the refrigerator for at least an hour, and preferably overnight. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge, layered between sheets of waxed paper, for up to one month. Include tags with your gifts instructing recipients to keep the patties refrigerated. Makes 5 dozen.

 

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25 Healthy Days Of Christmas

Saw this on a Twitter post. Thought there was some good points/reminders we can all remember this holiday season. For example, washing hands for 20 seconds. Sing “jingle bells” while you are doing it to make it more fun. Or Day 5, watch your portions by serving your meals on salad plates (which used to be the size of dinner plates 20+ years ago).

Enjoy. And thanks to www.nourishinteractive.com for this download and free printable.

25 Healthy Days to Christmas

kids-healthy-holiday-tips-fun-christmas-eating-healthy-messages-countdown-calendar-printable-holiday-kids-nutrition-activities-page

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Tasty Thursday: Festive Sugared Marshmallow Cupcakes

Good Lord, is it Thursday already? The days of the week have been a blur since I picked The Bean up from school Monday and haven’t left the house since. I’ve been sick, Bean has been really sick. Self imposed exile in the house. However, since food is involved, I somehow can remember to post today!

And boy, do these cupcakes look yummy. MakeandTakes posted this. I just want to reach through the screen and grab one!

Tis’ the season for holiday treats! And these festive cupcakes are no exception. I was inspired from my cute niece, Laurel’s spring flower cupcakes to create these Christmas style marshmallow toppers for the holidays.

Supplies for Sugared Marshmallow Cupcake Toppers:

  • frosted cupcakes
  • mini marshmallows
  • kitchen scissors
  • sugar crystals (aka sprinkles, the really fine kind)

1. Cut your marshmallows in half with a pair of clean kitchen scissors, not the junk drawer kind. There are two ways to cut these marshmallows in half. I like them cut in a circle/diamond shape, rather than the fatter rectangle shape. But you decide.

2. Dip the sticky part of your marshmallow into your sprinkles. Press firm to get sprinkles on thick.

3. Add your dipped marshmallows to your cupcake. There are all kinds of fun designs and shapes to create. I’ve made a tree, candy cane, and poinsettia flower.

Now display your cupcake creations. I found this white cupcake tier display at the local thrift store, one of those great finds! Have fun making all kinds of holiday sweets and treats!

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Purchasing The 12 Days Will Set You Back $100,000

Just thought this was a fun little article about inflation…and what the cost of purchasing those items in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”.

Taken from finance.yahoo.com

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In the unlikely event that your Christmas list this year includes every item mentioned in “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” be prepared to pay nearly $100,000.

Trying to buy the 364 items repeated in all the song’s verses — from 12 drummers drumming to a partridge in a pear tree — would cost $96,824, an increase of 10.8 percent over last year, according to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management.

So you might want to try for one of everything. That would cost only $23,439, or 9.2 percent more than last year.

The 27th annual holiday index has historically mirrored the national Consumer Price Index, but not this year. The PNC Christmas Price Index grew 9.2 percent from last year, compared with just a 1.1 percent increase in the much broader Consumer Price Index.

Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, said that’s because the whimsical holiday price index looks at a much smaller group of goods and services. Even within the index itself, there are some goods that have seen small increases and others that have seen larger ones, he said.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

 

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The “Green-ing” Of Christmas

A few years back, the Green SAHM posted a wonderful article entitled “Can You Control the Christmas Trash?” It takes a look at ways to try to reduce the amount of garbage you produce over the Christmas holiday. Full of great tips and suggestions.

Taken from Green SAHM:

Christmas generates a horrendous amount of garbage. It’s not just the wrapping paper. It’s the packaging. The excess food. The greeting cards.

All of this goes into making for a fun holiday, but it can also be horrendously wasteful. What can you do to get things under control?

 

Gift Wrap

While you can’t control how people wrap gifts to you, you can control how you wrap gifts. I already have a post on greening your gift wrap if you need ideas for this.

You may not be able to stop people from using wrapping paper and such for your gifts, but you can keep it from being entirely wasted. Kids can get very creative with wrapping paper, and I don’t mean just balling it up and having a wrapping paper ball fight.

If it doesn’t have plastic or metallic prints it can often be recycled. This depends on your area, so check on it. Many recycling companies have websites now, so this can be pretty easy to research.

And of course, if it’s not too badly damaged you can save it for future wrapping purposes. It may drive some people nuts (my inlaws, for example), but where is the actual harm?

This is also why I love gift bags. I think I’ve pretty much broken my husband’s idea that they should be tied shut. Both gift bags and decorative tissue paper can be reused, often repeatedly. I’ve never understood people who throw these out after just one use.

Packaging

This is the stuff that can really, really drive you nuts. Goes double if you have kids. It can take a ridiculously long time to get all their toys freed from the overenthusiastic packages. Plastic, wires, strings and cardboard are often combined to hold the toy completely immobile and all but inaccessible.

The first step is to think about what you ask for. When people want ideas from you, think about whether you need it and how bad the packaging is. With some things there is not a whole lot you can do about it.

Check all packaging for recycleability. Unfortunately, most plastic that toys and electronics are wrapped in is not clearly labeled for recycling. And if you live in an area, as I do, where only #1 and #2 can be recycled, and only in bottle form, you’re pretty much sunk for recycling any of this.

Don’t forget about shipped packages when thinking about packaging. If you’re going to come up with a use for it, save it! So much is highly reusable, while many kinds of shipping peanuts don’t break down that well in landfills, so far as I know. Shipping peanuts can also make interesting craft supplies for kids. There’s a quick guide on recycling shipping supplies on eHow that you may enjoy.

The continue reading her suggestions, click HERE.

 

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