Every year, preparing for the holidays in our home starts with pulling out boxes of decorations from the basement, turning on a favorite Christmas playlist, and sharing the first hot chocolate of the season with my kids while we string lights and hang stockings and generally get giddy about what is coming.
holiday mantle two years ago
Undoubtedly, pinecone bits and holiday decor end up strewn about the floor while someone argues about whose turn it is to be standing in the chair (the only way they can reach the mantle). Hot chocolate will be spilled in the excitement, I will waste an hour trying to figure out what is wrong with the lights, and my boys will recite their holiday wish lists to me countless times before the now-empty boxes are returned downstairs.
Nevertheless, it is a treasured time and I look forward to the time together each year.
This year, we are kicking off the holiday season a little differently. While I have been playing Christmas music already, no decorations (Fall or otherwise) have made it out of the basement. Instead, we have been busy cleaning the basement to prepare for a family member who is coming to live with us for an undetermined amount of time.
Our house itself is such a mess I’d be afraid to pull out decorations for fear of losing them under a pile of laundry or hoard of un-put-away toys. The mess drives me crazy, but my fatigue and nausea are keeping me down for a third of the day and I can’t seem to keep up. Until I am more myself, I refuse to decorate the mess. What is the saying about putting make-up on a pig?
And to add to the fun, today we are knocking down a wall in the kitchen! I am actually so excited and thankful that the kitchen remodel is underway. Even so, I have no idea how my kitchen is going to look over the next couple of months. I know at least that dry wall dust and rolling out pie dough are not the best combination.
In light of so much out of my control, the most important way I am preparing for the holidays right now is simply adjusting my expectations.
No matter how my house looks or how many routines are “interrupted” as we adjust to having more around the table, our holiday season still has the same capacity for love, joy, and peace.
Love to family, friends, and strangers. Joy in celebrating Christ’s coming. Peace that transcends conflict.
These are my holiday expectations this year. Everything else is just
icing on the cake tinsel on the tree.
Simple Holiday “Trash”
My mother-in-law makes this easy holiday appetizer starting around this time of the year. She made a big batch last week and generously shared half with us. I generously shared a little with my family, but really wanted to eat it all myself.
It’s quick and easy and makes a great snacking bowl for holiday parties or simply for munching on during the season.
- 3+ cups generic cheerios cereal
- 3+ cups Rice Chex cereal
- 3+ cups Corn Chex cereal
- 3 cups thin stick pretzels (or any small size type pretzel)
- 3 cups nuts (peanuts or any combination of mixed nuts)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon marjoram powder
1. Measure the cereal, pretzels and nuts, put in a large roasting pan.
2. Melt the butter in small microwave safe bowl. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, cumin, marjoram and salt to the melted butter and stir well.
3. Slowly pour about a third of the melted butter mixture over the top of the cereal stirring well, repeat process until all the butter liquid is incorporated into the cereal.
4. Bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
When do you start decorating for the holidays?
What is your favorite holiday snack?
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