The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg on the stove...
fragrant holiday candles burning...
holiday music playing in the background...
Christmas lights on the tree...(and fully decorated now) *wink*
Watching the movie Elf, while eating kettle corn and sipping on gourmet hot chocolate as a family...
Holiday greetings have almost all been sent out...
Holiday sentiments have been given to my mail carrier and garbage man. (Recycling man gets his on Thursday).
Spreading holiday cheer is still on the agenda...
Shopping will be wrapped up today or tomorrow...
and even with all of that...
the "Scrooge Virus" could be lurking just around the corner?
Need a "holiday booster shot" to prevent any sudden outbreaks?
Before I lose those of you who are thinking..."there's no time".
One of the biggest reasons I enjoy baking is the pleasure I receive from being able to share the end result with others.
And there's not a more perfect time to be giving and sharing with others than right now.
as well as these "12 Days of SIMPLE Holiday Gift Giving"...
is all about maintaining a high-level a holiday spirit through connecting and reaching out to others.
There couldn't be a more perfect way to connect with your kids or reach out to your neighbors, friends, loved ones than with a plate of cookies or home-baked goods.
what you choose to bake is completely up to you.
It could be as simple as the refrigerated festive slice and bake cookie dough at the grocery store...
if that's all you have time for...
Or you could really go all out and do something like this:
a SIMPLE holiday breakfast/brunch on Christmas Day...
I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in the "Holiday Table Challenge" ...
I was thrilled to see my submission posted yesterday...(GO HERE)
Which means the timing was perfect to be able to share the rest of the photos with you
in hopes of motivating you to put something special together yourself.
Perhaps you could start a new tradition of having a festive Christmas breakfast....
ready to be devoured after all of the presents have been opened?
With a little bit of preparation you could have everything completely set up
and ready to go on when you awake Christmas morning.
Or...you could even start an annual tradition of inviting your neighbors, family or best girl friends over
BEFORE or even AFTER Christmas day to spend time catching up and socializing.
I'll share what my table included but you could certainly substitute things
that will fit your own personal budget, time constraints and tastes.
raspberry crumble muffins
mini quiche lorraines
mini cinnamon nut loafs (packaged for easy take-home favors)
an oatmeal bar
with oatmeal toppings: brown sugar, raisins, craisins and spices
gingerbread cinnamon buns with sugared cranberries
pumpkin butter (doubled as a take-home favor)
and cranberry scones
I used wire baskets, sprigs of artificial red berries, tin cans, glass mason jars and a splash of fabric for presentation.
TIPS FOR REALLY KEEPING IT SIMPLE:
• fresh fruit - easy. leave it whole for easy "grab & go"
• pre-packaged bakery muffins are great.
• opt to do a full quiche instead of minis or substitute an easy breakfast casserole.
• prepare a couple of large banana, pumpkin or cinnamon loaves and then slice. (or store-bought works too).
• offer packets of flavored oatmeal or your favorite cereals.
• substitute warm bakery croissants in place of the homemade scones.
• refrigerated cinnamon rolls from the grocery store work like a charm
whether you choose to bake some of these for your upcoming holiday breakfast...
or simply bake a plate of cookies with your children to deliver to the neighbors...
I encourage you to bake SOMETHING!!
Just bake and share...
SIMPLE HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA:
Use brown coffee filters to wrap bottles of homemade pumpkin butter or mini loaves of bread.
Secure with festive fabric, ribbon or string.
I hope you are inspired to bake...
it's absolutely one of the easiest, most thoughtful things you could possibly do to make your season brighter!
(not to mention someone else's too).
I'd love to know what you're baking - come back and share!
A very special "THANK YOU" to Kelly for the invitation to participate in the Holiday Table Challenge.
I'm honored to have my submission alongside some super-talented & creative women in the industry.
You MUST go check out these Holiday tables already featured by some of my favorite party girls/friends!
Chris from Celebrations At Home - Black, White & Bling!
Courtney from Pizzazzerie - Gold and Cranberry Red Decadent Dessert Table
Kim from the Celebration Shoppe - Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Rebecca from Fresh Chick Design Studio - Winter Candyland
In preparation for tomorrow's post: grab yourself an unopened bag of your favorite holiday candy - individually wrapped pieces - like candy canes, hershey kisses or reese cups. You pick. See you tomorrow!!
KEEPING IT REAL
• the dessert table used in the photos was something I found on the side of the road a couple of months ago. *gasp*
a little bit of paint turned it into a treasure. (and shhhh...you can hardly tell it's made from pressboard!) *wink*
• The Christmas tree is now fully decorated - thanks to my older girls.
• We watched our holiday movie night last night and I'm becoming a professional at making Kettle Corn. YUM!!
• We sampled the peppermint hot chocolate and it's DELISH!!!
• I'm freaking at the amount of returns/swaps I have already.
• I'd better get to baking because I have neighbors I still need to "connect" with.
• The "out-of-towners" holiday cards were all sent on Saturday...now to finish up the "in-towners"...*wink*