Fun Ideas For Christmas
Lighting candles with holiday scents is one of the very first things I do to begin the Christmas season. I love decorating with traditional holiday decor and feel it is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate the new and old traditions. I love celebrating with love, joy and fun.
My 3 Favorite Traditions
- Let Everyone Open 1 Gift On Christmas Eve – When I was a little girl, my grandmother allowed me to choose one gift to open on Christmas Eve.
- Leave Something Sweet For Santa – Cookies and Milk are my favorite however,christmas cakes, pies and trifles are also very inviting. The idea is to create a sweet holiday spirit whether it is a cookie recipe or holiday cupcakes. This wonderful time of year deserves to be celebrated with wonderful treats.
Christmas Eve Dinner – Go all out for christmas eve dinner then on to midnight mass is one of my favorite holiday christmas traditions. Plan out your menu now, I enjoy having a roast and creating that as a beautiful centerpiece surrounded by sides and desserts.
An Activity I Love Doing on Christmas Eve
Magic is in the air and I can feel the holiday spirit is upon us. How about Decorating a Gingerbread House ? A tradition that you can continue every year with your loved ones and a fun way to get any age group involved.
THE MOST WONDERFUL GINGERBREAD COOKIES
This is my very favorite gingerbread cookie recipe. The dough is so firm and nice to work with and is so wonderful smelling. These disappear at lightning speed in my house! This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the Joy of Cooking and according to the entry they only have 3 grams of fat per cookie! If you want crisp cookies roll out very thinly. Thicker cookies = softer cookies, thinner cookies= crisper cookies. If the dough is too sticky, chilling should help.
You need to make sure you let the dough rest at LEAST two hours. For some reason this helps make the dough more workable. I live in Florida and we have humidity, but I have never had a problem with sticky dough in this recipe.
READY IN: 2hrs 23mins YIELD: 24 5” tall cookies Recipe by Ginger Kitten!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cups dark brown sugar
1 large egg
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended. In a large bowl KitchenAid’s great for this can be purchased from this link! Beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.)
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour over dough and roll pin. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Use additional flour to avoid sticking. Cut out cookies with the desired cutter. The gingerbread man is our favorite of course. Space cookies 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes the lower time will give you softer cookies. Remove the cookies sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
The gingerbread cookies look wonderful when they are decorated with Royal icing.