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It's Almost the Christmas Season!

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Issue #9, Let us Truly Celebrate the Christmas Season!

In this Issue:

  • From Laura's Desk: Some thoughts on Christmas
  • Our Favorite Recipes: Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
  • From Laura's Desk

    Hello and Happy Advent. My hope was to get this newsletter out to you as an Advent issue. Well, back at the beginning of November we started getting sick...one person at a time, which of course means that someone has been sick for a little more than a month. We have not been this sick in a number of years!

    Anyhow, by the time I caught up on things, I realized that Advent is almost over and I've noticed that there are many blogs and websites out there with tons of ideas on how to celebrate Advent. Since I don't want to have "old" news, I've put off doing anything.

    This morning I was inspired, however, to come up with a list of 12 ways to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. So often we put so much effort into getting ready for the big day that we loose our steam when it comes to celebrating the remaining 11 days.

    It is so difficult, too, living in the society we do to go against the mainstream and keep that celebration alive. When the rest of the world is ready to put Christmas to rest, we Catholics are just ready to get going!

    To help you to keep that celebration alive, here is a list of 12 things that you can do! Some of them we do every year, others we have tried a few times, while some are even new to us!

    Here's hoping you have a very Blessed and Holy Christmas and New Year. You will remain in my prayers and I ask that you please pray for me and my family! Thanks :)

    Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas

    1. If you can swing it, go and see the latest "Chronicles of Narnia" movie that just came out: "Voyage of the Dawn Treader". Then come home and take some time to read the book out loud. Compare and contrast the two versions. (Okay, I know that sounds like school work, but, well, it can be fun, too :)

    2. Make hot chocolate (see the recipe we use below) and watch a Christmas movie. Some suggestions: "White Christmas", "It's a Wonderful Life", "Miracle on 34th Street", "A Christmas Story".

    3. Christmas carol up and down your block, or better yet, go to a nursing home and sing up and down the hallways. Most nursing homes rarely get many groups any more and the true Christmas season is a great time to go!

    4. Make those Christmas cookies that you didn't get to before Christmas. Consider having a cookie exchange.

    5. Host a Christmas musical evening. Invite other families over and sing songs and/or have people play Christmas songs they know on an instrument.

    6. Go ice skating. Depending on where you live, it might need to be at an indoor rink, but either way it is a fun activity.

    7. Celebrate the many feast days that occur during the 12 Days. There's: The Holy Family, St. John, The Holy Innocents, St. Thomas Becket, Mary the Mother of God, The Holy Name of Jesus and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Wow!

    8. Have a family game night. Play some games, old or new, board or TV based. Make some popcorn and have some fun (hopefully :).

    9. Make a fire and roast marshmallows. Don't have a fireplace in your house? How about making one outside on a crisp, clear evening? Can't do that either? How about roasting them over the stove burner, in the microwave or even over a candle???

    10. Invite a priest over for dinner and a house blessing. It is tradition to bless your home on the Epiphany, but any time is a good time to have it done and I know that most priests enjoy a good, home-cooked meal.

    11. Put on a play of the Christmas story. If you aren't up for that, try a dramatic reading instead.

    12. Have a Christmas Tea Party. Now, if you have a bunch of boys instead of girls, you might need to modify this idea a bit, but put out some of those good Christmas cookies, make some tea, play some Christmas carols and enjoy each others' company.

    Our Favorite Recipes

    Here is a great all natural hot chocolate mix that I found. It isn't hard to make and it tastes great! This recipe makes a little more than a quart of powder. We usually put three heaping tablespoons into a 6 - 8 ounce mug of hot water.

    2 1/2 cups powdered milk 2 cups sugar 1 cup cocoa powder 2 tsp cornstarch 1/2 tsp salt

    If you have a food processor, combine all the ingredients thoroughly until no lumps or visible bits of brown or white can be seen.

    If you do not have a food processor, you can mix all the ingredients together and then blend them in the blender.

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    Until next time, may God Bless you abundantly!