Make Your Own Cookie or Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Bar Ideas for Christmas Eve

Whether you are used to taking the family out to do something on Christmas Eve or typically spend it at home quietly or boisterously together here are some alternative ideas for a Christmas Eve at home.

While high on effort and snack foods creating a make your own cookie bar can be a great idea. This would require a set of blank, basic sugar cookies be made about a day in advance (bonus points if you want to try to bake them the day off). It would require several color options for icing and lots of other pretty, edible things to put on the cookies themselves. Making one large batch of icing and using food coloring is probably the most economic way to go, especially for a larger family.

Remember to have everyone pose for the camera with their favorite cookie before it gets consumed.

As adults we indulge in things like a Bloody Mary bar at brunch. The same concept can be applied to hot coco for the family, at home on Christmas Eve. Whip up a batch of hot coco and keep it warm while the family indulges in some treats. Things that can go on a large garnish stick or bamboo skewer like marshmallows are great. Many of the sprinkles from the make your own cookie bar could be used for this idea as well. Various hard candies, like candy canes, can be used to add flavor. You might also include some flavor syrups like we use for coffee. Whipped cream toppings are a must, of course.

Christmas Tree Sales Start Early and Strong

Although it is early yet wholesale Christmas tree farmers and small you-cut-it farms are seeing a very strong demand for live trees this year. Many of them opened well before Thanksgiving. These businesses are seeing more people and much earlier.

Some of the small you-cut-it farms are actually reporting that customers have snuck onto their properties before Thanksgiving Day to mark their perfect tree so they can cut it down as soon as the business opened.

Tree businesses are reporting that they are almost a week ahead in sales compared to the past. While the boost is encouraging tree, farmers hope to sustain they good business until the end of their season on Christmas Eve.

There are a few reasons why tree sales have gone bonanza is that so many more Americans are staying home for Christmas because of pandemic restrictions. For many families it will be the first Christmas they would be home to water a live tree at all. Since many large festivals and parades have been cancelled families are looking for new, safe holiday activities.

 

Out With the Old and In With the New This Holiday Season

For some parents and families making the holidays “feel normal” may be of particular importance this year. While the tendency may be to stick, hard and fast, to the usual or trying shoehorn normalcy into the pandemic may be your first instinct, perhaps making new traditions might make more sense.

Taking the extra time to involve even small children in the decorating of the interior and exterior of the house could be one route. Another might be to let you kids all decorate their own rooms. For bonus points have each of them develop a theme, give them a budget, allow them to purchase a few inexpensive decorations and put them up in their rooms. While it sounds like a lot of work you’ve got three distinct activities rolled up in one. This is also something older children can help younger ones with.

Another idea is to have your family create decorations instead of buying them. These, again, could be featured in each child’s room or a shared space inside the home.

Given you get enough snow, having each child create a snow sculpture in the yard could be another activity to try. You could use items found only around the house to help enhance their sculptures.

Involve your older children by putting them in charge of sending out greetings whether those are digital or by paper and post. Have them use their smartphones and apps to create a holiday greeting from the family to send out to friends and family.

These are just a few suggestions. There is no one size fits all approach. But the spirit of the idea is to try the new, not modify the old.

 

Chickasha, OK Home to 40ft Tall Leg Lamp from “A Christmas Story”

Chickasha, Oklahoma. Regionally know for its Festival of Lights display. Yet now it might become famous because of another Christmas time icon: a giantized version of the “leg lamp” from the classic holiday movie “A Christmas Story.”

Chickasha resident and treasurer of the Economic Development Council Tim Elliott came up with the idea for the display. Elliot was trying to come up with yet another way to make his city a tourist destination.

Elliott created his own “triple dog dare” for the economic council when he created this idea. Elliott set his two-foot version of the lamp on a table in front of the council and suggested a 150ft version at the end of Chickasha’s Main Street. Everyone had a good laugh.

Unbeknownst to Elliott and the council the famous and unusual lamp from Christmas popular mythology may have a real-life connection to Chickasha via an Oklahoma University professor, Nolan James.

James kept insisting, until his death, that he invented the leg lamp. Elliott blew off the idea that this was possible. When James died even his obituary maid the claim that he invented the lamp. His story goes that the original was a fixture of his office and that an unnamed man often stopped by to see it and that man ended up working on the production team for the film “A Christmas Story.”

The current 40-ft leg lamp at the end of Main Street in Chickasha is only an inflatable, but the council plans on building an even larger and permanent structure.

 

Spiced Apple Raspberry Cider

This isn’t another “grandma’s old-fashioned spiced cider” recipe. Well, kind of, but with a twist. While this recipe has many of the trappings of a traditional cider the addition of raspberries changes things up significantly. You may want to experiment with adding a little clove or using a mulling spice mix if the cinnamon isn’t spicy enough for you.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup spiced rum, optional

2 Packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll’s Raspberries

4 Cups apple cider

4 Lemon twists

1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon

Put apple cider into medium saucepan. Set aside a few raspberries for garnish, put the rest into the cider. Add spices (cinnamon). Heat until almost boiling. Let cool. Strain raspberries if you please. Stir in rum if you are using it. Pour ciders, one lemon twist per mug, garnish with raspberry.