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Oh, the holidays! The time of year that i love the best. I love the rich traditions, the silly things that remind us of holidays past, the party planning, the party going, the food, the decor, all of it. I love love love it. I thought it would be interesting to share traditions, ideas, and other holiday delights (or frights) that we busties enjoy (or hate). So share your traditions etc and what your plans are for this years holidays.
Yay! I'm glad you made this thread. I have a holiday related question, so I guess I'll post here and in the Halloween thread.
I need ideas for food to bring to a Halloween party on Saturday. (I'm going as a Pirate.) It can be appetizer or dessert.
It has to be: Easy to transport (45 minute drive), Easy to make (I'm lazy), and CHEAP (college student)
Any ideas?
I am always a fan of taking cookies to pot lucks when there are circumstances like yours. You can even get some nicely decorated ones at the grocery store and then you don't have to cook at all. Put them in your own container or a plastic bag and no one will be the wiser.
chocolate no bake cookies! super easy and yummy!
I'm a gigantic fan of pumpkin bread. cheap to make, and easy to transport. I always add extra spices so it tastes more like a pumpkin pie...
oh, yummy! post your recipe?
you got it!

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder

1) combine pumpkin, oil and eggs. sift together dry ingredients. Combine the two mixtures, blending thoroughly (I use a mixer)

**ok, now at this point, I taste the batter - then I start just adding more of the spices to taste. I also put a little bit of vanilla in (I never really measure, but about a teaspoon or so) I basically try to get the batter to taste just a little less deep in flavour than a pumpkin pie would. The flavours will deepen upon cooking so you don't want to make the batter taste JUST like you want it, or it will be too overpowering when it's done.

2) Pour into two greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans and bake at 300 degrees F (150 C) for 1 hour. a toothpick inserted will come out clean

3) let the loaves cool for about 5 minutes in the pans, then take out and cool completely on a rack. I actually usually cut myself a slice about 10 min after the oven - nice and warm!

drool drool, that sound yummy! i might have to make that when i get back from san diego. (going for a little trip)
Ah, zoya, that sounds good, is that like a banana bread type "bread"?

Well, this Christmas will be spent with my boyfriend, both of our first away from our respective families and hometowns (and our country, actually). I want it to be fun and special. Does anyone have any ideas of things to do in a situation like ours? My ideas so far are pretty obvious, though very appealing: cooking a big dinner, drinking wine and a bit of liquor, laying in bed, taking a bath, and watching Christmas specials.

And I don't know what to get him! It should be simple. I thought about trying to knit a scarf, but then I heard something about a knitting curse (don't knit for a man until you're married). I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but I'm soooo superstitious.
mmmm, I want some of zoya's pumpkin bread!
edie - yes, it's more like a loaf cake the way I make it... it is hands down my favourite thing to bake. (and apparently it's my 'specialty' because people always ask for it. If I had a decent oven, I'd make a bunch of it for christmas. Alas, not to be.)

ps - bunny, you will quite assuredly be the recipient of some once I have a kitchen with a better baking oven! haha

edie again - the ex and I used to spend christmas together with no family around. what we did was usually have a really nice dinner on christmas eve, then lie in on Christmas morning (afternoon!) then watch TV and eat leftovers. It was just nice and chill. We'd maybe take a walk in the afternoon or a nice drive. A couple of times we splurged and went to a hotel somewhere not too far, but far enough to be out of the city and in the countryside, and spent a night or two and just had a mini vacation.

I'm wondering if there are any other "bohunk" Busties who have this tradition? We make a type of stollen/raisin bread, slice it and break it into chunks, put it into bowls and pour sweetened coffee with cream over the top...that is our traditional Christmas morning breakfast. I'm told that it is a Czechoslovakian peasant breakfast tradition.

We ALL had this for breakfast...even the children who usually hated it (coffee, I mean...hehe)..but it's one of those traditions that grows on you and now it doesn't feel like Christmas without that "christmas bread breakfast".

Thanks zoya. The idea of going to the country for a night sounds really nice, I'm going to look into it (we don't have a car or even licenses to rent one, so transportation is an issue). But we are going elsewhere for New Years, so that will probably be enough of a splurge.

Treehugger, I've never heard of that, but it sounds oddly appealing.
treehugger, that sounds AMAZING! I heart stollen.

edie, you should open gifts in bed, either at midnight on Christmas Eve or when you wake. Will you have a tree? even if you could have a mini one you could dress it together whilst listening to Christmas music.
treehugger- My mother's family is Dutch, and we always have stollen at Xmas- so yummy! Does your Oma put a sugar crust on it? I've never had it with coffee poured onto it before, that sounds delish!

Does anyone else celebrate Sinter Klaas? aka St. Nikolaas Day?
nope, no sugar crust. plenty of cardamom though. smile.gif
Ooh, yeah, I hope we'll get a mini-tree! I want to make popcorn and cranberry garlands with a needle and thread- except I'll use lingonberries instead.

Giving gifts makes me nervous. The only ideas I have for him are a book of some sort or a nice bottle of whiskey.
edie how about a flask with his name engraved?

treehugger, i am drooling! that sounds so good! we usually have panettone with rum sauce, it sort of reminds me of stollen.
Shiny, that's a good idea- it'd be perfect BUT his brother got him a flask for Christmas just last year. A really cool antique one with engraved illustrations of men.
how about soft leather gloves?
wow, shiny, you've got lots of great gift-giving ideas. what do you think for momsbob who already has everything he needs and then some. we're having a skinny year so $20 is my max. the mum says he's looking for the perfect ear flap hat but sheesh, he already has half a dozen of them. i have absolutely no idea what to get for momsbob. grrr. . . anyone help?

wool socks alway useful in MT.
shiny, have you seen the sock drawer? heck, they probably insulate the walls with wool socks.

this is turning into an 'ask shiny' thread, huh? i think it's fun.

i'm getting my sweet books about words. i'm having fun with that.

hmmm. . . i wonder if momsbob reads.
What I discovered that is a really good present is just getting a picture frame and then printing off a picture, say of you and your boyfriend, or you and your mom, together and framing it. It works especially well if you have a photo printer. If not its still not too expensive to get a photo printed.

I wish I knew how to knit, I would knit scarves. Oh wells.

i think it would be fun to draw names and everybody give a gift representative of what you would give if money were absolutely not an issue. it would require some thought and very little money.
Wow, shiny, that's a really good idea!

Actually, one of my friends did something like that for a work gift exchange. The guy he was buying for kept talking about how we wanted to quit and move to Hawaii, so he got him a little fake palm tree, a lei, and one of those dashboard hula girls. He set it all up around him so he could pretend he was there. He also hid a bit of money under the hula girl's skirt because he was afraid it seemed too cheap otherwise.
i am in san diego and since i don't live in the city i am finding so many cool holiday things! squeee!!! fortunatly for my credit card i can not fit it all back with me on the plane.

last year i did mostly red and silver. i think i will do that again this year. it seems so bright and festive!
recent purchases:
local pumpkin bread mix
local coffee cake mix
new cookie sheet
xmas tree mits and apron

ooooo i am such a nerd... i love hoilday baking.
up next: gingerbread house (how have i never done this??)
i posted this in the gift giving thread too but since these are a christmas tradition for me as i make them every year i will post here too.

my candied oranges

ten or so large and very pretty skinned oranges. (valencia oranges are good but they really do have to have nice bright orange skin) wash oranges and slice in rounds at about 1/4 inch slices. in several large low pans place the orange slices flat and only slightly overlapping and cover completely with sugar. dribble just enough water over the oranges and sugar to make it moist then slowly heat it till all the sugar melts and begins to boil. turn heat down to a simmer for about 15 min. then remove from heat and let stand for one to two days. the add as much sugar as can be saturated in the syrup and bring to boil again then simmer low for 45min to 1 hr. remove from heat and let stand again over night. the oranges will stay suspended in the syrup as they are saturated with syrup. pour off the syrup and lay the slices on wax paper and let them dry this way one or two days. then temper your favorite dark chocolate and dip each slice in the chocolate half way. set on clean wax paper to dry till chocolate is hardened. then eat them, give them, share them. yummy yummy yummy.

catlady, i made from scratch a super cute ginger bread house one when i was maybe 13. it was sooo much fun. i kept it for a year and the next christmas it was all hard and rather stale smelling so i threw it out. i think i got the pattern from one of my moms old magazines and then i just decorated with various candies and sweets.
OMG! Is Thanksgiving this week? Where has all the time gone? Yikes! Haven't even decided what we're doing yet. Hmmm. . . .

come to my house and bring yams!
i am starting to get my menu together, kinda late for me i know, and i just ordered the turkey on friday and chose a recipe for it. (maple glased). found my cranberry sauce recipe. (cranberries with port and dried figs) compiled all the dessert requests (pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, pumpkin creme brulee with cinnamon whipped cream) and found my pie crust recipe. made my shopping list.

i started my christmas menu weeks ago though i am not decided on the main dish yet.

i think i better decide on which tree is getting cut down since that will hopefully happen right after thanksgiving.
Sounds so yummy!

What's your Christmas menu?
Ok, I have a holiday question for folks. How do you married or partnered types split up the family time during the holiday season? My sweetie and I are having our annual fight about how to spend our holidays. Her family of mine? Her family will sometimes come to our house - all of them, and hang out in a big rauchus loud wine spilling group. My family though, does not often come here, even if they're invited. So, to see then, I need to go to where they are. I really want to see my family for Christmas but that means that my sweetie doesn't get to see hers or that I go see mine by myself. I don't know what to do.

Ideas? Suggestions?



fiddler - I wish I could help you out with this. The ex-hub and I went round and round on this issue until we finally decided that the actual day of the holidays would be us in our own home with both families invited if they wanted to come. Of course, this favored my family because we lived near them whereas his were 4 hours away. But mine worked and his didn't, so it seemed to all come out in the wash, fairness wise.

My ex-gf and I never came to a good conclusion, though - we just spent the holidays apart, each with our own families. Had we stayed together that really wouldn't have worked out in the longterm, though. Plus, once your impending bundle of joy appears on the scene, you're both going to want to be with her/him - so struggling through all this now seems like a good preemptive measure.

Now for a question: I have most of my holiday gifts planned out, but I'm struggling on stuff for a few young kidlets. I have two close friends for whom I'm the "cool aunt" to their children. They're all girls, so the older ones are getting the "Girls Rock" t-shirt from Sticker Sisters and subscriptions to New Moon magazine. And each family is getting a copy of If The World Was a Village (a cool book that distills the population of the world down to a village of 100, explaining how many would own the resources, how many would know how to read, how many would be children, etc.). But the littler ones - I'm stumped. Specifically I'm dealing with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and with all the recent recalls Mom has issued a "no plastic toys" edict. Suggestions?
Could you get them something fuzzy like a teddy bear or something?

I'm trying to remember back to when I was that age, I think I spent most of my time colouring so just giving them some crayons and a colouring book might do the trick.

fiddler, I wish I knew what to tell you but I have never been in that situation. And it was never an issue for my parents because my dad isn't Christian and his parents are back home in India anyway.
QUOTE(laniethezany @ Nov 19 2007, 01:23 PM) *

Now for a question: I have most of my holiday gifts planned out, but I'm struggling on stuff for a few young kidlets. I have two close friends for whom I'm the "cool aunt" to their children. They're all girls, so the older ones are getting the "Girls Rock" t-shirt from Sticker Sisters and subscriptions to New Moon magazine. And each family is getting a copy of If The World Was a Village (a cool book that distills the population of the world down to a village of 100, explaining how many would own the resources, how many would know how to read, how many would be children, etc.). But the littler ones - I'm stumped. Specifically I'm dealing with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and with all the recent recalls Mom has issued a "no plastic toys" edict. Suggestions?

Lanie, I found the perfect gift for little girls. I had the same issue- something cool and girly but with a positive message and no plastic or batteries- Groovy Girls Dolls. Lots of styles, ethnicities and a realistic body type. There's some cute accessories, too. You can get them at Target around here.
for young ones, music cd's and wood toys, (made in the US) books are always good, finger paints!!!! cookie cook book for the 4yo that you can make cookies with.
OMG! I ate the absolute BEST Thanksgiving dinner. That Shiny can cook! Wow. Thank you so much!

hello new favourite thread!

we're putting the tree up this weekend but i am Scared that the new teeny kitties are going to think it is their own personal playground and destroy it. any tips for securing it so it doesn't topple? i was thinking sand bags under the tree skirt but how bulky and awkward is that? oh well, it will have to happen. i anticipate rescuing ornaments from all over the house for the next few weeks or so.

gifts for boys are hard. slippers, gloves, ties, hats and scarves are standard but can be made fun with some innovation (in my case that means glue gun and/or embroidery floss). a new wallet, cell phone or ipod cover (make your own!), address/agenda book, keychain, specialty coffee (from my old home town ). if he's a reader a gift certificate to a book store inside some kind of fun, hard to open box (my uncle's getting that, he loves puzzles).

little girls are so easy though. if you visit the site you will find SO many crafters there who have their own etsy shops where they sell their handmade one-of-a-kind goodies. there are Amazing dolls and stuffies, etc etc etc. really, a goldmine of funky never-seen-before loot. check out spooky daddy for the kookiest, funkiest stuffies that are great for big and little boys. no really, check him out.

i have been working on this idea for what seems like Years now and i think i might be able to pull it off. Next year. sigh. it's a calendar with pics of us and special dates added. i have TWO computer programs for it but haven't managed to get it together yet. i know i could fork over the bucks to have some made at a print house but that ruins the whole diy thing for me. i think this is a great gift for grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends and rellies who live far away. it's just a variation of the photograph thing.

another terrific gift is a handmade ornament. i have been making some and swapping them with people on craftster. do you want to see some pics? they can be as complicated or simple as you like, everyone loves them.
I'm so jealous of fiddler having shiny's thankgiving meal!

pepper, please share! the calendar also sounds like a lovely gift.

fiddler, it's a little easier for the boy and I on Christmas day because I still live at home but I go to his parents' after Christmas dinner and we exchange gifts and I stay over and spend Boxing Day with his family (UK thing - 26th). Once we're living together we'll need to work something out. Could you spend most of the day with your sweetie then go to your family then meet up with her again later? Although, perhaps your family would make the effort to come to you if they knew how much it meant to you to be with your sweetie?

As for children's Christmas gifts, lanie: for the 4 y/o I'd heartily recommend this, which is a beautiful read and activity for a child. The 2 y/o I'm not so sure about - something dress up? a fairy costume?

One of the more popular gifts I've given (and I've done it twice, once for my mum years and then my boyfriend last year) is a concert ticket hidden inside the album for that band/act.

I've finished shopping for the boy's gifts but I'm looking for stocking filler ideas... does anyone have suggestions? I don't mind if it's original or traditional or if it's creative; I want his stocking to be special this year but I'm a little stumped.
eta: the reason I want his stocking to be special (and on a budget) is because we have a limit to spend on each other and last year we went ridiculously over so this year we're sticking to it. One of his gifts takes up almost half of the limit so his gifts seem paltry in comparison to last year. Even though I know the boy won't think that way and he'll love what I give him, I still like to spoil him. Luckily though his birthday is in January so anything that won't fit into the limit for Christmas can be saved for his birthday (which has a lower limit) and usually I do planning and shopping for both side by side.
pepper, i hear you on the kitty and tree thing. we have a behindered kitty who is not a kitten anymore. in fact, she's our biggest cat. still, she's behindered. we have a fake pre-lit tree that i like. it's easy to set up and looks pretty real. anyway, kitty attacks it. it's such a hoot. since it's pre-lit, she can't tear the lights off. she jumps onto it, as high as she can, and slides down to the floor. over and over again. so, we figure out which is her favorite side to attack, and we don't put ornaments on her slide path. we should video tape her. she's hilarious. anyway . . .

we divvy up the relly visits by going to one place for xmas and the other for new years and reverse it the next year. it works good.
pepper, you are so crafty. those are cute!
ah, shit, pepper. Those are CUTE!
Aw, pepper, the second bottom one looks like my mr monkey you sent me!
how is mr monkey brains anyhow, did your sister manage to steal him? and how's your xmas music coming along, did you like any of the stuff i sent? i listened to some of it tonight while we were half-assed unpacking the xmas boxes. then my mom got into it and starting playing carols on the piano, that was nice. now i want to bake. if only my kitchen wasn't such a catastrophe.
mr monkey brains is settling in nicely and so far my sister has not managed to steal him from me...
I'm putting the finishing touches to my mix so you should receive it soon. I loved the songs you sent, especially The Nutcracker Suite mix, which made it onto my mix! I could listen to that on loop all day long.

I did some Christmas shopping today including a German Christmas market and bought some pretty wooden tree decorations.
wow! this thread came alive! i have not had a computer this most of the weekend. i have been at my moms. so this coming week i am going to send shinyboy out to find the perfect tree them we can cut it down and haul it in! i am so looking forward to all the christmas goings on! this coming thursday snarky and i are going to seattle to do s little ikea shopping and have some girl fun (maybe fiddler will come too). i am hoping to do a little more christmas shopping there too.

so i am looking for ideas for shinyboy. he has a birthday right close to christmas and is just getting into the 'mom is so dumb and mean' stage. he will be turning 11. he doesn't play video games too much. he is into reading book right now (i am so glad) and i will likely get him some books but i am looking for ideas for something else too. any sugestions?

hey shiny, this is beyond cool. airhogs makes a whole slew of toys that actually fly, my little wants them all.

i bought the whole series of lemony snicket books last year from one of those scolastic books clubs fliers that the kids bring home from school. he isn't ready for it yet but it's tucked away in my closet for later.
i would like to purchase the whole set of harry potter books for later on too. i loved reading them. does shiny boy like the movies? a boxed set would be cool.

i also really like the idea of a coin set. can't play with it or spend it but it's neat-o. does he have any hobbies? a membership to the museum if he likes that, or some other club. a magazine subscription. does he like any sports? equiptment is cool.

i have three crafty swap partners that i have to send stuff to this week so i'm trying to hustle and get things stitched up. i'll post pics when it's all done and ready to go.

put my fake tree up the other day. it looks good and the cats (fingers crossed!) don't seem to be too into it. one of them did barf on the tree skirt last night but that's what i get for feeding them tuna mixed with egg, garlic powder and brewer's yeast (for fleas). they loved it but it seems their wee bellies did not dry.gif
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