Time for shopping for our loved ones, holiday baking for our co-workers and neighbors, trimming the tree, plugging in all the lights to see which ones work and which don’t, Christmas cards, table centerpieces made of holly, greenery and cranberries, choosing the perfect wine to accompany the perfectly planned out Christmas dinner and all the laughter and joy around the Christmas tree opening gifts and treasures. What isn’t there to love about Christmas!
We’ve started a new Christmas tradition with the Elf on the Shelf this year. Jerry is our elf and he is sometimes nice and sometimes a little naughty. He’s been seen fishing in the bathtub, having a snowball fight, on a sugar high, toilet papering the bathroom, on top of the Christmas tree, handing out early Christmas gifts and even pinned up by Jake and the Neverland Pirates for stealing Caston’s candy loot. If you have no idea what Elf on the Shelf is- check this out and for great ideas head on over to Pinterest!
Not only did we adopt Jerry the Elf this year, but we also added another tree to the mix of my expansive collection. NOTE: Do not judge. I have a Christmas tree problem…I can’t get enough of them! I have admitted to my problem and I’ve went in for help, but the problem revisits me every Thanksgiving. So….I gave up!
We’ve got a tree for about every room in the house and each has it’s own theme. Caston loves our house at Christmas and was a total help decorating everything this year, even baby sissy’s new tree. I go all out at Christmas, just as my mother did when I as a youngster (and happy to do so to see the joy and excitement in my children’s eyes). Something magical about a homey-feeling house during the holidays. Even Charlie got into the spirit and hung lights on the house this year and the shrubs (he is a pretty amazing daddy.) Caston told him, “This is so cool dad. You’re the best!”
I always think how pretty our house looks with all the trees, stockings, lights and other décor – until I go to Silver Dollar City (SDC). Then I see real work at its best during the holidays. If you haven’t made the journey down to Branson to walk through the park, do so. The hot cocoa, wassail, and even the deep-friend goodies are splendid and the lights are beautiful.
So, in honor of “Steal Your Dollar Holler,” as my husband likes to call it – I’m posting a Hot Wassail recipe I know you will all love!
Wassail is a mulled cider type drink that is a holiday tradition in many countries. This hot, spiced punch is most popular at Christmas. It usually contains fruit juices, cinnamon, cloves and other spices.
McConnell Holiday Wassail
1 qt. apple juice
1 qt. orange juice
2 c. cranberry juice
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 T. honey
1 cup sugar
3-4 cinnamon sticks
8 whole allspice
Navel Orange Slices
Combine all ingredients in listed order to your crockpot, at least a 4 quart crock. Cook on low setting for about 4 hours or until heated to desired temperature. You may also cook it on high initially for an hour and reduce the heat to save time. This reheats well for 3 days, plus your entire house will smell like Christmas – what gets better than that!