Those of you who know me or read my blogs regularly know that I am a huge fan of Gooseberry Patch books. I love the whole shabang-their catalog, their booklets, their Christmas books-I understand #10 is now available! Whoo Hoo-and their cookbooks. Since I've been reading a Christmas themed novel and have gotten into the spirit, I thought I'd list a few little hints and ideas from their "Christmas Crafts" booklets. These little gems are very inexpensive-about $6.00 or so-and are just jam-packed with ideas, projects and fun!! If you haven't seen them, check out their website. Cute, cute stuff!
Here's some things I thought you might enjoy, in the heat of June!
Non-traditional gift wrap ideas:
*Tuck a packet of cocoa, a holiday mug, a spoon and a fragrant orange in a bright red stocking cap...a fun way to give a yummy gift!
*Tie big individual popcorn balls up in clear or blue plastic wrap...add a silver chiffon ribbon with long ribbon streamers...neat neighbor gifts!
*Wrap a box in shiny white paper-glue half a styrofoam ball on the box. Decorate ball with snowman button eyes and mouth...add a bright red ribbon bow-tie under his chin! (Isn't that just the CUTEST idea ever???)
*Spray paint or sponge green paint on an old clay pot-tuck in a raggedy piece of burlap and put a tiny evergreen in the pot...it's a natural!!
Winter Warmers to share:
*Hot Cocoa Mocha
3 c. hot cocoa mix
1/2 c. instant coffee
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. mini marshmallows
Quart sized canning jar with lid
Blend hot cocoa mix, instant coffee and spice together. Pour mix into jar, top with marshmallows. Tie on a copy of these directions:
Add 3 tablespoons mix to 2/3 cup boiling water. Stir and enjoy!!
Note: if you blend the cocoa, coffee and cinnamon in your blender it gets really fine and powdery and dissolves like a dream in hot water! But, obviously, you should do this before you add the marshmallows!!
Vanilla Cream Coffee
1 c. instant coffee powder
1 1/4 c. powdered coffee creamer
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. vanilla powder (cake decorating section of craft store)
Quart canning jar with lid
Blend all dry ingredients together. Pour mix into jar...tie on a copy of these serving instructions:
To enjoy a cup, simply add 2 tablespoons of mix to 1 cup boiling water.
There are some really cute canning jars out now...look for the ones with the red gingham checked lids-very cute, and all they need are a red bow and a sprig of holly to look jolly!!
Here's my favorite Gooseberry tip, ever. I've been making this for about 8 years now..and I always share with the kiddies in our lives...no one has ever told me they are too old for it! I make it in a gallon ice cream bucket in September or October and then when it's time to give, I just scoop it up into zipper bags, add a little hand-made tag and give it to a Christmas believer!! It works, too. We sprinkle this on the porch and yard every Christmas Eve just before bed, and Santa ALWAYS comes to our house!!
Magic Reindeer Dust
Oats (I get the cheap stuff)
Glitter (you can get edible glitter in the cake decorating section-safer for animals like birds and reindeer!!)
Mix together well, then attach a tag with individual gifts:
Magic Reindeer Dust
Come December 24th, as Santa flies here from the North
Here's what you do, it isn't hard...
Just sprinkle this stuff in your yard!
The sparkles draw old Santa near
and oats attract his 8 reindeer
Then just you wait-they're on their way
More good stuff coming later!!
This picture is not from Gooseberry Patch, but from the Ladies' Christmas Brunch at my sister in law Kim's church last December. My friend Mandi and I are planning on organizing one of those at our church this year! This was our centerpiece on our table. It's the Original Snow Village Wedding Chapel that I received as a wedding gift. It's my favorite piece!
And, finally...Ginger, our Christmas guru over at Magical Holiday Home is planning a HUGE Christmas in July event--all month long!! Fly over there and check it out...so much fun!! I'll be here to give some details of what I have planned, as well! I'm just thinking of it as 31 Rudolph Days!! Yay!!!
Merry Christmas planning!
- Cathy Miller
- I love to cook, decorate, entertain and plan the holidays. I'm wife to one handsome man and mom to three handsome boys, I love God, my family and my country. I'm the one at the small town parade waving the American flag!! Almost all the holidays are celebrated at our house, and we like it that way!!