We are getting so close to Christmas!! I absolutely love this time of year! Christmas is my favorite holiday, and this year is very special because it is me and Ryan’s first Christmas as a married couple. We both love traditions, so we decided to start a tradition to have a 12 dates of Christmas every year that will lead up to Christmas! We are starting this today though because we want it to end on December 23rd. We are ending it two days before Christmas because on Christmas Eve we are going over to my parents’ house and will be with them through Christmas day. We wanted these 12 dates to be something we could just do together, so we are ending a little early.
I am so excited about this new tradition, and I had a lot of fun planning the 12 dates and what we could do. I thought I would share with y’all what all we will do these days.
12 Dates of Christmas 2013
- December 12- Have friends over for dinner at our house
- December 13-Breakfast in Bed
- December 14-Spa night. We can both choose either a back massage or foot massage for the other one to give us.
- December 15-Write each other a hand written noten
- December 16-Game night at home
- December 17-We give each other a small surprise, this can be handmade or store bought. But if we buy something it has to be less than $3.
- December 18-Bake a dessert together
- December 19-Candlelit dinner at home
- December 20-Watch a Christmas movie
- December 21-Go to the movies (It seems like there are always good movies in the theater at Christmas time!)
- December 22-Drive around and see Christmas lights
- December 23-Have homemade pizza, exchange the gifts we got each other, and read the real Christmas story.
I know it may seem weird that we are opening our gifts we got each other two days before Christmas, but we really enjoy having our own little Christmas celebration just us two, and we will be with my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we just start celebrating early. I like this though because the longer the Christmas celebrations the better! 🙂 I am so excited to start this tradition today! I will let y’all know how we like it.
So you might have noticed that we are having some friends over for dinner tonight. I am so excited to have two of our good couple friends over that we haven’t seen in a long time. We actually are all pretty recently married, so that’s fun! Ryan also had a snack party at work today and everyone is supposed to bring their favorite holiday snacks or desserts, so if you follow me on Instagram and saw all of the baking I was doing yesterday, these are the reasons why. 🙂 I loved doing all of the baking, and I was so glad I was off so that I had all day to really enjoy it. Obviously I listened to Michael Buble holiday station on Pandora all day while I baked. I highly suggest you all go to Pandora right now and add this station. It is fabulous, and you won’t be disappointed with the wonderful Christmas music it plays.
Here is some of what I baked:
White chocolate covered popcorn and pretzels with Christmas colored M&M’s. Below is some long pretzel sticks that I dipped half in almond bark and then sprinkled with Christmas sprinkles!
Ryan loves sausage balls, and they are really simple to make. You only need three ingredients!
Homemade sugar cookies.
I totally forgot to take a picture of these while I was baking and then when they were on the cookie sheet, so I took a picture of some of them already put away. They looked much cuter, I promise. 🙂 I had some Christmas stockings, snowflakes, a Christmas tree, and a snowman cookie cutter that I used. This is a simple, easy recipe that I have used for years, but these cookies are always a hit with everyone! This was my first time to use cookie cutters though, I usually just make plain round cookies, and the cooking time was obviously different because these cookies were a little bit harder than usual, so I was disappointed. 😦
Lastly, my favorite treat of the night was these snickerdoodle blondie bars.
These bars are super sweet and really good! I think they are just perfect for Christmas time! I found this recipe on an app that my Aunt Nancy told me about called Recipe Box, and with this app you can share your recipes with people you know. My aunt and her sisters have a bunch of recipes they have shared, so Nancy shared all of those recipes with me! The app is really cool; you can just send all of the recipes from one phone to another through Wifi. Lucky for all of you, I am going to share this amazing recipe with y’all. 🙂
I do not take credit for creating this recipe, but I don’t know where it originally came from. If you know who created it, please let me know so that I can give them credit! 🙂
Snickerdoodle Blondie Bars Recipe
- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
- Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookie batter-ish)
- Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed.
- Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife.
My bars came out and looked like this:
I started to cut them into bars and then remembered to snap a picture, so that’s why part of the cake is already cut. 😉 I think these would be really good warmed up with some ice cream! I plan on trying this tonight, so I can let you know. 🙂
Obviously, nothing that I baked is healthy, but it is the Christmas season, and I love baking treats and desserts for other people! I am a huge advocate of moderation, and I did not go crazy eating all of these desserts yesterday. (I’m really not a sweets person anyway) I really did make these for other people and parties, so just remember this Christmas season to not go over board with all of the yummies and goodies, but it’s okay to enjoy it. Plus, I can’t imagine trying to “healthify” any of these recipes. Sometimes you just need the real thing! Which obviously means, sugar and butter. 🙂
But I have a bunch to do today to get ready for our friends coming over, so I better go!
1. What are some of your Christmas traditions?
2. Favorite thing to bake this time of year?
3. Would you like me to share any of the recipes for the other things I baked yesterday?