Sunday

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer "Holly Jolly Christmas"



Recommended: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Tuesday

How To Make Felt Christmas Stockings




The Christmas stocking is a holiday staple for families with children. Kids love to get up on Christmas morning and see what kinds of goodies Santa has left them! Small stockings are also great for decoration, and they're ideal for holding small gifts to give to your friends and family.

Making felt stockings is very easy, and it's a great family project.

Here's how to do it:

What You Need

* Felt
* Cardboard or card stock
* Marker
* Scissors
* Straight pins
* Needle and thread
* White faux fur and other embellishments

Instructions

  1. Draw a stocking shape of the desired size on a piece of cardboard or card stock. Cut out.
  2. Place the cardboard shape on the felt, trace around it, and cut out. Make two pieces for each stocking.
  3. If you want to sew buttons, fabric or other embellishments on the stocking, it will be much easier to do so before you sew it together. Just make sure to sew them onto the side that will be facing outward.
  4. Pin the pieces of felt together, wrong sides facing out, and sew around the edges with a sewing machine or by hand. Be sure not to sew the top closed.
  5. Turn the stocking inside out so that the seams are now on the inside. Decorate the outside using fabric paint, glitter, beads, or anything else you like. Sew a strip of faux fur to the top if desired.
  6. Cut a strip of felt an inch or so wide and 3 or 4 inches long. Fold it in half to make a loop and sew it to the top left corner of the stocking.
Letting the kids decorate their own stockings gives them an opportunity to express themselves. They could add charms that reflect their interests and hobbies, make pictures with beads, or use finger paint to add handprints. Tubes of fabric paint or glitter glue make it easy for them to write messages to Santa and add their names.

Scraps of holiday fabric are great for adding a decorative touch to stockings. You could cut out shapes such as Christmas trees, angels, or reindeer and sew or glue them to the front of the stocking. If you want a different look, you could even use a sturdy fabric such as canvas instead of felt to make the body of the stocking.

Making and decorating your own Christmas stockings is lots of fun, and it's very inexpensive. Whether you're making them to hang on the tree, fill with gifts for friends, or place on the mantle for Santa to stuff, it's a wonderful way to get the family creative together during the holidays.

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Wednesday

Creating "To Die For" Christmas Sweets



What is the one thing everyone enjoys at Christmas time? Arguably it could be sweets. There is nothing like a cookie, slice of cake or gum drop around the holidays. Here are some tips to make sure that those delectable morsels are just as tasty as their sugarplum visions.



Working with Chocolate
  • When you create a recipe that calls for chocolate, it is so easy to go wrong here. Instead of using the store-bought chocolate syrup, make your own. Buy the chocolate bricks and melt them yourself. Keep the heat under the saucepan low so that the chocolate doesn’t burn while it melts.
  • Dark chocolate is the new healthy chocolate for the 21st century. It is full of antioxidants and great taste. Use it for decorating cakes, cookies, breads and pies. Use some of that melted chocolate in a plastic bag to pipe out all sorts of cool designs onto wax paper. Once they cool, you can carefully place them on any dessert that you wish.
Butter
  • The rest of the year, this word gets sneer and jeers, but at Christmas, it is spot on. There is no substitute for using regular butter in your dessert recipes. Well, there is but it won’t give you the same taste or texture in your sweets. To compensate, eat a little less of each dessert, but by all means taste them all.
  • When working with margarine, part of it is water. It says that on the box. Water evaporates when baking and can partially dry out your recipes. Butter is also creamier when softened and whipped. It keeps your cakes, breads, cupcakes and cookies moist like they need to be. Unless the recipe calls for stiff butter, let it come to room temperature on the counter before using.
Fruit
  • Apple pies, peach cobblers and blueberry blintzes are all great during the holidays. Fruit can be expensive since most of your choices are out of season. If you can’t find fresh at a reasonable price, opt for frozen choices. It’s as close to fresh as you can get.
  • If you keep your fruit in the fridge to prolong freshness, make sure that you allow them to come to room temperature before using them in delicious dessert recipes. Fruit will juice better when warm. Scalding fruits with removable skins helps the skin to peel off easier so you don’t have to ruin the look of the fruit doing it the hard way.
Here are just a few tips for creating those desserts your family will love all holiday long. Christmas is the one time of year that they don’t want you to skimp on flavor or presentation.

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