Thursday, December 2, 2010


1) GIVE TOGETHER. With the holidays coming, local food banks need extra help. You can donate food, cash or your time.


SW Washington:


2) PLAY TOGETHER! Find some snow! Downhill ski, snowboard, cross-country ski, go tubing, or just build a snowman. The great thing about living in the Pacific Northwest is you can get to snowy mountain destinations quickly and easily no matter where you live. Check out this great link to Washington State Parks for family-friendly destinations for snowy fun:

3) BAKE TOGETHER! Cookie Cutters bring out the child in all of us! This sugar cookie recipe is so easy, you'll want to make extra batches to decorate and give to friends and neighbors! Your kids will love decorating these with you!

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
  4. Decorate! 

4) CRAFT TOGETHER! Make salt dough ornaments in your microwave! Want a Christmas craft you can make with your kids that will become a treasured ornament for years to come? This recipe for salt dough is really easy because you make it in your microwave! Decorate these ornaments with your kids and they will last for years to come!

Salt Dough Ornament Recipe


  • 4 cups of flour

  • 1 cup of salt

  • 1-1/2 cups of hot water

  • holiday cookie cutters

  • decorations - glitter, paint, beads, etc.

  • Microwave Salt Dough Ornaments


    1. Half of the dough recipe featured above is enough to make all the ornaments shown above, plus some extras. You will also need paint in red, green, white, and gold, plus green glitter paint, and trims such as iridescent stars, pom poms, mini candy cane erasers, and glitter chenille stems.

    2. Use Christmas cookie cutters to cut a variety of snowmen, Christmas trees and stars. Use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging, being sure to make the hole a little larger than you will want as they tend to close when baking.

    3. Using a microwave-safe plate (not paper or cardboard), microwave a plate of your ornaments for 1 to 4 minutes, increasing the time by 1 minute increments and keeping a close eye on the microwave as the ornaments bake. Microwave power levels differ greatly, so use high power in a less-powerful oven, but lower it if your oven tends to heat things very quickly. You don't want to risk a fire! Let the ornaments cool completely before decorating.

    4. Snowmen: Base coat white. Paint hats black. Use paint or markers for eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. You can also use paint to add a scarf, unless you are using chenille stems. Take one chenille stem and, leaving enough stem to form an arm on the left, wrap the stem around the neck, and form another arm on the right. Cut off excess stem and bend each end in a 1/4" to form hands. Add mini candy cane erasers if desired.

    5. Stars: Base coat white or gold. Add green glitter paint, or outline with gold paint or glitter paint, if desired. Glue an iridescent star in the middle of each ornament. Take a chenille stem and, leaving a little extra at the top to form half a loop, bend the stem around each star point, pushing in with your fingers until the stem will retain the star shape. You will find the stem ends at the top with some extra left over. Bend both of these end lengths together to form a hanging loop.

    6. Christmas Trees: Base coat green, then re-paint with green glitter paint. Add gold and white accents in a "garland" effect, then use red to add red "balls" to the tree. Glue sparkly pom poms or two iridescent stars glue together on top of the tree if desired.

    Variations: These are just some of the possibilities for decorating your microwaved salt dough ornaments. This is also a good kid's craft or group project - just microwave several batches of ornaments and provide a variety of paints, markers and embellishments to let everyone excercise creativity. Properly dried the ornaments should last for years.

    5) CREATE A FAMILY TRADITION TOGETHER! Go Christmas caroling, make Christmas cards and take them to a retirement home, shop for a Christmas gift for a needy child in your community...... Ask your child(ren) what they would like to do as a new family tradition and then involve them as much as possible. Creating traditions binds families together with shared memories.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment