How to make wonderful Christmas memories to cherish? Start family traditions that everyone can look forward to, where everyone can participate. We have a game room, ‘Man Cave’, in the basement and the kids have enjoyed the games down there for years but participation in each of those is limited and so are the ‘group’ memories. However, by adding the Christmas Game and the Dessert Contest, we have all-inclusive activities.
The ‘Annual 2017 Christmas Eve Party ‘ is over now. It doesn’t matter how well I plan in advance, there always seems to be some complication that comes up during the final week of preparation. This usually results in a mad dash just before the party. It usually involves one of my children. This party was no exception. Not everything was as perfect as I planned, (It seldom is, is it?), some things had to be abandoned. The party went pretty well in spite of it, and hopefully, everyone has some Christmas memories to cherish.
Decorating the entry, the kitchen, and the family room is one of my priorities. The objective is for family and friends to say, “Wow!” Hopefully, they leave lasting Christmas memories of our get together.
Each year, the strings of lights are meticulously removed from the family room tree, coiled in a neat fashion, tied with a ribbon, and placed between layers of tissue paper in a large plastic bin. They are all working when they are removed from the tree and placed gently in the bin. Why is it when they come out of that bin the next December, invariably, some of the lights don’t work?
There are always a few strands that have to be replaced, which makes a trip to the store for replacements necessary. This year, I had to buy several strands. Well, I didn’t have to, I chose to replace them! The tree in the family room has about 22 sets of lights on it. Can’t give you an exact count of lights. Some of the strands are 100, 150, and 300 light sets. Almost every branch of the tree is wrapped with lights. (A couple of branches are almost always missed accidentally, but who would notice?) Click here ► for complete instructions on how this is done.
The tree on the catwalk is less spectacular but pretty as well. It is a three-section tree with the lights already in place. It’s easy to put up and easy to take down. This year, after it was completely decorated, the lights on one of the sections quit working! I checked a few bulbs, then, gave up and bought another set of lights and gingerly wove them through the tree and decorations. Problem solved.
The mantel is another focal point and this year, it highlighted the Papier-Mâché Snowman and the Papier- Mâché Lady Snowman, which were made a few weeks ago. I love these snowpeople! (Frosty, the first of the snowmen, was placed on a table in the foyer.)
A string of white lights on a white cord was laid across the mantel behind the snowpeople next to the wall. The large jingle bell and the letters J and Y were found at Hobby Lobby. The inspiration for this ‘JOY’ was found on Pinterest but I LOVE this combination even more. The Christmas ornament garland made a few weeks ago looks perfect, tying it all together. This is my favorite mantel display of all time. How will I top this next year?
The Christmas Game
For weeks, I have been buying little gifts for the Christmas Game. This Santa hat was found at Kohl’s in the clearance area earlier this year. Sophia and I were shopping there and found the hat. It had been $30. She was so deviously excited and said we definitely had to buy this for the game, and so, we did. We bought it for $3.00.
This was the card attached to the gift box. Jon-Michael knew he was in for a treat as soon as he saw it! Pulling the tissue paper aside, he was not to be disappointed.
These Paula Deen shakers were found at Michael’s last year. The nostalgic recipe cards were picked up there, too. Does anyone still use a recipe file? I do! Tiffany chose this gift. Sophie piped up, “You can put powdered sugar in those, Mom!”
This was the card accompanying the shakers.
The gift box for S’mores was found at Walmart. The little snowman cups were so cute, I couldn’t resist. Either of the tags in the picture would have been okay to use for it. In my hurry, I chose the S’mores tag from last year.
Sophie was my accomplice in making sure that Memphis, who is a little young for this game, got the number 1 and chose the first gift for her. (The numbers were designed on PicMonkey and printed. We had 21 people all together and 21 numbers cut out for guests to draw.) It was a little stuffed lion and her tag read, We’re not ‘Lion’! We wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Yes, everyone knew that it was a setup but agreed it was appropriate. Memphis loved the lion.
Perhaps, you have seen the socks rolled and fashioned into what appears to be a cupcake. I love this idea! Aren’t they cute? A cute little pom pom sits on top of the sock to resemble a cherry. These were the thick socks and the muffin cups used were Wilton King-Size baking cups. Two ‘cupcakes’ were placed in a box, along with an emery board and a sleep mask, in red, of course.
We had to have a Christmas movie, too, ya know. This year, National Lampoon’s ‘Christmas Vacation’ was the selected classic and a few bags of popcorn were added along with a tag to make the gift complete. The tag reads, Merry Christmas to All and to All A Movie Night!
This pack of body butter was found at Joann Fabric and Craft store for half the regular price. The tag reads, You ‘butter’ watch out! You better not pout! Santa Claus is coming to town!
I can’t lie, it’s almost as fun to make up these cheesy cards as it is to listen to everyone read them and then open their gifts!
(I also made up a couple of extra gifts just in case we had last minute guests.)
A Sampling of This Year’s Cheesy Cards
- Have a De ‘Light’ ful Christmas! Flashlight.
- We’re not ‘Lion’. We wish you a Merry Christmas! Stuffed Lion.
- For Christmas, we bought you $25.00 worth of lottery tickets! We went ahead and scratched them off for you and you’re a WINNER! (On the outside of the present.)
- (Inside the package.) Congratulations! You Won 5 Dollars! Here’s your money! Merry Christmas! $5.00 bill.
- Wishing you Joy beyond measure! Merry Christmas! (We R Memory Keepers Small cutting mat and 6″ ruler.)
- Christmas is a time of cheer with warmest wishes for a bright New Year! (S’mores gift box or hot chocolate mix and cups. A warm throw would also be a nice gift.)
- Merry Christmas to All and to all a movie night! (Movie and popcorn.)
- We ‘Wash’ You a Merry Christmas! (Bar of soap or Liquid Hand Soap.)
- Hoping your Christmas is Happy Beyond Measure. (Measuring cups and spoons.)
- Hope you have a ‘Scentsational’ holiday season! (Yankee Candle – Sparkling Pink)
- A calorie-free gift for someone sweet, not to eat, but to wear on your feet! Merry Christmas. (Socks rolled up to look like cupcakes.)
- Here’s a sprinkling of good cheer to last throughout the year! Merry Christmas! (Kitchen Shakers and recipe cards.)
- Get your ‘It’s just what I wanted’ face ready! (Last year’s gift was a singing Hillbilly reindeer, and this year, it was the Baddest Santa hat.)
As we played the game this year, Christmas memories from last year kept coming up and we all had to laugh.
Maybe these ideas will inspire you to start your own ‘Christmas traditions’ with your family if you don’t really have any, or maybe to add one or two of these ideas to your already existing traditions.
How To Make Wonderful Christmas Memories To Cherish part 2 will follow. Be sure to come back for the next post and the results of the holiday dessert contest! Sign up for our newsletter below and you won’t miss it!
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