The Little Things Newsletter #290 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! Can you believe we’re only a week away from Christmas? I enjoy celebrating Christmas so much. I’d love to hear about your family’s favorite traditions.

Leave a comment on this post to tell me about your favorite Christmas tradition! I’m going to pick 3 comments on Wednesday and send a $50 Merry Christmas Amazon card to each of those commenters just for the fun of it. Giveaway winners have been notified via email. See the winning comments at the bottom of today’s newsletter.

(Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy your emails, replies via email can’t be included in this giveaway, it’s simply too difficult to track entries that way.)

In case you haven’t seen this yet, I’m still laughing over this elf story. We’ve never had an Elf on a Shelf in our home, but I can imagine my siblings and I messing with each other this way.

ON THE BLOG this week: Chocolate Covered Pretzel Fudge is creamy chocolate fudge filled with salty pretzels and gooey marshmallows. If you’ve ever found yourself going back for just one more (and one more and just one more) chocolate-covered pretzel from the bag in the cupboard, this fudge is for you.

Chewy, sweet, perfectly stretchy, and gooey Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats filled with chunks of Reese’s peanut butter cups are a fabulous new way to enjoy everyone’s favorite treat.

This is a melt in your mouth, smooth and creamy Chocolate Almond Fudge; rich with dark chocolate and almonds.

Layers of toasted pecans, a rich gooey filling, and a flaky, buttery pastry crust make this Sheet Pan Pecan Pie a heavenly dessert. Made with either a homemade crust or a store-bought one, this is a pie that you’re going to love.

Creamy Vanilla Walnut Fudge is this year’s latest addition for your holiday dessert table. Paired with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, a piece of fudge is one of my favorite ways to take a break during the holiday season.

What I’m CRAVING: I’m all about the peppermint cravings this year and this creamy no-bake Peppermint Oreo Cheesecake that my friend Jocelyn made sounds fantastic. I’ve made Peppermint Cocoa, Peppermint Fudge, Peppermint Bark and last but not least, my beloved Peppermint Ice Cream already this year. I honestly don’t think I could ever have too many peppermint desserts in my life!

My FAVORITE THING this week is the Poetry for Neanderthals game. We gave it to the kids for an advent surprise this week and have already played the game several times. We’ve laughed so much at how much goofy fun it has been. I really love games that can be quickly learned and enjoyed by all ages. This one is perfect for that. We can play a round in just 15 minutes or so and it is always fun.

What I’m WATCHING: Shrek. This movie will never go out of style, will it? We watched the original movie last week and we all laughed so hard. Between Shrek and Donkey, we simply can’t get enough. We picked up the collection of Shrek movies as a family Christmas gift and are looking forward to watching them all again with the kids.

What I’m READING: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. I don’t know how I missed this book up until now, but I’ve made up for lost time by reading it three times this week. I love it. I mean, I really love it. This is such a sweet picture book, any bibliophile is certain to love it. The art is just lovely and the story is simply charming.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!

Mary

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Caroline Rogers says

    Ah! Sitting with a cup of hot cocoa and waiting ’til midnight to see all the animals bow down to worship.

  2. Anita Carol Gambrell says

    My favorite Christmas tradition is cooking and eating a big Italian dinner with the family for our celebration

  3. Gloria Howell says

    I just want to say that I really enjoy your recipes. I’m hoping to include some of them as a part of our Christmas traditions. My favorite family tradition used to be having a the kids gather around in their new Christmas pajamas while one of us read to them fron the Bible about Jesus birth. I say “used to be” because our parents have passed away and the children are now grown and scattered across the country. My husband and I are trying to create new traditions with just the two of us.

  4. Michael Koons says

    Our Favorite tradition is probably the Christmas gift exchange where we roll the dice with a game to see what present you get or if someone steals it. We all laugh so hard but they are all nice gifts anyway.
    Michael Koons

  5. Teresa LaFollette says

    Hello my friend and Happy Holidays! We have several traditions, from spending all day making everyone’s favorite cookies, driving around and seeing Christmas lights , to enjoying Christmas Eve service all together. One of my favorite traditions is we never put names on presents we put numbers so no one knows who’s get is who’s until Christmas morning, and we all watch as they discover what their number is. We have four kids ages 27 to 34 and they still enjoy our Christmas mornings we have laughed so many times in the years especially when I couldn’t find the list of numbers and Christmas was on hold for a little bit. I also hide their stockings and that’s one of their favorite things that at the end of breakfast is to try to find their stockings. I know that you and your family have wonderful traditions as well I pray everyone has a wonderful holiday season! So thankful for the birth of Jesus our savior!

  6. Marissa says

    Until I moved away, my favorite Christmas tradition was (a few days before) joining with other community members to pack donated food items in boxes and deliver them to the less fortunate in the community. I hope to find something similar here.

  7. Kelly says

    We have a yummy tradition of eggnog french toast for breakfast. We have a devotional – reading the Christmas story for example – and then spend time outside in the snow (if it is around). Looking forward to making the sheet pan pecan pie as well for the holidays. thanks!

  8. June Alton says

    The favourite Christmas tradition at our house is decorating the tree and making Christmas cookies with my daughters.

  9. Rue Ann Eyler says

    We have a tradition of decorating our tree as a family, with cookies and hot cocoa, while Christmas music plays in the background. Everyone is always so busy with life and going in different directions, so this time together, remembering the ornaments as we unpack them, telling stories means so much. Strata on Christmas morning and staying in Christmas jammies is a favorite also.

    I am watching any and all Christmas movies, hallmark and others, and my fave, White Christmas. I haven’t read anything in awhile as we’ve been so busy moving, but I always love reading children’s books to our grandson.

    I am so glad I found your page with such enjoyable content snd delicious recipes. I just pulled the cinnamon toast bread from the oven!

  10. Julia Sackett says

    My parents died in a car accident 25 years ago this December 15th. One of our favorite traditions was to decorate the Christmas tree on my father’s birthday, December 16th. We would cut down a tree, take it home and make it special. I didn’t know it as a child, but I had a magical childhood and it was gone in an instant.

    We made new traditions since then. We no longer have a real tree, but decorating our family tree really makes it Christmas to me.

  11. Patricia Marie Clark says

    My favorite Christmas Tradition is gathering of all family members for our Christmas dinner and gift exchange. As the years go by, children have grown up, parents and grandparents have passed and our family has shrunk smaller and smaller but we still maintain this tradition. This year it is only my 2 brothers and I with my one brother’s loss of his wife (Sep 27) still very raw and painful. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson are at Fort Carson Colorado (they’re both in Army) and unable to make it home. I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss my little guy (he’s 15 months) as he has lived with us since he was only 2 months old. We all miss the joy and energy he brought to us and cherish the time we had as he opened both my brother’s hearts (neither of them had kids). So altho this Christmas is bittersweet, I will bring all of the traditional treats and make as happy as I can!

  12. Jan Paschke says

    About 20 of us would gather at one house, eat a potluck dinner and watch the grandkids open presents. And then attend midnight mass. interesting how things have changed these last two years. Of course last year everyone was huddled together in their own homes trying to stay safe from Covid. It was the first Christmas ever that we did not get together with my husbands family for Christmas Eve. It was really strange, my husband and I were alone both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (My husband and I do not have children. and we live about 3 hours away from the rest of his family) So this year I was hoping we would get a call from one of his family that they were hosting Christmas Eve and we would make the drive to be with them, but no call. I have a feeling that new traditions have been started and all of his family will be spending the time alone with their own family, rather than all of us being together. So my husband and I will spend Christmas together with our 2 golden retrievers and count our blessings that we are healthy and happy. Merry Christmas and God’s blessing to you and your family!