I’m avoiding all the things I still need to do before Christmas and what better way to procrastinate than take part in the Sew, Mama, Sew Holiday Meme?
- Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?
- I love finding just the right gift for each recipient. I have so many people for whom I buy that I’ve yet to find a one-fits-all type of gift.
- If you’re making gifts this year, what are you making? (Post photos if you have some!)
- Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you’ve given or received?
- My mother died less than two weeks before Christmas six years ago. She had been diagnosed with cancer 10 weeks before and still managed to make bins full of afghans to give the people on her gift list. Unfortunately, she did not leave me any clues regarding the distribution of her crocheted bounty, nor had she been able to finish off all of the afghans. I have steadfastly refused to do anything with yarn, so I had no idea how to fix all those loose strings — and also was not ready to let go of all my mother’s hard work. So, for the past six years, I have lived with Rubbermaid tubs filled with unfinished, homeless afghans. This year, I decided it was time to start letting go. I borrowed my son’s Beginning Crochet book, bought a pack of yarn needles and started weaving in all those strings. And then I washed and dried one, put it in a box, wrapped it with some pretty paper and included it in a surprise box of Christmas gifts I sent to an online acquaintance and her family. It made me feel good to know that something my mom made was going to a new home, somewhere I thought it would be loved and appreciated. Plus, it always makes me feel closer to my mom, doing random acts of kindness like that. She didn’t have much money but she still found a way to make sure everyone she cared about received a handmade gift from her at Christmas.
- Name one thing on your personal wish list.
- A new duvet cover and shams for my bed.
- Do you make and sell things that would make fantastic gifts? (Link)
- For the past few years, I’ve sold dress-up tutus online through my Web site, Flourishes. I’m thinking about adding some new things to my site next year, including crowns (felt and tulle ones), and maybe aprons and felt cookies.
- What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
- Every Christmas Eve, the kids get to open one present: a new pair of jammies to wear to bed that night. After they change, I take pictures of them in front of the tree. The boys are old enough to know what’s in that bag but it’s so fun to see my daughter get excited. And this year, I’m making those jammies!
- Have you started any new traditions with your family that you didn’t practice growing up?
- Opening a gift on Christmas Eve is one. Our big one is brunch on Christmas day. I love having a family that’s so into breakfast! LOL! I make a huge spread every Christmas and then we snack on it the rest of the day (usually a couple of days!). No big dinner (maybe soup and sandwiches) for us.
- What do you love most about the holiday season?
- Seeing how excited my kids get over every aspect of the holiday — even my jaded teenagers.
- What do you like least about the holiday season?
- The pressure to buy-buy-buy. Also: Christmas stuff in stores before Halloween (August this year!).
- Anyone close to your heart that you’ll be missing this year?
- My mom. She was my partner in crime, especially where crafting is concerned.
- What is your favorite holiday food?
- The boys’ great aunt makes the world’s best sweet potato casserole. It has a crunchy pecan topping that is To Die For. I’m also a huge fan of sausage balls, being the good Southern girl that I am. There are, however, some brunch dishes that I make only at the holidays because they are just soooooo goooooooood.
- Do you have a great recipe to share?
- Every year I make this Oatmeal Creme Brulee for our Christmas brunch. It really is best cooked the morning of because it gets a little too thick (for my tastes) if it sits overnight.
2 cups oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar (splenda equivalent)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 1/3 cups nonfat milk
2 eggs, or 1/2 cup egg substitute, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (brown sugar splenda)
• Baking time: 43 to 50 minutes
• Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray.
• In large bowl, combine oats, granulated sugar and salt.
• In medium bowl, combine milk, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to oat mixture; mix well. Pour into baking dish. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until center jiggles slightly. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top of oatmeal. Using back of spoon, gently spread sugar into a thin layer across entire surface of oatmeal. Return to oven; bake just until sugar melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set oven to broil. Broil 3 inches from heat until sugar bubbles and browns slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.It may be necessary to turn baking dish.) Spoon into bowls to serve.
- Do you have a great recipe to share?