It's Wednesday! Yayyy! Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer is hosting another edition of Works For Me Wednesday with Christmas in mind.
These are some super simple things we do to reduce stress, create wonderful memories and spend quality time together. I had a wonderful childhood filled with so many memories that I want desperately to pass on to my (step)children and future children. Many of them are easy to do and cost very little to make.
We tend to get into decorating around here. My mother and I would go out into the woods of our home sometime during the Thanksgiving break and find greenery to add to the front door and porch. It usually cost us nothing, but an afternoon of quality time together. We'd cut low branches off living trees, taking care not to cut into the trunk of the tree and never taking more than we thought we'd use/need. When we got home, we'd trim the thicker branches with cutters and place them on the railings of the porch being careful to cover the branches. We'd take our white lights and wrap the railing tightly in one direction and come back in the opposite direction securing the greenery. Then we'd take the other greenery and create a swag over the door securing it to the cedar shakes and door jam of the house with a staple gun and weave white lights through it. We'd usually finish off the door with an artificial wreath with a big red or gold bow. I wish I had pictures to share, but unfortunately that was in the days of 35mm cameras and film! *gasp*
This year I expanded on that tradition and used my left over greenery and free scrub from a local nursery to create swags for my mailbox, my entry and garage outdoor light and the two double windows facing the street. It only cost me .99 for floral wire! Bailey and I simply arranged the greenery in an attractive (to us) form and wrapped it securely in green floral wire. We fluffed and added small filler to cover the wire and used red ribbon to create bows on the top! Bailey and I added pine cones to two of the swags and old Christmas ornaments to the others. I've gotten so many compliments and Bailey and I enjoyed our time together!
We didn't stop there! No, no, we did not! We created a garland for our mantle and laced it, too, with white lights and added Christmas ornaments to it. It looks so pretty at night and even makes that monstrous TV above the mantle less obtrusive!
The kiddos and I capped off the day afternoon by making the EASIEST, creamiest, most DE.LIC.OUS. peanut butter fudge I have EV-AH had. Yes, it was so good I dropped my r! ;)
1 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Pour into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with waxed paper. Place a second piece of waxed paper on the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
While we waited for the fudge to set we sat in the living room and strung tri-tipped beads onto pipe cleaners and bended them in various decorations to create: candy canes, wreaths, crosses, snowflakes and used ribbon to hang them on the tree.
Bailey has already commented how much fun that afternoon was. I pray *I really do* that she remembers times like this later on when she's a teenager and wants nothing to do with us! ;)
That "works for me" and I certainly hope it works for you!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours and God Bless!