Twelve Days of Christmas Gifts

Because of our move, there were a lot of things that we were not sure we would be able to do this year.  So many ordinary things that were easy before seem to take twice as long in a new place.  Getting ready for Christmas is no exception.  First of all, finding a Christmas tree farm was challenging.  The first one we went to was….limited in every way.  The choices seemed designed to make you want to run into the barn and buy the first pre-cut tree you saw.  So, we went to another farm, farther away, which was better, but still nothing like the well-ordered and trimmed place we used to go to.  Still, being short on time and nearing the edge of hangry, we made a choice.

Yeah, it’s a little lopsided and has some empty spots, but we decided we might learn to love it. We cut it down and the boys carried it off while I followed behind. Sometimes, it is really nice to have boys.

Over a week later, we have finally decorated the tree and I have begun to do some prep work for Christmas baking.

The tree is decorated and the fruit is having a rum soaking.  #christmasiscoming

The second thing that we were not sure we would be able to do is our annual cookie fundraiser for Samaritan’s Purse.

It took us awhile to figure out what we were doing, but we finally got a modified version organized. It’s a lot smaller and the totals are much lower than year’s past, but we are still happy to be doing it. It turns out that the more things we do that feel ‘normal’ the less sad and homesick we feel.

This leads me to the third thing I was not sure I would be able to do this year: My annual Twelve Days of Christmas countdown and Giveaway. If you are new to my blog, you can see what I have done in year’s past in this post from 2012, 2013, and last year. This year, I am going to be focusing on do-it-yourself gifts. I am feeling short on time, energy, and resources this year, so these selections are all going to be about keeping things simple without sacrificing quality.

As usual, I will be giving away a box of goodies accumulated over the next 12 days from all the crafting and baking. Just like last year’s give away, you may enter by leaving one comment per post. Only one comment per person will be counted per post, but if you leave a comment for all twelve days, you will be entered twelve times! The box will mostly likely include many of the treats featured in the posts, but perhaps not all of them because not everything travels well or keeps well. Plus, I will be trying some new recipes, so there may be a flop or two. However, I will try to ensure that the winner has a nice variety! Because of perishability issues, I will have to limit this to a domestic (that is, just the United States) contest. Comments on all 12 posts must be received by midnight, December 19, eastern standard time. I will pick a winner at random on the 20th. Hopefully, I can ship on the 21st.


To start off, since this post is already so long, I am going to refer you to my post on Sugar and Spice cookie mixes. These would make a fabulous gift for anyone who likes spice cookies and they are really easy to mix and bake. I will put one of these mixes in the box.

I am really looking forward to trying some new things and sharing them with you. Don’t forget to comment! Tell me about your favorite holiday tradition.


Posted on December 8, 2015, in Family Fun, Holiday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Things are different here without you all as well, but we are very much looking forward to seeing you soon and perhaps sampling some of your goodies. I am especially excited for the sugar and spice cookies 🙂 Miss you, love you!

  2. Ooh, I won the box of cookies a couple of years ago and they were so yummy! So I’m recusing myself from this year’s drawing, but so happy to see you’re settled down enough in the new location to start doing your traditional things!

  3. Karen Glotzbach

    You are doing amazingly well considering how you just moved not long ago – don’t be so hard on yourself!
    My favorite family tradition is to just view all the Christmas lights… whether we drive around in the car and pass familiar homes that always decorate in a big way or just glimpse a tree inside someone’s home.

  4. I’m leaving a post in hopes of winning…

  5. The wonky trees are the best, because there are lots of perfect little gaps to display your favorite ornaments!

  6. I thought this mason jar idea was wonderful!

  7. One of my favorite holiday traditions is volunteering at a brass concert (organized and run by some friends of mine) each year at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen in Baltimore. It’s always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and I sell tickets and welcome concert-goers. The place is always packed, the music is beautiful, and it kicks off the Christmas season with a beautiful flourish!

  8. Hi Carie,
    What a great Idea. Not sure how I missed the past years. If I win and you cannot ship to AK, please donate to someone closer. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Oh this is always so much fun! I’m always impressed with what you all accomplish! Your tree is very cute and I bet it will be very festive – I always go for the tree that calls out to me 😀 we’ve been getting our tree at Freezer’s organic tree farm in the Marriotsville area – such nice folks. And I’m really glad you’re doing the cookie donations – Samaritan’s purse and cookies – win all around! I’m sure as you explore, you will find more and more that reminds you of home. And there must be tons of tree farms up that way – I’m sure you’ll find great ones. Now to remember pop in here and comment 😀

  10. I love to sing, and I try to fit in a performance of some kind each Christmas season. This year I am in a group doing selections from Messiah. It’s hard to find the time to practice with everything else going on but I always feel better afterwards!
    I hope you and your family can make some new traditions in your new home! Thanks for all the cookie deliciousness!

  11. I’m glad you are managing to find time for some of your family holiday traditions in your new home. Sometimes those routines help you get your head in the game even though your heart is somewhere else. We always try to find time to make Chex mix and cut out cookies. We have tried lots of other recipes, but those seem to always be the favorites.

  12. I wanted to try this when you posted ot before, so thanks for the reminder! My family always has pecan sticky buns on Christmas morning, which my mom started and I’ve continued. Now my daughter lists it as one of her favorite things about Christmas morning! Mmmmm…

  13. I love the idea of doing cookie mixes this year. So fun!

  14. I enjoy baking Spritz cookies every year with my sister😃

  15. Carie is blogging about her Christmas preparations, so all is right with my world now.

  16. Ah, brilliant! I was just surfing around to find something nice for the girls at work…then, Huzzah! Your cookie mix idea! Problem solved 🙂

  17. The cookies in a jar idea is so thoughtful. Hang in there with the traditions, it does help the heart.

  18. Thinking about all your goodies and missing you all so much!!

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