Sugar Cookies

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

 

This year, we had quite a busy holiday season, and I was only at home for about two and a half weeks total.  Since we basically just ran out of time, we took a bit of a short cut in cookie baking.  Instead of going through the trouble of making cookies from scratch, we bought the pre-made sugar cookie dough, baked them, and then decorated!  Then you still get the personal touch of the fun decorating, but you don’t have as much time or clean up!

 

having a cooling rack is a must!

 

Easy decorating!

 

Snowflake cookie! Used sparkly blue gel icing

Yum, sprinkles! I also added clear sugar crystals to the white frosting snowflakes for a little something extra!

Yum!

 

What are some of your favorite “easy” Christmas cookies?

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Holiday Nail Color

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

You may have noticed my obsession with nail polish if you’re a regular reader of Class and Creation.  Hehe.  I love finding new colors that are fun and stylish.  I found this really awesome Christmas color by Essie that I just had to share!

Essie’s School of Hard Rocks and top coat mini 2 pack

I love this color for Christmas.  It’s an awesome green shade, almost a deep teal or evergreen color.  Love it!

I used another Essie shade, Size Matters from the “Cocktail Bling” collection on my toes.  I don’t have a photo of that (I feel like it would be weird to post a photo of my feet… haha), but it looks like this:

The two together made the perfect variation on the traditional red and green!  I thought it was super fun to use a green with a teal undertone and a red with a magenta-ish undertone… love it!  I thought it was a great way to do a little twist on a traditional combo!

What are your favorite holiday nail colors???

Polar Express Night

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

I realize it’s well after Christmas, but with the chaos of the holidays, I wasn’t able to post much.  Here’s one of my very favorite Christmas traditions that I share with my family!

Polar Express, hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles, and fresh out of the overn cookies!

Every year, my family picks a night before Christmas and we watch Polar Express, drink hot chocolate, and eat freshly baked cookies!  It’s one of my absolute favorite traditions because it’s the one time we all sit down together, snuggle up with blankets, and just enjoy a movie and relax together during the craziness of the holiday season.   The movie is the perfect thing to get us all in the Christmas spirit, and it’s something we all look forward to doing together.  My hope is that one day, when I have children, we will continue the tradition together, too.

Do you have any favorite holiday movies that you share with your friends or loved ones?

Snowflake Wishes

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

I know, I know.  I’ve been slacking on the posts!  But… I’ve been so busy with coming home, family events, holidays, and the like.  Sorry!

Yesterday, my mom and I did a girls’ afternoon of shopping.  Some of the best sales definitely take place AFTER Christmas!

We were wandering around, actually looking for a gift for someone else.  As we went through the housewares department of Macy’s, we spotted the most beautiful champagne flutes!  Apparently, Waterford is doing a limited edition holiday series of them called Snowflake Wishes!  They release two every year  (one colored and one clear) in new designs, from 2011-2020.  I am not normally the type to splurge on something so expensive… but I honestly couldn’t help myself!  The design is just SO beautiful, and my family has had a set of traditional Waterford champagne and wine glasses since I can remember.

So this year, my mom and I began a new tradition.  Together, we bought my first ever piece of Waterford, and we hope to collect the whole set, buying a new addition each year.  This is such a wonderful tradition because, though expensive, these pieces will last for generations.  It will be a fond memory for us, but I will also be able to pass the collection to my child someday, and to their child someday, and so on.  What a wonderful way to celebrate the spirit of Christmas!

My family has had a buffet (some people call them China cabinets, too) since before I was born.  That’s where we keep all of our “nice” things… the Waterford pieces I mentioned earlier, our china dishes, our good silverware, antique water vases that have been passed through the generations…  My whole life, I have associated the buffet with the utmost in class and knew that only the most special and beautiful things belonged there.  Yesterday, I made space for my new Waterford flute, and I can’t even tell you the feeling that it brought me.  I felt like I had become a part of something so special and had been able to contribute to something so wonderful.  Yes, this is truly a meaningful and joyful new Christmas tradition, and I could not be any happier!

Not all Christmas traditions have to involve purchases, and truthfully, most of mine don’t.  Please feel free to share any of your favorite holiday traditions in the comments!  I will also be updating with a few new posts for some of my other favorites!

 

This is the beautiful box it came in!

 

This is the gloriousness you see when you open the box!!!

 

This is the Waterford label 🙂

 

SO. BEAUTIFUL.

 

Amazing

Drink Hot Chocolate

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

Keurig Dark Hot Choclate K-Cup, Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha, Reddi Whip, chocolate sprinkes, and Peppermint sprinkles!

One of the best parts about winter is cuddling up with a blanket and slipper socks, warming up with a hot cup of cocoa!  I have turned hot chocolate into a bit of an art, trying different combinations and flavors to make the tradition even more fun!  There is pretty much no end to what you can do with hot chocolate, and you don’t have to make it complicated!  Here are some of my favorite suggestions:

For the hot chocolate:

The easiest way is to just use the little packets you buy at the store!  Many brands are delicious, so pick what you like.  A few things to consider here:

  • If you’re trying to be health-conscious… well take a look at the nutrition facts carefully.  Many of the low fat, lite, low sugar, etc. options aren’t actually that helpful.  I took a close look and realized that the way they often make the grams and percentages lower is that there’s LESS of the MIX in each packet.  So it’s not really helping that much, you’re just getting a more watered-down version of the regular stuff.
  • For the best flavor and taste, one packet isn’t enough!  Most coffee mugs these days are much larger than they were back in the day.  For a “normal” size mug, use 1 1/2 packets.  For one of the large Starbucks style ones, you may need two.
  • You can make great hot chocolate out of packets, even with water!  Just add a little milk at the end for the creaminess.  This helps keep it lighter than if you used all milk, but you still get the benefit of the creaminess.  I probably use only about 1/8 cup milk in mine.
  • If you have one of the single-serving coffee makers (like Keurig, Tassimo, or the like) they probably have products available for hot chocolate, too.  It works great, but make sure you don’t use too much water when you make it!

You can also make hot chocolate from scratch, which is absolutely delightful.  It does take a lot more time and effort, though, so be prepared.  It’s definitely better than the stuff out of a pouch or a can, so it can really be wirth the extra trouble!  Then again, the packets can be great, too, so don’t feel you NEED to go home-made!

Flavor options:

There are lots of ways to achieve different flavors.  You can start with flavored packets, add flavor syrup, or even use flavored coffee mate in place of the little bit of milk!  Here are some of my faves…

  • Peppermint Cocoa: I love peppermint mocha, so removing the coffee from the mix is noooo problem!  Make cocoa the normal way, then add a bit of Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha to taste!
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate:  I used a cookbook recipe to make this from scratch, and it is delish!  You can find tons of recipes online, but the cinnamon adds just a little bite and an extra bit of warmth!
  • Cocoa Classics:  Land-O-Lakes makes a variety of flavored hot cocoas in packets (for these, you don’t need to do the 1 1/2 or 2 usually!) that are awesome!  It seems they no longer sell my favorite (it had graham cracker flavor!) but there are tons of other great options.  You can find them in most grocery stores, and they sell them individually so you can try different flavors!  Even if you don’t want to buy them, they can serve as good inspiration for flavor ideas!
  • White Chocolate:  Some brands offer a white chocolate option, which can be delicious on its own or in combination with any of the other flavors!

Toppings and extras:

There are different options for toppings… you can go with or without, but I think it’s more fun with! 🙂

  • Cool Whip:  I guess a lot of people like Cool Whip as a topping, but I’ve never been much of a fan.  Oh well, it’s still out there and you can use it if you like it!
  • Whipped cream:  Ahhh, my favorite!  I prefer Reddi-Whip, but that’s just a personal preference.  Even their fat free is really good, and it doesn’t add much in the way of calories (unlike if you order at Starbucks) because it has so much air!  They even offer chocolate whipped cream, if you wanna go that route!
  • Sprinkles:  YUM YUM!  Sprinkles of any kind make hot chocolate more fun.  You can use holiday colors, sprinkles shaped like stuff, chocolate ones, or even flavored sprinke crystals.  One of my holiday favorites is the peppermint ones, but you can use any flavor you like that matches with the flavors you’ve already chosen.  You can also use chocolate shaving style sprinkles, though I never have them on hand.  One of my all-time favorites is the Pampered Chef Sweet Cinnamon Sprinkle.  SOOO GOOD!
  • Syrup:  You can also drizzle some of your favorite flavored syrups on top… caramel, chocolate, strawberry… whatever you have and like!
  • Hot Chocolate Surprise:  You can also do a Hot Chocolate Surprise, where you hide something at the bottom of the cup!  You can try different things (as long as they don’t get soggy), but my favorite is a Hershey’s kiss!
  • Stirrers:  I’ve seen a lot of cute stirring options online, but I haven’t really used many myself.  You can buy pre-made stirrers, or you can make them yourself using candy canes, peppermint sticks, or stirring spoons, like these!

I hope you enjoy these ideas, and please do share your own favorites!

Send Christmas Cards

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

 

Although the holiday season can be hectic and busy, I think it’s nice to stop just for a moment to send Christmas Cards.  I try to do it every year, and yes, I have been guilty of skipping once or twice.  Life gets chaotic, but even with the craziness of school, I managed to get mine into the mail today!  I love receiving cards, so I like to try to share that feeling with others by sending them out.  I know how much joy something as simple as a card can be, so why should the holidays be any different?  You don’t have to spend a fortune or send a hundred of them, but I think it’s definitely worth the trouble, especially when you can’t afford to send gifts.  This year, I also included a letter with the cards that I am sending to some of my older relatives who don’t have Facebook, so they can see what I’ve been up to this year.  I printed a few photos at the bottom of the letter, too.  It’s a lot cheaper than printing and sending full-size photos, but they still get to see some of the highlights.

 

Anyway, I find that one of the BEST ways to get into the Christmas Spirit is by sharing it with others, and sending cards is such an easy way to do it!

 

Decoration Heaven

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

Sometimes, one of the best ways to get into the Christmas Spirit is to find a great place to look at Christmas decorations.  We found this wonderful little place that is an entire two story building of Christmas ornaments, trees, and decorations!  I am in love!  It was like walking into a winter wonderland… but cozy, warm, and happy!  Usually, we enjoy going to craft stores to see what they have, but this place was so cool because it was entirely full of Christmas!  I only have a couple of photos because… well, it was a store.  Haha.  But i hope you enjoy, and take the time to find some joy in the beauty that comes along with the holiday season!

Looks like Santa's workshop 🙂

They hung a tree upside down and decorated it like a chandelier... SUCH a cool idea!