Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas 2010~ Favorite Things

Some of my favorite things!

This candle: Holiday Wreath by Gold Canyon Candles
I've made the switch to "Scentsy"~ but I'm so happy that this candle comes in the wax tarts form too!

 This song: It's Willie Nelson (don't be hatin'). I hadn't heard this song in years~ but I really like it!

The Jackson Family Christmas Party on Christmas Eve (whew, that was a mouthful). Favorite moment was going to the cemetery to light luminaries for Amy & Nathan. 13 years ago, Amy was pregnant with a sweet little baby boy. Sadly, he died 2 months before he was born.  His birthday is December 23rd. Every Christmas Eve, Amy & her family did luminaries at Nathan's grave. Our family usually participated as well.
We lived in AZ for a few years~ so this year was our first Christmas being able to go to the cemetery since we moved back. I was amazed at how lit up the cemetery was. 13 years ago~ there were maybe 1 or 2 other people who did this, but in true Amy fashion, she told a few people who told a few people and the tradition has grown. Amy and Nathan are buried by each other~ we lit luminaries and sang "Silent Night".

Other favorite brother-in-law taking a bit of something that didn't taste so great! The look on his face was priceless & Emily and I got a kick out of watching him try to spit it in the trash without anyone noticing (especially the person who brought it!)

Christmas morning: Stockings are always the first thing the kids want to do.

This may be because Santa always hides one gift for each of the kids. They have to go on a Treasure Hunt to find their gift. Santa leaves the first clue in their stocking.  This is a tradition from Rick's family~his mom always did this for the kids when they were growing up.

Our kids love it too!

Sometimes, the clues are really difficult. The kids have been known to cry in frustration when we won't help them figure out the clues! :) They got off pretty easy this year! I think this is probably one of their favorite traditions.

Christmas morning breakfast:
I always make this casserole, Frying Pan Omelet. I've tried a few other things over the years, but this has become the traditional favorite. I like it because I can make it the night before & then just pop it in the oven to bake while the kids are opening presents. The picture is hideous, I know. The green stuff is a hot pad that the pan is sitting on.

Frying Pan Omelet

1-16 oz package frozen hash browns (I prefer the shredded kind for this recipe)
1 onion-diced
1 lb bacon, sausage or ham (I do 1/2 bacon and 1/2 sausage) chopped
6 eggs, beaten
grated cheese

Cut meat. Brown, drain and set aside. Brown the potatoes and onion in grease. ( I skip this step & brown the onion w/ the bacon once the bacon is almost done cooking). Press potatoes in to a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pour beaten eggs over potatoes, sprinkle with meat and top with cheese.
Refrigerate overnight. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until eggs are set.

I also make these: Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas afternoon at my mom & dad's house. I got sick a couple of days before Christmas, so I was a little behind. We didn't get to bed until after 2:30 on Christmas Eve and the kids had us up at 5:00. Two hours of sleep didn't quite cut it for me~ so I pretty much don't remember much about being at my moms! I was just trying to stay awake!!! We always have lunch there, and exchange presents.  Mom made my favorite clam dip...which I only ate a little bit of (was still on the BRAT diet for the most part).

Most the pictures I took at mom & dad's didn't turn out so great. Although I do have a great one of my brother playing air guitar. He's 40. Air guitar. 40. It cracked me up!

Only 356 more days until Christmas 2011. Maybe if I start now I won't be so behind???  (Yeah, yeah~ I say that every year)!

Happy 2011!


  1. Valerie ,
    I love Gold Canyon candles too. My favorite combo was when I would light a fresh orange, and a cranberry. Yum.
    Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. I love the tradition of the luminaries at the cemetary. How thoughtful and peaceful.
    Sorry about you feeling so crummy on Christmas. Hope your back to 100% now.
    I always think that I can get ready for Christmas all year long and be on top of it all....but then life comes along . Darn.
    Hope that you all have a great week!

  2. I hope you are feeling better by now. Christmas looks like it was fun at your house. I love the idea of hiding presents and making them figure out clues.

    Air guitar, I thought my husband was the only person on the planet that did that. Hilarious!

    I say start shopping now.
    No, really.
    I have decided I'm going to get a head start on next year. I've already bought and wrapped 9 presents!

  3. I think your Christmas stocking holder thing is awesome! The idea of a treasure hunt is cool too. No wonder you were up until 2:30 in the morning!
    I hope you're feeling healthy and ready for some early Christmas shopping. Tauna has inspired me to start early. She told me she'd call me every month to remind me to get some shopping done. I've already ordered 6 pair of pajamas for the grandkids. They're cute and only cost $1.50 to $3.50 a pair! No need to sew when I can get them for that price! I say we rock this Christmas gift buying and be done by July!
    I was hoping to see the picture of your BIL playing air guitar!
    Take care and let's crash a man party real soon!

  4. Looks like you had a great Christmas! I have switched to the little blocks of scented wax too, I could not get candles to burn down right, a waste of money! :D

  5. Your tree is so pretty!
    I like your stocking holder too.. and what fun that Santa hides the gift!!

    Sorry you were sick a few days before. That's the pits...

    Happy your Christmas was great!

  6. Sounds like you had a good Christmas. I really think the idea of "clues" in the stockings is a fun one. I may have to tell my kids about that.
    No KNOW that even though you said there were, what?? 356 days to Christmas again
    you won't be any more ready then you were this year.
    cause that's just how it goes. right??
    I wonder if part of the fun, is some of the frenzy.

    here's to a great new year for all of us.

  7. Ha Ha Only 356 more days till Christmas - Yahooo!!!

    I absolutely LOVE your tradition of having a clue to finding a present in the stocking. That is awesome!

    It is so neat that you could go to the cemetary and place luminaries - that is very touching and very appropriate for Christmas!

  8. Hooboy, those cinnamon rolls look good. :)

    Love the treasure hunt idea!

  9. Great traditions and cute family pictures. I agree we need to start shopping now. Happy New Year!

  10. What a beautiful tradition with lighting the luminaries.

    Also - I have a friend from High School who did a recording of that song - beautiful.

    He's actually in a Country Music Group now...Due West if you wanna check them out. They are fantastic, if you like Country Music.

    I love all your favorites...and what a fun tradition with the stockings!

  11. You have some wonderful traditions. You can't go wrong with willy nelson.
    sorry you were sick right before Christmas.