Christmas Bread Recipe: Reindeer Bread

Here’s a sweet Christmas bread recipe. Moist and delicious!

You’ll need:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and the ginger.  Slowly stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.  Then stir 1/3 of the pumpkin into the sugar mixture.  Next stir in 1/3 of the flour and then the rest of the pumpkin. Stir in the last of the flour mixture.

Gently fold in chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of pecans.  Pour mixture into loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans.

Bake for one hour until a knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool completely.

Icing
Stir together confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until smooth. Once bread is completely cool, Drizzle icing over bread.

Christmas Crafts and Activities – 7 Boredom Busters for Kids on Holiday Break

It’s the first day of holiday break. Here are few crafts and other boredom-busting indoor activities for keeping your kiddos busy today (and beyond).

1. Make your own snow globes. Gather some glass or clear plastic containers, such as baby food jars or mustard or mayonnaise jars. After you wash and dry the jars, gather some small Christmas decorations or knickknacks. Use some waterproof glue to affix your figurines inside the jar. Decorate with stickers or other holiday items. Then fill the jar with water and some glitter. Glue the lid in place and let dry.

2. Make candy crafts and ornaments to give away. Here’s a quick and easy idea to get you started: Make a candy train. Take a roll of Lifesavers or other hard candy to make the main part of the train. Glue on individually wrapped peppermints for the wheels. Glue a square candy, such as a caramel or a Starburst, to the front. Add a string to create a holiday ornament. Ask your kids to come up with other things they can make with different sizes and shapes of candy: angels, robots, puppies and more.

3. Make homemade Christmas cards. Provide a variety of supplies, such as construction paper, card stock, scissors, glue, glitter and glitter glue, pencils, crayons, and makers as well as old Christmas cards. Turn the kids loose with their creative energy to make festive handmade cards. Deliver them to friends and neighbors atop loaves of quick bread or tins of cookies. (We made this Cranberry Orange Walnut Streusel Bread the other day and it was a hit with the entire family. Yum!)

4. Have your kids help you wrap gifts. Here are 24 creative holiday gift wrap ideas and here are some eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas.

5. Make sugar or gingerbread cookies together and let the kids decorate. Then put them in decorative tins and give to family and friends.

6. Make holiday wreaths. Supply the kids with red, white and green chenille stems, as well as some small bells, beads and bits of ribbon. The kids can braid or twist the chenille stems and shape them into a circle for a cute ornament or decoration to hang on the tree or to share with friends.

7. Make other handmade gifts.
Everyone excels at making something. Teach the kids how to create something that comes easily to you. Some ideas: handmade soaps and bubble bath, scarves, candy, mini scrapbook albums, a poem or more homemade food. Here are more simple holiday gift ideas for your neighbors.

What are more holiday boredom busters? Please share below!

Memorial Mother’s Day – Honoring Your Mom Who Has Passed

If your mother has passed away, Mother’s Day can be a special time to honor her memory.

Here are a few ideas:

* Create a special spot in your yard or garden for your mother’s favorite flowers and plants. Your children can make garden stones to place in the flower garden. You might even want to place a small bench or chair in the garden so you can have someplace to sit when you miss your mom.

* Visit your mother’s grave or spend some time in the place that you go to remember your mom. Bring flowers and allow  yourself to spend time in reflection and  silent prayer.

* Call your father and your siblings. They’ll be missing mom today, too. Talk about your favorite memories of mom.

* What was your favorite thing to do with your mom? Today, enjoy a little bit of that with your family.

* Your mom has passed, but her legacy continues on in the family that she created. Spend time with the generations that wouldn’t have been possible without your mom – your kids as well as your nieces and nephews.

* Honor your mom by taking some time to honor other moms who may not have family coming to visit them on Mother’s Day. Call nursing homes in your area to see if you can arrange to come in and hold hands and listen to some senior women on this day – or  in the days and weeks following Mother’s Day.

Give a flower to each of the ladies at the nursing home. Anna M. Jarvis gave out white carnations at the first Mother’s Day celebration in 1908, so this would be a particularly symbolic choice.

* Send a donation to your mom’s favorite charity. Was there a particular cause or charity close to your mother’s heart? Make a donation in your mother’s memory.

* Send a donation to a single mom’s shelter in honor of your mom.

* Send a donation to a charity that helps children in need. A couple of ideas: SavetheChildren.org or The International Rescue Committee at http://rescue.org has a campaign called “from harm to home” that allows you to give money to refugee moms who have been separated from their children: http://www.fromharmtohome.org/

You might also like:
Mother’s Day Traditions
10 Memorable Ways to Celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day