To be clear, we are not full-on Santa around here. We just happened to be near a Santa last year and that was Arun's first visit to one. I really do not care for pictures of screaming kids on Santa's lap, either and this is why I have never really gotten into the Visiting Santa gig. Too many viewings of Billy Bob Thornton as Bad Santa will do that to you, I suppose.
A month back, I had gone through the toys festering in the kids' room and bagged some up for donation and scattering at grandparents' homes. The kids discovered this cache of treasure lurking in our junk room and have decided that nooooooooo! they LOVE these toys! they are their very! favorite! toys. MAMA. Yes, THAT one, the little drum with a missing stick that was purchased in Target's dollar section 3 years ago. THAT DRUM IS MY FAVORITE.
Anjali has 1 teacher and Arun has 5 teachers at their school. I was racking my brain and came up with this for Teacher's Gifts: a gift bag for each teacher with the following: a Krispy Kreme gift tag with a free doughnut coupon on back, some Ghiraldi chocolate pieces and a $5 gift card for Starbucks. Then, in the director's gift bag, I included a $20 gift card for Hobby Lobby for the school to use. All in all, I spent about $60, but I thought that was not so bad for 6 teachers who are such a positive and sweet influence on my children. I am always at a loss at what to do for teachers, I know some folks do baking. But, I am not a baker. I gave up a few years ago on that.
Yes, I am not a baker and baking cookies will never be a part of our holiday tradition. Arun wanted some gingerbread man cookies and Panera just happened to have some adorable ones. Folks, that sound you hear??? That is the sound of Everybody Winning. Also, I get invited to a cookie exchange every year that completely stresses me out because did you see that part where I cannot bake?!?!?! What the hell does a non-baker take to a cookie exchange? Fortunately, my friend Jackie gave me a great, simple idea for a cookie. I am calling them Jackie's Balls and if they come out okay, I will be sure to share the recipe, which involves refrigerated cookie dough wrapped around a candy Rolo.
Oh, huh. I guess that would be the recipe. You are welcome! If you make them, be sure to call them JACKIE'S BALLS. That makes them super special, moist and delicious. And my friend Jackies LOVES hearing her name in conjunction with BALLS. Trust me. She does!
I am nearly done Christmas shopping and have been pretty much done for a few weeks now. I just need to procure a few picture frames and a fancy cigar for my dad. Then that will be it. I began picking up doodads here and there back in October. Cool, right? Not really because I ended up buying too much for the kids. We will be making a nice donation to Toys for Tots AND I will be setting aside some toys for entertaining them on Super Bowl Sunday and Ice Days.
As a sincere apology for the lameness in posting lately, I present for your viewing pleasure, my Harry Potter Christmas tree. It is about 5 inches high and the ornaments are so twee, they are smaller than a frocking dime. No joking. I love playing around with the macro settings on my camera and it was good practice for me. My favorite has to be the golden snitch.
The detailing on these ornaments is exquisite and sadly, my photography skillz do not do them justice.