Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

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With just a few days left to the holidays, I know everyone is baking cookies, shopping for gifts, getting the house ready for guests...it's a very busy time for all of us. I thought you might like a low cost 'gift' idea and a quick, easy recipe.

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Regardless whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, with so many of us unemployed or under employed, it's a good time to remember - It really is the thought that counts when it comes to gifts. A gift from the heart is worth far more than twenty so-so gifts purchased with no real thought.

With that in mind, I thought this gift idea I found at flylady.com (a great site to help keep you organized) was just fantastic and original. You can also check www.housefairy.org for other games and gift ideas.

It's called happy socks and it uses those lonely little socks that lose their mates. The ones we keep because we know there's another one like it even if we can't find it. Well, sometimes it pays to just give up and make the socks happy with a new purpose. Or, since socks aren't terribly expensive, buy a pack and use them to do this gift. Everyone can use socks after all. :-)

This is meant for children but I can see it used for husbands or wives or other special people in your life. You'd just have to change a few things.

HAPPY SOCKS!
Make a list of personal compliments for the person who will get a small collection of odd socks. Fill each sock with a dollar (or denomination of your choice) along with a compliment and a piece of candy and put the collection into a see-through jar or zip-lock bag. Include the poem below.

Here are the steps to make the Happy Socks.

1.Gather supplies*
2.Take the time to think up compliments for the person getting the gift. It's fun to do and so fun for the complimentee, especially children as they are little compliment sopping sponges.**
3.Fill the socks and put into container of choice
4.Print the poem and tape on outside or place inside to be read through the container.***
5.Wrap

*Supplies
1.See-through container like a zip-lock bag or a jar (quart-size for children's odd socks, gallon-size for adult odd socks)
2.Ten odd socks
3.Ten notes with a compliment in each
4.Ten small treats (anything that will fit in a sock and fit through the opening of the container)
5.Cash for each sock (decide the amount of money you are going to give and get cash in various denominations

**Here are some ideas for compliments for children, just to get you started:

You are happy most of the time and that helps people around you to be happy too.
You are such a good sport and no matter what sport you play, your team will love you.
You have very good manners at the table.
You do not interrupt others when it's their turn to talk.
You are kind to your brother.
You are excellent at following the rules and obeying the law.
You can laugh at yourself and take teasing in fun, without getting your feelings hurt.

***The Poem
This jar could be filled with sadness
For each sock has lost its mate
But these odd socks are happy
And they can hardly wait
For you to look inside them
For the treasures that they hold
Among the small surprises
There is cash that you can fold
And you'll also find a special note
And a sweet for you to eat
Yes, these socks are happy
They're not filled with smelly feet

You can also use an egg carton and have the first two lines of the poem read:
This carton of socks could be very sad
For each one has lost its mate

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And for your house guests or to giveaway when you go visiting, here's a fast, simple recipe I found (and everyone who's tasted it loves it!)


Yummy Cracker Snacks (they're really more like a cookie) Courtesy of Taste Of Home

Ingredients
96 butter-flavored crackers
1 cup creamy Jif® Peanut Butter
1 cup marshmallow creme
2 pounds milk chocolate candy coating, melted
Holiday sprinkles, optional

Directions

Spread half of the crackers with peanut butter. Spread remaining crackers with marshmallow creme; place creme side down over peanut butter crackers, forming a sandwich.

Dip sandwiches in melted candy coating, allowing excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined pans; refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set. If desired, drizzle with additional candy coating and decorate with sprinkles. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 170 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), trace cholesterol, 89 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

We'll be back in the New Year with more interviews, book reviews, guest blogs and updates on the releases of our own books. It'll be a great year and I'm looking forward to seeing all of you back here with us.

In the meanwhile, I hope each of you has a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year. -- Lynda

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