Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Advent Calendar Tour Continues!

Ten days down, only 14 to go! Yep, just two weeks from today! I'm in panic mode already to get it all done!

It's been so fun seeing what everyone has come up with for their contribution to our blog advent tour! I had a hard time deciding what to do, so here's a little bit of everything.

First, I thought I'd describe our Christmas Eve ritual. Much of this started with my own family growing up, then after we got married, we invited The Mr.'s family to join us for Christmas Eve, so it's morphed into a tradition with his family. We take turns going to each other's houses every year, this year it'll be at our house!

It all begins with food, of course. For some reason, it's clam chowder with crackers and a cheese ball, some sort of salad, and also corn bread! After we eat, we have a program that includes talent performances from all family members. This can be musical instruments, stories, counting by little kids, poems, artwork show and tell, singing, etc. Then Grandma and Grandpa usually read some story like The Polar Express. We have one uncle who, for his talent, does a slide show of fun pictures from the past year.

Then, we act out the nativity! This is always a very chaotic moment! I remember one time, about four years, when we had a three year old shepherd who went totally wacko with is staff! I found the clip of it and made a little movie to share. Hopefully it will bring a little smile to you all:

After that, we open presents. The cousins draw names, so everyone gets one present. Then we eat treats and sometimes ice cream. (When I was growing up, my grandparents made homemade ice cream on a hand crank machine. So good!)

When we get home, (or when everyone else goes home,) we hang our stockings, open the pj presents, lay out a treat for Santa, and then the kids all sleep together in one bedroom, having a sort of slumber party. They take forever to get to sleep!

Now for my recipe! This is something I always make every year because my mom always made it. I don't know why, there's really not a story behind it, but it's so good and smells so yummy baking! We call them Hello Dolly Cookies, but many of you may know them as Magic Bars, or something other such variation.

Hello Dolly Cookies

Melt one cube of butter in a 9X9X2 pan. Sprinkle in a layer of each of the following:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Pour 1 can of sweetened condensed milk all over the top.Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool, cut in squares.

I always make this in a 9X13 pan, but I only add about ½ to the ingredients. I still only use one can of milk. I'm not a nut person, and normally leave them out of recipes, but if you do that in this one, it won't work. Even not being a nut person, I LOVE these things!

And finally, some music, since music is right up there on the top of my favorite things about Christmas. Here's a clip of my most favorite singer who never fails to take my breath away!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Be sure to catch everyone else coming up on the list!!

12 December - Chris (Book-a-rama)
13 December - Jill (The Well-Read Child)/Stephanie (The Written Word)
14 December - Robin (A Fondness for Reading)
15 December - Alyssa (By The Book)
16 December - Rachel (A Fair Substitute for Heaven)
17 December - Literary Feline (Musings of a Bookish Kitty)/ Stephanie (Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic)
18 December - Dev (Good Reads)
19 December - Callista (S.M.S. Book Reviews)
20 December - Tiny Little Librarian (Tiny Little Librarian)
21 December - Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)/ Susan (Reading, Raving, and Ranting by a Historical Fiction Writer)
22 December - Carolyn Jean (The Trillionth Page)
23 December - Booklogged (A Reader's Journal)
24 December - Kailana (The Written World) / Carl V. (Stainless Steel Droppings)


  1. That was hilarious! What a character! He's got a career in comedy, I think. At least, he didn't hit anyone. I love that you do that every year. Great post!

  2. Shepherd gone wild, indeed. Very cute. Love the Josh Groban clip as well!

  3. Great post! Thanks for joining in!

  4. You sure have an active and interactive family Christmas Eve! Wow!!! I imagine things not only get hectic but that quite a bit of fun is had, especially seeing what the little ones will come up with.

    I cannot believe Christmas is only two weeks away, I don't want it to be over that soon!

  5. Okay, that video is SO funny! And I love the music and effects you added. What a great family tradition it is, too, to act that out every year.

  6. That video was great - I loved how the adult kept reading the story, ignoring all the shenanigans going on around her. We are Reading this story!

    Very nice, a little bit of everything. Merry Christmas

  7. Love both of the videos! Thanks for sharing your family traditions with us.

  8. Is it really only 14 days away? Aiee! I only have one more person to shop for. And also the animals. I mustn't forget them. :-)

    You really go all out for the holidays! Sounds like some wonderful happy memory building time.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  9. wow, Christmas at your house sounds like so much fun! The kids must love it! A talent show, a slumber party... it makes me miss my childhood.

    That recipe sounds great, but I'll have to try it without the coconut. Coconut and I just don't get along.

  10. Glad you all found the video enjoyable! Yes, we do have a chaotic fun time!

    Oh, and Raidergirl... the person reading the story as the craziness was happening is the mom of the shepherd. That makes it even more funny to me. She did do a great job of trying to keep things going, huh!

    Well, anyway, thanks for dropping by everyone!

  11. I'm out of it -- I've never heard Josh Groban. He does have quite a lovely voice. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Ack!! Never heard of him??? I'm shocked, shocked, shocked! :) Well, glad you liked him though!



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