Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blog Advent Tour: Decorating the Tree

For my turn as part of the Advent Tour, I've invited you all to join me and my family as we decorate our Christmas tree. But first, before we go any further, we must have music. There can be no Christmas tree decorating without music! So you can click on my "currently listening" playlist in the sidebar to experience some of my favorite Christmas music as you read this post, or just click this YouTube video and then listen as you continue to scroll down.

Okay! Music.... check!

One of the things we most look forward to on tree decorating day, is that once we are done, we have cinnamon rolls. So it's important to get the dough made and rising before we even haul up the tree or unpack the decorations.

Once that's going, we can start building the tree. We used to get a real tree... I love real trees... but it was so stressful to deal with that we instantly lost all pretense of having a Christmas spirit so, I gave in and several years ago, we got the fake tree.

As the kids build, I string the lights. I bought a new strand this year and thought I'd have enough, but as we got to the top, I ran out! Seems like this happens every year! So, we are a bit light heavy on the bottom and sparse on the top. My light philosophy? Colored and a bit of twinkle too.

Now that the lights are on, the kids have at it. The ornaments are piled on. There's no rhyme or reason. No theme. No particularities. We put on nearly everything we have. Kids homemade school ornaments, my homemade ornaments from years past, special ornaments from Grandma Great, other ornaments people have given us. We plaster the tree.

Then we take a break and roll out the rolls, so they can keep rising.

Once the tree is totally covered, I add a bit of garland, and we declare it done! Oh, don't forget the skirt, a quilted one I made a few years ago. It's amazing what a little skirt does for the tree. Oh, and a couple of presents to instantly put under helps complete the look too.

Now it's time to bake the rolls. They smell so good! Here's the recipe which is taken from a book (Bread Baking Made Easy by Dora Flack)I got for a wedding present had have baked from constantly since:

Eve's Knot Buns
2 cups milk, scalded
2 Tbs. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
5 to 6 cups flour
For Dipping:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3Tbs. cinnamon
1 cup butter, melted
Scald the milk.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with the pinch of sugar.
Beat eggs.
Stir in butter, salt, sugar into hot milk and then let it cool.
To milk mixture, add eggs, dissolved yeast and 2 cups flour. Cover and let rise about 30 min.
Add the rest of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead for five min.
Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
In small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon for dipping. Melt butter. Grease muffin tins.
Roll out dough about 5/8 inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut into long strips about two inches wide and five inches long.
Dip each strip into melted butter, then sugar/cinnamon. Tie into a loose knot and place in muffin tin.
Let rise 30 more min. then back 10 to 15 min. at 375 to 400 degrees.

Thanks for joining our tree decorating party! It was a blast having you!


Last year I posted this video I made of a Christmas Eve nativity gone wild. Since I have some new readers, I thought I'd stick it in again! Enjoy!

Participants in the Advent Tour:

1 December Alabama BookwormJoanne from Lost in a Good BookSusan from You Can Never Have Too Many Books
2 December Louise from Lou's PagesPenelope from Life's Sweet Passions
3 December Booklogged from A Reader's JournalLisa from Book Lists LifeAlison
4 December Ladytink from Ladytink's NeverlandKim from Page After Page
5 DecemberVickie from Scrapbooking and TidbitsRob from The Snig's Foot
6 December Andrew from The View from ArizonaMarny the Bookworm
7 December Becky from Becky's Book ReviewsMelissa from Book Nut
8 December Amy from Passages to the PastAlyssa from By the Book
9 December Raidergirl3 from An Adventure in ReadingSherrie from Just Books
10 December Kerrie from Mysteries in ParadiseDolce Bellezza
11 December Chris from Book-a-ramaBookwormomMister Teacher from Learn Me Good
12 December Bigsis from Through the Eyes of the CreatorTrish's Reading NookJulia from A Piece of My Mind
13 December Nymeth from Things Mean a LotLisa from Book AhoySuey from It's All About Books
14 December Emily from Dreaming on the JobStephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holicCindy from Nocturnal Wonderings
15 December Natasha from Maw BooksSomewhere in BetweenWendy from Caribou's Mom
16 December Strumpet from Strumpet's LifeChris from Stuff as Dreams are Made onTammy from Omah's Helping Hand
17 December3M from 1 More ChapterStine from The WashingtoniumKim from Sophisticated Dorkiness
18 December Alex from Daemonwolf BooksLeya from Wandeca ReadsJulia's Book Corner
19 December Laclau from Conversacions de CafeKrissi from The Swim MomMorgan from Insert Clever Name Here
20 December Jessica from The Bluestockings SocietyNaida from The BookwormBookClover
21 December Rhinoa from Rhinoa's RamblingsMelissa from Remember to BreatheThe Bluestocking Guide
22 DecemberThink Pink DanaMy Friend AmyNicole from Linus's Blanket
23 December Jane from JanezlifeandtimesMemory from Stella Matutina
24 December Carl from Stainless Steel DroppingsKailana's Written World


  1. I can smell those buns baking here!! They look wonderful~ can't wait to try the recipe out on my family. Thanks so much for sharing today~

  2. wonderful! I so enjoyed your post, music and all.

  3. Great post! Thanks for joining in! The buns look really good... I think I am going to have to give that recipe a try. :)

  4. That was fun, thanks for having me over. The tree looks fab. I love all the lights.
    The buns looked yummy. My dad makes the cinnamon rolls around here, and has to bring a batch over for Christmas morning.

  5. What a cute post. I love your Christmas tree I too am a everything goes on the tree person. It makes the tree looked so loved and full of tradition and memories. The cinnamon rolls look yummy. I'm hungry now.

  6. Thanks so much for inviting me to your house for your tree decoration. It is a lovely tradition and a lovely tree! I put my lights on this year, only to discover that neither of the strands work! I have to go to the shops today so I will buy some new ones,b ut in the meantime we don't get the light effect!

    Thanks for participating in the tour this year!

  7. "There's no rhyme or reason. No theme. No particularities. We put on nearly everything we have."

    It's the same at my house, and I like it that way :) Thank you for sharing this, and thank you for the recipe too!

  8. I can almost smell the food! I also blogged my husband setting up the tree. My eight month old son died laughing when my husband put up the tree:

  9. Mmmm...they look good! Beautiful tree too.

    I love real trees but the sap and the needles got to be too much. We got a half decent fake one last year. It's so much easier.

  10. Both the tree and your buns look great!

  11. I loved this post!! Your tree just glows. Love it. And your video is so sweet as well as hilarious. That's a pretty impressive Christmas Eve pageant!

  12. This was amazing! I felt like I was unpacking your tree with you, and your comment 'everything gets plastered on!" made me laugh and laugh cause that is both my mother and my philosophy about decorating! All those handmade ones from kids have to go on, the collector's items with memories attached, the weird ones as gifts - they all must go on the tree! I love your post, your family looks so happy decorating (in mine the youngest end up fighting over the ornaments still, the eldest is bored with it all, being 19 last year, 20 now and too old for Christmas tradition, he says, 'how long will this take?') and the tree is splendid and glorious and cheerful! Plus the buns, yummy...can you gain weight from reading all our Christmas recipes on the tour? I think I've gained weight since it began!! Merry Christmas, Suey!

  13. What a great post! I love that we got to decorate your Christmas tree with you! Oh, and those knot buns...they look delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow that's a lot of ornaments! Hubby loves cinnamon rolls so I'll have to save this recipe thanks!

  15. Thanks for sharing your Christmas tree ( have to admit the tree look real, even though they're fake!) and sharing your rolls baking *grin*. BUT I ADORE the last year video! It was cute, sweet but so funny adorable!

    I wish you and your family a Happy Holidays!

  16. Thanks for all the comments everyone! It was fun to have you all join us for decorating the tree. I wish I could have blogged the smell, because those rolls... ummmmm.... smell so good baking! You'll have to let me know if any of you really do end up trying them and how it goes!

  17. I love Josh Groban. That was so nice. I also have ornaments from both sides grandparents, mom, what kids made and what my Husband and I bought together. Thanks for sharing. Sorry late, playing catch up on Advent Tour.

    Happy Holidays!

  18. Your tree is lovely and those buns look delicious! Merry Christmas to you and your family!



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