~ 100 Days to Christmas Countdown ~

‘We need a little Christmas . . . right this very minute’ . . . Yes!  The countdown is on and over at Paperless Post they are celebrating 100 Days to Christmas Countdown.  I was inspired by Christmas cards over at Paperless Post.  Feel free to check out their Christmas cards here as we prepare for the season.  So in tune with Christmas, we were chatting recently about Christmas traditions.  No, it’s not too early as I’ve been planning my Logan’s tradition (more to come) since August 1st per their request.

Christmas is such a time of hope.  While most of the time Christmas is joyous, there are those times where an individual is missing from around the dinner table (a lost loved one) or a sad experience that we face during the holidays causes our heart to be heavy.  But the hope Christmas brings is one that can see us through.  Christmas is a season surrounded by new beginning.  I’d love to share a couple of traditions we celebrate to ring in the season and the joy is has to offer.

For the last several years I have planned a ‘private tour’/trip to see the ‘Candy Man’ at Logan’s in Ontario, California.  Oh what a happy place.  I organize a Candy Cane tour of which kids of all ages enjoy sampling and watching a big batch of fresh candy canes made and rolled out.  Jerry (the Candy Man), his wife and family are such dear people.  In the years past when I was in the thick of fighting cancer they even inquired as to why I hadn’t called for the annual candy cane tour.  They were a part of a team praying for my healing.  They are very dear and I love to support their amazing business and talent.  Their candy is like no other made and is with love and delivered with a message of hope!

Many friends and family have attended the tour and each year our group grows bigger.  Our group is limited and I’ll be releasing more details as we get a date and time gets closer.  If you’re in the local area, stay tuned – feel free to subscribe to the blog and this will keep you updated on details.

Just imagine; the smell of candy cooking, fresh peppermint, children and adults eweing and ahhing, a heart full of warmth surrounded by friends and family, and the taste of a warm pliable fluffy candy cane in your mouth.  There is nothing like it ring in the season.

Feel free to browse through some photos from years past in the gallery below.

Secondly, I wanted to share with you a family recipe that we make around Christmas time.  It’s festive red and oh so delightful.  It’s a family favorite and I hope you will enjoy.  Feel free to copy the pdf attached.

I would love to know about some of the traditions you practice during this holiday season.  Share with me in the comments.  As well, if you’d like to leave a comment of interest to attend the private Candy Cane tour (most likely in November), feel free to do so here in the comments.  There is a cost for kids only and with that includes a ticket for a warm candy cane that you can personalize to a shape desired.  More details to come.

Warmest creative and Christmas wishes!

Baker Family Festive Pretzel Salad

Pretzel Salad

What you’ll Need:

  • 6 oz. package strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups salted pretzels (whole)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. tub of cool whip, thawed but kept in refrigerator
  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lb. of fresh strawberries (you can also make a variation with raspberries), sliced and tops cut off

The How To:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and while waiting combine the jello with 2 cups of boiling water.  Stir until completed dissolved.  Let cool to about room temperature.
  2. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add 1/3 cup sugar and stir completely.
  3. Crush 2 1/2 cups pretzels in a baggie by using a rolling pin.
  4. Add crushed pretzels to the butter/sugar mixture.  Transfer to a 9 x 13 glass dish and press the mix evenly over the bottom.  Bake for 10 min. at 350F.  Cool to room temperature.
  5. Next in a separate bowl, mix/beat 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar on medium speed until fluffy.  Fold in 8 oz Cool Whip until mixed well with cream cheese mixture.  Spread mixture completely over pretzel crust ensuring no areas showing.
  6. Slice and cut tops off of strawberries.  Stir them into jello.  Spread jello mixture evenly over cream cheese layer.  Refrigerate.  Ready in about 2-3 hours when jello is set.

 

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