Christmas is by far the highlight of the year for me. I stretch it out as long as reasonably possible. The decorations go up right after Thanksgiving and don't come down till that new years ball has dropped. Even though its almost behind us, I wanted to share a few of my favorite traditions with you. They're nothing complicated but they do make us happy and thus are worth repeating.
Firstly, the card pantry. Every year I try to get my Christmas cards in the mail right after Thanksgiving to make sure everyone on the list is given our correct address (we move a lot) and a little Christmas card enthusiasm. I know that postage has gotten expensive and I know that blogging and face book has taken away a lot of need for the traditional card. But, I STILL LOVE THEM! Opening my mailbox in December is THE BEST. It warms my heart to see the sweet notes and smiling pictures of our loved ones. I'm hanging onto this tradition as long as I can!
Another tradition we love...our Christmas Eve TAMALE FEAST! They may not pretty, but we love these tasty guys. Maybe it's because we live 2 hours from the border, or maybe it's because half the US population is now Hispanic, but the stores around here always have lots of Tamales on hand the week before Christmas. Every year I tell myself I'm going to learn to make them, and every year I just buy them instead. Hey, I'm not super mom or anything. Plus, Costco makes some very delicious tamales!
A cute little tradition that came from my husband's family is to have a birthday cake for baby Jesus with our Christmas dinner. I love how this helps the young crowd remember why we really celebrate Christmas after all and it leads to great conversations during Christmas dinner. And, I LOVE the way a few cheap candy canes dresses up a simple white cake from a box. My secret ingredient is a cup of coconut mixed into the butter cream. YUM! This cake is never around for long.
And I saved this one for last because I have a fantastic recipe to share. Every year we have Butterscotch rolls for breakfast. You have to try these because not only are they a crowd pleaser, but they take just a few minutes to put together. Here's the famed recipe:
Christmas Morning Goodness (Butterscotch Rolls)
18-24 Rhodes rolls
1 package butterscotch pudding (not instant)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Layer rolls in a well greased bundt pan - don't thaw. Pour dry pudding mix over rolls. Melt butter and brown sugar and pour over rolls, then sprinkle with nuts. Let raise 8 hours to overnight. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (watch closely after about 30 minutes so that they don't burn).