Favorite Traditions

Here in the KnowitAll house we have several favorite traditions for the holidays.  Every year my husband and I watch two movies–Love Actually and the Ref.  Not exactly classics but they’re our favorites.  (I still watch White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street on my own.)  We take a night or two just to go see the lights around town.  We have an adult party with all of our friends, while the kids go to Grandma’s for the weekend and a party of their own making cookies.

But my favorites come on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  On Christmas Eve the kids and I make homemade donuts for Christmas morning breakfast.  We also make Reindeer food for Santa’s reindeer, made from oatmeal and glitter.  (Our driveway sparkles like magic for months.)  Then Christmas Eve the real fun begins–we have chili for dinner every year, followed by a tradition from my husband’s family–the English Christmas cracker.  These are foil tubes filled with a joke, a silly paper crown and some sort of toy.  We sit around for the evening with silly paper hats on, telling silly jokes and having a good time.  Every Christmas Eve at 6 pm we light the Christ candle–a white candle placed in the center of the nativity–and pray together, symbolizing our desire to have the Christ child at the center of our family for another year.  As much fun as the other things are, I have to say that is one of my most treasured traditions. We read the nativity story from the Childrens’ bible, and remember the real reason why we celebrate!

We’ll go to church tonight together, and sing carols together and worship together.  This is always a tear-jerker for me, seeing my entire family worshipping together.  It just doesn’t get much better than that!

We have a lot of fun and really celebrate what God has blessed us with this year.  More than the gifts, Christmas is about enjoying each other in this house.  I pray that this year, you will have the same gift–the joy of loved ones, young and old, gathering together.  I pray for giggles, smiles, hugs and joy to permeate your days.  God Bless You All!!

My homemade donut recipe is easy and fun to make with kids!

Take yeast bread dough (You can use canned biscuits, but they won’t be as light and airy) and cut into 3/4 inch to 1 inch strips.  Shape is not important as they will be odd shaped anyway.  I use Bob Evans roll dough cause I can get it on sale with a coupon, but any bread dough works.  Heat a skillet over medium heat, adding enough vegetable oil to the bottom of the pan to be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep.  Have kids roll dough pieces into little balls.  (They won’t stay that way, but it gives them a part in the process!)  Drop the balls into the hot oil, about 8-10 balls at a time.  The oil should sizzle slightly as the balls are dropped in.  Give it 2-3 minutes, as the sides of the donuts start to firm up, turn them.  The bottoms should be lightly browned.  Let cook another 2-3 minutes and turn again.  I like to also stand them on their sides for another couple minutes, just to allow time for them to cook all the way through.  Once cooked removed from the pan and onto a plate with paper towels on it, for the oil to drain.  Let cool.  Cook the rest.

In ziploc gallon bags or lunch bags, add a variety of sugars.  We use red food coloring with regular sugar to make red ‘sprinkles’ for one bag.  Another bag has powdered sugar, while another has ground cinnamon and regular sugar.  Drop the warm donuts into the bags and let the kids shake, shake, shake till covered.

You can use bigger sizes of dough if you’d like something more like a beignet.  Just make sure to cook them longer, so that the dough cooks all the way through.  I’ve popped mine into the oven before, just to make sure.

These are super yummy right away, but we typically put them away for Christmas morning.  The kids love having their own homemade donuts Christmas morning.  I love not having to slave away over breakfast!  Mr KnowitAll and I have a couple of the donut holes the kids made, but we’ll also enjoy an egg casserole I made before.  Its also super easy!

Take one roll of crescent/pastry dough and roll out on the bottom of your casserole dish.  Top with a mixture of hot and mild sausages, a handfull of crumbled bacon, and a 1/2 cup each of Italian shredded cheese and Cheddar shredded cheese.  In a bowl my daughter mixes 12 eggs and 1 can of Evaporated Milk (a good substitute for cream), along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Blend well and pour over the other ingredients.  Top with a little more shredded cheese and cover for the fridge.  The next morning pop in the oven before opening presents and by the time you’re done, so will be the casserole!