12 days of Blessings…

When I was younger… my family had a tradition of celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. As I grow older, the things that I took for granted the effort and thoughtfulness that went into all of this. I know now that I was wrapped up in my own teenage world, and I understand the need of this for growth, but I still try my hardest to prepare my children so that when they get to this point of their life, they will be aware of the the growing needs around them and the value of those who love them.

With this in mind… I want to take the official 12 days of Christmas (December 13th-25th) and share with you all some fun family traditions… values and some homemade ideas for the holidays. I realize that most of you have small children and I hope that all of you can appreciate the dedication of these next few days to promote love, kindness, thoughtfulness and gratefulness not only my children but hopefully in yours too.

I often find myself thinking of what Christmas is all about for our family. If you celebrate any other holiday season during this time, I hope you can still find some joy in this effort that can be tailored to your beliefs. Christmas for our home is the beauty of selfless gifts and unconditional love. Now this is wrapped up in the story of the first Noel, but the feelings that the first Christmas gift are timeless… the thoughts of meager beginnings, humility and unconditional love and kindness. This is a treasure that we can continue to gift during this holiday season.

Television and advertisers have told us that the holiday season is about getting or giving the perfect gift, getting the best price, or for this one time contributing to your favorite charity or the person waving a bell outside of your favorite store. I do not blame advertisers for doing their job, my hope is that people and children alike will see through these advertisements as simple suggestions rather than the norm to live by…

So this year, I want to take some time to reflect and appreciate the growing sense of gratitude that this past year has given our family. I am not going to lie… this year has brought a roller coaster of emotions, days that have started with no way of success that have miraculously ended with victory, or even days (definitely plural) that have just ended with no excuse for the pain they have brought… but alongside with my family, friends and my faith… this whole year, even the tough days… I can add to the victory category of life. It really took me taking a back to my childhood, considering all of the sacrifices that my parents have made through the years and realistically looking at the past years offering and mirroring them with the struggles I have sen my own parents go through. And yes they did go through them, never stopping just going through them, coming out on the other end victorious. It is a beautiful gift to be able to look back now and see the beauty of this last year. Although there were times where I wanted to scream truth out on the highest mountain, I remained quiet. And there were times when I wanted to rectify all the wrong that I have seen our family and our friends go through, but I allowed my heart to process, rather than to act rash… I was able to compose myself and act rational. Time is a beautiful thing to have, it is free and we have an infinite supply of it… so why not take the time to think things through? Forge a plan of healing rather than to contribute to the destruction of the situation. It is not easy… and I am not perfect, but I do have good friends… that have gone through hardships, we have helped each other out tremendously this year and for this I am grateful. I have never had to open myself up as much as I have had to this year… and I am truly grateful to have good friends along side myself and my family as we go through the “yuckies” together….

So to contribute to this beautiful holiday season and the things I am grateful for I want to share the “12 days of Blessings” and take the traditional 12 days of Christmas and re-program our brains to remember the good things of this year… even for these 12 days. I will continue to take this throughout 2011, as I can see myself wanting to share so much more than what 12 days can offer… so I will probably repeat around valentines day, as well as a few other choice times in the year.

So to start this off, I want to re-introduce one of my easiest recipes. This recipe is not only super easy, it is quick and it also is a high impact gift. The taste alone will make your friends happy, yet when they find out that you made it… that will be so much more special…

So here is the link for the original post form 2007 I STILL have people Googling this through out the year, lol… so I hope that gives you the satisfaction that it is a yummy and easy recipe 🙂

Peppermint Cookie Crunch Bark



1 lb. white chocolate melts
1/2 cup of peppermint crunch
1/2 cup of crushed Oreos

Directions:

put white chocolate melts in a Pyrex dish and melt for 30 seconds and then mix. Continue to melt in 15 seconds increments until chocolate is smooth (like cake batter, but with no lumps ☺)

add crushed Oreos and peppermint crunch and mix thoroughly.

lay out on waxed paper and spread out evenly to a 1/4 inch thick layer.

let dry and harden for 45 minutes. (you can also place it in the refrigerator if it helps to chill it faster, just make sure it is supported on the bottom)

break up into pieces and eat till you get sick!

It also tastes really yummy melted in some hot chocolate! (seriously, this is awesome!)

Enjoy!

I hope this blesses you, your family and friends this season… and I do hope you will join me December 13th-25th for the “12 days of Blessings”

If you would like to join in on this… there are some other girls that are giving their kindness on their blogs…. Check out my sweet friend Candra George…. she has organized this weekends blog hop and giveaways… she is giving away a free photo session (she is the talented photographer that took our families pictures)

Candra has invited us to do a giveaway and spread some kindness!

1.Lauren Norkum www.lnicolewrites.blogspot.com
2.Ashley Meek www.hazelolivedesign.blogspot.com
3.Tayla Thomford www.taylasjourneyhome.wordpress.com
4.Liz Hicks www.blogerisms.blogspot.com
5. Candra George www.mycreativereality.com

So just leave a comment here and on the other blogs for a chance to win. Each blog has their own giveaway so there are many chances to win!

For my giveaway I will be giving away some of my favorite craft supplies right, now… vintage stuff, paints, trims and glitter of course! Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win!!! I will pick a winner on Monday, December 13th… this will start our 12 days of blessings.

thanks for participating!

~Liz ♥

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