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  • Game : What’s In The Bag? #ChristmasAddition

    Have fun guessing which Christmas item is in the bag! To start you will need 10 brown paper bags, then one person from your family will place a Christmas item in each bag without anyone else seeing. To play one family member at a time is blindfolded and has to feel what’s in the bag and then guess what it is, only one guess per person, per bag. If they guess correct they get a point. Then the blindfold is passed to the next family member and given a different bag. This game can be played in multiple rounds allowing each family member to be the one to pick the items that are placed in the bag. No need to buy anything to play this game, use things you have already decorated your home with for the holidays!

    Christmas item ideas to get you started: Candy cane, ornament, Christmas village house, small tree, bells, candle, pom poms, bows, Santa hat, pinecone, tinsel, ornament hooks, fruit cake and garland.

  • Outing : 12 Days of Compassion

    It is always better to give than receive, isn’t it? Let’s celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas a little differently this year. No, there won’t be any gold rings or french hens this Christmas. Instead let’s give to others. As a family work together to do something everyday for 12 days for someone else. No matter how big or small the act of kindness is, you will be blessing that persons Christmas! There are so many needs in our communities that we can meet if we just put our mind to it. Here’s 12 ideas, but feel free to come up with your own!

    -12 ideas to show others Compassion-

    1. Bake cookies for a neighbor.

    2. Bring hot coffee to a fire house.

    3. Donate clothes to a Foster Care closet.

    4. Clean up trash at your local park/hiking trail.

    5. Bring dinner to a family friend.

    6. Give out candy canes to people looking at Christmas lights.

    7. Serve at a Christmas Eve service at your church.

    8. Bring blankets and animal food to your cities animal shelter.

    9. Bring school supplies to your school.

    10. Help shovel snow off a neighbors driveway/Mow their lawn.

    11. Buy toys to donate to Toys 4 Tots.

    12. Offer to wrap presents for a friend or neighbor.

  • Recipe : Crock Pot Candy

    Fill your home with the smell of chocolate this month with this recipe for Crock Pot Candy. This would be a great thing to make a double batch of, one to eat yourself and another batch to give away during your 12 Days of Compassion!

    Ingredients

    2 lbs white almond bark (might be labeled as white candy coating) , broken or chopped into smaller squares

    12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips

    4 oz bar German sweet chocolate, broken or chopped into smaller squares

    32 oz dry roasted or cocktail peanuts

    holiday sprinkles (optional)

    Instructions
    If desired, spray slow cooker insert lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Add chopped almond bark, chocolate chips and German chocolate.
    Place a clean, dry kitchen towel over the top of the slow cooker, then place lid on top of that. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW, and cook 1 more hour (or until fully melted), stirring every 15-20 minutes.
    Remove lid and towel (be careful not to let any condensation drip into melted chocolate), and add peanuts, stirring well to combine.
    Line several baking sheets with wax paper. Drop candy mixture by spoonfuls onto wax paper (or use small cookie scoop). If using sprinkles, sprinkle onto clusters before they harden.
    Refrigerate (if possible) 30 minutes to 1 hour, until set. If unable to refrigerate, let stand on counter at room temperature until set. Store in a cool place in an airtight container.

  • Craft : Cinnamon Stick Candles

    This craft is simple yet beautiful and would make a lovely gift to give away during your 12 Days of Compassion.

    What you will need:

    2 pillar candles, white, approx. 3” tall

    40 – 45 (approx.) cinnamon sticks *see note below

    glue gun (low temp)

    glue sticks

    Ribbon/twine

    Christmas Greenery

    Directions

    Plug in the glue gun. Lay the cinnamon sticks out in front of you. When the glue gun is heated, begin by placing a small strip of glue on the cinnamon stick (not the candle, as the glue will melt it). Place the stick onto the candle, being sure to place it straight up and not crooked. If the stick is placed crooked, the rest of the cinnamon sticks will be crooked as well, so the placing of the first stick is important. Continue gluing the sticks to the candle until you meet up with the beginning stick. Let it all cool and harden completely. Measure out 2 long pieces of just twine, approximately 2 feet long. Taking one piece, begin by gluing the end to the middle of what you consider will be the back of the candle. Let it dry and then wrap the rest of the twine around the middle of the candle. You want a number of wraps of the twine around the middle of the candle when you are done.

    Tuck the last of the twine under the rest of the twine to hide it. You can also place a bead of glue on the twine to hold it secure. Let harden completely. Facing what you consider to be the front of the candle, begin by hot gluing the greenery you’ve chosen to the front, on the twine. If you are doing one piece, glue it securely. If you are gluing multiple pieces, do so in layers, being sure each addition dries securely to the last before continuing.

    Let everything harden and cool down before enjoying!