I had hoped to do this post Thursday evening, unfortunately I have been mostly stopped in my Christmas preparations by an annoying cold and an uncooperative back. So instead of decorating or baking I have been mostly lying around and watching endless Hallmark Christmas movies and TLC cooking shows. It was nice to have time to watch the the 4 hour long Love Comes Softly Christmas movie- Love's Christmas Journey on the Hallmark Channel- you can check out a preview here. I really enjoyed this movie, and my two labs kept me company the entire time, curled up on the bed, my dogs are great!
Although my cold is still hanging on, I have felt well enough today to get some decorating done. I decided to rearrange things this year, so decorating is taking more time, because I am still deciding where I want everything. I finished my mantel today, I decorated it in brown and red with old world Santas and German Straw Stars.
Here's how it turned out.
Here are some closer pictures of my old world Santas.
I first learned about German Straw Stars from my wonderful German teacher in High School - Herr Schumacher. Herr Schumacher did a wonderful job teaching us about German culture, every Christmas he would order the special straw used to make these ornaments and we would spend a couple of days making them in class. Although it's been 20 years I still have a few of these ornaments.
Here are two of the German Straw Stars I made in High School.
You can also buy these in big packs, along with other ornaments made from Straw, I love the way these look on the tree, I have collected many over the years. Here's a close up of one on my little mantel tree.
I was looking online for a a place to buy some of the straw used to make these ornaments, and I found a place online that sells from right here in Oregon, I will be placing an order for some straw so me and the kids can make these. Here is the link I found for Straw Star Crafting Kits.
I also decided to whip up a batch of cookies today, I love this cookie recipe I found it years ago, I'm not sure where. They are easy to make, and fill the house with yummy Christmas spice smell. They are a nice soft Molasses cookie.
Here's the recipe:
3/4 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Molasses
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg or Allspice
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, add egg and molasses and mix well. Mix dry ingredients then add to the wet ingredients, mix well. Chill for 1 hour. Shape into balls, then slightly flatten the balls (I use the bottom of a juice glass) onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-9 minutes, let the cookies rest on baking sheet for 1 minute them transfer to cooling rack. When cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Tonight Sarah and Joseph are off to their Winter Formal Dance, I can't wait to get pictures of them all dressed up. I look forward to spending the evening relaxing with some cookies and tea. Hope everyone is enjoying their December.