this morning i added another favorite recipe to my christmas binder. this binder is literally my saving grace at christmastime and i can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post about it.
i started it the second year i was married when i realized that in just two short years i had accumulated more christmas magazines and recipes than one desk could hold. so i started tearing out my favorite decorating ideas, recipes, craft projects, etc. and i put them in page protectors and placed them in a binder.
i punched holes in an extra christmas card envelope and wrote “random holiday memories” on it and every year i write, on any little slip of paper, whatever holiday happenings i want to make sure i never forget. like our first christmas as a married couple, when we spent the night in a hotel room because our house wasn’t ready yet. we bought a tiny little tabletop tree and decorated it. our gifts to eachother (one each) were carefully wrapped and placed underneath it, waiting for us to wake up and open them on our very first christmas together. or the time ace decorated the tree for the first time and all the bulbs were in one spot on the bottom of the tree. or the year lucky sat behind the tree and ate almost every candy cane off before i noticed he was missing.
once we started having children, i began keeping a copy of each year’s christmas card inside too. it’s so much fun to see how much they change from year to year.
i also print out photographs of the boys during the holidays. opening gifts, leaving milk and cookies out for st. nicholas or helping me with some of the recipes inside (i place the picture next to the recipe). it’s become sort of like a holiday scrapbook.
the next year, i realized it would be even more convenient if i kept my ever-growing christmas card list in there too. then i photocopied the family recipes i use every year and added them. before i knew it, i had almost everything i needed in one place and it was so easy to just grab the binder and look for what i needed.
then last year, on one of my favorite blogs, marta mentioned her christmas binder and she had hers organized into sections with tabs. i thought that was a great idea. so i added tabs too.
every year, my binder becomes more and more resourceful to me during the holidays. i know exactly where all of my favorite recipes are, i have a ton of fun craft ideas for the boys, and i can look back and remember all the blessings of christmas past.
I have mentioned the sermons of Fr. George Passias before on this blog, specifically the series on The Life of the Theotokos. I was recently emailed an excellent site where many of his sermons (some only a few minutes, others hours long) are posted.
I highly encourage you to check some of them out. There is a 3 minute one entitled, “How do you know it’s Christmas?” that is great.
Here are some great finds from around the web:
All natural mini cupcakes from Utah’s Natural Kids (you won’t believe the ingredients in these and kids love them)
The Ultimate Spring-Cleaning Guide from Blissful Home
Teaching Old-Fashioned Values in a Modern World from A Peek Into My World
Apron Full of Giveaways from MomAdvice
Make Your Own Children’s Books from Creative Bliss
Pilgrim’s Progress DVD from Orthodox Christian Children (excellent film [not for children])