Monday, December 27, 2010

Valentine Candy Canes and CHRISTmas Crackers!

A CHRISTmas tradition we do each year is read the story, The Legend of the Candy Cane.  This is such a wonderful story that really does focus on the true reason for the season as it uses the candy cane to tell the love that Jesus has for us.   Here are a couple of photos that were taken several years ago with my 3 children (before Cupcake #4 was born) holding a copy of the book that we enjoy reading:

 Here they are holding their candy canes to stand for "J" for Jesus:

For next year, I may try making Candy Cane Cookies like Alida did at blackpurl's knitpickings.   They look so lovely and yummy!  Including this Candy Cane Poem with store bought or homemade Candy Cane Cookies is always a nice way to share the symbolism pertaining to the candy cane.

So what do you do with leftover candy canes from the CHRISTmas holiday?  Valentine's Day will be here before we know it so you could use your candy canes to make Valentine cards like this:

I can't take credit for this heart shaped candy cane card idea, but I don't remember where I saw this cute way to tell someone special that you love them.

Another CHRISTmas tradition I hope to continue is celebrating with CHRISTmas crackers.
For my 3 year old's princess party this past November, I made a goody bag treat out of toilet paper rolls and tissue paper that looked like this:

I  had no idea that there was a special name for this kind of treat that I made.  Anna-Marie at Life's Adventures commented that what I had made are called "crackers" in the UK, where Anna-Marie lives with her family.  She did a post about the CHRISTmas cracker and this British tradition here.  She was so sweet to send our family a box of 12 CHRISTmas crackers for us to enjoy on CHRISTmas Day.  Our family hosted a lunch on CHRISTmas for lots of family and friends so I decorated one of our tables with the crackers (and silverware stockings) as you can see here:
The crackers looked so lovely as they lined the middle of the table.  I then told our guests about the crackers using this great link that Anna-Marie provided on her blog post.  The history about the cracker is very interesting and it was invented by a man with the last name of "Smith".  Smiths know how to have fun! :)    We all followed the directions on how to open the cracker by getting in a circle and crossing arms:

Then we pulled the crackers at both ends and all of us were surprised how loud they popped! It was so much fun and a fun surprise to hear the crackers "pop!"

Here is my daughter and our friends collecting some of the goodies that were inside the crackers.  They collected little toys, cards, jokes, erasers.  One joke I read was so British (and cute).  It said, "What do does the word minimum mean?  A very small mother."  Hee! Hee!

...and there were paper crowns in the crackers like this one on my daughter's head:

We had such a fun time opening our CHRISTmas crackers and all our guests enjoyed this tradition.  I hope to find crackers in the U.S. for next CHRISTmas to keep this tradition going.  Thank you Anna-Marie for helping us make our CHRISTmas a memorable one with your thoughtful gift! 

I give Joy to the World by celebrating CHRISTmas with family and friends in memorable ways!  


HI Tracy
I just read the Candy cane book this morning to my kids. It was misplaced on the book shelf and
I just found it:) My next post will explain why! So glad you enjoyed the Christmas Crackers and I hope you can find them for next year. It looks like everyone had fun. I still love the silver ware stockings. Gonna have to do that:)

I voted for you I think you can now assume that I do that every time I visit in case I forget to mention it:) like I just did

A post about a lost book? now that sounds interesting! :) Thank you again for the crackers and sometimes I forget to mention that I vote for you each time too so there, we're even :) Have a blessed last week of 2010!

Love your new tradition!! We always had Christmas Crackers when we were growing up, and now when my parents get to make it down here for Christmas they bring some with them. I think World Market may carry them, but if you can't find them let me know and maybe I can get Mom or my sister to put some in one of our Christmas boxes for you! That's funny that you made them and didn't know what they were called!
Happy New Year!!

Oh...that was my comment by the way...Carren Heartley from Girl Scouts. I guess you can't really tell from my login name which is supposed to be "Carren & Scott".

Wow! What a Christmas you all had. Thanks for linking back to my post. I want to try those Christmas crackers next year!! I think the children at our church would love it. I am off to read more about them and about your silverware stockings. :-)

So glad to be getting to know you!

joy & blessings,

Hi Carren,
I figured out who you were right away without your clarification :) So crackers are a Canadian tradition too? Or is your mom overseas? I'm definitely going to keep my eyes open for some for next year or I'll be bugging you or Anna-Marie for a new supply :) Thanks for your blog visit and comments :) Happy New Year to you too!

Hi Alida!
I think your church children will love the crackers! I hope you can find some as I will be on the lookout for more for next year. I think since you made 100 Candy Cane cookies you could easily make 100 Silverware Stockings :) Have fun and if you try the stockings, happy cutting and gluing. :) Happy New year!

Christy said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. Following you back.
I've considered Christmas crackers before, maybe we'll have to make our own next year with wrapping paper.

Renee said...

Looks like a lot of fun! And I love that candy cane poem and idea for using leftover candy canes for Valentines. I may have to buy up some of the sale candy canes when I shop this week just for February 14!

Joy said...

We love reading about the candy cane! I also love the "crackers"! Very cute! Thanks for sharing about them! Thanks for joining in the Hip Homeschool Hop!

HI Christy!
Thanks for stopping by and following :)
Homemade crackers are fun too !

Hi Renee Ann!
Thanks for stopping by and best wishes with the candy cane hunt :)

Hi "dthasse"
Your creative writing blog looks interesting from what I read. I read some of the children's entries from your prompts and they were great! I'll have to spend more time reading through the blog.

Hi Joy!
Thanks for your visit and comment :)

Unknown said...

I love the Candy Cane story, and the crackers were a lot of fun. I am glad you had a good CHRISTmas. I voted for you yesterday and today. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Hi Lynda,
Have you ever seen crackers where you live? I'm going to be on the lookout for them for next year in my local stores since they were a hit :) Thanks for the votes and as always I click votes for you :) Have a blessed Wednesday!

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