12 Days of Christmas done my own way

NOTE: I know its January, but I couldn’t post this in December for fear that “someone” would look and see what they were getting as gifts everyday! Great idea for someone/anyone to use next year.IMG_0288

This year my main man and I were both going our separate ways for the holidays. We were going to be apart for 12 days. So being in the festive spirit and getting way too excited about the holidays, I decided to do the 12 Days of Christmas with a twist.
Instead of starting on Christmas Day and going until Epiphany in January, I chose to start on the first day that we were apart and going until the day before we’d both be back home after Christmas. And so the plan was hatched…then the real work began. (ps. 12 gifts for 12 days takes a LOT of time!)

 

 

 

Step One: Google the 12 days of Christmas (figure out the hard way that there are a LOT of birds in the silly song)
Step Two: Determine fun/cute ways to incorporate the lyrics to gifts that are appropriate.
Step Three: Realize slowly that I may have taken on too much…oh the things we do for love.
Step Four: Buy all the gifts at a million different stores.
Step Five: WRAPPING (I won’t lie, this took me a really long time)
Step Six: Gift giving magic awaits!

I also had to hunt down cute tags to go with each day, and lo and behold the internet has so many options.  I chose this free printable: http://www.thedatingdivas.com/wp-content/uploads/Free-12-Days-Of-Christmas-Blank-Printable-Cards.pdf , but also liked these ones: http://todaysmama.com/2011/12/printable-12-days-of-christmas-tags/ .  For the ones I did end up using, I just used the front facing tag and wrote cute notes on the back of them to go with each days’ gift.

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I printed the cards out on cardstock they are a little heavier than just plain ‘ol white printer paper and got to cutting.  While wrapping I took a yarn needle and punched a hole through unto my carpet floor as I couldn’t find my hole-punch. Alas.  Okay, I’ll get to the point, here are each of the 12 Days of Christmas and their corresponding gifts:

  1. On the 1st Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree = Pear flavoured Jelly Belly jellybeans! (had to go to several stores to find these, thank goodness for bulk bin candy stores where they sell each flavour individually).
  2. On the 2nd Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, two turtle doves = a bottle of Dove men’s body wash and a small package of Turtles chocolates
  3. On the 3rd Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, three French hens = a 3-in-1 snow brush for the truck. Its telescopic and super practical.  The old one was’t long enough and I couldn’t reach the whole windshield…I’m sure you can only imagine how funny it must look to have a 5’4 woman trying to brush snow off a truck that’s about 6’6.   My arms are only so long.  haha
  4. On the 4th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, four calling birds = new cell phone case, to “call” me later 🙂
  5. On the 5th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, five golden rings = pfft, five golden rings? Yah right! So I got 5 Innes & Gunn bottled beer, they are yummy and their caps are gold!
  6. On the 6th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, six geese-a-laying = 6 marshmallow peeps, cadbury mini eggs and 6 fried egg looking gummy candy
  7. On the 7th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, seven swans-a-swimming….swimming with the FISH! Bag of cheddar goldfish crackers “you o-fish-ally have my heart” and a bag of Swedish fish gummies “out of all the fish in the sea, I’m so glad you chose me”
  8. On the 8th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, eight maids-a-milking = two boxes of four (so eight) skinny cow treats. I thought the cow/lady image was clever for this one
  9. On the 9th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, nine ladies dancing (NOTE: this was also Christmas Day, so this gift is a bit bigger) = Bose bluetooth wireless speaker “nine ladies dancing to your sick beats” 🙂
  10. On the 10th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, ten lords-a-leaping = $10 gift card for Dairy Queen
  11. On the 11th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, eleven pipers piping = $11 worth of scratch tickets (pipe up if you win!)
  12. On the 12th Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, twelve drummers drumming = a can of cashews, the circle kind with the plastic top that you ‘could’ bang like a drum

The day before I left for my flight home I gave him a Christmas card that explained that he’d be getting a gift a day for 12 days.  I have everything wrapped and in a box so it could be easily transported with him on his own journey home for the holidays.

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Easy Holiday Chocolate Covered Pretzels

These are almost TOO easy!   Which is perfect for the holiday season as things get crazy around this time of year.  That being said, I only had to buy a few ingredients for this delicious wonder. So enjoy! This is a great homemade gift idea as well and isn’t as labour intensive as making eight billion different types of cookies!

Ingredients:

  • Pretzels (if you can find the cute holiday shaped ones, go for it!)
  • Chocolate! (I bought the humungous bag of milk chocolate chips from Safeway, and I find this works great)
  • Coloured melting chocolate (red, green, white)
  • Candy canes (peppermint)
  • Festive sugar sprinkles

Tools:

  • Microwavable bowl
  • Two forks
  • Small spatula
  • Cookie sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Magic Bullet or food processor/blender
  • Small ziploc type bags

Step-by-Step:

Start by melting the milk chocolate in a microwavable bowl. I start by putting it in for about 18 seconds, stirring and repeating as many times as possible to get the right consistency. Melted chocolate

Then I drop two pretzels in at a bowl (I find its easier than dumping a whole handful in the chocolate).

I slightly press the pretzels into the chocolate, then using the forks, flip them and slightly press again.  I’ve found this method leaves a good coating of chocolate on the pretzels without having to shake off too much excess.

Gently put on the parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Leave enough space between each pretzel so they are easier to break up later, but close enough that you’re not wasting space or the fancy drizzle later on 🙂

Chocolate covered pretzels in the making

Chocolate covered pretzels

   Then the real fun comes in!  Start by placing maybe a half cup or less of the melting chocolate in either red, green or white in a ziploc type bag.  (NOTE: the amount will totally depend on how many pretzels you’re dipping. I had about 35 chocolate covered pretzels on each sheet and had five sheets in total). Place all the candy melts in one corner of the bag and pop in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Pull out and gently massage the bag and repeat (microwave/massage) until you get the desired consistency.

Red melting chocolate

Red melting chocolate

Snip a TEENY hole in the corner and start to drizzle over your chocolate covered pretzels. This is the fun part. Promise.  Let your creatively out!

 

 

 

 

Chocolate covered pretzel - red

Chocolate covered pretzel red-green

Chocolate covered pretzels - candy cane

The next pans I placed about 4 peppermint candy canes in my magic bullet and crushed them up until it was almost powder. Using a spoon I sprinkled the peppermint sugar over one of the pans.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate covered pretzels - sprinkles

On the last pan I shook festive holiday sugar sprinkles over the sheet.

I left all the pans out for a few hours to let the chocolate harden before breaking up off the cookie sheets and placing them in holiday tins for gifting.

 

It’s best to work in batches. So I’d finish a cookie sheet and sprinkle the candy cane pieces over the whole sheet (while the chocolate is still wet, as it helps it stick).  Same with the sugar sprinkles.  The coloured melting chocolate though, can all be done at once.  I had three sheets done before I used any of the coloured stuff, that way I wouldn’t have to remelt the coloured chocolate melts over and over again.

Anyway, this whole process is crazy simple, so enjoy! and Happy Holidays!