I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that any search involving Christmas ideas on Pinterest can be a little overwhelming. There are just SO MANY activities that can be done with Christmas. What starts out as searching “DIY Christmas Craft” has me laying alone in the dark at 2 a.m. thinking about how I can Christma-tize my entire house and make fun gift bags with homemade bows for my girlfriends. I’m laying there wondering if I can master the “Candy Cane Fudge” without screwing something up. I end up stressing myself out, feeling underwhelmed at my crafts, my dessert, and forget even getting to the gift bags for my friends.
Three words that I try to live by at this time of year: Keep it simple!
If I try to do the fancy stuff, then I end up doing nothing and feeling like a Christmas failure.
So, I present to you a SIMPLE recipe, a SIMPLE gift, and SIMPLE décor:
Simple Recipe: Reindeer Chow
Good heavens we love us some puppy chow in our house. It’s easy and scrumptious all year long. At Christmas time, we like to change it up a bit and throw a little Christmas into our chow. It’s a great snack for your home or something you can package up (simply of course) and give away. Here is what is sometimes referred to as Christmas or Reindeer Chow:
- 14 cups Chex cereal
- 18 oz holiday M&Ms
- 12 oz semi sweet chocolate, bar or chips
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup peanut butter (I usually do 1 1/2 -2 to add clusters)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- Melt the peanut butter and butter in a microwave safe dish. Microwave in 30 second intervals until butter is melted. Add the chocolate a little at a time until all is melted into the mix. Careful not to burn the chocolate! Once everything is melted, add the vanilla and stir.
- In a large bowl, add half of the cereal.
- Drizzle half of the chocolate and peanut butter mixture into the cereal in the bowl. Mix with a spoon.
- Place one large paper bag into another one. You can also double up plastic bags which is usually what I do. Add ½ cup of the powdered sugar and half of the mixed cereal into the bag. Close this tightly and shake vigorously. Add more powdered sugar ½ cup at a time if needed until all the cereal is coated. Add ¼ of the m&ms into the bag and toss.
- Repeat with the other half of the cereal, M&Ms, and chocolate and peanut butter mixture.
- Place in an air tight container.
- Tip: We like to add pretzels too!
Simple Gift: Wine Tags
This is the perfect “Girlfriend Gift.” It requires absolutely no labor and can be done and delivered last minute, which is basically my life these days. Christmas Wine tags can be found all over for free download. Grab a bottle of wine, add the tag, and you have a personalized and clever gift for a girlfriend, coworker, neighbor, or anyone who enjoys a glass or two of wine.
Now, I realize there are many non-drinkers. The idea behind this is the convenience of the printable tag. It turns out you can do this for a lot of things. One I found that was really cute was the “MistleTOES” one that you add to a nail polish set. So while this example is for wine, any gift where you can add a little Christmas flare with a tag is so clever and easy. I plan on doing several of these this year.
Simple Décor: Printables
Holy cannoli is this ever genius! This has been a go-to for me. It’s the easiest way to give your home some Christmas Cheer without having to break the bank or do much of anything. You SIMPLY search for free Christmas printable decorations. Then, download and print a favorite Christmas saying, song lyrics, photos, or whatever you like. Last, put them in frames you already have, but temporarily place the printable in front of the photo for the Holiday season.
I love how SIMPLE, yet effective this is. If you have a photo wall you can transform the entire thing into a Christmas wall with a few printouts. This is also a great way to add a pop of color if you’re like me and tend to go with the whites, creams, or grays. Etsy has a lot of really cute printables you can download for a small fee if you can’t find freebies you like.
Here’s hoping you all have SIMPLE Holidays filled with quick and easy recipes, décor, and gifts.
Please share some of your simple Christmas solutions!