I thought you might enjoy some of these ideas and recipes.
• 3 tablespoons rum can be substituted for rum extract. Remove 3 tablespoons liquid before adding.
Holiday traditions bind families together — they rekindle memories of good times past, promote a feeling of connectedness and give us all something to look forward to year after year. We encouraged a few of the families at Nestlé to share their most special holiday traditions. Perhaps they will inspire you to establish a few new traditions of your own.
Holiday Traditions — From Our Family to Yours
Movie Magic. Kick off the season with an annual "Holiday Movie Night." Line up your favorite holiday DVDs, warm up apple cider, microwave some popcorn and settle in on the couch together for hours.
Holiday Decorating. Have an annual ornament party. Invite friends over — kids and grownups alike — and start with a bare tree. Set out the construction paper, pipe cleaners, sequins, glitter and glue gun, and by the end of the night, the tree will be full of fantastic ornaments.
Gifts from the Heart. Set a rule that at least one family gift is handmade. Jewelry, cards, crafts — nothing shows how much you care like a homemade gift.
Wrap Around the World. If you travel a lot and purchase gifts during your trip, wrap them in that locale's newspaper.
Family Food. Celebrate your heritage. Have "Pierogi Day" or "Ravioli Day" around the holidays. Invite the whole family to form an assembly line, and spend hours talking, laughing and making your culture's food from scratch.
A Sweet Gesture. Pour a mug of hot OVALTINE® and make cookies and bring them to the town's senior center. Spend time listening to older folks share their favorite holiday memories. Here's a great holiday cookie recipe.
Bonus Craft Idea:
This ''Easy Stitch'' Christmas Stocking, a wonderful keepsake, may become your family's next holiday tradition!
Stuck on a unique gift idea for teacher this holiday season? We headed straight to the classroom and asked some veteran educators for some suggestions.
- Consider a group gift
Ask parents in the class to donate to the "Teacher Fund" and buy a gift certificate to a movie theater, favorite restaurant or local spa facility.
- Get the kids involved
Encourage the class to make a video with the help of a few parents. Each child can share what he or she loves about coming to school.
- Give the gift of time
What teacher doesn't need help from time to time? Ask parents in the class to contribute their time. For example, you can volunteer to work with a small group of kids that need extra help in a math or reading. You can offer to give a guest lecture on something you're passionate about. You can staple homework packets, clean up after art class, chaperone a field trip — the teacher will appreciate it all! Present these helpful deeds to the teacher in a coupon book.
- Something for the entire staff
If your child has a number of teachers throughout the day, think about a group gift for the school. Perhaps parents can chip in for a new microwave or coffee maker for the teacher's lounge. Or maybe you treat them all to a nice holiday lunch delivered to the school. Let them know in advance, of course.
- Decorations that can be used year after year
Encourage all the students in the class to make an ornament with their name and the date on it. The teacher can use it to decorate the classroom or her home.
- Homemade is well loved, too
This Friendship Mobile made with JUICY JUICE® boxes and students' photographs will be a big hit! It's easy to make, and teacher can use it in her classroom all year round.
- Make it personal
Even the simplest gift can be enhanced with a handwritten note thanking the teacher for all he or she has done. Be specific. Notes that say such things as "Thanks to you, my son is excited about math for the first time ever," or, "You've really made history come alive for my daughter," are sure to be treasured for years to come