Arthur Christmas – A Christmas Classic in the Making

It had everything you want a movie to have.  There were messages of morality –  of brotherly love; pride in and respect for your parents; commitment to getting a job done; appreciation for the elderly.  There was humor – that kids could get and parents would enjoy.  And there were elves.  Thousands of them.  What’s not to love?

The premise of the movie is Santa – who has an heir and a spare.  Steve, the heir, is a techno-savvy sophisticate, with a Santa suit from Armani waiting for the day that his father passes the Santa mantle to him.  The spare is Arthur, a bumbling but lovable son, dedicated not only to Santa, but to the IDEA of Santa.  We all know that Santa can get to every child in one night, and this movie shows you what happens when one child is missed.

The movie is a reminder of what Christmas is all about – the spirit of giving, the kindness of heart, and the love of family – even if the family is a wee bit dysfunctional.  And it’s darn funny in doing it.

I know it’s after Christmas, but this is just the time to be reminded of your holiday spirit.  The gifts are nothing but piles of empty boxes, scattered toys, and unopened socks.  You’re down to the Christmas cookies no one likes and the ham bone that you promise you’ll make bean soup with.  Tomorrow.

Go see Arthur Christmas.  I rank it right up there with Elf as one of my must see Christmas movies from this point forward.

Cherpumple – It’s What’s For Dessert This Thanksgiving

You’ve been there with me – in the bakery, trying to decide what to pick up for your Thanksgiving dessert.  Someone wants pumpkin pie.  Someone else prefers apple pie.  Another someone asked for a nice layer cake.  If you’re like me, you want to make everyone happy, so you buy one of everything.

Your table looks outrageous, and what usually happens is that everyone takes a small sliver of everything, and you’re left with a half eaten pumpkin pie, apple pie, and layer cake.  And that, my good readers, is how my arse got to be the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon!

Let me save your Thanksgiving – and you hind end (well, maybe not so much).  I want to introduce you to the ultimate in holiday desserts.

The Cherpumple.

In this one incredible dessert, you have all of your holiday favorites.  The Cherpumple is a cherry pie, a pumpkin pie, and an apple pie all baked into a layer cake, then topped with cream cheese frosting!  Oh My Goodness!

The bottom layer of the cake is a spice cake, into which you bake an apple pie.  The middle layer is a yellow cake, and you’ll find a pumpkin pie surprise baked right in there.  Top the whole thing with a white cake filled with cherry pie, and you have a Cherpumple!

I’m pretty sure this would save me from Thanksgiving over dessert eating.  I could never get through a whole slice of this cake, and if there was any left, I don’t know that I’d have much trouble tossing it.  But I’d love to try it.

If you want to make your very own Cherpumple this holiday season, watch this informative video by the creator of this monster dessert.

Christmas Gifts For Teachers – Inexpensive and Useful

I have two daughters, and each daughter has two teachers (a teacher and an aide).  Each year, on a tight Christmas budget, I try to come up with something different but useful to give as a holiday gift for the teachers.

Since I have a 19 year old in addition to my 9 and 5 year olds, I know the drill when it comes to teacher gifts.  There are a lot of great gift ideas in the aisles of Target and WalMart that are inexpensive, lovely to look at, and things you think a teacher would use.  But in my mind, I think if I buy that awesome coffee set, the teacher will already have 9 other coffee mugs and she doesn’t drink coffee.  If I buy the bath set, she’ll have a house that only has a shower and skin allergies.  If I buy the candles, she’ll get 14 other candles that she’ll end up selling at a yard sale in the spring anyway.

I try to find something different.

This is going to be the first post among the Christmas gift ideas that will help you put together a nice, memorable gift – but memorable because it’s something a teacher can use!

This year, it’s Pasta Night baskets!  While browsing the aisles of my local Michael’s craft store, I found these items in their dollar clearance section.  The gift I’m making includes four pasta bowls, a bag of tri-color pasta, coasters, four placemats, and a set of paper napkin rings.  The items are going to be put into a colander that I found in the Dollar Store.  Viola!  Pasta Night gift basket for $12 per teacher!

Our Michael’s had a variety of four of five different patterns – we purchased the set above for the teacher, and the set below for the aides:

It provides a quick meal on a busy night during the holidays for the teacher, as well as a colorful gift for your child to give.  If you want to upsize, you can add some Italian seasonings, a garlic press, and a jar of good pasta sauce.  You can do the gift for under $10 if you eliminate the paper napkin rings, coasters, and the colander.

What a great holiday gift!