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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Goodies

To borrow from the Dragonriders of Pern series, I've gone Between. By the time you see this I'll have already arrived at Zannini South. (I hope.) We're spending Christmas at Greg's place since he has to work Christmas day. (Dangerous jobs never stop for holidays.)

As usual, you can contact me through this blog, but the only email I'll be able to respond to is at my super secret email address. We're still having trouble retrieving my regular email when I'm at Zannini South. If Greg doesn't mind, I am going to try to change his browser to Firefox and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't, I won't be able to answer you until I get back.

I will have a special holiday message on the 24th, and might even post sooner, depending on my schedule.


I was forced to get all Martha Stewart on my neighbors. They gifted us with the most amazing food. There was no way I could compete with that. So I baked some very simple muffins and cookies and dressed them up on a pretty tray.

I begged my friend, Mel, whose dog I'm dog-sitting, for some ideas, but she didn't get my email in time. She's still in Brazil and has limited access to a computer, so our communication is always delayed.

Mel, is kinda like a reincarnated Martha Stewart. I'm not kidding you, the woman should be on television. She's that good. Everything she touches looks magical.

Mel has tried her best to rehabilitate me, and fortunately, some of her teachings have stuck, so I'm not a total loser in the gift giving department. They may not be Martha Stewart pretty, but they come from the heart.

If you'd like to create a gift for your neighbor, here are some ideas.

• One silver tray from the Dollar Store. It's actually pretty nice for what it is--it's metal, with a stamped design.

• An oven mitt, pot holder or Christmas themed kitchen towels.

• Cookie cutters in various designs. You can probably find these in the Dollar Store too, but I got a big box of assorted metal cookie cutters during the after-Christmas sales last year.

• You can also include a nice Christmas ornament.

• Pre-wrapped Christmas candy

• Nuts in their shells

• Baked goods

Insert the mitt, towel, or pot holder in one of the cookie cutters. Layer the baked goods by variety if you are doing more than one. Dress with nuts and packaged candy. The mitt and cutter can be a centerpiece or you can create something more asymmetrical.

Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and a bow.

I apologize for not posting the completed tray. I started doing a series of photos showing each layer, but then my camera died, so I never got to the last step of adding the nuts and tiny muffins. But you get the idea. (Shown here are cranberry iced cookies--my absolute favorite cookie.)

Do you give gifts to your neighbors? What do you like to give?


Sherri said...

I'm a baking queen around Christmas so I always do up a baked goods tray.

Thanks for the Holiday wishes and Congrats.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Sherri!

I know your Christmas is a lot brighter now. {{Hugs}}

Dru said...

I like it.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Dru. Hope you stay warm and toasty.

Merry Christmas!

Shelley Munro said...

That looks beautiful, Maria. I'm sure your neighbor will love it. I know I would.

We don't give presents to our neighbors - actually we don't know they well. Our neighbors are all very private people. We occasionally have a couple of drinks together, but that's as far as it goes.

Maria Zannini said...

This is the first place I've lived where neighbors come out of the wood works to visit and celebrate.

I've enjoyed all the goodies (way too much). LOL.

Marian said...

I like making bookmarks with the person's name on them. All you need is colored card, scissors, calligraphy pen and ink, etc.

For a friend I made the bookmark out of green card, folded over so there was a space between two layers of green card. Inserted a narrow strip of yellow card into that space, then cut leaf shapes out of the green card so the yellow showed through. It reminded me of fall.

Hope you and your family have a great Christmas! And pictures of the dogs wearing Santa hats would be most welcome. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Very clever!

I do make cookies and put together little tins or trays for neighbors.

Have a merry Christmas!

Maria Zannini said...

That is so clever, Marian! I don't know if my neighbors are readers. But it's given me some ideas to try for next year.

Merry Christmas!

Maria Zannini said...

Merry Christmas, Jennifer. I'd trade cookies with you any time!