Tuesday Quick Hints--Christmas Edition

Candles and Beans: This is super easy: any container, any candles, any dry beans. I’m sure you can put together something.

Crackers: an English tradition that is catching on here finally. At the dinner table each person holds one end of the cracker and his neighbor holds the other end. Count together..1,2,3…pull! A loud pop and everyone gets a paper crown, a toy and a silly riddle to read aloud. One year we were laughing and carrying on so much we didn’t notice that the paper landed on the votive candles which set the tablecloth on fire. Talk about Christmas excitement!

Nutmeg: You’d be amazed at the difference using fresh nutmeg makes. You can now buy the whole nuts in grocery stores from McCormick spices. Use one of those rotary hand cheese graters or a microplane, but be very careful of those fingertips. Apple or pear crisp, rhubarb pie, scalloped potatoes with gruyere cheese, banana bread, all taste better with fresh nutmeg.

I haven’t really done this yet, but it seems like such a good idea:

Tin for Gift Cards: Use a rectangular mint tin, like Altoids, to wrap a gift card. You can use scraps of paper, maybe cut up old Christmas cards to decorate the top and inside of the tin lid. Use a small square of tissue paper inside to make it more like opening a present. Much nicer presentation than an envelop.

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