Holiday Season

DIY Stocking Stuffers

Last-minute, do-it-yourself gift ideas from Good Housekeeping to stuff your loved ones’ stockings: homemade calendars, coasters, magnets, and more..!





Holiday Season: How to make it one to remember! 

Start a family tradition of bringing the generations in a whole new way. Help youngsters and seniors bond by organizing cross-generational interviews about everyone’s favorite family holiday.


Just count the great payoffs when you:

  • Bring all generations together for a fun, unique and memorable holiday event
  • Help youngsters appreciate family traditions, celebrations, and their elders
  • Give them lifelong academic skills rarely taught in class–writing, history, social studies etc.
  • Make a permanent keepsake or “snapshot” book about the members of your family
  • Make youth feel more active in, and important to, the family as your project’s authors.
  • Work in teams–even getting guests involved
  • Learn how to organize an innovative fundraiser for a favorite organization, charity or group

And at the end of the day, designate the most enthusiastic youth the Official Family Historian!

Just prepare a convenient recording method to save the interviews (video, audio, still camera or even paper and pencil).Have one adult “coach”  the kids (aged 10 and up may work best) on what they’ll be doing, in 30 minutes or less.Encourage the kids to think up interesting questions to ask the seniors. Have them tell the coach what they’d like to ask; and as long the question’s appropriate, give the kids the spotlight.

Questions might include:

  1. What’s your earliest holiday memory?
  2. How did your family celebrate when you were a little boy or girl?
  3. How was it different from what we’re doing this year?
  4. What was the best present you ever received?
  5. What’s the most fun thing you can imagine doing next year?

Let the seniors know the plan ahead of time, so they can come prepared with photos or memorabilia

If you take photos or videos of the completed interviews, post them online or make a multimedia family stroll down memory lane!



Holiday Season Recipe: Glühwein – German style mulled wine

By: Ilona Yon & Nick Williams

This is a traditional German Christmas drink and has been used for hundreds of years (some say as far back as Ancient Greek times) in one form or another.

Today there are dozens of local and regional variations on what in German speaking countries is known as Glühwein and thus is found in dozens of languages but all basically vary on the theme of “Hot/boiled/mulled, spiced wines made and consumed around the Winter Holidays”.

There is no set or standard formula and just about every town, region or even family has its own variation on a basic Glühwein. Once the basic Glühwein is made, one can stick to the standard or experiment and make their own “family” version based on taste, tradition or available ingredients.

  • 1 Bottle of Red wine (dry is best) -use the cheapest wine(within reason!) as the added ingredients make the final product(Table wine is suggested
  • 1 Lemon (orange can be used too- experiment with half a lime if you like)
  • 2-3 sticks of Cinnamon
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (my family preferred brown/Dark sugar but honey is also prized for this)
  • A dash of cardamom (pods are better) and/or ginger – a bay leaf is also seen – but this is where the “experiment for personal taste comes in!!)

Pour wine into a cooking pot, warm wine (DO NOT BOIL!) and then add the other ingredients (Sometime sticking the cloves into the lemon peel- if cut into wedges is suggested but slices of lemon will work too). Warm the mixture for about 5 to 7 minutes (no boiling). Remove from heat and let stand for one hour (the longer the deeper/richer the flavors). Re-heat, strain  and serve. PROST – Zum Wohl .(Enjoy)

“Mitt schuss” (with a shot) of brandy, rum (my Family used this-), schnapps, vodka, kirsch or other liqueur.