Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Decorating

Yesterday we had our traditional after Thanksgiving get together.  Our son, daughter-in-law and daughter were here for a big turkey dinner with all of the usual dishes:  turkey, sage dressing, apple-cranberry-yam casserole,  mashed potatoes, noodles, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pistachio salad, rolls, and 3 different types of pie.  That was the main course.

We also had a spread of snacks with dips, veggies, and crackers.   My daughter makes a great pumpkin dip.  Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Dip

1 bar of cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 can of pumpkin (15 ounce can)

Cream the powdered sugar and cream cheese with mixer, then slowly add the pumpkin.  Mix together and serve with graham crackers. 

While I was getting ready for dinner, the family started testing our outside Christmas lights and by late afternoon they had finished putting them up.  Here are the results:

They decorated all the way around the house, even the sides.

Many years ago I asked my father-in-law if he could weld.  I still remember the look he gave me.  I asked him if he would make a Christmas Star to hang on the front of our house.  He made the frame, and I wrapped it with 600 lights.  It's one of my most treasured Christmas decorations.

To keep the group energized while they were working, I baked cookies and served them warm from the oven. 

This was my Mom's recipe for Oatmeal Ice Box Cookies.  She was notorious for having a roll of cookie dough in her refrigerator so that when we stopped over she could quickly bake a pan of cookies, and we could have a cup of tea and a warm cookie.  I had made my cookie dough the day before just as she used to do, so all I had to do was slice and bake.  Enjoy!
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Oatmeal Ice Box Cookies 
Makes about 60 cookies.

1 cup shortening (Butter Crisco)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal (uncooked)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Mix all together.  After mixing you can either bake right away or make the cookie dough into rolls, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate.  Then slice thin and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.   NOTE:  I bake at 365 degrees for 9 minutes with the oven on convection so the cookies are chewy. 

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!!  


  1. Gorgeous lights,LuAnn! Your neighborhood will appreciate the effort. It looks so festive and homey. Kat

  2. Happy Thanks giving to you and your family.. Your Christmas decoration are awesome and I love it !!Take care and have fun..

  3. Thanks for sharing the recipes! Pumpkin dip sounds yummy, and the house looks great. Love the star, so much more special since it was made by a loved one. :o)

  4. That is such a nice idea to have the family help do the decorating. DH and I struggle through it alone. We will have to reconsider! I love that star--very special!
    The pumpkin dip sounds yummy--thanks for the recipe. That cookie recipe is almost identical to the one I use, but I've never tried the refrigeration method. Sounds really convenient.

  5. Your pictures always get me in the holiday mood...

    Thanks for the recipe for the Pumpkin Dip. Will try it soon....

  6. Gorgeous lights...looks like lots of fun there!

  7. I love Christmas lights and yours look very festive. Would love to drive by!
    Thanks for the recipes - everything I'm not supposed to have - but they sound yummy!

  8. Hi looks like you had a nice get-together Friday. The lights look so pretty. I'm saving your cookie recipe as they sound really yummy. Thanks for sharing.


  9. That star is really beautiful!

  10. What a wonderful dinner you had!
    And your house looks wonderful :) I love the star and the story behind it. It's great that you keep your traditions alive!

  11. Wow - you definitely get in the spirit of Christmas! Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Lots of food and family make for a great celebration.

  12. Your Christmas lights look wonderful and the star is very special. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Take care.

  13. Everyone is getting me in the Christmas Spirit....your house looks wonderful.

  14. What a wonderful day you all had! Love the lights LuAnn and I need to borrow your

    Thank you for the recipes. I'm going to mix up a batch of the cookies this afternoon. They sound super yummy.

  15. Your house looks amazing!!!!!

  16. Now that is a lot of lights! The star is beautiful and the recipes sound wonderful.

  17. Your house looks incredible! The lights are great. And recipes, too? Wow, thanks, but now i'm hungry again! lol. I am definitely going to try your DD's pumpkin dip... that sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  18. The pictures were great! Your house looks so festive! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I'm going to try both of those recipes. Yummy! I have some pumpkin leftover and this will just hit the spot. The cookie recipe sounds great too. I'll try that one soon too.

    I love all the pictures of Shipshewana. Great shops, I really want to visit there.

  19. Your Christmas decorations look wonderful and the recipes sound so yummy. Next family gathering I think they may get pumpkin dip.


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