homemade christmas gift ideas

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6th December 2007 - No. 70
THIS ISSUE:
                         Chocolate and Christmas goes well together.
                         Recycle - KIDS craft activities.
                         Avoid the crowds: on-line alternatives to last-minute shopping.
                         Christmas cooking ideas – a delicious dessert.

    Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

Christmas is always a busy time as we all feel the need to finalise every and any project before the
big day. We have a few great ideas to share with you to perhaps reduce the panic and highlight the
fact that Christmas is a happy, caring and sharing time with family and friends.

    A Christmas Poem                                                    Quote me:
                                                            “There's nothing sadder in this world
    My Christmas Wish For You                                 than to awake Christmas morning
    by Ruth Kephart                                                  and not be a child.”
                                                                       Erma Bombeck
    Click here                                               I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal
                                                                         Depression


    Gifts KIDS can make

In the lead up to Christmas it‟s a great idea to involve the family in the gift giving process. Of
course there are plenty of things to make and do at home and here is something really fun. This is
both easy to make and a meaningful gift: the CD drink coaster. Using an old CD, a computer
print out of a family photo or one of their own drawings, KIDS can make this gift for a family
member or friend simply by cutting out the image to fit the CD and pasting it on with PVA glue.
To protect the coaster from spills, paint an extra layer of the glue over the picture.

Is your local activity provider listed with Activities4KIDS, if not tell them about us!


    Gift ideas that give back

                       What to give the person who has everything? Hmm, how about … cattle
                       manure? No, not „cos you‟re jealous! This crap present is the gift that keeps
                       on giving – the manure goes to Sri Lankan farmers and helps them fertilize
                       their rice paddies in an environmentally friendly way. Oxfam Unwrapped
                       has gifts ranging from the truly unusual to the deeply delightful.
                       The online gift shop has a wide selection of toys and games for children, as
                       well as hand crafted home wares; all made according to Fair Trade
                       requirements.
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 KIDS make Christmas

It‟s true, KIDS make Christmas fun, but with a bit of creativity they can
make your Christmas decorations as well. This is an activity that all
members of the family – even TEENS - can be persuaded to participate in.
Everyone will get satisfaction from seeing their decoration on the tree, and
they can be re-used in future Christmases. It could even become a family
tradition.

Good materials for this craft project include: construction paper in a variety of colours, large
needle and thick coloured thread, old newspapers, gold and silver pens, sticky-tape, glitter,
sequins, ribbons, and paste.

Cut out 2 star shapes and decorate with the pens, glitter and whatever else you like! Using the
needle, punch holes around the edges. Stuff with newspaper and stitch them together. Make sure
your KIDS sign their work (and date it, too).
At the top of the star, tie a loop of thread to hang it on the tree.

 Have an Aussie Christmas meal!

The traditional Christmas fare of roasted turkey, stuffing, baked potatoes and Christmas pud is a
wonderfully indulgent meal – for August! In the height of the Australian summer, other, lighter
options are more appealing. The next few issues of A4K news we‟ll be highlighting our favourite
Aussie Christmas recipes, starting with the best bit – dessert.
                Get into this classic Summer Christmas Pudding – it‟s easy to make, cool and
                delicious, and it‟s full of fruity goodness. It‟s best made the night before Christmas!

                Serves 10
                You will need: about 16 punnets berries (redcurrants, blueberries, strawberries,
                and raspberries), 400g caster sugar, 1½ cups water, 1 loaf stale white bread,
                crusts removed and thinly sliced.

Put most of the berries and all sugar and water in a pan. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved.
Add remaining fruit and stir. Strain, and reserve juice. Cut bread to fit the base of a large pudding
bowl. Cut the remaining bread in triangular pieces to line sides of bowl. Don‟t leave any gaps!
Pour the berries into the bowl, adding enough juice to stain the bread. Cover the top with more
overlapping bread, and add a little more juice to give the bread colour. Weight the top with a plate
and a can on top and refrigerate overnight to set. To serve, turn the bowl over onto a plate.
Decorate with extra berries and serve with double cream, vanilla ice-cream or yoghurt.

For more good eating ideas, check out Marketfresh, your complete guide to fresh produce.

KIDS WIN! Build a Merry Christmas Bear                                               advertorial


Build-A-Bear have 6 shops across NSW and
Victoria, but their fame has spread far and
wide. KIDS love to have something unique, and
at Build-A-Bear they can have just that. KIDS
choose from a variety of bears and bunnies
ranging from $15 - $35. This Christmas give a
gift that will be loved forever.                       Drop in to a Build-A-Bear store anytime
Make it extra special this Christmas with             during the holidays, or book for a fantastic
a Build-a-sound message that you record                             Birthday party.
yourself!
More Xmas Ideas
Here are a few fun Christmas gift ideas, click here

 Christmas Craft Project Kit – Order Today

Create your own home made foiled Christmas chocolates. A fun and easy craft project for family,
KIDS and TEENS. You and your family can create your own homemade Christmas chocolates,
molded in brilliant multi coloured pre-shaped foil molds. Have fun and make your own:
   * Tree Ornaments                                                 Special Offer for
   * Table Decorations                                                 December
   * Bottle Tags                                                   $15.95 (save $2.80)
   * Gift Cards                                                       Order NOW
   * Stocking Stuffers                                                 Click Here


This Christmas craft project kit has everything you need to make 18 unique foiled Christmas
treats; you just add some chocolate and your time. Clear easy to follow instructions. Save money
and have fun making your own beautiful Christmas chocolates.



Profiterole Christmas Tree


Serves 12-14
You will need:
  * 30 small profiteroles
  * Vanilla Icing – soft and peaky
  * Red and Green Jellybeans.
  * 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  * 250g sugar
  * 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  * 2 tbs chocolate chips


Directions:
1. Combine ricotta, sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
2. Fold in chocolate chips. Cut profiteroles in half and spoon in the filling. Replace tops.
3. Prepare vanilla icing
4. Dip bottom of profiteroles into icing. Place on serving tray.
5. Arrange 10 to 12 cream puffs in a circle. Continue to dip profiteroles in icing and add the
second layer of 6-8 profiteroles. Work up to the top keeping the tree in shape and topping with
one profiterole.
6. Allow some of the icing to drip over the tree.
Finish tree with Jellybeans poked into the tree. If needed, add a small dab of frosting to jellybean
to attach to tree. Serve immediately.

More KIDS’ gift ideas

You probably already know what your family want for Christmas – but what are they going to give
you? KIDS love to give gifts, and relatives and friends love to receive their hand-made work.
We‟ve already suggested some crafty possibilities - now for a culinary Christmas delight that KIDS
can make (with a little help from Mum and Dad, of course). Package in cellophane packs and tie
with ribbon.
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KIDS’ Christmas Stars
                             You will need: 3/4 cup softened butter, 1 cup white sugar, 2 eggs,
                             1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder,
                             1/4 tsp salt

                              KIDS can mix butter and sugar thoroughly with a wooden spoon,
                              slowly adding eggs, vanilla and finally the dry ingredients. When
                              combined, pop dough in fridge for a few hours, then preheat oven to
                              a moderate temperature. Sprinkle flour on the bench and roll out the
                              dough. KIDS can cut out the biscuits using a star-shaped cutter. Put
                              onto greased baking trays, decorate with hundreds and thousands or
silver sugar balls, and cook for about 10 minutes. Allow biscuits to cool. Store in airtight container
if you keep for family consumption!
To jazz up for school gifts, when straight out of oven, poke a paddle pop stick into the biscuit.
When cool, slide out and dip in icing and slide back. Package in a small bag and tie – great as a
gift for the whole class.

 Not-cute Christmas books and films for KIDS
             This classic dates back to 1975, but as we all know Father Christmas is ageless
             and so is this beautifully illustrated book. Wryly funny, Raymond Briggs‟ comic-
             book style story-telling reveals to young readers the human cost of flying all
             around the world in one night, cramming into chimneys and unsatisfying snacks.


Tim Burton‟s Nightmare before Christmas is spooky, but it‟s not at all scary.
Rated G, this whimsical animation has lots of endearing characters, a quirky
animation style and a message that just being yourself is perfectly ok.


              This book by Dr Seuss introduces the only Seuss word to enter
              common usage – ‘Grinch’, to describe someone mean and grumpy or „with a heart
              two sizes too small‟. With fun rhymes and zany illustrations, this book is even better
              when read aloud.


 Looking for a romantic dinner? Take your KIDS to Otford Farm.

                    It‟s wonderful to know the KIDS will be home for the holidays, but don‟t you
                    sometimes long for a week to yourselves? As Tim from Otford Farm explains,
                    some parents just need to finish some work, and might even be able to
                    squeeze in a romantic dinner when their KIDS stay at Otford Farm on a 5 day
                    horse-riding camp. Otford Family Farm is a picturesque 300 acre property in
                    Helensburgh, near Wollongong. This spectacular setting of rainforest,
                    mountains, and ocean views is a wonderful place for KIDS to reconnect with
                    nature. With comfortable bunk house accommodation, tasty, healthy meals
                    and best of all, guided horse-riding trips every morning and afternoon, KIDS
                    have the time of their lives. Tim says that the camp is so enjoyable that many
                    of the experienced and professional staff were once KIDS on camp too – they
                    liked it so much they stayed!

If your children are horse-mad, book them in to one of the organised camps from 17 – 21
December, 7 – 11 January or 14 – 18 January; or at any time for a group of 10 or more. Contact
Tim at Otford Farm for more information. Age 8 – 16. All levels of experience welcome!

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