Sunday 16 December 2018

Helping Our Loved Ones to GIVE During the Holidays!

Our loved ones have dependency needs and sometimes that can make them feel 'superfluous' as my Mom used to say. More than anything, my Mom wanted to feel useful - she loved helping others! Christmas in our family was one time that we could help Mom to give. 

(NOTE: My Mom passed away on August 16 of this year and this Christmas will be very different for our family, but that's a subject for my next blog post.) 

Nicholas loves to give presents as well. As a matter of fact, today Jim is out hitting the shops with him. They're going for holiday haircuts at a trendy men's barbershop and then they're going to buy everything on Nick's giving list. Nicholas gives a lot of thought to choosing just the right present for his friends, helpers and family. 

If you are searching for something special to make and give with your loved one, you could try one of these personal favourites of mine: Spiced pecans or Cranberry Pistachio Christmas bark. Here are the recipes...

Spiced Pecans

2 cups Pecan Halves
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet. Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. Pour over pecans and toss with your hands, then spread evenly on the pan. Bake 15 minutes. Stir and toss again - then decant into pretty jars. I got mine at the Dollar store!

Cranberry Pistachio Christmas Bark

1 lb. White Chocolate (I use Baker's brand)
1 cup dried Cranberries
1 cup shelled, salted pistachios

Melt chocolate in the microwave (no more than 2 minutes at first, then in one minute increments after that, stirring till it's all melted)
Add the cranberries and pistachios and stir well. 
Line a cooking sheet with foil and spread the chocolate/fruit/nut mixture thinly on the foil.
Refrigerate till firm and cold, then break up into smaller pieces.

Your loved ones can help, even if it's just by tasting and helping to stir (Nick stirs with my hand over his). Each step in a simple recipe is an opportunity to contribute. My Mom didn't like to cook, but she loved to give. AND we chatted as I cooked - then she just beamed as she gave her friends and helpers their homemade
gifts. Giving is powerful medicine for anyone who feels a little bit 'superfluous' over the holidays. 

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