- Nativities--wherever we can see them
- Music--Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, St. Olaf, Mannheim Steamroller, New Irish Hymns #3
- Candles--just not making them
- Lehnertz Avenue--This is a street in Aurora, IL where each house puts up part of the Christmas story, Scripture on one side and characters all moving toward the huge nativity in the park on the other, and you drive past the whole thing. There is music playing and if it happens to be snowing a little; well, it doesn't get much more perfect than that. When you get to the circle at the far end, there is a Charlie Brown story. They have been doing this since before my parents were born.
- Being up to our eyeballs in Family
- Fuzzy PJs
- Special sweet treats (but you knew that already, didn't you?)
- Snowflakes--as long as we don't have to go anywhere
- Snuggling by the fireplace and reading together
- The grace given to us in the form of Immanuel
Christmas Caramels (last recipe this year, I promise)
1 c. butter
2 1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
15 oz can sweetened condensed milk (not fat free!)
1 t. vanilla
In a heavy saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter. Then add brown sugar, syrup, and salt and stir until well combined. Slowly add sweetened condensed milk. Stirring constantly (a heat resistant utensil with a flat edge that will be flush against the bottom of the pan works best), cook until mixture reaches 245*. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a greased 8x8 inch pan, cover and cool over night. When cool, cut into small squares and wrap each square in wax paper. Store in air tight container.
*This recipe is not hard, but requires patience. It should take about 20 minutes to reach the right temp and you cannot stop stirring or it will burn. Please be mindful of the high temps you are working at as well.