24 Days of Christmas Goodies

Tomorrow is the first day of December, so that means it’s officially time to start the countdown to Christmas… right?! If you ask any of my family or friends what my favorite holiday is, they won’t hesitate to tell you that it’s Christmas. So, it only makes sense that I take over my mom’s blog for the month of December. I absolutely LOVE Christmas and everything that has to do with Christmas, and I usually don’t hesitate to let anyone know that Christmas is my favorite holiday. I mean what’s not to love?

  • Christmas Lights – Some may say I have a few too many Christmas lights out on the farm.
  • Christmas Movies – Any Hallmark movie or Christmas classic. The cheesier the better.
  • Christmas Music – The music you’ll hear in my car 90% of the time in the month of December.
  • The smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree – a family tradition that kicks-off the Christmas season
  • SNOW – only a little bit, for a small amount of time
  • Time with Friends – Everyone’s home for Christmas break. YAY!
  • Family Traditions – which mostly consist of making food or eating food

Which leads us to….

  • CHRISTMAS GOODIES! – need I say more?

In the Van Manen household, the month of December usually consists of a lot of baking. It is always a joy to bake Christmas goodies and then take them along to family gatherings and other Christmas parties. Over the years, our family has collected an abundance of recipes for Christmas goodies ranging from dips to cookies to candies. This year we thought we would share these recipes in the form of a countdown to Christmas.

So, without further ado, I present to you 24 days of Christmas goodies: (Starting tomorrow December 1st)

24 Days Until Christmas: A Family Tradition: Chocolate Covered Cherries

23 Days Until Christmas: The Perfect Man: Gingerbread Cookies

22 Days Until Christmas: A Savory Treat: Ham Spread

21 Days Until Christmas: One of My Favorites: Thumbprint Cookies

20 Days Until Christmas: A Snack Everyone Enjoys: Chex™ Mix

19 Days Until Christmas: An Easy to Make Snack: Caramel Puffcorn

18 Days Until Christmas: A Candy So Delicious You Have to Hide it Until Christmas Day: Peanut Clusters

17 Days Until Christmas: Times Two: Cheese Balls

16 Days Until Christmas: Stay Warm – Hot Chocolate

15 Days Until Christmas: Grandma B’s Specialty: Candy Cane Cookies

14 Days Until Christmas: Aunt Michele’s Delicious Homemade Caramels

13 Days Until Christmas: And the tradition continues: Sugar Cookies

12 Days Until Christmas: Emily’s Day Off – Bugle Snack Mix

11 Days Until Christmas: A Classic: Peanut Butter Star Cookies

10 Days Until Christmas: Snowballs or Russian Tea Cakes

9 Days Until Christmas: Puppy Chow – Yum!

8 Days Until Christmas: A Day of Milestones & Puff Pillows

7 Days Until Christmas: The Melt in Your Mouth Cookies: Sandwich Cremes

6 Days Until Christmas: Aunt Kelli’s Taco Dip

5 Days Until Christmas: A Night of Father/Daughter Bonding & Trying Out an Old Family Recipe

4 Days Until Christmas: Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle

3 Days Until Christmas: Cherry Chip Candy

2 Days Until Christmas: Homemade Oreos

1 Day Until Christmas: A recipe from my Great Great Grandma Bunse: German Brown Cookies



Love, Emily


The Countdown Continues!

FIVE DAYS TO GO!!!  Five months ago we began the countdown for  J and K’s Big Day (a.k.a. Jacob and Kate’s Wedding).  Until last week, the media helped us countdown by announcing the countdown to the election and then we just added eleven days!  Well, now we can say,  The wedding is this week!!!  (Do you think this mother is a little excited?!!!)


The crop was barely sprouting last spring  when we began praying for a timely fall in order for the combine to be parked before the wedding! We have been blessed with a super fall! The groom kept the combine moving, and  we were able to complete harvest a few weeks ago.  Plans are to wrap fall fieldwork up his week before the wedding.  Friday, Kevin finished baling corn stalk bales for our cattle bedding.  (We use approximately 2,000 throughout the year!)  A good job done!



Snickers is enjoying the new pillow cover that Grandma B. made.  Wedding preparations and helping Emily put up Christmas lights around the farm just wears a dog out!


Last night Kate was giving instructions to Grandma Van for a wedding preparation job!

You might say that I am just a little sentimental as the week begins!  Where does the time go?  Here is Jacob with two of his cousins.  It has been such a blessing to watch these three little boys develop into fine young men.  Shane was born March ’91; Ryan, March’92;  and Jacob, June ’92.  The latest picture of the three boys was taken a few months ago in July at Shane and Ashley’s wedding.  We have been keeping Grandma Van busy with wedding preparations this year!!


See  Fall Flavors – My Two “Go to Bars” for the recipes for two of my favorite bars that are on the dessert menu for the rehearsal supper  Friday night.  Pumpkin Bars and Monster Cookie Bars.


Have a great Monday!