Isn’t December just wonderful? Okay… that’s a bit of sarcasm. I mean, it’s a great month, but it gets a little overwhelmingly busy. Take this week, for example. I returned from a marvelous vacation over the weekend with a fairly empty week. In a matter of 24 hours being home, I’d added 7 appointments, 3 playdates and 3 calls to my schedule. Of course, I also couldn’t skip CyberMonday yesterday, so I spent a bit of time watching the sales. And, suddenly, dinner time was upon us. Thank goodness I already had my meal plan!
Realistically, that’s how all of December ends up. It’s one thing after another, and squeezing in time to get ready for events, parties, buy last minute forgotten gifts… It’s just a crazy time. Have I mentioned that at Thanksgiving I gave thanks for having a monthly dinner plan always ready to rely on?
A few holiday topics that are trending on Julieverse …
The teacher shopping (and holiday shopping) continue, as the Teacher Gift List posts remain at the top of searches at Julieverse. Here are a few popular lists of suggestions for holiday gifts for teachers, athletes and kids. (All posts are updated with 2015 links.)
Also relevant big reads this week are Hanukkah highlights:
- Our 8 Nights of Hanukkah describes how our family assigns a theme to each night of Hanukkah, helping our focus to remain on the family, rather than gifting.
- Favorite Hanukkah Books for Children is an lengthy listing of books your family will enjoy reading together, categorized by interest.
- Having an Interfaith family offers excitement, but also, at times, added stress. Here’s a story of how we celebrate both December holidays in our home.
- The biggest share of the week was this listing of Interfaith holiday books for families. There aren’t many books available at this time, and I look forward to adding to this list each year.
December Meal Plan
Monday: Easy Slowcooker Chili
Tuesday: Panko Parmesan Chicken Tenders and Panko Parmesan Zucchini Fingers (follow same recipe for chicken)
Thursday: Quick Pastitsio
Weekend: Extra Easy Lasagna, Hanukkah Brisket and Roasted Veggies (Hanukkah begins 12/6/15)
Monday: Herbed Cheese-Stuffed Salmon & Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
Thursday: Turkey Meatloaf and green beans
Weekend: Loaded Baked Potato Soup; MYO Pizza night
Monday: Crock Pot Sweet Apricot Chicken with side of fresh veggies
Tuesday: Quick Fall Minestrone
Wednesday: Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
weekend: Incredibly Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf with salad; Citrus Salmon with Watercress Salad
(This is Christmas week… so adjust and plan accordingly. Also, don’t forget to include your Christmas morning breakfast casserole in your plans. Here’s my recipe for French Toast Casserole, which can be made Gluten Free and is loved no matter which way you make it. Take note! You must make this the night before you serve it–which makes it perfect for Christmas morning.)
Monday: Steak Fajitas
Tuesday: Butternut Squash Soup with side salad
Wednesday: Christmas Eve dinner — Whole Chicken with Acorn Squash & Stewed Tomatoes with Basil
Thursday: Christmas — start the morning with the French Toast Casserole
Weekend: Beef & Beer Chili, Slow Cooker Turkey Breast (here are the basic how-to instructions for slow-cooking a turkey breast. This time, I’m adding a can of cranberry sauce and a packet of onion soup.)
(See what I mean? 2014!!! This is New Year’s week… so adjust and plan accordingly.)
Monday: Rigatoni with Sausage & Tomato Cream Sauce I also add chopped red or green peppers with the onions
Tuesday:Sweet & Sour Chicken with Soba Salad
Wednesday: Jambalaya for a crowd (this is actually the recipe I use for New Years Eve–so if you’re entertaining this week, move Jambalaya to whichever that night will be for you.)
Weekend: Cauliflower & Chickpea stew, Beef & Vegetable Pot Pie
Hosting a New Year’s Eve Party
Check out my New Year’s Eve Family Party Pinterest Board full of lots of ideas for our party.
Follow Julie Meyers Pron’s board New Years Eve family party on Pinterest.
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