Category Archives: Christmas

As Seen on the Internet

How in the world did we ever live without the Internet? (And cell phones, and computers, and mini iPads for that matter?)

I thought that I would share with you a couple of things that I have recently seen on the Internet. You might want to make these treats or do these craft activities with your grandchildren this Christmas season.

pompom treeThis pom pom tree is easy to make. You just glue pom poms on a Styrofoam cone.

rudolphTurn an empty yogurt cup into a clever craft. This is a way cute Rudolph. (For young grandchildren, you’d have less mess if you just taped brown construction paper around the cup.)

chowAnd what will you feed Santa’s reindeer? Why reindeer chow! The recipe uses Oreo cookies, pretzels, white almond bark, and holiday sprinkles.

pretzel treatHere’s an easy and outta this world yummy reindeer treat (because it uses Rolo candy)! It only uses pretzels, Rolos, and Sixlets candies. (You could use red M&Ms if you can’t find the Sixlet candy.)

snowmanThis paper plate snowman is easy to make. (You’ll have to scroll and scroll and scroll down this site to get to the directions for this snowman!) This craft is inexpensive and easy to make.

pretzel treatAnd last but not least, is another pretzel treat. Simply put Hershey kisses on a pretzel, heat in the oven for a few minutes, and then smoosh an M&M candy into the kiss.

Christmas Doorbell Ditch

When driving around looking at Christmas lights, play 'Christmas lights doorbell ditch' where you leave a doorknob hanger complimenting what wonderful lights the house has.

 Last week, I wrote about doing a Christmas light scavenger hunt with your grandchildren. That reminded me of an activity that my son and daughter-in-law have done with their children.

You’ve probably heard about doorbell ditching, haven’t you? That’s where you ring somebody’s doorbell and run away.

This activity is similar. Only better. It’s a kinder, gentler version of doorbell ditching.

You could do this activity as you are doing your Christmas light scavenger hunt. I think ‘tween’ and teen grandchildren (and grandma!) would really enjoy doing.

Basically, you drive around the neighborhood enjoying the Christmas lights and doing your scavenger hung. When you see a home with Christmas lights that you especially like, you quietly run to the door, slip a special door hanger over the front door knob, ring the door bell, and scurry away before you are discovered.

we like your lights door hanger on Grandma IdeasPeople answer the door and find a pleasant surprise that says their lighting efforts are appreciated.

They get a warm fuzzy feeling because now they know that others like their Christmas lights!

Your family get a warm fuzzy feeling because they have done a secret kindness.

Here is a ‘we like your lights door hanger that you can print up and use for the door hanger.

Santa Retires

Clever video about Santa retiring.      GrandmaIdeas.comThe creative folks at Erickson Living are at it again.

Remember when I shared their video about Grandkids retiring? They have created another clever, and very well-done video, about Santa Claus retiring. Who would have ever thought that Santa would retire, eh? (After 1,742 years on the job, I think he deserves a rest, don’t you?)

The part I like best is where Santa keeps his room so cold! I have a son-in-law who thinks that I keep my house too warm. I ask you, is 72 degrees too warm? Not even! (My son-in-law keeps his home around 68 degrees. Brrrr . . .)

Take a few moments in your Christmas hustle and bustle to watch this video. It will put a smile on your lips. It did on mine!

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Making Popcorn Balls with Your Grandkids

popcorn_ball(NOTE: this is a guest post by Alison Foster. Thank you Alison for writing a post for my blog!)

My grandkids and I love to cook together, especially when we make dessert. While the traditional cakes and cookies are great, around the holidays we like to get a little more creative.

We have a traditional recipe we use at our house but it is for the brave of heart only. It is an old recipe for popcorn balls, not that they have changed much over the years. And anyone who has ever made candy knows how to get the candy to the soft ball or hard ball stage, and if they do not they can use a candy thermometer. Which even though I do know how to check I still use because it takes so much of the guess work out.

That sounds like the hard part but the hard part, which in some warped way is the fun part, is when you are making the balls. The candy hardens so quickly that you have to mix it quickly with the fresh popcorn and squeeze the balls together with overly buttered hands. Which only partially keeps them from burning, you have to be quick and kind of toss the ball back and forth between hands!

Somehow I have convinced my grandchildren over the years to make these with me and we end up saying we will never do it again but we do. They taste so good if you get them to the right stage. The little kids get hand me down balls to form, after the initial burning we older folks take. It is sort of like a game of hot potato! We always end up in tears, part from laughter and part from the hot candy! Sounds kind of dangerous and it can be so safety is utmost when pouring the hot candy.

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
8 cups dry popped corn (no salt or butter)
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour popcorn into large buttered metal turkey pan or mixing bowl. Make sure to remove un-popped kernels.

In a heavy duty pot, melt butter on medium high heat. Add sugar and corn syrup. Boil to hard ball stage (around 250 degrees) — if you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop some of the mixture into cold water. It should form hard strings. Quickly remove from heat. Stir in baking soda, vanilla, and food coloring (optional). Pour the syrup over the popcorn and toss to coat it evenly. Spread the coated popcorn onto a lined cookie sheet and let it cool. This would be the safe method. What we usually do is coat our hands with butter and quickly press the coated popcorn into balls.

This recipe is a favorite in our house — the popcorn balls are a lot of fun to make and yummy to eat. Have a blast making them with your grandkids because it really does make for great memories later on.

Author Byline:
Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmailDOTcom.