A Post: Deliver the Christmas Cheer

I can't believe it's already mid-December! It seems like Thanksgiving just ended and I was just starting to decorate the apartment, begin the wrapping and light the pine scented candles. It actually felt too early. Like I was betraying Thanksgiving in some way. However, I guess I'm glad I got a start on it all because it's less than a week away! I got the shopping done early, and actually only had to call about two gifts that were missing, and fight over one parking space to replace one of those aforementioned gifts. So. I'm officially done with the gift getting and have a few packages to wrap up before I can sit back and relax.

Our apartment's generally clear surfaces are currently covered by boxes wrapped in festive paper and bags full of surprises. I love to choose little things for my loved ones that I know will bring the biggest smile. I keep mental notes of all the things they've mentioned throughout the year so they get the perfect little something. However, purchased items aren't always the meaning of success, so I decided to throw in some homemade gifts to lighten the load and spread the love. Sorry for all the Instagram/camera filtered photos... I was too lazy to get out the dslr.

Here's a couple I'd like to share that are simple enough to finish just in time for the big day.

S'mores Kits

I initially found this gem on Pinterest during Halloween. When I saw Christmas tree shaped Peeps at the grocery story, I figured I'd give it a go. S'mores just happen to be one of my most favorite desserts, and these festive little trees make it the cutest treat.

What you'll need: (Note: I'm a craft hoarder, ask J.. he'll confirm, so I had all of this stuff around the house. I'm saying this so you don't feel like a weirdo if you don't.)

1 box Christmas tree shaped Peeps (they also have gingerbread men and snowmen)
1 bag Hershey's mini bars
1 box of graham crackers (if you're feeling up to it you can make your own, I like this recipe.)
Sandwich bags
Treat bags
Ribbon, Yarn or Twine

I use sandwich bags to keep the contents fresh so that the recipient can choose to eat them right away or save for later. If you have a vacuum sealer, you're way cooler than me, and should definitely use that. Place two graham crackers, two Peeps and two hershey bars next to one another (you can also play around with the placement) in the sandwich bag and seal. Place within a festive treat bag, or sheet of tissue paper, or piece of burlap, and make a neat bow with the decorative ribbon, yarn or twine. I also bought mini snowflakes, used a hole punch, and threaded the ribbon through to make gift tags, but you can do whatever you want to add a little extra flair. Finish by smiling innocently while handing over to children already full of SUGAR.

I gave these to all the kids in my extended family and they loved them. Their parents can pop them in the microwave for a quick dessert, or they can snack on the items individually. It might not be the most HEALTHY holiday treat on your list, but it's definitely tasty! It's also really quick and easy. So... you're welcome & enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Blondies (recipe featured and adapted from

If you haven't tried a recipe from Tracy's blog, you need to do something about that ASAP because they are the best. Like Joy the Baker (they actually have a podcast together), she features delicious goodies that are sometimes healthy, and a lot of times not, with good ingredients and awesome photo steps to match. To say I'm in love with her blog is an understatement. When I saw her recipe for these blondies, I knew I had to make them for my Dad's family Christmas party. Total success. Seriously, I didn't even get to bring any left overs home, which is rare considering the amount of desserts often present.

(I briefly considered using butterscotch with chocolate chips, which you can totally do, but decided against it. Next time, I say!)

What you'll need:

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed I used half dark and half light, but it's whatever
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts I'm weird about nuts in my desserts so I didn't add these
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • Small bag of decorative M&Ms of your choice I chose the green and red colored, dark chocolate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 x 12 x 2 inch baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well, scraping down the bowl. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and with the mixer still on low, slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. I chose to add festive M&Ms to the top of the blondies to make a little design. Lightly press them into the very top of the dough in whatever design you choose or sprinkle them over (again lightly pressing in). Bake for 30 minutes (or what seems like forever in my ridiculous oven).

The finished product: 

Hope everyone is having a happy holiday! Remember to reach out to all those that love and let them know how much you care. :)


  1. Love your pics and this post - definitely got me in the Christmas mood this morning. I think living in FL and it being so hot, I haven't really felt the Christmas spirit as much this year. I loved your idea of the smores - best food ever! I'm done with my shopping, too - YAY! Just need to start baking Christmas treats for the upcoming holiday parties and I'm all set. I can't wait for the festivities to begin, but at the same time, I can't believe that they are already going to happen. This December is flying by! Enjoy your holidays and thanks for the Christmas Cheer!

    1. Nadia, I can relate since I'm located in Georgia. I like to the pull all the curtains shut and turn on the Christmas lights so I can pretend I'm nice and cozy in a little cabin, tucked away. You should try these- they are so easy!!! And delicious. I'm a little sad that it's already here because I wish it would last forever, but I guess that just can't happen. We start our gift exchanging and festivities tomorrow so I'm excited about celebrating for a while! Happy Christmas to you!

  2. I love this Christmasssy post! I like to make some homemade gifts too - this year I've been baking lots of Lebkuchen and mince pies, although not many are left for next week! :P

    1. Sam,
      Yay! Or, glad you liked it. That sounds more grownup, I guess. Homemade gifts are the best because A) People usually love handmade stuff & 2) it's a great challenge! I like to try really difficult things and then run around the apartment like Rocky. So. I enjoy it. I keep trying to not eat the cookies and so forth. So much sugar! Happy Holidays, Sam!!!

  3. Your apartment pics look lovely... isn't it great being prepared a week ahead of time? Now you have plenty of time to relax and eat up all the blondies!!

    1. Thanks! It's nice and cozy and festive. I got really excited about the season this year. I've been a gift wrapping fool. Very nice that I'm all done and don't have to worry about running out for anything. The shops are crazzzzy! :)

  4. Omg, smores kits! That is GENIUS!

    Your tree is super, super pretty :)

    1. Yes, smores are the BEST!
      And thanks! :) We do the tabletop because our cats like to try to eat it! :)

  5. Crazy that we are only a few days away from Christmas! Pretty much ready, but have a few things I'd still like to pick up. It is feeling like Christmas for the first time as it started snowing here this morning. It was almost 60 degrees a few days ago and felt more like spring.

    Love the smores idea, that is so cool.

    Also love the pictures of your apartment. Very festive.

    Hope you have a marvelous Christmas!!!

    1. Yes! I can't believe it's next week. Yeah, Atlanta has finally gotten a little chilly. Well, I think big time chilly because it feels like 22 out. Ugh. But maybe snow? I can hope.
      Smores are the best so I had to spread the cheer. & Thanks, I like to decorate the in since we can't do the outside.
      You too!! P.s. I saw that you finished I'm Half Sick of Shadows and am currently reading it, so I'm going to head over to check out your review when I'm all done. Looking forward to it!

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