For almost everyone, Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year! When December comes we are all waiting for the Christmas period, one of the most important celebrations for humanity. We can’t wait for the day we will decorate the Christmas tree, leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus and exchange gifts with our family and friends. Happy faces and the whole family gathered together are the peaks of the Christmas time!

Christmas, however, is much more than that! It’s a day of love and brotherhood. Christ becomes human. He comes to be born in the humble cave of Bethlehem, to teach and later to be crucified only for the love for humans and for his salvation.

Today, more than two thousand years later, the brilliant star of Holy Night leads us on the same path, inviting us to follow the same path: to open our hearts to our fellow man regardless of his origin, nationality, social position or economic situation. Christmas is the Birth of Christ in our hearts. A birth that can transform our lives, to be humble, to love unconditionally, to give without waiting for reward. To become, eventually, better people.

Only this way Christmas will find its true meaning. And that is all we need in a time of individualism, moral and economic crisis, confusion, indifference and hate.

Merry Christmas everyone!

What’s New with Vicky

This year, since Vicky is spending Christmas in Manhattan, she has decided to purchase a potted Christmas tree. It is easy to find a small potted tree and she decided since she has limited space it would be the best option.

If you have limited space, consider purchasing a potted tree. This simply means that the tree will not go to waste on the side of a curb after Christmas. After Christmas Vicky will give it to someone to plant in their yard so that the tree can grow throughout 2018.

Vicky has decided to do this every year she spends in New York so that she can minimize waste and feel good about saving a lovely tree!  Think about doing the same thing! Let’s see how many trees we can recycle!

Weekly Read

The gentle beauty of the story of the first Christmas is now available as a board book. With a simple, lyrical text and radiant artwork, this book is perfect for the youngest child to be a part of the wonder of the Nativity.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers have all embraced this telling. Don’t miss this beautiful little book from the acclaimed team of Nola Buck and Felicia Bond.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Manger-Nola-Buck/dp/0694012270/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1513682278&sr=8-2&keywords=christmas+books+for+children

Weekly Recipe

Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes is a simple, yet tasty, recipe for your Christmas dinner!

Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 8 cloves garlic [ whole ]
  • 6 red potatoes [ peeled and cut into quarters ]
  • 3 pounds lamb loins
  • 2 lemons [ juiced ]
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan sea salt [ to taste ]
  • freshly ground black pepper [ to taste ]

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wash and pat dry the lamb.
  3. Place lamb in large roasting pan.
  4. Place potatoes around the lamb.
  5. Make slits in the lamb with a sharp paring knife and place a clove of garlic in each slit.
  6. Pour lemon juice over the lamb and potatoes.
  7. Pour the extra virgin olive oil over the lamb and potatoes.
  8. Sprinkle seasonings over the lamb and potatoes.
  9. Place in oven and bake for 1 ½ hours.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

DIY Christmas Gifts

Spread holiday cheer with these sweet and simple handmade gifts!

 

  1. Skip the same old tin and give cookies in a festive jar instead. Use a fine-tipped brush to paint small white dots on the outside of a 1.6-quart storage jar. Fill the bottom of the jar with cookies and place small plastic trinkets inside for a snow globe-inspired vignette. Tie gift tag to jar with ribbon.

Source: http://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/tips/g645/crafty-christmas-presents-ideas/?slide=5&thumbnails=

 

 

 

  1. This Homemade Mint Sugar Scrub is the perfect DIY gift idea! Inexpensive and easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1½ – 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 1 drop green food coloring
  • ½ cup coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Place coconut oil in a bowl and microwave on HIGH 15-25 seconds until softened.
  2. Start by adding 1½ cups sugar to the oil, along with the peppermint extract and green food coloring. Mix until ingredients are well combined and food coloring is evenly distributed. If mixture is too wet, add another ½ cup sugar until scrub is to desired consistency.
  3. Spoon scrub into air-tight containers (such as a mason jar) and decorate with twine or ribbon.

Source: http://lovegrowswild.com/2013/11/diy-mint-sugar-scrub-holiday-gift-ideas/?cuid=65021a53f7518cfadfee4d53c296abf8

 

  1. Add an aromatic touch to plain votives with cinnamon sticks and fill your home with a scent reminiscent of freshly baked apple pie. Using a hot-glue gun, adhere cinnamon sticks to a candle glass. Then encircle with ribbon of your choice. Display in a kitchen window or on your holiday table. Make sure to clean up any wax drippings immediately, while they are still warm and pliable and lift up easily.

Source: http://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/how-to/g478/candle-making-1107/?slide=2&thumbnails=

 

 

Ask Vicky

Q: Is it possible to stay on a healthy track during holidays?

A: Don’t skip your workout routine, keep plate sizes and portions as usual and avoid alcoholic drinks. It is important though to drink plenty of water and herbal drinks in order to stay hydrate. Dehydration often leads to headaches which may ruin your Christmas mood! Don’t also forget that Christmas is just one day!

Q: Is there a trick to avoid bloating during holidays?

A: In case you over-eat on Christmas day you can nosh on some carrot and celery sticks in between meals to help with bloating and digestion.

Weekly Inspiration

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. – Thomas S. Monson