This year I’m starting a new tradition for the holiday season – The 12 Days of Christmas. I have so many awesome memories of how my parents made the holidays magical for us growing up and I want to do the same for my boys. So this year, the 12 days leading up to Christmas, we are going to do something fun and festive every day.
Below I’m sharing how we are celebrating The 12 Days of Christmas. It’s a fun way to count down to Christmas. We do the traditional chocolate advent calendars too but this is more exciting! (If you’re looking for advent calendars, I’ve got some I rounded up here). Now the goal is just to have fun and make memories with your little ones, not to add more stress to your already full plate. You can be as simple or as creative as you want.
How to plan your 12 days of Christmas
1.) First, think of 12 fun activities that you want to do with your kids.
2.) Write those ideas down or type them up on 12 separate pieces of paper.
3.) Next I got 12 boxes and placed a piece of each paper with an idea in each box. Then I wrapped them like presents.
4.) I numbered 12 gift tags and put them on each corresponding gift box and placed them under the tree.
How it works:
Starting on December 13th, each day leading up to Christmas we will open one of the gifts and do the activity inside. That’s it! It’s all about having fun with your kids and giving them something they will remember in years to come.
I’m linking some fun things to help celebrate the 12 days of Christmas below:
These are the best pistachio thumbprint cookies and will easily become a favorite Christmas cookie! Sweet pistachio topped with a cheesecake filling or raspberry jam are the perfect bite and look festive for your Christmas cookie swaps or platters.
And I’m sharing 15 other delicious Christmas treats for you from some of my most favorite bloggers. Scroll down to see all of their recipes.
If you’re coming from Michele at Vintage Home Designs, welcome! I hope you will stick around here and continue to follow along. Also how delicious do her shortbread cookies look?
The best pistachio thumbprint cookies
One of my favorite things that I used to have every Christmas is my grandmother’s pistachio ambrosia. I loved it so much and it just wasn’t Christmas without it. This recipe combines my favorite flavors of pistachio with my favorite Christmas cookie – my sister’s almond raspberry thumbprints.
I made a yummy cheesecake filling for these cookies but you can also fill with raspberry jam too!
1 cup butter softened (I used unsalted)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
2 cups nuts chopped (I used walnuts/pecans)
For the filling
1/2 cup cream cheese.
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
or raspberry jam (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1.) Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
2.) In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
3.) Beat in the eggs, salt and extracts.
4.) Add in the flour and pistachio pudding mix, beating together until combined.
5.) Roll the batter into individual balls, about 1 inch. Roll some or all of the balls into the chopped nuts and place on a prepared baking sheet.
6.) Using your thumb, make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie.
7.) Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. You want to take them out just before the edges start to get golden.
8.) Using a spoon or your thumb, re-shape the thumbprint if necessary as sometimes it changes shape after baking.
9.) Allow the cookies to cool.
10.) While the cookies are cooling, start to prepare the cheesecake filling. In a mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar.
11.) Beat in the vanilla and make sure there are no lumps.
12.) Fill in each cookie with either the cream cheese filling or raspberry jam. I chose to do some of each.
13.) In a microwave safe bowl, melt some chocolate chips, stirring at 30 second intervals.
14.) Once melted, use a fork to drizzle some chocolate over each cookie.
15.) Allow the chocolate to cool before eating.
These also freeze really well so you can make ahead of time! I line some parchment paper in an airtight storage container and freeze until the day of.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have been struggling this week to get back in the swing of things after a nice 4 day weekend with family and friends.
But we are in full Christmas mode now! And I think I can speak on behalf of most creators and bloggers that this is the time of year we are most inspired. So I can’t wait to see everyone’s ideas over the next few weeks.
We will choose features every week and share them across our social media and in the next party!
By linking up you’re giving us permission to feature you in the next party by including your post URL and one of your images. You are also giving us permission to share one of your images across our social media platforms and in the Grandma’s House weekly DIY newsletter to promote the party.)
You know those viral butter boards? Well how about a goat cheese board? A big board slathered with yummy tangy goat cheese and various toppings is a great appetizer for the holidays or getting together with friends! Scroll down to see how to make the best goat cheese board.
When choosing toppings you can pick whatever you want but here are some things that I think are great options:
dried fruits (aprciots, cherries, cranberries)
jellies, preserves or an apple/pumpkin butter
drizzle with honey, balsamic glaze, olive oil
serve with some crackers, pita chips, or crostini
I chose to make a trio of different flavors so there’s a variety but you can do whatever you’d like!
Here is my recipe:
You will want to start by taking your goat cheese out of the refrigerator and allowing to get to room temp to make it easy to spread. Using a spoon or spatula, spread onto your board. Divide the board into 3 sections lengthwise. In the first section, top with dried cherries, dried apricots and nuts. Drizzle with honey. In the middle, top with some pepper jelly. On the last section, top with blackberries, chopped basil, grated lemon and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Doesn’t this look delicious???
For more of my favorite recipes for a crowd check out