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Christmas Memories and Recipes

Updated on April 2, 2022
lbrummer profile image

Loraine's favorite quote is by Abe Lincoln, who said, "People are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Remembering lighter moments.

christmas memories, christmas family traditions
christmas memories, christmas family traditions

Family Traditions

As I see it, one of the most important gifts we can give our children and grandchildren at Christmas time is to gather the family together and make Christmas memories. Chances are that when you think back to Christmas' past, you don't remember all the specific gifts you received, but you remember where you were on Christmas, who was there and the activities you participated in. That Christmas you were making memories, and hopefully, family traditions.

If you have the money and can afford to give many and expensive gifts, enjoy your abundance. But, if you are on a budget and can't spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts, it doesn't mean you can't have an exciting and fun-filled holiday. Memories are made from the "time you spend" with each other, not the "money you spend" on each other.I'd like to share with you some of my memories and recipes of Christmas' past.

Protect The Christmas Tree

When I think back to when my children were small, I remember many happy and sometimes funny things that happened. I don't know how many of you have had to put your Christmas tree inside a playpen to protect it from a baby, but I have done it.

After the tree graduated from playpen, it was placed on top of a table for a few Christmases. We had a large family, six sons and two daughters and the kids came pretty close together-----that's why the Christmas tree had to stay on top of a table for a few years.

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall." -- Larry Wilde

Gifts From Santa

and games to avoid

Although Santa came to our house, he didn't leave a huge amount of toys. Some of the gifts even had to be shared, board games were yearly gifts. The one I wish I had been smart enough not to buy was Monopoly----one of the boys would bribe the others to get them to play the game. The big problem with that was he didn't always follow through with paying the bribe.

My mother died when I was a teenager, but I would recall during the years I was raising my children, that she said, "Children have to fight when they are little, so they can be friends when they are grown." I knew back then that the kids were sure to grow up to be the very best friends ever, because they certainly got the fighting out of the way. Actually, there must be truth in what my mother said because my adult children enjoy getting together and talking about "when we were kids."

Cookie Monsters

Many of my Christmas memories revolve around cookies. I'm going to share some of the recipes with you, and one of them is the Cream Sugar Cookie.

One day, usually a few weeks before Christmas, I would spend the day making four batches of sugar cookies while the kids were at school. I'd also make bowls of colored frosting and I bought sprinkles for decorating the cookies. Then, when the kids got home from school, I'd cover the dining room table with newspaper, set the cookies, the bowls of frosting and bottles of sprinkles in the middle of the table and the kids decorated, and ate cookies.

They had a great time and thought their decorating skills were terrific, but anyone over ten years old would have disagreed with them. I figured that the cookies tasted the same no matter how they looked-----and---I didn't have to decorate the cookies.

Sugar Cookies

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Add soda to the sour cream. Stir the butter and sugar til creamy and add the eggs and vanilla. Stir. Add dry ingredients and sour cream mixture. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough to roll. Roll 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters. Bake at 375 degrees.
Cast your vote for Cream Sugar Cookies

Cookie Thieves

The rest of the Christmas baking I did myself. You cannot imagine all the cookies I have made in my lifetime. We lived on a farm and milking cows was a chore done both in the morning and again in the evening.

About a month before Christmas I would start making cookies and putting them in a large box in the freezer. The freezer was in the wash house, a small building that stood a few yards away from the house. The boys hung their chore clothes in the wash house also. After baking dozens of cookies and finding that the box wasn't getting any fuller, it dawned on me why that was happening. Twice a day, when the boys went to the barn to milk, they each took a handful of cookies along.

Snow Days

no school

The kids loved snow days, whether they came before, after or during the holidays. The kids loved playing games of all sorts, but when they heard on the radio that there would be no school, out came the playing cards. They all knew how to play Pitch, so the first thing they did was to set up a tournament schedule. To have enough players for a tournament: Dad, and sometimes I, would have to play too. Not much in the way of work was done on that day. We'd make caramel popcorn or fudge and play cards from the time the morning chores were done until the guys went out to do evening chores.

Quick and Easy Caramel Corn


Caramel Corn - easy and quick

This makes a big batch. Cut the recipe in half and use 7 cups of popped corn for a small batch.


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 15 cups popped corn


  1. Combine and boil to soft ball stage. Pour over popped corn. Stir and cool.

Remember When?

These years our family, children and grandchildren, totals thirty seven. When the family from Indiana makes it home for Christmas, we have our celebration a day before or after the 25th so everyone can be at home together. Usually sometime during the day the talk turns to, "Remember when?"The grandkids gather around and "relive the good old days" with their moms and dads.Grandpa and I sit back and enjoy the memories.


Brummer Bing-Oh-Bars

These look and taste just like Bing candy bars. The ones I made are actually the size of Bing bars. To make bite sized candies, make the cherry center smaller or when serving cut the bars in fourths. Makes a very pretty plate of candy.


  • --Cherry Center:--
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz. cherry flavored chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • --Chocolate Covering:--
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts
  • chopped


  1. To make the Cherry Flavored Center:In a medium saucepan, stir together the marshmallows, cream, butter, sugar and salt. Over medium heat, heat and bring to a full boil. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cherry chips and the vanilla. Stir to blend. Cool mixture and form into one inch balls.To make the Chocolate Covering:In a saucepan stir together and bring to a boil, the marshmallows, cream, peanut butter, sugar and salt. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir til blended and then add the chopped peanuts. Spread on a cookie sheet to cool slightly. Take one teaspoon of the chocolate mixture and form it around a cherry ball. Flatten one side and press the edges to look like a Bing bar. Makes 36 or more bars.

Snow Activities

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? JB Priestley


Filled Cookies

We made these when I was a kid at home


  • --Raisin Filling:--
  • 1 cup raisins
  • cut fine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • --Cookie Recipe;--
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour


  1. Raisin filling; Mix the raisins, sugar, water and flour and cook until thick. Add the vanilla.Cookie Dough: Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, salt, soda and baking powder. Stir into the butter mixture and add some of the milk. Rotate the flour and milk until all is used. May add a bit more flour to make a stiff dough to roll. (I chill the dough before adding more flour. Then flour the counter and work in more flour if needed) Cut the dough with a round cutter. Put one cookie on the baking sheet, put a teaspoon of the raisin filling in the center of the cookie and lay a second cookie on top. Press your finger around the edges to seal the filling into the center of the cookie. Bake at 350 degree oven til the cookie is a golden brown.

Date Pinwheel Cookie

  • --Date Filling--
  • 1 # dates
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • --Cookie Recipe:--
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • beaten
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Date Filling:Boil the dates, water and sugar until it starts to thicken. Cool.Cookie Dough:Dissolve the soda in a small amount of warm water. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; then the dry ingredients, vanilla and soda water. Roll out and spread with the date filling. Roll up and chill. Slice and bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Easy Fudge

The best fudge recipe that I have ever tried.


  • 4 cups marshmallows
  • 2/3 cups cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup nuts


  1. Cook over medium heat til full boil. Boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Add chocolate chips, vanilla and nuts. Stir til blended. Spread in 8"x8" greased pan.

Crunch Bars

You have to try these. Super easy to make and so very addictive. Make sure there are others around so you don't eat it all yourself.


  • 35 saltine crackers
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 12 oz.milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Place crackers in a single layer on foil-lined 15"x10"x1" baking pan. Heat butter and sugar over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Bring to boil; boil three minutes without stirring. Spread over crackers. Bake seven minutes. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand five minutes. Spread chocolate evenly over all. Sprinkle with walnuts. Cut or break into pieces. Delicious!

Chocolate-Mint Sandwich Cookies

These were my all time favorite Christmas cookie. And I only made them at Christmas time.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter or oleo
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Mix softened butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until well blended. Cover and chill for at least an hour.Roll out the cookie dough (to about 1/4" thick) on a floured surface. Cut into two inch circles. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes or until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.Transfer to a wire rack to cool.Mint Marshmallow Filling:1 cup butter, at room temperature1 teaspoon vanilla1 -7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme2 cups powdered sugar1/4 (or to taste) teaspoon mint flavoringMix and blend all the ingredients. Spread a spoonful of the filling on one chocolate cookie and place a second one on top of the filling. Press the cookies together so the filling squeezes to the edges.

All Grown Up

The Brummer Christmas Menu

Roast Turkey with dressing

Cheesy hashbrown potatoes or mashed potatoes

Buttered corn

Cranberry salad

Oreo cookie salad

Homebaked rolls

Pumpkin pie

This year we are adding (for the points counters)

Fruit salad

Peach cake

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Cheesy Hashbrowns

If there are any leftovers, these are great warmed in the microwave.


  • 2 # frozen hashbrowns
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/2 # cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cornflake crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted


  1. Combine soup, sour cream, onion and cheddar cheese. Stir into hashbrowns. Spread in a greased 9" x13" pan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven. Mix the cornflake crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle the mixture over the hashbrowns. Return to oven for another 15 minutes.

Cranberry Salad

A special treat that tastes great with turkey.


  1. Grind 2 cups of cranberries. Stir in 1 cup of sugar and let stand for two hours. Stir together 1/2 # mini marshmallows and an 8 oz. container of Cool Whip. Mix into the cranberries and let stand for another two hours. Add 1 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple. Mix and refrigerate overnight. That is what the recipe says, but after letting the cranberries and sugar stand for a couple of hours to sweeten the cranberries, I stir in the Cool whip, marshmallows and drained crushed pineapple. It tastes good right away, but the flavor is even better after it stands for awhile.

Oreo Salad

Always requested by the grandkids.


  • 1 pkg. Oreo cookies
  • 16 oz. Cool Whip
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 (3oz.) pkgs instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk


  1. Mix the pudding mix and milk and refrigerate.Mix Cool Whip, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Stir in the pudding mixture.Crush the oreo cookies. Add to the Cool Whip/pudding mixture. Save a few crushed oreos to garnish the salad.

© 2011 Loraine Brummer


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