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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting in the *Wrong* Holiday Spirit: Gift Wrapping and Cinnamon Roll Making

I know I know, Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet!  Shhh.  Don't be a holiday scrooge.  I morph Thanksgiving and Christmas into one big long holiday.  Especially since moving to Germany.  Because I'm scared my packages won't make it across the ocean in time, I always ship things to family in the States WAY in advance of Christmas.  Meaning I can be found Christmas shopping, listening to Christmas music, and wrapping Christmas presents weeks before Thanksgiving.

You might not have to do your shopping and wrapping quite so early, so I thought I'd get on my Hippie Wrapping Paper Soapbox and encourage you to be nice to the earth AND your wallet this Christmas... look around your house for ways to wrap gifts without purchasing new wrapping paper!  

You don't have to make it look as ghetto as mine... I do have a 2 and 3yo elf as my assistants after all ;o)  We have gobs of packing paper left over from our PCS here.  So I use it as art paper for the girls.  Then I save it for wrapping paper!

Sometimes there are bare spots so Lily helped me color them in.  I'm thinking that an easier way to get the best looking "painted" decorations on our "wrapping paper" would be to make Christmas cutouts and sponge-painting the final, wrapped gift.  More control over where the color ends up.  Unless I'm having my elves help.  Then I have no control over anything.

I do miss the look of true holiday wrapping paper.  You know, the sparkly colorful store-bought kind.  But when I used up my last roll of Christmas gift wrap last year I decided that I would challenge myself to at least one Christmas without buying any more.  Wanna take the challenge with me?  I did buy some holiday curling ribbon.  And tape.  But other than that, we're rolling ghetto hippie style!

There are tons of great ideas out there... wrapping gifts in scraps of pretty fabric, paper bags from the grocery store (wait, do stores even offer paper bags anymore? ha!), newspaper - especially the comics section for kids!  Get creative! Reduce-reuse-recycle and all that jazz!

Speaking of great ideas out there... the Pioneer Woman has convinced me of the brilliance of making these cinnamon rolls a Christmas tradition.  Jesse and I wanted a special holiday treat to pair with hot cocoa on two favorite days in December: Tree Day (where we get our tree and set it up) and Christmas morning (where we want something quick and ready to pop in the oven while we wake the kiddos).

The Rawleigh family tradition is Monkey Bread, and it will always hold a special place in my heart... but in the interest of full disclosure I don't actually like the stuff all that much.  But these cinnamon rolls?  Oh my.  They're addicting.

So I made seven cake pans of them.  One we ate to celebrate Jesse being on days again.  The other six I decorated with colored sugar and popped into the freezer!

One morning of work and now all my Christmas breakfast treats are just waiting to be consumed!  (After a quick warm up in the oven of course)

Is it Christmas, yet?  Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!  


  1. Aww! I like your wrapping paper! :) I think we'll have to use that when SM starts coloring/painting more. I was almost tempted to not bring my grocery bags one day so I could get some brown paper bags for wrapping this year...and then I broke down and bought some wrapping paper. I'm not sure which is worse. :\

    One year I bought everyone reusable grocery bags and put their gifts in that. Why spend $5 on a gift bag when you can spend $2 on one they can reuse!

    I love the fun red and green sprinkles on your cinnamon for Christmas morning! I made some cinnamon rolls last week and the recipe made WAAAAY too many! We were eating cinnamon rolls for days (and I even froze some and gave some away)!

  2. Fantastic idea with the reusable grocery bags! You should blog about that so I can pin it haha! ;o) Did you use the PW recipe? Cause yeah, it makes A TON!