An “Early Bird Gets the Worm” Kind of Christmas (MIMM)

You know the saying “Early Bird Gets the Worm”?

Ya, well, I didn’t understand that phrase when I was younger because I’m not a fisherman. It wasn’t until I saw an advertisement for a Kohl’s clothing sale ad that the metaphor finally clicked (oh… so sad).

This Christmas has been kind of an Early Bird-type holiday though.

I’ve already received so many wonderful gifts that I’m going to mention them all in this post. That way when Christmas actually rolls around I won’t be bombarded with pictures, words, and such things.

First things first, the white elephant gift exchange that took place amongst my movie-watching group of friends before we left for break:

I gave away arguably THE best gift of the night in my opinion.

Pikachu and Eevee plushies!!

But… I forgot to take a picture. Sorry.

And in turn I got THE ______ gift of the…. (Well, I’ll just let you fill in the rest)

I was lucky enough to receive… A Jonas Brothers DVD.

Unopened.

Lucky Lucky Duck.

Then I received two more presents.

One was a card from my Grandma:

Christmas-Grandma-Envelope

Christmas-Grandma-card

And the other was a gift from one of my mom’s students:

Christmas-student-watch-bracelet

The next party that I went to was on Saturday morning. Friday night my friends went caroling, but my younger brother was playing up on Varsity for a basketball tournament and I couldn’t miss it. He scored a 3-pointer!

Christmas-Break-Brother-Basketball

Before going to the party; however, I found out that some had brought gifts. Thanks for telling me guys.

So, I woke up at 6:00 Saturday morning and left the house at 7:30 to drive into Wal-Mart for some quick shopping. It helps that I went in with a list of a few things that each of my friends would like. And 30 minutes later I was walking out of the store with gifts for all five of them.

In total I spent an average of 6 dollars on each. I actually took pictures so you could see what I bought and what they looked like when they were all wrapped up:

Christmas-Friends-Collage

I finally got to the party around 9:30 when everyone was just waking up and moving into the dining room for breakfast. We chatted for a good hour and a half. (Actually, they ate, and I did most of the talking. Ha.)

Then we all parted ways. I left with two awesome homemade Christmas presents. My friends are so talented!

From my jewelry-making friend I got these earrings that actually match a key necklace that she gave me a few years ago:

Christmas-Friends-Earrings

From my crocheting friend I got a white snowflake Christmas ornament decorated with glitter:

Christmas-Friends-Snowflake

It fits perfectly amongst all of the other homemade ornaments on our Christmas tree.

Christmas-Tree-Closer

———————————————————————————————

I’m going to use this post for Healthy Diva Eat’s Marvelous in My Christmas Eve Monday link-up. My “Early Bird” Christmas has been marvelous so far, and I think the “real deal” tonight and tomorrow will be even better.

I didn’t get to make any Christmas cookies this year like I wanted, but I do have two recipes to share with you all. First is a trifle that I did this past week for a Christmas party at my mom’s school, and second is a cookie recipe that I actually made and posted on my previous blog last year. (Due to my stomach problems, I am not able to eat either of these recipes, but I have in good conscious that both taste amazing).

First and foremost…

Red Velvet Cake Trifle

Allergen-Free Options in Notes

Red-Velvet-Trifle

Ingredients:

  • 1 baked red velvet cake mix made according to the instructions
  • 2 boxes of chocolate pudding made according to the instructions
  • 2 containers of cool whip
  • Andes peppermint crunch (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cube the red velvet cake and make on layer in the bottom of your trifle pan.
  2. Mix the chocolate pudding with 1 container of cool whip. Pour a layer of that on top of the red velvet cake layer.
  3. Continue with those same layers until you are a few inches from the top (you will probably have leftovers of the ingredients).
  4. Then fill the empty portion with cool whip.

*If choosing to use the Andes peppermint crunch, sprinkle them in the middle of your layers, and then on top of the cool whip

Red-Velvet-Trifle-Close-Up

Substitution notes:

To make this gluten-free, use a gluten-free red velvet cake recipe and gluten-free brands of chocolate pudding and whipped cream. To make egg-free, replace the eggs in the cake mix with fruit puree, Greek yogurt or chia eggs. To make dairy-free, buy or make a dairy-free velvet cake, make a dairy-free pudding recipe, and make a dairy-free whipped cream recipe. As for nuts, you just need to ensure that each portion is made in a nut-free facility. Here are a few links to recipes that you can use to make this allergy-free:

Coconut Whipped Cream from Oh She Glows (Dairy, Egg, Nut and Gluten-Free)

Allergen-Free Red Velvet Cake from Cybele Pascale (Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame)

Soy-Free Vegan Chocolate Pudding (also Egg and Nut-Free)

And now for one of my favorite Christmas cookies ever, lightened up, just for you:

Healthy Mexican Wedding Cookies

*Also known as Snowball Cookies*

Gluten-free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan (Nut-Free substitution below recipe)

mexican-cookie

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp dairy-free milk (almond or rice milk)
  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (other nuts like pecans or almonds would work fine too)*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine canola oil, milk, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the flour and mix well.
  4. Stir in the walnuts and use your fingers to make sure they are evenly distributed.
  5. Then make 16 small balls out of the dough and place on a sprayed or nonstick cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 9 to 13 minutes.
  7. Let cool for at least 3 minutes, then roll in the remaining 3 Tbsp of powdered sugar.

Substitution notes:

You can use any nut in place of the walnuts. If there is a nut allergy, ground up seeds may work, but I cannot guarantee the outcome.

mexican-cookie-close

——————————————————————————————–

Tomorrow is Christmas! It is said every year, but I still can’t believe that Christmas has come so fast. Tonight I’m working in my church’s nursery with my mom, and then after my dad and brother are saving us seats for the 7:00 Christmas Eve service. There were 6 (I think) services to choose from, but this one had a good pastor, some folk singers, and a candle lighting portion!

For those of you who have not yet entered into my Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook giveaway, today is your last chance! It ends tonight and I will be posting the winner sometime tomorrow.

Until then… Merry Christmas!

—————————————————————————————-

What “Early Bird” Christmas presents have you gotten so far this year?

What is Marvelous in your Monday?

Do you have anyone in your life that you have to make allergy-free treats for?

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22 thoughts on “An “Early Bird Gets the Worm” Kind of Christmas (MIMM)

  1. I love the ornament and earrings you got! So pretty 🙂 It sounds like you’ve had a fun and busy weekend and even more to look forward to today! My monday is marvelous because my bf and i currently on our way to celebrate christmas with my family which i am so excited about! Merry Christmas Eve hun 🙂

  2. Love your bracelet and watch! So cute! I received a card from a fellow blogger. Still need to take a picture of it. We have to make vegan treats as my husband can’t have dairy or eggs…not because he’s vegan but because he’s allergic. I’ve gotten quite used to cooking that way. I could easily become vegan :). The red velvet cake trifle looks delish!

    • That’s so sweet. Cards are so much fun- I love getting them!

      Well, I’m glad that your husband has someone to cook delicious food for him. Dairy and egg-free can be hard. And I totally know what you mean with the vegan comment. I’ve started to eat a lot of soup this winter with chicken, but before that there were several days where I was an accidental vegan 😉

  3. Wow those cookies look really good. I hate going to parties because I never know if I’m supposed to get people things either. Well, I don’t hate it but I don’t want to ask…or not ask. LOL. Glad you got everything made for such a reasonable price!

  4. The ornament you got is pretty & both of those recipes sound pretty yummy! So far I’ve gotten some pretty cool gifts. Tonight I got a Little Miss Sunshine mug, skull patterned scarf, monogramed sunglass case, & one of those environmentally friendly reusable velcro food pocket pouch things. 🙂

  5. I would love to try this healthy version of the mexican wedding cookies. 😀 Love all those homemade gifts, the earrings and crocheted snowflake are awesome! Wish I was that talented! Hope you have a GREAT Christmas!! ❤

    • I am enjoying my break. So much so that I’ve taken a huge break from responding to comments. Haha. Just now getting to them!

      And thanks for the well wishes. I think someday I’ll be able to eat them again. In time!

  6. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with
    the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Many thanks!

    • I believe that in the email there should be a link to manage these options and will let you unsubscribe. I actually just had to do that myself with comments on another blog because the same thing happened with me! 🙂 If that doesn’t work let me know and I’ll try to find some directions on how to do it.

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