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Christmas Party Vault


Welcome to the Christmas Party Vault! We have lots of information here - and more added daily - gathered from various sources, and we hope it helps you to plan the perfect party!


Christmas History

In the Western world, the birthday of Jesus Christ has been celebrated on December 25th ever since 354 AD; which replaced an earlier celebration date of January 6th. 

The Christians had appropriated many of the pagan festivals and traditions of the season as a means of converting people to Christianity and stamping out pagan religions which were practiced in many parts of the Middle East and Europe. 

There were mid-winter festivals in ancient Babylon and Egypt; Germanic fertility festivals took place at this time too.  The birth of Attis, the ancient sun-god, was celebrated on December 25th, as was the Persian sun-god Mithras.  Romans celebrated Saturnalia, which was a festival dedicated to Saturn (the god of peace and plenty) which was from December 17th-24th. 

In Scandinavia they celebrated Yule, a time of celebration. 

The Celtic culture of the British Isles loved all green plants, especially mistletoe and holly, which were important symbols of fertility.  They use these to decorate their homes and altars.

The newer Christmas customs appeared in the Middle Ages, such as the Christmas Carol (by the 14th Century the Carol was sung along with the religious observance of the birth of Christ. 

In Italy, a tradition developed for reenacting the birth of Christ and the nativity.  It is assumed that St Francis introduced this as a way to bring spiritual knowledge to the lay people. 

For centuries, Saint Nicholas has been honored on December 6th.   He is presumed to be one of the forerunners of our Santa Claus.

The pagan worship of fire and plants led to the burning of the yule log. 

Celebrating Christmas has been controversial ever since it started.  Since numerous festivities found their roots in paganism, they were greatly frowned upon by those within the Church.  Feasting, giving gifts and the frequent excesses were a drastic contrast to the simplicity of the Nativity.

Party Planning

Countdown: Planning is the secret to a successful party. Once everything is thought out, your party will run smoothly.

One Month Ahead:  Decide on the date, time, place, and number of guests for your party. Start by buying or making your invitations. 

Two Weeks Ahead: Phone, email or mail the invitations.  If you're mailing them, be sure to ask for an R.S.V.P. so you'll know exactly how many to expect. Make plans for the menu, activities, gifts (or prizes), and decorations. If you're planning to include any games, be sure to plan more than you'll have time for. This allows you to go on to another game if your guests aren't having fun.

One Week Ahead: Make or purchase the party favors, prizes, and decorations. The big day will be here before you know it.

 Two or Three Days Ahead: Double-check the final guest list and make a tentative schedule for what you'll be doing at the party.  Shop for the food.

The Day Before the Party:   Decorate for your party.  Start early, as this always takes longer than you expect.  Same with the food.  Anything you can do ahead now will make the day of the party much more fun for everyone!


Decorating

Did you know?
  • We have a variety of beautiful candles, including Christmas Tapers
  • We have the Wilton Products for Christmas?
  • We have Wreaths, and holiday garlands
  • We have sugared fruit
  • We have trays,
  • We have scented candles
  • We have decorative glass votive candle holders
  • We have an assortment of Holiday cello bags
  • Lots of small goodies and toys for kids
  • We have a large assortment of holiday salt and pepper shakers.
  • We have Holiday treat boxes
  • We have Christmas and generic holiday Baking Cups
  • We have snack servers
  • We have an assortment of beautiful treat boxes for your home-made goodies!
And that's just a sample of what we carry!  Be sure to come in to see it all!







 
 




 
 


 




And, if you'd like to see it in a slide-show, you can follow this link to youtube; be aware it will take you off our website!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V6o-9CP29A

Christmas Tree Decorations


 




Christmas Recipe

Asparagus in Puff Pastry

You Will Need
2 cups water
24 fresh asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (17 1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry dough, thaw ed
1/4 cup egg substitute

What to Do
1. In a large nonstick skillet, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain asparagus and immediately place in ice water; drain and pat dry. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and salt until smooth; set aside.
2. Unfold the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet in half widthwise. For each rectangle, spread cream cheese mixture lengthwise over half of the dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Arrange two rows of three asparagus spears lengthwise in a single layer over cream cheese.
3. Brush edges of dough with some of the egg substitute; fold dough over filling and press edges together to seal. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Cut width-wise into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Brush with remaining egg substitute. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Serves 6-8


Christmas Baking

Spitzbuebe

Yields: 48 cookies

Total Time: 1 hr 30 min

Oven Temp: 350

Ingredients

  • 1  pound(s) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 1/8  cup(s) confectioners' sugar
  • 4  large egg yolks
  • 4 2/3  cup(s) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1  cup(s) seedless jam, warmed until syrupy

Directions

  1. Prepare the cookie dough: Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 4 cups of sugar in a gradual stream and continue to beat, occasionally scraping the side of the bowl, until pale and fluffy -- 5 to 8 minutes. Beat in the yolks one at a time, and stir in the flour. Shape the dough into 4-1/2-inch-thick squares and wrap each in plastic.  Chill for at least 45 minutes.
  2. Make the cookies: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper and set aside. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 2-inch round cookies and use a star cutter to punch out half of the centers. Transfer to the prepared pans. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake until golden -- about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of jam on the non-cut-out cookies. Sprinkle the cut-out cookies with the remaining sugar. Sandwich the cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tips & Techniques

Substitute ready-made refrigerated cookie dough and skip step 1.

Christmas Cards

We have a large selection of Christmas Cards, some religious, some not.  Here is a sample:

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Plates, Cups, Invitations, Etc.

We have many different goodies to help you set the perfect Christmas
table!  Here are a few:




 


Are you planning to bake your gifts?







Christmas Gifts for the Kids

We have many, many gifts for the kids!  And all at low prices.  Here are some of the great deals!



 






Stocking Stuffers and Party Favors fo r Christmas

We have LOTS of goodie bag ideas and Stocking Stuffers!  And, we're always adding more.