For the past few decades, Christmas around our home always begins with practices and performances for school and church Christmas programs. When the big boys were young they exercised the same grueling practice schedules OG & EJ currently go through every year. The work always seems to pay off as the children are consistently proud of their accomplishments. Our children have always eagerly signed up for performances despite the hectic schedules and hard work. They seem to genuinely enjoy entertaining others with their talents.
This year, in addition to the children's choir, EJ had a speaking part in our home school group's Christmas program. He also had a speaking part in the Children's program at our local church AND he played "Jingle Bells" on his harmonica during our church's Christmas music specials. We have not been able to find a harmonica teacher, so EJ has been using the internet to teach himself. He is so proud he learned "Jingle Bells" in only 3 weeks.
OG was especially busy with speaking, singing and as a guitarist in our home school group's program, our church program & music specials and our community Christmas Cantata.
Until this year, OG was the only youth who participated in our community Christmas Cantata. This year she was joined by another very vocally talented high school student. Both girls are hoping more youths will participate next Christmas season.
Just before bedtime on Christmas Eve one will find us gathered 'round mugs of hot apple cider, hot cocoa or glasses of eggnog with a plate of cookies for the reading of Luke 1:5 - 2:21.
Christmas morning begins nice, neat and tidy. But always turns ...
... Excitedly messy!!
AND our Christmas breakfast always includes
Karbach Haus Bread Pudding
1 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, cream above ingredients together. Spread mixture on 6 slices of day old bread or sourdough sandwich bread. Cover with 6 more slices of bread, making sandwiches. Cut or tear the sandwiches into bite sized squares. Pile the squares into a 9 x 13 inch greased casserole pan.
2 cups milk
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour over bread and cream cheese mixture. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Next morning, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove foil and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Bake at 375 degrees fro 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out with out raw egg. Serve with whipped cream, syrup or any other favorite French toast topping.
10 - 12 servings
Note: When our big boys and extended family are not home, I half the recipe and bake it in an 8 x 8 inch casserole. This recipe also doubles well for very large gatherings of 12 -24. When doubling the recipe I bake it in two 9 x 13 inch casseroles.