Food and family fun are important and positive part of celebrations and holidays. Sharing a meal, time with loved ones, or a homemade gift is a way to share the joy and love of the holiday spirit.

Old and new holiday traditions 

  1. Light a nightly holiday candle.
  2. Read a holiday book to your children every night.
  3. Listen to holiday music at meal times.
  4. Make holiday crafts with your children.
  5. Sing carols with family and friends.
  6. Do family activities such as sledding, walking, or playing games.
  7. Make gifts from your kitchen - quick breads or ornaments.
  8. String popcorn or make paper chains to decorate your home.

Low-cost gift ideas

Choose a few apples and oranges and arrange in a basket or decorated paper bag.

Make a loaf of yeast bread or rolls from scratch or frozen bread dough and share while they are warm.

Make gift certificates on old Christmas cards or with paper and stickers. List what you will do for that person; for example, give a free hug, wash the dishes, babysit for one hour, make a cup of hot cocoa, etc.

Make play dough, place in plastic bag, and decorate the bag with stickers or ribbon.

Make your own play dough

1 cup flour

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons cream of tartar

1/4 cup salt

Food coloring or flavored drink powder


Stir all ingredients together and cook over medium heat until thick. Keep in a plastic bag or wrap and put in refrigerator.

Bake your own ornaments 

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 cup water

  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add water, a little at a time, mixing as you pour.
  2. Form into a ball and knead 7 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth.
  3. Shape into ornaments. Remember to put a hole in the ornament for hanging. A straw will work to make the hole!
  4. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes or until dry. Dough can be made ahead and kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  5. Feel free to decorate with paint, glitter, or your favorite craft products. 

Featured Recipes

Tortilla Snowflakes

Preheat oven to 400°F.Warm tortillas in microwave until soft and pliable. Fold into quarters or eighths. Use scissors to cut out shapes.Unfold.Place tortillas on foil-lined baking sheet and spray withcooking spray (1 second spray per tortilla). Combine sugar and cinnamon if using cinnamon. Sprinkle with sugar (or cinnamon sugar).Bake 5 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.Cool until easy to handle. Eat plain or dip in yogurt.


Winter Squash Soup

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly untilsoftened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add squash, pears, garlic, ginger, and thyme. Cook,stirring for 1 minute. Add broth and water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heatto low, cover, and simmer until squash is tender, 35- 45 minutes. Puree soup, in batches, if necessary, in a blender.Return soup to pot and add water to reach desired consistency. Heat through.