I can't believe this week is just about over and Christmas IS ONE WEEK AWAY!! Where did this month go?!?! Anyways...
Each year we take a visit to see Santa Clause at Sleigh Bells in Sherwood Oregon. It is one of those Christmas all year around gift shops with a tea room and Christmas tree farm. The Santa there is the "real" Santa! It is so neat because there is never a line (maybe one family ahead of us), it is $5 and you get to take as many pictures as you like. If there is no one behind you, you can visit with Santa as long as you like. About two years ago, we were the only ones there to see him. We got to spend about 30 minutes with him, it was great! After our pictures with Santa we let the girls pick out their ornament for the year and get some sort of treat. This year they both picked a ballet slipper ornament and we had red and green popcorn for our treat.
The girls hanging their ornaments
Another tradition (this one from my childhood) is to have Aebleskivers for dinner on Christmas Eve. They are a Scandinavian dish. Kind of like round pancake balls. You need a special pan that is indented (I received my pan as a Christmas gift the first year I was married). The Aebleskivers are served warm with butter, sugar and jam for dipping. You can fill them with applesauce, bananas or leave them plain on the inside. My favorite is plain with lots of jam! We are Danish, my grandmother came to the United States when she was 16 years old. My mom started this tradition to have a simple dinner on Christmas Eve, since it is a busy time of year. I have continued on the tradition with my own family. Adding an egg casserole to go with it. I would include the recipe however I typically just use a pancake mix (it is suppose to be a simple dinner! :) In recent years I have discovered an Aebleskiver mix made by Columbia Empire Farms They even have an Aebleskiver Kit, complete with a small pan, in case you wanted to give them a go, they really are yummy!