Cosy Christmas With Your Little One(s)!

With Christmas round the corner, it’s time once again to bring out the Christmas decorations, create family memories, carry out family traditions and soak in the festive mood. While most people will be braving the crowds along Orchard Road or having big parties with family and friends, there are some who may prefer to have a little quiet and cosy affair at home.

Hence, we have decided to dedicate this special Christmas post to the families and parents who will be spending Christmas at home this year. Who says you can’t have a good time spending Christmas in your own kitchen or living room?

Try Baking!

Instead of heading out, why not stay home and bake some cookies with your child? Below and some gluten- free Christmas recipes we have compiled. Spending time in the kitchen together with your child can serve as some family bonding time during this festive season. What’s a bonus is that all the recipes we have featured are gluten-free!

Ginger and Orange Christmas Pudding
Written by Dan Lepard, exclusive to Sainsbury’s

puddingIngredients

100g dark brown sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Valencian orange extract
50ml orange juice
75ml gluten-free wine or beer
50g golden linseed, ground to a powder in a blender
200g mixed dried fruit
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
100g chopped pecans, optional
200g chopped glacé ginger
50g Doves Farm gluten-free plain white flour
50g Sainsbury’s Freefrom spread made with sunflower oil, plus a bit more for the basin
75g gluten-free white bread, ground into soft breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Whisk together the sugar, spices, orange extract, juice, stout and linseed until smooth.
  2. Stir in the fruit, grated carrot, pecans and ginger then add the flour and mix well.
  3. Pour in the melted spread, add the gluten-free breadcrumbs and stir well.
  4. Grease the inside of a pudding basin with more Freefrom spread, then spoon in the mixture, patting it down as you go. Cut squares of non-stick baking paper and aluminum foil, large enough to easily cover the bowl, pleat them, and with the layers paper-side down, tie them tightly in place around the bowl with string.
  5. Simmer in a boiler for three hours.
  6. Store in a cool place. Do not break the seal or be tempted to remove the lid to look at the pudding. On Christmas day, simmer for another three hours before serving.

recipe taken from telegraph

Gluten Free Fruit Cake

gluten free fruit cakeIngredients

850g dried mixed fruit
1 cup brandy
150g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup gluten-free plain flour
1/4 cup gluten-free self-raising flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup apricot jam

Method

  1. Place dried fruit and 2/3 cup brandy in a large airtight container. Mix well. Cover and stand overnight or preferably for 1 week, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 150°C. Lightly grease a 7cm deep, 20cm (base) round cake pan. Line base and side with double layers brown paper and baking paper (see note). Using electric beaters, cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Sift flours and spices over butter mixture. Add fruit mixture and stir until well combined. Press mixture into pan. Smooth surface. Decorate top with almonds.
  4. Bake cake for 2 to 2 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Pour remaining 1/3 cup brandy over hot cake. Allow to cool completely in pan.
  5. Place jam in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 30 seconds or until warm. Remove cake from pan and brush top with warm jam. Allow to set. Serve.

recipe taken from taste.com.au

Gluten Free GingerBread Man Cookies
Author: Jeanine Friesen, Serves: 48 4″ cookies

This dough does require at least 1 hour of refrigeration time after mixing. Take that into account when planning your baking!

gingerbreadmanIngredients

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup millet flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
1 large egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, millet flour, sweet rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in the molasses and egg, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the lemon juice.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Mix until the dry ingredients have been fully incorporated.
  4. Divide the dough in two, placing each piece of dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Lightly flour the counter with sweet rice flour. With a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thick. Use your favourite cookie cutters and get creative. Although the cookies hold their shape pretty well, don’t use anything too detailed, since they do grow a bit.
  7. Place cut out cookies on prepared baking pan, leaving 2-inches between cookies.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely before using a simple frosting of confectioners’ (icing) sugar and milk.
  9. Repeat until all the dough has been formed. Off-cuts can be re-rolled and used again.

recipe taken from thebakingbeauties.com, adapted from crosbys.com

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix

hotchocolateIngredients

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups good quality Dutch cocoa powder
1 to 3 tablespoons fleur de sel or good sea salt (My preference is 1-tbsp)
1 cup dry milk powder
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Heat the 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar in a large heavy pan, over medium heat, without stirring. When the sugar begins to melt, take the handle of the pan and swirl it to melt without burning. The sugar might seem to crystallize, but it will eventually melt to a deep amber color. (Can take 15-20 minutes, so be patient.)
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla. Whisk the caramel until smooth again, then immediately pour it onto the lined baking sheet. Allow it to spread without touching it. Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour.
  3. When ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces that can fit into the feeding tube of a large food processor. Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder. Continue to add the pieces, a few at a time, until it is completely powder (a cloud of caramel dust will float out of the tube). Turn the processor off and follow the next steps to complete the mix.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor with the caramel powder. Replace the lid and process until smooth. Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.
  5. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place for up to one month. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup hot milk.

taken from seededatthetable, adapted from Mom It Forward, originally from PheMOMenon

Make Your Own Christmas Deco!

If baking is not for you, you can try making craft with your child instead! Spend time with your child building and creating Christmas decorations and have fun hanging them around your home. You can also explore new ideas on how to gift wrap your presents with your little one!

Here are some arts and crafts that everyone can engage in to bring the festive cheer back home this year!

Frosty the Snowman

snowmanIt doesn’t take a single flake to build this frosty character.

Materials Needed

3 round circle shapes of different size (E.g. Different sized lids of jars)
Scissors
Craft foam (white and orange)
String
Glue
Buttons and ribbon
Permanent marker

Instructions

  1. Using the 3 different sized jar lids, trace the circle shapes onto the white craft foam. You will need to prepare 2 sets for each of the 3 sizes as they will be used for the front and the back of the snowman. Cut out all the circles
  2. Place one set of the circles on a flat surface, spacing them 1/4 inch apart in order of the head (smallest circle), body (medium circle) and bottom (biggest circle).
  3. Apply glue in the centre of each circle. Cut the string to be the length of the snowman and a few inches longer at the head circle. Press the piece of string firmly across the circles and with the extra string that is sticking out at the head circle, loop the string back to the centre of the head circle to make a hanger for hanging the snowman. Then firmly press the matching circles on top to sandwich the string.
  4. Cut a teardrop shape from the orange craft foam to make the carrot nose. Stick the carrot nose to the head of the snowman.
  5. Use the permanent marker to draw the eyes and mouth.
  6. Use the buttons to decorate the body of the snowman.
  7. Use the ribbon to make a scarf for the snowman and there you have Frosty the Snowman!

Click here to get a better idea on how to make Frosty the Snowman



Reindeer

Hand and foot reindeerUse handprints and footprints to make a cute reindeer.

Materials Needed

White paper
Pencils
Markers, crayons, paint (your choice)
Glue
Scissors

Instructions

  1. Trace one of your child’s foot on one sheet of paper and each of his/her hands on another sheet of paper.
  2. Cut out the hand and foot prints. The footprint becomes the reindeer’s head and the handprints become the reindeer’s antlers.
  3. Use glue to assemble the reindeer.
  4. Use markers, crayons, paint, etc. to colour in the reindeer.
  5. Features such as eyes and a nose can be added with markers, crayons or paint.
  6. And there you have your own Reindeer!

Wrapping Paper Artwork

wrappingpapercollageCreating a work of art using leftover bits of wrapping paper.

Materials Needed

Wrapping paper scraps
Scissors
Glue
White paper (9″ x 12″)
Pencil and eraser

Instructions

  1. Choose a design or image to work with your child. This could be a fish, a rooster, a sun or a car… whatever your child decides is fine.
  2. Lightly draw an outline of the image onto the poster paper – remembering to keep it simple.
  3. Cut your leftover wrapping paper up into shapes that your child can use to create the image.
  4. Glue the wrapping paper shapes down onto the poster paper drawing.
  5. And there your child has his/her own unique Wrapping Paper Artwork!

Festive Tree

Festive treeUsing leftover wrapping paper to make this fun and festive tree. These make terrific handmade greeting cards too!

Materials Needed

Wrapping paper scraps
Glue
Scissors
Buttons and ribbon

Instructions

  1. Cut wrapping paper scraps into triangles ranging from small to large.
  2. Arrange the triangles from small to large on a sheet of paper.
  3. Glue some buttons on the tree to decorate it.
  4. Add a long piece of ribbon, tied in a bow, to the top of the tree.
  5. And there you have a nice festive tree!

Christmas Candles

mosaiccandlesRecycling toilet paper rolls to make lovely candle decorations.

Materials Needed

Toilet paper rolls
Glue
Foam heart shapes (or tissue paper) in red, yellow and orange
Coloured paper
Scissors
Small holiday garland
Cotton balls

Instructions

  1. Cut the coloured paper into squares about 1/4″ x 1/4″. Similarly, if you don’t have foamhearts, you will need to cut tissue paper into heart or flame shapes.
  2. Glue the coloured squares onto the toilet paper roll. They can be applied to create a pattern or design, or they can be applied randomly.
  3. Once toilet paper roll is covered with squares, take the cotton ball, pull it apart a little bit and glue it to the top of the “candle”.
  4. Glue the red, yellow and orange hearts are together, one slightly lower than the next
  5. Pushed the glued hearts into the cotton and glue them in place to create the “flame” of the “candle”.
  6. As a final touch, a small piece of garland can be glued around the bottom of the candle. This also gives the candle some stability.
  7. And now you can “light up” your house with these nice candles!

Christmas Wreath

HandyChristmasWreathAdds a personal touch to your front door.

Materials Needed

Green Construction Paper
Red Construction Paper
A paper plate or poster board cut into a circle
Small piece of ribbon or string
Glue
Scissors
Glitter

Instructions

  1. Trace your child’s hands on the green construction paper (about 10 -20 hand prints)
  2. Cut out the hand prints.
  3. Cut out the center of the paper plate or poster board circle so you have a “wreath” form.
  4. Make holes in the top center of the plate or poster board and run ribbon or string through it. Tie in knot – this is to hang the wreath.
  5. Glue hand prints onto wreath, with fingers facing away from center of plate. Palms should form the “inside” ring of the wreath, while fingers stick out over outer edge of plate like leaves. Thumbs should be on palm of next handprint, etc.
  6. Cut large bow shape from red construction paper.
  7. Glue bow to wreath either at the top center or bottom center of wreath.
  8. You can cut small red circles and glue onto wreath as holly berries or use glitter to decorate the wreath.
  9. And there you have a nice Christmas Wreath to decorate your door!

Christmas Baubles

Make a glittery decoration.

Materials Needed

Round, clear plastic, takeaway food container lids
White craft glue (dries clear)
Glitter, sequins or glitter shapes
Tinsel to hang bauble

Instructions

  1. Protect work surface with lots of newspaper.
  2. Place various glitters and sequins into small trays or dishes and glue into non-spill container or paint pot.
  3. Use a brush to paint one side of the lid with the glue.
  4. Sprinkle, place, drop the glitters onto the glued lid.
  5. Leave the lid aside to dry. Glue will dry clear leaving the round lid bright and sparkly.
  6. Make a hole with a hole-puncher at the top of the lid and thread with a piece of tinsel.
  7. Finished baubles look terrific hung in front of the window so the sun catches all those colours!

Reindeer Gift Bag

giftbagsThis friendly bag is the perfect way to send someone a special gift.

Materials Needed

Small Brown Paper bag
Glue
Brown Card Stock
Pencil
Scissors
Pom-pom
Googly eyes

Instructions

  1. Make a little fold in the brown bag, about halfway down.
  2. Make a simple curve line right at the top of the paper bag. This is going to be your reindeer’s muzzle.
  3. Draw teardrop shops above the curve line to make your reindeer ears.
  4. Cut out the muzzle. Put the tear drop ears aside for later.
  5. Open up the bag and make it stand up.
  6. Fold the reindeer muzzle right over.
  7. Download and print 2 antlers here. Trace 2 antlers onto the brown card stock and cut them out.
  8. Glue the antlers and raindrop ears to the inside the fold on each side of the bag. Make sure that the antlers are facing up and not down when you fold the muzzle down.
  9. Glue the googly eyes to the reindeer’s face. If you do not have google eyes, you can just draw them with a permanent marker.
  10. Glue on a red pom-pom for the nose and there you have a perfect reindeer gift bag!

Watch this video for full instructions

Gift Wrapping Ideas

If you’ve yet to wrap up your presents, here are some creative ideas to play around with! What’s a plus is that most of these options make use of recycled items.

magazine clippings
use magazine clippings

take away mug
re-use a take away coffee cup

paper bag
re-use a paper bag by decorating it

toilet roll
wrap up your gift inside a toilet paper roll

Full details on each idea here! Credits to MichellePhan

We hope this activities bring more joy and laughter to your family this festive season. Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Note: We do not own any of these recipes or ideas. We have compiled a list and have credited each source respectively

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