Friday Favorites: Christmas Puzzles, Christmas Music, Christmas Cookies, Christmas Books & Christmas Movies

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Hey there, happy Friday!  

Before I get into today's post, I wanted to mention a tech issue I have been having with my blog lately.  Previously, it was set up so that anytime someone comments on my blog, it would send me an email with the comment, and I was able to email them back (as long as they were a not a no-reply blogger).  However, in the last two weeks, that is no longer happening, and my googling skills must be lacking because I have yet to figure out how to fix it.  I see the setting I need to update in Blogger, but it doesn't allow me to add in an email...and I cannot figure out why.  If you have had this problem yourself, or know how to fix it, please let me know!  Until then, I will be responding to comments on each post.  Just wanted to mention it, in case you have left a comment, I wasn't ignoring it, I just replied back in the comments of that post.

Ok, onto favorites!  I thought today I would focus on all things Christmas!

1.  Christmas Puzzles.  My mom started our Christmas puzzle tradition some years back - I think 7 or 8 years ago - and it's become one that we all look forward to.  A Christmas puzzle is set up on a table where it can be left out, and we slowly work on putting it together.  It's perfect for when we want a break from the other Christmas festivities.  Or when making a pit stop in the kitchen for a snack.  It's kind of like grazing apps - it's out on the table where you can come and go as you please.  

We've started rotating some of the puzzles, since she has accumulated a few over the years, but it's fun to get the only ones out.  We prefer the puzzles that have a bunch of little scenes or items - I think it makes it a little easier to put together and also a little more interesting.  Here are some of the puzzles we have put together in years past.

2.  Christmas Music.  I am a big fan of Christmas music, and each year I seem to add one or two new albums to my collection.  Recent favorites for this year include Dolly Parton's A Holly Dolly Christmas, and Carrie Underwood's My Gift.  ALL of the songs are good one both albums, if you are in need of some new Christmas music this next week.  Another favorite, which is a few years old now, is Brett Eldredge's Glow.  He has such a great, classic voice.

I listen to Pandora a lot when I am working or cooking, and my two favorite Christmas stations are Instrumental Christmas Music (Holiday) Radio, and Perry Como (Holiday) Radio. 

3.  Christmas Cookie Recipes.  My aunt is the queen of Christmas cookies.  She makes a huge variety each year, and they are all so good.  Over the years I have developed a few favorites, and one of those favorites is her Snowball Surprise Cookies.  They are basically a sugar cookie + M&M's + powdered sugar and they are absolutely delicious.  Now, when I make them, they aren't quite round like snowballs (mine get a little flat on one side), but that doesn't impact the taste one bit!

Another cookie favorite that would be great this time of year are Thumbprint Cookies.  These little cookies are delicious, and pretty easy to make.  You can change up the color of the frosting, too, to make them as festive as you like!

My absolute favorite Christmas cookie recipe, though, has to be Karen's Sugar Cookies + Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.  Obviously sugar cookies are great any time of the year, but we make them at Christmas so the two go hand in hand for me!  You need to do a little planning with these cookies, because you need to chill the dough before baking.  But it's worth the extra bit of planning.  These are SO good. 

4.  Christmas Books.  I love a good Christmas book.  Give me all the cheesy and all the happiness.  I rounded up my Christmas book reviews from years past here, and if you are in the mood for a Christmas book, I definitely would check it out.

Like the majority of this year, I have found myself in a bit of a reading rut this holiday season.  That said, I have read a few Christmas books, and the one that has stood out the most is Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber.  I really, really enjoyed it.  And can definitely foresee it being turned into a Hallmark movie, because it has all the makings for it, haha!

5.  Christmas Movies.  I feel like my favorites list for this one could just go on and on and on and on and on and get it.  Each year I always make sure to watch what I consider to be 'the classics'.  Miracle on 34th Street (the original), White Christmas, Holiday Inn, The Grinch (with Jim Carey), The Santa Clause, and A Muppet's Christmas Carol (along with a bunch of other 'A Christmas Carol' renditions - I can't get enough of that movie), The Preacher's Wife, The Gathering...I tell you, the list just keeps on going!  Pretty much November through the start of January is spent enjoying Christmas movies.

And then, there is Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas.  My DVR works over time this time of year, and records the majority of the Hallmark Christmas movies, which I honestly watch pretty much throughout the entire year.  Some of my favorites from this year include: On the 12th Date of Christmas, Timeless Christmas, A Nashville Christmas Carol, Christmas in Starlight and Christmas Waltz.  And I can't forget about Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Miracles of Christmas.  Holly & Ivy was really good, as was Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas.

I'd love to hear if you have read any good Christmas books so far this season, or have any must-watch Christmas movies not on my list.  I feel like there is always room for more.

On the blog this week:

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.


  1. Wow, your Christmas puzzles look like so much fun!! Yummy, your cookies turned out great and they look super delicious! Have a happy Friday!

  2. I want to incorporate puzzles into our traditions. Y’all have some great Christmas ones! I think the snowball surprise cookie sounds delicious;) Have a great weekend!

  3. Now that the kids are getting older, they've been loving the bigger puzzles, so I'd love to grab a couple of Christmassy ones for the future. And YES to Brett Eldredge's Christmas album!! Oh my word, that is one of the best Christmas albums ever. His voice is incredible.

  4. Puzzles are so much fun! I love that nutcracker one. Yum, look at all those tasty cookies. We're going to be doing some baking soon and I'm so excited. Have a great weekend!

  5. I love the Christmas puzzles!!!

  6. I saw some of those Christmas puzzles at Hobby Lobby. They are so cool. I totally need these.

  7. Oh I didn't know Carrie came out with a new Christmas album. I turned in on as soon as I started reading your post and I am loving it so far. We got rid of cable but I found an app to watch Hallmark on, it also records and it is working over time too so I can watch the movies when I get a free minute.

  8. Sugar cookies are one of my favorite memories about Christmas from when we were growing up. I love puzzles too- such a great tradition. I recorded a bunch of Hallmark movies but haven't been able to watch any yet other than my favorite-- Snow Bride! Hoping to get to a few of the new ones, do you have any favorites that came out this year?