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Jessie's Gift Baskets 2001-2002 E-Zine


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Holiday Traditions and Recipies
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Holiday Traditions and Recipies

Maulana Karenga
Maulana Karenga began Kwanzaa as a cultural celebration of
African-American culture.  Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration that begins on Dec. 26 and continues through Jan. 1.  The word "Kwanzaa" means "first fruits of  the harvest" in the Kiswahili.  Kwanzaa is observed by more than15 million
people all over the world. It is based on Nguzo Saba (seven guiding
principles), one for each day of the observance: 

Umoja (Unity)
Kujichagulia (Self-determination)
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Nia (Purpose)
Kuumba (Creativity)
Imani (Faith)
Paula M. Pierce
PaulaWalla Imports
Multicultural and Handcrafted Gifts


Christmas Eve Family Tradition

My family has a tradition that we have done for years.   On Christmas Eve we turn out the lights and grandpa tells the story of the birth of Jesus.  The creche has Christmas lights on it.  As he tells the story the younger children put out the pieces.  When the story is finished everyone gets some peppermint stick ice cream that was made into balls earlier.  They have a candle stuck in them.  The candles are lit and everyone sings Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus.  My older children are 19 and 21 now and they still want to do this.

Dixie Laures    


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Make Christmas Baking Fun Involve the entire Family!

Children love to help their moms in the kitchen with the Christmas baking. It makes them feel like they are part of the festive season. They enjoy telling others that they helped make the delicious treats you will be serving.

Following are two simple recipes that you can have the children help you make for Christmas. They make wonderful gifts to give to teachers and friends as well.

Candy Cane Cookies

These delicious cookies are not only fun to make but look great too. Adding a festive touch to a cookie plate, they will become one of your Christmas favorites. Children have fun rolling the dough into the shapes with you.

cup butter or margarine

cup shortening

1-cup confectioners sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

tsp. red food color

Heat oven to 375 F. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, confectioners sugar, egg and flavorings. Blend in flour and salt. Divide dough in half; blend food color into one half. Shape 1 tsp. dough from each half into 4-inch rope. For smooth, even ropes, roll them back and forth on lightly floured board. Place ropes side by side; press together lightly and twist. Complete cookies one at a time. Place on ungreased baking sheet; curve top of cookie down to form handle of cane. Bake about 9 minutes or until set and very light brown. If you wish, mix cup crushed peppermint candy and cup granulated sugar. Immediately sprinkle cookies with candy mixture; remove from baking sheet. About 4 dozen cookies.

Anns Christmas Tree Cookies (spice cookies)

These delicious cookies will become a family favorite. I know they were mine when I was growing up. Children enjoy decorating the cookies with tiny gumdrops for lights, sugars and candied fruit. Let them be creative.

Cream the following together:

1-cup butter

1 cups sugar

2 Tbsp. corn syrup

egg beat into the creamed mixture above

In a separate bowl mix together the following:

2 cups flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. ginger

2 tsp. cloves

2 tsp. soda

Combine the liquid and the dry ingredients. Roll out (not too thin), cut into Christmas tree shapes and decorate with sprinkles, colored sugar, candied fruit or what ever you want. Bake at 375 F until golden. Be careful, as they will burn easily.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. Decorating the house, having family and friends over and the awe on my little ones face every year as we decorate the tree and house with lights and garlands, make this festive season that much more special.

From myself, and all the staff at Progressive Group, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

For more festive recipes and cookbooks you can purchase for Christmas and other gift giving, visit Progressive Groups Website at:

Lynne Bard
Progressive Group
Or toll free at


Christmas Berry Mocha Fudge


1/4 lb. butter
12 oz. can of evaporated milk
3 1/2 Cups of sugar
1 heaping tablespoon of INSTANT COFFEE
10 oz. Hershey's Raspberry chocolate chips
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
7 oz. Marshmallow cream
1 tsp. vanilla

In a heavy saucepan melt the butter. Add evaporated milk, sugar, and
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly until the temperature
235 degrees. Remove from heat and and raspberry chocolate chips and the
bittersweet chocolate. Stir the mixture until all ingredients are
melted. Add
the marshmallow crème and stir until blended. Stir in the vanilla. Pour
a lightly greased 9 X 13 inch pan. Cut in bite sized squared when

By Melanie,