Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Advent Calendar, Day 2: Make Chocolate Pretzel Buttons

Our advent calendar is loaded with activities for December and I'm as excited to complete each one with Tory, Aden and Andi. This is the second year we've had an advent calendar (a list of last year's activities here). Not knowing how life would be with two kids, I kept my personal expectations low this year. I remember having the hardest time getting back into the kitchen after Tory was born so I was worried about taking on too much, but so far life with Aden seems easier. I think the solid difference is he actually lets me put him down. Baby Tory? Not so much. Just in case things go sideways, I filled the calendar with plenty of cheater days to allow myself some wiggle room if/when I need it.

Sunday, December 1 (Advent Calendar Day 1) was one of those days. The activity was suppose to be "open a special Christmas present" and I botched it. We were at the cabin in the morning and our afternoon was consumed with Aden's newborn baby photo shoot. I purchased this Story of Christmas book for Tory months prior, but I never wrapped it. With the day's events, I never did find the time. The old Heather would've beaten myself up about it, but new mom-to-two-kids Heather just let it go.  We started our Elf on the Shelf tradition instead and it was perfectly fine. 

Yesterday, Day 2, of our advent calendar was the total opposite. Originally, I'd planned another low-key activity - decorate a felt Christmas tree - but Tory wasn't interested in playing with it when I asked her. Aden was sleeping in the swing and I was feeling ambitious, so Tory and I made chocolate pretzel buttons. This was seriously the easiest Christmas treat to make and the perfect activity for a two-year-old. I used this Valentine's Day recipe and customized it for Christmas by using red and green M&Ms. 

Tory helped with every step and she had so much fun. I asked her to lay out all the pretzels on a cookie sheet and together we unwrapped two bags of Hershey's Hugs chocolates. She kept sticking the chocolates in her mouth to eat and after the fourth one I told her no more or we might not have enough for our treats. "Okay! I sorry, Mom" she said with a somewhat bashful grin. That girl. She is just too cute for words. 

After each pretzel square was topped with a Hershey's chocolate, we popped the trays in the oven for 4-5 minutes, then topped each one with a holiday-colored M&M. Lucky for us, we live in frigid Minnesota so I set the trays out on the three-season porch to cool and harden. It was snowing all afternoon, so it made the perfect backdrop for our holiday baking session. Jamming out to Neil Diamond Christmas on Pandora was icing on the cake.

Can't forget to give a shout-out to my little man who slept in his swing while Tory and I baked our treats. When I was pregnant, I worried how I'd find enough time in the day to give Tory one-on-one affection while also caring for a newborn baby. So far, things seems to be working out just fine.

... on this day, at least.


  1. I have twice on our Advent calendar "make holiday treats", so I think this will be one of them. Glad you were able to find some good time with Tory!

  2. Those are one of my favorite holiday treats. I love how easy they are. My only complaint is that it's waaaaayyy to easy to eat too many!

  3. Neil diamond Christmas? I want it!