We started doing a Christmas name gift exchange a few years back when one of my sisters retired to our area, we have 11 in our family who all live locally, she and her husband have 7 with one on the way that live all over the country, usually some get to make it in for the holiday's. It had become crazy to try and buy for each other!! Now we draw names at Thanksgiving and set a $50.00 spending limit then exchange gifts on Christmas Eve while having dinner at her house. This year my sister got my name and hooked me up with this cool coca/latte maker from Back to Basics. I would never have spent the money on something like this, I mean how lazy would I be if I couldn't whip up a cup of hot chocolate and it is just one more kitchen gadget I would need to find a home for in our bulging kitchen. I am SOOOO glad she got it for me, it is super cool and handy to have. I won't be storing it away until spring, this baby is gonna be on the counter all winter long, figure when I bring in the canning supplies I can store the coca maker in its place in the garage.
Christmas morning we filled it up with milk (uses up to 32 ounces) added some fancy dancy Williams Sanoma chocolate she had included with the gift and turned it on. Only took 10 minutes or so to warm up to the perfect temperature and it even has a frothing button on the side to make the chocolate extra special. Here is another cool feature, it will keep the beverage at the perfect temperature all day. I cleaned it out after we had gone through a gallon of milk and took it with us to our daughters house for Christmas dinner. We switched over to Carmel apple cider in the afternoon, by evening the kids kicked it up a notch by adding a shot of rum to individual mugs. I plan on looking the instructions over today to see if there are other warm drink recipes included, if not maybe I can google a few things when I take a break later today. I used it yesterday for spiced cider, only Kara an I were home but it was so nice to take a break now and then from the packing up of decorations with something warm.
Today is continuing to pack up Christmas decorations and a trip to the bank to set up a new savings account for 2011 (more on that tomorrow) my goal is to get the Christmas village finished and at least 4 of the 9 trees taken down. I did get the refrigerator and one freezer cleaned out yesterday and repackaged the cookies and candies into ziplock baggies so I could get all the storage containers washed up and put away, thankfully we have very little leftovers in the way of snacks that I will be tempted to eat instead of eating a real meal! I am gonna hold off cleaning the other freezers until the weekend, the temperatures should be in the 60's by then, no need in working when it's in the 20's and 30's when we have a warm up coming in just a few days!!