Christmas Gift Ideas & The Story Of The Poinsettia – HBHW Newsletter

December 9th 2009


Good morning. It’s cold and rainy here and supposed to stay that way all day. In other words the perfect day for some homemade cookies and hot chocolate 🙂 .

Speaking of cookies … there are quite a few new cookie recipes on the site thanks to all the wonderful submissions. Feel free to share your favorite cookie recipe anytime. I’ve seen quite a few that I can’t wait to try.

You can also take your favorite cookie recipe and layer the dry ingredients into a jar. Add a tag with the recipe and a pretty bow and you have a beautiful and very frugal gift. For more ideas like this, don’t miss today’s featured article.

Today is also the last day to get a 6 month or 12 month membership to the HBHW Club at the reduced rate.

Grab your membership now and consider getting one for a loved one as a Christmas gift as well.

That’s it for this week. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Feel free to email me at

Warm Regards,

Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife

Inspirational Quote

“There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions.” – Bill McKibben


Meal Planning

Get your copy of the free meal planning resource pack today at or join at

News From The HBHW Club

This section is all about the HBHW Club. Each week I’m going to share some tidbits of what’s going on at the HBHW Club with you. I hope you enjoy these extra tips, recipes and ideas and of course would love to have you join the club.

As a HBHW newsletter subscriber, you can join for only $10 per month here:

And to make it even easier, I’ll let you try it out for just a dollar for the first 7 days.

Here’s one of the recipes that were submitted this past week.

County Fair Cream Puffs

* 1 cup water
* 1 stick butter

* 1 cup flour
* 4 eggs, slightly beaten with a fork together

* 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding – prepared
* 1 cup whipped cream

* powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot, boil the water and butter together until butter melts completely.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour and eggs all at once.  Stir a couple minutes until nice and smooth.

Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until just starting to get a touch of light golden color.  Remove and let cool, then fill.  You can make mini cream puffs by just dropping the batter by teaspoons, but watch them closely and cut the baking time down to about 20 minutes or less, depending on the size.

For filling: prepare the pudding according to the package direction.  Then add the whipped cream, folding in until blended.

Cut the top off of each cream puff and spoon filling in so it overflows a little, then replace the top.  Sprinkle a little powdered sugar over the filled cream puffs for a real County Fair look and taste.

And here are some of the other recipes that have been added in the past few days.

  • Fruity Mincemeat Pound Cake
  • Humble Hash
  • Nutty Coconut Frosted Oatmeal Cake
  • Crunchy Swiss Green Bean Bake
  • Making The Most Out of Your Fabric Softener
  • Sweet Creamy Lima Bean Bake

All in all, we have over 260 new recipes in the member area already.

What else has been going on at the HBHW Club? We’ve been talking about planning Christmas meals and sharing some of our favorite recipes, holiday gift ideas and finding inexpensive yarn for us knitting addicts out there. I’m sure you have a lot to contribute to the conversation. Ready to join us? Try The HBHW Club for only $1. We’d love to have you!

Featured Article

This week I thought I’d share one of my favorite gift ideas with you. They are gifts in a jar and you can easily make these buy the dozen. They make great gifts for teachers, neighbors and friends and are always well received.

Inexpensive & Easy To Make Christmas Gift Ideas

Frugal Tips

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Do you have a tip to share? Fill out the submit a frugal tip form and I’ll be glad to add it to the site and share your tip in an upcoming edition of the newsletter.


Here are some of the most recent recipes that have been added to the HBHW site. Enjoy!

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Do you have a recipe you would like to share? Click here to send it to me and I’ll be happy to add it to the website.

I’m Looking For:

This section is going to be all about you. If you are looking for a particular recipe or a tip on how to do something, submit it here and I will post it in an upcoming newsletter. I’ll give you my input and other readers of the newsletter will have the opportunity to share their recipes and tips as well. So take a moment to post your questions and of course if you have a tip or idea for any question posted in this section feel free to leave a comment under the appropriate post.

I’m Looking For Requests
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I’m Looking For Responses
Below you will find some of the recent responses to the “I’m Looking For” Requests. You may also want to go directly to this section and browse through all the recent submissions and replies. To do so, click on “I’m Looking for” here, and start looking through them.
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Inspirational Story


Maria and Pablo lived in a tiny village in Mexico. Because Christmastime at their house did not include many gifts, Maria and Pablo looked forward to the Christmas festivities at the village church with great joy and anticipation.

To honor the birth of Christ, the church displayed a beautiful manger that drew crowds of admirers. Villagers walked miles to admire the manger, bringing lovely, expensive gifts for the Baby Jesus. As Maria and Pablo watched the villagers place their gifts in the soft hay around the manger, they felt sad. They had no money to buy gifts for their family and no money to buy a gift for the Baby Jesus.

One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo walked to the church for that evening’s services, wishing desperately that they had a gift to bring. Just then, a soft glowing light shone through the darkness, and the shadowy outline of an angel appeared above them.

Maria and Pablo were afraid, but the angel comforted them, instructing them to pick some of the short green weeds that were growing by the road. They should bring the plants to the church, the angel explained, and place them near the manger as their gift to the Baby Jesus. Then just as quickly as she had appeared, the angel was gone, leaving Maria and Pablo on the road looking up into the dark sky. Confused but excited, the children filled their arms with large bunches of the green weeds and hurried to the church.

When the children entered the church, many of the villagers turned to stare. As Maria and Pablo began placing the weeds around the manger, some of the villagers laughed at them. “Why are those children putting weeds by the manger?” they asked each other. Maria and Pablo began to feel embarrassed and ashamed of their gift to the Baby Jesus, but they stood bravely near the manger, placing the plants on the soft hay, as the angel had instructed.

Suddenly, the dull green leaves on the tops of the plants began to turn a beautiful shade of red, surrounding the Baby with beautiful blooms. The laughing villagers became silent as they watched the green plants transform into the lovely star-shaped crimson flowers we call poinsettias. As they watched the weeds bloom before their eyes, Maria and Pablo knew they had no reason to be ashamed anymore. They had given the Baby Jesus the only gift they could–and it was the most beautiful gift of all.

Today, poinsettias are a traditional symbol of Christmas, thanks to young Maria and Pablo and their special gifts to the Baby Jesus.

Final Thought

That’s it for this edition of the Hillbilly Housewife Newsletter. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I had creating it for you. I also hope that you have found the information helpful and useful. And by all means feel free to forward the newsletter to family and friends or even better, encourage them to subscribe to it.

Do you have a question, a tip, a recipe or a story you’d like to share with us? Email it to me and I’ll include it in a future issue. Can’t wait to see what you have to say.

Warm Wishes,

Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife

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