Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Other traditions

A traditions that my family followed that was a little different than the norm, was to pick an angels off the tree at church or from one of the department stores.  The Angel had a child's name, size, clothing and toy requests.  We always had a wonderful time picking out some new outfits, shoes, and toys for our Angel.  Some years we were allowed to choose two Angels, sometimes just one.  I did keep up this tradition with our kids but have not done so recently.  I have purchased toys for the Marine's donation box although I don't find the experience quite as personal.  I guess I like to have a name and an option of doing more than just providing a toy.

I think it is time to revive this tradition.  I always enjoyed it in the past and helping out always puts me in the holiday mood.

The other tradition our family had was the Swedish Tea Ring for breakfast.    There is nothing like starting the day with a nice warm cinnamon in your tummy!


           1/4 cup warm water (real warm)
  • Package yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast from jar)
Put yeast in a small bowl and pour water over it stirring to dissolve well. Add teaspoon of  sugar and stir to "proof" the yeast.  Let sit for about 5 minutes till yeast bubbles. Measure the following ingredients into a large bowl and add the yeast mixture.
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups flour
Mix until smooth.  Add enough additional flour (up to an additional 1 1/2 or 2 cups) to handle easily and mix with your hands.  Turn onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).  Round up in greased bowl, greased side up and cover with a damp cloth to let rise.  Rise in a warm place until double in size - about 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and let rise again about 30 to 45 minutes.
Roll dough into oblong 15x9 shape.  Spread soft butter all over and then sprinkle the following over the dough:
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Roll up dough longwise seam-side down.  Then bring ends together to form a circle and pinch edges together.  Make cuts 2/3 of the way into the ring every 1 inch around.  Turn each section onto its side.  Let rise again about 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes.
Spread top with icing:
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • dash of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix to a spreading consistency and drizzle over warm ring.


GeneaDiva said…
What a special way of celebrating Christmas. I can remember having an Angel Tree at Church and how much fun it was to select a child and provide what I hoped would be a special gift.

Your Swedish Tea Ring looks wonderful! Merry Christmas!
Amy Urman said…
My gym actually is doing an Angel Tree this year. I thought that was a nice idea since they don't seem to do it at the mall anymore and some folks don't always attend a church.

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