A Very Campy Holiday!

The Holidays are upon us! Last night my group of friends got together for a delightful Holiday dinner, which was brought to us by the brilliant Kate Mullen! She made Rosemary Chicken with potatoes, green beans, and butternut squash fries! It was delightful! I brought a red velvet cake and my friend Cayla brought amazing dessert bars, one of which was a SMORES bar – and that got me thinking about all the ways to incorporate camp into the holiday season, or what camp related gifts would be on my holiday wishlist! I’m sure most holiday shopping is already done, but I’ve included links to everything on my list just in case you read about something and love it as much as I do!

“Cara’s Top 10 Campy Holiday Favorites”

10. S’mores Desserts: While you may be overwhelmed with all sorts of baked goods this season, you can eat like a camper by choosing a dessert that reminds you of the ever so popular S’more! Last night Cayla’s s’mores bars definitely had Kate and I thinking we were back alongside lenape, but there are so many s’morey options out there! Here’s a great recipe for s’mores bars: http://www.bakedperfection.com/2008/07/smore-cookie-bars.html

9. The Spinmallow: Speaking of s’mores, a great campy gift for the holidays is a rotating mallow stick! I know, at first it may sound totally silly, but when I saw a reusable spinning roasting stick in a catalog this season I knew I had to have one at camp. This one has a built in flashlight (seriously, what will they think of next) but there are tons of options out there: http://www.markysparkytoys.com/html/toycategories/toy/spinmallow.html

8. Camp Stationery: Call me old fashioned, but I’m absolutely in love with sending and receiving hand written letters or cards. In a world full of Facebook and email the novelty of the letter has become a rarity, but I think that makes it even more special. I have a HUGE box in my closet dedicated to a stationary collection I’ve been building for quite some time – when Borders went out of business this summer, I spent a day off with my counselor friends searching through all the paperchase goodies! When I find a card that’s perfect for a friend I’ll buy it on the spot, even if their birthday is months away! So when I find stationary that I want to use at camp I get equally excited. Cute cards to send to home friends (or friends at other camps) are always on my wish list! This vintage inspired set is definitely going to be with me this season: http://phdesignshop-store.com/2147.html

7. The Crazy Creek Chair: Old school campers will tell you that the Crazy Creek is a staple in camp life. Now they carry long back options for tall campers, the power lounger for those of us who enjoy luxurious seating, and my new favorite, the roll-up option! It’s available in lime green, and we all know how I love neons…  http://www.crazycreek.com/products-page/adventure-line-chairs/hex-2-0-original-chair/#

6. Camp Themed Potlucks: I love going out to dinner with camp friends (if you read this blog, you know I do it a lot) but sometimes we want to spend more time together than the restaurant would like for us to be loitering, and sometimes you just have to get out of your seat and dance around with your camp friends. A camp themed potluck is always the answer to the “we’re-all-home-over-winter-break-and-bored” problem, and it’s a great excuse to get crazy in the kitchen. Everyone makes a camp treat, like Cheese Toasties or Black and White Cookies, and gets together at someone’s home to snack and play. Dani and I are thinking of planning a camp potluck in early January, so we’ll post photos of all our camp creations here! Here’s a great recipe for B&W Cookies, camp style: http://www.cookiemadness.net/2010/10/black-white-cookie-4/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cookiemadness%2FGYsL+%28Cookie+Madness%29

5. Camp Movies: I love to spend time over winter break snuggling with puppies and watching movies with my family. A campy movie always makes me feel like summer is just around the corner. I love Camp Nowhere and The Parent Trap (Both the original and remake) for the whole family, and older viewers may enjoy Indian Summer, Meatballs, and Wet Hot American Summer. I recommend the ORIGINAL version of the parent trap for some classic campy fun: http://video.barnesandnoble.com/DVD/The-Parent-Trap-2-Movie-Collection/Hayley-Mills/e/786936286960?itm=2&usri=the+parent+trap

4. A Camp Shirt Quilt: There’s no better blanket for your camp bed than one made of camp tees! I started making camp tee quilts when i made Becky J’s sweet 16 gift out of some camp tees. After that Eric Forti got a huge queen sized camp tee blanket for his camp bed, and camp alum Adam Scharfberg got one too! I’m currently finishing a camp Tee Quilt for Emily Zendel, and I’ve got two waiting to be delivered to Sam G and Brigitte Toledano! I don’t have a website link for my quilts, but I’ll post a photo and link my email address where I’m available to make quilts or answer any “how-to” questions: cara@canadensis.com

Becky J welcomes me and Rebecca to snuggle under her camp quilt!

3. The Friendship Bracelet Maker: This is easily one of my favorite camp accessories. I make a LOT of friendship bracelets over the summer so when my my mom got asked to present this product on QVC she asked me to take it for a test drive and teach her how to make a bracelet. I fell in love with it pretty quickly and I’m definitely bringing it to camp this summer! Here’s where to find one: http://www.myfbm.com/

2. Peanut Butter Candy Canes from Callie’s: The famous Callie’s Candy Kitchen makes the world’s most amazing candy cane, and I’m not exaggerating! Our winter office is obsessed with the Peanut Butter Candy Canes (I actually have one on my desk at this very moment) but they’re only sold around holiday time! “But Cara, that’s all the way up in Canadensis!” I know, but lucky for you, Callie’s delivers all winter long! http://www.calliescandy.com/online-store.html

1. Embroidery Floss: Yes, something as simple as a pack of string tops my list of the best campy gifts/campy activities for winter break. Nothing tells the world you’re a camper better than a forearm full of braided bracelets, just ask Becky J! In my perfect world I would have every shade and hue of every color, and their glittery counterparts, at my disposal at all times! Here’s a great website for friendship bracelet patterns, although if you’re a really advanced bracelet maker, I might be able to teach you my signature stitch at camp this summer! http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/friendship-bracelet-patterns.html

Kate made a holiday party feast!

My Peanut Butter Candy Cane on my desk!