Holiday Survival Guide

Tis the season to stay busy! Between all the festivities, cookie exchanges, and traveling, we understand December can be a hectic month. This is why we are providing all the best tips and tricks to help you thrive this holiday season.

First things first, traveling can be a little stressful during the holidays with packing up the whole family and making sure to get to the airport on time.  

Bring the Comfort 

Credit: Smarter Travel

Whether you’re traveling by car or air, traveling and sitting in the same position can be very uncomfortable. Pack light and useful items with you that can be used not only during travel but also during your trip. We recommend bringing an eye mask, small travel blanket (or ladies, a large scarf that could double as a blanket), noise cancelling headphones, snacks like our Life’s Grape vine dried grapes snack packs and/or a neck pillow. 

 

Ship Gifts or Give Gift Cards

Credit: Travel Channel

If you’re traveling for the holidays and will be exchanging gifts at your destination, TSA suggests you ship your wrapped gifts or wait to wrap it at your destination. Try to ship your gifts to your destination ahead of time (give plenty of time as well to cover for any travel/weather delays) or have your online order shipped directly to your destination. Most hotels will accept and hold packages for you if you call in to inform them ahead of time that you’re expecting a package. This will eliminate adding any additional weight to your luggage. Another tip would be to just purchase gift cards. Gift cards are not only useful to anyone receiving them (and always well-received) but also the most efficient way in keeping gifts “light” for travel. They can be also purchased last minute at any shopping destination - grocery store, convenience store, retailer, etc. for those of you that are a little last minute on gifts!  

Keep the whole family busy with holiday activities!

Build a Gingerbread House 

Credit: Taste of Home

Building colorful and delicious gingerbread houses are not only great for bonding but also a way to display everyone’s creativity while having fun. If you don’t have time to create one from scratch, there are tons of Gingerbread house kits available. Tip: Use our vine dried grapes for added decor! 

Make Paper Snowflakes

Credit: Red Ted Art

This arts and craft activity is so fun and easy to create! There is no wrong way to cut out a snowflake, as each snowflake is unique. We recommend cutting a few of these out and stringing them together from a thread or wire and using it as a garland. You can also string each one individually to use as ornaments. 

Last but certainly not least, our favorite activity is whipping up a holiday recipe.

Fruit Compote with Brie

Credit: Taste of Home

This 15-minute recipe is the best when you need to quickly put something together that is not only delicious but also serves as a dish that brings people together. 

Ingredients

  •         1 (8 oz) Brie Cheese 
  •         ⅓ cup of cherries
  •         ⅓ cup of Life’s Grape Classic Vine Dried Grapes
  •         ⅓ cup of unsweetened apple juice
  •         1 tsp of vanilla extract
  •         1 tbsp cherry preservers
  •         Assorted crackers

Directions

  •         Place cheese on an ungreased oven-proof serving plate. 
  •         Bake at 400° until cheese is softened, 8-10 minutes.
  •         Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the vine dried grapes and cherries, apple juice and vanilla; bring to a boil. 
  •         Remove from the heat; stir in preserves. 
  •         Spoon over cheese. Serve with crackers.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bars

Credit: Gimme Some Oven

During the winter, sweet treats that are warm and fill the home with a cinnamon apple aroma are comforting and inviting. These Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bars are easy to bake and are a great addition any cookie exchange, perfect for snacking or as dessert!

Ingredients:

  •         2 cups all-purpose flour (or white whole-wheat flour)
  •         2 tsp. baking powder
  •         1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  •         ¼ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
  •         ½ tsp. salt
  •         2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  •         2 eggs
  •         ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  •         1 tsp. vanilla extract
  •         1 Golden Delicious apple, diced into 1/4″ cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  •         ¾  cup Life’s Grape Classic Vine Dried Grapes
  •         ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Directions: 

  •         Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  •         In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
  •         In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes or until smooth. 
  •         Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; mix for 2 minutes or until just incorporated. 
  •         Stir in diced apples, vine dried grapes and (optional) nuts, and spread into prepared pan.
  •         Bake at 350F degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

We hope some of our tips during this holiday season are useful. We love seeing all the ways you include our raisins revamped into your travels and family recipes so be sure to tag us on social media @lifes_grape so we can share!

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