2011 Virtual Advent Tour

Hosted by Kelly and Marge, this is the 6th year that the Virtual Advent Tour has shared holiday joy with bloggers everywhere.

About a week before Christmas, our small town in northern New South Wales, Australia, holds Carols by Candlelight at the park just down the end of my street by the river and it is my favourite holiday event. Armed with camp chairs, picnic rugs, snacks (especially my homemade White Christmas), drinks and a plethora of glow in the dark bits and pieces my family (that includes my husband and four children)  along with assorted friends claim a comfortable spot near the stage (but not too close to the speakers) and relax to enjoy a night of chatting, caroling, and general carousing . My oldest daughter, who is a display gymnast, performs every year with her gymnastic team and we are also entertained by a variety of musicians and singers. For the children there is usually a petting zoo set up and Santa makes an appearance in the back of a ute handing out bags of lollies but they are just as thrilled to be running around the park or swarming over the playground equipment in the twilight. It usually doesn’t get dark til after 8pm and if the weather has been cooperative (December is summer down under) we are treated to a wonderful fireworks display from a barge in the middle of the river. Eventually we wander home, the kids exhausted but already looking forward to doing it all again next year!

The article has a photo of two of my children captured at the Carols by Candlelight in 2009

Click the image for a closer look

Recipe for White Christmas

3 cups Rice Bubbles

1 1/2 bars of copha

1 cup dessicated coconut

1 cup of powdered milk

1 tbsp vanilla essence

1 cup icing sugar

1 bag of M&M chocolates (the red and green Christmas themed packets if you can get them)


Combine all dry ingredients except chocolate in  a large bowl. Melt copha gently then pour over dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Add M&M’s and stir through evenly

Spoon mixture into small patty pan cases to fill. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Store in a airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

*You can also line a shallow baking tray with baking paper and then press mixture into it. Refrigerate and then slice into even pieces, wrap with cellophane, tie with a ribbon  and give as a gift

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

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31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ann
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 05:03:31

    Adorable picture and the recipe looks delicious.


  2. Leeswammes
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 07:06:13

    Thanks for sharing your Carols event. It sounds a very nice outing for the family and the whole town. I’ve never heard of White Christmas, is that your own recipe? Or is it something that is quite common in Australia?

    Adorable picture!


    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Dec 11, 2011 @ 11:47:49

      It’s a twist on a familiar recipe Judith. Mostly White Christmas is made with cherries, sultanas and apricots but there is no way my kids will eat that LOL so i substituted chocolate – it’s more like a Rice Krispie” treat


  3. Marg
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 17:52:18

    We were supposed to go to Carols by Candlelight last night but unfortunately there was lightning and thunder, hail and rain so it was called off! Unfortunately we haven’t been for a few years now because it has been like that or the other extreme of more than 40C! Maybe next year.

    Thanks for sharing about this Aussie Christmas tradition and for participating in the tour!


    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Dec 11, 2011 @ 18:18:26

      I’m crossing my fingers it will be okay next weekend – the news is full of how this will be the wettest summer on record


  4. Fiona
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 18:26:09

    Loved your piece! We’re about to head off for our carols by candlelight soon…it’s a great tradition that I have been to for many years :)


  5. Beth F
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 23:01:09

    The joys of Christmas in summer! Too funny. We’re traditionally all huddled indoors with a fire in the fireplace, and you’re all outside on a picnic. Love the photo of your kids.


  6. Tiina
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 00:12:50

    Lovely tradition! Thanks for sharing!


  7. Mystica
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 00:21:09

    Love the photos of your children.


  8. Pepca
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 01:18:15

    And here we’re complaining because the weather is too warm for December with 5°C:) Caroling picnic sounds fun! That’s a lovely picture of your children. And thanks for sharing the recipe, it sounds yummy!


    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Dec 12, 2011 @ 11:17:53

      I couldn’t imagine temperatures that low – it rarely gets that cold in teh depths of winter here LOL


  9. Bookfool, aka Nancy
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 05:08:27

    Sounds like your town has a lovely Christmas celebration. White Christmas sounds delicious! We’ll have to give that a try. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  10. sprite
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 05:57:04

    Off to find out what copha is and where I can track it down in the U.S. Thank you for sharing your tradition and your recipe!


    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Dec 12, 2011 @ 11:23:05

      Copha is essentially coconut oil which you might be able to find in the US in liquid form with other cooking oils. I hope you find it!


  11. betty
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 11:28:28

    That sounds like a wonderful event to go to as a family! I’m sure lots of memories are made yearly at them! I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!



  12. MarthaE
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 13:48:37

    What a nice tour and thanks for sharing. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas!


  13. Teddyree
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 19:13:01

    I love going to Carols by candlelight, but my boys are “too old” for that now so they say. Thanks for sharing your local carols night and the White Christmas recipe … that’s my kind of White Christmas too lol.
    Are you a scrapbooker too? … I love the layout with the article


    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Dec 15, 2011 @ 10:14:52

      I thought I had replied – I am a digital scrapbooker – in fact one of my part time jobs is as a digital scrapbook product designer :)


  14. Court
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 02:31:21

    That sounds like a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit – thanks for sharing it with us!

    And that recipe sounds totally yummy – I will be bookmarking it to make next year!


  15. Andi (Estella's Revenge)
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 06:22:54

    Nice to have found your blog, and I greatly enjoyed reading your Advent entry! :D


  16. Tami
    Dec 15, 2011 @ 02:39:55

    The Christmas celebration sounds wonderful. I’m guessing it will be something your children keep as a favorite memory of childhood. Thanks for sharing your holiday and have a Merry Christmas.


    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Dec 15, 2011 @ 10:16:38

      Thank you Tami – I hope they have great memories of it. Merry Christmas to you and yours


  17. Trackback: Virtual Christmas Advent Tour 2013 « book'd out

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