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I absolutely love this time of year. Especially since having kids, I look forward to making holiday memories every year as we break out decorations and find ways to celebrate the season. As I started to think about what kinds of things we could do this year, that’s when it occurred to me that my kids (at five and nine) hadn’t ever made construction paper garland OR popcorn balls. How could we have gone through so many holiday seasons already without making them?!? I remember making them SO many times as a kid. That settled that – I was on a mission.
I already had a ton of construction paper on hand, so I sorted through it to grab the red and green pieces. Then, I wanted to make sure we had fairly even strips for the links, so I grabbed my tape measure and marked out 1-inch spaces across the page.
To make it easier to cut the strips, I drew straight lines across the top page. This is probably easiest done with a ruler, but when every ruler in the house mysteriously disappears, your blog-planning binder works just as well!
I cut them all out at once. Yes, I used the kids’ scissors. I could have gotten mine, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂 Cut all of the strips out, then separate them into equal piles for everybody. In our case, even Dad got in on the fun, so we all made chains.
To put them together, we used glue sticks. They’re less messy than regular glue, and they hold just as well. Put a little bit of glue on one end of the paper strip so you can make the first circle.
Close the circle, holding the ends together for a minute so that the glue holds up.
Thread the next strip through the completed circle, then repeat the process to connect the second strip.
Keep repeating this process to make the chain. We made four individual chains, then put them all together to make one long one that’s hanging on the tree now. The kids had a blast, and it gave them something THEY created to put on the tree.
After we made the garland, we decided to make popcorn balls, or as my nine-year-old calls them, popcorn snowballs. I knew that making the popcorn and the syrup was going to occupy the kitchen for a while, and it was getting close to dinner time. I wanted to do something quick and easy, but I really didn’t feel like cooking dinner and then making the popcorn balls. That’s when I decided to check out the Coca-Cola Family Pizza Combo at Sam’s Club.
We have a Sam’s Club that’s only about a mile away, and we love it. But despite how many times we’ve shopped there, I’d never stopped at the in-club snack bar. It was so convenient, though, because I needed to grab popcorn and a few other things in the club, so we grabbed dinner on the way out. I didn’t have to cook anything, and got enough of everything to feed the whole family.
The meal comes with:
- A 16” pizza (you get to choose your toppings)
- Cheesy breadsticks with marinara sauce
- 6 Chocolate Chunk Cookies (how can you go wrong – you even get dessert!)
- 2-Liter bottle of Coca-Cola
Yup – we got all that stuff and it was only $13.98! The kids loved the pizza, and it took all the pressure off me so I could focus on prepping the stuff for the popcorn snowballs. If you’ve never made them before, you’ll be amazed how easy it is. All you need is 12 cups of popped popcorn (about a half-cup of kernels) and the cooked syrup.
Pour the syrup over the big bowl of popcorn and stir it all to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Cover your hands with wax paper or plastic gloves sprayed with non-stick spray, then form the popcorn into about three-inch balls. You’ll get about a dozen balls from the batch.
We had a ton of fun making new holiday memories this year, and it was made so much easier with the Coca-Cola Family Pizza Combo from my local Sam’s Club. We’ll definitely remember the in-club cafe for future quick and easy meals. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? We’d love to hear about what your family does. Check out Sam’s Club for more information about the combo and how Sam’s Club and Coca-Cola can help make YOUR dinner plans easier!
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup corn syrup
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Stir constantly as the sugar dissolves and comes to a boil.
- Boil the mixture for 2 full minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour the candy coating over the popcorn, mixing the popcorn to distribute it evenly.
- Cover your hands with wax paper or plastic gloves covered with non-stick spray.
- Form approximately three-inch balls, pressing the popcorn together into a ball shape with your hands.