Simple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie

Once you’ve got your Chocolate Pie Crust made, you’ll need this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie recipe to go with it.

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I will say right off the bat that if you must avoid peanuts at your house, simply leave the peanut butter out of this recipe and make a regular Chocolate Chip Cheesecake. This tastes amazing either way!

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Can you use a regular pie crust for this pie? Of course you can. I’m not the boss of you. You can even use a graham cracker crust. You can go crustless. So many options!

No matter what though, I do suggest that you make this pie. It is super easy and a huge hit!!

Simple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie

Simple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie
 
Author:
Serves: 8 pieces
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter*
  • ⅔ cup sucanat or sugar OR 30 drops liquid stevia
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips***
Instructions
  1. In a high power blender mix cream cheese, peanut butter, sweetener, cream, and vanilla until thick and smooth.
  2. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Spread into a prepared pie crust.**
  4. Chill pie in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

*Get our Natural Peanut Butter recipe here.
**Find our Chocolate Pie Crust recipe here.
***These are our favorite Mini Chocolate Chips to use.

Simple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie

Need more cheesecake recipes? Some of these will be great in the Chocolate Pie Crust! Or in a Regular Whole Wheat Pie Crust. Or maybe they should remain crustless. Ohhhh, the options!

Easy Cheesecake Recipes

What are your favorite desserts to make at Christmas time? Think you should add this Chocolate Chip Cheesecake to your list?

Real Food Chocolate Pie Crust

Why make a regular pie crust when you can make a Chocolate Pie Crust?

chocolate pie crust

Well now. Sometimes we actually do need a regular ol’ pie crust. Though pie crusts around here are anything but regular. We use whole wheat flour and palm shortening in our pie crust so that it is actually nourishing. But other than that…normal. Regular. Absolutely average. Nothing to see here. Just a regular ol’ pie crust.

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Here I am calling pie crusts normal as if I make them all the time. No ma’am I do not. It’s rare that I actually take the time to make and roll out crusts these days. It must be a special occasion for me to “go to the trouble” to make a pie, because extra time I do not have.

But then suddenly, in between a History lesson with Malachi and taking time to proof-read a paper for Justus, I thought of the idea to turn a regular pie crust into a Chocolate Pie Crust. And would you believe? Tuesday afternoon became a special occasion, just like that. For no reason, I made a pie.

I mean, I do think one of the boys did exceptionally well on his math lesson that day. I did three loads of laundry like a boss. The mailman delivered some mail that wasn’t bills. The kitchen floor got swept. I answered several emails. For all these reasons and more, it seemed that a pie was in order. I can think of no other reason to celebrate, can you? Things like this call for pie with chocolate crust. Obviously.

Who says you can only make pie on special occasions?

Chocolate Pie Crust

Real Food Chocolate Pie Crust
 
Author:
Serves: 1 9"crust
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup Palm Shortening (or butter)
  • 4-5 Tablespoons cold water
Instructions
  1. Place flour, salt, cocoa, and brown sugar in a bowl or food processor.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Add palm shortening or butter.
  4. Blend until shortening is cut throughout the flour and the mixture resembles crumbs.
  5. Add cold water until a soft ball of dough has formed.
  6. Roll dough on a well-floured surface until it is slightly larger than your pie pan.
  7. Fold dough in half, then in half again.
  8. Place dough into pie pan and unfold to cover the pan.
  9. Shape edges as desired.
  10. Poke crust 4-5 times with a fork to prevent bubbles from forming while baking.
  11. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Allow crust to cool before adding cream filling of choice!

Real Food Chocolate Pie Crust

In a couple of days I will share a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie recipe with you that is simply perfect to fill this Chocolate Pie Crust. In the meantime, I also suggest filling your baked shell with:

And by the way, I get my palm shortening from Tropical Traditions. It’s fabulous and healthy. New customers at Healthy Traditions can get free shipping on their first order when you use the code FS10 at checkout!

Raise your hand if after seeing this recipe for Chocolate Pie Crust you just came up with a perfectly good (though random) reason to make a pie.

A Fun Gift for You and Your Spouse!

This is a super fun gift for you and your spouse. Take note!

The brilliant folks at MELT have put together a package deal that is pretty hard to pass up. If your husband is difficult to buy for, I think your problem has just been solved. Check this out!

melt massage oil

MELT has created their very own massage oil to go with their very wonderful massage videos. For a couple of years now, my husband and I have been enjoying these (very tastefully created) videos to help us learn great massage techniques. To have a wholesome oil to go with the massages is super exciting. And because Christmas is coming, the offer is significantly better than normal!

  • Get the Massage Oil for 50% off
  • Then get the MELT: For Couples Video Series at 40% off

You have to buy the massage oil to qualify for the video discount, and there is a very limited supply of massage oil. This special offer begins on December 13, so here’s what you need to do!

  1. Register here so you’ll be informed when the sale is live. (It’s free!)
  2. Watch your email for free massage tips.
  3. The minute the super cheap Massage Oil and Video deal is launched, take advantage while supplies last!

Why you’ll want the Massage Oil and Videos

Your purchase will get you lifetime access to the videos. Included are 3 massage routines that take couples from
the basics of massage to advance techniques, showing you where the good spots are and how to massage the knots so you can literally make your spouse melt!

Melt gives you connection, a time to reflect with your spouse, to spent time together away from the children, away from work and the pressures of life so the two of you can experience one-another the way you did before life got in the
way.

You can come back to it over and over again in your relationship. Have it sit there and wait for you on that special occasion such as birthdays or anniversaries. Or share backrubs weekly! It’s totally up to you and you go at your own pace.

Each technique only takes only minutes to learn. You don’t have to commit to an entire night of massage. Some couples spend no more than 10 minutes each night practicing one technique – that’s all.

Head here to register for this great sale!

melt massage register

This post is sponsored by MELT Massage. My husband and I give it a big thumbs up!

The Simplest Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Truly these Chocolate Peanut Clusters can’t get any easier.

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I make some with semi-sweet chocolate and some with white chocolate and when it’s all said and done, I’ve spent about 10 total minutes making amazing Christmas treats.

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You don’t have to scoop these treats into muffin cups, but they sure do a lot to dress up the plate, don’t you think? (Read more ideas here for ways to serve festive food without using food coloring.)

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The effort it takes to make these Chocolate Peanut Clusters involves pouring chocolate chips into a saucepan with peanuts, then stirring them both together until they melt. Two-ish minutes later your mission has been accomplished. Scoop the melty mixture into muffin-lined cups. Refrigerate. Serve or package up to give as gifts.

If only all of our Christmas preparations would be this easy!

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Simple Chocolate Peanut Clusters

The Simplest Chocolate Peanut Clusters
 
Author:
Serves: 9-18
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or white chocolate*)
  • 1 shake of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Pour peanuts and chocolate chips into a sauce pan.
  2. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate has melted and coats the peanuts.
  3. Scoop coated peanuts into regular or mini-sized muffin paper liners.
  4. Allow the clusters to cool until set, about 20 minutes.

*I get my White Chocolate Chips from Olive Nation. They offer some with a little bit cleaner ingredients and I love their quality.

By the way, Olive Nation loves Heavenly Homemakers readers so much that they give us a 20% discount on our orders! Shipping is free when your order is $50 or more. Use the code home for the discount!

Simple Chocolate Peanut Clusters

If you’re into more time consuming treats (ha!), try these Truffles. I prefer simpler recipes, but of course the effort it worth the prize when you make truffles. They also make amazing Christmas gifts!

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Also great for gift giving: Homemade Peppernuts. My grandma always made these at Christmastime!

Peppernuts
What kinds of Christmas treats do you enjoy making to share?

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

How to Serve Festive Holiday Food Without Food Coloring

I have all kinds of ideas for serving festive holiday food without food coloring, and it’s likely much simpler than you think!

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I’m not opposed to someone going out of their way to make real food dye with natural colors that won’t turn our insides purple and our teeth blue. I just don’t personally have the time to do that during this season in my life. There are actually fun options for purchasing natural food coloring, the ingredients of which are made with vegetables. They are pricey, but worth it if you enjoy frosting your Christmas cookies different colors. Check them out here!

But if you want to have fun with food and avoid the trouble and expense of natural food dye, here are some great ways to serve festive food without any food dye at all!

How to serve festive holiday food without food coloring

1. Use real food with real, natural color

It’s too simple, right? If you want something red on your holiday treat, use red food (pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries).

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Add a little bit of 100% juice to Cream Cheese Frosting to naturally and easily turn your frosting into pretty colors. Garnish with fresh fruit if you can find some in season!

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2. Serve your holiday food on pretty, festive dishes or on a pretty holiday table cloth

It doesn’t even matter if the plates are made of paper and the tablecloth is made of plastic. These items make serving holiday food so much fun! Or save up and add a few real holiday dishes to your collection each year when they go on sale after the holiday.

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3. Use ribbon

It’s amazing how a bit of fabric or colored ribbon will change the look of a food gift!

Sweet gingerbread cookies on the wooden background,selective focus

4. Use cookie cutters

Don’t just limit your use of cookie cutters to cookies! Use small festive cookie cutters for your pie crust too. Here’s our favorite Whole Wheat Pie Crust recipe.

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5. Use special holiday muffin and cupcake liners and toppers

It is ridiculous how much fun these are! Cupcake and muffin liners are such a simple way to dress up holiday treats. I watch for them to go on sale after a holiday and I stock up for the next year. (Here are 23 Muffin Recipes, by the way.)

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We had a little bit of fun with this idea and made some printable Muffin and Cupcake Toppers for you. Print them in color to cut and use, OR print them in black and white and let your kids color them before you cut them and put them together!

Get this fun, FREE Muffin and Cupcake Topper Printable when you join our Learning Zone. Membership is entirely free and will give you access to this and many more printable family learning resources!

Christmas Muffin and Cupcake Topper Printable

6. Decorate with candy canes

Fine. These have food coloring. But you can buy plastic ones OR you can buy the actual candy canes and use them entirely for decoration. We use them to brighten our table and living room, but we hardly ever actually eat them. They are a perfect way to make your holiday table more festive!

White and red peppermint candy canes in bucket on white background.
7. Serve festive drinks in special mugs and teacups

Somehow they just taste better this way. :) Here’s a link to share 7 holiday drinks that include all real food ingredients. But even my good ol’ Javita coffee tastes better in a holiday mug!

Cup of hot cocoa and heart shape cookies on wooden background

What fun ways do you serve festive food without using food coloring?

How to Serve Festive Holiday Food Without Food Coloring

 

Some of these links are affiliate links.

Best Gifts for Teachers and Coaches

One might wonder how I could possibly know anything about the best gifts for teachers seeing as I am a homeschool mom and am, therefore, my own kids’ teacher.

Hmm. Kind of seems like my kids should be reading this post and buying me some coffee shop and restaurant gift cards as a thank-you for my daily devotion to their education. Am I right?

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Any amount will do, Boys. 

Truly, their love is all the thanks I need. No, really. (That and the fact that they clean our toilets, vacuum our floors, unload the dishwasher…)

Even as a homeschooling family, we have a list of teachers and coaches we try to bless with a little something at Christmastime. Bible class teachers, youth workers, church ministry staff, music teachers, basketball and soccer coaches, the list goes on.

Perhaps we should begin by sharing a list of what NOT to give a teacher. Just say no to adding to a teacher’s collection of coffee mugs and/or anything that says “#1 Teacher.” And don’t even think about combining the two (a coffee mug that says “#1 Teacher”). Do we or do we not love those who care enough to educate our young? So let’s move on to the actual good suggestions, brought to you mostly by my Facebook readers who were kind enough to share their best ideas!

Best Gifts for Teachers and Coaches

Best Gifts for Teachers and Coaches

1. Gift Cards

Do these seem impersonal? I guess they could. But write a kind and appreciative personal note, then slide in a gift card that will provide your teacher with free dinner, free ice cream, free coffee, free shopping, or free anything fun from around your community. I personally love receiving gift cards and never think them impersonal!

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2. Movie Passes

Again, include a personal note of appreciation. Maybe a package of popcorn. Perfection. (I like that these come in a 3-pack!)

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3. Supplies for the Classroom

When I asked for gift suggestions on my Facebook page, Stephanie said this, “I always ask the teachers if they have any classroom needs-supplies, games or activities for inside recess days, etc.” Brilliant gift idea! (These Sharpies are a great price right now! Do all teachers love Sharpies, or is it just me?)

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4. Wrapping Paper and Scotch Tape

Who thinks of these things? Several on Facebook suggested that this was a hit. I love the idea!

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5. Breakfast in the Break Room

Meredith shared this fabulous suggestion, “One year I brought in breakfast for the office staff of our elementary. We were newish to the school then, and I didn’t want to bring in homemade food that might make some uneasy, so I made up my own shortened (and with prices that fit in my budget per person) list of breakfast options from Panera and handed it out early with a date on it I needed to collect them. I brought in orange juice and iced coffee from the grocery dairy section and a chopped fruit bowl from the grocer (but bananas and oranges or apples would be good too, I was just really wanting everything to clearly be commercially prepared if that makes sense) to go with each person’s selections. Panera boxed all the other stuff up and I brought it in early before the kids arrived. It was about $6-7 per person and we have a small office staff. They really loved it!”

Fruit tray

6. Maple Syrup, Honey, or Jelly and Homemade Bread

While I think it’s best to be cautious on the homemade food gifts we give teachers (they may be leery about eating it unless they know us well), a jar of homemade jam and a loaf of homemade bread is a real treat! Teresa suggested, “This year teachers will get a pint of maple syrup and a jar of strawberry jam from our farm. In the past I have done loaves of homemade cinnamon raisin bread, and those were well-received.”

Terra says, “I’m giving them local honey in little bears this year…helps with immune systems…so not the typical gift.” Kris makes homemade Biscotti. I love all these unique ideas for homemade goodies!

7. Jamicure in a Jar

We all know I love jars! While I’m pretty sure my sons’ male basketball coaches wouldn’t appreciate this gift of manicure items, any female teacher or coach surely would! My friend Joy makes and gives these and emailed me with, “I love mason jars for gifts! Fun to dress up and make fancy then useful afterwards. But you already know that because you’re queen of mason jars! I include the wraps or polish or both with a nail file or care kit, cotton balls, personal lotion and of course, a few chocolates!”

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8. Family Ornament

Again, we should stay away from apple-shaped ornaments that say “#1 Teacher.” But April shared, “My favorite I ever did was a Christmas ornament with her family name on it.” Now this is a great idea!

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9. Family Fun Night

Brittany suggested a Family Fun Night with, “Redbox gift certificate with popcorn and candy.” Brittany is a teacher, so I think this suggestion is definitely worth listening to!

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10. Car Wash Tokens

As someone who constantly has a filthy vehicle, I like this idea very much!! Lyn said, “When the boys got into middle and high school and had so many teachers, I started getting gift cards for the local car wash (one or two washes each). Our local place runs a “20 for $100″ special each year. It’s inexpensive, different and they love them!”

Fill in the gaps! What are your favorite gifts to give teachers and coaches?

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

Dozens of LEGO Sets for Less than $10

How about a list of LEGO sets that all cost less than $10? This comes at a perfect timing with Christmas right around the corner!

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This year I made two mistakes: 1) I asked Malachi if he still thought he’d want to put LEGOS on his Christmas list and 2) I mentioned that it didn’t seem as if he played with LEGOS as much anymore. I got quickly put in my place seeing as 1) of course he still wants LEGOS on his Christmas list and 2) he doesn’t play with LEGOS; he builds with them.

My bad.

My youngest LEGO lover is turning 13 this month, but “old age” has not stopped him from loving the bricks. He still has a room dedicated to LEGO and still spends hours working with them. I truly won’t be surprised if he somehow makes a career out of LEGO some day, somehow.

For all who have LEGO lovers in your life, you will enjoy looking through all of these great sets that cost less than $10. Many are less than $5!

Grab them for stocking stuffers. Grab them for party gifts. Grab them for gift exchanges. Grab them for incentives or rewards.

Dozens of LEGO Sets for Less than $10

First, check out these two pages that feature 43 Lego sets that are less than $10. Look around and see which are best for the kids on your Christmas list!

lego color packs

And now for a little more of a specific break down of sets. Keep in mind that not only are all of these sets less than $10, many of them are only $5 or $6!

Classic Creativity Boxes

I love these colored Classic Creativity Boxes! You can buy them as a set of four then divide them among four recipients. Or you can buy them individually if you prefer. For easy access:

lego first

Have little bitties? Check out these My First sets!

lego creator

These Creator sets are fun because kids can make 3 different items out of the one set!

(These range between $5-$6)

lego city

The LEGO City sets are probably my favorite because I overall, my kids have used them more than other specific themed sets. 

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LEGO Star Wars is always a hit!

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Don’t forget LEGO Friends…

Merry LEGO Christmas!

Dozens of LEGO Sets for Less than Ten

This post contains my affiliate links.

Simple White Hot Chocolate

Pardon the pun, but we are going to fudge just a little bit on this Simple White Hot Chocolate recipe.

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On second thought, do not pardon the pun. Puns are great. Puns make life more fun. Embrace the pun. Long live the pun.

puma pants

But for real.

So back to fudging on the Simple White Hot Chocolate recipe. We fudge on this {chocolate} recipe because it contains actual sugar. I hereby declare that at Christmas, we can let our hair down just a little bit {insert rabbit puns here} and enjoy a sweet treat or two. Should we overindulge? I certainly don’t recommend it. I actually only suggest indulging on the treats that are your favorites and really, really, really appeal to you {insert banana puns here}.

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If you’re a white chocolate fan, this one is for you. And no doubt, if you are a fan of easy recipes (who isn’t?), you will definitely love this delicious holiday drink!

Simple White Hot Chocolate

Simple White Hot Chocolate
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Heat milk and chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook and stir until chocolate is melted (do not boil!).
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  4. Serve right away!

*I get my White Chocolate Chips from Olive Nation. They offer some with a little bit cleaner ingredients and I love their quality. (Yes, there’s still sugar in these. It’s Christmas. Enjoy the treat. Just don’t drink the entire pot.)

By the way, Olive Nation loves Heavenly Homemakers readers so much that they give us a 20% discount on our orders! Shipping is free when your order is $50 or more. Use the code home for the discount!

For a fun twist, add a teaspoon of Peppermint Extract to this Simple White Hot Chocolate recipe!

Simple White Hot Choclate

Want more fun holiday drinks?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

Celebrating a Simple Christmas: Is it Possible?

Let’s throw this idea around together shall we? Is a celebrating a Simple Christmas even possible?

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Every year at this time, I play tug of war between wanting to keep our holiday super simple and wanting to do everything possible to make our Christmas extra special. I bobble back and forth between wanting to make all the fun crafts then refusing to even get out the glue gun or ribbon. I decide that we should spend hardly any money on gifts then teeter over to the “but it’s Christmas” money mindset.

I make a huge list of Christmas goodies I want to make, then scratch most everything off and narrow it down to just a few of our traditional family favorites. I fall in love with all the amazing Pinterest Christmas suggestions (because who are the geniuses who think of these fabulous ideas?!) then I get mad at all the Pinterest Christmas suggestions (because who are the crazy people who have actually taken time to think of and execute these ridiculously impractical ideas?!).

So in summary, each December I decide that I want to do everything and I also want to do nothing. God bless us everyone.

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Now that we have officially entered the Christmas season, I believe I’ve landed on some sort of happy middle ground. We’ll do a little more than nothing but certainly not everything, so I guess it will look like something. Do I know how to celebrate a Simple Christmas or what?

Sigh. Do you do teeter back and forth like this? Is it only me?

Here’s what I’ve been working on to share with you this month. As you read through the list, you’ll be able to see clearly that nothing is difficult or requires much effort (you’re welcome). But we’ll still have us some simple holiday fun and we’ll get to eat chocolate (because God is good).

Simple Christmas posts you can look forward to this month:

  • Simple Chocolate Peanut Clusters recipe
  • Simple Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider recipe
  •  Chocolate Pie Crust recipe
  • Dozens of LEGO Sets for Less Than $10
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie recipe
  • Simple Trick to Serve Festive Treats without Food Coloring
  • Homemade White Hot Chocolate recipe

Truly, I don’t mean to overdo the chocolate. It’s just what happened as I started putting ideas together for the Christmas season. My Simple Christmas started to turn into a Chocolate Covered Christmas.

Is celebrating a Simple Christmas even possible

 

Share your thoughts! Do you prefer a Simple Christmas or an elaborate one? What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Favorite Family Games List 2017

It’s become tradition around here. For several years, I have shared a list of our family’s favorite games, adding to the list each year as our shelf fills more and more. Welcome to this year’s Favorite Family Games List!

What Are Your Favorite Family Games

I LOVE that each year, you share your family’s favorite games in the comments. This has helped us decide which new games to get for our kids each Christmas. So keep the comments coming! Read through this list, then add your favorites in the comments section to give us all more idea!

Favorite Family Games List 2017

I love that many of these are small enough to put into stockings. I love that these are gifts the entire family can enjoy together. And I love that there is really no end to all the great games out there!

Ok, your turn! Tell us what your favorite family games are!

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