Thursday, January 1, 2015

Holiday Traditions

Hi friends!
As I was writing a post the other day about the day after Thanksgiving, I mentioned something about a Christmas traditions of ours and thought I would write a short post about our holiday traditions!

My husband is big on us having family traditions, especially during the holidays, so that we can build special memories for our family. We started most of these traditions before we had Riker, and I am sure that we will start some new ones as he gets a little older.

We LOVE hot chocolate, and definitely drink more of it during the holidays. We even make a special item to go with the hot chocolate that will lead me to our next tradition....
(But first, here is a little fun fact - did you know that there is a difference between hot chocolate and cocoa?! Hot chocolate is made with milk and hot cocoa is made with water!)

Every Christmas I make homemade marshmallows to go in my hot chocolate. Its just something extra special to have during the holidays. Its very easy to make homemade marshmallows, and they are SO good. I use Martha Stewart's recipe. She has several different recipes, but this is the one I follow: Homemade Marshmallow Recipe. Sometimes I use cookie cutters to cut out the marshmallows and sometimes I just cut them into different sized squares. Helpful hint: if you want to use cookie cutters, don't use ones that are too small or intricate - it will be too hard to get them out of the cookie cutter. 

The weekend after Thanksgiving we will go to Costco and get a case of Coca Cola in glass bottles. It always tastes so much better than canned Coke! I don't know if its because they have festive Christmas Coca Cola commercials, or what, but it has become tradition that we have Coke from a bottle at the holidays. This is the only time we buy them, and we try not to keep soda around the house that much the rest of the year.

My husband and I LOVE Christmas time. We love all the decorations, the music and the feel of the holiday spirit. So, because of these things, we want to have our Christmas tree up for as long as possible. We cut down our tree the morning after Thanksgiving and place it in the tree stand when we get home. We wait until that evening to decorate the tree (because we are always gone in the early afternoon-evening). We will put on Christmas music, sip some hot chocolate or coca cola and decorate away!

After we cut down our tree and get it into the tree stand at home, we run off to my aunt and uncles house for some of her homemade chili and cornbread. Its the best!!! We love visiting with them and oftentimes will put up her Christmas decorations for her too!

Ok, so this is the first time I have made ONE of these treats, but it will definitely not be the last! We plan on making both these treats every year on Christmas Eve Eve. Treat number one is something I have made before, and my husband calls it Chex Mess. Its a recipe I found on Pinterest and each time I have made it, its been a BIG HIT! Its made with Chocolate Chex cereal, chocolate, caramel, mini Reece's candies and a few other scrumptious things. I have a blog post with the recipe HERE.

The other treat is a delicious and simple cookie. Its so simple there are only three ingredients: Ritz crackers, Chocolate Almond Bark (Or Chocolate Melties) and peppermint candies (or candy canes). It sounds weird but they are SOOOOO good! They are actually quite addicting. My husband was raving about these cookies his coworker makes and we had a cookie baking party at her house and I was able to see how she made them AND taste them. It was love at first taste! Haha. They are so good. She also does a version of these with salted carmel between two Ritz crackers that are covered in chocolate (no peppermint pieces on top). And another friend of mine makes these with peanut butter in the middle (without the peppermint pieces on top). Trust me, they are SO good and SO simple. GIVE 'EM A TRY!

Those are our main traditions so far. I am sure that as our son gets older, we will start new traditions with him.

What are some of your traditions?

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!

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