Christmas Traditions

Every year Christmas gets funner and funner (yep, “funner”).  As the girls get a little older, they understand so much more.  Last year on Christmas Eve, as we were driving to Scott’s grandparents’ house Chloe asked me, “Mama, is Santa real?”  We decided to be honest, so I answered, “Do you want me to tell you the truth about Santa?”  She said yes.  So, I told her, “Santa isn’t real, but the story about him is really fun.”  She immediately told me that he was in fact real and that she wanted to put out milk and cookies for him.  So, I just let it go and let her believe in Santa.  Why argue with a three year old.

This year, the same thing happened.  She asked and I answered her the same way and you know what that smarty pants said?  “But, Mama, last year Santa ate all the cookies and drank all the milk.  So, he is real.”  To which I replied, “Do you think anyone else could have drank the milk and eaten the cookies you put out?”  Her answer: “the reindeer?”  I love her.  Believe, little one.  Believe.
Today we decorated our tree.  Mama is unfortunately allergic to pine trees or we would have happily found a place to cut down our own tree.  Sadly, we have to have one that spends 11 months in a box in the attic, but it’s still a Christmas tree, right?

Let the traditions begin.  Willow is three and Chloe is four, so it’s time to start some fun family traditions this year.  Why not begin our decorating with hot cocoa, peppermint sticks, and chocolates?  I found a great hot chocolate recipe here.  It’s so easy and if you’re like me, you already have all the ingredients waiting in your pantry.
Hot Cocoa Recipe
Ingredients·         1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
·         3/4 cup white sugar
·         1 pinch salt
·         1/3 cup boiling water
·         3 1/2 cups milk
·         3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/2 cup half-and-half cream

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.

After a good scrubbing from all the bubble blowing with straws in the cocoa and melted chocolate on chubby fingers, we started decorating.  We put on some timeless Christmas music and began decorating (and singing and dancing of course).  Chloe is a great little decorator.  Willow loves to rearrange the ornaments and even put them back in the box; however, before we began putting the ornaments on the tree, she went to the lace drawers and got out several different kinds of lace and began decorating with it.  I thought that was a fabulous idea, so rather than using the ribbon we used last year, we used several different kinds of wide lace.  It looks so nice with the white lights!  I know each of us thoroughly enjoyed this evening and it was so much fun for us to begin this tradition with our family.

I don’t yet have a picture of the finished product.  I can’t find the star for the top of the tree that we made together last year.  So, I’m on the hunt for it.  We might have to make a new one though.


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