There is something so special about this time of year. Everywhere you turn, there are houses being decorated for the Holidays, shopping malls have set up a location for Santa for all the kiddos to visit. It is almost magical how the kids get so excited and their eyes light up when they think about Santa and all the fun they will have on Christmas morning. It is the busiest time of the year, everyone is running here and there trying to find that perfect gift for everyone on their list. More importantly, it is a time for family & friends to gather, enjoy each other’s company and of course with some great food and fun holiday drinks. But best of all, we are making great memories & traditions.
I enjoy making new traditions with my kids. Come to think of it, we have come up with quite a few over the years. The kids starting making & decorating gingerbread houses within the last few years. They get to decorate them any way they like. I think one of our favorites is baking holiday cookies. We have made many different types of cookies over the years. We have made an adventure out of picking out the perfect Xmas tree, sometimes cutting our own down at a tree farm. It is my son’s job every year to setup the train to go around the Xmas tree. He loves that job! Another fun tradition for my son and husband is putting up all the Xmas lights and display outside the house. Of course they must have a big glass of Eggnog sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice or a little nutmeg on top. My husband’s eggnog usually has a little maple whiskey in it to keep him warm out in those cold temps! My son always reminds me to buy the Eggnog in time for them to decorate. Somehow eggnog shows up on many of my weekly food shopping lists. They have so much fun and are so proud of their Xmas display. We also enjoy fitting in some older traditions from when I was a little girl and that I still treasure. I love that I can now share those memories with my own kids and turn them into something special for our family.
I am 1 of 4 siblings and one tradition we had at the Holidays was making Xmas cookies. We each had our own specialty and you made that same cookie each year. My specialty was a pecan sandie cookie. To this day, I still make this same cookie every year. I like to think after so many years of making them that I have gotten pretty good at perfecting them! I will make large batches of them and freeze them. That way I have them any time I need to serve a dessert at Holiday parties. I also like to make gift baskets with an assortment of homemade items to give. It is convenient when you need to give a holiday gift to be able to go into the freezer and pull out an assortment of home baked items and create a special and homemade gift. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to come up with a last minute gift. Most people I have gifted these to usually ask for my recipes afterward. So I have decided that going forward I should create little recipe cards to go along with them. That way they know what each item is and they can recreate them.
Another favorite of mine is getting together with some of my closest and dearest friends. I recently spent the day with some girlfriends in the cutest little town all decorated for the holidays. It was filled with quaint and unique shops and great restaurants. We shopped (did a little X-mas shopping), ate, drank and even made a visit to Santa while there and got our picture taken! We cozied up to a nice fire and had a great lunch where we shared some wine and tapas over great conversation. I plan to recreate some of the tapas we ate (check back soon for those recipes). It turns out the restaurant has been visited by some very famous people. We later stopped into a bar & restaurant that used to be a Church. That was a first for me! Pretty amazing to see how a church could be transformed into a restaurant. We had some fun & tasty Holiday drinks. They had festive cranberry margaritas that looked so pretty. I tried the Chocholatini which was an espresso martini. It was decadent and fabulous!! It almost reminded me of the Irish coffees we had in Ireland this past year.
Stay tuned for some new recipes to come out on my page. I will be sharing some of my favorite Holiday treats. I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season, whatever Holiday(s) you celebrate. May they be merry and bright and spent with some great friends & family enjoying great food/drinks!
What are your favorite family traditions? Do you try and create new traditions along the way? or stick to your favorite ones from growing up. Would love to hear from you. Feel free to also share what your favorite recipes are to make for your holiday gatherings.