Tag Archives: Christmas

Self Care During the Holiday’s: Stress Less

The holidays can indeed be stressful. We try so hard to make everything perfect that we run ourselves ragged. It is only December 7th and I have already found myself taking on too much for the holiday season. Why do we try to be overachievers? Why do we try to do so much when we know it will only wipe us out? Well this year let us all make a pact to avoid stressing ourselves out. In fact, here is a list of things we should remember when we are asked to help with something or we think we should just do one more thing to make the season great.

  1. Set boundaries! It is ok to say NO! We do not need to volunteer for everything, we o not need to bake cookies, cupcakes, gingerbread houses, and make bread and meals from scratch just because it is the holiday season. Our kids do not need everything to be perfect. We have the ability to make things special without making them more work. Pick one or two special things you want to do this holiday season. Set aside time for it, enjoy it, and tell everyone you are not available to do anything else!
  2. Self-Care! Self-care is very important during the holidays. We matter too! Take a walk, get in a workout, go out for coffee with a friend, take a nap, do something for YOU. We stretch ourselves thin all year long and even more so during the holidays. So take a few moments to yourself this season. Carve out time for something you enjoy, and do not let anyone guilt you for it. Remember, when you are on the airplane and they are giving safety instructions they tell you to apply your own oxygen mis before your child’s? This is the same principle you should apply now. You cannot take care of anyone else until you have taken care of yourself. You cannot refill someones cup from an empty cup of your own. Make the time.
  3. Try not to make everything perfect. Nothing will take up your time more than trying to make the holiday season perfect. You will be so busy working to attain perfection that you will miss out on the beauty of the imperfections. Take a hint form Charlie Brown. Life is beautiful if you just slow down and see the deeper meaning. Don’t get caught up in the commercialism and the grandeur. Find the beauty in the small moments, and enjoy them as long as you can.

We hope you have a great holiday season. We want everyone to stay safe and enjoy the small things.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

I have always wanted to try this recipe. I see it online every year, but somehow I never seem to get my rear in gear and make it. But this year I am. Frozen hot chocolate. I remember seeing it in movies that take place in New York. The original recipe premiered at a restaurant called Serendipity.

This recipe is form A Spicy Perspective. It is simple to follow, and it tastes delicious. My kids were absolutely in love with it. We did have to change the recipe for us, we are allergic to dairy in our household (hence why I was always so slow in trying to recreate it.) But we discovered it could be easily replaced by cashew milk. We chose cashew milk because unlike almond mile and coconut milk it doesn’t have a heavy taste, and it is very thick and creamy more like traditional dairy milk.

We loved how fun it was to add this to our holiday movie night. It was a great addition to the popcorn. There is just something about the sweet and salty mix. This year’s holiday movie was Home Alone 2 Lost in New York. My oldest has fallen in love with this movie this year. She is finally old enough to get the slapstick comedy. My youngest just loves the big toy store scenes.

I definitely suggest this sweet treat. It made the night even more special.

Holiday Traditions: An Italian Christmas Book

When I was a little girl my mother would read us a book about holiday traditions. It told us about all of the ways that other cultures and countries celebrated. My mother’s grandfather came to America when he was a teenager. He came all the way from Italy at the age of 13, without his parents, and without his siblings. He came to work in America and eventually start a family of his own and create his own traditions. My great-grandfather was so passionate about America that he let many of his Italian traditions stay in Italy. Except for his Christmas traditions. Those he kept close.

So it made sense that every year all of us grandchildren learned just as much about Old Befana as we did Santa Claus. My mother read us the Legend of Old Befana every Christmas, of an old italian woman searching for the Christ Child. I remember the book very plainly. But had not seen it in years. So I was surprised to see it in the bookstores this holiday season. Originally published in 1980 it has been reissued this year. Now I can bring it home and share it with my own children and renew the tradition that has lasted for so many generations in my family.

Just like Santa, Old Befana delivers presents to the little girls and boys that have been good, and lumps of coal to those that have been bad. She uses her broom to sweep away the bad things of the year and usher in good things for the new year. The Legend of Old Befana is a great traditional story for any Italian family, or any family looking to learn about other cultures.