Tag Archives: Christmas

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 from 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 milk and coconut milk it doesn’t have a heavy taste, and it is very thick and creamy more like traditional dairy milk.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

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.

olf befana

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.

He’s Back: Elf on the Shelf

Do you participate in Elf on the Shelf?

Since my kids are young and we all love fantasy and make-believe we decided to try it last year. We thought it might be fun for the kids. Turns out, it wasn’t just fun for the kids. We loved finding new fun and exciting ways to present and leave the elf each night. We even included a small written bible verse that had to do with the Christmas season. That way our kids were still learning about the reason for the season. Also, they got to participate in the part that is magical, and that allows for kids to just be kids.

This year we are very excited to start again. We start on Thanksgiving night. Once the kids are tucked in and sound asleep we find a new and adventurous activity for our little elf, named Jedi. This year we decided to start the visits off with a little fun. We started with a little banquet and had the elf bring the kids some Christmas pajamas and Christmas slippers.

Elf on the shelf #1Elf on the shelf #2

We want to extend an invite to all of you that participate in the Elf on the Shelf to share some of your ideas here. That way we can help each other out with ways to impress and awe our kiddos with the magic of Christmas all season long. Please feel free to upload photos in the comments!