The Right Way to Start Things Off

November 29, 2009


This is truly one of my favorite weekends of the year. I think that I love Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday because of their strong tie to family, friends and traditions. Over this weekend, my family and I brought in all the boxes of decorations that we have collected, or that have been passed down to us through the generations, and got to work on transforming our home into a winter wonderland.


The music fills the house, the fire is lit, and while my husband takes his twinkle lights outside to light up the night, I stay inside and place each trinket in it’s proper place. Of course, the children run between us with such excitement that it is hard to keep them contained.

The holidays last for such a short period of time, and though that is as it should be, I can never soak up enough of the beauty and celebration that this time of year brings.

As we moved through our decorating, the boys reminded me of the yearly tradition that they had waited all day for, Hot chocolate! Yes, our day is not complete unless hot chocolate has been served, outside, amid the lights that daddy has hung. For the little ones, there is freshly made hot chocolate with honey whipped cream, and for the adults? Well, the adults worked hard, and so therefore should be able to sit under the stars and enjoy a well deserved Holiday Hot Chocolate

Holiday Hot Chocolate

4 T of hot chocolate, or about 1/3 of a cup of chocolate chips (my favorite) per person
For each cup:
1 shot of Ghirardelli White Chocolate Liquor and 1 shot of peppermint schnapps.
This is not a very strong drink, even with the two shots (I swear)

Top with homemade whip cream; For this drink, I make my whip cream with 2 T of confectioners sugar and 1 shot of Ghirardelli white chocolate liquor.
For an extra special treat, top with chocolate curl


Once your cup is empty, my recommendation is to crawl under the covers with a few good holiday books and tuck the little ones in to dream about sugar plums, snow men, and fun

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke November 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Love the traditions! And the hot chocolate sounds wonderful! Makes me want to curl up by a fire.

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Chelsea November 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Definitely the way to start the season off right — happy weekending to you! +Chelsea

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Ann November 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Wow! I can almost taste the hot chocolate from here. Family time is so special and important to treasure whislt you can. My son now lives in Savannah, so Christmas is not the same as it is not always possible for us to be together. When my son was at school in St Andrews (Scotland), I used to collect him on the last day of term and put the Christmas tree in the back of the car. When we got home we would decorate the tree and I would think – great its Christmas time again. Whilst on my visit this year we spoke about that special time and he always remembered getting the pine needles in the back of his neck and the Christmas box that contained all those colourful baubles and trimmings. He now has his own special Christmas box. Hope you have a good weekend.

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Nina - Tabiboo November 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Mmmmmmm one of my all time favourite inulgences – hot chocolate, yum!!

Thanks for the recipe,

Nina x

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Julia November 29, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Oh my gosh…that is one heck of a recipe! I have yet to get out the decorations from the attic…maybe this week some time.
I'd love to wake up to that beautiful wreath staring down at me every morning…so pretty.

Hugs, Julia

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julia November 29, 2009 at 5:45 pm

PS….I know that you are really swamped with the magazine going live and switching up your blog, but I didn't know if you were still interested in the Creative Book Exchange….I have the blog up and signups are opened.

http://creativebookexchange.blogspot.com/

Happy Weekend friend.

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Shivayamama November 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Oh I am! My life is so behind right now, and I saw that email and meant to respond. I will do that today. Can't wait to participate :)
________________________________________

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samthehamsmom November 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I love the hue in the photos! Lovely~

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jessica November 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm

I received a thermos for graduation yesterday—I was so thrilled. I asked for it in order to make large amounts of hot chocolate to take hiking and I will certainly fill it to the brim with this hot chocolate recipe!

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kyndale November 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm

I love decorating for Christmas too. I especially love your wreath with lights.

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Sigrun November 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I can't wait to get back home (minding teenage grandchildren while their parents are in Vegas), tie up a few odds and ends and start Christmas baking and decorating–but the kids are all away and on their own, so we turn the Christmas music on louder, and wait with joyful anticipation when they come home for Christmas. Most of the decorations have good memories associated with them. I don't get tired of Christmas, so the decorations stay up till my Bday, in early January.

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Kelly November 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Yum, your holiday hot chocolate sounds delish!

I would like to know where that little wooden house is from if you have information on it? I love it!

We are doing decorations this weekend too and I'm so excited. The girls are old enough this year to really, really get it and they are so excited and thrilled. It's been fun.

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Maeghan November 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm

What a lovely view to take us into such a cherished season. Cameron is full of questions this year, like what is advent and what is the meaning of christmas. I love sharing and teaching him the true reasons. Thanks for sharing!

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julia November 29, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I understand Heather, I added you to the list of participants on the sidebar….you can email me the details whenever. No hurry.

Jules

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Stephanie November 30, 2009 at 1:47 am

Your photos have really captured the coziness that comes with this holiday season. We too got out our decorations, we like to enjoy the beauty of this season as long as possible.

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Kelli November 30, 2009 at 2:24 am

Those decorations are gorgeous! We will be decorating tomorrow and Tuesday. I am hoping to bring a less commercial look to our cabin this year. We are going to try to make some decorations and really think it all out instead of cramming the tree full of soul-less trinkets. I am starting a snow theme for our Circle Time for the next two weeks too. I'm hoping that this approach to this season will make it a better one for me. In the past it has brought some sadness and resentment of consumerism, but that is changing as I celebrate it and bring the spirit of the holidays alive for my children.

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renee November 30, 2009 at 2:30 am

So Beautiful Heather! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

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quirkygranolagirl November 30, 2009 at 2:31 am

Your photos look so warm and cozy. I want to curl up with hot chocolate with all of you :)

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nicola November 30, 2009 at 4:15 am

same same same. i love the traditions, family, and joy of these winter holidays.
beautiful decorations you have.
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

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Kristen November 30, 2009 at 4:32 am

Thank you so much for the recipe. I am thinking we should make that a Christmas tradition in our house too. Decorations look lovely so far.

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Adrie November 30, 2009 at 6:03 am

So sweet. And my gosh, now I feel wicked behind! Ok, only a bit. But I am in love with that little wooden house/church.

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Shivayamama November 30, 2009 at 8:36 am

Come on over girl! We've got plenty :)

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erin November 30, 2009 at 1:56 pm

just beautiful heather!!!

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Shivayamama November 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Yep, it is that kind of a drink :)
Have a great start to your week

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Valarie November 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm

It is such a magical season. May you have a merry one. The hot chocolate is going to get tested tonight. Complete with books of course.

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Shivayamama November 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm

What a neat tradition, thank you for sharing. Hoe you have a great start to your week

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Shivayamama November 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm

The golden warm light of the holidays. There is nothing better :)

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Shivayamama November 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm

You graduated!!!! Congratulations.

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Shivayamama November 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm

The consumerism always kills me around the holidays as well. I try and create as much of a cocoon as I can for the little ones, to try and get them more interested in the way that our family comes together, on the music and the fun and the trees, etc. I think that the challenge will only grow as time goes on, but I really hope that they will remember these years of their childhood as those filled with love and warmth, rather than toys and stores.

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Shivayamama November 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Thank you Renee, you as well

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