I am NOT a going-through-the-motions type of person. I like to know the reason behind why we do certain things. And I do not like to get caught up in the hype of things and just follow the leader just because. For this reason, I do not celebrate the 'hustle and bustle' of the holiday. Instead our focus is on Christ's birth during the holiday. We have certain traditions, but so far in the 6 Christmases Chris and I have shared since our wedding day, we have not gotten attacked by the holiday stress. If we don't accomplish something, it matters not - our expectations for the holiday season is to enjoy time with family and to relax and reflect. I am not a procrastinator in the least, so I'm never running around last-minute for gifts. THAT would stress me out for sure. So I just refuse to do it. All this to say, life still happens during the holidays, so I like to have a few tricks up my sleeve to bring everything back down a notch and to enjoy the simple things as a family. Yesterday (which was actually Thursday - I write these posts ahead of time and schedule them - see, not a procrastinator =) was a CRAZY hectic day around here, and I couldn't just go to bed without winding down. So as Chris drove home from work at almost 10:00 last night, I put some homemade hot chocolate on the stove. I can remember my grandma doing this, and it truly hits the spot and warms the soul. Caution - this is extremely rich, and a tiny little bit goes a long way.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
(Since I serve the hot chocolate in mugs, I also use those mugs to measure so I don't have to dirty up measuring cups)
2 mugs of milk
2/3 of a mug of chocolate chips
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Heat the milk on the stove until hot, but not boiling. Add sugar and chocolate chips stirring frequently until everything melts together. When it is heated through and all melty, remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla. Serve piping hot while snuggling on the couch listening to Christmas music. =)
You can also add a cinnamon stick or a candy cane to the pot to spice it up. Or, it you're extra daring, add an eighth of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Yum!