It’s Christmas Eve. This is usually “my” holiday. The day I wake up all excited and cook and bake and clean to prep for our annual Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends.
This year, I am not cooking or baking anything. I am not cleaning my house, or moving furniture around to accommodate friends and family who will later feast and share stories and laugh raucously before gathering in front of the tree to open presents. At least, not today.
For the first time in, well, my entire adult life, I am not hosting our big Christmas feast on Christmas Eve.
“You should be relieved!” I am told. “You should be happy to have a break!” people say.
Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE how we are spending Christmas this year! We’re still surrounded by family and we’re still hosting an after Christmas celebration for our regular crew two days after Christmas. But to break from the tradition has been odd, unsettling, and a little sad for me.
There’s something about family traditions that I fiercely want to hold onto. Family traditions give me peace and comfort. Maybe it’s because I don’t have that many from my own family growing up that I want to keep the ones we create with our own kids going.
But then, as always, there are amazingly positive things that come from breaking tradition. We have enjoyed a Christmas celebration that honestly started last Sunday morning and will continue through this coming Saturday night. This week-long celebration embodies the very spirit of Christmas: filled with so much love, giving, and appreciation for the wonderful people in our lives. It’s been a great reminder that Christmas truly isn’t just about a single specific day to me and my family, it’s so much more.
Fave Holiday Recipes, Food Gifts, and Packaging
Whether you are hosting a holiday celebration today or tomorrow, or going over to someone else’s house to celebrate, I thought I would share a few of my favorite holiday recipes in case you need some last minute recipes or gift packaging ideas.
Gingerbread Smiles Sandwich Cookies
I love this fun twist on a holiday classic! Seriously: who doesn’t love a gingerbread sandwich cookie? I call them Gingerbread Smiles Sandwich Cookies because you can’t help but smile when you eat one (or ten)! Get the Gingerbread Smiles Sandwich Cookies recipe here.
Snowflake Peppermint Bark
Peppermint bark is my annual Go To fast food gift recipe. It comes together SO quickly and easily, as long as you have candy molds. You can use any shape of candy mold you’d like. Get the Holiday Peppermint Bark recipe here.
Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Thins with Bacon Sprinkles
I shared this new holiday entertaining recipe on Monday and it’s honestly one of my fave new ones. You can make these today for your afternoon or evening Christmas meals and people will gobble them up! Get the chocolate-covered pretzel thins with bacon sprinkles recipe here.
Holiday Food Gifts and Packaging Ideas
I love making food gifts to give at the holidays, but sometimes I think I love finding ways to package them up in cute ways even more! ;) Holiday packaging doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. See just a few of my favorite ways present and package up Holiday Food Gifts here.
I hope you all feel the spirit of Christmas in your lives this week. May you all be surrounded by love, laughter, and happy new memories made in celebrations big and small. May you find joy and may your hearts be light. And may you all have happy bellies filled with delicious Christmas food and wine!
Merry Christmas, sweet friends. I wish you all an amazing holiday!
Do you have any specific holiday traditions that you have broken this year? Which holiday traditions do you just love and look forward to each year?