As we approach the holidays, I've made it my sole mission to be completely enveloped in the traditions of the past and creating new ones for the future. Over the past few weeks, my lovely daughter and I have been checking off our Holiday Bucket List one thing at a time. This weekend we decided to tackle wrapping presents and making a gingerbread house.
We decided to make some yummy white hot chocolate. Simply mix a few squares of white baker's chocolate with almond milk over the stove - whisking constantly, so it won't burn. Then pour into Christmas mugs and add some marshmallows. It's a great alternative for little ones without the caffeine in chocolate.
Growing up, I was so lucky to have a family who really celebrated the magic of Christmas. From reading the Christmas story before bedtime on Christmas Eve and baking cookies for Santa to collecting ornaments for our own trees one day - my parents were so amazing about giving us a "normal" American Christmas no matter how many times we moved or where we lived.
Although I'll be spending Christmas with my parents, I strive to make the days leading up to the Christmas break full of my own traditions. I want my daughter to experience the same magic I was lucky enough to embrace as a child. In a world where kids are learning to be adults younger and younger - I really try to keep my little one little.
I remember one year we were in between Germany and the U.S. with all of our stuff in boxes. My Dad took it upon himself to grab a big piece of butcher paper and we drew ornaments on our tree until we hopped on a plane to come home to celebrate at my grandparents house. This year I turned 30 and I've been thinking a lot about my own traditions. Over the past several years, I usually do a tree and wrap my gifts in beautiful embellishments. But, this year I wanted to do a few new and special things that were unique to my home.
This weekend we decided to decorate our first gingerbread house together. I was actually picking up a few things for lunch, when I spotted a gingerbread making kit and candies for embellishments at Sprout's which is a local farmer's market here in Houston. We spent all Saturday afternoon adding beautiful green and red candies onto gingerbread pieces, cookies and then sticking them to the icing. We usually eat extremely healthy - lots of fruits and veggies...so it was a real treat to get to have gingerbread cookies.
Once we wrapped up the gingerbread house, we spent Sunday getting our presents ready. We decided to make our own wrapping paper out of brown craft paper and silver markers. It was so much fun to doodle on the entire roll of paper! For a nice touch we added bows made out of wire ribbon. All you need for this project is the brown craft paper (you can buy in the shipping section of any grocery store) and silver permanent (or a color of your choice). Just let your kiddo go to town and then fill in the spaces with some elegant pictures or holiday words.