This past weekend I started some of my holiday cooking. It is strange that I only want to bake these things at this time of year and I only crave them at this time of year, but what can I say? That is just the way it goes. I would guess that just about every family has some sort of tradition at Thanksgiving and Christmastime and Hanukkah. I don't really remember holiday traditions until I moved in with my dad and stepmom just before turning 15. I do remember one thing about Christmas with my real mom and stepfather (that was around for a short time). One thing my stepdad would do was hide little presents in the tree. I always liked that idea. I also liked that one year we got bikes and they let us ride them at midnight!!
Anyway, back to the topic of this post!! I wanted to write a little about traditions today. Anyone who really knows me knows that I don't like the same thing over and over and I don't like routines. When it comes to some traditions though, I really like the idea. This time of year is a time that I really like some of those traditions. I am going to share a few of mine and I hope you will share some of yours as well.
So, back to some of the baking I was doing this past weekend...I made chex mix (a lot of chex mix), praline bars, maple spice punch and pecan pie. I still want to make a few more things such as haystacks and several different kinds of Christmas cookies. I make enough chex mix to last for snacking until January. I make enough praline bars as well but those never make it until January. The maple spice punch doesn't have anything maple in it so I don't know why it is named that but it goes with the chex mix. It's somewhat sweetness pairs well with the somewhat saltiness of the chex mix. I would not have been exposed to the chex mix (not the make at home kind) if it hadn't been for my stepmom Marie. When I was younger she would make me help her make such a big batch of it that we used a Hefty garbage bag to mix it all up! We would make the punch to go with it and then eat chex mix and drink punch while we decorated the Christmas tree. Now I have to have chex mix and maple spice punch when I decorate my tree. My husband is into this tradition now also.
I wouldn't know about the praline (graham cracker) bars if it hadn't been for Marie either. We would make these every holiday season also. In fact, we cooked a lot of things all the time but especially around Christmas. Some of the other things I really loved were the different cobblers, apple fritters, and a delicious cheese ring. The cheese ring was so strange to me because it had mayonnaise in it and it also had strawberry preserves in the middle of the ring. This combo seemed so strange to me but when I tried it I was completely hooked!! She also introduced me to a combination of pork chops a veggie and a side of cooked apples. I had country ham for the first time when she cooked it for breakfast and homemade biscuits also. There was no shortage of good food at our house. I am realizing that a lot of my memories of Marie involve food!!! I don't know how I am not huge!
I know that y'all have some of your own Christmas traditions. I would love if you would share them with us! You can put it in the comment box below or you can email it to me and I can post it for you. Besides the food traditions I mentioned above I want to tell you one that my husband and I have started. We started this a couple of years ago. On Thanksgiving night we go out shopping with all the crazy people and buy all the kids in the family their presents. This year we were both really sick with a head cold. We had to come home after eating our dinner at his brother's house and rest for an hour or so and take cold medicine before we could go. I was so determined to keep this tradition that I forced us to get out there feeling terrible!!! We didn't make it as long as usual but we did get all the gifts! One year we were in NY during Thanksgiving and we stayed up almost all night shopping on Thanksgiving. We mostly just people watched and drank Starbucks but it was really fun!
Anyway, I hope you will share some of your food traditions, favorite holiday memories and other traditions that you and your family share every year.