Christmas 11.22.10

Exploring & Celebrating Holiday Traditions

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The holiday season always brings about a lot of talk of “traditions, and with how hectic our standard day to day life can be, I love that this time of year always serves as a fun reminder for us to stop and spend time with family and friends!

Traditions also give you & your family something to look forward to every year, and there’s a certain comfort in that reliability. It’s also important to remember that traditions that they can be unique to you. Do the things that make you and and your own loved ones happy – even if it’s as simple as enjoying a certain treat while watching a favorite holiday movie or making a special drink to sip while decorating the tree. Here are 2 of the traditions that I’ve come to know & love in my own family circle… both of which happen to center around food, of course! =)

This is definitely one of the traditions that I REALLY look forward to ever year – in fact, just thinking about it right now is making me hungry! My husband’s father is Italian, so we always have a big traditional Italian Seafood dinner on Christmas Eve with his extended family, and as a seafood-lover, this is the best meal ever! They serve all different kinds of fish and shellfish (including pesto-marinated crab!), as well as yummy pasta dishes like lasagna and fettuccini alfredo.

There’s always homemade bread made from a recipe passed on by Sonny’s late grandfather too, which serves as a great reminder of him every year. For me, the highlight of the Christmas Eve dessert buffet is always the Danish Kransekage cookies. This marzipan-flavored treat comes from my mother-in-law’s side of the family, who came over to America from Denmark when she was a young girl.

And then on Christmas morning, we enjoy Portugese Sweet Bread with my own side of the family, utilizing a traditional Portugese recipe passed down from my late great grandmother. It’s quite the ’round-the-world culinary experience in just a few short hours!


2. SWEET TREATS that you can only get this time of year… like peppermint bark and candy cane ice cream!
When I was growing up, my mom always set peppermint bark out at the Christmas parties she hosted. It always felt like an extra-special holiday treat for guests because it’s something you usually only enjoy around this time of year, which is why peppermint bark still really signifies “Christmas time” to me.

The only problem is that I love it so much I could eat a whole tray at once! Luckily, Dove® has individually-wrapped Peppermint Bark Promises that are just as rich and yummy with that wonderful peppermint crunch, although it’s still impossible to stop at just one! I love that there’s a little holiday-inspired message waiting for you inside the wrapper of each Peppermint Bark Promises too!

We also DO enjoy some non-food-centered traditions too! Decorating the Christmas tree with holiday music playing and holiday-scented candles flickering warmly is always a favorite. And Christmas definitely wouldn’t be the same without a healthy dose of artistic projects like DIY candy cane garlands and an extra-creative gift wrapping session (a personal favorite activity of mine – usually enjoyed while a holiday movie plays!).


What traditions are you most looking forward to this year? Or are there some new traditions you’re excited to try out for the first time? We’d love to hear about them!

{Note: This is a sponsored post.}

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

4 responses to “Exploring & Celebrating Holiday Traditions”

  1. I live alone but one of the things I did back in the day when I lived with my parents that carried on over into my own bachelorette pad is putting up my xmas tree & decor Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy’s Parade on TV. Last year was the only exception as I wanted to leave early to get a head start on cooking at my parent’s. But this year, I want to take that time to enjoy the moment. I’m getting a head start on cooking tomorrow, lol

  2. DJ SMELTZER says:

    Each year, my kids get one big ticket item and the rest is just whatever, books, clothes, movies etc. We always hide the big gift. When they are done with their other gifts, they get the first clue as to where to look. This goes on for about 10 minutes of them hunting for the big gift. This is a great way to bring back some excitement or fun for the older kids. I have my 12 year old asking to do it again this year and I did it with my two older ones till they were 18!!

  3. Food is the center of ALL events in my family LOL!

  4. lollylahtinen says:

    What recipe did you use for the seafood pasta shown? I’m looking for one just like that!