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Family Matters: Holiday Traditions


There are certain traditions my boys expect to occur during the holidays or the earth just might spin off its axis.

The boys love to eat white chocolate popcorn and watch “Elf,” even though they might not admit it in public. I try to act nonchalant when they ask to watch it, but inside I’m dancing because I will watch that movie every time it comes on TV. It’s like “Sleepless in Seattle” or “Sweet Home Alabama” for me; I simply can’t stop watching once it starts.

We also have made a point to ring the Salvation Army bell together (yes, they get school volunteer hours), and it always turns out to be fun even though getting them there requires nothing short of threatening to cancel Christmas.

Last year, my older son and I were working our shift in front of Brookshire’s when I noticed his hands weren’t moving but the bell was still ringing. Yes, Virginia, there is now an App for the Salvation Army bell, and of course, he had found it.

One of my personal favorite Christmas traditions is setting up our nativity scene for the first time each December. The set I use now was given to me when my older son was born, and it is one of the few material things I hold dear.

A nativity scene is a wonderful idea for a baby gift – and not one most people think about giving. It has always been a time for me to stop and think about Mary as a mother – and of course her baby son, Jesus. As a mother of boys now myself, I just don’t know how Mary did what she did.

Christmas Popcorn
Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 cups popped popcorn with no salt or butter (air-popped works best)
2 oz high-quality white chocolate or almond bark, chopped
1 tsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 tsp salt

Directions:
Place popped popcorn in a bowl large enough to “toss” with other ingredients. Melt white chocolate or almond bark with butter in the microwave on low, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle over popcorn and toss well. Add berries, buts and salt. Toss again. Spread on aluminum foil or waxed paper to set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.   

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Snack Serving (made with air-popped popcorn): 114, Total Fat: 6 g, Sodium 233 mg, Carbohydrates 15 g, Protein: 2.0 g

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Posted in: Family Matters

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