I love Christmas songs. When I was younger I would listen to them in July to get that happy early morning Christmas snow snuggle gift feeling. It seems that most of my memories of Christmases past revolve around a couple Christmas records that my mother would play constantly. These are my favorite songs from those records:
My Favorite Things – by Barbra Streisand – from A Christmas Album
Sleigh Ride – by Johnny Mathis – from Merry Christmas
Christmas Waltz – by The Carpenters – from Christmas Portrait
When my sister and I would have a snow day off from school, we would get all bundled up like Ralphie’s little brother and haul the toboggan up the back hill to sled for hours in the morning. When we were finally exhausted we would trudge home and Mom would make us go to the kitchen and take off our wet jackets and ski pants and gloves and hats, and lay them on the bricks beside the wood stove to steam dry. Then, she would serve us homemade cocoa. That Darn Swiss Miss doesn’t even come close to how good this is. Since I know you want to pattern your childhood after mine, here’s the recipe.
Hershey’s Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups (1 qt.) milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream(optional)
1. Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 2 minutes.
3. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil.
4. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
5. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy.
6. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Five 8-oz. servings.
One of my favorite Christmas movies is “One Magic Christmas”. It stars Mary Steenburgen, and came out in 1985. It’s a dark little movie, with murder and drowning and pain, but it (eventually) has a warm heartfelt message. Several horrible events happen on Christmas Eve, but due to Santa and Christmas and angels and a little magic, Mary learns not to be too upset by the death and despair (and maybe, just maybe, Santa fixes everything). See if you can find it – you wont be sorry.