Northpole Peppermint Hot Cocoa is a great way to connect with your kids during the Christmas holiday. Gather around Hallmark’s North Pole Communicator while sipping this warm and refreshing hot cocoa for new and magical family traditions this year and many more to come.
This #NorthPoleFun shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
I know my friend, Amy at As The Bunny Hops would try to tell you differently, but I love Christmas. I just don’t love Christmas until the day after Halloween, and I love it even more the day after Thanksgiving. That said, I don’t think the twenty-something days between Christmas and Thanksgiving is enough time to really let the season set in with the kids. I love bringing the Christmas books from Hallmark out and cuddling up to read to them every night. The best nights are the ones I surprise them with hot chocolate with marshmallows in it.
Christmas was like a fairy tale when I was growing up. Every other Christmas we flew to Florida to spend the holiday with our dad, but all the other Christmases we got to stay at our home in Juneau, Alaska. Now, I’d be lying if I said actual Christmas day was always a fairy tale in Juneau. Anyone who has ever spent a winter there knows that Christmas is sometimes spent indoors with the pellet stove roaring while it pours down rain outside.
Who said Christmas has to be one day? It doesn’t! It’s a season! It’s the Christmas season. So when I say “Christmas was like a fairy tale when I was growing up” I mean the season of Christmas, not to be confused with the season of winter. There was so much to do in Juneau during the Christmas season. There were parties and a torchlight parade at Eaglecrest, there were events downtown, basketball tournaments, skiing, sledding, and cookie exchanges. Our first dance team performance, the smell of a sweaty gym during practice, the feeling of being completely warm after practice then going outside into the crunchy snow. There were friends and shopping and cold. It was just a magical time and I so badly wish we lived somewhere I could introduce my children to all those things.
Instead, I’ve moved to the south where it is warm and Christmas is something completely different than it was when I was growing up. My parents are divorced, if you hadn’t gleaned that from the first part of my post. Kyle’s parents are married, but that means we have three families to keep happy on Christmas Day. When Madilyn was first born, Kyle and I decided we were done running around on Christmas trying to make everyone happy. We set the rule that if our parents wanted to see us, they could come to us, and it is a rule that we have clung to since that year. For us, it means stability for our children. They get to wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning and we get the pleasure of watching the wonder in their eyes as they brush the slumber from their faces to see what Santa brought. We get to relax in the warmth of our own house and eat a delicious Christmas meal together while enjoying the magic of the day. We get to drink our peppermint hot cocoa and relax in our new pajamas while reading or relaxing by the yule log station on the TV.
Christmas isn’t about making everyone else happy while stressing yourself out. We try to remember that it is about building memories and traditions for our children to carry into adulthood that they can pass along to their own children. We have moved around a lot since Madilyn was born, which hasn’t always been easy come Christmas time. No matter where we are, we can provide the stability of being in our own home when Santa slides down the chimney – or comes through the front door as the case may be in Florida – and giving our kids the happiest, most low key Christmases possible.
I miss the snow, but I don’t miss the time before we set boundaries where we were running all around town trying to make everyone happy. In the end, everyone felt cheated and we felt miserable and stressed out, which is not what Christmas is supposed to be like at all. Leave it to Hallmark to remind us how Christmas is supposed to feel. The littles and I are loving our new Northpole at Hallmark book, “Once Upon A Northpole Christmas”. And we’re counting down the days until we can use our Northpole Communicator. Come December 1st, this little gem from Hallmark will allow us to talk to Santa every day until Christmas. I absolutely cannot wait to see the magic on my kids faces when they get to talk to Santa over the communicator for the first time!
One of our new favorite traditions is drinking homemade Peppermint Hot Cocoa with an enormous marshmallow in it. It is one thing the kids look forward to often during the Christmas season, and one I’m happy to oblige.
My homemade version is refined-sugar free, can be made dairy-free, and is naturally gluten free. The hint of peppermint and warmth of the hot milk make it momentarily feel like it might possibly be snowing outside rather than the sun beating down at 80* on the palm tree in our front yard. We drink it while we decorate the tree, while we watch Christmas movies, and while we read books. Sometimes we even spill it all over the floor. But that’s OK, because you’re only a kid for a little while, right?