A Christmas Eve tradition. An early supper – a lighter meal than dinner – is always planned. After, a Christmas Eve play or service to attend. And then home, still in our finery, we light the tree and some candles in the living room. Bytes and his brother used to beg to open “just one present tonight” and then got to choose which one. They don’t do that anymore. (But secretly, I think, they still want to dive into at least one gift on Christmas Eve!) Mostly we just relax. With hot chocolate in the Christmas mugs, of course.
If the hot chocolate drinkers in your house are adventurous, make this with different flavors of creamer. Try cinnamon or hazelnut, or whatever your current favorite may be. Definitely try French vanilla, which is what I usually use. If your store doesn’t have the small containers of creamer, use about 1 ¾ cups. Because this has chocolate flavored drink mix, only 1 cup of additional sugar is used. I usually drop it down to ½ cup for us, but you can use up to 1 cup. Use only powdered (confectioner’s) sugar because it mixes more quickly and smoothly with the mix to begin with and then with the hot water. Running the powdered milk through the food processor is an optional step, but worth it especially if you are giving it as a gift. It looks “prettier” and mixes a little more nicely. If mugs are small, use ¼ cup mix per serving.
This is a basic hot chocolate mix perfect for kids who don’t yet appreciate gourmet. It’s warm, chocolatey, and allows them to mingle with grownups on Christmas Eve, who can also appreciate it as a treat. I think it is important to have little family rituals where everyone participates on the same level. (Save the adult good stuff for after their bedtime for another celebration!) I always make the first batch of the season as soon as the temperature drops because this is a good warm up from cold outdoors, a great breakfast drink and or comforting whenever and just because!
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