Do you have a favorite holiday memory?
For me, one in particular stands out. I was about 15, and it was another hot, island Christmas (I grew up in the Virgin Islands, so Christmas was always over 80 degrees, and every day looked like a postcard). My mom, sister, a chunk of my family, and I went over to my gran’s house to spend time with her and with each other, ushering in the season.
Gran had made her famous homemade eggnog (for which she refused to give away the recipe). The entire family crowded into the kitchen for our serving before moving to the patio, where we watched the sun go down while drinking eggnog, arguing about music, and debating the merits of Mariah Carey.
That memory is what the holidays mean to me. Everyone being together, laughing, and celebrating the season and that we’d almost made it through another year.
The holidays mean something a little bit different to each of us, but in the kitchen and around the dinner table, we make some of our favorite memories.
General Mills has been around for 150 years and knows a thing or two about food and the holidays. They asked a few of their blogger fans to share their favorite holiday traditions, and one thing was pretty clear: Food and family are key ingredients for many of us during the holiday season. Their sweet memories — which many of us can relate to — will give you all the holiday feels.
1. Like cookie-decorating extravaganzas that each generation of kids loves.
Liz, author of the blog Eat Move Make, remembers she and her siblings helped their mom to decorate holiday treats.
"My mom would bake cut-out cookies, and we'd decorate them. ... We took our little works of art seriously! It was so fun to find the ones we knew we had made. I distinctly remember the crunch of the colored sugars as I'd take a bite," she wrote on her blog.
"I still use the same recipe and decorating technique with my own kids since it's such a fond memory, and my kids insist to this day that those cookies be a part of their tradition every year as well."
2. And then there's the playful squabbles that take place every holiday between the same two family members.
Myrah (also know as the "Coupon Mamacita") recalls her parents' playful bickering each year as her dad attempted to carve the turkey.
Myrah's dad would give carving his best effort, and her mom would poke and prod at him, pretending to be upset with his efforts. She'd tell him, "You’re ruining it!" while he asserted "It’s fine. Let me do it, " Myrah recalls on her blog. "All the hand waving that went with it was so comforting and warming to me. It was a tradition that made me smile as I watched them have their annual 'war.'"
3. Baking for Santa is a tradition that can never grow old.
Stephanie, who blogs as The Tiptoe Fairy, cherishes the moments spent with her kids baking pastries for Santa and family friends.
"Our favorite holiday tradition is baking together," she shares on her blog. "My kids love helping me bake. Every year, we make tons of baked goodies for their teachers, friends, and my husband’s coworkers. We also always bake something yummy for Santa to enjoy while he’s leaving gifts. Each year I come up with something new. This year it’s Brownie Stuffed Crescent Rolls. One of these fresh out of the oven is just melt-in-your-mouth heavenly.”
4. And there's nothing like savoring a treat while the family gathers around the Christmas tree.
For Heather, author of the blog Who Needs a Cape, nothing compares to her family's picture-perfect Christmas mornings in front of the tree.
"As cliche as it is ... Christmas morning is always just my husband, me and our kids (ok the dog is there this year too)," Heather writes. "I LOVE just spending the majority of our day in our jammies. Kids ripping through presents, my husband and I with coffee watching ... we open our gifts after the kids are off playing with whatever new thing is the best. I make something EASY but super yummy [like her apple crescent ring]. It's easy and delish and everyone in my family loves a fancy treat for Christmas Morning!"
What's your favorite holiday tradition?
Whether it's time spent relaxing with your family, stealing food off each other's dinner plates during a shared meal, or swapping stories from the past year and hopes and dreams for the year to come, we wish you a wonderful holiday.