It's Those Family Traditions...

I absolutely LOVE the magic of Christmas


However, The most consistent tradition I have is going into the holidays with picture perfect expectations and quickly remembering I'm not living in a Hallmark movie, but you know what!?! I go into it every year with those same unrealistic expectations and wouldn't change a thing. 

I think that's part of the magic of Christmas. Forgetting all the flops and remembering all the fabulous. Now that I think about it, that's exactly like child birth. Otherwise, who would voluntarily relive that push party!?! 

Nothing quite says holiday like this Olive Sash Tie Wrap Hem Maxi! It's literally the perfect piece. It goes with all the shoes. All the vests, and ALL the outerwear! This is my most versatile Pink Blush find to date and I can't get enough. 

Every year we (I'm going to use "we" very loosely. My husband is all about the gifts and if left up to him, would forgo all the tradition.) bake "Santa Clause Cookies". This tradition has been passed down through my husband's family and it's a tradition that I aim to keep. The recipe, Jolly Santa cookie cutter and even the embellishments are all direct duplication passed down from generation to generation.


  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup fat, butter or Crisco
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • raisins, cut in half for eyes
  • Red Hot candies for nose
  • maraschino cherries cut in half (or quarters) for cheeks
  • white icing for beard and trim on hat
  • red icing for hat
  • coconut for texture on beard

1.) Combine dough ingredients until dough holds together. Divide in half, wrap in wax paper and chill.

2.) Roll dough out onto floured surface until about 1/8" thick. Cut into Santa shapes with Aunt Chick cookie cutter (suggest dipping cutter into flour before cutting shapes). Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3.) Press raisins, Red Hots and cherries into place on face.

4.) Bake at 350F for eight to twelve minutes, depending on your oven. Allow cookies to cool on racks before frosting.

5.) When the cookies are cool, spread the white icing over the beard, hat brim and pom pom. Invert the iced cookie into shredded coconut (put coconut in a pie plate). Pick off excess if necessary to keep shape. Spread red iciing over middle part of hat.

6.) Allow the frosting to harden.

7.) Place each cookie in an individual bag and tie with a ribbon.

8.) Freeze until ready to gift!

Yields approx. 30 cookies

We also make, design, build and decorate our own gingerbread house. This is a recent tradition and something I'm far from mastering, but frosting fixes everything, am I right!?! Here's the recipe I've been loving 2 years and counting...and follow me @the_blonde_bartender on Instagram to see this years finished product!

Gingerbread House Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1.) Combine brown sugar, molasses, butter, spices, and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Stir in milk. Remove from heat, and let cool.

2.) Pour milk mixture into a mixing bowl; add baking powder and flour. With an electric mixer, and beginning on low speed and increasing to medium, beat until well combined. Divide dough in half; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight. Dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before using.

3.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out gingerbread dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Lightly dust top of dough with flour. Place templates on top and cut out shapes with a paring knife. (Use a small utility knife to cut out the windows.) Transfer shapes to parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely!

4.) Concrete this baby together by bringing 3/4 cup of water & 1 1/3 cups of sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and let it simmer until thickened and light brown, about 10 minutes. Use immediately and don't get this candy syrup on you. It's basically molten lava, but it'll make that gingerbread house you worked so very hard on toddler proof! 



There's no such thing as too many wreaths at Christmas and making them, is making yet even more memories! Collecting the foliage is half the fun & you're going to get way more bang for your buck!!! Wreaths alone can transform any space into a winter wonderland. So put on some Michael Buble, ready that hot toddy and watch this quick how to!

Snail-mail Christmas greeting cards are a must!!! I'm such a fan of actually cards. Like the kind I can touch, hold and keep in a box forever! I have hundreads and I absolutely LOVE going back and looking through them at Christmas. We've even started turning them into shrinky dinks. One of my many guilty pleasures ...oh, and welcome to my childhood (see video)! 

Prime Rib & Lobster Christmas Dinner, A L W A Y S!!! (Ok, or Christmas Eve dinner if we're going to the in-laws that year.) My favorite and full proof way to nail the perfect prime rib everytime!?! ...

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Take a 5 1/2 lb boneless prime rib. Rub it up with a spice mixture. (I used 2 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder)

2.) Put the roast in a roasting tin, in the oven for exactly one hour. Don't open the door to look at it!!! 

3.) At exactly one hour, turn off the oven. Leave the roast in the oven for exactly one more hour. Don't peek! 

4.) Without removing the roast, set the timer for 1/2 hour and turn the oven back on to 400F. 

5.) After the 1/2 hour, remove the Prime Rib from the oven. 

6.) Remove the roast to a cutting board, and let sit for 15 minutes before you carve. 

Prepare yourself for a perfectly done, medium rare, dark brown crispy outside, prime rib'll never go back!

What are some of your family traditions!?!

Post them in the comments below!