Jessica's Christmas Traditions

  It took all of us to get Amelia to take a picture with Santa. Pic on the right is of my brother and I with a family friend and Santa one Christmas Eve (my brother's nickname when he was little was The Barbarian; hence the lack of clothes).

 It took all of us to get Amelia to take a picture with Santa. Pic on the right is of my brother and I with a family friend and Santa one Christmas Eve (my brother's nickname when he was little was The Barbarian; hence the lack of clothes).

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I am one of those people who waste no time getting Christmas decorations up. This year they went up a week before Thanksgiving. I know, ridiculous but I LOVE the spirit of Christmas and in my opinion, one month is too short. In following Mallory's previous post, here are some of my Christmas favorites!

 Sparkle and Love

Sparkle and Love

Favorite Childhood Christmas tradition(s):

My mother is from Panama. Like in many Latin cultures, Christmas Eve is a big celebration in itself. The day is spent cooking and visiting with friends. Come evening, we attend a candlelight service, snack on our favorite finger foods, and at midnight open presents! To help the time pass, as we eagerly waited for midnight to come, we would watch Christmas movies and play games as a family. It was always such a special time and I have since carried on the tradition with my own family.

Favorite new tradition:

When my eldest was little, a girlfriend and I started taking the kids for a ride around the local neighborhoods at night to view all the Christmas lights. We pack popcorn and play Christmas music as we slowly proceed down the streets taking in all the decorative lights. It is something we come to cherish and do each year. 

 1x57

1x57

Favorite Christmas movie:

Elf! I have seen it a million times and it still cracks me up.

Favorite decor tip:

Give some life to your artificial garland and wreaths by tucking in real tree trimmings. Holley branches and magnolia leaves make attractive additions.  Also, avoid unnecessary nail holes and unsightly cords by using 3M hooks and battery operated lights. Game changer!

Favorite dish you look forward to each Christmas:

Hands down my mom’s sweet potato casserole. It has become a favorite for many.

 What Did You Eat?

What Did You Eat?

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

Crust Topping:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 stick of melted butter

Sweet Potato Mixture:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, well beaten
1 stick of melted butter

Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!