December Holiday Family Traditions
I am so thrilled it’s the second most wonderful time of the year. Second, only to Halloween of course! But Christmas is for a sure a fantastic runner-up that I look forward to. (I’m a paranormal romance author, I can’t help it!)
As a woman from a part-European background, I was always used to celebrating on December 24th. When I married my Native-Mexican husband, the tradition continued, and it makes my situation perfect for spending time with both sides of the family.
On Christmas Eve, we get together with my husband’s mom, siblings, and cousins. We eat traditional foods like pozole, tamales, and sometimes dishes like creamy spaghetti with ham.
But things aren’t complete without Christmas punch made with hibiscus flowers, fruit, and sugar cane. It’s such a flavorful, warm, and cozy drink! Then at midnight, we give everyone a hug and open presents.
On the morning of December 25th, we head off to my parents’ house to spend time with my parents, siblings, and their kids. It’s a great time with opening presents, and then in the evening,we return for feast number two.
We often eat roast beef or a turkey, with mashed potatoes, veggies, and sparkling apple cider. My mom makes special Christmas desserts, like almond crescent cookies, of which, I included the recipe below.
Often before the big day, my husband, our 4-year-old, and I drive around enjoying the wonderful Christmas light displays.
But since I come from a European, Latvian tradition, and my husband is Native, our celebration wouldn’t be complete if we also didn’t mark Winter Solstice. We do a ceremony with fire and songs, remembering the strength and growth that can come from darkness, and the slow return of light. Without darkness, there is no light. This ceremony reminds us of that precious balance.
Do you have a special tradition that you share with your loved ones?
Here’s the recipe for Almond Crescent Cookies. Enjoy!
• 1 cup blanched, finely chopped almonds
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 egg whites
• 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 4 sieved, hardboiled egg yolks
• 2 raw egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in hardboiled egg yolks, raw egg yolks, and lemon peel.
4. Sift in the flour, beating until the mixture is smooth.
5. In a small deep bowl, separate the egg whites (for the topping) and beat them until they form unwavering peaks when lifted up.
6. Mix the almonds, sugar, and cinnamon, and place on a plate that is large enough to roll the cookies around on.
7. Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of a large walnut, and roll between your palms to make a cylinder.
8. Pinch the ends into a point.
9. Dip each crescent in the whipped egg white.
10. Roll it around on the almond mixture to coat it.
11. Place the cookies 2” apart on cookies sheets that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. 12. Bake in the middle of the oven, until the cookies are firm, about 10 minutes.
13. With a spatula, transfer the cookies to cake racks to cool.
14. They can be stored several weeks in tightly sealed containers, if they last that long.
I narrowed my eyes at Damien. “Does that mean we would have to work together?”
Damien smirked. “Yes.”
I groaned. As it was, Damien set my nerves on edge in so many different ways. I wasn’t sure I could stand to be close to him. Every f*cking day. And the way he touched me? His hands on my hair? My senses swam when I recalled that embrace.
“Though I don’t like the way I was thrust into this situation, I believe you now. Except for the bracelets. I don't know if you put them on my arms or if they’re even still there. But what can I do to help?”
He raised his eyebrows, and a flash of heat blazed in his eyes. “Thrust, huh? I like your choice of word.”
My cheeks burned, and Iwas sure I was turning all shades of red.
Then, as usual, his expression snapped back to ice. “But this is no game.”
I opened my arms wide. “I'm aware of that. Explain it to me. What would I have to do?”
Still holding the folder, he crossed his arms and jutted out his chin. “Give up your life and join the FBI.”
I frowned at him. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation? You work with them?”“Correction. The Fae Bureau of Investigation.”
About the Author:
Scarlett West writes steamy, paranormal romance featuring sexy Fae. Deep characters and hot romance are her thing. An avid reader and writer who will never stop dreaming, Scarlett has traveled to many countries and been on tons of adventures. She draws her stories from these places, life experiences, and her grand imagination. Besides writing, she's a hobby herbalist and a dancer. If she's not by the computer typing these things up, she can be found in a forest, on a mountain, or by the ocean. She would like to thank her three F's: Fans, Family and Friends. Thank you forever for your support.
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