May your holiday be filled with peace and joy!
The sentiment is well-intended but far-from-achievable for most. The holidays scream in like a peregrine falcon fixed on a hapless and unaware little Christmas mouse hastily stuffing its stocking. It’s easy to fall into the burden of the year-end crunch. So much to do and shop for! So many family members and friends to try to spend time with.
At the very least, one of the best things you can do is come to the early annual epiphany that family is truly what matters. Any of the vast plethora of cheesy holiday movies will teach you that. Without family, no manner of gidgets and gadgets and whatsits and woozitz will stop you from feeling out in the cold. We learn over and over each year that it's all about sharing time and love together. Seeing friends long-since-visited and sharing stories of what everyone has missed.
Even the ones grandpa can’t remember telling three times last night.
It’s about getting into “The Mix.”
With our small family of four boys, we’re making sure to get straight to the point. We want them to know what the holidays are all about. Of course, it’s no trouble telling them that we want to spend extra time with Oma and Opa. We just have to remind them to put their shoes on as they sprint to the car shouting about who gets to play with Oma first. Or who Opa is going to eat for dinner.
What makes this time even sweeter is making sure that our nights together – no matter what they entail – aren’t a total burden on the host. My mother always told me you shouldn't arrive empty-handed.
So we bring in The Mix.
Popcorn seems to always be the little puffy glue of get-togethers, especially this time of year. Even the native Americans (commonly credited with discovering the delicacy), would gather around the fire together for entertainment with corn in-hand. Today, Some Boy and Sidekick recreate the time-honored tradition huddled in Oma and Opa’s living room with old-fashioned popcorn from one of our tastiest sponsors.
G.H. Cretors has been making popcorn since 1885. After all that time, they come out ahead of the curve, avoiding the use of GMOs in their ingredients, keeping it gluten-free, and sweetening with brown rice sugar instead of corn syrup. Our family is all for keeping things as close to natural as possible…like reindeer Christmas sweaters. So natural! Really, though, this makes Chelsea happy as she is very conscious about what the boys shovel down their throats. I mean, that’s pretty much the scene when we pop open a bag of the buttery caramel and cheddar cheese popcorn.
They’re like those little hamsters that get greedy over acorns and stuff their cheeks until they’re bulging like balloons.
Personally, I've always been a flavor purist. Sidekick, too, likes to pick and choose which flavor he'll enjoy for what seems to be a ten second interval of dedication before moving on to the next. But then, sometimes, I follow Minion's lead as he grabs as much of the combined cheddar and caramel flavor as he possibly can with his chubby little toddler fingers before punching the fluffy exploded kernels into his face.
Ahh, the joy of flavor explosion. It takes me back.
While we're at it, we make sure to leave behind a gift of G.H. Cretors' The Mix for Oma and Opa to enjoy during their own solo holiday movie nights. Chelsea helps the boys write up a sweet little card. The company may not be quite as entertaining when we're gone, but we assume that our hosts enjoy the chance to have a snack sans toddler-spit.
What do you do to help hosts feel appreciated during the holiday season?
I was compensated by G.H. Cretors for this post. All opinions are my own.