Ask Jen about her Christmas Eve traditions

Ask Jen with Christmas ornament

Deck the halls with this hot chocolate, Fa lalalala…. Ok, I’m done singing. Thank goodness this isn’t a video, right? I mean, it’s Christmas, I wouldn’t want to make you sick…

I spend Christmas Eve with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. We’re a tiny little family, and we’re awesome. Seriously. I love us.

This is what we do. First, we eat a wonderful meal prepared by my mom, a.k.a Grandma. She never goes overboard on Christmas Eve (thank The Lord); this year it will be beef tips and gluten-free noodles. Mmmmm…

SantaAfter our early dinner (around 3 p.m.), we’ll clean up and put the hot chocolate in the slow cooker and make the Christmas Crunch. Some call it ‘Christmas Crack,’ but we decided to change the wording once the kiddos were born for obvious reasons.

We’ll do our little gift exchange around 5 or 6 p.m., then Papa will read “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” while we enjoy our hot chocolate and Christmas Crunch.

*No, this isn’t an episode of The Waltons. Geesh.

Christmas traditions are sometimes goofy and sappy. What matters is that those traditions belong to you and yours. They’re in your heart, and will bring smiles every time you think of them. Celebrating Christmas with family and friends helps restore our faith and love in one another. The birth of our Lord. This is what Christmas is all about.

May you all have a blessed Christmas surrounded by those you love.

Go make something awesome,

Always Hot – Hot Chocolate

Ingredientshot chocolate and cookies

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-12oz. bag chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Optional Toppings

  • Whipped cream
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Candy canes
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Nutmeg


In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients (except for toppings) and stir thoroughly. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with plenty of toppings!

Christmas Crunch


  • 6 cups any combination of: corn, wheat or rice cereal squares
  • 2 cups oat cereal “O’s”
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup mini pretzels or pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts
  • 1 cup red and green candy-coated chocolate (or more, to your liking)
  • 24 oz. white chocolate (plus a little extra, if needed)


Combine all ingredients except the white chocolate in a very large bowl. In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate completely, according to the directions on package. Drizzle over the dry mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread onto baking sheets and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes, or until chocolate hardens.

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