A Markel Family New Year

New Year’s is not one of our family’s favorite holidays. Even so, I try to make it special, since it is the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. This year was especially nice because we got to start New Year’s Eve morning at church (and got to see the Advent wreath all lit up one more time!):

We always enjoy our New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar. This year we had five flavors of hot chocolate to choose from: dark and milk chocolate, French vanilla, salted caramel, and mint. We also had three kinds of mini marshmallows…regular, mint, and vanilla snowmen. Unfortunately this year, I could not find chocolate whipped cream, so we only had regular to go with our other toppings and add-ons:

Ryan and I enjoyed a toast to the new year, but we didn’t wait until midnight. While we were awake to ring in the new year, I wasn’t sure I would make it, so we had our toast a few hours early, while we watched our traditional New Year’s Eve movie…Apollo 13.

We didn’t have any big plans for today. Originally, we were going to have a nice stay at home day, followed by our first family feast of the new year, but we ended up driving into West County to do a little shopping…I find it very hard to do nothing all day! When we got home, I started on our dinner…Cornish hens roasted with lemon, garlic, and rosemary in a white wine sauce, mashed potatoes (with homemade gravy!), roasted red potatoes, carrots and Brussel sprouts, cherry Jell-O, and dinner rolls. It was a little different from our standard New Year’s Day dinner (although, I used to make Cornish hens for New Year’s when Ryan and I were first married), and very delicious!

For dessert we had a tuxedo cake, which I thought was just the right amount of formal for this holiday!

So, while we’re not big New Year’s people, I hope I still made it a special two days, as we said goodbye to 2017, and welcomed 2018 with open arms!

Hot Chocolate for New Year’s Eve

This New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar tradition has really stuck! The children look forward to it all month, with suggestions for what we should have. Well, all the children except Chickadee, who is opposed to all warm beverages. She had chocolate milk with whipped cream and sprinkles on top instead!

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This year, we had three different kinds of hot chocolate…mint, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate. We also had three kinds of marshmallows…cinnamon, vanilla, and regular. There were also various sprinkles, crushed peppermints and candy canes, and two kinds of Pirouette cookies. Plus chocolate syrup for drizzling on top, and a little bonus addition for the adults. We also added our Christmas crackers to our New Year’s Eve celebration, since we didn’t use them earlier in the week…they just added to the fun!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

The Final Feast of 2015

I’m not sure that our annual New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar really counts as a feast, but the children seem to think it is, and who am I to argue with them?

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In addition to all of our standard favorites, I made some hot chocolate cookies to go along with our drinks…they were a huge hit!

A Belleville200 New Year’s Eve Celebration

To celebrate the end of 2014, and the Belleville200 year, we had our New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar with a Belleville200 twist. Instead of our standard Christmas mugs, we used the mugs we bought at the Belleville Christkindlmarkt. It seemed like a fitting way to end a spectacular year!

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The New Year’s Eve Hot Chocolate Bar

We’re not big New Year’s Eve people here. But I wanted to come up with something special for the children, and one day in November, on the way home from the grocery store, I came up with the idea of a hot chocolate bar, with all the fixings.

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We had two varieties of hot chocolate from which to choose:

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Syrups (to stir in or drizzle on top) and sprinkles:

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French vanilla snowmen marshmallows:

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And peppermint marshmallows, too:

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Plus more peppermint options. Candy canes (of course!):

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And crushed peppermints:

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Pirouettes, to eat on the side, or to use to stir:

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And, two different flavors of whipped cream!

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I even bought the children Christmas mugs for the big event:

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Which will work out well in the future, because I think this is one tradition that’s going to stick!

Happy New Year!