Christmas Traditions – Christmas Card Night

By Bree Hester /

Christmas cards are one of my favorite things each year. We are a military family, and it is nice to see our friends and family that we have said goodbye to in our mailboxes each holiday season. I love taking our Christmas pictures each year and I love getting loads of mail that isn’t bills each December. It has always been one of my favorite holiday traditions. I look forward to it all year long.

A few years ago, I was sitting at the dining room table after dinner addressing Christmas cards. My husband was working and the kids were doing their own thing around the house. It was quiet, I was sipping a glass of wine and minding my own business. One by one, my three children came to the table and asked me if they could help. They wanted to stuff envelopes and put the stamps on. I told them they were welcome to help as long as their work was neat. I made them some hot chocolate and we had a merry little assembly line going on. We had Christmas music on in the background as we sat around the table working and talking and laughing and happily addressed over 200 cards. It was one of my favorite things that we did that year to celebrate the holidays.

Sitting around the table drinking hot chocolate, wine, and addressing Christmas cards has become as much of a holiday tradition as the actual sending and receiving of cards is. We don’t mean to leave my husband out, but for some reason, we always have card night when it is just me and the kids. This year was no different. And it was just as sweet and magical as it was the year before. There was laughter, music, and while we were stuffing envelopes, we reminisced over the pictures of all of the adventures we had this year on our annual card. This has been such a full year of blessings for us. We moved from Massachusetts to Germany and have seen and done so many amazing things in the process. We have gotten quite a few stamps in our passports and we wanted our card to reflect that.

I should also add that I make a mean hot chocolate. I’ll share something that I learned living in a place that takes their chocolate, in all forms, very seriously. European chocolate is a thing of beauty. We live a few miles away from a chocolate factory and they serve the most amazing hot chocolate in their cafe. It’s a few squares of high-quality chocolate (dark or milk, my kids love dark chocolate with mint) broken into pieces in the bottom of a mug. Froth some whole milk. (This is the frother that I have had for years and love.) Pour the milk and spoon the froth over the top of the chocolate. Let it stand for a minute or two so the chocolate melts and stir gently to combine. The hot chocolate is rich and chocolatey and almost like a cappuccino. It’s delicious and something that will most definitely come back to the US with us.

Bree is the founder and writer of BakedBree.com, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. BakedBree.com launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in Stuttgart, Germany with her husband and 3 children. You can follow her family’s travel on Instagram

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