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Holiday Traditions

Andy Williams said it the best back in 1963 with his classic holiday song: "It's the most wonderful time of the year. Creating special family traditions for both young and old alike was on the top of my Christmas list this year. So, whether you're 9 or 90, it's never too late to start that new family tradition, which is what we did this year.

First stop...the candy shop.

And do we have a candy shop for you!

Head on over to Lucas Candies in Haverstraw, NY where owners Nick and Deb will give you a sweet lesson on how to make candy canes from scratch. (No modern technology used in this old fashion candy shop!)

Lucas Candies has thought of everything! At the end of your candy cane lesson, you can even mail your letter to Santa. Forgot your letter to Santa? Don't worry, they have postcards for you to write a message to Santa right there in the shop.

Second stop... the market

Snacks, supplies, and gingerbread kits

Grab some cheese, fruit, crackers and your favorite bottle of wine before heading home to start your gingerbread competition. Check out Wilton Cakes ideas, kits, and supplies.

Third and final stop...home

Gingerbread competition

Create a signature drink for your gingerbread competition. Pour a glass of Pinot Grigio. Add a few cranberries, pomegranate seeds, apples and a sprig of rosemary and ta-da. Your signature drink is ready to serve.

For a Winter Sangria, combine the ingredients above in a pitcher and chill for 3-4 hours.

For a non-alcoholic drink substitute non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider for the wine.

It's never a party until the cheese platter is ready! Combine a a variety of cheeses, both gluten free and regular crackers, and some fruits for an easy appetizer everyone is sure to enjoy.

Manchego Cheese - made from cow's milk with a caramel and nutty flavor

Spiced Havarti - made from cow's milk with a, buttery swiss cheese flavor

Cranberry Brie - made from cow's milk and a bit crumbly and studded with cranberries

Goat Cheese - made from goat's milk and has a tart flavor

Gouda Cheese - made from cow's milk and a semi hard cheese with a nutty flavor

Cheddar Cheese- made from cow's milk and has a strong flavor

Gruyere Cheese - made from cow's milk and has a sweet and a bit of a slaty taste

Set the rules before you start (and remember this should be a friendly and fun competition)!

Our Rules:

  1. Teams will consist of two builders who must both help construct their house foundation.

  2. Each team member must bring one bag of candy to the competition (Tip: Buy a variety candy bag that contains lots of different candies).

  3. Each team must utilize ALL 3 items contained in their Mystery Ingredient box.

  4. Your house must be built within the one hour time limit.

The houses will need to be prepped about 2-3 hours before you can decorate them because they need to dry. While waiting for the houses to dry, we gathered in the kitchen to enjoy the cheese platter and engage in friendly house building strategy sessions with our team members.

So let your creative juices flow.

Why not add some of these to your holiday traditions next year! From our home to yours, Happy Holidays!

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