Oh, Christmas! It's Christmas. Happy Christmas!

This magical week is here, and it's filled with all the fun and chaos that comes with the buildup to Christmas. Holiday parties, giving and receiving, celebrating friendships and family, and falling asleep on the couch in front of the tree.

For me, this year will forever be remembered as the one where my 7 year old asked the truth about Santa, and we told him the truth about Santa.  

 

After a solid week of him asking in great frustration "But why did adults make up this horrible lie to tell children?!" and not really having a sufficient answer, I was nervous that the magic of Christmas was completely gone for him.

The difference in who he is from 6 to 7 is so profound.

Still sweet and innocent in so many ways, the move to 1st grade has represented a huge shift from little kid to big kid. From baby teeth to big teeth. From dependent to slightly more independent.

And while there is so much to celebrate about more independence, there is also a little sadness wrapped up in all of this. I am saying goodbye to the sweet eager child who made gluten-free cookies for Santa, peeled carrots for the reindeer, and left out ice cubes for Frosty the year he thought all of the wintertime characters came to your home.

I have a child who narrows his eyes skeptically when he hears any folklore, asks impressively intelligent questions, and rolls his eyes like a pro.

None of it is terribly cute anymore, but it's all part of his growing up into a young man, and truthfully, my growing up as a parent.

 

I'm learning to relate to him differently, and I feel us drawing closer in new ways, not just as mother and son.

I am honoring the person he is becoming, and letting go of working so hard to mold him into a person I think he should be.

It's hard work, and also liberating. So it has meant a good amount of celebrating and letting go in the past month with a perfect Christmas treat {enter hot chocolate!}

Making up and serving hot cocoa has been a really neat way to bring some of of that little boy magic back into his smile when I see him take his first sip at it.

He even closes his eyes in sheer joy at the flavor, a move I know he gets from me! 

 

Ditch the cocoa packets made with refined sugar, additives, corn syrup and who knows what else and get out a small pot and a whisk - this recipe is super easy.

Use real cacao powder {a powerful antioxidant and source of magnesium!} and mix in some butter or ghee {adds key blood sugar balancing properties to the drink, not to mention amazing flavor!} and get in touch with your own inner child.

A few days ago I told my wise old 7 year old I was going to make this cocoa for us and he flung his arms around my legs and tried to lift me up while yelling "You're the BEST!" in his excited little boy voice.

We enjoyed our treat at the dining room table topped with some whipped cream and giggling at random silliness the whole time.

My heart swelled with new layers of love and I realized then that the magic of Christmas isn't determined by a belief in Santa, it's hidden in perfect little moments like these.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Rye

Buttery Cocoa
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 tbsp pasture butter or ghee
  • Optional: cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Warm the milk in a sauce pan over medium heat, watching carefully not to scorch it. Whisk in the cacao powder, sweetener, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  2. Once the mixture is hot, add in the butter and whisk until combined. The melted butter will form a bit of a layer at the top, but we like this. To fully emulsify, use a stick blender or pour into a standing blender and blend.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. Enjoy!

 

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Ryanna Battiste, Integrative Health Coach

Ryanna is a coach, accomplished speaker, and recipe developer with extensive experience helping women cultivate a mindset of self-love so they may heal and thrive while developing new habits in the kitchen.

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