holidays Lifestyle

Holiday Joy: Creating Family Traditions and Memories

What do the holidays mean to me? In one word, family. They are my ultimate holiday joy. Growing up, the holiday season always revolved around spending time with extended family and loved ones, so it’s no surprise that every smell, taste and tradition we currently have follows suit.

The Smells

There are so many different scents that scream “it’s the holidays!” Pine from the Christmas Trees, gingerbread from baking cookies, and peppermint from candy canes galore are the main ones. There’s something about cinnamon that reminds me of Christmas as well. Maybe it’s the fact that we use it often in our recipes and I adore cinnamon scented candles. I also love the smell of burning wood from the fire place.

The Tastes

A hot cup of coffee by the fire on Christmas morning. My mom’s homemade apple pie. A delicious Christmas dinner complete with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, all of the fixins and desserts. These tastes really evoke the holiday spirit for my family, especially pumpkin inspired favorites that are usually only available around this time.

The Traditions

Spending time with family is the most important part of the holidays, so we love keeping traditions that last. In early December, we’ll pick out a fresh Christmas tree and decorate it together. The weekend before Christmas, we pay a visit to Christmas Circle, a street in our city where the whole block decks out their homes with extravagant holiday decor. Then, we visit my husband’s family in Northern California. They are about 8 hours away, so we take an annual family road trip to visit every year. We stay through Christmas Eve, opening gifts right at midnight, then it’s back home to San Diego for Christmas time in our own home.

This Christmas morning, I will be able to savor the flavors of Dunkin’ Donuts® special seasonal coffee varieties! I am super excited, we do not have a Dunkin’ Donuts store anywhere near us and I am drooling over the Gingerbread Cookie flavor! They have a few that are only in grocery stores for a limited time:

  • Pumpkin Spice: You’ll fall for this warm holiday flavor again and again.
  • Gingerbread Cookie: Catch this perfect combination of sugar and spice if you can.
  • Mocha Mint: Satisfy that chocolate craving with a warm cup of this minty winter treat.
My mother-in-law and I are total coffee fanatics, I am thinking about brewing all of the flavors and having a little tasting party. I did not get a chance to try the Pumpkin Spice, I simply love pumpkin flavored things and I can’t wait! Just adds to the tastes that evoke the holiday spirit. These are pretty easy to give as gifts, for all of you last minute gifters AHEM. Each seasonal bag comes with holiday gift tags, so they are ready to stuff stockings and take to that Christmas party!


Can’t wait to create countless memories this holiday season with my ultimate joy: My family. Hope my family reads this post so they know what to stuff in my stocking…


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Disclosure: Thank you to Dunkin’ Donuts® packaged coffee at grocery for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.



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