Does your neighborhood have an annual tradition of caroling together? I remember in one friend’s neighborhood the tradition of neighbors gathering together and going to the various homes for carols and cocoa. It was tons of fun. My friends had a pot of fresh, homemade cocoa for the carolers. It is a great event to organize this season with the kids.
Put out a flyer for a “Carols and Cocoa” evening in your neighborhood. Make it the early evening hours (4:30 to 6:30 pm) on a Sunday night perhaps, which may be a bit quieter than other days of the week. Decide who in your family wants to get all bundled up and sing carols with the group. The other members of the family must also play the important part of making the cocoa or other goodies that will be handed out when they come to your house.
Real hot cocoa is the BEST on such an evening. For a traditional recipe for your cocoa, you will need:
1/2 c. sugarâ€¨1/3 c. hot waterâ€¨1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powderâ€¨4 c. milkâ€¨1/8 tsp. saltâ€¨3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan.
Stir consistently until mixture boils.
Stir constantly for one minute while it cooks.
Stir in the milk and heat, without boiling.
Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stir well.
Have several toppings out to add to your cocoa, including real marshmallows, chocolate shavings, whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, etc. for everyone to top off their concoctions.
Cookies, chocolates, candy canes would all be festive additions. The group will not have a lot of time at your place, so make sure to have it set up in advance of your doorbell ringing, and make sure people can enter easily into your “cocoa” area to get their treats quickly.
It will be a festive and fun night with your neighbors! Enjoy.