Welcome to Mindful Holiday! My intention in creating this series in that you can focus your Holiday season on the things that matter most– your family! Often times, this season can be full of “have to’s” and obligations, but I want to help you fill this time with joy + light!

One of my favorite things about the Holiday season is the air is full of tradition. We get to be nostalgic about our favorite memories + reminisce on all the fun we had in the years past. I heard this piece of advice that has totally changed how I view traditions + holidays. “Traditions are traditions. Holidays are holidays. But, traditions are not the holiday.”

When I heard this, I was just in awe! Someone was finally able to put my feelings into words. The reason we have traditions is to honor + celebrate the time, the traditions aren’t meant to detract from the real “reason for the season.”

When you’re making your “have to” list for the Holiday’s, challenge yourself + ask “why is this tradition important to me?” To elevate your Holiday, continue with traditions that bring you joy, light + purpose. If there are traditions that your doing out of obligation or for some reason that isn’t focused on your family, you’re allowed to leave them in the past. 

A tradition that we have in the Rammell household that serves my “reason for the season” is reading Holiday books as a family. We have been doing this for years now and have collected quite a few over the years.

Now that my boys are getting to where they enjoy reading, it’s fun to take turns who reads the book. We have a basket by our tree + someone picks a book each night (or as often as we are all together.) This tradition is so simple + so important to me. It brings us all together + helps my children focus on why this season is so beautiful.

Here is our full list of Family Favorite Christmas Books!

If you know me at Christmas time, you know one of the most important traditions that happens in the Rammell Family is Christmas Caramels. This is serious business! Andrew’s mom makes The World’s Best Caramels. This isn’t a drill! These will knock your socks off.

This recipe came from Andrew’s Great Grandmother (+ Ruby’s namesake) — Fay May. Each year at Christmas time, no matter where I have lived, I have gotten a package full of these delicious things. They remind me of the love + connection that I have with Andrew’s family. They represent so much more to me than just a delicious treat. It’s my mother-in-law’s love wrapped + delivered to our family. I’ll stop talking about them + give you the recipe so you can see for yourself! 

The World’s Best Caramels:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of corn syrup
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Bring sugar, syrup, butter, 1 cup of cream to boil on low heat. Add the other cup of cream once boiling. Continue boiling on low stirring constantly. Cook until candy reaches 230 degrees. Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp of vanilla. Pour into 9×13 dish. Cut into squares when cool. Wrap pieces in wax paper. 

  • use a glass 9×13
  • stir constantly
  • use a wooden spoon

Prepare to be amazed! If you make these, you HAVE to tell me! My mother-in-law would love to know that these babies have made it into other hearts + homes. Annnd you can thank me later for this recipe, it’s honestly gold!!

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