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Winter Holiday Fireside Moments: Interview with Hannah Reed

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It’s that time of year when the chill in the frosty air brings us indoors to hunker down with thick comforters and mugs of steaming hot chocolate overflowing with fluffy marshmallows.  When holiday music and movies become the soundtrack to our everyday home lives. When we gather ‘round the fire for company, drink, food and love.  When we are celebrating and remembering those we treasure and hold near and dear.  When the real meaning of the season is family – by our DNA or by our heart.  When we reflect and give thanks for all we have. In a nutshell, unconditional love.

I’d like to welcome Hannah Reed to share the beauty of the season with us.

Favorite holiday tradition?

Oplatki, which is a Polish tradition. A Christmas wafer is passed around our table. We each break off a piece and eat it as a bond of unity.

Favorite childhood toy?

The very first Barbie with her black and white bathing suit.

Favorite childhood game?

Playing jacks.

Snowball fight or making snow families?

Snowball fight.

Sleigh rides, sledding or skiing?

Sledding.

Favorite holiday song?

“Let It Snow.”

Favorite holiday movie?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Favorite holiday story to read?

The Night Before Christmas. I still have my Little Golden Book.

Snow on holiday eve or just a chill in the air?

Snow.

Most memorable holiday memory?

The year Santa brought skis for my kids. Santa and I cuddled in the lodge in front of a roaring fire, sipping Tom and Jerry cocktails while the kids skied.

Did you eat popcorn balls as a kid? If you did, do you still?

Yes, I did. I’ve forgotten all about them until now.

Real tree or artificial? Green or white?

Real. We misjudged this year. It was way too big to bring inside, so we decorated it on the deck.

What do you do holiday eve?

Several generations ago, some of our family members were musicians and played on Christmas Eve. After the performance, they all met at the only place open – a Chinese restaurant. So that’s what we still do.

What are your holiday plans this year?

We’re celebrating early this year, taking the train from Milwaukee to Chicago with the entire family to spend the day on the Magnificent Mile, then dinner at Berghoff’s.

What’s the one holiday dish your family can’t go without?

My secret recipe for the best pumpkin roll on the planet.

Please share a Holiday recipe.

I always make a big batch of Hot Buttered Rum batter and keep it in the refrigerator until holiday guests arrive. In a saucepan on low heat, mix 1 lb. butter, 2 lb. brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate for later use or have one right away. To 8 oz. hot water, add 2 ½ T. of batter and 2 shots of rum. It’s wonderful.

Holiday party tip?

Candles add something magical to any gathering.

Favorite holiday decoration?

A two-foot Nutcracker king purchased at the ballet.

Please share some magical holiday memories?

Sledding, skating, snow drifts to the rooftops, hot chocolate, so much warmth and generosity among us, waking up early to mountains of presents…

Wrap, gift bag or bow & go?

I’m a wrap and bow woman.

Gifts or gift cards?

Personally, I love getting gift cards, but rarely give them.

Do you eat fruitcake?

Only if it’s loaded with brandy and rum.

Do you head to the movies on the 25th?

No, but I’ve been trying to talk the rest of my family into giving it a try.

What’s in your stocking? *wink*

Indulgence Chocolatier’s dark chocolate with sea salt.

What do you want in your stocking? *saucy wink aka swink*

Indulgence Chocolatier’s dark chocolate with sea salt + Johnny Depp.

Do you head out on the 26th into the madness to exchange or shop for anything?

The day after, I bask in the afterglow of all the madness. It’s a quiet time for me.

Thank you so much.

Happy Holidays from my house to yours!

Visit Hannah’s website for the latest news.

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About Diane Morasco