Smith Family Traditions: Christmas Mix

Holiday traditions.

We’ve all got them and the holidays just don’t seem like the holidays without them.  It might be the baking of a delicious treat, or the ritual of decorating the Christmas tree or a multitude of other sweet family customs.  They become so deeply embedded in our enjoyment of the season that even as we become adults, we often can’t let go of those traditions that we cherished as children.

For as long as I have known him, my husband has been making Christmas Mix as a holiday treat to give to family and friends (also known as bits and bites or nuts and bolts or a multitude of other names).  He’s been doing this for about 15 years and since we’ve been together, for the better part of a decade now, I’ve helped him.

Ours is a super-secret family recipe that can’t be revealed, but you can find a lot of very close recipes posted across the internet, such as those found here and here.

It started out as just about a dozen mason jars being given out but it’s ballooned over the years to this year’s all-time record of 40 jars of Christmas Mix!  It’s quite an operation.  If you don’t receive a jar from us, we’re very sorry, but we had to draw the line somewhere!

First, we collect all the supplies we need and the mason jars.

All the supplies are collected and ready to be baked!

Then comes the really time consuming part, baking the mix.  The mix cooks for 2 hours, stirred every 20 minutes.  You can’t just throw it in the oven and walk away.

The Mix is getting mixed
One batch almost ready for the oven
Adding the secret sauce…

We’re making 5 large batches this year, an all-time record.  That’s a lot of Christmas mix!  This year we decided to do all the baking in a single day, so we’re currently about halfway through a 10 hour Christmas Mix baking day.  It’s a marathon event that requires lots of Netflix, Winter Warmer (wine for me) and patience.

About half way through the baking process.  It smells amazing in here!
Of course, Joel has to sample the goods.

After the mix has cooled we put them into mason jars and pretty them up a bit.

The finished product ready to be delivered!

The really fun part is delivering the mix.  Joel and I put on Santa hats and hit the road (usually some snowy evening) to hand out our delicious treats. We even mail some out to friends who live outside Saint John.

It’s a lot of work but it’s totally worth it to spread a little Christmas cheer among our friends and family.  It’s a tradition.  And holiday traditions are comforting and warm, like a sweet memory.  For some, it’s just not Christmas until they see that mix.

I’ll leave you with some music to complete your own holiday traditions.  I was fortunate enough to see this New Brunswick native perform at Imperial Theatre this week and it was fabulous!  If you get the chance to see him live, I highly recommend it!  Here’s a couple of my favourites from his Christmas album:


What are some of your family holiday traditions?


One thought on “Smith Family Traditions: Christmas Mix

  1. nellyvinelly December 9, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    I smiled and nodded knowingly all the way through reading your post, Melissa. Now I’m really in the Christmas spirit.

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