As far as the “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” debate, I do tend to wish people a happy holiday and not a merry Christmas or a happy Hanukkah. I personally celebrate more than one holiday at this time of year, and so do plenty of people I know. I do it to be inclusive, and to reflect the idea that in this house, we are a couple of mixed religious beliefs. If someone wishes me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukkah (though that’s one I don’t celebrate), or Happy Holidays, or tells me to have a nice Kwanzaa (which I also don’t celebrate), I tell them the same right back. Rarely do I get wished a Happy Yule, or see and that’s completely fine with me. I celebrate Yule and then I celebrate Christmas, as a time to be with loved ones and to reflect on the year we’re putting behind us and look forward to the year we have ahead of us.
I think sitting down to a meal with friends or with family is more important than any gift I could give or receive, though I do love to give gifts just the same. I especially love to give gifts from my kitchen. These candy cane hearts were all over Pinterest this season, and I thought they would be a cute way to give a small thank-you to some of the people in our lives. I made a batch for the counselors at the after school program M and O attend, and they were so happy with them. I used cherry candy canes and white chocolate, but you can do this to use up whatever candy canes you have on the tree (unless you’re like me and nibble at one pretty much daily until Christmas is here) and use whatever kind of melting chocolate you like. From my kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas (and though I’m late, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Yule, or Merry Giftmas, or Happy Kwanzaa or Happy Any Other Holiday I Haven’t Stopped to Acknowledge Due to Candy Cane Coma)!
Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts
- 2 candy canes, any flavor, per heart, unwrapped
- 1-2 additional unwrapped candy canes, any flavor, crushed (2 candy canes was plenty for sprinkling on 6 hearts)
- about 1/4 C. of chocolate melts or chocolate bark per heart (a 12 oz. back of Wilton Chocolate Melts made 6 hearts with a little extra chocolate left over)
Lay the unwrapped candy canes on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper, with the tops and bottoms touching to make a heart shape.
In a small saucepan over low heat (or in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water), melt the chocolate melts.
Using a spoon or small spatula, spread the chocolate into the space between the candy canes, being sure to push chocolate all the way to the edges and making sure the chocolate is spread evenly.
Push the candy canes together if they have separated at this point.
Sprinkle crushed candy cane over melted chocolate.
Leave in a cool place until set (I don’t recommend the fridge or freezer, as it may soften the candy cane).
Source: various sightings on Pinterest