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Growing up in the 1960’s we didn’t have a lot of money, but we had each other. We spent countless hours making home created gifts to gift family and friends. Hot cocoa, special family favorite Christmas cookies, fruit cake, and gifts that we uniquely made ourselves from things we had available at the house or on grandma and grandpa’s farm (roasted nuts, cider we had pressed in the fall, etc).My mom made a hot chocolate recipe that was in her AORN Nursing Cook Book that she had me help compile and type the submitted recipes from all the nurses in her AORN group to create this fundraiser cookbook filled with delicious recipes (the typewriter at that time was manual – oh the memories!). The original recipe here has been adapted. This recipe was the family favorite and included Nestle Quik instead of Hershey’s Chocolate and has been a solid favorite every winter for our family and friends alike.

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Holiday Hot Cocoa Mix
2 Cups Nestle Quik
1 Cup Non-Dairy Creamer
1 1/2 Cup Non-Fat Dry Milk
1 1/2 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar (I skip the sifting!)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together well and store in airtight container(s). Add directions to the mix with an easily printable return address label sheet with your holiday sentiment and you are good to go!

Package Directions for your Tag: Add 3 Tablespoons or more to a cup of hot water, add marshmallows if desired and enjoy!

Gift-giving made easy! Traditionally we give this mix with a small package of Peppermint Marshmallows (Snowman Poop) and place a pretty tag or ribbon on the container. Containers ranged from metal tins from the Whitey Farrell’s Thrift Shop downtown Sandy Lake or today’s Dollar Store to plastic lunch meat Ziplock containers, Nestle Quik containers, and so on we had recycled throughout the year to a surprise idea this year of Quart Jars! (Save those spaghetti sauce containers all year and you have to spend no money!) Since I haven’t been canning as much, I have an abundance of glass canning jars. We found a bunch of blue ball jars in the family old house several years ago and have used those on occasion to give a little extra special touch and meaning and added the old jar lids as well! An old flannel shirt can be cut into strips and used to add a “ribbon” to your holiday gift! Use your imagination and give gifts that come from the heart and say you care!

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