Christmas Tree Farm and {Handmade Hot Chocolate with Fresh Whipped Cream}

We visited an old fashioned Christmas tree farm over the weekend and brought home a beautiful tree that is making our whole house smell heavenly!


We drove “up the mountain” as the locals say here in North Carolina, to a wonderful Christmas tree farm.  We went on a hayride, chose and cut a tree and ate Christmas cookies served by our wonderful hosts.  It was dreamy!

My angel baby, who will turn 3 months this week, slept through it all, even the chainsaw!  Sweet boy.

~ ~ ~ ~

Hot chocolate is the perfect  accompaniment to Christmas tree shopping and this handmade version is divine but ever-so simple.  It is perfect topped with fresh homemade whipped cream.  As an added bonus, both the hot chocolate and the whipped cream are fun to make with young children.  It is a post-afternoon nap ritual at our house during the winter months.

Favorite Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup hot water

1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

4 cups milk

dash of salt

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Mix cocoa, sugar, water & salt in saucepan. 

 Stir constantly until mixture boils over medium heat; cook and stir 2 minutes. 

Stir in milk and heat but do not boil.  Remove from heat, add vanilla, and serve immediately.


We had dinner guests this evening and I served this hot chocolate for dessert in pretty cups and saucers.

To make fresh whipped cream, simply pour a carton of heavy whipping cream into a mixer bowl and whip on medium-high speed until cream becomes soft, billowy whipped cream.  You may add confectioners sugar if you like, but I prefer to not add any sugar when topping something sweet like hot chocolate.

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


  1. Bliss my friend, loved every image, word, and feeling! You are very blessed.

  2. Looks delish! Will have to try! Can u email me your address in NC so I can send you a Christmas greeting? 🙂 Thx kh

  3. Looks like your family has a new tradition. 🙂 Such sweet photos. Nothing compares to the smell of a real Christmas tree! 🙂

  4. I am always excited to come to your blog to see what you’ve posted. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. 🙂

  5. I pinned that picture of the hot chocolate!
    We love our little hot chocolate bar…the kids think it’s awesome…it’s the small things, right?

  6. Erin, I cannot believe James is already three months old. That sweet baby! I just want to squeeze him. I’m pinning that hot cocoa pic as well. Yum.

    Tara from Between You and Me will be guest posting on my blog tomorrow. I didn’t realize you were friends, too! Would love for you to swing by and see her home! 🙂

    Hope you guys are doing great. I sent a Christmas card to MI since I don’t have your NC address.

  7. Oh my!! Those cheeks! And I am soooo making that hot chocolate this week. Lovely photos, as always Erin!

  8. Thanks for the recipe. I sweeten our whipped cream with pure maple syrup – 1-2 tbsp. Gives it an earthy sweetness! Although I think we will skip that and try it naked this time!

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