My yoga teacher likes to tell the following story during the holiday season. Her sister calls her one day to grumble, “I was up all night making the (expletive) Christmas cookies!” My yoga teacher, an easy-breezy spirit who seems to enjoy life, simply said, “Don’t send me any. I don’t want your angry cookies.” To her, that was the opposite of Christmas spirit, and she urged her sister to stop making cookies if she didn’t enjoy it. Amen to that! Spread joy, not angst.
I certainly prefer joy. I like to smile. I like happy. I do not enjoy anxiety or stress. And so I choose to enjoy the preparations of Christmas. It is not hard, when I hear the excitement of my kids as they wrap the presents they have chosen for each other, and the cheery (and yes, sometimes harried) manner in which friends greet each other all over town.
Sure, getting to That Day can be a bit of a chore. The to-do list is long, and the days are short. I find infusing some of my favorite things about Christmas into the every day keeps my head in the right place.
A few of my favorite things during this season…
Reading The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus with my kids, an ancient but well-told story of a young orphan, Nicholas, and how the traditions of “Santa Claus” came about;
Watching Christmas movies, like Elf, White Christmas, and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town;
Listening to holiday CD’s like The Carpenters Christmas Portrait;
Having the Christmas decorations up, if only for a few weeks;
And, yes, making Chex Mix. I love doing this every year, despite the fact that it has grown to grand proportions over the years. My mom and godmother used to make this together every year when I was a kid — an event always welcomed at our house since we all loved it and only got to have it this time of year. I started my own operation years ago when trying to come up with a good gift for work and volleyball friends. Everyone seems to love it, and some even return their jars to me hoping it secures them a refill for the following year (of course it does!)
It’s somewhat of an operation, considering the enormous quantities I make.
There are the ingredients…
The jars and containers…
And the enormous vats of Chex Mix that result…
Then there is getting it all packaged up…
Delivering it is the final phase, which the whole family gets involved with. Who gets the Chex Mix? Who doesn’t! It goes to teachers, co-workers, friends, family, my hair stylist, the hard-working UPS guy, the owners of my gym, my fave spin instructor, and of course I have to set aside some for us because we all love this annual treat. Why don’t I make it at other times of the year? I think I don’t want to ruin the specialness of it, I guess (and in these quantities, it is a bit of work).
Anyhow, here is my personal recipe for homemade Chex Mix, addicting and delicious beyond reason (in my humble opinion). If baking isn’t your thing, maybe Chex Mix can be! This is most certainly, happy Chex Mix, for I love the entire process, as well as eating it!
Spreading the love and Christmas joy, one jar at a time…
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Julie’s Homemade Chex Mix
Serves a bunch (about 11 cups)
2 cups Corn Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
1 cup Cheerios
1 cup Puffed Wheat cereal
1 cup pretzels
1 cup Fritos
1 cup reduced fat Cheez-its
6 T. butter
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
1) In a large bowl, gently combine all of the dry ingredients (Corn Chex through Cheez-its), taking care not to crumble the cereal.
2) In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then add the Worcestershire, celery salt, garlic salt, and onion powder. Stir well to combine.
3) Slowly pour the sauce over the dry ingredients, stopping occasionally to gently stir to ensure the sauce is evenly distributed.
4) Spread the cereal mixture onto a cookie sheet, and cook for 1 hour at 250 degrees. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Optional: Add peanuts of mixed nuts (about a cup)