I’m sure it comes as no surprise that many of the ways I celebrate the season are unconventional. I’m an unconventional kinda gal. That said, I love tradition, and now that I have children, I love creating new traditions with them. My kids love cookies and presents as much as anyone else, but I try to do it in the healthiest way possible.

One of the traditions we’ve started in our home is to cut down our own Christmas tree with the kids. It’s become a fun activity for our entire family, and we all look forward to it all year long. Once we find our tree, we all sit around the fire and roast marshmallows.

Here's a picture of my two year old daughter, eating her first-ever roasted marshmallow (yup, the regular kind, high fructose corn syrup and all--but just once a year!)

We go to a farm that doesn’t use any pesticides on the trees, so I can feel comfortable about having it in our living room. The place we go every year is called Hidden Pond Tree Farm, and if you are in NJ, I highly recommend it. If you celebrate Christmas, and are planning to have a tree, this article talks about the best tree choice, from a health and environmental perspective.
Another holiday tradition in our family is decorating (made from scratch) sugar cookies. I’ve started this tradition for two reasons. First, because everywhere we turn, someone is offering my kids treats with artificial coloring, and I like to have a slightly healthier alternative, and second, because it is such a fun activity. We use natural food coloring by a company called India Tree, and the colors completely natural and beautiful.

This is a picture of the Halloween cookies my kids made this year, using the India Tree company dyes. My kids are 2 and 5, so while not professional looking, the colors are nice!

However you celebrate, here’s to a healthy, happy and stress-free season!

-Amara