Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Ahhh… a steamy hot cup of chocolate in between my fingertips as I listen to the swaying sounds of Christmas music.

Does anything get better than that?

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

 This year my neighbors are going to get my two favorite holiday things!

Hot Chocolate and Christmas Music!

(Sorry neighbors if you see this before you get my gift! ūüėČ )

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Let’s start with the Hot Chocolate part first.

Okay, go and gather your favorite hot chocolate toppings…
Hot Chocolate In A Cup

…and your favorite hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

…And then simply layer them in a jar or clear plastic bag.

I love drinking hot cocoa from these clear mugs- so, I went with these!

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Add a lid or tie the bag. I cut out a circle from some scrapbook paper and punched a hole for the straw.

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Then, I tied a tag with string and dipped wooden spoons in chocolate and toppings for a little extra goodness.

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Don’t forget your personal hand written note! I think it makes the gift way more personable!

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

 I had cards made up to be able to write in. You can find out where to download these tags here.

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

¬†Now for the ¬†music portion. Who doesn’t love Christmas Music?

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

My sister Bianca¬†who you have seen around here playing children’s songs lives in New York and has been sharing with me the continual burdens that many families are still enduring this winter due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Volunteering to clean out homes, she was stunned at the devastation and destruction of many homes and neighborhoods who are still without power! It’s been almost an entire month!!

Hot Chocolate In A Cup
(Bianca Merkley)

‚ÄúWhen we first drove into these devastated neighborhoods and communities, I wanted to burst into tears. While the storm happened weeks ago and hardly affected me personally at all, it was hard to believe that not too far distant there were people who had lost nearly everything and who were still struggling to get their lives back together! I almost felt like I was in another country. I went back again on Friday (just a few days ago), and the roads were still covered in dirt and filled with piles of garbage, thrown out sofas, and broken up dry wall. The stench inside the home we went in was too much to bare- I couldn’t have done it with out my mask. Most homes were flooded up to 4 feet of water, and as a result, there was now mold growing everywhere, nestled into every nook and cranny. The woman we helped on Friday said that she was sleeping temporarily on a plastic garbage bag on top of her soaking wet sofa. Not only does this sound miserable to sleep on a wet sofa, but her power didn’t get turned back on until just a few days ago. Many still don’t have hot water either! The thought of taking a cold shower in the winter is chilling.¬†During our time working with “Mormon Helping Hands,” we¬†worked on taking out the walls and insulation leaving the homes with less mold but more vulnerable to the cold. Although I was able to return home to my warm and well lit apartment, the images of these homes were haunting, and I decided I wanted to try to do something more to help.”

 Bianca Merkley along with several other New York City musicians volunteered their time and talent and have recorded a Christmas song to lift the spirits of those who may need a little extra boost this holiday season. For only ONE dollar or any donation of your choosing- you can download and share this fun and upbeat remix to Have Yourself  a Merry Little Christmas and 100% of the funds will go to help families who have been suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Bonus: If you are one of the first 200 people who download the song, you are eligible for a free download of this song to share with a neighbor! Find out how to get that free download code from Bianca herself right here.

 Now, grab a warm mug of hot chocolate and sit back and take a listen.

Didn’t you love it? It can be all yours- just download it¬†here¬†and¬†don’t forget to spread the word and share this linkwith others!

How Does She is a strong supporter of this fundraiser but is not directly affiliated with the funding.To find out more about the stories and the follow up of the families that were touched this holiday season through your donations, you can follow Bianca Merkley’s quest to spread a little cheer on her blog¬†right¬†here.

“Let your heart be light…from now on your troubles will be out of sight.”

Hot Chocolate In A Cup

Happy Holidays!




    1. November 27th, 2012 at 8:04 am
      Cait says:
      This is great! I'm going to make a bunch of these for the post Carolcade party that I'm going to this year (my town gets together and sings Christmas carols every year. Think of Who-ville...)

      Thanks for the amazing idea!!!
      • November 27th, 2012 at 12:06 pm
        Cristi Dame says:
        I love that tradition your town has!
    2. November 27th, 2012 at 8:24 am
      merlie says:
      Its very pretty! But what would they do with it.. you couldn't get a spoon in there! You would have to dump the lot out into a dish to be able to spoon some choc mix out. But then I guess you would have an empty jar to use as your cute glass :) lol
      • November 27th, 2012 at 8:31 am
        Merlie says:
        Duh never mind, I just realised it's a single serving, so you just add boiling water straight in? What a lovely and delicious idea!
        • November 30th, 2012 at 8:32 am
          Cristi Dame says:
          There are so many ways and I didn't mention in the post- you could do just one serving size and have them just add hot water. Or you could also get a larger jar and leave enough room to scoop it all out. If you get a great quality and tasting hot chocolate and with all the mixings- it's the best hot chocolate ever! We have been having hot chocolate at our house every night it's so yummy!

          Another idea is to use cone shaped bags and have it be one serving size that could be just poured into a mug or put in a gift basket with mugs and other hot chocolate items.

          I will be posting more ideas on a future post in a few weeks so stay tuned. Options are endless! Do whatever works for you!
    3. November 27th, 2012 at 9:03 am
      Kami E. says:
      Great idea! Where did you get your mugs, just curious?
      • November 27th, 2012 at 12:07 pm
        Cristi Dame says:
        I got my mugs at Hobby Lobby during their 50% off glass sale because they can be a little spendy if you are getting a large quanity! But I just love them!
      • December 8th, 2012 at 9:07 am
        Karrie says:
        I found these mugs online and they cost under 1.50 with shipping. Bought extra for the house the kids love drinking out of them.
    4. November 27th, 2012 at 9:55 am
      Shelley says:
      I love EVERYTHING about this post. That hot chocolate looks AMAZING, and the download printable is adorable. I just purchased my song download too. Love that it's 100% going to Sandy victims. Truly beautiful post. XOXO, Shelley
    5. November 27th, 2012 at 11:18 am
      Missy says:
      I have been listening to her song all morning...I LOVE it!!! You guys are so great to give of your time to help people. What a fun idea to share!
      • November 28th, 2012 at 10:15 pm
        cristi dame says:
        Thanks for the support!
    6. November 27th, 2012 at 3:59 pm
      Mindy says:
      I LOVE this post! Those hot chocolate mugs are so cute and pure genius. And how wonderful that you guys are helping with Sandy relief. Very cool and the song is awesome! Thank you for this post!!
      • November 28th, 2012 at 10:18 pm
        cristi dame says:
        Thanks for the love! Spread the word!
    7. November 30th, 2012 at 12:01 pm
      Ashley says:
      Love Love this! You and your sister are amazing!
    8. November 30th, 2012 at 8:42 pm
      Stephanie says:
      I am honored to donate and think it's so cool that you have teamed up with your sister and combined your gifts to get the word out and raise funds for this incredibly worthy cause. God Bless!
    9. December 3rd, 2012 at 1:18 pm
      Lisa W. says:
      What a great idea!!! Crafty and cute! I have one question.....Where did you find those straws?
      • December 4th, 2012 at 9:17 pm
        Cristi Dame says:
        You would think they would be EVERYWHERE but I always have a difficult time tracking them down...however, I did find a great variation at Zurchers- a party store- but I know you can get them on-line.

        Does anyone else know of a better place to get them?
    10. December 4th, 2012 at 8:03 pm
      april says:
      totally awesome! best rendition of that song i have heard! i downlaoded it! thanks for making it fun and easy to donate!
      • December 4th, 2012 at 9:19 pm
        Cristi Dame says:
        So glad you approve! I love the upbeat and vibrant sound to her rendition- the original can sound slightly depressing- although I love that one as well!

    11. December 5th, 2012 at 2:56 am
      Naomi says:
      Thanks so much for the song, it's beautiful! Though I follow you avidly , because I live in the UK I can never enter your giveways or anything like that, so it's really lovely to have something here I can join in with. :)
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    15. April 25th, 2014 at 11:49 pm says:
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on hot chocolate.
    16. November 16th, 2014 at 7:04 am
      Julie says:
      Instead of scrapbook paper for the tops, I love using old Christmas cards cut in a circle, and if you if you are not able to print out cards, you can make one of those with the Christmas cards too. Just cute out a Cute part of the card and fold in half and sign...Good use of old Christmas cards.
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