After I pulled this recipe out, I decided to hang up my apron, the banana bread, and oodles of Christmas cookies, and that, uh, “frosted” look on my kitchen and my kids.

My kids and I had fun mixing a big canister of this homemade cocoa mix together last night. Then I doled it out into cellophane bags that we tied with a wiry star garland, and a tag with instructions and a short message. For an extra touch, the kids made construction-paper cards to bring with the bags. The bags can also be placed in classy mugs for use year-round. It’s fun to give it to people who weren’t expecting it, too, like the sanitation workers or the mail lady.

Aunt Jan’s Homemade Cocoa Mix

8 quarts nonfat dry milk

1 lb. box (1 3/4 cup) Quik, or one canister chocolate Ovaltine

6 oz. powdered coffee creamer

2-3 cups powdered sugar (to taste)

Mix it all together, and use 1/3 cup of the mix with 6 oz. hot water.

My son’s assessment: “This is the BEST hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted!”

That was easy.