My wonderful mom passed away just a few months ago, which still doesn’t seem possible. As I think about Christmastime, I can’t help but remember some of the special (sweet) ways Mom made our holidays special year after year in her home. This post is dedicated in memory of her.

What’s your favorite treat when it comes to the holiday spread? Do you go straight for the Christmas cookies, cheese logs, or assorted meat tray? When I consider favorite Christmas foods, I always think of one delicacy in particular—the “hallowed” Christmas Tea Ring my mom made every year.

In case you’ve never heard of Christmas Tea Ring, I’m glad to catch you up…

Years ago, my mom started a tradition that came to be known as the Christmas Eve Party. On the evening of Dec. 24th our family of seven would eat a small snack before heading to church for the Christmas Eve service, and then back home for food and festivities.

Even now, we look forward to our Christmas Eve Party and start planning the snacks well in advance. But the most-loved, most-anticipated item on the table each year is Mom’s tea ring. I’m not sure if there’s an actual recipe by this name—but that’s what Mom called it so the name has stuck.

Christmas Tea Ring is a yeast bread shaped into a circle, mimicking a Christmas wreath. The dough is rolled out and spread with butter, cinnamon and sugar, as well as raisins (these are optional). After it’s then rolled up and formed into a circle “wreath” shape, it’s sliced almost through but not all the way—in order to leave connecting dough in the center of the ring shape. After it’s baked, a powdered sugar glaze in poured over the top edge and then garnished with pecan halves along with red and green maraschino cherries, which gives it a very Christmassy appearance. And trust me—one taste will put you in the Christmas spirit!

As you’ve probably figured out, my mom’s tea ring was always my favorite Christmas treat when I went back “home.” Now that I have a family of my own, I may just have to start making this a tradition at our house, too.

But whatever your favorite go-to is during Christmastime, remember the true reason for this particular season which is God’s greatest gift of love—His Son, Jesus. And then share this love with family and friends nearby whether it’s through food, fun festivities, or simply spending time together.