Since 2020 certainly has made its mark – or smudge – on us all, are not just not feeling that bubbly and merry Christmas state of mind?

Between the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantining, not being able to hug, and safely social distancing, a lot of good folks are finding it difficult to get into the holiday feeling. Bah humbug! Even before you read this to its finale, you'll be singing, "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Speaking of tunes, put on some of your favorite Christmas music!

Do you like hot chocolate? Trust me on this one. You're going to make a mind-blowing recipe that will be a huge hit and maybe a new holiday tradition. Everything from the ingredients to the instructions is easy-peasy.

In a large saucepan, whisk five ounces of dark chocolate that you've finely chopped with two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, two tablespoons packed brown sugar, and a quarter-teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Once you've whisked them together, add one quart of milk and over medium heat bring it to a simmer until it's hot and smooth. Stir in a pinch of salt and add a cup and a half of red wine. Yes, an inexpensive merlot, shiraz or zinfandel, and remove it from the stove. If you like, serve it with a light dusting of cocoa powder and a cinnamon stick.

I guarantee you'll find that misplaced Christmas cheer.

There's just one additional thing you might want to do in order to feel more convivial. Someone very famous once said, "Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it white." If anyone knows a thing or two about white Christmases, it's Bing Crosby. There are plenty of ways to find, embrace and spread love and joy this holiday season that will positively help us get into the Christmas spirit in 2020.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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