This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine. I’m partnering with Folgers® at Walmart through the Share A Cup & A Story campaign, to celebrate new and old holiday traditions.

It’s been 9 long years. Nearly 9 years since I last saw my mama. There isn’t a day that passes, nor has passed that I don’t think about her. I’ve never really talked about it openly in this space, only touching on it here and there, speaking of it casually, because anything more in depth is just too hard for me, even after 9 years. With her 9th anniversary fast approaching, I think I might actually be ready to share her story with you, share my story of her, but for now, I’ll say only this…It isn’t just the glorification of having passed away, but she was the most pivotal role model I ever did have, and every day I miss that. Luckily for me, I have my grandmother, or “Granny,” as everyone knows her. Granny is an angel on earth. If it weren’t for her and the female void she’s made such a beautiful effort to fill over the years, I’m not quite sure where I’d be as a woman, a mother, a human being. When I published my first book, it was devoted to her, for so many reasons. I find comfort in her, a contagious love, and a nearly overbearing sense of home.

Ever since my mom’s passing, I’ve found myself making my way over to Granny’s house whenever I need that “what can I fix you?!” or “I picked this up for you while I was shopping” feeling. Every year, as the weather begins to cool, we start getting cozy, keeping things as lax as possible. I show up, Granny brews us some Folgers® Classic Roast, and we sit in matching recliners, sipping our coffee and binge watching all of the Hallmark original holiday flicks. What is a Hallmark holiday movie you might ask? Well, let me break it down to you…It’s bad acting performed by D-list celebrities with same story lines recycled over and over again with corny lines and lots of PG romance,…everyone’s idea of a good Saturday. While the acting isn’t Oscar-worthy, my Granny and I really enjoy the warm-hearted stories, no matter how clichéd or predictable. It’s that “feel good” comfort you can’t quite find on TV these days. This tradition of ours has become one of my favorite pastimes to look forward to as the leaves begin to fall. It’s been fun to see Luca take part in this tradition with us (sans the coffee, obviously). I know one day he’ll roll his eyes and squirm at all the kissing and sweet-talk, so to see him like a good love story in this stage makes me really happy. These trips to Granny’s tend to span a few days due to the travel-time, so we try and make every visit count, and really ground ourselves in what the season is really all about.

Granny’s house is the epitome of home. It’s the take your hat off, let your worries go, let your guard down. A space of no judgement, a listening ear, and an answer of love. It’s horrible acting but heartwarming stories you couldn’t possibly deny. It’s a bridged gap of generations and a pure connection. It’s cuddle up with a blanket, burn a candle, sink in a chair, and drink all the coffee in a mug with my baby face on it. It’s all of those things and somehow so much more. Wishing everyone a beautiful and warm holiday season from my overflowing mug and heart to yours.

Cheers to you Granny. You will never know just how much you mean to me. Having you is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I couldn’t possibly love you anymore…but then I do. Love, your Chelsie Girl

Pick up Folgers Classic Roast at Walmart in the coffee aisle, and invite someone special over to enjoy a cup and a story. I love hearing about other families’ holiday traditions, so I’d sincerely love to hear about yours! What are some of your favorite & most cherished holiday traditions?!
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