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Christmas According to Trader Joe's

I’ve been writing about serious stuff lately. Here’s a little break, with some festive treats to tempt you to eat, drink and be merry. 

Going to Trader Joe’s in December is just as much as of a holiday tradition for me as watching “Home Alone” and eating cranberries from the can. Here’s what I picked up at my annual holiday trip to my favorite grocery store:

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1. Candy Cane Green Tea, $1.99
I love this tea all year round, but the store only carries it during the holidays. So I stock up. If your store is out when you get there, you can blame me. It’s a sweet peppermint tea with the earthiness of green tea and the warmth of vanilla. And it’s decaf so I can drink it at night. 

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2. Gingerbread Coffee, $6.99
I normally turn my nose at flavored coffee, but I can’t get enough of this spiced joe. It’s got dried ginger and pepper in the grounds so it’s spicy and warm. It’s been such an inviting way to wake up this week. I made two pots of it today … 

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3. Blason Brut Reserve Sparkling Wine, $9.99
This dry, sparkling white wine is made in the same process as champagne and taste just the same, but for under 10 bucks. Happy New Year!unnamed

4. ChocoVine, $1.99
OK, so I haven’t tried this yet. The price kind of scared me to be honest. A $1.99 bottle of chocolate wine might taste like sewage, but for $1.99, I thought it was worth the gamble. I picked the espresso flavor (they had regular and espresso), which could be even nastier. I’m hesitant to try it, but what if I am missing out on something great? 
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5. Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Cremes, $2.99
Think York Peppermint Patties but more delicious. unnamed_5

6. Gingerbread Cake & Baking Mix
This is the easiest thing to pull out when you’ve forgotten to bake something for the Christmas party you’re leaving for in 20 minutes. You can use it to make cake, bread, cookies or something more imaginative. unnamed_4

7. Mustard Miscellany, $9.99
I picked up this mustard pack for a gift for a mustard lover in my life. I’ve tried the basil mustard before but none of the other ones. I think it makes a pretty host gift for a Christmas party. unnamed_3

8. Salted Caramel Chai Tea Latte Mix, $2.99
Yes, I’ve jumped on the salted caramel bandwagon. Because it tastes so good! I love any mix of salty and sweet and this chai mix really nails it. My mother-in-law bought one for me over Thanksgiving and it’s been my new daily indulgence. Sometimes I add coffee to it for a poor woman’s version of the caramel brulee Starbucks latte. 
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