‘Tis the giving season…every holiday season I always remind my friends and followers about the importance of TRADITIONS…those that link the past with the present and passes them on to the next generation…Candles in the window, roasting turkey, ginger cookies, curried pecans, sparkling candles, festive ribbons and citrus fruits in the stockings…and crafting a Merry Christmas!

Christmas is such a joyous time for many reasons…from festive decorations to home cooked traditions to decorating a live tree, sipping eggnog or mulled wine and wrapping presents by the fireside. Strive to and actually set aside time to actually relax and enjoy the JOY! During the busiest of seasons it is very important to take an hour or so to be still and celebrate the joys of solitude and quiet relaxation…a good tradition to start.

Here are some of my traditions and a few new things you might enjoy!

Decking the Halls, Hearth and Home, Y’all…set the scene for a celebration full of good cheer with festive, fragrant foliage and seasonal fruits. Simple to make a wreath as shown. I use semi-dried grape vines and shape them while still somewhat pliable into circles. The rest is pretty easy…choose evergreen and holly pieces gathered from your “woods walk” and wire them onto the wreath along with some lady apples, lemons and berries. Voila! Gifting a hand-crafted wreath, topped with a festive ribbon, makes it easy for a friend to feel that Christmas has finally arrived. Make one or more for yourself and dress the front door in splendor…incorporate pine branches and magnolia leaves spiked with kumquats and limes for a colorful display. Open the front door to a lavish garland intertwined with ribbon and clusters of fruit dressing the banister…if you have one, if not, use a doorway.

FullSizeRender(8)Set the scene for a winter display…some antique silver pieces, greenery and a few personal touches. Echo the front door wreath with a bit of fragrant pine or spruce arranged on a sideboard or mantel…imagination and a few fresh materials are all it takes to create a festive look.

A bit of flickering candlelight adds to the occasion and the holiday decor… along with tiny sparkling lights, crystal glassware and  silver-framed family photos…your home becomes an inviting haven.

All is Calm...Wishing for Santa to leave this stone fireplace surround that I love so much, the overly large mirror and everything else shown in this photo combine to make that perfect little spot…finding beauty in silence for those blissful moments of relaxation. ALSO, get plenty of sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy the festivities. There’s no time like the present and no present like time!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry…Gifts of food go back hundreds of years, and what could give more pleasure than the joy of home-baked treats or already prepared food delights…a Christmas feast with turkey and trimmings, homemade cookies, fudge crammed with chocolate bits and nuts, streusel or fruit cakes, jars of relish and fruity preserves, Christmas steamed puddings, candied citrus peel, a jar of flavored sugar, a copper pot filled with a winter stew…everything all made by hand with the finest and freshest ingredients. Thoughtful glorious gifts that friends will treasure and long remember.

For that merry drink…a flute of Prosecco with a generous splash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur  or Chambord. AND, Champagne will always bring a touch of festive elegance at any holiday gathering.Also, a Kir Royale would be a nice treat: some sparkling white wine and Champagne with a splash of Cassis!

Season’s Eatings: Something new to make and taste…

Holiday Fried Rice: So simple…Saute’ briefly…3-5 minutes…on moderate heat the following in some coconut or peanut oil: chopped fresh pineapple, grated carrots, water chestnuts, walnuts fresh ginger, green peas OR broccoli. Add some cooked brown rice and warm for a few more minutes…top with a poached egg for a nice winter meal.

snow doorEvergreen Scene…it is winter, when the garden is dormant, that conifers and evergreens hold the garden structure together with a wonderful variety of form and foliage, berries and cones…take another look! Their shapes show up best in winter when a dusting of frost or snow adds glittering definition. And, there are so many to choose from…start planning for planting in early spring, or now if you still have good weather and temps.

At this time of year I would urge you to go back to past years and take another look at my December posts…there is so much more to read and enjoy.

All the very best Christmas wishes to my friends…Love and hugs from Holly and me…we will be thinking of you and hoping the very best for the coming year!

One thought on “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

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