Welcome family and friends…a bright, twinkling display of tiny lights strung over a deciduous vine or climbing rose already growing on an arbor creates a warm and welcoming entry to your home. To make it more festive for Christmas, add red plaid ribbons and bows with sprays of evergreens.


Capture the season by decorating your home with traditional garlands of fresh greens adorned with red velvet or gingham ribbons, winter berries and fresh foliage, simply wrapped presents stacked under the live tree shimmering with tiny white lights, flickering candlelight on the mantel…

Rows of candlelights in simple jam jars decorated with ivy and sprigs of holly flicker on a window ledge while bunches of seasonal greenery hang inside and out.A sparkle of red and silver set a gracious holiday table.

Bake/Make tasteful treats…gifts of food give so much pleasure and nothing evokes anticipation of the celebrations to come quite like the tantalizing aromas of Christmas baking…spicy gingerbread cookies, jars of fruity jams and jellies, dreamy chocolate fudge, steamed fruit puddings, homemade biscuits crammed with cheese and nuts, curried pecans, and so many other creative foods.


The joyful spirit of giving and sharing often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. But, giving can be more fulfilling if we remember that the best gift is one that creates something special between you and another person.

Winter Warmers…’tis the season to eat, drink & be merry… 

Enjoy the magic of a winter walk through the countryside or nearby park followed by a steaming pot of soup still simmering on the stove. Later, spend time warming in front of the fireplace accompanied by a glass of rich Armagnac, or a smooth Cognac to sip and savor. Don’t forget, a bottle [or 2] makes a lovely and thoughtful gift. HINT:  In France, the Dartigalongue distillery has been producing spirits since 1831. The Roger Groult distillery offers some of the finest Calvados made from a variety of apples grown on their own trees…their region is in the heart of the Pays d’ Auge.

If you want to really splurge… Look for Jean Fillioux Cognac, considered one of the finest premier cru in the world of Cognac. The estate is located in the heart of the Grande Champagne region. Some of their RESERVE FAMILIALE bottles are over 50 years old.

Of course my choice, [ if I could even afford the gift box ] is DuPeyrat organic Cognac XO, aged a minimum of 15 years by the Du Peyrat family at their distillery in France. The family has been producing Cognac for over 300 years so I assume they have their production very well organized.

To keep the good cheer flowing…any of these wonderful, luxurious spirits would be perfect for a sit and slow sip by the fireplace.

This time of year marks both a beginning and an ending…the hard work has ended for a while and while I still putter about on warmer sunny days, I am looking ahead to next spring…For now it’s the beginning of winter and I know that long after I have closed the back door and hung up my very old blue denim jacket, the gardeners of Provence will still be out, having supper on the patio, snapping off stems of rosemary & thyme still warm from the sun…I knew it would be this way, winter slowly creeps on and I am already longing for spring and a visit with my French sister, Jeanine…

Love and All the Best Wishes for the Holiday Season…


Merry Christmas! says HOLLY!!

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