We haven’t had time to get our tree yet, but I already started the wrapping. Most of these will be winging their ways in different directions to far flung friends and family.
This year I had a set idea for what I wanted to do with Christmas wrappings. I knew that I wanted to use matte gold paper, black velvet ribbons, and my favorite white and gold chevron paper. I added in some slightly shiny red paper, patterned paper, and wooden trees and snowflakes as toppers. I’m so happy with how they came together.
I shared this recipe here a few years ago, but it isn’t Christmastime until we’ve made our first batch! Growing up we called it Christmas Tea, but I think punch is a better term for it. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious and makes the whole house smell wonderful!
Cranberry Citrus Amazing Cinnamon Christmas Punch
8 oz. Whole Cranberries
3 qt. of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of cinnamon imperials
3 cinnamon sticks
24 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
3 oranges – juiced
3 lemons – juiced
Boil the cranberries in 1 qt. of water for about 10 minutes.
Mix 2 quarts of water, sugar, cinnamon imperials, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot. Heat until the cinnamon imperials melt. Add the orange and lemon juice to the pot.
Pour the cranberry mixture into the pot using a strainer to keep any seeds and skins from getting in. Discard the cranberries.
Simmer on low for 2 hours.
You can store it in the refrigerator and reheat for about a week.
December is here, my Christmas cards are in the mail. I think it’s finally time for gingerbread cookies and trying a few new dessert recipes!
Source: One, Two & Three
This year I’m trying to make especially useful gift guides with more thought put into them. Because what’s the use of making something no one can use? Today we’re starting off with six brilliant ideas to help you stuff stockings or ace your Secret Santa giving.
I’m making a lot of the gifts I’ll be giving, but I always rely on wonderful Etsy makers to help me out. These are some little gifts that make a big impact.
Upper Row: Kate Earrings by Hedgerow Rose – $12, Heart Notecard by The Paper Cub – $5, Custom Letterpress Keychain by Oh, Albatross – $12.
Lower Row: Lavender + Mint Soap by Blue Clay Soap – $9, Silver Moon Keychain by Cutpath – $14, Confetti Filled Balloon by The Flair Exchange – $5
A few ideas for a bright and cherry Christmas:
First Row: One, Two & Three
Second Row: One, Two & Three
The anticipation of Christmas is such a magical time. When I was growing up my family didn’t have a set advent tradition. Instead we tried out a few different things. One year it was a prepackaged affair with chocolates hidden behind cardboard windows. At least one year we had an advent wreath with candles that were lit on special nights.(I think I remember singing carols on those nights.) Other years we did what we called “Twelve Days of Christmas” and took turns surprising each other with small presents hidden in our stockings.
This year I really wanted to make an advent calendar for Joel and me, but none of the ideas I’ve seen really seem to fit two adults with very busy schedules and no kids. I like what Elsie has done in years past with her husband. They write out activities they want to make time for during the busy holiday and do something special each day. It might be something like watching their favorite Christmas movie or take their dogs for a walk at night to see the neighborhood lights.
Sources: One, Two & Three
I like that idea a lot, but I know that there is just no way that we would have time for it this year (my semester doesn’t end until Dec. 21st and Joel has a ton of projects that won’t be done before the end of the year) and why add the extra stress of fitting in things that are supposed to be fun? Maybe next year.
I haven’t really been on my computer in two days (except to double check a recipe or two), because we’ve been in the kitchen, rearranging our loft to make room for guests, and then enjoying a delicious meal and hangout time with friends.
This year the kitchen prep started the day before and I felt a little bit like I had been transported to the kitchens of Downton. I made vegetable stock, cream of mushroom soup, and pumpkins pies all from scratch.
Thanksgiving morning we got up and got to work on the rest of the menu: turkey, white bean and herb soup, green bean casserole (made with my cream of mushroom soup), sour cream mashed potatoes, cranberry-raspberry salad, steamed cauliflower with mushroom sauce, and yeast rolls. Other friends contributed brussels sprout and sweet potato dishes. Everything was so tasty and the company so nice I didn’t manage to take any photos during our dinner!
I feel very blessed and thankful for our good health, for living in a city we love, for technology that let’s us stay in touch with our family and friends who are far away, and I am extra thankful for a few days away from schoolwork spent with Joel and Cors and good friends.