Easy Holiday Decorating
• strings of white lights create a magical festive look anywhere. Try your entrance way, window frames, mirrors, houseplants or try spelling LOVE or PEACE with your lights or hang them in a shape of a heart or star on the wall.
• Gather pine cones or chestnuts in the forest or park and display them in a bowl or vase.
• Cut fir, spruce or cedar branches in the forest, park or your garden and place them in a vase with water. Hang some Christmas ornaments, If you bend a piece of wire or paper clip as a hook, you can hang anything sparkly on the branches (keys, buttons, earrings etc.)
• Tie cedar branches to your banister, cover the fire place mantel or place them around candle holders on your dinner table.
• Gather some small river rocks and place them on a plate around one or several pillar candles.
• Light candles all over your home. Take a tumbler or mason jar, cover bottom with cranberries or small rocks, add a short pillar candle or tea lights to create a magical sparkle.
• Get some blankets and throw them non-chalantly over a couch or an armchair for extra coziness.
• Replace white pillows, candles, table cloths with burgundy red or forest green.
• Get a real spruce or fir Christmas tree in a plant pot and set it free in the spring. Plant it in your garden or a friend’s garden if you don’t have your own. Or keep it on the balcony until next holiday season.
Delicious Non-Alcoholic Cocktails for the Holidays
Pink Grapefruit Margarita
2 tablespoons coloured sanding sugar
6 teaspoons pomegranate syrup or grenadine
1 1/2 cups pink grapefruit juice
Place sanding sugar in a shallow dish or plate. Slice six thin rounds from the middle of lime; set aside. Rub lime wedge around rims of six glasses; dip each rim in sugar to coat. Pour 1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup into bottom of each glass. Place grapefruit juice and 2 cups ice cubes in a blender. Process on high speed until ice is crushed. Pour frozen mixture into glasses, and stir to combine with syrup. Garnish with reserved lime rounds, and serve immediately.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
Club soda, for serving
Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and juice; bring to a boil over high, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a simmer; cook, without stirring, until mixture is syrupy, about 2 minutes. (To store, refrigerate syrup up to 1 week; adjust consistency with water, if necessary.) To serve: Fill 8 glasses with ice. Pour 2 tablespoons syrup in each glass, and top with club soda. Garnish with cherries, if desired.
Mulled Apple Cider
2 quarts apple cider (8 cups)
4 strips lemon zest
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise (optional)
1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1 teaspoon whole cloves
In a large saucepan, bring cider, lemon zest, and spices to a boil; cover, and remove from heat. Let steep at least 20 minutes (or up to 4 hours). Ladle carefully into mugs, leaving most of the solids behind.
Easy Holiday Gift Giving
This year give the gift of wonderful life experiences, rather than things. You can always buy more things, but life experiences shared with the people you love create memories that last a life time. Consider gift cards or self made coupons for restaurant dinners, concerts, the theater, hockey games, weekend getaways etc.
Make a Holiday Kit
In a basket collect some or all of the following:
scented xmas candles
walnuts, hazelnuts and a nutcracker
holiday music – create your own collection
holiday mugs – fill with dark chocolates or cookies
hot chocolate ingredients: cocoa, sugar, vanilla, add the recipe
mulled wine or apple cider mix: cloves, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, star anise, lemon
3 – Step Holiday Dinner
Step 1: You bake the bird. The end.
Step 2: Ask all the guests to bring one bottle of wine and a dish. Assign the dishes you need: appetizers, gravy, stuffing, salad, dessert etc.
Step 3: Recite Mantra: “I choose to live in Easy World where everything is easy.” (~ Julia Rogers Hamrick)
Make your own holiday cards. Save a tree and go digital.
Internet search: Holiday Cards. Download. Add heartfelt holiday greetings and email to all the people in your life you love.
Take a picture of your beautiful family and pets and make that your e-card. Happy Holidays!
- Getting a Christmas card from someone you thought you lost touch with.
- Walking into a grocery store and seeing the first shipment of eggnog.
- When that kid crying in the mall isn’t your kid.
- The first big snowfall of the season.
- When strangers wish you happy holidays.
- The smell of a fresh Christmas tree.
- When construction cranes get Christmas lights on them.
- Staring into a fire.
- Ripping your present open like a wild animal.
- Staying in your pajamas all day.
- When your guests do the dishes even after you told them not to.
- Digging a hole in your mashed potatoes and filling it up with gravy.
from: ‘The Book of Holiday Awesome’ by Neil Pasricha
Today’s Video: David Garrett – Christmas Lullaby