Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!

I'm calling this a "copycat" kind of Christmas! 

It's been a crazy holiday season with the remodeling going on. Every single thing in this house was/is dust coated. The only thing I felt on top of was the gifts. For the most part, everything was purchased before Thanksgiving. I did the wrapping as soon as we got back from Disney. I can't stand a bare Christmas tree. A decorated tree requires gifts beneath it!!

I didn't decorate as much as I usually do. Don't get me wrong. I had the time. But I didn't want to decorate on top of dust only to have all the decor get dusty too. So, I just didn't. Still, I managed to get enough of the house cleaned to satisfy me. 
Decorating the mantle couldn't be simpler. A fancy mantle scarf just about does all the work. After that, just pile some stuff on it. 
The entry changed this year in that this table is all I decorated. No elaborate garland on the stairwell. I have to say, although I love that lighted, decorated garland, I didn't miss the work.

I lower the lights at night and turn on the little, lighted, bell garland.

Now for the copycat part. I copied quite a lot from Sandy this year starting with the red! She has always gone with traditional red in her holiday decor and Christmas wrapping. Me, I've been all over the place with color. Not this year. I took a page out of her book and love it!
We've had this flocked, artificial tree for---I don't know---8 years or so. I've alway put it in the living room. Last year, since it was a, well, you know, Covid kind of Christmas, we moved it to the family room and did not get a live tree. When we first got this tree, I realized that only red ornaments showed up on it. Hence all the red in the living room. Now that it's in the family room, it only made sense to continue the red. It also helps that we redecorated this year and went totally lighter with everything including the furniture. It makes a nice backdrop for red. This is it. We've enjoyed the tree here so much that we've decided that we will probably always use it and never get a live tree again. The only thing I miss is the smell. 

Next, Sandy introduced me to Cook's champagne. The story here is that I only seem to drink champagne at Christmas--well, except this summer on our France river cruise. The problem is that each year, I never remember what brand I like. Butch gets frustrated with me. Believe it or not, I've never had Cook's until Sandy served it to me.
I enjoyed my "bottle" on Thursday night. It was a quiet evening for us--sort of the "lull before the storm". We had leftover Imo's pizza from St. Louis that was in the freezer. I sipped my champagne all evening while we watched the Titan's game with a nice fire. All was calm and bright.

Now we're moving on to Christmas Eve. When at Sandy's, you might remember that she had these darling plates and napkins:
When I got home, I took one look at what I had gotten and winced. 
They just aren't all that cute. But, I did have cute napkins.
I used these napkins for our party with glass plates--not paper. I do like the ease of paper plates, but I have so many nice things for entertaining, that I just have to use them.

Anyway, when I got home on Sunday, I took one look at the plates I bought and thought, "nah, not good enough!" I went online and found that I still could get Sandy's plates from Walmart. They were delivered in two days! Supply problems? Hmmm, I don't think so!! The napkins were different, but I like the candy canes just as well.
Normally, for our Christmas Even breakfast, I use my everyday Christmas china. But, oh, my gosh--how cute is this? And they match perfectly with the aqua and red popcorn table favors. Then I realized that I needed some sort of bowl for the fruit salad. These vintage bowls are everyday use for us---yet they matched perfectly too! I'm loving it!
With the addition of my red chargers that I've had for 20 years or more, these plates make for a festive and colorful table. 

Lastly, there's this:
Sandy sent me pictures of her hot chocolate bar. 
She introduced us to the most fabulous hot chocolate several years ago. You make it in the crockpot! I made it too, but my bar isn't nearly as extensive as hers. And, I don't have the prefect red tray! Still, I managed to make it nice. I used my Starbucks mugs just so people don't have to bother with saucers. Thought I would share Sandy's recipe:

Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
6 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 bag milk chocolate chips

Place ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on low for 3 hours--stirring occasionally. Add any mix ins as desired--Bailey's (my favorite), Godiva or peppermint Schnapps. Garnish with marshmallows, chocolates, peppermint sticks and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Oh, and when the time came, the mini marshmallows I had were all stuck together and then I forgot to put out the peppermint sticks! Sheesh! Still the hot chocolate was amazing!  

Thanks Sandy, for sharing all your good ideas. After all of these years, I'm about out of ideas of my own!!

Until next Christmas....

1 comment:

  1. Looks and sounds like a lovely holiday at your place. We long ago gave up on fancy garland up the stairway after my MIL took a tumble helping with it one year (her idea, not ours)! I like that 2020's Covid Christmas gave me permission to pare down the decorating, which I continued to do this year and will again next year. Honestly, decorating 2 trees, plus the mantle, and having pretty place settings on the table is really all that is necessary. I am tired of having all the stuff laying and hanging around. Clear and uncluttered is more restful to the mind.


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