The Christmas Holidays are upon us! And whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza. It’s a time for Family, Friends, and Fellowship. This COVID Holiday Season may look or feel different on the surface. But in our hearts, the Spirit of the Holidays lives on!
Decorating for this time of year—and baking—are two things the entire family can become involved in.
- Decorate With Presents – I saw this done in a chic Preston Hollow home a few years ago and have embraced it. Wrap presents now and scatter them throughout the home. I favor Christmas plaid wrapping paper and gift bags. I love to decorate the packages with ornaments and bows made with wire so they keep their shape. Place the packages on chairs you don’t usually use or anywhere you have stacks of books. No presents yet? Just wrap some coffee table books or empty boxes. You will be surprised by how festive it looks—and how much Holiday Spirit you will feel!
- The Smells of Christmas – Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Allspice. Bring a saucepan full of water and cinnamon sticks and a tablespoon or two of the other spices to a full boil, then turn to a simmer. The aroma of holiday baking will fill the air and welcome guests. Be sure and watch the water level!
- Real Fir or Faux? – Whether you use a real or faux Christmas tree, the fireplace swag or bannister boughs are more in tune with the season when they are real. Unless allergies prevent it, real pine or fir or cedar scents the air in a way even the best of aromatic sprays cannot. In addition, the layers of texture real boughs and pine cones and nuts and berries will add is immeasurable. A fun touch? Spray paint the pine cones etc. with gold or silver. Get out the glitter glue and dip them in the color of your choosing.
- Ornament Bowls – Don’t hide your favorite ornaments on your tree. Place in a big glass bowl or vase and spread the cheer around your rooms accordingly.
- Christmas Cookies – Bake your favorite Christmas cookie recipe and give as gifts to family and friends along with the recipe. My go-to Christmas Cookie is Chocolate Crinkles and I’m gifting it to you:
Christmas Crinkle recipe
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 Squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups of flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup confectioners sugar
Mix oil, chocolate and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well-mixed.
Add vanilla. Measure flour by dipping or sifting. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt into oil mixture. Chill several hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350•. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into confectioners sugar. Roll in sugar. Shape into balls. Place about 2” apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake 10 -12 minutes. Do not over bake Makes about six dozen.
Here’s hoping your Holidays are extra-special, however you celebrate them! As I say on “Designing Texas,” “Home is….always a Holiday for The Heart.”