Although the weather can be frightful, December in New England is a spectacular time. Winter Solstice signals the beginning of Holiday celebrations, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, and New Year. Everyone gets infected with joy during this time of year!
Christmas lights twinkle against a light dusting of snow, and I am snug by the fireplace, wrapped in a cuddly throw with a cup of tea, watching Christmas movies after a day of baking Christmas cookies. And memories of Christmas past dance around the room.
When I was younger, I felt Thanksgiving stalled the time to Christmas. I impatiently waited for it to be over, so the main event was Christmas. After all, Thanksgiving was just sitting around and eating; how could that compete with magical Christmas! Now I savor Thanksgiving, an appetizer before the entree, a harbinger of what is yet to arrive; A tease.
I guess it is clear that Christmas is my favorite holiday. Christmas was magical growing up, with family and friends dropping in for my parent’s famous hospitality. My mother, an outstanding cook, effortlessly entertained, making it all look so easy. Everything tasted fabulous! I was her prep chief, decorating helper, and hostess in training. I learned from the best. My mother’s Christmas style differed from my taste. She was more traditional, with red and white balls and silver tinsel on the tree. My holiday style is over-the-top; I can never have enough gold, glitter, or pearls when decorating for Christmas. My gold spray paint can is ever ready to add glitz.
I begin Christmas decorating by displaying my Lennox Christmas China in the china closet. I read that a china closet is passé. What? Where do I put all the Christmas pieces my children gifted me over the years? Obviously, I didn’t get that email or see the TikTok video. I love Christmas china! And it makes a beautiful tablescape for Holiday entertaining. This year I set a Children’s table for my grandchildren. And I bought the gorgeous whimsical china, Deck the Halls, by MacKenzie-Childs. I am obsessed with the pattern and will buy more pieces next year. I used a white tablecloth, red napkins, and candy-striped Christmas crackers. Did I mention that Christmas Crackers are a family tradition I started when my children were young? We enjoy popping the crackers, finding the surprise inside, then reading the silly jokes around the table.
The star of my Christmas table is the food. Cooking is my passion, spending days in the kitchen preparing food for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Appetizers galore, turkey, prime rib, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts with carrots, and homemade bread. One dessert would never be enough! I bake copious amounts of cookies, cakes, and pies for all to enjoy. Each year I make a different cheesecake with a holiday theme for my son Chad and granddaughter Madeline; they love cheesecake. This year I made chocolate peppermint cheesecake. It was fabulous!
What makes Christmas special is family and friends. And that is why I add that extra magic to all I do for Christmas. I want all who enter my Christmas wonderland to know they are important to me!
And I like to say, like Scrooge, I know how to keep Christmas well!