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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

If you’re still shopping, consider stopping by a consignment shop to find unique gifts for just about anyone. Use platters and soup tureens to hold delicious homemade cookies, store-bought scones from  your favorite bakery, or wrap up a collection of your favorite jams.
A couple of weeks ago, I did some holiday shopping at one of my favorite stores here in town. Twin Elm Farm is a group shop that is filled with all kinds of goodies including antiques, vintage-inspired items, handmade items, and gifts of every size, color, and price tag. I had my eye on a beautiful black chest of drawers, a cloth purse, several glass blown ornaments, and a few other last minute stocking stuffers I can’t post about (Shhh). I walked out with the ornaments and stocking stuffers. We’ll see what Santa leaves me under the tree.

What I love most about this store is the ever changing displays.The mix of old and new is always a pleasing way to embellish various items. Throw in a few organic (whether real or faux) materials, and it all comes to life. Some consigners come and go, while my favorites keep stocking their shelves with interesting and unique finds. Not all rooms are alike, and just like in conventional retail stores, it really does make a difference in how you display merchandise. I was itching to get my hands on some of the displays just to spruce them up a bit.

Here are some of my favorites to inspire your holiday décor.

Containers of every kind make great holiday gifts. They can be used as vases for flowers, to hold candy canes, or even candles. And ornaments always make a great gift. Pillows and throws in mad about you plaid will look lovely in anyone’s winter home. Holiday decorations themselves make a great gift. A beautiful wreath, a small tree, even berry branches (real or faux) can be used all winter long. And don’t forget the container (like the boxes below and the silver pieces above, as mentioned) are gifts all on their own. Fill them with small goodies and tie them all up in ribbon-tied jingle bells.

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Simple things you can do to make your home merry and bright this holiday season. Like this hot chocolate station. I have a jar of candy canes in a glass hurricane on my kitchen counter for anyone to grab for a quick treat or to use as a stirrer for just about any drink you can think of. Check out this easy recipe for hot chocolate here. (Great gift idea: Set of mugs, homemade hot chocolate mix, cellophane bags each filled with candy canes, mini marshmallows, chocolate kisses, and/or sprinkles.)

Snow globe tutorial can be found over at Pink Pistachio. You don’t even need electric lights. Place a grouping on a table with candles and watch the magic happen. I use kosher salt sprinkled or mixed with white glitter for my snow.

Homemade edible glitter. Use it to top cupcakes or sprinkle it around a cheese platter.

What’s Christmas without cookies? These adorable gingerbread men are even gluten-free. Find the recipe on All Day I Dream About Food.

Don’t forget to deck out your car when you’re decking the halls. I have a wreath with a pretty red bow on my bumper.

Homemade ornaments. These lovely trees are easily made from copies of sheet music (tea-dyed if you’d like) cut into tree shapes and painted with glittery edges. Top with a pretty bow and you’re done. Makes a great gift tag too!

Movie night…and make mine a classic. I know it’s long, but how can you not watch It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmastime? Throw in a bowl of popcorn, turn on the Christmas lights and I’m there.

Images not credited via houzz.comjohnlewis.com, its a stamp thing

 

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My Christmas and holiday cards are finally signed, sealed, and (almost) delivered. Each year as we receive cards from family and friends, I place each one over the top of my 3-panel glass kitchen door starting with the first card we receive. Some years cards get squeezed in behind or beside others creating a very festive topper to my door which is really one big giant window that looks out into my back yard. Once the holidays are over, I save my cards to re-use as decorations. My keepsakes are then used in frames as holiday art to be placed on the bookshelf or on tabletops. I also tuck in a few in the Christmas tree branches. Here are a few more ways to display and reuse your cards from year to year…

Cut cards to use as garland. (You can purchase inexpensive box cards instead.) Display cards on a wall in a Christmas tree or ornament design. Make an ordinary wreath come to life by attaching cards with pins or wires depending on the wreath you’re using. (Grapevine is a good alternative.)

Display cards on decorative ribbon or tinsel and string them up in front of a mirror. Attach cards to a vase filled with branches. (You can adorn an entire tree with nothing but lights and cards.) Hang cards from a banister using additional ribbon. Fill a silver bowl with cards, pine cones, and a few candy canes. Bring them to the dinner table and enjoy reading each and every greeting.

For more ideas, visit SimplyFabulousChic.com.

Kim Merritt – http://beautifullivingstyle.blogspot.com/

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Ok, so this isn’t really about decorating with Fruitcake…I just thought it was a funny title.

But, in some countries, a Fruitcake is both a decoration and a gift; given with pride – a dense, rich, time-consuming cake, made lovingly, months in advance, and enjoyed as a special treat on Christmas day. However, where I live, it is a metaphor for something vile; given to people you really don’t like, and then passed on again – a gift that is perceived as old, inexpensive and filled with unidentified fruity objects.
My point being, that we are all different. If you spend a bit of time thinking before you buy, you will be less stressed, your gifts will be appropriate and the money you spend becomes more manageable.
Some people don’t celebrate the Holidays, and some just don’t like to give gifts, but sometimes you just need to do it…Call it whatever you like (obligation?) but at this time of year you will probably be invited somewhere where you need to take a gift.
If you are not going to drive to the mall, or bake a batch of your famous, best-ever cookies, then my solution is to hit the supermarket. The only caveat with this type of shopping is to wrap it with care; don’t take it in the plastic supermarket bag, with the receipt and price tag still attached. And, buy imported things if you can – the packaging is different, and it can make an ordinary item feel a bit more special.
With that out of the way, here are some good gifts that can be picked up on your way home for about $20.

Hostess Gift:
(tasteful, edible, re-giftable)
Sparkling, non-alcoholic, wine or cider and a box of truffles.
A Christmas plant (poinsettia etc).
If you know someone likes wine, find a bottle with an unusual, seasonal or funny label.
Specialty Christmas blend of Organic Coffee, or gift box of Teas (Twinings, Bigelow etc).

Friends/Family:
(personal, useful, indulgent)
Warm, fuzzy socks, cocoa and shortbread cookies (Walkers).
Moisturizer, lip balm, cuticle cream etc in a decorative tin/package that is more of a splurge than a regular buy (Burts Bees etc).
Nice gloves and a scarf.
Good quality scented candles in a jar (gingerbread, vanilla, apple etc) Soy candles are gentler, if you can find them.
Several large bars of Chocolate tied up with a big ribbon.

Children:
(fun/funny, colorful, creative)
Drawing pad, stickers and pencils/markers/crayons.
Brownie mix, bowl, toppings and mixing spoons.
Deck of cards/UNO and mini games from the stationery aisle.
A funny calendar or book.
Old fashioned Silly (or fart) putty.
Their favorite food, or candy.

No matter what you buy for people, it needn’t be expensive or stressful. Write some ideas before you go, allow yourself time to look around, and buy something that you really think they would like (fruitcake optional…)

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Photograph and recipe from the ever beautiful and practical, BBC Good Food Magazine.

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