A Few of My Favorite Christmas Things

Are we relaxed? And enjoying the season?  And just taking care of ourselves, and reflecting on the birth of Christ?

Or are we running around like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off and asking ourselves why are we doing this?

It’s the most wonderful, complicated time of the year. At the end of the day, it’s about preparing ourselves for the celebration of the birth of Christ.  There are a million ad ons that make this time of year so special and magical, and I just keep reminding myself, keep my eyes on Jesus, the rest will fall into place. 

I decided that over the next few weeks, more relaxing, reflecting and enjoying.  Less running. Or at least, that’s my plan. Twelve days to Christmas, and here are a few of my favorite Christmas things.  

The Soundtrack
Today was all about jazz.  I was enjoying siping my rye manhattan and listening to Diana Krall.  

The Decor 
Halloween came and went.  Same with Thanksgiving.  In that time, I planned and prepared decorations for the restaurant and our home.  For the most part I had a great time, but decorating takes energy and a fresh perspective, and sometimes I want to do more and I have no energy left.  I was inspired by the Scandinavian decor I often see at Christmastime, to create these simple candle holders that I easily move off of our kitchen island/homework space/breakfast bar/catch all of all things with no permanent home. 

The Supplies:
Greens – real, artificial, glittered, plain, whatever you have on hand
Ribbon or string
Candles
Swing top bottles or wine bottles
Wire cutters
Scissors

The supplies you need.  I highly recommend digging around in what you already have on hand. these cost me nothing because I already had all of this stuff. 
Using my wire cutters, I clipped some greens off of an unused piece of garland

I stuck the wire inside the swing top, and secured it with some string. If you are using wine bottles, I would just hot glue it to the bottle and add the ribbon for fun.
Once the greens are attached, insert the candles into the bottle top and viola. 

Simple and elegant. 

The Treat – Rye Manhattan
I took a bit of time last week to organize all of my glassware.  I may have a problem.  The good news, we are all gonna gain some benefits of some fun Christmastime/winter time cocktails in the next few weeks. 

The Supplies:
chilled martini glass
pint glass filled with ice
bar spoon, or any kitchen spoon
strainer

Ingredients:
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz rye bourbon (please note, you can use your favorite whiskey, bourbon or rye to make this)
dash of bitters
cherry for garnish

To chill a martini glass, fill with ice and pour water over it.
In the pint glass, add the vermouth.
And the rye. 
Stir it up. No James Bond up in here. 
Pour the ice out of the martini glass and shake out the access water.  Add the cherry and a dash of bitters. 
Strain into the martini glass.
Cheers

It is so easy for us to get caught up in the frenzy of the season, but maybe we need to start rethinking why we are in a frenzy?  Take some time for you, for your family and friends to enjoy and celebrate. 

Merry Christmas – 
xo
AT

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