Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Simplified Holiday Season

I am determined to enjoy the holidays without all of the typical stress.  Last year I was still recovering from my first Achilles repair and I just wanted to get through the holidays.  This year has been full of interesting change and I'm so excited about the holidays and the new year...I feel it is important to celebrate.  So I am trying something different, as I was discussing my thoughts with a customer she suggested that I post it and then let everyone know how it goes!

Instead of trying to have a big holiday party I'm opting to have more casual impromptu gatherings with just a few folks at a time.  I think this will be better because I'll really get to visit with and enjoy my friends. 

Here's my plan and how I'm going to do it: 

This past week I finished my holiday decorating (definitely scaled back from previous years!) But I felt this was as important for me as it is for guests.  I did a very small vintage looking, gold tinsel tree in my in my bedroom.  It’s all new and a little over the top but I’m enjoying it.  In my living room I put up a small pencil tree, I wasn’t going to do it but I have some very special “Chloe” ornaments that I really wanted to display. Outside I went all natural, I used live garland and wreaths, and stuffed the window boxes with various evergreens from my property.

My Bedroom Tinsel Tree

Pencil Tree and Mantle
I ran errands one night after work so that I could stock my bar and wine cooler including a couple bottles of Champagne.   I also purchased some other treats including great cheeses, cured meats, Marcona almonds, delicious olives, a few kinds of crackers, as well as some sweets like a new favorite Panettone raisin cake, French truffles, peppermint bark, and some of my special “Holiday Snack Mix” (my recipe is below). I feel like these items along with some great Gatewood Hall provisions (Yes, this a shameless plug) like our Sansaba Peach Pecan Amaretto preserves to pour over cream cheese or pound cake, blood orange curd by Bella Cucina to put in their tiny butter crusts or even some GH black bean salsa will give me plenty of options for some quick and tasty snacks or appetizers.  These items have a long shelf life and besides, who wouldn't love a nice Chartecurie board and a glass of wine?

Wonderful Provisions
I have my iPod loaded with a special holiday mix.  I neatly put all of my holiday magazines, catalogs and Christmas cards in a nice basket complete with pens and stamps, I keep it beside my bed so if I want some holiday inspiration or feel like writing out a few cards I can do it easily.
My Magazine and Holiday Card Basket
I’m burning holiday candles (Available at GH J) and I am even listening to holiday music in my car. 

I’m having a few small, casual and intimate dinners, a few friends for a traditional afternoon high tea, and possibly a nice brunch.  I am also taking advantage of our great restaurants in Blue Ridge.  For our GH team celebration we are going to Cucina Rustica. Or what could be better than meeting a few friends for sliders, Pat’s great brews and some wonderful soup by Polina at Blue Ridge Brewery?  

So here’s how my plan is going so far…The other night I had friends over. We sat in front of the fire (I confess I had the AC on because Mother Nature didn’t cooperate and it was really too warm for a fire!) drank wine, ate Spanish cheese, olives, almonds, pate and French bread.  Then we had a very simple salad, along with a shrimp and pasta dish (more wine!) and then a sampling of fantastic cupcakes and truffles from my girls at the Sweet Shoppe of Blue Ridge.  I have to tell you it was a wonderful and stress-free evening with lots of conversation and laughs.  Exactly what I was hoping for that evening!
Tablescape for Small Dinner Party
I’ll keep you posted on how the rest of the season goes. Wish me luck and most importantly I hope you and your loved ones have a very special holiday season with many, many wonderful memories.

Corky's Holiday Snack Mix

1-  Can (1 LB 2.75 OZ)  Planters Winter Spiced Mixed Nuts
1-  Bag (12 OZ) White Chocolate Chips
2-  Bag (8 OZ or more if you like) Dried Cranberries
1-  Bag (5 OZ) Emerald Brand Glazed Pecan Pie Pecans (Optional but delicious!)

Mix together and store in an air-tight tin or jar!  Enjoy!!


Jennifer said...

Sounds lovely! Wish I could stop by for a glass of wine and some holiday cheer. Your house looks beautiful.

Gayle@ Blue Ridge GA Real Estate said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe, Corky.
I'll definitely be trying it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful holiday! Everything looks beautiful; have a blessed Christmas!

Lisa Queen

Humaun Kabir said...

Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.

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