We have been waiting for you. The leaves have been raked and the gardens put to bed. The sun sets early. Lights are turned on by late afternoon, candles lit and twinkle lights casting merriment from above. Boxes filled with tidings of the holiday season are being brought down from the attic, garland, ornaments, snowmen, and Santas all spilling over their tops.
I love this time of year. For me the holidays mean my daughters will soon be home and filling the house with their cheerful chatter. The kitchen will be filled with sweet and savory aromas, a light dusting of flour coating the countertops and tables. Carols will be playing on Spotify and my husband will (teasingly) be cringing as the girls and I sing along.
As the years have gone by I find myself cherishing our holiday traditions more and more. Each year we bake sugar cookies, watch It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas, and read "The Night Before Christmas" aloud on Christmas Eve, each of us taking a turn. It seems that no matter how old the girls become, they still look forward to our small seasonal rituals. Our middle daughter still makes it a point to be home on the weekend when we cut down our Christmas tree, mainly to be sure we get one that is fat enough to fit all of our ornaments (which she insists all must go on the tree).
I love the scent of a newly cut tree, don't you? It is divine.
Years ago, a dear friend shared with me her recipe for chocolate fudge. I haven't made it these past few years and have decided it is time to add it to our Christmas baking. The recipe is super easy and I thought I would share it with you:
In a double boiler melt 12 ounces of chocolate chips. Add 1/2 cup of warm milk and 1/2 cup of chunky peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Next add 3 cups of confectioner's sugar. Thoroughly stir and then pour into a greased 8x8" pan. Cool before cutting.
So simple and yet so delicious.
I'm happy to share with you the news of my new Etsy shop! It is called whimsyandjoystudio and I hope you come by and visit. Click on the logo above to take a peek. I am currently selling prints and notecards on Etsy while I work on constructing my website store. It took a lot of time to get it up and running but I am really pleased with the result.
During the advent season I like to read inspirational books. This year I will be reading Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer by Richard Rohr. I am looking forward to it arriving in my mailbox. In the meantime I am thoroughly enjoying this book.
I love holiday music and this season I am thoroughly enjoying A Pentatonix Christmas. If you haven't heard of Pentatonix I strongly recommend that you give them a listen. They are an amazing a cappella group.
This holiday I wish for a holiday spent with family and friends, filled with peace and good will. Simple gifts, such as moments of quiet reflection and gratitude. What do you wish for this holiday season?
Sending love, always,