How to Prep for Christmas.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us…!

My Favorite Holiday Decor.

CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS

STOCKING FOR YOUR PUP!

BAY LEAF WREATH

CHRISTMAS BELLS (SIMILAR TO THOSE SEEN ABOVE — TIE TO A WREATH!)

MINI FLOCKED TREE ($3!!! — BOUGHT ONE FOR MINI’S ROOM!)

STOCKING HOLDERS

MINI PRESERVED BOXWOOD WREATHS (TIE WITH A HUGE SATIN RIBBON AND HANG OVER THE BACK OF A DINING CHAIR OR IN A WINDOW!)

MY FAVORITE WINTER CANDLE

LOVE THE IDEA OF CREATING A LITTLE VILLAGE ON A MANTLETOP — ADORE THESE, THESE, OR THESE

RATTAN TREE COLLAR

JULISKA COUNTRY ESTATE TABLE SETTING (LOOK FOR LESS WITH THIS)

NYC TAXI ORNAMENT (<<I GIVE MR. MAGPIE A NEW ORNAMENT EVERY YEAR; THIS WAS LAST YEAR’S!)

BOXWOOD WRAPPING PAPER!

ANY OF THE HOLIDAY ARRANGEMENTS FROM FARMGIRL FLOWERS! <<HAVE HAD THE BEST EXPERIENCES WITH THEM; SO IMPRESSED

PERSONALIZED GIFT TAGS

PLATTER FOR SANTA’S COOKIES

I also set out a peg doll nativity set and an advent calendar for mini. I like to leave her a very small surprise in the advent calendar every day leading up to Christmas — sometimes a box of raisins or a lollipop and other times something a little bigger, like a scribble scrubbie or book. We have this advent calendar, and I like its unfussy straightforwardness, but it is really small and so I often have to prop her “surprise” up on the floor. I would like to upgrade to something larger like this or this next year.

Christmas Books for Little Ones.

DREAM SNOW

CHRISTMAS IN THE MANGER

PICK A PINE TREE

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

RED & LULU

THE SNOWY DAY

THE LITTLE REINDEER

THE POLAR EXPRESS

Christmas Baking.

I shared two of my favorite holiday recipes — pecan bars and sugar cookies — here, and a couple of my favorite ideas for Christmas morning breakfast here. I also want to share a treasured cookie recipe from my Italian grandmother, who made these every Christmas Eve, and now my mother and youngest sister maintain the tradition. I am certain I will also carry it forward with mini the first year we spend away from my parents. They are buttery pockets of dough filled with apricot jam that are actually making my mouth water as I type this. We always simply called these “Horns” in our home, owing to their shape, but I am sure there is an elegant Italian name for them…

Christmas Horns

Work 3 tablespoons sugar into 5 cups flour and add 1 pound butter.  Mix in ½ cup sour cream and 2 dry yeast packets. Add 3 beaten egg yolks and two tablespoons vinegar.  Knead. Store in fridge over night. Shape dough and roll in circles. Fill with 1 tablespoon apricot jam and roll like crescents.  Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 and sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar.

What to Wear on Christmas.

I’ll probably share some alternative thoughts for less-dressy options, but here’s what I’m eyeing (several items already purchased!):

RUFFLE VELVET DRESS

SPARKLY BROOCH HEELS

BEJEWELED HEADBAND

VELVET BOW JACKET

TARTAN DRESS

RDR BOW EARRINGS

BLACK WATCH PLAID HEELS

TARTAN FLOUNCE DRESS (UNDER $100!!!)

TROUSERS AND A BOW TANK

EMERALD GREEN SILK DRESS

CECILIE BAHNSEN VIBES FOR $120

P.S. Gifts for loved ones and gifts for toddlers.

8 Comments

  1. So many good ideas here! I love the sound of the Horns, and so sweet that your family has kept up a tradition from generations past. Love that.

    We have 2 advent calendars: one “vintage” one that my mom kept from when we were kids, which involves a pegged Christmas tree & “surprise” ornaments that hang on it. We also have a wooden one with open cubbies that I fill with chocolate for a sweet treat. Both are big hits without being toooo over-the-top! I do love the sound of yours, though.

    Speaking of Christmas outfits … I’m spending Christmas somewhere tropical this year for the first time, so I’m doing a one-shoulder midi dress but in black floral to keep it sliiiightly Christmas-y! Haha. If I was staying in “winter”, I would seriously consider that plaid Emilia Wickstead. Love that silhouette!

    Also … you had me at “Cecilie Bahnsen vibes”!!

    xx

    1. Love the idea of a daily chocolate 🙂

      Ooo la la, tropical Christmas! So envious. Have the best time!

  2. Tis the season! Loved all of these. You have such great taste!

    Hint from lots of Advent calendar use in years past… They are NEVER large enough. Hate to break it to you. I had boys, and boys toys are always large. Even Legos! At least with girls you can do hair bows, lipstick, earrings, etc. Not boys! I tried placing a note in a gift wrapped box to say your gift is in the sideboard, or hidden in the den, but even that became an arduous task for me during the holiday rush. We started with a true Advent style (small scale), and once the kids understood it better we moved on. Eventually we got a large box for each child. Gift wrapped the box separately from the top so all I had to do was place the toy/gift inside each night. My kids grew to love this tradition more than Christmas morning if you can believe that!
    Just my two cents of parental Advent calendar wisdom!

  3. Thank you for the family recipe for the Italian Horns. It looks similar to my grandmother’s rugelach recipe (which she never wrote down due to a superstition that once written she’d not be needed). The differences are the addition of yeast, her use of cream cheese along with the sour cream, and of course the filling (she used raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon). I’m going to try your recipe out for our holiday party for our Cozy Mystery Book Club, Los Angeles meeting on the 22nd. We will also be having latkes — so lots of yummy fun!

  4. The Juliska Country Estate Winter Frolic collection is all on my wedding registry – it is absolute Christmas perfection! Such a great heirloom set to hold onto.

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